Friday, May 30, 2008

Full Circle

life is funny.

ok, maybe not like funny HA HA.. just that wistful, make you go hmmmm kind of funny.

As y'all know.. I'm up here in jersey with the kids. yesterday, we went to see my grandmother. she's like 92 or something. old... very old.

anyways.. we went to her house, and as I drove there, it reminded me of all the times I used to go there growing up. it took me back to a time when I thought her back yard was the most ENORMOUS garden I'd ever seen in my life. how I'd stare with wonder at all the knick-knacks on the walls and always see something different each visit.

Seeing Rhena and Danny walk in to her house made me realize that Lion King wasn't too far off when they sang about the 'circle of life.' I saw the wonder and awe in their eyes. Even more poignant was holding my grandmother's hand as she walked out the door to the back yard. just like I hold danny's over a step. or being patient as she tried to express what her thoughts were but kept losing them mid-sentence like Rhena trying to tell a story.

I know each life must come to an end, but how frail, simple and childlike she looked to me just made me take pause. Watching my mom was tough, too. I knew she had a bunch of shit going on up there in her head and heart. But I didn't say anything. I just watched and took note. I probably shouldn't even say anything now, out of respect for the privacy of her relationship with her mother.. but it did make me want to make sure i say what I need to say to my mother in the here and now... so should we ever get to that point where I saw yesterday.. well... I guess I hope I would just hold her hand more and take in the wonder of it all.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I see you!


I took this picture of Danny last month, but only am just now going through my files and figuring out what needs to be uploaded and such. My inlaws probably think I'm the worst cause I haven't sent a shutterfly link in like 100 years.

oh well. in due time. Actually, today was productive. first.. the kids NAPPED. and since I wasn't you know.. driving a car for 10 hours or trying to clean or cook or wrap presents... I was able to plod around on my laptop during the silence. the sweet sweet BLISSFUL silence.

Anyways.. got a few more entries up over at Crumbles. I still have another I need to post; the one of my gourmet apples I did for the May bake sale a few weeks ago. but at least there's finally some new pics to look at.

Trying to figure out dates of when I can go see my friends. On the agenda is Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Brooklyn. you know.. in between the family stuff here in town. (by the way.. RACH... you're on my list!!! let's figure out something, yes??)

I was looking at my stats for this blog, too.. been a while since I was checking out who's been reading. granted, I went a while without posting much, so I suppose it didn't make much sense to see who was seeing.

I've been getting a few hits because of my facebook page. which is great.. I have been enjoying getting in touch with friends I went to college with. Having them look at my blog is MUCH easier than me re-typing all the stuff I've been up to. or rather, HAVEN'T been up to, what with taking care of the kids and all.

I AM a little (just a little.. not TOO much, but definitely enough to warrant a mention) irritated that I've sent notes-slash-friend requests to some people that either ignored me or (maybe?) denied me, but are looking at my blog. what's THAT about?? oh well. maybe I curse too much?

I guess I just don't get it. if you go out of your way to google me, troll through my blog, and even received a note of hello from me... just SAY HI!!!! I guess stepford is just a bit bigger than I thought.

anyways. it's 4pm. time to wake the kids up from their naps and get our second half of the day going.
happy hump day, gang.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorable Day

First and foremost.. Happy Memorial Day. "Lest We Forget"

ok. that being said....

Yesterday, Boogie had her first recital. I was indeed VERY proud of her. not necessarily cause she was THAT GOOD or anything... but I just was. you see... after I gave her one last kiss and left her with the backstage crew, I joined Troy and my folks at our seats in the theater.

Looking around at the number of seats, the size of the stage, and the people that started filtering in, I couldn't help but swell with pride that our baby girl.. the very same one who used to CRY when someone looked at her.... was going to be up on that stage in front of all these people. She was flying solo.

ok, not necessarily solo, as she was with her class and there were about 100 other little girls dancing in the production that day.. but still. I got choked up, and indeed a tear might have snuck out.

The show itself was impressive. I mean.. it was still a dance recital, and while I never have been to one, it had a fair share of the things I expected. little girls out of step... geeky, awkward girls developing and not quite suited to their costumes.... and a share of girls that certainly looked like they did NOT want to be there.

but it also had girls that were doing things I can only just IMAGINE Rhena doing someday. And while I'm not sure if it's cause we're in a new season of "So you Think You can Dance" or what.. but I was truly impressed with the talent some of these girls had. Two dances are still in my head; a contemporary style for the flying monkeys and the hurricane where the girls were up on their toes for pretty much the whole routine. yes, I'm a complete novice.. but I was fantastically impressed by those two routines.

The storyline remained true to the Wizard of Oz... but the director certainly did a great job of mixing in pop songs to enhance the 'story'. George Thoroughgood's "Bad to the Bone" really made a wicked witch solo, as well as Michael Jackson's "Bad" for another witch scene. Dorothy had a solo to Flock of Seagull's "I Ran"... and of course there were many others throughout the show.

Again. I was impressed. As for Rhena.. I laughed my ass off. while she wasn't alone in being "That Kid".... she definitely stood out at points. especially when it was time for their exit. yes. my child made sure she took her time leaving the stage. the more people clapped, the slower she walked. it was like she was thinking "OH? really? yeah? for Me??? oh, well, ok.. go ahead.. yes.. thank you. oh? a little more? ok.. well.. I'll really be going now.. but more clapping? oh, ok... but I must be going? oh.. still? ok.. just this one last look... oh yes, well ok, thank you.. BYE!"

As for the dancing class itself... now that all is said and done... I'm glad we chose that studio. SURE, it's a little over the top with its rules and expectations... and the hall moms... bleh. again.. they're quite the characters... and I imagine that each year and each class will have a whole new predictable set of them. and I, in turn.. will continue to roll my eyes and scoff at them on the internet.

But the point of rhena taking dance classes is that she could learn about dance, and I truly feel that this studio respects the craft of dance and the work and dedication it takes to be GOOD at it. and while I'm good when it comes to shaking a booty... I couldn't possibly give her the dance education that the studio can and will, should she decide she wants to stick with it.

and listen. don't tell anyone... but after yesterday... I honestly wouldn't mind one bit if she wanted to stick with dance.

you know.. after she learns how to play hockey, of course.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

On with the show!

today was rhena's dress rehearsal for her BIG DEBUT as a dancer in the recital tomorrow. The studio is doing a production of the wizard of oz.

and when I say production, I mean production.

holy tutus, batman... these people mean business!!! between all the informal and formal rehearsals, the 3-tiered ticket purchasing system... the fees for everything under the sun... well.. let's just say I feel like I've gone through some mini-boot camp.

they have broken me.

from making sure that rhena has been at the studio DRESSED AND READY!!! 10 minutes prior to the start of class, to the very dark place of putting makeup on her face... and many many other little idiosyncrasies in between.... I have bent over and taken it all.

on ONE hand.. I find the entire social system of this dance studio utterly ridiculous and wonder why/how exactly I got in this mix, and many times have laughed at the 'hall moms' that speak of cheer camp and gymnastics interfering with the dance workshop and who else will be taking riding lessons this summer? for their THREE AND FOUR YEAR OLDS.

say it with me, people.... GAG!!!

I also find the regimented structure of the studio to be a bit extreme.. even though that's the type of environment that Rhena thrives in. (hence... why we signed her up there in the first place.)

I mean.. seriously. this is a dance class for 3 year olds!!!

half the time I feel most of the girls are there for their parents, and not themselves. ok.. half the time I KNOW this, cause at least one kid every week is kicking and screaming how they don't want to go in the class. right outside the class' door. yeeesh. talk about a morale booster.

all is not bad, though. like when I get a hand-written thank you note from one of the lead dancers in this year's show thanking me for making a donation.... i see that sometimes running a disciplined studio produces students who are disciplined and respectful of their craft. and appreciative of all the elements it takes to make the wheel go round.

ok, maybe not.. maybe the studio told them they HAD to write the notes.. but that's a lesson I as a parent like knowing that a dance studio teaches.

and Rhena has been SO EXCITED. today she just kept FANKING me profusely for letting her be a dancer. ("oh FANK you, mommy... I am just so happy you wet me dance, momma! cause you know I really WUV when I can dance. and did you see my pretty dance costume? I am just SO HAPPY and pretty in my dance outfit! ")

clearly, some switching of genes happened.. cause if she were MY kid.. she'd be wanting to play hockey. but whatever. kid's happy. so we forge ahead. so yes.. we HAVE and we're GOING TO jump through the studio-imposed hoops cause it's THAT important to Rhena. like not being able to bring danny with us because no one under the age of three is permitted in the performance hall for the recital. hmmmm.

of COURSE, this morning took a bad turn when troy told me that our babysitter (whom we secured a MONTH AGO) decided that they would go play GOLF on sunday.. but not to worry cause they're pretty sure they can be done and back on time to sit.

CLEARLY, this man does not have a daughter in dance class, as if he DID.. he would understand how tomorrow is just only rhena's MOST IMPORTANT DAY TO BE A DANCER and how her grandparents drove from new jersey to see her on her day that she has been talking about since FEBRUARY... and how *I* have run around like a crazy woman trying to make this class happen for rhena every week (well, ok, except that one time.. but I already felt like shit for that) and by golly, we're GONNA go and pay our money just to see rhena stand on stage for the 2 minutes that she does, probably not even following the routine?????

cause it brings her THAT much joy. clearly he did not understand that.. cause if he did.. he would not have blatantly over scheduled himself for something he agreed to do a month ago.


all is well now, though. granted, this whole day has been spent calling people trying to get phone numbers of babysitters... and perhaps a few curse words here and there. But yes.. we finally were able to get one.

so now, in addition to the assfuls of money we've spent on tuition, fees, tickets, fundraisers, dance gear, dvd of the performance and portrait packages... we've got to shell out for a sitter, too.

oh well. The good news is that now we get a test run of a babysitter (read.. future date night for me and troy??) I have successfully mastered the 'tight bun' hairstyle using only bobbypins, ANNNND I was able to scale back the facial makeup to a simple bronzer powder and tinted lip gloss. no Joan Benet Ramsey here, people!! no sirree!!

so anyways.... the show goes on. first sitter is on my shitlist for a while.. but the show.. it shall go on.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


so today was Rhena's last day of her first year of preschool.

she? excited.

Me? emotional.

for all its moments of busy and idle (idol?)... may has gone by quickly. I mean.. here we are, and it's almost memorial day. on the back ass of the month, I'm looking back and seeing a new deck, new furniture, an upcoming road trip, a new website in the works, and well.. just STUFF.

This week seems to have been the culmination of BUSY.. because as I said.. today was Rhena's last day of school, and with the exception of the recital this weekend.. the last day of dance class.

Ever the 'good student', we have been signing cards and wrapping appreciation gifts. As I wrote the notes to Rhena's preschool teachers, I became very emotional. I mean.. how could I express the gratitude and respect I had for these women who have been in charge of Rhena for 6 hours a week for the past 9 months?

I know on many levels, I will ALWAYS hold teachers in a high regard. my mother taught for 100 years, and knowing how much of her SOUL she gave her 'kids' each year... I can't help but hold a special place for teachers. even the ones that might just be going through the motions. Teaching is HARD. and what INFLUENCE they have on our society's children... I can't do anything but want to give them positive encouragement to keep their drive going.

but then again.. I wonder if it's the 'first child' syndrome. my BABY just finished her first year of schooling. ok.. PREschooling. but still. as a parent who changed my life and made sacrifices to stay at home to raise my children... it's a pretty big step to sit back and let someone else drive for a while... even if just 6 hours a week. I imagine it's something similar to a parent going back to work and leaving their child with someone else. granted, I could be wrong, but in my mind... in either situation... that's HUGE.

to put trust in someone to mold your child... well.. it's significant. especially the first real time you do it.

so yeah.. I KNOW that has something to do with it. and between that and the basic appreciation I have as being my mother's daughter... we've been all about the teacher-love this week. (and other various times earlier in the year, too.. should that not be obvious.) just this week is the big guns.

On one level.. this process has been very validating. like.. "I DO care!" and "I *AM* a real parent!" To understand that I am appreciative of rhena's teachers is like understanding that I DO parent her even when I'm not around. I AM concerned as to how she spends her time. and, of course.. how people perceive HER when I'm not around to remind her to stop picking her nose. I mean.. sure.. I knew that... but again... first time in the big leagues here, gang. I'm just saying.

I really do hope this is not the only time I will feel this way. I mean.. this emotional shit is EXHAUSTING... so that bit sucks. really.. headache from the crying. BLAH!

I guess what I mean to say is... I hope I will ALWAYS.. no matter what grade, what activity, what age or situation... I hope I will always be mindful, respectful and appreciative of the people in this world that influence my children. and that I feel the same level of earnest appreciation come the days when the Moo Moo goes to school.

I'd like to think that I will be. in the past year alone I've had a few moments of clarity that have helped me to be more selective of with whom and on what I spend my time, and allow to expose my children to. But I'd also like to think I can get through a week without cursing or getting frustrated about SOMETHING or other. There's some saying I could probably use here to illustrate.. something about shitting in one hand and wishing in the other and seeing which fills up faster, but I don't even know what the hell that really means right now... so I'll leave y'all to just figure that out on your own.

anyways. we did it. we had help.. but I'm happy to say that we survived Rhena's first year of school. I'll save my academy thanking speech for the preschool graduation next year... but I will for sure take the time to say yay. bring on summer.

today was a good day.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'll share

so ok.. I know I've been out of the loop for a while... and I still will be... got a lot of stuff going on around here, including rhena's last week of like EVERYTHING. school, dance, memorial day, upcoming road trip... we's busy.

but not TOO busy to share....

Erin Cooks is sponsoring a contest. she's the one that I got all that AWESOME free ice cream from.....

all it takes is one comment and a dream, and you could win a cookbook. if you don't cook, you could STILL win it and send it to me. only one entry per person.. so MOM... overcome your fear of leaving comments and hook a daughter up, will ya??

so yes. go. comment. win. bake.

oh, and yeah... save me a piece.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

We're still here

been a busy past few days here at the Apollo.

in case you're wondering what exactly we DO all day when we're not out running errands or baking cookies.

well, I suppose it's more correct to say that this is an example of what we do AFTER we make cookies. (to get you caught up.. rhena and the floor got COVERED in flour, so I had the broom out to sweep, and had taken rhena's clothes off to shake them out. when I came back in to the house... this is what I saw.)

just another typical day, right? what have YOU been up to?


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Of Straw and Berries

yesterday I took the kids to a pick-your-own farm. It's peak strawberry season here in NC, so like we've done for the past 3 years.. we went and got ourselves some.

In terms of straw... the farm STILL maintains their petting zoo. I still maintain my utter disgust for the smell of animals. I *AM* happy to report that Rhena did not like the animal smell, either. love those little moments where she shows that she truly DID come from me. my next mission is to get her to have an extreme distaste for camping. but I have a feeling just a few years in girl scout oughta do just fine for making THAT apparent. Danny might be taking after troy, though. he seemed to LIKE the animals.

I was a little nervous having both kids with me, but I have to say they did great. Rhena was eager to tell everyone she encountered that it was important not to pick the green ones. only the RED ones.

danny pleased himself by carrying a basket the whole time. I would pick, hand it to him, and he would take care of the rest. That moo-moo. he's gonna be a good boy.

eventually I'll get my act together and share the pictures I've been taking on these excursions... but I've been distracted with other stuff. like how many ways to serve strawberries.

anyways.. it's just about bedtime here at the apollo, so I'll leave this at that and catch you another time. perhaps tomorrow I'll be able to post from our newly extended and composite re-finished deck.

a girl can hope.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

You Heard it Here First

so last night.. Troy and I were watching American Idol. I do not know WHY we still watch it... paula irritates me, randy is a tool, and simon is just using the same script as last year. oh wait. I remember. Troy has a man-crush on Ryan Seacrest. but that's another post.

ANYWAYS.... so there we were... fast-forwarding through commercials as we always do, and having ourselves a good laugh almost every time I paused the fast forwarding. why? cause I always seem to catch people in a frame where their face looks like they're taking a shit.

Inspiration hit Troy, and he suggested we could make a GAME out of this little past-time of ours... with the goal being that you get points for every time you 'land' on a tv personality with a shit-face. multiple points if you catch more than one character/person with the face.

Then the game took a life of its own.

"SHITFACED!!!" I cried!! "we can call the game SHITFACED!!! and make it a DRINKING GAME!!!!"

(which, btw, is funny, since troy doesn't drink and yesterday's late afternoon beer was the first drink I'd had in well over a few weeks. but I digress.)

SO. here's the game. It's called "SHITFACED".

game begins when all players are in a room watching a pre-recorded show.

During commercial breaks, the remote gets passed from player to player. (depending on how young you are, or how responsible you need to be the next day.. you can opt for one player per commercial break, or each player getting a turn during each commercial break)

The Remote holder fast-forwards through the commercials, stopping/pausing the playback when the show resumes. IF the remote-holder stops the playback on a crowd-deemed 'shitface', then everyone ELSE takes a drink. if the remote holder pauses playback on a normal face.. then the remote holder takes a drink.

2 drinks must be taken if 2 characters have the 'shitface', 3 for three.. etc. bottom line, the remote holder takes a drink for every character NOT having a shit face, the other players take a drink for all those HAVING one.

now... one could totally get drunk... I mean creative... and add penalties for stopping the playback too soon or too late. or have 'social' rounds if the playback is stopped with NO people in it.

Anyways... you get the point. SHITFACED.

you heard it here first.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dear Victoria's Secret

To Whom it may concern-

thank you so much for sending me your recent swimsuit catalogue. You must have heard that I have lost a lot of weight recently and thought I might be interested in resuming my purchasing habits from your company.

While I appreciate the regard you have for my purchase power, I assure you that someone made a critical error when including me in the distribution list.

Perhaps you did not get the memo.


Kids that like to be carried, that like to pull and tug and grab on to just about anything attached to me so that they may get a better position somewhere within a half-inch of my body.

your teeny-tiny suits showcased on the teeny-tiny models are indeed NICE... but pretty fucking impractical for my life. perhaps some day, in some alternate universe, where I, too, can stand alone with beach tousled hair ... not a soul to be seen near me pawing at me for some form of snack... I may just purchase one of your patches of fabric. I mean swimsuits.

oh... and the jeans on page 60? yes.. I do have an ass that could rock them bitches. but alas.. I have to do silly things like MOVE and BEND OVER and I dunno... WALK!!!!

so no thanks.

I don't think I'll be ordering anything today.

Monday, May 05, 2008

can't. keep. up.

It's monday, and I feel like I'm already in the weeds.

I have about 3 posts waiting to be completed for the baking blog.... but I'm having a hard time with the images. I got excited cause I realized I have a higher resolution setting on my camera that I wasn't using. unfortunately, it creates TIF files, and blogger doesn't seem to want to upload them. so now I'm thinking I need to convert back to jpegs?? I dunno.

I also have a NEW website layout in the beginning stages. Troy apparently is going to help me with it, but I'm not going to hold my breath just yet. I do have to look for domain availability, though.

Rhena currently has a list on her white board of things she wants to do. talk about keeping me accountable! today we're going to try to cross off the blue park from our list.

today is the last day of CCD. I thought LAST week was, so I was pretty bummed to find out I have to go again tonight. don't get me wrong.. I LIKE teaching.. I just thought we were done. and with troy's new job and him not being able to get home in time (translates to me having to shlep both kids with me to class until he can show up, bring the kids home and create a hurricane zone of destruction that I will ultimately be the one to clean up when I'd rather be watching HIMYM. ) and when I have to bring the kids with me, it means I ALSO end up having to drive his truck home. his big-assed hurkin truck.

I made some promises to people I need to make good on, too. and figure out some health insurance issues. people.. I am SO SICK of health insurance stuff. I LOVE that Troy has always had work and makes handsome sums of money for us to live comfortably, but one of the costs is me dealing with insurance companies every 3-6 months to make sure we are covered, other policies are terminated, bills are paid, and did I mention each call lasts no less than 20 minutes? bleh.

The deck construction starts this thursday, I have to secure a babysitter for memorial day weekend (please.. I know) because danny isn't allowed to attend rhena's recital.

but yet.. I sit here TYPING the things I should be doing instead of doing them. hmmm. and I wonder why I'm in the weeds.

so... have a wonderful day. and thank you to disney channel for reminding me that today is cinco de mayo. Talk about a sign that I'm officially a parent.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Little Finger

ok.. so much for my blogging break.. seems like whenever I actually acknowledge that I'm not blogging is when I have the urge to post.

oh well. and so is my life.

so today.. we had to take a trip up to the lumber yard.. for one, to take a look at the composite samples for our deck re-do we're planning. two.. to pay for the materials.

so yeah, no biggie. just another errand. of COURSE this means that I must have the kids in tow with me, so I tried, like I usually do.. to make this errand THE. MOST. EXCITING. THING. EVER!!!!!

by the time we left the house, Rhena was frothing a little at the idea of going to a LUMBER YARD!!! She told me no less than five times that she's never been to a bumber nard and she hopes she doesn't get wet. cause if she gets wet then she'll have to change her clothes and did we bring extra clothes momma?

This lumber yard, like many other businesses in the south, was a smaller, local distributor. well, not SMALL-SMALL... but not big-box like home depot or lowes. Small and Local in the south means old men work there. or old ladies, depending on the case, I suppose.

well, from the minute we rolled up, a certain gentleman named John was taken with Rhena. could be that she said "well, HELLO sir.. I'm BERRY happy to be here at your bumber nard." (Lumber Yard, Rhena.. Lumber Yard.) "oh yeah, sorry. wumber yard. It's BERRY nice here. can we go in??"

I kid you not, John introduced us to everyone that worked there. we got to see forklifts. we saw their storage racks. we saw every office within the main building. John was certainly pleased with his new friends and guests, and at one point he even had rhena telling each new worker how she spells her name. "Get a load of that, Frank? she can spell her name! I bet she might be smarter than you, Frank! Yeah, You're a smart girl, Rhena, yes you are!"

Rhena left the business with four pencils, two note pads, some candy and some new friends.

*I* left the place paying 5% less than my contractor told me I would, and a promise that they wouldn't deposit my check until I receive the materials on site next thursday.

sometimes.... it's good to be me.


This, That, and the Other Thing

so it occurred to me that I haven't posted here in a while. granted, I haven't really posted over THERE, either.

and that's not to say that I DON'T have things to say/post/whatever... I just haven't done it.

the week has gone by quickly from my perception. mowing the lawn, working out the new deck details, rhena's school, dance class, troy working late, an upcoming bake sale, and a few other normal snafus along the way... you know.. LIFE.

anyways... I'm here. the dolls didn't get me. I'll be back around more next week.