connor

Monday, June 28, 2010

jay decided that she wanted to rename browning. conner was her choice. i thought it would never work. cee agreed with me.

i was wrong, and so was cee.

he now answers to connor, and it only took a weekend of practice.

i wonder if he is baffled. i wonder if he is thinking (in morgan freeman's voice, because i am pretty sure that's what he would sound like if he could talk):

what happened to the last ten years of my life? i could have sworn my name was browning. now these people are calling me connor and they smile and clap and rub my ears when i answer to connor. i like when they rub my ears. i must have dreamed this whole browning thing. connor has a nice ring to it...did i just hear someone in the kitchen? oooo - food. sweet.

the end.

whippin' stick

Sunday, June 27, 2010

the girls and i went to a new church today - we all three loved it!! that hasn't happened before...we've been to a couple i liked, but they didn't and a couple more that left us on the opposite side of the voting block. today we had a unanimous vote of yes!! this makes me happy.

the sermon today was about working through times of crisis and facing rough spells in life (from the book of job), and for some reason it made me think about how jay will sometimes randomly say, 'don't make me get out my whippin' stick!' while i can't quite pinpoint the connection between the sermon and the saying, i am certain that i have never used the phrase whippin' stick; however, it cracks me up when she says it (unless we're in public).

thinking about the whippin' stick spurred another memory of an episode that happened when cee was 2 and jay was 7 months in utero (aka 2 months from being born)...again, i can't pinpoint the connection.

cee and i met a sweet mom and her little girl at the local library. her little girl was a month younger than cee, her baby was due 5 days before jay, and we had an instant connection. we had a couple of play dates at the library for story time, they came to play with us once, and we went to play with them once. tragically, that was the end of our 'hang time.'

when cee was little, we were always hesitant to spank her (we were hesitant about lots of things), but i read a great story about how someone used a spanking spoon. it was a wooden kitchen spoon, and the premise was that the spoon would never actually be used on the child.

the spoon was merely a device of intimidation. i did slap it against my hand so she could hear that it made a popping noise, and she did not like that a single bit. the spoon was a fear tactic. in the story, the person would carry the spanking spoon everywhere - tucked safely in her purse. if ever there was an issue, she just had to pull the tip of the spoon out of her purse and once it was visible to her kid, the behavior was instantly remedied.

being a first time mom, i thought that the spanking spoon was an absolutely brilliant idea. little did i know, it would backfire on me. big time.

back to said playdate duo...when we went to their house to play, cee was in hog heaven. their toys were completely different from ours and entirely new to her. she played and played with the other little girl and her toys, and the mom and i talked and laughed. we were all having a great time. it was very norman rockwell.

and then it happened. an untimely lull in the conversation, and a very brief moment of attentively watching the girls play. in less than 30 seconds, i experienced the full realm of mortification. at the very moment we stopped to watch them play, cee picked up a miniature wooden spoon and one of those scary baby dolls with the blinky eyes.

it all happened so fast. i didn't even see it coming...

in an instant, cee had put the baby doll face down on the carpet and she proceeded to beat the holy hell out of the baby's backside with the wooden spoon. she was letting the poor baby have it! throughout the beating, cee was saying 'bad baby. you get spankin' spoon. you a bad, bad baby! spankin' spoon for you, baby.'

i don't know exactly what shade of red my face turned, but i clearly remember feeling heat radiating from it at nuclear levels. the other mom looked at me shocked at first, and then her shock transformed to something close to an accusation.

i told her i had no idea where she had learned that, and then i began blabbering to her my story about the spanking spoon - emphasizing that we never, ever used the spoon on her and that it was just a scare tactic. at this point i may as well have been digging myself a grave with the stupid spanking spoon that had betrayed me.

she offered me some water (to temper the color in my face?), i politely declined, pretended i didn't realize how quickly time had flown by, gathered cee up, said goodbye and thank you, and left as fast as possible. our quick exit probably did not make the situation any better.

needless to say, that was our last play date. she had her baby, i had mine, and our calls went unreturned. i don't know if they still live here - i haven't seen them at all since then, but i will never forget the first time my child completely humiliated me and left me nearly speechless. :)



so in conclusion, church today was super fab and full of good stuff – especially repressed memories.


alright, enough pain & suffering for now. we are off to the pool...happy sunday.


peace, spanking spoons, and whippin' sticks...

p.s. - i always write my posts, let them marinade in blogosphere land for awhile, and then i come back to re-read and make sure all is well stated or at least written as i had intended. upon today's re-read, i just realized how sickeningly awful it sounds that i actually used a kitchen utinsel combined with the words 'scare tactic' as a means of discipline for my kids...wow, wow, wow. -10:51 p.m.

running...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

i have been running. not like 'running errands', but really running. like miles, distance, speed, and calories kind of running. i'm not good at it, but i am sore from it. so that's something, i guess.

and i have been lifting weights. free weights. arms monday and legs yesterday. today i woke up and thought i had the flu. it turns out that muscle aches are different from flu aches. i don't have the flu.

it all plays into my 'going anorexic' plan (which is not panning out as well as i had hoped).

i saw a handful of very apropos facebook notations today courtesy of a friend who has a running coach. the motivational quips reminded me of my current situation of despair 'athleticism'. i laughed really hard (and laughing reminded my abs of exactly how much they've been working out - ouch).

'do not let your short term ego prevent your long term self from accomplishing something really worthwhile and really bad ass.' -my friend's running coach

'a funny thing happens when you quit focusing on the time it takes to get a specific result and start focusing on a consistent output of effort. you just might get that goal you wanted after all. -also from my friend's running coach

the following question is the one that almost made wine spray out of my nose. it's from a participant in said running group:

'is staying hydrated really that important? i am really not that afraid of dehydration because i drink like three diet cokes a day and a little fiji water on monday through thursday. friday and saturday is mainly margaritas (without salt).'

(no, it was not me who asked that question.)

implying that staying hydrated is, indeed, quite important...'if you have a heat stroke, it is going to make me have a ton of paperwork. i hate paperwork.' -my friend's running coach

this is a running group that i would like to join. it's in dallas, but the daily drive might seriously be worth it.

my friend of 'my friend's running coach' is affectionately named double d. obviously she rocks.

we first met in high school while playing tennis against each other. we had a match that was almost as long as the wimbeldon match of yesterday/today fame...except she easily beat me in two sets, 6-0/6-0. we just talked a lot between each court change. she made losing seem fun. we went to college together, lived in austin together for a long time, and the rest is history.

she had twins a year ago, and the double d's became triple d's (on the conservative side of things). she never fails to amaze me with her humor and off-the-charts funniness.

so thanks as always, double d, for the timely and much appreciated humor!! love ya.

peace, diet cokes, and double d's...

pride in ownership

Monday, June 21, 2010

cee is in waco for some time with her grandparents...she sent me this email today:
hi mom. i want to no if i cood have tee because we are going to have tee today. Thank's mom love cee

a.) i can't believe she is old enough to email me.
b.) how lucky am i? what kid doesn't try to get away with everything under the sun while at the grandparents' house?
c.) of course i said yes.

jay has been equally as entertaining and sweet. she asks permission for everything...even to clean her room. i am stunned by this. i hope in the future they continue to ask for my permission with things much 'heavier' than tea and room cleaning. i hope i am a mom who is in the know with what my girls are doing (not in a way that tries too hard or wants to be a teenager again, but in a parenting way), i hope i am not overbearing, i hope i am not a helicopter, and i hope we have the bond and trust that is here right now.

jay is dominating every inch of our house right now and i am honestly not stopping her. she never gets to 'do' what she wants with her toys because she is always following the 'rules' set forth by her sister. she is in hog heaven and has given me about 8 million hugs for her freedom.

every now and then she looks up at me from whatever she is doing and says, 'huggie!!' and wraps her arms around me. ahhhhh - love it. absolutely love it.

i was accepted to present at a leadership conference, and today i am going for my 'prep meeting'. i think i'll feel a lot more confident after said meeting. i am not a good public speaker, so i am excited to get past this hurdle. i am also subbing on another presentation during the conference, so i am going to get a double dose of public speaking practice. i can't wait for it to unfold!

(and no, i will not be picturing anyone in their underwear)

alright - i must go for now.

peace and pride...

family ties

Sunday, June 20, 2010

'any man can be a father; it takes someone special to be a dad.' -posted by a facebook friend of mine

that really struck a chord with me today. i am so thankful for all the wonderful dads in this world - especially my dad and the girls' dad. we are all so lucky to have their guidance, love, and support.

i sometimes get caught up in the mundane details of life, and today i have really been thinking about how blessed i am by my dad and how blessed the girls are by their dad.

as i've said a million times, cee & jay are such amazing little creatures and they melt my heart every single day. tons of their character comes from having a wonderful dad to teach, nurture, and mold them into wonderful young ladies who aren't afraid to get their hands a little bit dirty every now and then.


my cousins (april, myra, summer, autumn, robert, winter, and george, who range in age from 19 - 34) have really touched my heart. their posts today have been so thoughtful and heartfelt, and i have found them to be especially touching.

their dad died when they were way too young...about six years ago. as if that wasn't difficult enough on them, their mom died about a year later. that could bring lots of people way down to their knees, but these kids have been one of the most stellar examples of 'family' that i could ever imagine. they stick together through thick and thin. they have all, in their own unique ways, filled in the gaps for each other where their parents aren't able to anymore. it is really such an amazing thing to witness.

they have all posted 'hello' comments to their dad today, and here is my favorite post - it's from autumn:

'i look at my son and think, "Lord thank you for blessing me with the father i had. he was one who lived his life for his children: never selfish, a man of wisdom, but mostly a man of God." daddy thank you for being an example of a man that i want to have in my life for my son. happy fathers day dad! i love you, and i miss you. tell momma hello from me.'

so on this father's day, i am again greatful for all the incredible dads out there, but i am also beyond thankful for having an amazing, beautiful, and supportive family...it isn't the 'wasp'-y image of what i always thought i'd have (yes, i actually wanted to be june cleaver)...and i have no complaints at all. i am blessed inside and out, from head to toe.

to me, family is what it's all about.

peace.

si se puede habla espanol!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

i went to the most awesome training today - it was called 'viva! spanish for educators.' i feel so much more informed now than i did 8 hours ago, and i am seriously beside myself.

i thought i had a pretty good grasp of basic spanish until the presenter asked us to write down all the spanish words we knew - in 30 seconds. i knew: aeropuerto, cerveza, bano, hielo, purificado, comida, limpia, and la playa. these are primarily words that a 2 year old could use (with the exception of cerveza) at the beach in mexico. that was my slice of humble pie for the day.

but now? i have so much more!! i am seriously beyond excited!!

we have students at my school who are 'lep', or 'limited english proficient'. they are also called 'ell', or 'english language learners'. today i was an 'lsp' (limited spanish proficient) and an 'sll' (spanish language learner). i totally got a feel for how some of our students must feel when they have been raised with spanish as a first language and we expect them to sit in classes listening and learning in english.

i have my super, amazing, sweet friend halley to thank for my new language acquisition. first of all, she's the one who told me about the training. i signed up because of her. second of all, she is quite fluent and she was so helpful/supportive today. if i wouldn't have been there with her, i probably wouldn't have come back after lunch.

i was so overwhelmed at first, and that's when it hit me - i can relate to our ell's/lep's in a whole new way now. most importantly, i have some key phrases that i can use to help both students and parents.

ooo! i also learned how to say: yo soy es mamacita de futbol. that means 'i am a soccer mom.' :)

a super fabulous bonus of the training was that they included a pretty comprehensive list of the bad words in spanish. we didn't get to practice them, but i am pretty sure that kids have said some of them to me before and i probably smiled and said, 'muy bueno!' or 'dande!' or 'pollo!' or 'feliz cumplenanos!' (very good! where! chicken! happy birthday!)

wow - i really don't have the words to express how excited i am for my new knowledge, but i can't wait to use it when school starts in august. woooo hoooo!!

i have always heard that having dreams in another language is a sign of fluency. what if i dream in spanish tonight!?!?! whoa.

la paz y buenos tardes y yo adoro espanol...
peace, have a good afternoon, and i ♥ spanish...

10 burning questions (give or take)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

1.) i know there are a lot of teachers in the world, but why on earth are target and h.e.b. so crowded at 10 am on a week day? what do those people do? do they have jobs?

2.) what happened to bob barker? did he dedicate the rest of his life to personally spaying and neutering other people's pets?

3.) although the sound is sometimes endearing, why are there birds chirping in my chimney? it's like a whole flock of them have decided that my chimney is their summer home.

4.) if i've only lived in my house for about a year, why do i already want a new house?

5.) why does everything paula dean cooks have to be so unhealthy? for the ghastly amounts of whole milk and butter she consumes, she looks pretty decent. it's not fair (i know, i know...life is not fair).

6.) how did samantha brown get her job? i am more than a little jealous. i am not complaining at all...i am just curious.

7.) repeat of question #6 with candace olson instead of samantha brown.

8.) should i paint the interior of my house this week, or is it too big of an undertaking? would painting my house eliminate question #4?

9.) who thought of the concept for cirque du soleil and why/how?

10.) does the fact that i am beyond bored when my girls are gone indicate that i need to get a life? if so, how could i rectify the issue?

the end.

summer break, oprah, cleaning, aging, and oil

Monday, June 14, 2010

a.) oprah's show today is about 'answers from child molesters.' as if i wasn't already over-protective enough, now it's so on. it was like a bad train wreck - no matter how much i wanted to pull myself away, i just couldn't. gag-o-maggot. disgusting, sick, horrifying, and UGGHHH!

b.) i know that my friends who read and don't teach are totally irritated by the fact that i'm watching oprah, and i am so so sorry. if it makes you feel better, i am going to no less than 54 hours of continuing education this summer. and don't underestimate the toll that dealing (not-so-gracefully) with irrate parents can take on a girl.

c.) i cleaned 1/2 of my house today from top to bottom. it feels SO good to have the smell of clean - i love it. tomorrow i will tackle the other 1/2.

i have to tell you that i overcame a major fear today. i have been putting it off since march. i pulled my oven and my fridge away from their cozy nest between my cabinets and walls. it kind of felt like removing a delicate cocoon from its secure perch on a branch. i did say a prayer before...i was so unnerved about what i would find lurking back in those dark, lonely spaces. guess what: i survived, and it was not bad at all!!

my friend judy once told me that the true measure of a clean house is the inside of your microwave. this made me shudder. i remember coming home and thoroughly cleaning my microwave. today i decided that clean dark, lonely spaces are the new pristine microwave. i am beyond happy that mine are sparkling!!

d.) due to said cleaning, my back is killing me. i think this is just an ugly part of aging. boo.

e.) bp *sucks*. i am completely over their nonsense. no more ms. nice blogger. clean it up. make it happen. chop, chop. and.....GO.

f.) i miss my girls, but they had a great first day of camp.

g.) goodbye.

h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o...

p.) peace.

q, r...

s.) sorry for the excessive use of prepositions at the end of sentences. it was just necessary today. if bp can stamp a nasty stain on the gulf and its shores, then i am comfy with breaking a few grammar & usage rules for one day.

t, u, v...

w.) windows: mine have been wide open all day long. shockingly, nobody has come over with freshly baked pies, cookies, or cakes. hmmmm...

x, y...

z.) hotel zaza. love that place.

no bummer this summer

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

last summer was not my best. not even close. just checking off the few things we have planned, i realize that i was in a horrible, yucky, post-divorce funk all of last summer. but not anymore - i am so excited for this one!! i was going to do grad school, but i had this moment of pure clarity where i realized that i would be missing an entire month of jay's 'freedom' before she starts kindergarten. translation: i got sappy.

last summer i could barely see straight. i think i took the girls to the pool about five times. we've already been five times in the last week. this year is my chance to make up to them for everything we didn't do last year. bring it on!!

their dad took them (and my camera) to the beach last weekend...he took some great shots of them.

i *love* this one because of how awesome the water looks and how they are so intent on whatever it is that has their attention...


love this one, too...

i have a new fave of jay that matches my most recent fave of cee (at the very end of this post from last month).


have you ever seen the movie 'the holiday?' it's one that i could watch over and over again. for me, that's the sign of a winning movie: one i can watch over and over and over and never get tired of it.

okay - so if you saw that movie, you might remember the scene where there is the most magnificent tent ever. i have always wanted to make a tent like that for the girls. and guess what. i did it!! well, almost. it took the whole weekend, lots of pvc pipe, pvc cement to cover my miscalculations, and a few curse words. i found the plans here. it is my own variety of a magical tent, but i love it and so do the girls.


this is the view of the top if you're laying down...

i love how tan the girls get (with full 70 spf on) and how blonde they get...i love this pic of cee because her hair is already a zillion shades lighter than it was 2 weeks ago. this is the girl who wants highlights. really?


alright, that's all i have for now. the girls are getting out of the tub and who knows what plans lie ahead of us this evening...ahhhh...i love the freedom of summer and staying up late(r).

peace out and sleep in...

brittany

Saturday, June 5, 2010

not spears...the one from glee. she is my new fave, and here are a few reasons why.

-recipes confuse her
-she's often shown in the background doing seriously amusing things
-she once kept a bird in her locker
-she willingly admits to defacing yearbook photos
-she thinks the square root of 4 is rainbows

and here are a few of my fave brittany quotes.

mr. schue: 'who can tell me what a ballad is?'
brittany: 'a male duck.'

'she's the one they made me talk to when they found out i was keeping a bird in my locker.'

'sometimes I forget my middle name.'

'did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?'

'i'm pretty sure my cat's been reading my diary.'

'you look terrible, i look awesome.'

mr. schue: 'take it away, brittany.'
brittany: 'take what away?'

'i don't know how to turn on a computer.'

'there was a mouse in mine.'

'a happy meal, no onions. or a chicken.'

'i've been here since first period. i had a cold and i took all my antibiotics at the same time, and now i can't remember how to leave. but i also don't know why i only made fourth on the glist. i made out with like everyone in the school: girls, boys, mr. kidney the janitor. i need to do something to get into the top 3.'

if you don't watch then i bet you are not even one ounce amused. you might even be feeling confused. it's okay - just submit. you know you want to watch. don't worry, there are support groups.

peace & show tunes...

fin.

Friday, June 4, 2010

i officially have another school year under my belt.

whew - this one almost got the best of me!

and now, let the wild rumpus start.


i am going to hibernate for a few days, but don't worry...i'll be back. and when i get back, then we can rumpus. but i really need to rest first.

peace, blackout curtains & lots of fluffy pillows...

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