Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tag. I am it

Ok. I have been tagged by Painted Maypole for a meme--my first ever. Thanks Painted Maypole!

Eight things about me.

Here are the rules:

A. Each player lists eight facts/habits about themselves

B. The rules are posted at the beginning of the game before those facts/habits are listed.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Ok so here it goes!

1. I cannot physically start my day without a cup of coffee--more like a jug of coffee. Fresh and made one cup at a time. With a coffee basket, not a coffee maker. None of that thick, acidic concoction that could actually be used to make glue. Then I put it in a thermos/travel container and out the door I go.

2. I should have gotten into more trouble as a kid--for the simple reason that now I don't have any stories to tell my kids or reasons to attempt to convince them to do the right thing...hmmm. I am way too boring.

3. I am going to be a gestational carrier so I can help someone else have a family--well, that is if the clinic ever gets things moving.

4. My favorite animal is the elephant. I think it simultaneously represents strength and gentility .

5. I tend to fall asleep whenver I sit down in front of the TV--especially if it is actually something I want to see the conclusion.

6. On the same subject as TV--I absolutely love a totally predictable crime drama--Law & Order are my faves. I hate CSI Miami though.

7. I am just now graduating college--with my bachelor's, not my masters. Yep ten years late. But, better late than never and I couldn't have done it without my mother. Thanks Mom. I love you.

8. I was an exchange student in Rudolstadt Germany after I graduated high school. I went to stay with the family of the girl that stayed with my family for my senior year in high school. It was truly an amazing year in which I learned a new language, culture, and family. I fell in love with everything over there and deep in my heart I would love to pick my family up and move there. Oh, nostalgia is setting in. I am going to have to go pull out my photo books from my stay and reminisce!

I now tag:


guess you will have to forgive me. All the other blogs I keep up with have been tagged. Not bad for my first try, though. Look forward to the next one!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dear Ms. Tooth Fairy

So I have mentioned before how organized and methodical my second-born son tends to be. Here are the carefully thought out instructions he left for the toothfairy when he lost one of his front teeth not too long ago. Because it can't just be simple, like throw the tooth under the pillow and the toothfairy scrounge for change and make the switch at 2 a.m. when it hits her like a Mack truck that she forgot. No siree.

Max decided that he needed, yes needed, to take his tooth to school the next day to show his friends that he lost it. "They won't believe me otherwise, mom". Huh?was my reaction..but it just wasn't worth going there. So, he came up with a plan. And, carefully executed it was indeed.

He decided that if he placed the tooth in this bag then it would not become lost in his bed while he slept and he could communicate with the toothfairy--at once. So, here it is. The Note.

And, here is Max...quite toothless. Well for now anyway.

On a lighter note...I promise

Chinese astrology fascinates me. I find it interesting because of it's portrayal of everyday animals as the signs.
According to Chinese astrology my children are, from oldest to youngest, a Tiger, A Dragon, a Horse, and a Rooster. I have a book entitled Children of The Moon that offers insight into each lunar sign. It gives descriptions of the personality that the child will likely display according to the time of birth and the birth order.

My oldest child, a boy of nine, is indeed a Tiger. The personality description describes him as hyperactive and inquisitive; expressive with a natural curiosity. He is by nature a humanitarian and a very giving soul--the child bought $8(of his own money) worth of ice cream treats from the ice cream truck yesterday for his buddies and himself. He is a natural entertainer, impulsive and if left to his own devices tends to drift from one project to another. Unfortunately, my little ferocious beast is also a...p.r.o.c.r.a.s.t.i.n.a.t.o.r. This trait, my friends, he acquired from me.
Tomorrow, my little Dragon (a.k.a. Cheekie Boy), the organized sensible one. Perhaps I will even include a picture of the note he left for the tooth fairy with explicit instructions.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Moment of Silence...

Not a lot to say tonight except that I think we should all take a moment, in light of what has occurred to Jessie Davis, to glance around and be thankful for what we have in this moment. The deep, soul-wrenching pain that her family must feel at the loss of a daughter, and a granddaughter who had yet to even lay eyes on this world, or her mother's face. The tragedy of a little boy who will likely not even remember his mother except from pictures and stories, and the terrible scars now imprinted on his psyche at having witnessed such horrer. A benchmark for the lowest members of society, the outcasts, to strive toward, for there is nothing lower on the todem pole of criminality than he that murders his own flesh and blood and the mother of his children. The enigmatic, criminogenic mind leaves it's mark once again in gross atrocity.

All too often we become preoccupied with concentrating on what we do not have, what we wish we had, what we desire, when in one instant all that we truly love and care about can cease to exist and we may find ourselves clinging to the crumbs of the slice of cake we unabashedly assumed we could 'have and eat too'.

Be thankful. Be kind. Hug your children.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Caution: Vent session straight ahead.

I am in the store with my children yesterday afternoon. You moms out there know how it is to try and actually shop for something in particular when the little angels are in tow. I was trying to find a certain type of sheet protector for the pages of my son's Kindergarten journal. I make scrapbooks and journals for like...well, everything, so since he just finished K I am now ready to assemble the journal, which consists of different writing assignments, artwork, special things, and pictures throughout his year.
Anyways, I am in the office supply aisle and of course the younger two are starting to pick at each other. They began to fight - and between a 1 year old and a 4 year old (girls), that is pretty much like pulling hair and screeching so loud the people in the outer edge of the parking lot could hear them. Embaressed, yet still determined, I am trying to just find what I need and calm them down ( I asked them to stop fighting please) when a lady walks up to me and says..."you know the older one is teasing the younger one, they are not fighting. There is a difference , you know". WTF?
I was flabbergasted and had no retort to grab from the recesses of my now-blown mind. OMG was I boiling inside. I looked at her and calmly asked her if she had children. To which she simply stomped off muttering something under her breath...I took that to emphatically mean no. Hmmph. Such a strong comment from a non-mother, and then couldn't even stand there to back it up.
We did find what we were there to purchase and I gathered my brood and we left the store, still reeling from this comment from little miss non-mommy who apparently thinks she has the most to offer. Let's just see how it is for her after she actually has children and can call herself a mom...who will be giving advice then?
Just saying...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What a Life...

Meet Serenity.
Life is not better than in this moment. With an oversized hat, being pushed in a swing, on a warm Carolina summer day. Juice box and cookie only moments away...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ms "J"

The phone it often does in the evenings in our busy household. But tonight, oh tonight, it is someone so very special on the other end - my daughter's teacher. Now, it may seem odd that her teacher calls her, and under typical circumstances I would tend to agree, but allow me to explain.

My daughter Journey started attending a wonderful daycare/preschool immediately after her second birthday. At first impression, I was a bit leery of the classroom in which Journey was being placed but I knew the reputation of the center and I had considered the move for a long time. However, I was not prepared for Ms "J".
Ms "J", upon first observation, was a loud, abrupt, no-nonsense kind of teacher and quite honestly I was frightened of her myself. My baby. In there with her. On the contrary indeed. This is a perfect example of how utterly wrong first impressions can be.

Over the next few months, I saw a relationship grow between these two people - my daughter and her teacher. Strange as it may sound, but oh so precious. Journey bonded and responded to Ms "J" in remarkable ways. She became a 'teacher helper' for the little boy with autism, she became a leader for the younger children, she cuddled on Ms. "J"'s lap after naptime every afternoon for a coveted story, she learned to "potty"; essentially Journey grew from a small dependent toddler to a thriving, independent three year old as I watched in astounded amazement. As time progressed Journey grew and was close to being of the age to move to the next classroom - a transition all three of us were dreading. The day arrived and Journey took her place in the preschool classroom. Even though her brother was still in the classroom, it was a traumatic separation for her. She still saw her beloved Ms. "J" every morning during outside time, but it just wasn't the same. Until...

As it happened, another teacher had been out on maternity leave and upon her return, she was going to be placed in another classroom - thereby displacing our wonderful Ms. "J" ..where else but right smack into Journey's classroom...a twist of fate for sure. The angels were smiling on us that day I am certain.

And so it remains...Journey is thriving and growing more with each passing week. Ms "J" has taught her so many skills that will prepare her not only for Kindergarten, but the "real world". You see, Ms. "J" has high expectations for the children in her classroom, which I have come to respect. "There is nothing you can't at least try to teach a child" is kind of like her motto. She stresses self-help skills as well as preschool learning - both are equally important according to her. For someone looking into the classroom from the outside, as I did three years ago, he/she would observe a loud, seemingly very abrasive teacher, when nothing is further from the truth.
This summer Journey is taking a small break from school although not by her choice of course and Ms "J" is going on a month-long vacation, so back to the phone call that prompted this post.

This evening Journey crawled up to the table and began creating a masterpiece to take to Ms "J" and who should call? The one and only. You got it. Ms "J". Just to chat with "her baby" to tell her she misses her and that her little friends at school miss her. Like I said, they are connected, like two old souls reunited if only for a short while in this human experience we call life - an unexpected chance to enjoy each other's company once again.

Love truly is timeless.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Beginning..

In a previous post I mentioned that I was working with an agency to become a gestational carrier. It has been a long, drawn out process that began in November of last year - -when I first submitted the application. I say long and drawn out because it has taken the agency five months to gather my medical records and read them. But, all very worth it for sure.

I was matched with the intended parents a couple of months ago and have had some contact with the intended mother. All seems to be going well and on Thursday I will have a phone screening with the clinic. Apparently it is possible that the transfer will happen by the end of the summer. I have been in contact with another GC who is carrying twins and has had an amazing experience - the babies are healthy, she has had only minor health problems and is due to deliver any day now - overall, a textbook experience. She has been a source of comfort to me regarding the one thing that does kind of worry me about the whole thing - the shots. Eeeek. I have no problem with needles and have never been the squeamish type however, to inject myself is completely another story.. but once again, all worth, this is the beginning...

Monday, June 18, 2007


Those of you who know me well know how much music is a part of my life; how it drives my soul, but tonight a certain genre plays on my radio and I am having flashbacks. I hear Elton John, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Mister Mister and many more...Why do I love 80's music so much? The echo, the drums, the harmony that made all songs sound alike...

It makes me think of roller skates, legwarmers, the mall, middle school, locker combinations, riding in the back of my father's truck on hot Memphis summer nights, long (very long) telephone (remember those?) conversations curled up on the floor close to the phone - which was not cordless, reading-Sweet Valley High books by the pool (yes, quite mindless, but hey, I was 13), sleepovers with lots of popcorn, babysitting (lots of babysitting), riding my bike all over the neighborhood without fear, boomboxes, and so much more...

Those memories are so precious to me. I wonder if my children will harbor memories like these. I find myself, as a mom, trying to create their memories, but knowing that it will be those unplanned moments, those times that seem to go by unnoticed, which really are imprinted only to be pulled out later when a long lost song comes across the radio, perhaps even one entitled,
"Don't you forget about me..."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday Morning

It is Sunday morning. I observe the placid beauty that is the backdrop for my life. My coffee is fresh and hot, and especially satisfying. The mountains are lush with a new spring green (spring came twice for us this year). They look so soft my inner child yearns to jump on them like a soft, green blanket. This green is like no other green I have ever seen, it seems, but then again, I think that every year, don't I? The sky is blue and crisp, the air is still cool, but it promises to be a hot day. It is a day to lie flat on one's back, in a meadow overcome with wildflowers, and cloud-watch. The puffy white clouds are floating along like gigantic marshmallows and take hundreds of different shapes before they dissipate.The rain that has been falling for the last week has brightened everything and left it's aroma of sweet earth behind on this clear morning. My children surround me. I feel happy, truly happy . Today is a good day for an adventure.

I ask my four children what they would like to do on such a beautiful, promising day? "The Farmer's Market" they shout, almost in unison. Now, I must interject, at this point, that to take my children anywhere requires a carefully executed plan. It is four against one, you know. They each have their individual responsibilities to prepare for the trip. One packs the bag for the little one. The oldest unlocks all the car doors and prepares the inside of the car - making sure seatbelts are ready, booster seats are straight, trash is out, etc. My oldest daughter, who is four, gathers the necessary 'friends' such as baby dolls and books that accompany us wherever we go these days. The youngest, is told to go get her socks and shoes and it is her job to try and put them on before she asks me for help. Today, all runs smoothly and within twenty minutes we are on our way.

We arrive at the market, eager to sample the fresh produce and find just the right treat to take back home with us. Again, everyone has a responsibility. The boys, who are the older two, are responsible to either hold their sister's hand, or push the stroller - depending on who's turn it is for which responsibility. See what I mean about execution? It must be arranged ahead of time and followed precisely , or else everything falls apart very quickly (and loudly). We had a great time walking up and down, looking at all the homebaked goods, enjoying the enticing aromas beckoning us onward in search of the perfect pleasure. Finally, after taste-testing and scavenging we find what we decide is today's perfect pick - some blackberries as big and juicy as plums, peaches that were half a pound each, and for the little one - banana chips. Mmmmmm.

The trip back home is unusually silent as each enjoys the sweet taste of his or her sunday morning adventure.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Guten Tag!

Hallo! Ich bin jetzt total frohlich , meine fruendin aus Deutchland hat mich geshreiben...nach zwei jahre! Ach! Meine Deutch ist schrecklich! Definitely need to polish my German, it really does leave the mind quickly.
So, my friend, my very dear friend, my host sister who lives in Germany, finally got in touch - after two long years. She has been busy building a business and has been 'incommunicado'..for the longest time. This person and I go back fourteen years - she came to the U.S. as an exchange student, and after things went awry with her host family, she came to stay with my family. I was a senior in high school then, and she was also. We had a blast. One of the best times in my life for sure. After the year was over I decided to do my exchange year with her family instead of where I had been planning to go (I had been planning to go to Northern Germany, and had a host family there arranged).
She, her name is Annelie by the way, lives in Rudolstadt - which is in the eastern part of Germany. Her family was amazing and open and I felt at home immediately. Really at home - it was almost scary, actually how comfortable I was there. The language barrier took about two months to overcome, but after that, it was fasinating how easy it was to think, hear, and speak in another language. The culture both shocked me and impressed me. The bond between family - generations - was so strong. The young generation was there for the older, families lived very close - within minutes and got together frequently. The children belong to all of them and everyone helps eveveryone else. It is in deep contrast to here in this country, where we are all spread out thousands of miles apart sometimes, and such a lack of humanity exists. And I got to drive a Trabbi - the old type of car that was prevelant in East Germany before the wall came down. I learned more just in those few months than I would have ever learned in a classroom. I was able to take my younger brother back to visit three years later, and Annelie came to visit the states in 2000 - a month before my second child was born. My, how time does march along...
Anyway, I am so excited to think that she might be coming to the states within the next few months for a long visit - I haven't seen her since 2000. Things like this really make your heart smile.
Thanks for "listening" to me ramble on.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Watermelon shortcake smoothie

I was giving my girls a bath tonight and began wondering why most children's products are scented with fruit? Who comes up with this idea and why? Would he/she want to walk around smelling like a strawberry melon "blast" all day? What makes them think that parents are keen on this idea in the first place?
I checked out the soap that I use on my girls - ages 4 y.o. and 21 months, and it goes like this - strawberry smoothie, tropical blast, and fruit punch detangler spray. Combined it becomes an aroma of a open-air fruit market - without the open air relief. Why haven't I paid attention to this trend before now? Maybe I was too busy looking for the friendliest little creature face on the bottles - which of course, is still of the utmost importance, you know.
Tomorrow I will be going to Target, and see if I can locate a line of childrens items (besides Johnson's Lavender nighttime soap - which I love, but am very tired of) that are not scented like fruit combinations. Wish me a happy adventure, and if you have any tips, pass them on please! I want sweet-smelling kids, but not that sweet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A.k.a...Cheekie Boy!

Just a little peek at Cheekie Boy!
And since it is obvious that he has a nametag/tape on his shirt - yes, his real name is Max. This was taken on the Kindergarten field trip last month.

"Cheekie kisses"

So, my son has a routine for giving me kisses - any kind of kisses. Goodnite kisses, goodbye kisses, or just I love you kisses. And, the format will be strictly adhered to - this from a child who, at the age of 6, lays his clothes out in anticipation of the next day's activities. I still don't even do that. So, first, he kisses one cheek, then the other, repeat three times, then three quick neck hugs, then a long squeeze. In that order exactly. This has been a pattern since he was 3 years old. Arent kids the funniest little creatures?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mommy's baby?

I am currently out of town, on a little get away to see my younger brother. My mother agreed to watch my kids as a little birthday gift, so I could get a break. Now, as things have gone a bit awry, and i began having car trouble, my get-away has been extended...
I called my kids on the phone and talked to all of them except my 21 month old, who, my mother said, just looked at the phone in confusion, as I was talking. How did Mommy get in there? I can just picture her little face, in wondering expression.
It seems as though the little angel has been walking around the house looking for me, asking "where"? She is saying one to two words at a time these days, but the meaning is clear. So, she was taking her evening bath, my mother said, and she was refusing to play, wanting out. This is a child that would live in the tub if I would allow it. She was repeating something, over and over,, and finally my mother figured out what she was saying. "mommy's baby"...this is what i call her all the time. Her way of saying...where is my mommy...?
It is times like these when i realize, even though being a mom is a tall order, a never-ending assignment, it is a blessing. I couldnt get in my car fast enough on friday afternoon - thinking of the time among adults that i would enjoy, the sleeping in, the non-interrupted conversations....but that little heart wrench definitely put it back into perspective for me. No matter how tough it gets sometimes, it remains a privelege to have these little people that I love, that adore me, that count on me. No matter how stressed I become, it would all be missed, if it were to vanish unexpectedly. And that is my thought for the day.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bathing Suit Shopping

Why do I hate fitting rooms?
The mirrors lie. Yes they do. That cant be my body staring back at me. Or can it?
Today, I went shopping for a bathing suit. This is an excursion that i put off until deemed absolutely necessary, an undertaking that, even on the best of days, can take me all the way down to chocolate and potato chip cravings. I begrudgingly walk past all the cute suits, the ones that barely require a hanger and didnt use more than two pieces of thread to stitch together. I tell myself that these are for all the girls, and of course I am a woman now, a mother. Someone's mother. "I wouldnt wear one of those suits now if it fit anyway". Yeah, right.
As I flip too quickly through the one-piece suits that I made fun of as a younger pre-children person, I feel the effects of karma at its finest. Slap. Finally, I find one that is semi-suitable (excuse the pun) and take it into THE ROOM.
This is the part that causes the distress. The real damage. I attempt just trying it on and not turning around to look in the mirror. No. A force I cant explain whirls my body around and I stop, catching my shallow breath. I redress, gather myself and the suit and leave THE ROOM. And walk to the register. And actually pay for the thing. And leave the store in search of that sweet&salty combination that heals most emotional wounds - especially ones as trivial and short-lived as these. ..
Happy shopping!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Facts

Well, facts are important, so here are a few.
I have four children ranging in ages from 21 months to 9...It is without refrain that I say that these children are my greatest source of inspiration and strength. That having been said, they also drive me absolutely crazy some days. But then one of them will actually do something sweet and I melt like an ice cube on a sidewalk in the heat of a Memphis summer. But seriously. Yeah, I am a pushover - sometimes. But they are only little for awhile, right?
I am also a student - well for remainder of the next month and a half, then that particular phase of my life is closed - finally. I am finishing a BS in August - yeah, a few years late, but better late than never, eh?.
I love taking pictures of my children, and do it constantly, despite their desperate "mom!" and "come on!" pleas to "put that thing away". I have albums and scrapbooks piled up all over - some finished, some not yet. This is one of my passions.
I crave coffe. Well, of course, many of us do, right? No. I mean I must have it - the smell, the sound of it brewing, the feel of the mug in my hand, the comfort it offers, the routine it fullfills...see what I mean?
I love to read, but have very little time for it these days, and I miss it. I will be glad when my children reach the age of being able to entertain themselves on a rainy sunday afternoon so I can dive back into the pages of escape.
Lastly, but certainly not leastly (is that a word?) I am also - hopefully - going to have the incredible priveledge of being a gestational carrier. This I am very excited about, and, of course, as it draws near a bit nervous as well - but the good kind of nervous, for sure. More to come on that later...


Ever find yourself in the midst of a decision and you feel like you are going around and around? It reminds me of one of those irritating , pointless traffic circles. First one way, then the other. With great lack of understanding of which rules apply...

Take Two

This is me, starting over.
Blog on.