Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'm Getting Old

Thank goodness Christmas is over! I love the religious aspect of the holiday and I love giving, but the emotional and financial stress for me is almost too great. I'm of the age where I don't necessarily need gifts from my childhood friends, or my mom, or any relative for that matter. My husband and I don't exchange gifts; instead we make some charitable donations then make a major purchase for the household (i.e. this year was a HOUSE {oh and yeah, a new laptop}). I'm more along the lines of buying for kids. I am risking sounding ungrateful -- and honestly I am VERY GRATEFUL for any gift I receive.

I suppose there might be some underlying selfishness to my new point of view, but overall I think it's basis lies in the following rationales:

1 -- Christmas is about the birth of Christ; not what candle or frame I should buy for the office gift exchange, or purchasing a gift card because I don't want to take the time to THINK about what my friends REALLY LIKE and buy it. It's about feeling the joy of the Holy Family. I will refrain from mounting the soap box and spewing thoughts about commercialization of holidays.

2 -- I'm older. I'm an adult. I receive gifts of friendship, love, companionship daily from my friends and family and community. I receive joy through these gifts that I cannot touch. Isn't that thought process the natural part of aging? I am not entitled to receive an iPod or fancy smellin' perfume or a new car. After all, that's just STUFF. SIDE NOTE: This revalation came to me through my best friend who bravely said, "since you just bought a house and I just got back from the cruise, do you just want to buy for the kids this year?". This statement made me ask myself: why do we even buy stuff for each other?? It's about the kids anyway. Thanks Mrs. John Taylor!

3 -- Kids are just so wonderful. And even though I am suckered by the Santa Claus, it's the hope and joy in their eyes that is just indescribable at this time of year. I only wish I could eloquently type/write the emotion in their faces upon seeing images of Christmas. (It's so wonderful that us parents will heighten the Brat Bar and put up with more Brat-i-ness because we already bought the Barbie Dreamhouse and don't want to back to the Toys R Us and stand in yet another long friggin line to get our money back!) Even if you don't have your own children, anyone can appreciate a child's hope-filled face.

I thoroughly enjoyed having a family filled house over for Christmas Day dinner. And seeing the kiddos go from one gift to the next as if they will run out of life before they get the chance to at least touch them all. We had Hubby's Viet Namese friend over and he played guitar for us all. Acoustic carols. Beautiful. (He also brought egg rolls again! YUM!)

So, in summary, I guess I'm surrendering to the fact that I'm getting old. I feel like a grandma. :) That explains all the new gray hairs!

If you are a friend or relative, office co-worker, potential Christmas gift-giver of any sort, consider yourselves officially off the hook of purchasing a gift for me at Christmastime.

Merry Christmas

(and GO Playoff Bound COWBOYS)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Shaolin Showdown at Santa's

Tonight, My Eldest visited with a friend, Matt, she hasn't seen in quite a while -- mainly because they go to different schools now. But they still are quite fond of each other and seem pretty close still (which I'm thankful for!).

Matt and his family met at our new house and we followed each other to Santa's Village. On the way to the Village, Eldest and Matt had a secret conversation (all of which I could hear but shhhh -- it's a secret!). This is how it went:

E (her hands around her mouth like holding a cup): Guess what, Matt
M (in a whisper wearing a smile): What?
E (mischievously): There's a boy at my school. His name's Ted. I fell in love with him.

She laughs vigorously in a whisper. Matt follows suit and tries to trump her:

M (in a whisper): Oh yeah. Well, I have three girlfriends. They're all in different grades. Olivia is in 2nd grade, Raven is in 3rd grade and Tammy is in 4th grade.

He laughs vigorously in whisper.

Then they start conversing in a normal volume of voice about school comparisons. They realize they both have a girl with the same name in their class, but different last names, which sparks a conversation of name comparison. Then Eldest tells Matt about a boy named Colton in her class with whom she had some bad experience in the beginning of the year (yet they are good friends now per their teacher):

E: Do you have a boy named Colton?
M: No. What kind of name is Colton?
E: He is sometimes mean to me. In the beginning of the year he called me "girl" and "bucky".
M: That is mean.

Then they start talking about other stuff unrealted to Colton, bucky, meanness, or names.

Silence.

About 10 seconds later, and after some careful contemplation, Matt speaks up:
"Hey Eldest. You know that boy who called you Bucky. You know what I would do to him if I ever saw him??"
E: Would you punch him?
M: No.
E: Oh.
M: But I would FIGHT him.

Silence for about 4 seconds.

E: Would you challenge him to a shaolin showdown?
M: Oh. NO WAY. No shaolin showdown. But I would *definitely* fight him.

Guess it's nice to know that someone is looking out for My Eldest besides me and the Hubby. Thanks Matt.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Declaration of Love for My Hubby

My Husband *hates* malls.

It is difficult to get him out of the house -- especially during the week.
Getting him to a mall on a Tuesday night that us about 20-30 miles away so that Our Girls can take pictures with a jolly Santa was an act of Congress.

Today, I love my husband even more than I did yesterday -- and it grows the more I tell this story.

You see, last night, Our Family trekked to a mall that is very Dallas-cliche in an attempt to get a magical photo op with ole St. Nick. I had taken some care in asking some co-workers where they had thier kid's picture made, and this mall was recommended. In an attempt to be efficient, I also asked, "where in the mall is Santa?" so I could park nearby. I find out by two different people that Santa is right through this particular sporting goods store. Got it. Park, get in, snap pic, leave.

We finish supper, do the dishes, get the girls all dressed up -- tights and all. It's already bed time for The Little One. Bed time is fast approaching for My Eldest.

Both girls fall asleep in the car on the way to the mall. They wake up grumpy and puffy eyed. Hubby and I bicker with Eldest and warn her that if she doesn't straighten up before we see Santa, we will be asking Santa to put her name on the Naughty Kid list and bring her a lump of coal. She pouts but acquiesces.

Parking is SUPER. Great! Going just as planned. Break out diaper bag, put baby in stroller, grab baby's sister by hand and let's roll.

We huff and puff our way through the sporting goods store. No Santa.

But there is a cute sign that says, "Santa is now by Sears on the lower level". They don't tell you that Sears is a half mile walk away from where you are currently standing.

Shit. Hubby is hating me right now, I think. Could this get any worse??

YES.

We walk through the mall only to be accosted and obnoxiously approached by 20-something trying-to-makke-a-little-extra-money-right-now (plastic) sales people at a kiosks that are strategically planted approximately 5 feet between each other.

In a French accent, "Madame, ah you nail natwahl?" Are my what what? I ask, "excuse me?". He repeats the phrase 3 times before I understand that he's asking if my nails are natural. Neither of us have been in a mall recently enought to figure out that this is the new way of drumming up bisness. Hubby is huffy. I politely walk away only to be slammed by aromatherapy, hermit crabs, moving pictures and remote control helicopters. Rude. Rude. RUDE!

And then the choir sings, the vastness illuminates and
There
HE
is.

In his beautiful suspenders. Giant jolly belly. Long natural wavy beard. Long natural hair. Cute round wire-rimmed glasses. Red nose and cheeks. He's a magical sight indeed. Santa Claus sits and chats and laughs -- with the DOGS

You see, Tuesday night is friggin PET NIGHT. So there are a ton of pets in line! We ask the 20-something I-don't-want-to-go-to-college-right-now punk-ass security guard, "where is the entrance to the line?" After all, the posted time for Santa pictures is until 9:00 p.m. and it's only 8:20.

Guard (bowing his chest importantly): Awww, it's closed.
Me: uhhh, excuse me?
Guard (defensively): Well y'know, Santa's gotta go home and eat. He's been here since 10 a.m.

I collect my madness and take a big gulp. God gives me patience.

Me: I just drove 40 minutes to get here. The sign says you're open till 9:00.
Guard: This is the busiest night I've seen since I been here. It'll take him more than an hour to get through these folks in line.

SHIT -- Hubby is going to LOVE this news. I turn to Hubby and explain what's going on. He's not happy, but he took the news REALLY WELL.

We ended up watching Santa from afar. My Eldest decided last year that she does not believe in Santa. She figured it out on her own, and we had a long talk about letting the littler kids believe and not spoil the secret. Now, this year, she seems on the fence. She WANTS to believe in Santa, but she also is logically realizing something just doesn't add up. So watching her lingering desire to believe as expressed by her twinkling brown eyes and slight smile as she looked on while all the other kids, dogs, cats, lizards and the like get their picture with Santa was so sad for me to experience.

We drove all that way only to be turned away. My plan imploded. As a result, I wrote a big complaint letter to the mall's management office. Hubby wrote an email to a local news station ranting about the experience. I like his point: Why is the mall choosing to turn away HUMAN children who have human emotions attached to the holidays and Santa, and instead opting to have pets, who don't know or care who Santa is??! I fully respect that pets are family members, but a mall is not the time or place for a pet to be. Take the pet to a Petco where there is a Santa waiting for you there. I mean, the liability of having pets at a mall has to be incredible. How would the mall react if someone was deathly allergic to cats? What would they do if a pit bull attacked a child in line? And I'm already on an anti-cat bandwagon right now and I shudder to think that a cat might actually urinate on or spray Santa. Who would allow their kids to sit up there after having animals up there? Frustrating. Very frustrating.

I expressed over and over again to Hubby my gratitude. He really was fantastic about the whole thing and I'm give him public, global props on being a team-player last night.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Roaches & Dog Food

Today I ponder as I type in my rubber gloves: Am I a neglectful mother?

Today My Little One ate pieces of a dead, dried cockaroach. Later in the day, she ate dog food.

Totally friggin nasty gross to the max disgusting on both counts.

(She's so cute, though that I still give her smooches.)

We have moved!! (The pipe just burst under the kitchen sink thank you very much Mr. DPD).
We are Homeowners!! (Did you ever friggin clean your house, ASS? After all, you had 2 english sheep dogs and SEVEN {oh how I strongly dislike them} cats.)
At the tender age of 35, I finally own my own home.
Deep breath.
Big gulp of Old Grand Dad and coke.

Yes -- big news, right? Exciting, indeed! I'm now a suburbanite. Nice. Love it!

How does my new home pertain to My Little One's new protien-enriched diet?

Scene One: Well, see, we've been a little busy. She's still a crawler. I put her on the floor as I lift boxes or move furniture or supervise projects. In our old house, there was a crusty roach on the pergo and I was helping Hubby with moving when I hear My Eldest yell, "eeewwwwww, Mommy! Little Sister ate a cockaroach!!" I saw that damned roach when I walked in the door. I knew My Little One might go there. I knew she would reach out and pick it up and try to eat it. I saw it there and just hoped that she wouldn't. I trusted My Eldest to supervise and specially asked her to watch Little Sister so that she didn't put anything in her mouth. But neither hope nor Eldest did not take the place of me just being The Mom and picking up the roach proactively. I learned my lesson. and SCENE.

Scene Two: At the New House, My Little One is playing happily on the living room floor with her Little People Zoo. I hear her squealing with delight as I am taking a much needed potty break. ~~ Out-of-place background information: my mom is here with her two dogs. ~~ So, Mom is scrubbing the linoleum in the laundry room (a.k.a. former owner's super stinky urine-soaked kitty litter box room-thingie -- yet another reason I strongly dislike cats). Hubby is doing I don't know what when suddenly I hear, "eeeewww YUCK!! Little One, don't do that! Don't eat the dog food!" When I get there, I want to tell you -- she had a goodly amount of food in that mouth of hers. It was so freaking grossly disgustingly nasty. She was fussing at us as we are digging our dirty fingers in her mouth retrieving the vienna-sausage-like goo out of her toothless mouth. For the life of us, we could not get her to take a swig of water. Okay. THIS TIME, I learned my lesson. On the baby shift-work. and SCENE.

Moving is just great with an eight month old.

Whoosh!

Oh -- Me gusto Automatica Grammatica!! Cowboys keep on truckin'!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey, Dressing and ... Egg Rolls?

(Is it pathetic that I'm blogging instead of watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and munching on leftover mashed potatos??)

We loaded up the fam and one very good friend of Hubby's and headed out to Small Town, Texas on this lovely Texas fall day.

The temperature was in the high 70's. Slight wind blowing. The kids were excited. There was a warmth in the house, and I ain't talkin' 'bout the cookin'. Each of us gather in a circle, pray. Then SHOWTIME! We dig into the fixins: turkey, dressing (two kinds!), cranberries, mashed potatos, jello salad, fruit salad, rolls, green bean casserole and egg rolls.

When Hubby invited Viet Namese Friend (VNF), VNF asked, "what can I bring". Hubby says, "nothing". VNF brings yummy egg rolls!

While egg rolls are not traditional American Thanksgiving Day fare, they were a hit!! I bet each of us had at least two -- and there were at least 20 left over. (We're bring those to Youngest Niece's birthday party tomorrow night.) I believe from now on, our family will be incorporating egg rolls into our T-day dinner.

After supper, we played Mexican Train Dominoes, the Grandfather took The Kids for a ride in a trailer attached to the back of a small tractor (the best fun all day according to My Eldest). Grandfather also took VNF on a walking tour of downtown Small Town, The Kids in tow. It's times like this that I soak up my family and friends and really try to marinate in the goodness that has been given me. We are wrapped in one big egg roll and are so yummy -- aren't we?

Oh -- and one more thing -- COWBOYS SPANKED THE BUCS!! GO 'BOYS!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

GO 'BOYS!

It is indeed a good day.

The Cowboys handed the Colts their first loss this season -- and it was good.


I've been a lifelong Cowboys fan. I love football, especially the professional kind. College is difficult for me to follow although I will state that I'm partial to the Longhorns and the Irish. I tend to see how the UTEP Miners fared, as well as some other colleges, but there's so much to keep track of in the NCAA, so NFL is easier for me. (That might have some allegory, overshadowing or some fancy English-Psychology concept of me never finishing college.....) I dig going to the bar to watch the games, although that's a rarity these days. I'm wishin' the stars had lined up today for me to have gone to see The Legendary Peyton Manning -- the guy IS greatness. Even if the 'Boys had lost, I would've loved to have seen Manning.

Growing up, one of the best ways I found to bond with my father was memorizing the starting quarterbacks to each of the NFL teams. That was back when Stauback was around, and Danny White, Tom Landry. Our family planned Thanksgiving dinner around the time of the Cowboys game. I've been lucky enough to attend a Thanksgiving Day game vs. the Redskins back in the 90's. (That was pretty awesome.) We didn't do a lot of family things growing up, but we did share football. Also, back in my single days I could impress some of my dates with my football knowledge. This fund of knowledge more often intimidated men, resulting in the "she's one of the guys" category. Made -- and still have -- some darn good friends that are of the male persuasion. At work I host am on a fantasy football team, and have a second fantasy team with my husband through a league my nephew hosts. I still have a lot to learn.

I am floating on blue and silver clouds today!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

How Embarrassing!

Tonight, My Eldest and I went to a soccer game. My friend and his family were in town because their oldest had a soccer tournament. My Eldest was very so looking forward to going, especially since she's been asking for about a year and a half for me to enroll her into soccer. I have been reluctant to do that considering she tends to be really excited about something and then she gets bored, especially with something athletic. But, we're talking a WHOLE year now, so I've been giving it more serious consideration....

Back to this evening:

It's cold -- especially for Dallas.

It's after 9:00 p.m. -- My Eldest's bed time (I actually misspelled that originally as "bad time" -- Freud, are you here again?), which means that she'll probably be tired.

We brough no chairs. No blankets. Only our bright and cheery voices.

So, My Eldest stays buried in kindly donated chairs and blankets, begging me to read her The Magic School Bus's the Human Body book. We read. She whines. I cheer. I read some more. She asks to go home, so I make her wait until half time.

On the way out to the car, I give her little tap on the head, "Did you have a good time?"

"Mommmmmmmm, don't tap me on the HEAD!"

"Why not?"

"You're embarrassing me in front of all my soccer friends!!" she asks rather politely and quietly. Then she continues, "I mean, it's okay if you do that while I'm at school, or at home, but not in front of my soccer girls, please."

It's all I can do to not just guffaw! I don't know how these girls from Austin and Dallas that she's never met before, save one, are suddenly HER soccer FRIENDS. And I don't see how tapping her on the head equates to the school-aged boy asking his mom to drop him off at school and not kiss him.

I simply responded with heartfelt apologies and re-confirmed that I will not do it front of soccer friends again.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Overeating = Selfish = A Gift

Okay, so I was reading this popular blog that really makes me laugh. She's a rather neurotic person that my "when I was in my 20's" persona can identify with. She posted a blog the other day that said being fat and overeating is selfish.

(screeching brakes) Huh?!

That struck a chord with me.

I'm fat. I don't consider myself selfish.

Then I really got to thinking about it. I'm, as previously stated, a compulsive overeater. I've been in THE 12 step program and was quite successful (if one ever IS successful in a 12 step program). I maintained abstinence for almost 12 months, lost 50+ pounds, but most importantly was FREE. Free from the bondage of always thinking about food and how putting it in my body will make me feel oh so much better (because it only really makes me feel physically ill and incredibly guilty). Of course, I was living in a smaller city that isn't so vain as Dallas, going through a divorce, living the single life, enjoying my martial arts classes 3 times a week, visiting with a kick-ass sponsor, even doing service work and really living life in a healthy way.

Now, almost 10 years later, I am not active in program. I'm not active at all. I don't work out, I don't go to meetings, I don't have other program friends in my day to day life. I'm remarried, with 2 young children, live in a megalopolis. I tried to get in program 2 or 3 times since moving here. The meetings are what I call "geographically undesirable" meaning they are so friggin far from me!! (I can hear you 12 steppers now: that's no excuse.) I basically don't possess the energy for it. Program means that program (God) comes first. If God isn't first, then how can I be the most present, most full woman, friend, mother, wife, worker, etc.?

Wanna hear something kind of ironic about that God thing? The first time I ever entered a meeting room, I was agnostic. Higher Power was a difficult concept for me to grasp. No kidding--at times my phone was HP. The PC was HP. Now, I'm a fully converted Roman Catholic and I can't figure out how to put My Father in context of HP.

I'm getting closer, though; I can tell. My treasured coin in sitting on my desk at work. I've printed off a meeting list (a friend is even willing to go with me!). I also pulled out my AA blue book. Pulled out the For Today meditations, as well as the 12 princples & traditions book. Even The OA 12 and 12. It's bittersweet to see that stack of books. They remind me of a healthy time, a free time, yet they continue to haunt me because it's upsetting to think that I will NEVER be totally free of the habit and sheer will to stuff myself full of food! Gradution does not exist. I'm a lifer. I have not seen that my eating disorder is a gift yet.

I live under an incredible amount of stress. I'm a happy person, but I have my internal battles. I numb them with 2 dozen Almond Joys in the last 2 days (can't you tell how much I love-hate Halloween??), along with a choice amount of Reeces peanut butter cups, Snickers, and well, "normal" foods that aren't so sugar enriched. I could binge on water, really. I've done it. Not a proud moment. At least I can say I never dug through the trash to get food in a desparate moment.

To this day, one of the main reasons I don't carry cash is that I will spend every last dime of it on food.

So all that said (and so much more unsaid) -- my chord is struck for a reason. While I stuff food to suppress emotions, I am actually rationalize that I am acting selflessly. In my twisted mind, I think that saying nothing, feeling nothing is really "taking one for the team". I do not need to live my life like this. I am choosing to live my life like this. Thefore, I am being selfish.

Please pray that I get to meetings, start working the program. Pray that I find a sliver of time, an ounce of sanity and a giant barrell of willingness, discipline, commitment to do this again. Lastly, pray that I receive my disorder as a gift, a blessing -- not a cross to bear. And as always, I pray God's will.

Off to read a little bit in my stack of books.

Whoosh!

P.S. Today is All Saints Day in the Roman Catholic Faith. When I was baptized, I took the name of St. Monica. She is the saint for mothers and wives.

St. Monica, please pray for me.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Remind me !!

So-ho-ho many things swimming around that I just need to dump out but it will require a LOT of time and a LOT of thinking - neither of which I have or am capable of at this second. The Honey-Do list includes:

* How compulsive overeating and being fat is selfish
* How the Wonder Woman birthday part was (I can't find my friggin camera that holds all the groovy pictures!)
* The Ticket & sports in general

Just a quick update:
My Little One started crawling on Sunday!! Look out electrical plugs!

Pursuing buying my first home (screaming in my head like they do in the horror movies)

OH and HAPPY HALLOWEEN:


PIMP.myYearbook.com - No. 1 Pimp Site

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fashion

As much as I absolutely LOVE Texas (YEE HAW), every Fall and every Spring, I'm in a wardrobe dilemma.

Monday, the temperature was something like 75 degrees.
Tuesday, it was 93.
Wednesday it was 80-something.
Today it's going to be 62.

How is a girl supposed to dress??

I'm sure my friends who read this that know me are chuckling because I'm not much of a wardrobe princess, and it's not often that I abide by social norms -- ESPECIALLY in fashion! (Trust me. If I had the money to afford fashion, I'd be quite fashionable; but I a broke sista.) So I tend to buy and wear neutrals and classics: gray sweater, black pants, white shirt and lots of different kinds of black shoes......

I pulled out a black skirt that fits just above the knee and put on a maroon short sleeve shirt with it. Looking in the mirror deciding if I was just too fat to wear this outfit or not, I had a rush of a thought of terror: it's fall -- I can't wear open-toed shoes with this!

So I fished out a pair of hose. Black, sheer hose. Pulled the slack down to tuck in my shoes. Tried on my closed-toe wedges. Okay, I look like a dork. I look like a freak who doesn't know fashion (and I KNOW fashion dammit!). "Maybe the strappy shoes will look okay." I put the strappy shoes on....slack hanging out the side of my shoes.

Ummmm....no. Ever seen that show "What Not to Wear"? Yeah -- I was that girl.

Sh**.

I don't have the right kind of black shoes to go with this damn skirt for this time of year!!!

I end up stripping down to the skivvies and starting over. Walked out of the house in my work-issued shirt with company logo and a nice pair of navy slacks. NO I didn't wear BLACK shoes with this outfit -- or open toed shoes; instead I elected to wear the navy version similar to these.

I think I'll be opposed to fashion instead of opposed to Texas. Yee haw!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Seven

The rare, wild animal in the pictures attached was captured in her natural environment. However, don’t let her cute, calm affect fool you! She is indeed a wild beast who grunts and growls and screams and screeches at all hours of the day. Luckily she is only at the stage of propping herself up on all 4s and rocking like crazy, but has not yet developed the instinct to crawl out of her habitat. She attempts to feed herself vegetables and fruits. The occasional slop of rice cereal and oatmeal get put in her feeding pan, too. We have not found anything she does not like.





She loves her voice -- loves to hear the sound of it and all that it can do. She loves her big sister who is released at certain times of day. She is fond of grabbing hair if you get too close to her, but she is capable of wide-open slobbery mouth kisses all over your face. At first this slobber was thought to be a defense mechanism, but after much experimenting, it has been determined that the behavior actually is an expression of love.



Since little is known about the development of this kind of beast, she will continue to be monitored and observed. Future reports will be distributed to you, the media.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

An Update, A Joke and A Lesson Learned

Well the ripple effect has settled down.

After several friends & family laughed at my pharmacy breakout, they urged me to contact CVS and complain. So I did. I went online and submitted my complaint. A short while later, I received this response:

Dear Mrs. LeBon:

Thank you for contacting us regarding your experience at the Dallas, TX
CVS/pharmacy.

We appreciate the time that you have taken to express your thoughts on
our company. At CVS, customer input plays an important role in
influencing how we run our business. Therefore, I have advised the
District Manager of your comments. She will be reviewing
them with her staff at their next meeting.

Again, Ms. LeBon, we appreciate the fact that you have taken the time
to inform us of your concerns and have given us the opportunity to
address them. CVS has a commitment to service. Each customer is
valued, and we thank you for bringing this to our attention.


Sincerely,


CVS Customer Relations


Well ain't that nice?

The next day, I have a voicemail from the district manager. We trade a couple of calls and finally hook up. She offers nothing more than an apology and expresses her embarrassment about the situation. She assured me that conversations have occurred with the employees that were involved. She went on to tell me how when she first got the email that she was sure someone was playing a joke on her. She sounded as if she didn't believe me at times. While I appreciate their quick attentiveness, I didn't feel like the situation really had been resolved. Not that I could really get anything out of it -- what was I going to get? Free Extra Bucks? Nahh.... At least I did some civic duty.

Fast forward a couple of days....

My Eldest heard of my experience of CVS. It obviously set into her psyche. My father in law picks up My Eldest from school. They leave school without the Wonder Woman tin lunchbox she takes almost every day. They realize there's no lunchbox so they head back to school and venture unescorted into the classroom. Lights are out. School is empty. Quiet. My Eldest sees her lunchbox, grabs it, and orders, "c'mon, Pop. Let's get outta here. They're gonna lock this place up in an hour!"

Luckily they didn't get locked in church! Glad she learns from others....

Monday, October 09, 2006

Six

My Eldest turned six yesterday.




She got to see "If You Give A Pig A Party" at a local children's theater. Husband's aunt took her. My Eldest had a grand time! She got the whole cast to autograph her book (which she already owned). Then it was a trip to McDonald's - the best place in the WORLD according to Eldes

Eldest kept asking "when's my party?" I had to keep reminding her that it is going to be in a couple more weeks. She was bummed but I think she'll understand come party day (Wonder Woman theme -- her choice!).

A friend of hers bought her a costume for her birthday. The costume is Wonder Woman and it fits GREAT! Eldest looks like the princess amazon warrior superheroine that is WW, however, there's one itty bitty problem. The stars that are on the skirt part....well...see...they uh....melted to the plastic the costume came in so Mommy is prowling all Targets to get a replacement. No luck so far, but because I live is Super Large City, I'm sure we'll find one.

She also has received several other cool gifts: Disney Princess Lacing Cards (for a puppet show); Dora the Explorer Personal CD Player; and a bitchen National Geographic Microscope. She wants to splice berries from the bush outside & view them in the scope. Glad she's excited. I pray she enjoys science.

With all that update, I have to say it's so bittersweet having her grow up. I struggled worse last year when she turned five. It was very hard on me. In the last year, so much has changed for her and she's really grown into such a lovely young child. A new sister, a new school, a new set of friends, some trips, swim lessons, ballet lessons, drama camp, etc. She's so well rounded already. Gotta keep up with her!! Wish me luck!

Whoosh!

P.S. Party pics coming by end of the month!! Can't wait!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Own Private....

....Idaho?
Noooooooo.

.....Hell?
Not exactly.

.....CVS?
dingdingding! You win the grand prize of an overnighter locked inside the store!

It was about 9:45 p.m. last night. I arrive at the corner drugstore to pick up some toiletries. I wander around the store looking at universal remotes, pumice scrub for my biscuit feet, infant Tylenol, children's vitamins. I peruse the magazines and "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood & Chaka Khan comes on the overhead. It's a fave, so I am subvocalizing as I drool over Janet Jackson in EBONY magazine. Then I think, "Is My Little One ready for meats?" So I stroll over to the baby food aisle and start reading labels and analyzing 1's, 2's and 3's.

I throw a couple of jars of baby food in with my toiletries and go to check out. As I approach the checkout counter toward the front of the store, the carts are blocking the entrance. No one is around.

All the lights are still on.

The music is still playing. "Saiiiiiilinnnnng takes me away to where I'm going..."

I am totally alone.

It is 10:10 p.m. and everyone is gone but me.

No sweeping.

No re-stocking shelves.

No counting the drawers.

No announcement of "we'll be closing in five minutes. Please gather your items and proceed to the check out counter".

Just me and a whole store all to myself. Even a pharmacy!

I stood there with the hugest smile in disbelief. I have been locked in CVS! Everyone is gone except me!! How could they not see me?! Didn't they notice a car still parked in the parking lot?!

This only happens in the movies! This can't be happening to me! So I strut to the elusive manager's door that is not-so-hidden behind the giant wall of knock-off perfumes. I rap sternly on the door. No answer.

"Well, I have to be close to the money. I have to be somewhere that is close to a sensor that would set off an alarm," I strategize. So I walk towards the carts. Still a radio playing. Hmmm. I walk again to the manger's "office" and there it goes. The in-store alarm is activated. I'll be saved!!

Look out the windows. Traffic going by in it's normal pattern. I call Husband. No answer, but I leave a message. I am giggling at the fact that being stuck in CVS all night can't be all that bad. There's ice cream, foot spa stuff, soda, chips, apple pies, stomach medicine, XANAX, reading material, a bathroom, toothbrushes.

I decide to call a friend of mine who lives in the neighborhood. I wasn't quite sure WHY I was calling her because after all, what could she do? Come and stare at me from the outside? And laugh? I mean, really....

About 10:30, the security company arrived. So did a fire truck. 9-1-1 was called twice on my behalf. I was flattered, but embarrassed. But why should *I* be embarrassed? After all *they* are the ones who didn't secure their store! I mean, really....

My loving friend (who says she needed this wild night out on the town) arrived and we communicate via cell phone looking at each other through the glass. I had to giggle because I could've heard her voice and read her lips just as easily as we were talking on the phone. Why was I even on the phone?? I mean, really.....

I'm waiting for the security guard to call the store manager. They hook up and the store manager lives about an hour away. So a shift supervisor is called to come rescue me from the clutches of "as seen on TV" goods.

Said shift supervisor actually had the nerve to say, "I seen your car in the parking lot and said to myself, 'I hope there ain't no customer still in there'." (I hope I punctuated that correctly!)

So....in the end, the security guard laughingly affirmed that this sort of thing happens quite often (scary). I got in my friend's car who took me to another store to buy my stuff. Then I returned to my own private....home.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

SnaggletEEth

So, Anthony and Greg Wiggle were tenderly pulled from the clutches of My Eldest's gums on Monday. Anthony in the morning; Greg in the evening.

"Huh?" you say.

My Eldest has named all of her loose teeth. When the first one was loose, she called it Loosey-Goosey which she then associated with, "Hey! That's like Lucy from Peanuts!". So, loose tooth #1 was dubbed Lucy. My Eldest proceeded to name each subsequent tooth in her mouth after each Peanuts character (even the little red-haired girl and Pig Pen were represented). Snoopy fell out 2nd. Those were way back in January.

The top middle teeth have been loose since January also. Only in the last few weeks have they become really wiggly. "Keep wiggling those teeth! They'll fall out before long." Suddenly another association, "Hey! That's like The Wiggles! Anthony and Greg are my favorites. Let's name them Anthony and Greg, Mommy". Thusly, two of the four Wiggles long descent from My Eldest's fleshy pink gums have been vacated and were carefully tucked under the Clifford pillow for a visit from the Tooth Fairy.

Before I start this TMI paragraph of my blog, it's important that you understand that we are a slightly medically-knowledgeable family. My Eldest has a interest in how bodily things work. With that being said, here goes: My sister-in-law and parents-in-law were watching My Eldest and My Little One )while My Husband and I enjoyed the Cowboys home-opening win against the Redskins live at Texas Stadium - the rare date. Mom says to My Eldest, "you should try to pull out that tooth before you go to bed tonight so you won't risk swallowing it. If you swallow it, you won't have anything to give to the Tooth Fairy and she won't come to see you." My Eldest, who *always* has the answer or the alternative, replies, "Well, when make a BM I won't flush the toilet. That way the Tooth Fairy can just pull it out of the potty."

Good thinking.

Now back to Monday morning. My Eldest was eating a small bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. I'm in the back of the house getting ready for work. I hear a shrill of excitement and boards of pergo squeaking as she quickly runs back and screams, "Mommy! Look at my TOOTH!!" Anthony is hanging on for dear life, and My Eldest has the one of the wildest snaggle teeth I've ever seen. "Pull it on out, sugar!" I encourage her as chills race through my body. She pulls and pulls. Nothing yet.

"Do you want me to video tape you pulling your tooth out?" I ask.
"Yeah." She seriously answers as she concentrates on the Anthony Wiggle Snaggletooth.

I leave to find the camera. She follows, hand in mouth still.

Camera's rolling. She starts telling some story about something completely unrelated to Anthony Snaggletooth. I boss her, "Get on with gettin' on! My batteries are about to die!"

She closes her eyes. Wiggles and pulls. She opens her eyes and without much ado, she just shows it to the camera. "I did it!" Now the excitement sets in.

And the blood flows.

"I did it, Grandma!" she runs over to her grandmother who is holding My Little One. I'm feeling tears well up. "Go show Daddy!"

More excitement. We are all running around the house like wild banshees celebrating the loss of Anthony Wiggle Snaggletooth.

The day passes. It's about 5:30 p.m. and I am preparing to leave the office. My phone rings and it's My Eldest!

"Geth what happened, Mommy?! I losth my other tooth!" My Eldest reports with restrained joy. Her toothless way of speaking is noticeable.

"OH MY GOODNESS! *TWO* teeth in *ONE* day?! That's so crazy, honey! Oh, I can't wait to see you!!" I hurry and scooch out to my car as quickly as possible. But, before I hang up and dart out the door, My Eldest (who knows I blog) exclaims: "Mommy. You HAVE to write about this!"

So, here it is.

My work here is done.

SnaggletEEth

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Black is Beautiful

I have been told that I was stereotyping in my previous blog about wanting to be a black woman. I assure you that I am not intending any disrespect!

Why does stereotyping have a negative connotation? Why can't it be considered a tribute?

This question was going to be my original lead-in to this new Black is Back entry, however, I gave a "preview" to my (beautiful black) friend and she unexpectedly answered what I originally intended as a rhetorical question. She said, "..because some of it's not true." Good point. So I have a new opening:

Tribute to Beautiful Black Women

I *still* wish I was a black woman. They have the greatest skin. Why? Good pigmentation -- it hides their age exquisitely! Usually you can't tell how old a black woman is until she's 100 years old!! I LOVE THAT! Here I am applying magic potions and chanting mantras to hide my delicate 35-ness. It's no wonder that when a black woman sees another black woman -- whether she knows her or not -- tells her how good she looks. I am fascinated at how the black community seem to know each other and relate to one another as if they knew each other their whole lives. "Girrrrrl, yo' hair looks so good!"

And their HAIR - how I love the HAIR. Even My Eldest is fascinated with braids & weaves. At church a couple of times, there have been young girls who are wearing their hair in about 5 twisted braids (I think I heard this referred to as "platted up" -- apologies if I have that incorrect), wrapped in big ole bubble gumball rubber bands and a tiny plasic barrette at the end of each braid. My Eldest reaches out to tocuh the braid all the while smiling as big as life. She wants her hair like that, too. While she recognizes that black hair is different that white hair, she (literally) embraces it and incorporates into her love of people in general.

Last thing for tonight -- random with no logical segway, but nonetheless is a nice way to punctuate this blog entry: Ashy. The other day, I had dry skin. I then recalled a memory when I spent time with a friend (who is black) and he said, "I'm a little ashy". I didn't get it. "Ashy?!" I contorted quizzically. "Yeah - you know, dry skin". The image of dry skin on a black person flashed through my mind and I thought "what a great way to describe that". So I chuckled at that memory as I applied lotion to my own dry legs thinking, "I'm ashy, too".

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pursed lips, gritted teeth and a pout

I have not blogged in a while. I am very inconvenienced at home, so that is why I have not blogged in a while. The computer that I use to write and publish my blog is currently without internet access. We have this laptop I am using to blog right now. I really do not like it. I do not like it because it rests on what is supposed to be a dining room table, in my kitchen - the makeshift office. The chairs at this table are a hundred years old -uncomfortable - and they hurt my ass. I am pissed because I can not get my better half to friggin fix the internet on MY computer. Therefore I am inconvenienced. Therefore I have not blogged.

The end.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Kindergartner the Jaguar


Today, My Eldest the Kindergartner becomes a Jaguar. Yes, our eldest is now attending Kindergarten at our church! She looks so sweet and mature in her burgandy & plaid uniform, oversized backpack (complete with puppy nap pillow & Barbie towel) and Wonder Woman lunchbox (her choosing -- not mine!)

I cried, of course. Duh! I was trying to privately cry through the bittersweet milestone while I was getting ready this morning. My Eldest traipsed into the bathroom, backpack, lunchbox and all. She noticed as I brushed my unkempt hair from my face that I was crying. The conversation went something like this:

Eldest: "Aww Mommy. You're crying"

Me: I wrestle a smile and confirm my tears.

Eldest: "Are you sad, Mommy?"

Me: "Sad and happy, honey"

She thinks for a second.

Eldest: "Adults are too old to cry for their kids first day of school"

Me: "I'm too old to cry?"

Eldest: "Yeah."

Me: "I think I won't be the only crying mommy today, love."

Eldest: puts her five year old hand on my forearm and gives me a gentle squeeze, "I know it's hard being a mommy sometimes"

Me: I smile and nod my head in agreement, choking back yet more tears.

She turns on her new all-white athletic shoes and leaves me to finish getting ready. I took a moment to pray in gratitude for our sweet, compassionate and funny Kindergartner.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Numb

It is done.

My Eldest is an official Kindergartner at a local parochial school.

And we are poorer than poor. We're po'. My Husband says we will be on a diet of peanut butter and jelly sammiches or ramen noodles. He tenderly says to me, "we don't have to have meat at every dinner". I didn't even know how to respond to that.

The rationale is all there. My Eldest is ready for this. We are *investing* in her future. It's money well spent. We need to lose weight anyway.

The quirky thing about this is that the tuition is LESS than what we paid for Montessori school the last 2.5 years. I think my shock resides in the action of paying tuition in one lump sum instead of the nicely budgeted once a week payment.

Throw in the "only one vendor carries our kind of uniform" factoid and I cringe more. I've been frantically looking online and calling around to various other vendors inquiring if they have this particular mixture of plaid. Nope! But I'm not done yet.....I will succeed.e And she'll look damn cute. Damn Cute is her Indian Princess name after all.

I know I sound really grumpy about the whole experience, but overall, I really am pleased. We love the church, the environment. All of it happened so fast and it feels right. This is where she is supposed to be for now and I trust the process.

So, now that incision is healed. On to a deeper cut....the wallet!

Whoosh!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Incisions

When the family gathers, cards are a favorite pasttime. Before my dad died, the game of choice was Hollywood Gin. Whenever he had to make a choice of what cards to keep or play or discard, instead of saying "decisions, decisions", he would say, "incisions, incisions".
My Eldest is precocious. She is an avid, good reader. By "good", I mean, she excels in reading. She currently has minimal interest in math. By "minimal", I mean, NO interest whatsoever (typical girl, right?). But she can do it according to her Montessori teacher. I'll believe it when I see it. So, in Texas, a child has to be 5 by September 1st in order to be eligible for Kindergarten. My Eldest will be six shortly after the September deadline. I suspect she is more ready for first grade than Kinder.
What do we decide to DO with her? Private? Montessori? Public? So many choices, so much information and I just do know what to DO. I can't DECIDE. Of course, money is also has a hand in the decision. So does location. Most importantly, what can the offer her?? I'm too much of a control freak who wants to keep her in a bubble of un-reality to trust ANYONE at this point-- not even the school at church!
Mix into this salad, the tasty ingredient of "husband currently looking for a new job" then toss!
See my dilemma?

Incisions, incisions.

It's going to be a fun ride! Probably moreso for me than My Eldest.





Whoosh!



Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Okay, this ends weird....

I haven't eaten myself into oblivion or death. I know you've wondered about me since my last post. I can hear the fretful thoughts now. Don't worry. I am glad you care. :)

Actually, I have felt quite guilty about not blogging as of late, however it hasn't driven me to the ocean full of milk and cookies in which I would love to infinitely swim. No, I've just been busy and flat worn out. I barely have the energy to breath some days let alone bring my blog thoughts to fruition. Tonight, however, I am protesting the internal need to sleep, as well as procrastating returning My Eldest's library books (my 5 year old has just finished Charlotte's Web, the Wishbone version of Red Badge of Courage and the American Girl series book called Happy Birthday Addy. She was handed Beverly Cleary's Socks, a Little People book, and Little House in the Woods today. I'm so grateful for her enthusiasm and gifted ability to read. Thank God for Jama - aka Grandma, a good Montessori program and I might take a wee bit of credit along with My Husband.)

Back to the blog.

I have had several topics brewing in my head. "Black" has been a popular blog among those who know me, so I am currently composing a sequel. I also have all kinds of children follies I could share. Then there's those rather run in the mill topics like: stuff, or rant, or tonight's I'm going to blog about blogging.

I feel an incredible pull to write. It's something I used to do more often and rarely do now. It's more a treat for me than you, and I'm certainly not creative or good, but it's real and honest and straight from the heart. Some folks say it's therapeutic. I suppose I have experienced it's cathartic benefit, but I'm totally out of practice and cannot imagine being that out of control again. Not impossible, but perhaps improbable.

So.....now what?

Life news: My Husband is going on the job search again. I love him dearly, but the job hunt makes me very edgy. I pray for him to find a job that will bring him satisfaction and happiness, and decent income. Money isn't the priority for me; his happiness is. I am willing to relocate for this job search. Doesn't matter where. I long to see the world and show My Girls the world. Please pray for a successful job search for My Husband.

Another lingering feeling of conflicting joy and sadness in regards to my nephew, The First. He is turning 15 tomorrow. Gosh, I just can't believe it. Ten years ago, he was living with me and a husband of mine from a lifetime ago. The First was practically my son. We were very close and spent so much time together. A sad story follows, which I won't share tonight, but in the end, the most important lesson and testament to faith is that, The First .... HE IS GOOD. He's a great young man; a talented, inspirational human; a loving, productive child of God. And after a looooooong time, he's been generously gifted back to me, and I will *forever* be grateful for each minute we are able to share. I don't know if he feels as deeply bonded to me as I do to him. I may never know. Bottom line is that I feel good about how things have turned out, I am proud of him and I am sending him the most heartfelt, deeply rooted blessings of a happy fifteeth birthday.
And
I
love
you
so
much
Mr. Steelers Fan.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

C.O.E.

Hi. My name is Jackie and I'm a compulsive overeater. I am not in meetings and I am binging like crazy these days.

I hate food.

I wish food addiction on NO ONE. Not even the dermatologist (see PIMPLE from previous entry). I sometimes wish I was a drug addict or alcoholic or gambler. You don't NEED any of those things to SURVIVE. One needs food for survival.

I have been praying to address the food issue and this is a small attempt at trying to own it and DO something about it. The only doing I am doing is eating and eating more.

I love food.

Wish me luck, send me prayers as I try to motivate and discipline myself to be less neurotic and more in-tune with real life binge free.

(Where are the potato chips?)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Thangs 'bout Texas

Beaumont to El Paso: 742 miles. Beaumont to Chicago: 770 miles. El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas. World's first rodeo was in Pecos... July 4, 1883.

The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built over water.

The Heisman Trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first full time coach for Rice University in Houston.

Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other area in North America.

Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America's only remaining flock of whooping cranes.

Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson in 1978.

The worst natural disaster in U.S. history was in 1900 caused by a hurricane in which over 8000 lives were lost on Galveston Island.

The first word spoken from the moon, July 20, 1969, was "Houston.."

King Ranch is larger than Rhode Island.


Tropical Storm Claudette brought a U.S. rainfall record of 43" in 24 hours in and around Alvin in July 1979.

Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, instead of by annexation. (This allows the Texas flag to fly at the same height as the US flag.)

A Live Oak tree near Fulton is estimated to be 1500 years old.

Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.

Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period after Dr in Dr Pepper.

Texas has had six capital cities:.
1. Washington-on-the-Brazos
2. Harrisburg
3. Galveston
4. Velasco
5. West Columbia
6. Austin The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the U.S. which is taller than the

Capitol Building in Washington D.C. (by 7 feet).

The name Texas comes from the Hasini Indian word "tejas" meaning friends.

Tejas is not Spanish for Texas.

The State animal is the Armadillo. (An interesting bit of trivia about the armadillo is they always have four babies! They have one egg which splits Into four and they either have four males or four females.



The first domed stadium in the U.S. was the Astrodome in Houston.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Daddy

Yesterday was Father's Day as we all know.

It's such a bittersweet day for me. As I revel in the sweet melodic memories of watching My Two Princesses bond with Their Daddy, I can't shake the void of My Own Father.

I struggle daily knowing he's not here on Earth with me anymore. It's an especially hard struggle on days such as Thanksgiving - our family's favorite holiday. It was the only day of the year my parents, brother and I sat down together as a family for a meal. We were always in a hurry to eat so we can watch the Cowboys play.

I miss Daddy on his birthday. It even landed on Thanksgiving sometimes.

I miss Daddy on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. He was a 30 year career soldier in the Army. Damned fine one at that.

I miss Daddy every holiday with my children because I grieve the potential. I wish he could've seen me and My Husband get married. I wanted him to give me away and share the father-daughter dance. I grieve that he won't be around to see My Girls learn to ride a bike, get a crush on a boy, graduate high school, get married. He won't be here to be a great grandfather. He isn't here to share his lap and read a story to them.

He barely lived long enough to meet My Eldest. He will never meet My Little One.

I hate cancer.

Hi Daddy,

I feel you with me all the time. You say hello to me at all the important times and the not so important times because I find pennies and see red cardinals. We even found a little plastic toy soldier at the lake where your ashes melted into the waters where you fished. I know your spirit resides in me....in My Girls....and we will forever be touched by you. But I really long to touch those rough hands so tan from golfing. I miss playing Hollywood Gin with you and hearing you say, "incisions, incisions". The days at the Saddle Bronc fryin' catfish and hushpuppies, singing old country songs with one of your buddies who is sitting on the old tractor pickin' guitar. Yeah. Sure miss you, Daddy.

Love you <---------this much----------->
~Juliette Bravo

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Freeing Waters that Bind


Now, I don't consider myself the "preachy type", and I generally am not "religious". I'm more "spiritual". But, I have to share how absolutely bonded I feel to my children in a unique way. You see, My Little One was baptized on Saturday. Three months to the day she was delivered, she was saved. With that event, a perfect body of water will constantly flow between My Girls and me.

We are a Roman Catholic family. So, when sharing stories about My Little One (or My Eldest) being baptized at this young infant stage of life, non-Catholics look at us funny. Yes, that "infant" baptism that non-Catholics don't understand, or take the time to understand. I can see the looks and read perfectly what they are thinking. "But has she made the personal choice? Do she really understand what's happening? Why can't she wait until she is older and can understand what salvation is?"

I grew up without religion. My parents were not church-goers, therefore we didn't practice any faith. My fuzzy memories are of occasionally going to Sunday school with neighborhood friends. No vacation Bible school. No church on the important days (Easter, Christmas...you get the idea). Rarely was there even a discussion about God. We didn't pray. Nope, not much about The Almighty actively engaged in my childhood home. We loved sleeping in (ahhh -- still do!) and football on Sundays (still do! Go Cowboys!).

It took me 30 years to become the Christian I am today. I was anti-Catholic when I moved to Dallas is 1997. I wasn't sure I believed in God. I wasn't sure there was A God. I used ignorant "rationale" such as it's organized religion, or I don't need to go to church to have a relationship with God or how can the Bible be the Word of God when it was written my humans?, or If in the beginning there was only Adam and Eve, how'd we get the rest of the whole world? I mean....it would be incestuous for Eve to have slept with her kids to populate the Earth.

After a long journey and revelations through significant events in my life, I joyously type the words: I received salvation this last Easter. Yes, I was baptized -- at the age of 35. Yet, in so many ways, I am still an infant in my faith journey. Do *I* understand my salvation? *I* didn't make the choice; Christ chose me. I am "older" and wish I understood more.

As My Girls grow into intelligent, critically thinking, active members of society, I expect them to question their faith. I expect them to fall away from the church. I expect them to dabble in other religions, perhaps even non-Christian faiths. Will I like it? No. Will I understand it? Yes. I am the living example of a fish flopping out of water. The freeing water.

In 2001, on St. Patrick's Day, My Eldest was baptized. She was the first infant to be baptized by full immersion at our parish. Easter, 2006, I was baptized by full immersion in our parish. June 10th, My Little One was baptized by full immersion at our parish. All of us in the same font that contains contant-flowing warm water in a life-size font shaped like a sarcophagus. We were all freed of the bondage of sin, and eternally bound by the same baptismal waters.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

ABCs of Me

ABC's of Me
*List stolen from another blogger who stole it from another blogger. Feel free to share...*

Accent – I don't really have one since I'm not "from" anywhere. I am known to talk Texan every once in a while..y'all. I do enjoy listening to accents of the world and learning how dialects are different regionally, etc.

Booze of Choice – Old Grand Dad & Coke (thanks Daddy); Long Island Iced Tea (ordered in authentic Long Island NY accent {see A}); all kinds of wines. My favorite wines currently are inexpensive and yummy: Llano Estacado Blush or Llano Reisling.

Chore I Hate – filling up the car with gas & laundry

Dog or Cat – Dogs. I am not a fan of cats.

Essential Electronics – Radio (with reception, please)

Favorite Perfume – Gio & White Shoulders I guess. I don't wear perfume often, but I've smelled many pretty ones that I'd like to try. Just don't know their names.

Gold or Silver? - Silver. Duh.

Hometown – This is always difficult to answer. The word "hometown" implies a place where one is born AND raised. Being an army brat, I cannot claim a "hometown". So, the complicated answer is: I am originally from Fairbanks, Alaska. I spent my formative years in El Paso, Texas. Currently I live in Big D. I love Texas.

Insomnia? – Mmm hmmm.

Job Title – What pays the bills is Accounts Payable Supervisor. I wear many other hats, though.
Kids? – Yes! Two beautiful daughters. My Eldest is 5 years, and My Little One is 3 months.



Living Arrangement – Currently renting a house. God willing, I (we) will be a homeowner(s) by the end of the summer.

Most-admired Trait – A trait I admire in others, or one that is admirable about me? How about an answer that covers both possible scenarios: loyalty in friendships.

Number Of Penguins In Your Bathtub - none, but there are some mermaids

Overnight Hospital Stays – Just 2 - 1 for each bambina

Phobia – spiders, especially ones that jump; and snakes. I get the willies just thinking about it.

Quote – Biblically: "Be still and know that I am God". Eleanor Roosevelt had two: "You must do the things you think you cannot do" and "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent". I am feeling very empowered now!

Religion – Roman Catholic as of Easter 2006!

Siblings – 3 half brothers

Time I Wake Up – 5:45 a.m., but I am a night owl. Morning should be against the law.

Unusual Talent/Skill – I don't think I have an unusual talent or skill~I kinda know a little about a lot.

Vegetable I Refuse to Eat – Broccoli. Ew. I almost refused to type it.

Worst Habit – Laziness and overeating.

X-rays – bitewings

Yummy Foods I Make – gringa enchiladas; homemade spaghetti sauce; queso

Zodiac Sign – Cusp Aquarius. Keep 'em guessin'!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Boyfriend(s)

It has begun.
Sigh.
My Eldest has officially gone off the deep end with boys. Are girls that are five supposed to be so in-tune with boys? Is it possible that she is already boy cray-zee?
Sigh.
She talks about marrying one boy. They have plans to go on a "world tour" to Italy, Australia (and the exotic enchanted land of) Iowa. They were so convincing that at a parent-teacher conference, their teacher asked this boy's parents, "Are you guys going to Italy this summer and taking Jackie's Eldest with you?" Ha!
This Eldest Daughter of Mine goes to swimming lessons with two boys - we'll call them George and Matt (the aforementioned unknowing betrothed) - that were in her Montessori class. The three of us moms get together with or without our kids. So, I expect a certain level of interest by My Eldest in these two boys since they have been in school together for almost 2, 3 years now and have developed quite the social life between themselves. However, the interest is borderline frightening these days.....
After being dropped off at home from swimming lessons by George and his Mom, and George has left the building, My Eldest says, "Whatever am I going to do about my boyfriend?!" I'm not clear what occurred in her little brain to be so exasperated suddenly. Instead of trying to figure it out, I cut right to the chase.
I ask, "What boyfriend?"
She matter-of-factly states, "Matt and George".
I do the math and think to myself that's TWO boyfriends. "I didn't know you had a boyfriend" I reply in complete denial.
Her - "mm hmm" as she quickly departs my company and attends to her happy business slithering on the pergo around the living room in her blue and purple Speedo practicing the newly acquired swimming skill of gliding.
Both of these boys are fine suitors for My Eldest, so the issue isn't that she's hooking up with bad boys. It's the fact that she is so in-tune with romance, couplehood, marriage, yadda yadda yadda. I suppose this is preparation for what's to come later, but I'm not prepared for the preparation yet! Give me till 8 or 10 years old at least! Sheesh!
So innocent in the mind of a 5 year old. To a 35 year old, pure fright.
(Note to self: Quit projecting, Jackie.....quit projecting.)
I better go now so I can get the guns ready.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Pimple

Okay.

Remember that pimple I wrote about on My Eldest?

Well,
(deep breath)
...it's not a pimple.

(deep breath)
It's actually some weird dermatological phenomenon. The pediatrician hinted that there was a possibility of plastic surgery. Plastic surgery for a 5 year old just seemed so outer space!

My Eldest has a keen interest in medicine. I think it comes naturally to her since My Husband is an R.N., and I have a fairly extensive medical background (wannabe doctor who has failed to meet my potential). We have been blessed with a child who (thankfully) has the capacity to understand medical facts, and she uses them to assuage her fears - usually. But when you talk about surgery, that doesn't sit well with her. Or us.

Background: I was pretty pissed at the pediatrician. I called his office to get the name of a reputable dermatologist. I have a PPO - don't need that referral. The nurse encouraged me to bring in My Eldest so that the pediatrican can prescribe a cream or ointment since scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist is so hard. I hestitated, but okay, I have confidence in my daughter's pediatrician; I used to work for him. He's good.

This is how the visit went:

Dr. H.: Let's have a look.
My Eldest cocks her head accordingly. We relate the timeline of metamorphisis. Dr. H. listens intently, nodding and carefully touching the pea sized scab underneath My Eldest's right nostril.
His diagnosis: "I don't know what it is. You should see a dermatologist."

Me: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH What a F-ing waste of time and money!!! (not out loud) No idea? I ask out loud.

Dr. H.: Well I have only seen this once or twice in my life, but I *think* it's a spitz nevus (sp?). I don't know how it behaves, don't know how to treat it but sometimes they could lead to plastic surgery. It could continue to grow. Might have to have surgery to remove it.

Me: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (not out loud) Okay, well then can you recommend a dermatologist? I ask out loud.

Dr. H. promptly gives me names and numbers of some dermatologists, and I pay my f-ing copay and get the hell out of there.

I call the dermatologist and make an appointment. The soonest is not for a month from the date of the call. A MONTH. So....let me get this right....my child has to endure this tumor of a spit something thingie for the next month and I have to be okay with how all of this is turning out?!

Sigh.

Now - this is not a vanity issue. If My Eldest has a mole, or whatever on her face, that's something she will grow up with and as an adult, she can make the decision to do what she wants. My concern is that it will continue to grow and morph and the natural question is "what is the medical remifications of it?" We have to wait a month to find out.

In the meantime, My Eldest starts swimming lessons. Lo and behold the pimple that's not a pimple starts to dry out and clear up! After about 3 weeks, the scab falls off while she sleeps. It continues to diminish and of course, it's time for the dermatology appointment. We ain't got nothin. Nothin to show him. Dammit. I took pictures and considered taking them with me, but I know how obnoxious that would be.

We go to the dermatologist. What a joke. Note to self: never make an appointment with a specialist who is affiliated with a teaching hospital or medical school. I don't see the doctor; I see the resident whipping boy, Jason. Jason was a hottie soon-to-be doc that has made this excruciating ordeal just a little better for me. He was ginger with My Eldest. My Eldest methodically and matter of factly explains to *this* doctor the timeline of metamorphisis. It is obvious that my daughter and I share the same taste in men. Jason takes a look and validates us. We bat our eyes and look cute. Then the real dermatologist comes in. Get this: he's got a prescription ready and diagnoses "bullous impetigo" that is a manifestion of the staph or strep germ and typically is found in a carrier.

Do you know this doctor had the GALL to take a PERSONAL phone call from his cell phone IN THE MIDDLE OF SPEAKING TO ME about my daughters condition? He physically left the room and poor Jason stood there uncomfortably nodding and smiling at us, and eventually offers a sticker to My Eldest. I am wondering how the presciption was ready with him actually getting history from me, not viewing the area on My Eldest's lip or speaking to Jason for any length of time. Sloppy and scary.

So, the real dermatologist re-enters the room, dictates how to administer the medication and curtly answers my questions. He's too busy for us. We are but mere drivel in his mind. Disturbing is that the way he says to administer the cream isn't what is stated on his presciption. Wonder how all the other patients are doing on their mis-labeled presciptions and have nasty consequences to their various skin conditions. What a joke. Managed care is the bane of my existence.

In the end, I got my answers after a little push & shove with the real doctor, have an inaccurate prescription, and somehow find comfort in the fact that My Eldest will not need plastic surgery and she can affirmatively with authority state that she has bullous impetigo. Morever, I am comforted by the fact that Jason is a hottie soon-to-be doctor who will seemingly have a better rapport with his patient base.

Thanks Chlorine.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Black

I want to be a black woman. There are just some things about them that I identify with, that I think I possess. It's like I was a black woman in a former life, or there's one trapped inside this caucasian skin trying to break free. For example, their curves are more accepted by all races. Black women with juicy thighs, big tits and a little junk in da trunk - long fake nails on their hands AND feet. Yeah, that stuff appeals to my unleashed ebony self.
Black men like a little meat with their potatoes if you know what I'm sayin'. I'm a curvy woman. But I'm white. Black men have hit on me back in the day, but I was always too "fat" for white men - even in my "skinny" days. (I think I'll be a black man in a later life, too.)
Black women dress snazzy. They can wear outrageous fashion, or better yet, be ethnic. As a white woman, if I dress "ethnically", I'm copying someone else because whites have no ethnicity. The Nigerian families at church wear their traditional Nigerian garb to Mass and I'm like a moth the flame. I can't keep my eyes off of them! Their stunning dark skin, those wonderful head wraps that match with the gowns they wear. Exquisite! And, to boot, THE MEN MATCH! They are also wearing the shimmery, laced, embroidered material that is the man-twin to the wife! And he feels no shame in wearing a "dress" and matching his wife. It's a wonderful cultural testament that does not exist in the white "culture".
I was embarrassed last year to ask another friend at work who is black about her undergarments., but I just couldn't help myself; I had to ask! You see, she was wearing a sheer white shirt. I wondered if she had to wear a black bra or a white bra, because does she have to consider the skin color or the bra being exposed? Or does she wear a shade of "nude" that's designed for black skin? I didn't know. She giggled at me. She is very patient with me and my "black" questions.
Another black-woman-ish attribute that I admire is their dancing. They are out there - wherever - unabashedly feeling the beat and movin' to the music. I have yet to see a black woman who can't dance. And they can make up moves like nobody's business. Now, don't get me wrong, I can break it down with the best of them, but my white a** ain't lookin' nearly as hot as the sistas. Damn! I wish I was a black woman!
I am proud to announce, that I am an official sista. Apparently there is a difference between sista and sistah. I'm not sure what it is (anyone care to explain it, feel free!), but a black friend at work dubbed me an "official sista -- without the h", he said. Is that good? This friend from work, he used to sit next to me. We talked a lot of NFL, Dallas Cowboys, etc. I said, "I just love me some Tony Dorsett", and he about fell out of his chair. After that is when I became said sista -- without the h. Guess it took guts for me to say it like that. :)
Lucious full lips, big booties, curvy thighs, attitude, confidence, fashion, weaves, words like sista -- yeah, for one day at least, I wish I was a black woman.


~Peace (two thumps with my right hand over my heart as Pointer and Tall Man make the letter V)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hairy situation for my Ego

My hair is very important to me. I notice it on others, too - if they have it or not. I wonder about it not just on the head, but everywhere. It's an interesting attribute of animals.....and the purpose which it serves. But what purpose does human hair serve? I suppose it's a vanity issue mostly. I mean, really, does it help keep us warm? What practicality exists with the hair we have? We all work so hard to wax, shave, sculpt, comb, pluck, laser, shape, groom our hair primarily to GET RID of it. We all have hair in those places that we wouldn't care to admit to anyone. Yep, it has to be vanity.

At the risk of sounding boastful, there are few physical qualities about me in which I have such self-assuredness. I love my hair. It's my favorite physical attribute. I can wear it wavy or straight; up or down, etc. And, in spite of the previously stated, my hair has become an extension of physical/emotional closeness with my husband and kids.

My Eldest, she likes to read. She likes to run her fingers through her hair as she's falling asleep. She likes to play with the ends of mine as we read good night stories. I've always noticed and have been moved by this attention she gives to our hair.

My husband likes it, too. He will occasionally play with it, or rub my scalp - each sending me another plane that we won't discuss here. Suffice it to say I feel closer to him when his fingers frolick in my hair.

My Little One uses it as reigns as if she's riding a horse as we walk about. She gets her fingers tangled in it and we are forever tied together by my long hair.

So, my hair - it's been long for a long time. I've grown bored of it. I have become complacent, almost neglectful of it. I don't tend to it as much as I used to--just wrapping it up in a clip or tying it one of those rubber bands that always seemed to break. So I needed a change.

Returning to work this week from 12 weeks of maternity leave, I decided I'd make a bold statement and hack off my hair. My goal was to be more trendy and spunky. After all, I am a woman in my mid 30s with two children trying to hold on to some semblance of youth. My husband says that I'm the typical 30-somthing mom. His theory is that most women don't want to mess with their hair during this time of life, so they cut it short and as they age, it only gets shorter through the years. (that will NOT be me! I am inspired by a friend who wants to only wear her hair in a braid in her twighlight years. Sounds good to me.)

The Cut occurred in phases - 2 visits in 4 days. The first cut was prior to highlighting (to hide the gray!). So much was cut off, that I could've seriously made a great rug to put in front of the fireplace. (But it wasn't long enough for Lochs of Love, which is what I had hoped.) She cuts. She highlights. She cuts again. The Cut is cute, but not what I wanted exactly. After THREE HOURS, the stylist says, "go home and see if you can work with it. Make sure you like it. Then come back and see me on Friday." Oohhh-kayyyy. I think I can handle it, but I'm not used to "styling".

Phase 1:Friday finally rolls around and I go back for more chopping. She stacks it more in the back andmakes it The Cut that I initially envisioned. So.....here I am in all my wonder feeling quite spunky and a tad bit more trendy. I have received many flatteries and am ever grateful for the niceties....and am amused at everyone's suprise & astnoishment that I actually cut my hair.

TAA DAAA: The FINAL style:

My Ego needed this -- thanks everyone!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Just 'cuz


This is My Little One. Isn't she cute? A friend took this photo. I decided to post a blog just 'cuz I wanted to share it.

She looks how I feel....ready for bed. G'nite.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Blubbering Idiot

Prior to a much-needed Starbuck's visit, a mom friend and I met in our children's classroom today. She mentioned that she blogged about her son graduating yesterday; an event that was shared with my eldest daughter. They graduated Pre-K and are prepared for Kindergarten -- and beyond.

Before I ever got to the school with all my media devices (35 mm, digital and video cameras) - only one of of which was utilized - I was crying. Not just crying like Demi Moore in "Ghost". I mean BLUBBERING. This is a major milestone for my baby girl, er, My Eldest. I almost mourn it more than I celebrate it. (I'm sure there's something VERY wrong about that....)

Admittedly, I had a *really* hard time with her turning five. I teared up for a solid month just thinking about it. I sobbed when she lost her first tooth. The Year of Five has been this whirlwind of "firsts" and "milestones" that are zooming by me. However, last Friday at the parent/teacher conference, I was reminded that it might not be going as fast I think it is. My Eldest's teacher gave us (her) a wonderful compliment. She says, "even though she's so advanced - most kids at her level are usually so precocious and obnoxious - your daughter is still a kid and she's so, so sweet." I cried - the Demi Moore "Ghost" cry.

What's kind of paradoxical is that My Eldest is SOOOO *not* five in most ways. Most ways, she's 17. She's bossy, antagonistic, sassy, begs me for a convertible, talks with the words "like" a lot (ew), even has a pimple under her right nostril currently. A teenager I tell you! Not helping me, or her, is that she's big for her age, smarter than your average bear, and looks like a grade-school kid. If I had a quarter for every time I heard "is she 7? 8?".... Alas, no, she's a pre-pre-pre-teenager who graduated from Montessori Pre-K (side proud momma note: advanced Kinder curriculum actually). I'm crying right now.....

Then there are the times she reminds me how very five she is: needing all kinds of things before going to bed at night, climbing into our bed during wild Texas thunderstorms, wanting a new My Little Pony from the displays along the checkout line at Target, wearing pig tails with ribbons, and how she still so loves shows like "Clifford the Big Red Dog" and "Sesame Street".

Oh! And when she falls asleep with her nose nuzzled into her tattered but reliable stuffed Elmo.

My mini-me looked so sweet yesterday. She looked so five. Yet I couldn't help but to momentarily think how much futher away from me she is growing. And how I am struggling for ways to keep us close. So I am remind myself to pray, and remember she is, thank God, only five and those teenage years are still in the distant future. (ahem - let me get my tissue....sniff, sniff. Allergies, y'know.....)

Deep breath. Big sigh. I get to through this all again when my Little One turns five and graduates. Yet another crying "opportunity". Is my mascara running?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Collision Course of Fantasies



Duran Duran (dare I admit this??) is my very favorite music group. I even kept up with them "in between" hit albums....and I know....some of you will argue that their lastest, ASTRONAUT, isn't a "hit". (I'm always up for an argument.) I have followed Simon especially, because he's just so damned sexy -- lyrically and physically. I'd give anything to share a dance with him on my 40th birthday. Random but necessary side note: Simon LeBon usually signs off his letters to fans with the phrase "Whoosh!".
I love Wonder Woman. I have since I was a kid. When I was 8, my mother painstakingly made a Wonder Woman birthday cake for me. You know, the kind with the pan shaped like her.... Well, it's been my favorite birthday cake EVER. I have a mini shrine to her in my cube at work. My friends & family purchase fun little collectibles of her for me. Even folks who know me well or have "that" kind of humor, call me Wonder Woman. It's good fun.
I treasure stories of extreme coincidence. Of couse, if you subscribe to the philosophy of my priest, there is no such thing as coincidence. I am buying into that philosophy more and more. My two very different fantasy worlds very nearly collided.
I also subscribe to a little email called "A Duran Duran Cartoon of the Week" http://www.freewebs.com/blazingtundra. The cartoonist recently portrayed each band member as a superhero. She named Simon "Wonder Whoosh"! WONDER WHOOSH!! OMG that is SO CLOSE to Wonder Woman! OMG! I couldn't believe it! Flashes of thoughts instantly - does this mean anything? If yes, what?
In the end it means either one of two things: (1) Simon and Wonder Woman are a superhero couple that no one really knew about; or (2) it's just a coincidence.
Thanks, Ramona, for sparking some THING that initiated my blog - and named it. God willing, I will keep up with it. :) And in the spirit of my "husband"...
Whoosh!