Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rhyming Manners

Did you know that using your manners requires that they rhyme?

Tonight, while decorating for Easter at my house, my kids were fighting over certain tasks as well as some cuddly items from the storage bins. They went 'round and 'round, and it took three adults to supervise the situation.

My Eldest picked up a brown bunny to take to bed with her. My Little One wanted it. She picked on her older sister until it escalated into a full-blow tantrum. After a series of squealing "MINE!"s and some tugging back and forth, I absconded the offending rabbit and kept it from both of them. My Husband then took the rabbit and put him in the daddyjail.

My Little One did not like this AT ALL.

She blubbered boogers out of her lil nose and her cheeks and eyes turned bright red. I tamed this wild banshee and nestled her close on my lap and firmly told her she had to quit crying or she'd have to go bed. She would wiggle just a little to test the boundaries and I'd threaten again. Then she'd start crying a whiny cry begging for the bunny.

Like any good parent, we went through the diatribe of "if you want something, ask for it nicely. Ask daddy 'please'..."

It was such a bellyache for her to say it! She writhed around on the sofa with her head buried into the cushion and inaudibly tried to say it. We'd make her pick up her head and enunciate the word, but she would just mumble it.

Me: "Say 'Please may I have the bunny?'"

My Little One: "No! I don't want to say 'please'."

Me: "Why not? It's the easier way to get what you want to use your manners. If you say 'please' and 'thank you' you're more likely to get what you want, baby."

My Little One: "But, but....but I can't. They don't rhyme, so that's why they don't work."

It was all the other four of us could do to keep from laughing. It was so cute and random. And she said it with such mighty authority for a petite three year old.

So we ended up teaching her this manners rhyme (which she didn't like...):

Say 'please' and 'thank you'
Or I'll spank you.

That did the trick! She ended up with the brown bunny in her bed.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Weekly Word of the Weak: Fey

A few years ago, I was at a ranch of a family member. My father was close to dying. His sister and I had a few moments to ourselves which was pretty rare considering how much family was always around at this certain time of year.

We talked about religion a lot. I was still agnostic at that time, but open to hearing and learning more. I yearned to know more. Looking back, I could see the Holy Spirit was infused at that moment in time, working on me.

As the conversation transpired, my aunt began describing me as a child. She said that I was "fey". I'd never heard that word before. And I haven't heard it since. But lately, I've been thinking about my dad's side of the family and how much I miss them all, and that word -- that conversation -- crossed my mind.

whimsical; strange; otherworldly

When she first told it to me, she described it as 'on another plane' or 'in your own little world, but not in a bad way'. I was flattered, truthfully. And in a way, I was validated. The validation came from an unlikely source.

I've recently started describing myself as 'tethered to the Earth...I'm a balloon reaching to the outer atmosphere, but someone is keeping me on the Earth, and I feel like I'm above, watching things, watching people'. Now I am correllating that description of 'tethering' to 'fey'.

My Eldest is fey. She truly is in her own world. She isn't strange by any means, but she's definitely on another plane. I see a lot of myself in her and hope she doesn't feel as awkward as I did -- still do.

I love this word. It ironically helps me feel like I fit in.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This Might Be The Nicest Set of Words I Have Ever Read Because of The Wonderfully Sweet Sentiments Eruditely Conveyed

I supposed I should succumb to the notion (fact) that I am a romantic, even though I've trained myself not to be. At certain times, in unexpected ways, something strikes my romantic chord and the vibration resonates for days and days. Sometimes the thought of that experience will pitter-patter through my mind in a daydream years from now. I suspect that the following set of words will linger in the depths of my mind and soul for the remainder of my days.

A little background: In my job, I read through many legal documents that pertain to property ownership. Commonly, a person has passed away and bequeathed their assets, so I effectuate those changes of ownership in our accounting system.

Last week, I dove into this giant stack of papers from an attorney's office that was tightly bound by one of those black clips that doubles as a mouse trap. I'd been putting it off and putting it off. I couldn't any longer. I propped my feet up on the buttfile (I'll explain some other time), leaned back in my chair, took a deep breath and read through the tedium.

Turns out there's no tedium! A gentleman had a lengthy Last Will & Testament chock full of wealth. He'd been so specific that he actually financially provided for his wife, their children and their grandchildren. Nice, huh? At the end of his Will, the following words were written. But, there is so much more than words. The chivalry he displays by honoring his wife, the mother of their children, moved me beyond words and into full-on tears.

My prayer is that all of have this kind of love.

"During my days on earth, I gave everything that was in me to provide for my loving wife and kin; to make them happy; to keep them from want and to provide and secure for them economic independence. The foregoing provisions of this Will are designed to insure a measure of economic independence to my loving wife and kin after I shall have departed from this earth.

If my wife shall find that life's enjoyment and her best interests make remarriage advisable, it is my wish and I recommend that she do so at any time that she so pleases, even immediately after my death, irrespective of any law or custom to the contrary notwithstanding; let her follow an vocation in life she may choose without any restriction of any kind.

To my darling children I say 'never forget your dearest Mother. Mother may be getting old, wrinkled, feeble, whatever she may be, remember she is still your Mother, always was a real Mother'. I beseech thee, my children, to always love, cherish and comfort your Mother. Give, give and give some more for she gave, gave and gave all she had, all that was in her. It is you who always were her life, her hope. It is you that are enshrined down deep in her warm heart, and will be there to the end of the last breath. May the hand of time rest lightly upon her dear head; may she love and be loved; may destiny and good fortune care for her and hers most tenderly and perserve her old age in good health and keep her from want, worry, hardship and unhappiness; may Providence reserve and preserve for her, her children's and grandchildren's lives and their affections amidst honor, joy and sunshine".

Sunday, March 15, 2009


My Little One (MLO): Mom, may I have some cantaloupe, please?

Me: Sure!

I go to the refrigerator and pull out the cantaloupe, which, as it turns out, has become a mushy mound of rot.

Me: I'm sorry, baby, but the cantaloupe is rotten. Would you like some grapes instead?

MLO: No! I really want cantaloupe! I like rotten things because I'm a rotten girl.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Congratulations Are In Order!

Everyone tip their collective hats to My Eldest who brought home an award for The Best Writer in Second Grade.

She also brought home her fourth A-B Honor Roll award, an award for Fairness, and the Young Writer's award.

What a way to kick off Spring Break!!

Good job, babygirl!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Per My Eldest, Snake Charmer

Tonight, when I got home from work, My Eldest greeted me at the door with lots of squealing, jumping up and down and clapping.
"Mama! Mama!! There's a gardner snake outside on our sidewalk! Come see it! Come see it!!"
My Little One was lost in slumber (lucky kid). My Mom was covered under the quilt laying on the sofa.

My Eldest finds a container and some bravery. She's normally a pretty scared kid about almost everything that crawls. I was AMAZED that she wanted to scoop up the snake and keep it "for a pet". *I* am scared of snakes, and even though this was a garden snake, I wasn't about to have any part of capturing it for domesticity. BUT, I didn't want to squelch her desire. Additionally, I want her to be more fearless -- she needs to be more fearless.

She teased me about being a chicken, and I said that I was proud of her for being so brave; that she was doing something Mama wouldn't do.
In and out of that front door she paced, trying to get closer and closer to it -- trying to get braver and braver. She fetched a spade from the back yard in the garden where My Little One LOVES to dig and make me mud cakes.
Back and forth My Eldest goes. Giddy, nervous, excited, courageous, she decides she can't do it. So My Mom grabs the spade and bucket from My Eldest's hands, marches outside and scoops that snake up into the clear plastic container (the former home of some very yummy pistachios!).

By now, I've awaked My Little One and she's a pouty, grumpy bear curled under her dress on my lap pressing her face against my chest. My Eldest comes bouncing in going crazy about My Mom capturing the snake and it freaks the HELL out of My Little One. YOWZA she went berzerk! "Get it away! GET! IT! AWAY!"
So...a little time passes and everyone's calmer. My Mom went home, The Girls are admiring the snake. The snake, however, is not that calm. It's so terrified it's already pooped in it's new "home".

My Eldest comes up with the clever idea to put plastic wrap over the hole of the container bound by a rubber band, then poke little holes in it. She finishes getting the habitat situated and I snap a couple of pictures. My Eldest excitedly encourages me, "Mama! You can put this on your blog! Put on there , Snake Charmer!"

So, being the good mama I am, I'm posting the pictures for your enjoyment. And, even though she didn't REALLY charm the snake, she's at least charming while holding the snake.

(Keep all adult jokes to yourself!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weekly Word of the Weak: Erudite

There's hardly a better way to impress me than using good vocabulary (unless you gift me a Jag...but that's another story.). I'm not especially smart, but I do appreciate -- if you haven't already noticed -- a good word.

The word this week is ERUDITE, defined as....
characterized by great knowledge; learned or scholarly

I was actually accused of being erudite earlier this week! I'm being fecetious, of course, but I was taken aback. I couldn't believe it. Never have I though of myself as erudite. Erudite is for all you Harvard and Oxford folk: academians, graduates, researchers, and the like. It's for people who drive Aston Martins and live in the upper tax brackets of economics. Erudite is for people who are published in medical journals, or circles of specific fields of expertise.
KC is a good friend of mine (even though he likes the Leafs!). He asked me to describe something in particular using the written word, and I struggled with it -- like REALLY grappled with pulling the words from my brain to the keyboard. He then said something to the effect of, '...you're one of the most erudite women I have ever known...you can do it'. I immediately complimented him on his usage of the word 'erudite' and told him I'd post it on my blog this week.
Cheers, KC! This one's for you. And I think I forgot to express gratitude to you for the compliment earlier today. So, thank you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

Some of My Favorite Pictures...

....are of My Little One sleeping or yawning. On Saturday night, she fell asleep while wearing her Piglet sunglasses:

How do you like that tattoo? (She has three more!)

Happy Birthday Eve, Pony!


...and I'm not talkin' steroids (well, not exactly)....

I've been on a health kick of sorts lately. I'm trying to get control of the fog brain I've been experiencing for years, as well as some hormone issues I think I'm having. Through the magical, mysical powers of scientific voodoo, my homonal suspicions were confirmed, though not what I was expecting. All in all, it's good news, and mostly treatable through the dreaded I'm-getting-old "lifestyle change".

In the midst of the hormone excursion, it was discovered that I ALSO have a gliadin allergy. This kind of allergy is fairly common, and can be developed over a period of time. It's bascially a gluten, or wheat, allergy. Wheat's in almost everything except fresh fruits and vegetables.

The third facet of this "health kick" is that I read a rather sobering article on high fructose corn syrup. WOW. Insidious. Demonic. This stuff is in everything, too! And it must be eliminated from my household as much as possible. My poor kids aren't going to be happy about this "lifestyle change". Cuz we all know when Momma's changin', EVERYONE in the house is changin', too!

Last week, I did that which I didn't think I could do. I survived the most radical step I've taken food-wise EVER. I survived a one week long juice-only diet. Not one lick of food was allowed (although I admit to eating some salmon one night, but barely enough to count!). Breakfast and dinner were fresh berries mixed in orange or pineapple juice. The two "snacks" allowed during the day at mid-morning and mid-afternoon were a mixture of carrot juice and beet juice. Lunch was a mixture of carrot juice and a "green" drink (cabbage, spinach, bell pepper, green onion, etc.). Literally, I plugged my nose and slammed every one of those vegetable-based drinks. Moreover, my "lunch" was never consumed wholly -- I always ended up spewing some back out (TMI? Sorry!). Anyway, I feel VERY empowered by enduring that week of juice only meals. Of course, there were supplements to take and that wasn't bad at all!

This week, I'm allowed to have some foods, but still consuming juices, just to a lesser degree, and I have to say it's VERY WEIRD to eat food again! And I can't eat much at all. My stomach has shrunk, and, as Martha would say: it's a good thing.

So, yeah, I'm hoping this sticks. I have two more weeks of detoxifying my body. I'm praying and working towards being sugar-free, or pretty damned close to it. I want certain things desperately still such as pizza and chicken minis and ice cream. However, my COMPULSION is fading and I do feel stronger, more grounded. Hopefully it's not just the honeymoon phase; I need this to be life-long.

I feel GOOD, and quite honestly, I don't trust it. That lack of trust is something I'm working on because I should be comfortable in my own skin feeling good. I have worked hard to gain clarity and energy. I deserve it! I've done this disservice to my body, so I'm sure the bad habits will take years to break. But, good I feel and good is where I want to stay.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Weekly Word of the Weak: Supplicate

One of my favorite things to do during Lent is Stations of the Cross. If you're unfamiliar with what this tradition is, I'll explain briefly.

In every Catholic church in the world, the Stations of the Cross are on display. It depicts iconically the Passion of Christ. There are fourteen stations:

Jesus is Condemned to Death
Jesus Carries His Cross
Jesus Falls for the First Time
Jesus Meets His Mother
Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
Jesus Falls for the Second Time
Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
Jesus Falls for the Third Time
Jesus Clothes Are Taken Away
Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
Jesus Dies on The Cross
The Body of Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

(Sometimes there is a "fifteenth station": Jesus is Resurrected.)

The community reflects on each station individually, per the lead of the deacon or priest. There is a prayerful, interactive exchange between oneself and Jesus via the icons. The sacrifice He made for us is hopefully internalized. There is a series of repeating words, kneeling, quiet reflection and prayer.

One of my favorite words recited during Stations is "supplication", from the verb "to supplicate" which means "to pray humbly".

Good word for this time of year....

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Brush with Greatness

I was invited to lunch today.

This wasn't just ANY lunch.

It was lunch at the Hilton Anatole. Yeah. THE Anatole! Sssssssswankay!

So, lunch is lunch is lunch, right?


Not THIS DAY, my friends! Nope. NOT this day.

A lady with whom I work invited me and some other co-workers to an SMU Athletic Department luncheon. This lady's father is a renowned photographer. I was told they serve on the Board of Directors for SMU's Athletic Department. They purchased a table at this luncheon.

So what's so special about this luncheon? Wellllll, it just so happens that a golf legend was the featured speaker: Annika Sorenstam!


If you follow my blog and/or know me IRL, you know I'm an avid sports fan. Admittedly there are some sports I don't really follow closely, and golf is one of them. However, since my dad was a golfer, and because I listen to sports talk radio pretty much daily, I can't help but know SOME things about golf.

Annika's participation in The Colonial was a HUGE deal! She spoke about her experience doing that tournament. Great stories about a lot of her 38 years on this Earth. I really enjoyed meeting her and listening to her speak in an informal interview-style format. I was most impressed with her modesty and her brilliance. VERY bright woman!

So, thanks to my friend/coworker! Hopefully I'll have a picture to post soon since my coworkers and I got our photo taken with Annika by the renowned photographer himself!