two things

Thursday, September 29, 2011

one: where did september go!?!?

two:  you are dangerously close to a proud mom bragging moment. feel free to bail, i will totally understand and i won't judge you for it.

okay, there. you were amply warned and if you're still here, it's by choice. thank you. :)

i knew (and hoped) something was up today when i pulled up to get the girls from school. i saw cee run over to jay and whisper in her ear. jay smiled and nodded and they high fived. this is usually bad news for me.

last week cee came home with an application to run for student council. she was so excited about it, and i was a little nervous. i signed her form and told her we would work on her speech and give it the old college try.

i was thinking letterman top 10-esque (which i realize now is so not cool for the 3rd grade crowd).

she thought my ideas were too 'fluffy.'

therefore, she wrote her speech on her own. here's what she came up with...

'i'm very thinkative and i know not a lot of people use thinkative in a speech, but that's how i roll.'  ♥

i can't even tell you how impressed i was with her words...or her grammar...or her voice...or her font & color selection skills. the accomplishment of this speech alone was one of those fabulous mom moments. we practiced after school yesterday.

'are you ready? do you feel good about it?' i asked her.

her smile was the only answer i needed.

when i walked into their school today, jay immediately told me, 'mom, cee didn't get it.'

i looked at cee and she couldn't contain her smile for even a second - 'i got it!'

i'm not sure i've ever been this kind of proud before.

this is the first time she's ever said, 'hey - i really, really want to do this...and i'm going to do whatever it takes to get it. i need your help.'

we started her in soccer and we sent her to soccer camp and we keep signing her up to play each year. and she amazes us on the field and we encourage her to keep gaining more skills...but this?

this was all her own effort and hard work.

purely organic.

i'm pretty sure i couldn't be any prouder of her if i tried!

i know this is the first of many goals she'll set for herself (and achieve), i know there will likely be some heartbreaks along the way, and i know that cee is one determined child. i've always known that, but this is the first time i've really seen the whole process unfold in her very own hands.

watching jay brag about cee was pretty cool, too. the admiration jay has for cee is something i wish i could bottle and sell. i am blessed and amazed by these girls each and every day.

today was just more of a shining example. :)

okay, thanks for reading along with me. i appreciate it!



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

have you ever woken up and wished that you could have a mulligan for the entire day before your feet even hit the floor? like wished it from the moment your eyes opened? that was how my day started.

do-over, please.

jay bird was sick all night.

sleepless + fever = no bueno.

she has been horizontal for pretty much the whole day.

after a quick trip to the doctor and a diagnosis of strep throat, we have acquired some fabulous antibiotics and a gigantic tootsie roll, and i am happy to report that she's on the have to imagine the gatorade stains are her real smile. try hard.

having a sick little one is enough to make anyone call dibs on a mulligan, but in addition to the fever, i am now dead last in my fantasy football league. i'm sure it's not normal to be this attached to winning, but i am. it's how i'm wired. i can't help it.

last year i was the league champion (as i am painfully reminded each time i log in to check my current level of bottom-dweller loser-dom), and now i am the low man on the proverbial totem pole. this doesn't make me happy.

not a bit.

on the bright side of things, it's a stormy night, i have on my flannel babushka pj's, we're going to bed early and sleeping late, i have a sub tomorrow, and jay is starting to feel better!

oh - and those fluffy friends she's snuggling? yeah...they're affectionately known as 'big turty' and 'little turty.' this is funny to me...except for when she refers to them in public.

alright - we're off to catch ourselves some zzzzz's. tomorrow will be better.

it has to be.


as fluffy as a cloud

Friday, September 23, 2011

i got a new bed yesterday, and it's as fluffy as a cloud (that's a simile).
i'm not even kidding you (about the bed, its fluff factor, or the simile).

i slept better last night than i have in a really, really, long time.

in honor of the fact that my classes just finished a week of poetry, here's a super duper special little treat for you: a haiku.

ode to my new bed

my bed is so tall.
the matress is way fluffy.
i love it a lot.

browning? not so much.
too bad he can't jump that high.
no more dog hair dreams!

snoozing delights me.
the cozy feather topper
really floats my boat.

please don't jump on it...
it's not a tempurpedic.
spilled wine makes me sad.

i strongly believe:
you're never too old for naps.
they fix everything.

the sun is sleeping,
the moon is shining brightly
(okay, that's a lie).

please do not disturb---
tomorrow is quite busy.
goodnight and sweet dreams.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

what a completely fabulous weekend! a cool front moved in (i use the term lightly), we finally got some rain, the girls were with me, it's football season, and this is hands down my most favorite time of the year.

for as long as i can remember, fall's entrance gives my spirit the hugest boost, and this weekend was no different. i have a few pictures to share.

we went to the acl festival saturday...i wanted the girls to see alison krauss. she had a pretty fabulous crowd to entertain...

and the girls had a pretty nice view of her show.

robert plant was about 20 feet to jay's right...just hanging out, watching his prodigy. kinda cool.

my little rock stars got a chance to sparkle and shine...

jay loved skrillex, which is so right up her alley. she really wanted to be on the other side of the fence in the middle of the madness.

this morning cee decided she wanted to knit, and my soul honestly smiled when she got the hang of it.

and this is a shot of them doing their thing...making my heart flutter.

on top of all of that, i finished my 3rd class, football is on, my fantasy team is rockin' along, and the sky looks completely relaxed.

what a wonderful weekend. what a wonderful world (can you hear louis armstrong in the background? skies of blue? come on, i know you can).


blog spawn

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

i have a bromeliad. i call him bro, and my aunt (the one who loves to travel) brought him to me the summer before cee was born. bro is still alive and kickin', and i have considered this a major accomplishment over the course of the last nine years of my life.

after all, the last plant i ever named was ivy, and ivy didn't make it more than a couple of months. that was 'back in the old days'...before cell phones and the internet.

last weekend i noticed that bro seemed to be a little under the weather, so i googled to find out what i could do to make him better. when a good watering didn't do the trick, i deduced that maybe it was time for bro to make a move to a bigger pot. i thought maybe he was having growing pains.

when i googled 'transplanting bromeliads,' i was completely shocked to discover that bromeliads are supposed to make pups. spawn. little ones.

bro has never made a spawn. or a pup. or a little one.

i instantly felt like a bad curator.

i wondered what i was doing wrong.

i wondered if applauding his nine years was actually an accomplishment...if he had nothing to show for it, had i really done my job?

i still don't have an answer for you, but bro is now happily living in a bigger pot. his roots were jam packed and dying to stretch out a little bit. i'm sure they're all happily adapting to their new digs.

i'm still concerned about the fact that there have been no spawn.

in the meantime, the girls have decided that they want to have a blog.

i have tossed this around in my head so much in the last few days. on one hand, it would be kind of cool. they understand the privacy issues and realize that they would have to limit what they could say.

on the other hand, do they really have anything to say?

and for that matter, do i?

again - my mind has explored every facet of this request of theirs.

last weekend i did a test drive with them. what would you say? i asked them. what would you call it? i pressed. how often would you update?

they decided to have a sister conference - this is a meeting of the minds on a level you've never me.

thirty minutes later, they came back and they were ready to report their conference notes to me.

thing two reported, we want to call it sixteen words.

thing one added, because every post would only be sixteen words long.

thing two included, because we aren't very old yet and we might not have a lot to say.

i checked. sixteen words was available (it's not anymore...just in case).

i told them i loved it. i really did.

i was quite impressed with their thought process.

then i asked them to give me a sample of what they would write.

well, we would right about all kinds of stuff! like what we did at school and how funny things are and jokes and what weird things browning eats and why you're a funny mom and what books we're reading...

i asked for a solid sixteen words.

well, we would right about all kinds of stuff! like what we did at school and how funny things are and jokes and what weird things browning eats and why you're a funny mom and what books we're reading...

i'm still beyond impressed with their concept; i'm just not sure if it's doable, and beyond that, i'm not sure if it's over the top for my kids to have a blog. who would read it? why would those people read it? how bad of an idea is it? how good of an idea is it? and of it completely ridiculous to even entertain the idea?

i thought and thought and thought of what i would post if i had a blog of sixteen words per post. here's the best i came up with:

remember the pink panther dead ant joke? i used to think it was funny. it's not.

that took me two hours.

on a side note, cee and i had the best conversation the other day.

me: how was your weekend?

cee: it was great. guess what - i'm allergic to hippies.

if that's true, i guess austin isn't the best locale for us.

our conversation continued...

cee: so, you know how you said i'm too old to wear tight stretch pants now?

me: yes.

cee: well, dad's special friend wears them. and she's way older than me.

me: yes...and that's another reason why you can't wear them anymore.

cee: okay, cool.

that's why we get along really well right now. i know these days are numbered.

we were having some major issues with the tight stretch pants in our house...there were some 'situations' going on that nobody should have to deal with.

some day she will understand. maybe some day i will, too.

until next time, please be nice to your plants and your children. the world will thank you for it, i promise.

peace and proactive parenting...


Sunday, September 11, 2011

i am a news junkie and have been for as long as i can remember. it wasn't out of the ordinary that i was watching the today show at exactly 7 am my time ten years ago today (8 am eastern time), and i was just about to leave for work. matt lauer and  katie couric announced that a plane had crashed into the world trade center, and life as we all knew it changed forever.

i tried calling the girls' dad probably a million times that morning and couldn't get through to him. not knowing what else to do, i drove to work. at that time, work was smack dab in the middle of downtown building was at 9th and congress, less than three blocks from the state capitol.

one of the ladies i worked for had been the head of p.r. for nbc in new york. the other woman i worked for grew up around the white house scene - her dad was a white house press secretary, and neither of them were new to disasters. nevertheless, we were all shocked. we watched the towers fall together, we watched a co-worker's devastation because her uncle worked in the world trade center, and we sat together in stunned bewilderment.

somewhere in the midst of the madness, i did hear from the girls' dad...he had been dove hunting with a friend and had no idea what happened until about 10 that morning. i heard from each and every one of my loved ones that day - even if we hadn't talked in months, everybody wanted to check in that day. just in case...

we had a very eerie insight about the pentagon before it was even on the news...the lady who had worked for nbc was on the phone with jim miklaszewski, and he was at the pentagon when it happened. the courage my bosses had was what kept me together that day.

we couldn't help but wonder if the capitol was next, and even though there were no skyscrapers in austin at that time, being 15 stories in the air seemed way too high on a day when the strongest of buildings were crumbling.

time seemed to stop for a few weeks while the country united and held itself together...piece by piece, person by person, day by day. a couple of wars and a couple of presidents later, we are still standing strong.

ten years later, i have two precious daughters who didn't have to live through that horrible day. that's a blessing i can cherish. i love that they will always remember this day not as one of tragedy and horror, but instead one where we celebrate the heroes who have worked so hard to make our lives as safe as possible.

i am so proud of how our country put on its big girl panties that day, i am so proud of how we managed to make lemonade out of lemons, and i am so thankful for the work that happens to keep us safe that we aren't even aware of.

i hope my girls...and the post 9/11 generation...never have to experience the kind of upheaval the rest of us witnessed that day. i really do. more than you'll ever know. and from the bottom of my heart, i leave you with this tonight:



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

the fires continue. this morning when i woke up, i went to the back door to put browning out. i was completely overhwelmed to find that the smoky smell had arrived at my house overnight. when i dropped the girls off at school, the sun was just clearing the cloud-smoke bank. it was beautiful and eerie at the same time, and i so wish i would have had my camera. plenty of people have been snapping pictures highlighting the scope and depth of this monstrosity.

courtesy of msnbc
from kxan
from kxan
my sweet friend who lives in bastrop couldn't make it to work today (and if i were her, i'm not sure i would have been able to mentally make it to school) because all roads leading out of bastrop towards work have been closed. she said there really are no words to describe the horror.

from kvue
and finally, one last shot from west austin overlooking downtown into the skyline over bastrop.

courtesy of deanna roy
i know those of you who read my little blog and live nearby are familiar with all of the images and updates on the news, but for those of you who are farther away, i tried to pick pictures that humbly give a little bit of credence to what this fire is doing.

please send out karmatic wishes, and above all - prayers.


Monday, September 5, 2011

what a crazy turn the weekend has taken. there are wildfires all around due largely in part to the drought, and yesterday the wind was out of control. from this map, i live roughly right in the center...i am pretty far away from all the madness, and it's really disheartening to know that so many people are losing their homes as i write this.
i have a sweet friend in bastrop who has avoided the fires, but the school that's literally less than a block from her house is serving as an evacuation sight. she said it looks like a scene from a movie. if you aren't familiar with that area, there's a river that intersects the town, and the fire is on the opposite side of the river from her.

the girls have been glued to the news and i've been really surprised at how much they understand about the destruction. we went to the store earlier and they wanted to buy supplies to donate. we bought a few things but it seems like so little that it pales in comparison to what people are actually losing. it made me wonder what i would take out of our house if we were in these people's shoes. i'm not even sure where i'd start or if i'd be able to get enough.

but then again, what is enough? as long as the girls and i (and browning) got out safely, we would figure it out and make things work. i know there are things we would miss, but we would have our necessities. i hope all the people who are losing their homes have at least made it out with their families.

prayers would be appreciated for everyone to stay safe and out of harm's way...especially the firefighters who are out there in the midst of the danger. if you feel so inclined, i know the red cross is taking donations to help those people who've had to evacuate and/or have lost their homes.


no more warm fuzzies

Thursday, September 1, 2011

a month ago, i was convinced that my dog was a verbal genius. during my second grad school class, i thought it would be interesting to see how sharp his auditory processing was. i devised a test: would he be able to tell the difference between 'get your ball' and 'get your bowl'?

he passed with flying colors.

somewhere in between my admiration of his stellar phonemic skills and testing my hypothesis ('my dog can distinguish between the short a and long o sounds'), i created a monster. now i think he's simply a four legged- freak who learned a new party trick.

you know how sometimes people love their dog too much, but when you see their dog you don't think it's cute and instead you think it looks kind of creepy? it's a good thing browning's eyes and gray face don't make him look like one of those creepy, glowy-orb-eyed dogs.

oh, wait. never mind. hmmm....

is it a little better when i turn the flash off?

this is what happens when he gets frustrated with my linguistic experiments because let's be honest: all he wants is a bowl full of food and a good ear rub.

how about when he's asleep? cuter?

i love him a whole super lot (even though he didn't try to save us from the wayward light fixture that carelessly leapt from our ceiling earlier this week...prompting a terror-ridden 9-1-1 false alarm call that i fear has put me on the idiot watch list with my local law enforcement agency).

also, i have to tell you something really important...i'm probably entirely responsible for perpetuating this new bad/annoying habit of his.

every time he brings that bowl to me, i throw it and i either tell him to 'fetch' or 'catch.' he isn't having quite as easy a time with the /f/ and the /k/ as he did with the vowel sounds. therefore, he's still in the throes of emergent literacy. don't worry, though. it's all part of the process.

maybe this weekend i'll teach him to retreat and drop. i have three days.

he can totally handle that.

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