jilted at the movies

Saturday, March 31, 2012

i went to see the hunger games today - finally!! let me start by saying that i was very tempted to bring the girls with me last weekend so we could be a part of the opening weekend madness, but i couldn't get past the pg-13 rating. and the fact that my girls are nowhere near 13.

they have definitely seen pg-13 movies, but not without my blessing. my blessing comes from knowing the content is something they can handle (read: something that won't give them nightmares or make them ask questions i'm not ready to answer). i even asked a couple of friends who saw it if they thought the girls could handle it - they both said yes. but i really couldn't make myself take them without knowing how violent and gory it might be.

so i waited. the girls are with their dad this weekend, and as soon as soccer was over this morning, i bolted to the theater. it wasn't as violent as i thought it would be, the special effects were great, and i love-love-loved the costumes! the tracker jacker scene put my morning into perspective (cee had a scary run-in with her head and an angry fire ant pile...), and the whole audience was captivated. for the entire movie. which almost never happens!

as i was watching the previews from my perfect perch (the seats where you can rest your feet on the bars without bothering anybody), the theater started to fill up and i noticed there were lots of kids cee's age. i was starting to feel a little overly-protective and helicopter-y about my pg-13 theory with the girls. but i promise i wasn't judging anybody for their choice - i think everyone generally knows what works best for their own children.

and then a mom sauntered in with her two kids...one cee's age, one jay's age. they chose the seats right by me and i ended up sitting by the one who was jay's age (the mom sat in between them - we were totally on the same page with that).

as the movie began, i got so drawn in that i completely forgot there was a seven year old next to me. it was that good. as a mom, there were a couple of parts that tugged at my heart strings (those same parts would have made jay super sad). and then came the part where rue was shot in the chest with an arrow.

because i'd read the books, i knew things weren't looking good for her at this point (spoiler alert: rue dies.), but i did not expect what happened next. as rue died, the mom of the kid sitting next to me started weeping. uncontrollably. this alarmed her kids, but i don't think her crying startled them as much as her jumping over the comfy foot rest bar and bolting out of the theater. dukes of hazard style.

then her little boy (who was sitting right by me) started whimpering and then crying quietly. whether because of his mom's unexpected disappearance or the sight of another child dying on the screen - i don't know. but there were huge alligator tears running down his face. i wanted to comfort him, pat him, offer him a piece of gum, or something...anything. he was upset. and alone.

i didn't feel like any of those would be appropriate gestures to a child i don't know. so i did the only safe thing i could think of to do. i dug in my purse and found the closest thing to a tissue that i could. unfortunately, it was from a set of cocktail napkins i received yesterday. fortunately, it was dark and this sweet child couldn't read through his tears and sudden sense of abandonment.

the mom did come back...eventually, and the little boy was fine for the rest of the time. but seriously - if you're going to bring your small child to a movie that is frightening for him (or her), please do not dash out of the theater and leave your frightened child behind. please? i feel like this is not too much to ask.

moving on...

now that i'm done being all judgemental and holier than thou, i would like to hop off of my soapbox and let you know that after watching it, four things are 100% certain:

1. i loved the movie!!
2. i wouldn't have lasted five minutes in the arena.
3. if i ever change my eye make up, i would like to adopt lenny kravitz's golden eye liner.
4. while we're talking eye make up, i would also like to borrow katniss's subtle (but fabulous) lashes from the crowning ceremony.

both photos courtesy of glamour.com
will i take the girls to see it? probably not at the theater. cee could handle it with no trouble, but she does have bad dreams easily. jay is such a tender-hearted kid, and i really don't think she would be able to process many of the scenes as fantasy.

i still have lots to accomplish on my to-do list for today, so need to wrap things up for this post.

i hope you have a wonderful weekend...and may the odds be ever in your favor.


haiku (for you)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

this week was wicked-
a real rollercoaster ride.
kids took the staar test

 (the new assessment
for kids of the lone star state).
we survived round one!

i channeled mike leach
in full adam james fashion;
we'll leave it at that.

got to see ac
on tv one afternoon.
that never happens...

wednesday: peace and calm.
wednesday evening: drinks with friends
(much needed relief).

lockdown on thursday...
i did not see that coming,
drills aren't always drills.

gun-toting rednecks
should not live near schools, you know?
flashback to summer...

squirrel's life in danger!
the moral of the story?
let's not shoot at squirrels.

i need lots of sleep...
in the very worst of ways-
early night for me.

thank you for reading
my super awesome haiku
(my next show's at ten).

perfection in a day

Saturday, March 24, 2012

what an incredible day! spring has sprung, and today was one of those days where we were able to enjoy every bit of its arrival.

the girls had their first soccer games of the season, and we'll call the soccer gear our first wardrobe change of the day (because technically we started the day in our jammies). they both played so well - all of the kids did. there's something about being part of a small town that i wish could be bottled and sold...

i honestly love all of the people i see most saturdays because of sports. don't get me wrong - the few saturdays of each off-season are wonderful because we can sleep in and get a slow start. but it really does warm my soul to watch my kids grow up with kids they've know most of their lives.

after soccer, we came home for our second wardrobe change: we had a wedding shower to attend near lake travis. i'm in a wedding on april 21st. i am so honored to be a part of it - the bride, heather, is someone who had a huge part in raising my babies. she was their pre-k teacher, and then she was a babysitter for us. but she's so much more than that. she practically lived with us for awhile, so she's more like family in my eyes.

on top of that, her parents opened their home to the girls many weekends when heather would keep them, so it isn't just that heather is like family, but her family is also like family. when she moved away to start her own life, the axis of my world shifted a little bit. needless to say, going to her shower today was a million flavors of wonderful. she has grown up with such an amzing group of women to support her, and it feels good to be a part of that.

after the wedding shower, we had our third wardrobe change. the girls had a birthday party at maybe the coolest kid place ever: stunt ranch. the little birthday boy is jay's age, and his older sister is cee's age. all four of them went to daycare together, and heather (the bride) worked with all of them!

the owners of this place create stunts in movies - the activity coordinator does pyrotechnics (i'm certain she did not fully appreciate my katniss everdeen reference). but they also have the most amazing set up (including trapeze school - who knew...). the kids did a ropes course for the first hour, and the second hour was zip lining! absolutely awesome!

again, the parents of these kiddos are some pretty special people to me.

i'm not normally one who gets my batteries recharged by going and doing...usually being home is my 'thing'...of course there are a handful of exceptional people i really and truly love who i didn't get to see today...

but after a day like today, i'm thinking of just four words:

my cup runneth over.

we hit up torchy's on the way home because it was a perfect patio night. they were playing the eagles and lyle lovett, the girls were happy and laughing, and it was a great way to end an already stellar day.

we've all participated in wardrobe change number four, and our day has come full circle. we're in our jammies watching madeline, and soon we'll all be crawling into bed...time to settle in for the night (and one of us will be sipping a lovely glass of vino in t-minus 5 minutes).

peace, perfection, and love...


Thursday, March 22, 2012

alright - sorry for my funk-induced pitty pity party last night. i'm much better today. perhaps these two gems helped perk me back up.

plus we went to salt lick and its food really does have ancient medicinal properties. i swear. can you guess which one of them ate *five* pork ribs? hint: no matter which one you choose, you won't be wrong. if you've never been, you need to change that. quickly.

peace and pork... :)

it just hit me...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

...i've had a lot on my mind lately and i've been keeping myself ├╝ber busy as a faux diversion. as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end...

1. i have an incredible group of kids this year, and i have just over two months left with them (sigh). this is a group i will super miss because they are just that awesome. the bright side: i get to watch most of them bloom for two more years.

2. i have a new little girl who told me two weeks ago about a party she went to the day before. she called it an 'end of treatment' celebration, and i naturally assumed that it was for a family member who was getting out of some sort of rehab. nope...she has a nine year old little brother who just finished a wicked round of chemo for his leukemia. how does a twelve year old process that? how do her parents process it? how does her little brother process his own illness?

3. soccer season is starting again, and jay has a little girl on her team who is a cancer survivor. she has horner's syndrome as a result, and this causes her to have paralysis of her oil & sweat glands as well as some of her nerves. i think it's remarkable that she is playing! but i know i will worry about her each time she's on the field.

4. cee is going through some 'stuff' (no, not that kind of 'stuff'!!). i'm not really sure i'm doing the right things or giving her the right advice. the lack of know-how is frustrating to me (and for her, too). it's a weird, but temporary, impasse.

5. i was ever so gently reminded of my age several times in the last couple of weeks. i know, i know - i'm not old, but i realized that i'm not young, either. depending on how you look at it, this can go one of two ways. i'm not sure which route i've decided to take just yet or how to wrap my mind around this new realization.

6. there are some other things that i have been worrying about a lot more than usual, and i guess those have been weighing on me, too.

so even though it's spring and things are supposed to be perky and green and blooming right now, i'm kind of feeling funk-ish. which stinks.

however, i'm a glass-half-full kind of girl. therefore, i have to appreciate that i've been lucky to have shared the presence of these people and experiences. usually these experiences teach me lessons, put things into a better perspective for me, and shed light on my blessings.

if that was their intended purpose, then mission: accomplished! for some reason, i feel like there is a deeper meaning in some of these things that i might not really 'get' for awhile longer.

that's the part that's kind of gnawing away at me right now. i feel like it's gnawing a little more aggressively than necessary, but what can you do?

in the meantime, i have to share the source of one of my major distractions lately:

yup. bubble shooter. ridiculously addicting and consuming...and mind-numbing. there...you've been fairly warned. :)

ahhhhh - i have to tell you, i feel slightly better now that i've gotten that off my chest.



Sunday, March 18, 2012

i'm crossing something off of the old life list: challah bread!! i used laurie david's recipe from the family dinner and it was divine. it's basically a very eggy yeast-based bread. what makes it extra special is that you use honey to feed the yeast, and the sweetness at the end is outta this world.

thing one helped stir the dough...

i wish i could tell you her feet weren't on the counter, but that would not be accurate...
it was a very sticky dough and i didn't want to over flour it. once we got it in the oiled bowl to rise, i was a little concerned (because the rate of error in my kitchen is shockingly high)...

but the baking gods were looking over me. the dough rose for an hour, we punched it down once and let it rise for another thirty minutes and then we braided (holla!).

isn't she a beauty?
after the initial braid (with egg wash), we let it rise for another hour and then we added a second glossy coat and poppy seeds. this particular recipe called for raisins, but i'm not a raisins-in-my-bread kinda girl.

forty minutes in a hot oven, and i wished there was a candle i could make to recreate that smell. i was lucky to get a picture of the finished product before the girls had their little fingers digging into the middle. and i wasn't far behind them.

i think the bread was a hit and i was glad i made an extra loaf. as a bonus, i used half of that loaf to make challah french toast for breakfast this morning. oh dot em dot gee - delish. it was a french-jewish delight. we're multicultural like that.

if you don't have laurie david's cookbook, there are seriously tons of great recipes you can google for challah.

today is the last day of spring break, and we are going to make the most of it...so that's all for now!!


home sweet home

Friday, March 16, 2012

we spent a few days in san antonio, and it's great to be home. quality time at the riverwalk was a must and the flowers on this trellis smelled delicious!

of course we shopped, and this was my most favorite find...primarily because i am still completely appalled at the price. oscar dela renta, a la $11k...seriously.

we also went to the zoo (along with 8,000 other people), and i learned that having them dressed the same makes it so much easier to keep up with them in big crowds! really, they were just doing a social experiment: they wanted to see how many times people asked if they're twins. we lost count after twenty something. :)

no trip is complete without a ride on the train...and this year we rode it backwards.

dorothy was right when she said 'there's no place like home' and it feels so good to be back. we have lots to unpack and organize, there are only two and a half days left in spring break, and this has been a wonderful week!!

peace and projects...

teflon? or maybe titanium...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

have you ever wished you could spray your children down in a solid (yet harmless) coat of teflon? or maybe even titanium?

i've always seen my role as a parent as a very multifaceted task:
keeping them safe ~ ensuring their optimal health ~ providing a happy home ~ stimulating their minds in productive ways ~ teaching them how to contribute to society ~ creating in them a sense of charity and compassion ~ showing them how to be appreciative ~ modeling the golden rule for them ~ manners matter ~ the ten second rule doesn't work when we aren't home...

obviously there are lots of bases to try to cover.

for awhile, i was under the impression that if i did my job well as a mother, then when they turned 18 (or 30), i would feel confident with the work i'd done for them and i would trust that they would make the right decisions at the right times. obviously, this impression was before i had children, and now i know that no matter how old they are, i will never stop worrying about them regardless of how well equipped they are to face the world.

just when i think i have one element of parenting slightly figured out (like stimulating their minds in productive ways), thing one leans her precious head into the house from the back yard and asks, 'mom, can i plant a sock to see if it grows?' and i instantly wonder why she thinks it's plausible for a sock to grow.

as a teacher, i don't really question the system because this obviously falls in the catch-all category of 'things they should just know.'

and just when i consider putting all of my eggs in thing two's basket, she leans her sweet head in to ask if there's another spare sock that she can plant...because it's not fair if only cee plants one.

this soil is going to be expected to put in some over time in the miracle department

they have both been challenging several aspects of my parenting lately, but my primary concerns have been in the category of me keeping them safe at all times. when life becomes unpredictable, things get a little dicey.

we've been going on bike rides/dog walks a lot lately (they are riding their bikes, i am walking the dog). in the last two weeks, even with my admonishments for them to watch out for cars and obey all of the signs they see, i ultimately still have lots and lots of work to do.

jay has almost pedaled herself directly into moving vehicles.


neither of them were going fast, and luckily the cars saw her and stopped well before she realized the peril of her sitaution.

my most basic question to jay is a simple why?

my follow up questions include (but are not limited to):
~how did you not see that car?
~isn't it a basic human reaction to avoid plowing into things that are bigger than you...especially when those things are potentially lethal?
~don't our instincts quietly whisper to us to stay safe (and is she listening to hers)?

cee, on the other hand, has fully mastered the art of safe bike riding. however walls and flat, level surfaces have become an overnight obstacle for her. in particular, walking into them and/or tripping on them is posing a problem.

i've been told that in jay's case, it's a matter of awareness and learning to monitor and minimize her distractions.

i've been told in cee's case, it's simply that she's growing and adjusting to her longer legs.

i've been assured that both of these are developmentally in sync with 95% of kids their age.

but i'm not convinced and there is a part of me that wants to invent a teflon coating for them so we can avoid the bumps and bruises that are the ultimate result of these lapses in judgment/development...and that's why i feel like i should gently toss them in a coat of invisible armor.

until i can find some sort of child armoring device, i will continue to take advantage of all the teachable moments that i can and i will continue to jump in the paths of speeding bullets that seem to be flying their way recently.

parenting is a never-ending job, and i'm looking forward to every part of it that's ahead of us...especially the unexpected stuff.  oh, and i'll keep you posted on the socks.


south bound

Monday, March 12, 2012

in case you haven't heard, it's south by southwest week in austin. i was gently reminded of this as i sat in parking lot-esque traffic for well over an hour today on my way home from a weekend of fun.

i have high hopes that this t-shirt will be an unexpected best seller this year...

speaking of south by southwest, i always love looking at the band names on the lineup. usually there are some really funny names...a couple of years ago, i found my all-time favorite: we were promised jetpacks. they're back at sxsw this year (!!!), and i don't know why anybody with a name that great would ever part ways. my fave last year was trampled by turtles (and i still love their blue grassy twanginess).

this year's names were slightly disappointing to me as only one stood out immediately: he's my brother she's my sister. that's just amusing to me...short, sweet, and to the point, and plus you don't have to really do band introductions during the wicked drum riff because you already did it.

the la weekly had a sweet blurb about them too...'their voices mingle like glamour in the desert and serve up party music for coyotes drunk on champagne.' i haven't actually heard their music, because i figured i shouldn't mess with something that's already good as-is.

runners up this year are wheelchair sports camp, frank (just frank), and two cow garage. 

okay - i feel like i've failed you...but that's the best i could do with what i was given. 

tomorrow we have an exceedingly fun day planned with good friends, and then we're south bound for our own getaway. ahhhh, i love spring break and spending time with my funny girls! they make daily contributions to my laugh lines, and i am perfectly okay with that because laughter is the best medicine.



Friday, March 9, 2012

fur kid and i went to the vet today. my old man is seventy-nine in dog years, so i figured it was time for a check up.

i am happy to tell you that he weighed in at an impressively svelte one hundred and three pounds! this is huge - he has lost twenty pounds in the last year, and he is finally getting his girlish figure back!

he is getting older and he's starting to slow down (i think walter may have made a few negative contributions in that department), but he got an excellent bill of health. last weekend we took him to the park to swim and he was in heaven; however, excursions like today take a lot out of my brown buddy...morgan freeman is glad to be back in his own bubble.

we're both settling in for a chill night at home with a good movie and a good book, and one of us is about to have an incredible glass of cab.

my spring break started four hours ago, and tomorrow i am headed off for a few days with dear friends. the girls are in waco for the weekend, and next week we have all sorts of fun planned! as always, i miss them already.

i have a zillion things i hope to accomplish this week, and r&r is near the top of that list.

stay tuned - i think there are a couple of things that i'll be able to check off of my life list by this time next week!! in the meantime, i hope you have a great weekend!!


quick question for ya...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

have you ever had one of those nights when you look outside and you would swear it's past ten and then you look at the clock and you seriously can't believe it's only seven forty-five but you really want to be able to stay awake until eight thirty so you can watch new girl from start to finish?

yeah...me either...

love and loss

Saturday, March 3, 2012

walter...what an experience.

we had just over two wonderful months with him...and then, out of nowhere last sunday, he bit cee.

he didn't break her skin, but within a minute of the bite, she had two ridiculously huge bruises that within an hour were deep knots in her thigh. we gave her lots of love and ice and advil, but the problem of walter biting wasn't something that could be ignored.

from the second i saw her alligator tears and bruises, i knew he had to go.

i can tell you the night of that bite was the most tear-filled night i've experienced as a mom. the girls cried and wailed. they begged for me to give him one more chance. they pleaded to the point that my heart literally broke and i was a mess of tears right along with them.

i reminded them that my number one job as their mom is to keep them safe and to protect them from harm, even if what i'm doing doesn't make sense to them at the time. it's all about trust.

not all kids have moms who uphold this promise, and i have been very lucky to have been surrounded by strong female role models all of my adult life who have constantly reinforced this concept to the people they love through their words and actions.

some of my mom friends remind me during difficult times like this that you can't take any chances with your kids. period (thank you, mama o).

when i was a kid, this wasn't the adage at the heart of my household. it was actually quite the opposite for me.

sometimes, decisions like this take me back to my childhood (which was relatively rocky and dependably unpredictable). i'm a very resilient person because of those experiences, and at the same time, i am filled with more than the usual amount of pride whenever i can step back from a situation and know i've made strong, positive decisions for my girls.

no matter what, i always keep their best interests in the forefront of my heart and all the decisions i make...because how could you not?

walter will soon have a wonderful new home, browning is secretly beaming to be an only dog again (as in glowing and bubbly), and although it might be a hard adjustment for the girls, i think they'll rest a little easier, too.

i have some of pioneer woman's jalepeno poppers in the oven (because bacon makes everything better), my assignments are done (despite all of my procrastination efforts last night), and juno is coming on soon. happy saturday to me!

i hope you have a wonderful weekend, too.


time management = epic fail

Friday, March 2, 2012

i started a new class this week. naturally, i waited until tonight to accomplish all of the assignments that are due in less than four three hours from now.

i have been very excited about the reading assignments for this course; however, i am currently in the process of diagnosing myself with massive amounts of sudden-onset adhd as we speak.

i have found everything from a-z to assist in my already-stellar procrastination skills for the last three four hours. i have taken pictures of things i wouldn't normal photograph.

i have googled things that do not interest me. i have read reviews of books and movies i don't want to read or see simply to reinforce to myself the fact that i don't want to read or see them. i have written a blog post about procrastinating to help me further my procrastination efforts.

essentially, i have been a very unproductive human being since about 5:30 this afternoon.

on top of that, i have a new interface for my course: blackboard...and i do. not. like. it.





which makes the procrastination easier.

and more painful.

and more sporadically random.

there have been some big changes to the it's just me household in the last couple of days, and i'm sure i'll fill you in tomorrow, but i can tell you i've googled those changes as well.

the girls are with their dad this weekend {sad face}, basketball season is over, and tomorrow morning is my day to sleep in. if i am awake before 9 a.m., heads will roll. :)

peace and procrastination {and another glass of wine}...

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