Friday, July 27, 2007

To My First: Sweet Sixteen

My First turns sixteen today.

So, to honor him, below are sixteen of my favorite memories of him.

1. Lambman. The borrowed, home-made halloween costume where Batman's ears were facing down instead of up making you look more like a lamb than a bat. Still makes me chuckle!

2. Walking around with a bottle full of kool-aid with the nipple pinched between his teeth (no hands!).

3. Carving pumpkins at Halloween.

4. Batman, Batman and more Batman. He had pretty much all the new Batman action figures.

5. Beautiful smile -- always. I can still see every one of them. They are burned onto my soul and are indeed woven into my fabric. What a lingering warmth those smiles has left on me. The helped me through many a down day.

6. My own screams and streaming tears from the cold bathroom floor where I lay, locked, in disbelief, as I absorbed the news of him moving overseas, knowing just how powerless I was...and feeling oh so empty.

7. Seeing you about ten years later when Brother got married, and feeling the same degree of joy as it equates to #6 that miraculous day in Savannah. Prayers were indeed answered. There is further proof of God. (Amen!) Again, more tears as I've never known before.

8. Those stinky Mickey Mouse canvas shoes that we got you in about 3 sizes because you loved them soooo much we had to buy you a new pair as your feet grew.

9. Being the ring bearer in my first wedding. You looked so handsome in that tux!

10. Hizza. This is how you first said pizza.

11. Cha-chee. That's how you said my name when you were learning to talk.

12. Carting you around to the family parties and watching you play with the kids in the hot El Paso sun.

13. Hearing from Dr. Billman that you are well in Panama. It was lovely to get those periodic updates.

14. Seeing you in the arms of my brother. Tender. Deep. Permanent.

15. Being the only one, for a short period, allowed to talk to you on the phone and hearing how smart you are, feeling our connection, reassured you are well. I treasure those short and few conversations.

16. You spending Thanksgiving with my family here in Dallas a few years ago. The sleepy teenager drawing sketches of My Eldest on the couch as Cody-dog curled up on your lap. Wearing those knit hats with that long, messy but gorgeous black hair hanging out the bottom of the hat. The Steelers stuff. Ugh. The football game!!
Congratulations, Mr. Steelers Fan, on making it to 16. You are a joy to me, and an indelible wonder of this world. You are destined to make a mark on it, but it won't be nearly sweet and everlasting mark you've left on me.

I love you, babe. Endless wishes come true.....

Siempre con amor,
~Tia Jackie

Monday, July 23, 2007

blog to self

This is more for me than you....but you're welcome to read. :)

I had a good food day today. Hope I am lucky to have one tomorrow too.

For breakfast, I wanted to stop at Chick-Fil-A and order two four packs of chicken minis and a large sweet tea (light on the ice), but instead, I ate a (nasty-ass, cold-storage damaged) nectarine and smiled the whole time, feigning happiness. For true delight would've been the very naughty yet oh so comforting fried chicken nugget thingies embedded in buttery buns. Those pillowy little breakfast slices of heaven are my true weakness these days. In any case, I threw about half my (nasty-ass, cold-storage damaged) nectarine in the trash and made instant oatmeal. Oatmeal is new to my food repretoire. I am quite finicky. In fact, I *only* like the cinnamon pecan instant one. Nothing else will do. My binge urge evenutally passed, as did my craving for chicken minis, thank God.

I hear my tummy growl around 10 a.m. I have this obsessive craving for chips. I needed something crunchy. The FeedMeSomethingRightNow Monster was getting pissy. I wanted to have something making noise in my mouth that was salty. All I could think of was Nacho Cheese Doritos. And there's a CVS right up the way....I could go there at lunch. Even better!!...I could scrounge up some change and venture down to the 2nd floor vending area and get some *right now*.

Scrounge, scrounge, scrounge.

One quarter and eight pennies.

Aw Hell! Thirty-two cents ain't goona buy ONE chip let alone a whole bag of them!! I whine like a petulent child in my head, "I want Doritos...NOW!" (Of course, I fully recognize, yet deny at the time, that this is indeed the hand of God intervening in my food addiction -- a.k.a. divine intervention. He is trying to help me when I can't help myself. I need to let Him do that more often in the food area of my life....)

Instead, I reluctantly opt for the soy nuts that are tucked away like a family secret in the depths of a filing drawer.

Crunch, crunch, crunch.

They aren't Doritos. They are salty. They do make noise in my mouth. They don't taste as good so that means I won't eat as many, which means, this is a much healthier choice. You know those little tricks that all sorts of medical and nutritional people teach you about tricking your mind? So, in this case, by me eating something crunch and salty will satiate my initial craving. Since soy nuts are better than Doritos on the scale of food, I should logically be satisfied with the sodium and crunch of the soy nuts, therefore, tricking my brain into thinking it got what it wanted. In fact, there is nothing logical about a compulsive overeater and I want the friggin Doritos dammit!! The psychological tricks don't work on me!!

I'm pouting by now.

Lunch! I crunch on my soy nuts as I ponder lunch. I brought my lunch today. I'm too embarrassed to type what I brought, but suffice it to say it lacked nutritional value. Anyway, I make it to 10:58 and I all I can think is, "wonder if people would think I'm weird eating my lunch this early?" I go to work trying to distract my mind from the obsessive food thoughts.

It's 11:15. I thought this time would *never* come!! Me and my lunch can unite in sweet delight. My mouth can hardly wait to savor the taste of the naughty lunch. I warm it in the microwave and grab a water (as if that's going to cancel out the high fat, high-caloric content of my lunch, or even more ridiculous, somehow the water will make my lunch a *healthy* choice.)

I gobble down my lunch like there's no tomorrow.

I still want something to eat. Namely chips..... And we were just down that road.

I dig in my lunch bag. Strawberry fig newtons and an oatmeal cream pie. Which do you think I chose?

Oh yummy oatmeal cream pie. You're creamy filling can never ever even compete with the mere strawberry gooey-ness of a mere newton. The newtons are almost dry, now -- substandard and well, pathetic. But you, my soft treat are quite a savory delight. I gobbled it up, too. No mercy. The newtons stay hidden in the dark of the cabinet and befriends the oatmeal. Chocolate milk would've been the bow on the package!!

I settle for water.

Slurp, slurp, slurp.

It always does the trick, right? Right. I continue to chant this mantra all afternoon. Never did get convinced....

I decide to go mail some packages on my very late lunch hour -- 1:15. It's also a hidden excuse to venture to CVS to buy those Doritos. I call my friend in Houston. We chat about high school. His company had distracted me for a bit. I tell him I will call back after I've mailed my packages.

Ring, ring, ring.

Hello, Friend. I tell him about the Iron Girl Triathalong as *I drive to friggin CVS to get my chips!* I'm walking around the drugstore and collect a box of Wheat Thins and a bag of Doritos. I'm talking to Houston High School Friend with a basket looped over my lower arm, and there is much commotion going on in the store. This commotion is oddly bothersome to me. Bothersome enough that I decide to leave -- no crackers or chips. No hedonistic indulgences for me. Good girl, right? (And this is your part where you say, "yes, Jackie, you were a good girl not buying Doritos and Wheat Thins" and then you pat me on the back commenting how it looks like I lost 10 pounds from the mere walk from my car into the store and that I'm 'looking gooooood girlfriend!')

Still talking to Houston High School Friend, I arrive back at my desk. Even though I'm engaged in conversation and logging on to my computer, I still am harboring resentment for my food craving being denied.

I hang up with Houston High School Friend and try some self talk.

After that, I venture down to the 4th floor. That's where the mail room is. That's also where the kitchen is. That's where the popcorn is kept.

You guessed it. Momma popped herself some popcorn! I paced back and forth as the bag impregnated with popcorn. Yummy!! Maybe *this* will allay my obsession, feed my addiction, taper the wanton desire for wonder twins, Crunchy and Salty.

Beep, beep, beep.

I covet my popcorn. I pick it up and open the top enough so the steam may escape and the popcorn will cool down as I walk back upstairs. But...out of the corner of my eye, I see a silver tin tray. It's full of chicken enchiladas. "must be leftovers from lunch" (our company has a lot of catered lunches therefore a lot of leftovers). I continue to say in my brain, "I could save some money and scoop some of that up in a bowl today, put it in the fridge and eat it tomorrow for lunch." Genius!!

In reality, I'm already starting on my obsession of food for!

In any case, I have a bowl full of chicken enchilada leftovers sitting in my work fridge. We'll see if I actually eat it.

Back to the popcorn..... I pull out a bowl that I keep at work. It's the size you'd say, put cereal in, or ice cream. Smallish. I fill the bowl once. Scarf down the puffed corn. I fill it once more and I feel..





Could it be???


I was able to work and not obsess for about 30 minutes, however, my mind did wander back to Doritos and then it continued to plan for the next meal too soon.

Next meal: dinner.

I made hamburgers. Ate most of one with cheese on a bun with mustard and Mircale Whip free. Ate about four sliced pickled beets and a handful of tortilla chips, drank half a beer and a big ole cup of water.

No binging tonight - thank God. Hopefully I close this down and head straight to bed.

Now you have an idea of what some compulsive overeaters toil with throughout the day. There is an incredible amount of emotional and mental energy expended on food thoughts. If not this food in my mouth, the next food I'm going to eat. I could go on and on about how my mind works wickedly to manipulate situations about obtaining food in order to satisify cravings, but I'm tired and this blog has worn out its welcome.

On that note....


Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Husband is making progress. Second procedure is producing results. Lots and lots of rocky results. Rocks found at the cone-tip of a mesh strainer collected for submission to the urologist next week. Husband says he feels like a new man! Keep your fingers crossed. In other words, the quadruplets (hence named Pain, In, My, **insert any of the following: Kidney, Ass, Groin, Scrotum, Penis, Flank, Side, etc. here**) are now some major mulitples....

My favorite country song is "A Woman's Love" by Alan Jackson.

Results for the Swim Meet of A Lifetime for My Eldest. She and her team finished 8th place in both their events, which was middle of the pack. Funny thing (and might be very telling of her life in the future, perhaps)....she was an alternate for individual butterfly. She is standing in line the previous race waiting for the guy to call her if she is going to swim. Before the race starts, she has to go to the restroom. I rush her to the bathroom. She ends up missing her chance to race! She goes back to the guy and says, "uhh -- am I swimming in this event?", and I could read his lips: "where were you? I called you twice!". She just makes a face and shrugs. Don't think she was overly-disappointed.....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


y'know...there are times i dont wanna mind the rules of english grammar and spell correcktly capitalize and punctuate.... there are times i just wanna break free of rules and social norms and be something that either i totally am and don't know it yet or something that i am daring to be for once in my life.... sometimes i just wanna test the limits to see where mine are...

some very close friends of mine say i'm a rebel who lives by the rules now. i never saw myself as that. just see myself as the girl who has to mind her parents -- steer clear of the cops -- dont date bad boys -- have manners and be ladylike...what's rebel about any of that?

***mischievous grin***

guess those close friends have seen bits and pieces of me that disputes my image of self. and that's cool. i like that about them. i like that about me. i like that we are all still friends

sometimes i wonder if i'm gonna have a wicked mid-life crisis (which is coming up here right quick) ... will i dance on the bars and shoot out the lights? will i kiss all the cowboys....well hopefully you've heard the song by tanya tucker

the perfectionist part of me is having diffuculty not minding my spelling and rebelling against grammatic conformation

i might need to call a back later

Monday, July 16, 2007

Twins Are Now Quadruplets


Husband goes to the urologist today to have a post-surgery follow up.

A KUB is performed.

Our twins are now quadruplets.

Yes, you read me right.

The two 8 mm kidney stones are now four 4 mm kidney stones.

Guess who has to go BACK for MORE surgery??

My Poor Husband.....

Wish us luck. We'll be at the hospital tomorrow morning.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I'm having a weird day.

If I didn't know better, I'd think I was a manic-depressive on a manic high! I have had SO MUCH energy today. I've organized things obsessively. For example, I organized all the sheets and towels in my linen closet. They were all re-folded to uniformity. I straightened out the kid's books by tallest to shortest, the titles facing all the same read-ability direction. As I type this, I want to go into the bathroom and organize the magazines and various other readings alphabetically by current month in front then chronologically back from there. I have just swept the kitch floor where tomorrow I will be on my hands and knees scrubbing the grooves between the white tiles because I don't want food to build up there and attract nasty bugs. I did ALL the laundry and sorted through all the kids clothes and retired that which they can no longer wear, and moved in things they can now wear that were hand me downs. I also sorted their closets by dresses/shirts/pants/capris/shorts, etc by color and sleeve or pant length. I have been purging papers from the filing cabinets all weekend. Shredding, shredding, shredding. Making decisions on crap that seemed so important at one time or another. What the hell was I thinking holding on to the ring catalog of Phi Theta Kappa?? I have gone through our floppy disks, zip files, CDs, etc. to figure out which things we still own and which I need to discard. I must have print drivers for printers that I owned 10 years ago! Ha ha!! It's amazing the crap we horde. Now, I'm freaky-obsessive about stuff. All I wanna do is bury myself in it all until it's complete.

It will *never* be complete.


So -- on to other randomness. My Eldest is an All Star!! I'm proud to announce that she has been selected to the All Star swim meet tomorrow!! She and 3 other kids comprise a team of girls who swim the 25M freestyle relay. They also swim the 25M medley relay, where My Eldest is the butterfly girl. She was selected as an alternate for the 25M individual butterfly. I wish no ill-will on anyone, but I do hope someone doesn't show so that My Mariposa can swim the butterfly event! Let me tell you: this kid has come a looooong way!! There is no way I could relay the accomplishment on this blog, however, I could try to give a little glimpse.

Last summer, we enrolled her in swim lessons with 2 friends. She didn't want to get in the water at first. Then it was time to kick with a kickboard, learn to float, put your face in the water, wear goggles, jump into the deep end from the side of the pool (ack!!), do *different* strokes (whatchyoutalkinboutWillis?), etc. The whole time was like pulling teeth. She kept her heels firmly into the dirt, wrestling each tiny step of progress. She cried, manipulated, feigned illness, pouted, negotiated, and all kinds of other antics in order to keep from going several times. We paid good money for this and it was a commitment which we could not quit and get our money back, therefore, she wasn't going to quit either!

I kept her in the swimming after the summer session and into the fall and following spring. By the time the lessons ended, she had developed into an amazing swimmer all things considered. They were working on doing those flips in the water when you turn at one end of the pool to head toward the other end. She didn't like that too much, so when the lessons ended it was at just the right time. By now, she knew freestyle, breast, butterfly, and backstroke. She was way more than just a little water-treadin' antagonist.

Fast forward to THIS summer. We signed her up at this place that's very near our house. The pool is part of a tennis club and several other things. I think, in fact, they refer to themselves as a sports club. Anyhow, the "lessons" were supposed to be Tuesday through Friday for an hour each morning. Also, on Mondays, there are meets but the meets are optional. It's summer. No school. Sign My Eldest up to keep her busy and keep her skills sharp.

We know another family there, and their daughter was in the same Kindergarten class as mine. They told us about these "lessons". We elect to have My Eldest participate in the meets because our understanding is that they swim to the end of the pool and everyone gets a participation ribbon. I figure that if My Eldest really likes swimming and wants to do this competitively at some point in the future, then this "courtesy" ribbon thingie might just be the stepping stone to that. Plus, this whole time, I thought the swim time was "lessons".

Well...turns out....this is a bonafide swim TEAM and the Tuesday through Friday arrangement is actually PRACTICE and the meets are COMPETITIVE! Wow! Six weeks of competitive swimming. Cool. There were "home" meets and "away" meets against various other Dallas Metroplex teams. I even volunteered as a runner at one (speedy job indeed!).

My Eldest turned out to be one of the fastest freestyle swimmers on that team! She finished 1st or 2nd almost every time. She goofed once and did the butterfly stroke when she should've done the freestyle, but oh well.

Last Thursday, I took a vacation day to watch her compete at the Divisionals. Depending on how you did at the Divisionals, you were invited to the All Stars. So now, my blog comes full circle.

Please say a lil prayer of encouragement for her and her teammates as they make their mark tomorrow! How cool for a six year old to do this, huh? What were YOU doing it at age six in the summer?? Me...I think I was watching cartoons and eating a bag of chips or something lazy-like.

Gear shift.... Did I tell you My Husband and I are having twins?? Yes, My Husband carried two kidney stones to full-term. Last Friday, he had to have them each delivered surgically. They twins were each 8mm in diameter. We are proud parents to three kindey stones (one from when we first met), and two lovely human daughters. My Husband goes back to the doctor for his follow tomorrow. No names as of yet.... but they were both boys!

Off to get the last comforter out of the dryer!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Something About Her Eyes....

Isn't she stunning?

Can you believe she's *mine*?

That milky white, perfect skin....
The shade of red on her lips....
The faint stork-bite between her eyes...
Those chubby baby fingers...
That blonde hair....
And those eyes of blue....

I love this picture of My Little One. There's something about those eyes...I just can't quite peg it. They are saying so much about her, I think. They are teasing me somewhat -- she's telling me who she is and who she is going to be without actually defining herself. I can see the innocence and the wisdom. I see the depth of her soul and spirit. I see a delicate flowerbud.

I was initially reminded of an Audrey Hepburn picture, but amazingly I can't find it to reference it for you here.

I figured I'd better get a picture and a few words about My Little One on here so that she doesn't write a book about me later of how much I loved Her Sister more because I wrote about Her Sister more. Hahaha. Truth be said, My Little One is getting to the age where I can share tender stories about things she's said and done.

One of my very favorite things about her is the gap between her two top teeth (pic will come later!). No one on either side of our family have gaps in their teeth. We all have crowded teeth (as the oral surgeon told me not so long ago, "you're a beautiful woman, you just have big, crowded teeth." I think that was a compliment?)

Love you, Little One.


Monday, July 09, 2007

The Summons

Will you love the 'you' you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you've found to re-shape the world around
Through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

The above was a stanza of a song we sang in church yesterday entitled, The Summons.

The message(s) of the lyrics crashed into me. Especially the first two lines.

I am succumbing to the waves of meanings, interpretations, suggestions, callings.

I'm haunted.

I have been summoned..... My Father...

...who is firmly tapping me on the shoulder, reminding me of my wrongs....pulling me to a light....THE light.... Most importantly: forgiving me. Loving me, even when I feel others aren't -- especially when I can't (or don't) love myself. Thank You, Father.

My prayers are: acceptance and willingness to act.

Text: John L. Bell, b1949 Copyright 1987 Iona Community, GIA Publications, Inc., agent
Tune: KELVINGROVE, 7 6 7 6 777 6, Scottish traditional; arr. by John L. Bell, b. 1949 as above.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Probably the single most amazing icon of my generation is Lady (Princess) Di. Although I didn't know her personally, her humanness was portrayed daily in the media -- and still is today. Humanness so raw with which so many of us from common to royal can identify. Her attention to global humanity is a special legacy. In my lifetime,I pray that I can achieve a miniscule fraction of what she did.... and grow in front of people as she did. She is one to be be admired...

Today she'd be 46.

She died when she was 36.

I'm 36.


I was telling My Eldest about this "real princess". I explained England and the monarchy a little bit as we browsed the internet looking at images of Diana. My Eldest said, "...but Mommy, what happened to her black hair?" I was so confused for the longest time. I answered, "Honey, I don't think she's ever had black hair." We went back and forth for about 5 minutes -- which was eternal -- until a light bulb flashed in my tiny lil brain.

My Eldest was talking about Princess Diana .... Wonder Woman. I was talking about Princess Diana.....HRH. Hahahahahah!!

Anyway -- Her (hottie) sons have organized a concert in celebration of her life. catch what you can when you can (Duran Duran was there!! And Duran Duran was one of Lady Di's favorite band!).