Monday, December 28, 2009

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Recently at a post Christmas soup and sandwich party I accompanied my three year old to the restroom. I buttoned his jeans for the sixth time that day while he flushed the potty. At the end of a heavy sigh he said, "What a beautiful sound," and smiled like he was in love.

I paused for a minute to see if I could hear our aunts and uncles singing or someone strumming a guitar. Nope, he was talking about the flush.

After I picked myself up from the floor and managed to compose a straight face he had another goofy smile. He knew we were on to something and whispered, "Go tell the people what I said."

So I did and the house bellowed with laughter.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Ever wonder what your significant other really does when they leave on a "guy trip?"

My husband has gone Phishing again but this time in NYC. When he goes on these hippy excursions I'm usually not too worried about him being tempted by the opposite sex. However, being in the Big Apple is another story. More koi in the pond than his average 1:5 concert crowd if you know what I mean.

Come to find out my jealousy was not to be taken lightly. Just look at the shenanigans he's been up to...

Dayum, Dora! First you win the affection of my children? And now my man? I'm calling Swiper. Watch your backpack, homewrecker!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ta Daaaa!

When I first snapped this photo I was oh-so-proud of myself. Now, after just tossing six day old gravy and sloshing cranberry sauce in the trash my turkey portfolio gives me "the feeling." What is "the feeling?" Well, it can be used to describe a situation that leaves you with the hibby jivies, creepy crawlies, or any other sense of uncomfortableness.

"The feeling" was started by a college roommate to characterize everything from the cafeteria smell to the 30 year old frat boy. Try it a couple of times and you'll begin to understand it's vast appropriateness.

Anything over the holidays give you "the feeling?"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving List

Canned cranberry sauce...check.
Sweet potatoes and marshmallows...check.
Stuffing stuff...check.

What else do you need, really?

Oh, wine! Duh! Check. Um, I mean, er, I'll get some more.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blogger's Block

O.K., so I just figured out why I can't seem to blog anymore.

We turned our office/music/guest room into an office/music/playroom. The blocks and trains have taken over. Is this really worth a neater house? I look over my shoulder as I type and am weary that Coconut the Bear is plotting a secret vendetta. Dora and June have been stuffed in a clear box and seem very unhappy as contortionists. My former feng shui teacher would be mortified...maybe she could send her tree-living gnomes to help clean up.

I need a space that is all mine. Whaa haa haaaa, all mine!!

I don't know whether to read that last bit as Cruella Deville or Wanda Sykes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mommy's Heart

Yesterday Dylan and I were snuggling on the couch when he put two arms around me and hugged me tight. He stayed there for a good while and then said, "I just can't let you go, Mommy."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Toddler T-Ball

During Dylan's last t-ball game he preferred hanging in the dugout by himself even though his cheering section doubled (i.e. grandparents). After I bribed him with brownies (that I had already made for the team) he managed to bat a couple of times and drew in the dirt while "covering" the outfield.This is totally gonna give my parents the green light to say, "I told you so," but a 3 year old is too young to play organized sports...unless, of course, your first name is Tiger. However, the first couple of games and practices were fun for the whole family. The toddler t-ball season should be just that...two practices and two games. Period. End of season. Eleven games proved to be way too many for tiny attention spans.

Despite the fact that no one struck out nor did we keep score all players received a pint-sized trophy. Seems kind of silly but they did hang in there for 11 games.

Who knew a miniature plastic statue could cause such a stir? Dylan sleeps with it and has taken it to show and tell twice.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October Out Takes

Pumpkins can make such pretty pictures...if you have cooperating muses.

Here I present to you my Fall collection:
"Halloween Head"

"I want to suck your blood!"
(my kids like to imitate Dracula thanks to a spooky CD from their Papa)

and "The Monster Mash"
Needless to say, we had an eventful day at the pumpkin patch. Their favorite part was obviously not posing for pics, but celebrating It's Fall Y'all with homemade ice cream.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Asheville, NC

Recently I went on a girlie trip to Asheville, NC without my kiddos. I ate 13 meals uninterrupted, leisurely walked through art exhibits, and slept past 7AM. Truly delightful! This is the cute loft we stayed in downtown Asheville.

We visited Biltmore and enjoyed the winery. That huge house has 43 bathrooms and was built before indoor plumbing became popular.

This is Audrey. I forced her to be my friend back in 1994. Yes, we tight rolled our jeans, grooved to the Cranberries and watched the original 90210. Since then we have grown into somewhat responsible adults and managed to convince two other best friends to marry us. Everyone should be so lucky:)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Turkey Plunge

I've decided to have Thanksgiving at my home this year. Crazy? Yes. Why would anyone choose to take on the responsibility of feeding their in-laws plus their own mother? I'm giving up a worry free meal provided by my happy-go-lucky aunt (void of my in-laws and mother, I must add) to stress over how to cook a large turkey and make gravy. Ewww, gravy. I don't even like to type that word...gurrr-aaaa-vyyyyyy (whisper it and it sounds like a pissed-off spirit who hasn't eaten for centuries).

Honestly, I dig a challenge every now and then. Not to mention I will not have to worry about packing or skipping nap time or losing pacifiers or (here come the singing angels) traveling with toddlers!

So, I've almost convinced myself that this adventure will not be a nightmare (minus the gravy ghost), and any helpful pointers or tidbits or prayers will be greatly appreciated. I'll try to keep you abreast of my progress and pitfalls in preparation of this celebratory feast. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Serena, Serena, Serena

So Serena lost her cool during a very important tennis match. She said some pretty nasty things to a line judge and then wondered why the lady felt threatened. Seriously? If you saw this coming towards you saying, "I'm going to shove this bleepity ball down your bleepity throat!" wouldn't you be skerred??

I first witnessed Serena's verbal thrashing on Sports Center this morning and initially thought, "Her career is on the line." Then I thought, "Well maybe this is the kind of passion you need to make it to the top." As I watched it again online I can categorize the whole incident as unfortunate. Everyone has said something they wished they hadn't, Lord knows I have, but words are way more powerful when it reaches the masses...over and over. Serena is idolized by many young women and I pray that they understand the voltage of harmful words. This match will be remembered always in the tennis world, I'm sure, but I hope that line judge will be able to lead a normal life sooner than later.

It will be interesting to see how this affects Serena's career. Watch for yourself let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Puffy Eyes

Last night I watched The Secret Life of Bees all by myself and boo-hooed like a baby. I've read the book and seen the movie so why did I let the faucets pour? Guess I needed a good crying.

Have I mentioned before that I have a girl crush on Alicia Keys? I love her character, as well, in this story...strong, independent, and then she lets her heart take over.

In a few hours I get to take Dylan to his first day of preschool looking sleep deprived (o.k. I stayed up too late watching TV and ran upstairs at 5AM because Dylan was yelling that his Linus blanket was stuck under his bed) and/or that I've consumed way too much salt (could be the half bag o' chips and salsa I munched during the movie). If I were the type I'd totally be lounging with cool cucumbers over my lids.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cute is...

three year olds playing t-ball.

Ya'll, I laughed so much this evening my cheeks are sore. Dylan and his teammates took turns at bat and after one got a hit they would all run after the ball instead of the bases.

Cute is...

Emory standing behind the fence yelling, "Dada, Dada!" (Hubby got roped into being coach and loves it!) My little girl desperately wanted to be on that field.

Even though Dylan asked me 3000 times today, "When do we leave for practice, Mommy?" the one hour of comic relief was totally worth it. Plus, because he was plum worn out tonight he easily settled for one bedtime story.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Guilty As Charged


The word itself makes my shoulders slump and the corners of my mouth droop. I faintly remember the feeling when I was young, I guess that just comes with the territory of divorced families no matter how hard everyone tries to be neutral, but nothing compares to the guilt I feel as a mom.

If my child watches back to back cartoons, eats too many sweets, wants me to put him to bed instead of his daddy, when I have a baby sitter, when I haven't cooked a hot breakfast or changed the sheets or mopped the floors or scrubbed the bathrooms, when I miss a meeting or tell someone that I don't have the time or that I'm too tired, when my baby goes to bed a little dirty, when her nose is runny and I put off taking her to the doctor one more day, and when I forget to brush their teeth I feel guilty.

Is it Nature's way of holding us accountable? Is it payback from our mothers? Maybe a combination of the two?

My goal this new school year is to feel less guilt. I think if I'm more organized and prioritize what is most important to my family I can get rid of this unwanted guest.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fast Food

On Good Morning America today Dr. Oz was interviewed by Diane Sawyer. He performs 300 open heart surgeries a year and believes that the majority of them could be avoided by diet and exercise. One third of Americans are overweight and allowing fast food chains on every corner is a major reason; we make it too easy to eat poorly. Dr. Oz's opinion on the heated health reform is not favorable because seeking how to pay for health care is not a solution. The best solution, according to the doctor, is to make it easier for Americans to become and stay fit. Examples given were safe walking paths and getting a workout some how during working hours.

The segment ended and a McDonald's commercial aired. Seriously? A working mom comes home from work and gets bombarded by her kids the minute she walks in the door. Can you guess what her answer was for a minute to unwind? Yep, she pulled out Happy Meals from her over sized purse.

If you have read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser or seen the movie based on the book and/or watched the documentary Super Size Me you may feel the same way I do about fast food. Don't get me wrong, I'll occasionally visit such establishments (and I have a secret love affair with Chick Fila) but it makes me angry that it is so convenient, so cheap, so bad for our bodies, and so heavily marketed to the most vulnerable.

Anyone with me?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wishing Well

Saturday Dylan closed his little eyes tightly while rubbing a penny in his right hand and made a wish. He then threw his penny into a wishing well and smiled. I just had to ask him what he wished for to which he replied, "I wished for a playground in my back yard."

By a playground he means a swing set with a slide. Slides are the same to a three year old boy as a recliner is to a 30 year old man-child.

Later that night I got him to repeat his wish to Hubby. He let Dylan know that if he was a good boy Santa may bring him one for Christmas. He thought hard for a few seconds and said, "He can't fit a playground in his bag."


Friday, August 21, 2009

She's Crafty

Dylan will be back in preschool soon and I believe we are equally excited. Check out Dylan's red book bag. It was $5 at Walmart and pretty plain. In the craft section I found iron on embroidered patches. Who knew I could be crafty...if one can call ironing crafty.


When Hubby got home from work tonight he looked at Dylan and said, "Let's go to Cracker Barrel and get pancakes!"

"Yeah! Family date night!" was Dylan's response. He inhaled two large pancakes, a side of bacon, two crackers, and one corn muffin. I am thankful his appetite is back and take full blame for his carb love affair. He learned it by watching me.

Emory has taken to the kazoo. She only knows one pitch so you can imagine how pleasant the noise becomes after the cuteness wears off.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Don't Worry Be Hippy

Recently I attended a Phish concert with Hubby and some friends. Hubby is, well, I'm just gonna say it...he's a full blown band dork. (Maybe he'll miss this post.) He reads message boards, awaits the set list to every show, and has spent numerous conversations with phellow phans about Trey's sobriety and whale calls.

The music was a little more rockin' than expected, which was a nice surprise since Phish tends to slow it down and jam too long for my taste. They played a mean Sloth and Tweezer Reprise (see, the dorkiness is contagious) but my favorite part of the trip was hanging with our buddies and watching hippies.

Spending six hours (12 round trip) on the way to MD with some of our favorite people reminded me why friends are important. I don't remember the last time I went on a similar road trip. We laughed, took bad exits, ate homemade cookies and laughed some more.

Being amongst all that love and peace reminded me of Woodstock. Just kidding, I wasn't around for that but it did remind me of college and discovering Widespread Panic. One hippy politely turned down a bottled water because it wasn't "spring H2O." It was 90 degrees and this man's hair alone could have smothered three bystanders. He was hot and thirsty but couldn't enjoy tap water. Several times throughout the show I suppressed the urge to ask the "not so security" their thoughts on noodle dancing and glow sticks.

Besides needing a nap or coffee instead of that margarita at set break this excursion was a great time. I also gained a few bits of wisdom. Number one, it is o.k. for Phish to be Hubby's obsession and not mine. I can appreciate our differences...I mean, he probably couldn't grasp the magnitude of Edward Cullen, right? Number two, I am no longer in my 20s...maybe in spirit, but definitely not in body nor mind. And most importantly, number three, Fun Gus is not some one's favorite uncle.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Scream Because of Ice Cream

Monday Dylan, my three year old, had his tonsils and adenoids removed and a tube put in his left ear. Poor little fella has been lethargic, weepy, and down right pissed off. Just now before I made him take a nap he hit me. The fairy god mother in me would have ignored it and let him finish watching Curious George but the real life mom appeared and popped his hiney...twice.

Yesterday his behavior was worse, odd I'd say. He wiped ear goo on the couch after I put in ear drops, clothes-lined his baby sister, spit under the hallway rug, and broke the towel rack in my bathroom by swinging on it.

What in the world?

This is exactly why we cannot give our children ice cream for dinner or let them watch monkey cartoons on a daily basis.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

After School with Faye

My grandmother, Faye, taught me how to stand on my head.

She extinguished her cigarette, dismounted from her light blue swivel
recliner and squatted beside me in her living room one day after school. She showed me how to put my hands shoulder-width apart on her new Sears catalog rug and spread my fingers wide. Then placing the top of her head on the floor she kicked up her delicate, bony feet making herself perpendicular. My seven year old self was in utter awe. I had never seen her do anything spectacular and it almost made up for her just giving my snotty-nosed brother $0.50 for taking out the newspapers when the week before the same task earned me a quarter.

I practiced the rest of the afternoon. Several times Faye caught my feet in the air to help me balance but quickly I had it down pat. After counting 28 Mississippi's, the highest yet, I ran to her bedroom mirror to see how red my face had turned. Though proud of my beet colored cheeks her glamorous jewelry box caught my attention like a beauty queen in sequins. I modeled every ring and strand of pearls I could put my grubby little hands on before hearing, "Oh, you-hooooo."

My mom was home from work and I could not wait to share my new trick!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mrs. Edith

Walking out of the sanctuary one Sunday morning a gentleman said, “I saw you help Mrs. Edith to the alter to take communion. That was very kind of you.”

“Oh, yeah. Thanks,” was my uncomfortable reply.

“Surprised me that she took your arm like that. She’s a proud, independent lady.”

Funny how perceptions can be backwards. The one needing support that day was me, though I'd always thought of myself in the same light as the gentleman described Mrs. Edith.

Mrs. Edith was a fixture at Mt. Zion on Sunday mornings. I was a newbie. It had been forever since I’d taken communion and my internal struggle with Christ was at an all-time high. Usually my hubby is beside me at church but occasionally I go solo and put our children in the nursery. Such was that day. I felt alone. She looked alone but after I waited for her at the end of the pew and felt her grip on my forearm I knew our company was significant.

Every Sunday I looked forward to seeing Mrs. Edith, dressed to the nines. She always had a compliment ready, which was nice, but what I truly appreciated was her faith. I found comfort in seeing her on the left side, fifth row from the front with her Bible marked to the day’s scripture.

I am lucky enough to have known Mrs. Edith in God’s house and will remember her strength the next time I feel alone. I look forward to eternity and pray I am able to share this story with her.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All Over

"Hey Buddy, how's that peanut butter and jelly?"

"Good. I missed you last night, Mommy. How was your meeting?"

"My Bible study was fun, thanks for asking. When I got home I went upstairs and kissed you all over. Bet you didn't even know it."

Long pause.

"Even my butt?"

Monday, July 6, 2009

Holden Beach

We just returned from our summer vacation at Holden Beach, NC. Spending time with our best buds and being away from the daily hustle was the whole idea. Mission accomplished!

Two of my favorite parts of our getaway were Emory and Hubby sharing ice cream...

and hanging out on the deck in our pajamas.

One of my least favorite parts included getting up every day (ev-er-y day) before six o'clock. Yes, I'm still recovering. One morning I sleepily drug myself and my wide awake children on the beach so others could sleep and Dylan said, "Look Mommy, the sunset!" Um, no. That would be the sunrise. The only other not-so-favorite part was attempting a family photo...


and again. Hey, look at the camera! Look. At. The. Cam-er-a! With your eyes open, please.

Oh well, I did get this one...

and this is definitely a keeper...

Girl Power!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Here Nor There

Several rainy days and a recent diagnosis of strep throat have kept us indoors lately. Sometimes it's nice to have a reason or two to stay in your jammies all day...and teach your precious little girl how to "show us your muscles!"

We made a robot costume out of a Huggies diaper box. Dylan walks around with straight arm movements while talking in a kiddie-mechanical voice. One night hubby got stuck in the box and I was laughing too hard to think of grabbing the camera. "Robot Daddy" was definitely having technical difficulties.

My sweet Emory is turning one tomorrow. This year flew by, without a doubt. Happy Birthday Emmy Cate!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Come on Home

While my hubby has gone Phishing I've been at home with the kiddos enjoying life. Every now and then I need time away from the Mr. just to re-group and remember who I am. As does he. The past few days have been full of friends and laughter and wolves hunting vampires.

In his absence I've had a few neighborly play-dates and good 'ol girlie conversations. Tonight some of our friends came over to cook me dinner. Can you believe it? Me either. Yesterday Jayme called and said, "How about we come over tomorrow night and cook for you?" I know, I'm so lucky! I just dined on an Asian spicy chicken noodle dish that was scrumptious and a welcomed change from Honey Nut Cheerios.

This semi-solo time has been fun but now I'm ready for hubby to come on home. During his time away I fought the smelly trash can all the way down our long, gravel driveway and accidentally made the morning coffee at 6PM instead of 6AM. I handled several discipline problems by laughing and stayed up way too late reading a tween romance.

So, Hubby, if you can hear me...I will always heart you more than E.C. so say your goodbyes to the patchouli and tell Trey we'll see him in August.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Joining the Masses

I told myself that I was not going to fall into the teeny-bopper trap that Twilight seemed to unfold. Then I watched the movie. Twice. In one day. I'm a mother of 2 small children who rarely watches anything but The Noggin Channel.

My best friend did not tell me she was hooked because she knew that I would make fun of her. I mean, we are grown women who understand that taking your teddy bear on vacation and polishing your unicorn collection after a certain age is, well, inappropriate. However, when I confessed to watching the movie she let on that she, too, had fallen for vampires all over again (back in the day we drooled over Louis and Lestat). Tonight we met for a lovely dinner at our favorite spot and she loaned me the entire Twilight series. I'M SO EXCITED!!!

So, if I don't post for a while it's because I'm cuddled in a corner, swatting at my children to go away, and dreaming of Edward.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I grew up hating Sundays. It was uncomfortable packing my bags wanting to go home to Mom but not wanting Papa to feel bad that I was ready to leave...then going home to answer one million questions about how we spent our weekend.

I grew up believing that the Bible was literature, just another text book that I didn't want to read. Being in church was extremely uncomfortable. I avoided singing hymns and despised the smell of breath mints shadowing nicotine.

Now I look forward to Sundays. My little family is tucked pretty tight right here on "Daddy's day off." Church has become an old friend, one that I've been missing something terrible. Singing brings me closer to God and I love the little old ladies and their fancy hair pins. And as I learn more about the Bible it's beauty is astonishing. It is history, it is poetry, it is guidance, it is love.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Buzz Cut

No more bottles of milk and no more burping.

No more lullabies or rocking to sleep

No more pacifiers and no more Pull-ups

Rocks in pockets and milk mustaches

Skinned-up knees and chasing frogs

Baseball caps and bluejeans

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Hugh Sigh of Relief!

Emory's appointment today was long and scary but she's going to be just fine. Yea! Thank you for your well wishes and prayers!

The right side of her pulmonary artery does not flow as smoothly as the left side causing the murmur. She'll be checked again in 2011 but the doc says not to worry. Thanks be to God!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dinner Cruise

Tonight we ate dinner on the river. I packed sandwiches and chips and drinks and we set sail. Dylan asked, "Can we do this again?" after his first bite of peanut butter and jelly. Emory smiled the entire her little chubby cheeks are tired.

Best part of it all (besides the family memories, of course) was I didn't have to clean up the kitchen. Whoo-hoo!

Little Emory is having a heart murmur checked out on Monday by a pediatric cardiologist. It's probably something she'll outgrow but her doc wants to make sure. Please keep her (and me, I've been waiting for this appointment for over a month:) in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Heavy Metal vs. Boy Bands

When they become tweens and argue over the better musician or who gets the bathroom first I will pull out this photo and remember they were once sweet.
Big Bro, you were right...GNR was way more rad than NKOTB...and I'm sorry my bangs were so high maintenance.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Professional Mother

Oh, crap! Something told me to shower this morning were my thoughts as Amanda Lamb approached me along side her camera man. She looked so very polished in a blue and white wrap dress and sassy heels while I had just spent the morning riding a carousel and kiddie train.

"Hi, I'm Amanda Lamb with WRAL. I'd like to ask you a few questions regarding a new law."

I just smiled and silently cursed myself for leaving the house looking like a

"North Carolina is trying to pass not allowing children under the age of nine to be left unattended in a car, yadda yadda yadda," she said.

O.k., she didn't really say yadda yadda yadda but she did go into detail about the law while I tried to remember if I had recently left my precious pumpkins strapped in their car seats while running errands. What if they had me on camera? What if this was one of those 'caught you on tape' shows and an example was to be made of me?

I haven't run errands in over a week, this isn't a set-up. "Um, sure."

Watching it later on the six o'clock news with my family was fun. There I was, speaking coherently with my name in block letters at the bottom of the screen. Under my name was my title. Mother. Naturally, little Emory stole the show and thankfully took the attention away from my Crocs and long, baggy shorts.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

All Swing Set Play is Cancelled!

Our 2nd annual neighborhood BBQ started off friendly and fun. The chicken fell off the bone and was worthy of finger licking. Cheesy potatoes, green beans, slaw, and a million desserts filled our tummies as we chatted with familiar faces.

My husband was to watch Dylan as I was bouncing Emory on my hip or pushing her in the stroller or walking her down the driveway (she is way too busy these days) and catching up with the other women. However, later in the evening Dylan runs to me with his Diego undies and khaki shorts in hand asking me to wipe him.

"Uh, what?"

"Wipe me, please, Mommy."

"Oh, no. Where's Daddy?"

Dylan had pooped in the neighbor's back yard. All swing set play was cancelled due to contamination. My husband was (once again) fired from his daddy duties...I'm not sure why I keep rehiring his defense he does grill a mean hamburger and remembers all the words to Guns-N-Roses' Sweet Child O'Mine.

Anywho, Forest Cove Neighbors, I send you my deepest apologies for being the first to leave the party and more importantly, I'm sorry my son is um, channeling Kitty Rio (our cat).

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Coconut Macaroons

1 bag of shredded coconut
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. of vanilla extract

Stir ingredients together, spoon on cookie sheet, bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Be very aware of the inability to stop at just one...or two...or four. O.K., I confess. I ate six. SIX!!! This happened prior to lunch. I thought maybe blogging about it would keep me from going back for a night time snack.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mama's Munchkin

This is Emory and her little stuffed friend...they have the same profile:)

She claps for blueberry waffles.

She truly is this sweet! This dress was once mine and hand made by my MaBet.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Perfect Day

I had a nice little Saturday.

Woke up, dressed, fed the kids and headed out the door. Stopped for a vanilla latte and walked around Lowe's kid free. Bought some pansies, petunias, and tomato, cucumber and lettuce seeds. And a tomato plant...sure fire way to produce grub.

Then I grocery shopped kid free. I was home by 10:45AM. Dylan helped me plant our flowers and seeds and the entire time thanked me for his new Diego spade.

We had a picnic in the back yard. The fam ate sandwiches while I enjoyed a spicy tuna roll from Harris Teeter (no one else likes sushi). We stayed outside all day playing ball, blowing bubbles, and after nap time we cruised on the boat.

That night Mimi came over for supper...grilled steak and chicken that had been marinating all day. I ended the evening with a fabulous movie, Grey Gardens, and hubby snoozing on the couch beside me.

My, how my definition of the perfect day has changed over the past 5 years:)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Junk in My Trunk

"Your butt is getting bigger, Mommy," said my three year old.

"It is?"

"Hmm hm," he said as he over exaggerated a nod.

"But, why?" was my plea as I looked over my shoulder to see if it was growing at that very moment.

"Because I want it to."

"You do?"

"Yes, if it gets really, really big you can float into the sky. That would be fun."

"I guess it would."

Monday, April 6, 2009


Once upon a Monday night in a land of plastic dinosaurs and an overflowing diaper genie there lived a creature who resembled a woman and she was desperate for a glass of wine. This creature...we'll call her "Mommy" needed to relax so badly she shipped her hubby off to watch yet another UNC basketball game and put her kids to bed 30 minutes early. After the land was raked of choo choos, story books, and fruit snacks she settled in for a sizable goblet of Cabernet.

A friendly phone conversation and one measly paragraph later her glass was empty and the contemplation began...oh, who am I kidding. Hold on a minute.

O.K., where was I? Oh, yeah...

Admiring the feminine shape of her glass, let's call her "Scarlet" shook her hair from her up-do and called for her bath to be drawn. Should she have chocolate truffles or champagne and berries for dessert?

Thursday, April 2, 2009


This is the first year I participated in Lent. I thought about giving up cookies or chocolate or coffee but then decided to take a different route...I can diet anytime, right? Instead, I gave up leisure reading. For over a month I have not read a novel, a memoir, or a newspaper. Magazines have been the hardest to avoid as I love, love, love Oprah's magazine, Cooking Light and Southern Living.

I will admit, several times I caught myself mindlessly flipping through my husband's left behind sports page or a Crate & Barrel publication. I was unaware of how hard this was going to be. The idea behind giving up pleasure reading was to focus on the Bible or related works. When needing to read I have been picking up a Sunday school booklet or a devotional pamphlet. I didn't realize how much I read. Often throughout this 40 day period I have thought myself to be bored and void of creative thoughts for my own writing. However, I have found myself closer to God. A nice trade I must say.

I pray more which gives me more patience with my children and more outwardly love towards my husband. A sense of calm has come over me and I now understand that calm is not the same as boredom. The hustle and bustle of everyday life has a way of making me feel accomplished. Slowing down and growing with God has taught me that checking off a to-do list isn't what really matters.

Dylan's B-day

Two nights before Dylan's birthday party he woke me up at 3:30AM to inform me he had two dreams about giants.

"I want to tell you about them, Mommy," he said after I tried to convince him to go back to bed.

"Oh, alright. If you must," was my reply between yawns.

Dylan then told me two detailed stories that he claims were dreams. I'm calling his bluff because one of the "dreams" he has told before...numerous times. He ended his late-night performance with, "Mommy, I don't want a giant cake anymore."

"Uh-oh," I thought but instead said, "Darling, Mrs. Covey has already made your delicious cake. You're gonna love it!"

Thankfully he said, "O.K.," and let me take him back to bed. For the next little while I invisioned a house full of screaming toddlers and mad parents.

Saturday Covey showed up with this masterpiece...

Can you believe it? A happy giant cake with a 3-D beanstalk and the perfect Fe Fi Fo Fum!!! It was the hit of the party and so far, no more 3AM nightmares/comedy acts.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hello Sunshine!

Hello Sunshine. Nice of you to visit. Please stay a while. We've missed you and your rays. Tell Clouds and Rain we appreciate their contribution... but just between us they don't know when to leave. Talk about rude. Geez.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Turning Three

Dylan's 3rd birthday is in a few weeks and he wants a giant on his cake.

"A giant?" I asked.

He replied, "Yes, Mommy. Fe, fi, fo, fum!"

Thankfully, a friend has agreed to make a giant cake. Bless her! I was explaining this to Dylan and I said, "She makes really delicious cakes."

He said, "Mommy, you make really delicious cereal."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

For Hubby

by Phish

Don't want to be an actor pretending on the stage
Don't want to be a writer with my thoughts out on the page
Don't want to be a painter 'cause everyone comes to look
Don't want to be anything where my life's an open book

A dream it's true
But I'd see it through
If I could be
Wasting my time with you

Don't want to be a farmer working in the sun
Don't want to be an outlaw always on the run
Don't want to be a climber reaching for the top
Don't want to be anything where I don't know when to stop

A dream it's true
But I'd see it through
If I could be
Wasting my time with you

So if I'm inside your head
Don't believe what you might have read
You'll see what I might have said
To hear it

Come waste your time with me
Come waste your time with me

So if I'm inside your head
Don't believe what you might have read
You'll see what I might have said
To hear it

Come waste your time with me
Come waste your time with me
Come waste your time with me
Come waste your time with me

Come waste your time with me

Monday, March 9, 2009


I had a loverly weekend at my mama's house. The weather was vacation-like and I did not cook the entire weekend! Mom prepared homemade scalloped potatoes and Greek chicken one night, meatloaf and green beans the next, and the last night we enjoyed delicious steak, baked sweet potatos and salad. YUMMERS!! Now I need to consider Jenny Craig because not only did I have three square (more like octagon) meals a day I indulged on Girl Scout cookies and ice cream. What is it about being "home" that makes one think one can eat like a teenager?

Each night before bed I went through shoe boxes filled with old letters, report cards, and diaries. Hilarious!! According to all the intellectual documentations I had a crush on a different boy every other week, worried about book reports and math tests, and questioned love and marriage. The letters covered a time period from 7th grade to my last year of college, as did my report cards, and the diaries spanned from 1992 to 1995 which was high school. I had no idea that these time capsules were kept and in good condition. What's even more surprising is that my mama still talks to me...after all the trouble I gave her in my teen years:)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Life with Rio

Rio is our cat. She got kicked out of the house and her crib when Dylan was born. She is a skilled hunter and snake keep-away-er.

Sometimes when it's really cold outside and Hubby is at work she will "sneak" into the house and drink milk from my cereal bowl. As a token of appreciation yesterday she left me a bird by the back steps. Isn't that sweet?

Dylan saw it first as we were headed to a friend's house. He wondered, "Why isn't that bird flying, Mommy?"

"Ahh! Don't step on him! Oh, dear. Umm. That bird can't fly, baby," was my response.

He said, "Oh, o.k.," and proceded to climb in our car.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Embrace Your Grace

Saving Grace is one of my favorite TV shows! Grace is a powerful, pint-sized character played perfectly by Holly Hunter (love, love, love her). I wish I knew someone who had the same passion for life as Grace. If you saw it last night, most of the people I know are more like her suburban-ista sister, me included:)

If you are unfamiliar, Holly's character has teen-age fearlessness but with chops to back it up. Grace is an Oklahoma detective often guided by Earl, a beer drinking angel, and she deals wholeheartedly with her co-workers each episode. Check it out, it's thought provoking and highly entertaining, on TNT Monday nights at 10PM.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ode to Thin Mints

Oh, Thin Mints, how I love thee
is it possible to only eat three?

Chocolate and mint are the perfect pair
if only my toddler didn't want to share
I'd keep your green box all to myself
and never place you on the pantry shelf

Donating to the Girl Scouts is a good deed
but my guilty pleasures you tend to feed
Tonight it's just you and me (with Paula, Randy, Simon and the new girl)
add a glass of milk and a blanket, on the couch we shall curl

Oh, Thin Mints, how I love thee
don't worry I will stop with one sleeve

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Edgar Sawtelle

For the past few months I have been wallering in the pages of David Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. My shoulders have slumped since I closed the book. I'm mourning for a few of the characters but mostly for myself. Soaking in the rich vocabulary and pausing to bask in each chapter is over.

Wroblewski's writing is phenomenal. Edgar's signing crept into my thoughts at stop lights. During dinner I wondered which Sawetelle dog would choose my family. I even prayed for all women who have lost like Trudy.

Edgar's adventure is 500+ pages which is one reason it took me so long to read, another being my two small rug rats are quite the time suck...the main reason is that I enjoyed every page. Ev-er-y page. Sometimes I pressed the words against my cheek and often my husband rescued it from my sleeping bear hug.

Soon I'll have to return this borrowed copy but find comfort in it's lasting eloquence. I also find solace in knowing that one day, oh say, when my kids are out of the house, that I will have the honor of rereading this remarkable work of art.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tennis = Love

I love the game, I love the smell of a new can of balls, I love to grip a racket, I love being out in the sun, and I love the scoring system.

My dad used to take my brother and me to play on sunny weekends. My grandparents used to send me to summer tennis camp. I played in high school, taught lessons while in college, and have played on a team here and there since. Oh how I miss it. Maybe one day my children will like to play...

...not that I'm pressuring them in any way. If they don't like it, fine. I may need therapy but I'll be o.k.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Good morning, Tulips. Thank you for your charm. You ease the monotony of preparing the bottle of milk, cup of juice, and pot of coffee in the early hours.

Good day, Tulips. Thank you for your happy hues. You perfectly mask the never ending battle of crumbs on my kitchen table.

Good evening, Tulips. Thank you for your presence. You add pleasure to cleaning after supper.

Good night, Tulips. See you tomorrow.

Friday, February 6, 2009


This morning I fell down the stairs. Seriously, I fell and couldn't get up. Just the bottom two or three stairs but still...ouch! It was dark and way early, my favorite fuzzy red socks are to blame (not me or my sleep deprivation), and sweet Emory was in my arms. Thankfully she was well protected but I cannot say the same for my right elbow or lower back.

Lessons Learned
Number One: Don't wear fuzzy socks while carrying a precious baby downstairs during the wee morning hours.

Number Two: I am older than I feel.

Number Three: Thank God for yoga, even if I have to join my elderly friends in the Yoga with Chairs class.

Now, if you will excuse me and my geriatric feeling self I'm going to take a nap, enjoy the early bird special at K&W (a.k.a. The Hobble-n-Gobble), and be home in time for Wheel of Fortune.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Morning Time

1:22 AM Dylan woke me up to let me know that the big man "scarried" him. I took him back to bed.

2:43 AM Dylan woke me up because his Thomas the Train blanket was sad. What-the-fudge? Can't he be sad during daylight? I let him in bed with us because I didn't want to go back upstairs.

3:03 AM Dylan draped me with two pint-sized arms and a mini-leg. I went upstairs to sleep in his big boy bed.

6:45 AM Dylan's clock turned green and I got up. See the irony here, folks?

7:10 AM The Fam was happily snuggled in my bed when Dylan used his toes to pop Emory's paci out of her mouth. He and I cracked up. I, too, find it funny to put one's feet in an other's face...but only if you know them...really, really know them.

7:13 AM Emory retaliates by creeping her tiny hand across the sheets to grab Dylan's night-night (his Linus blanket). Once she had it in her grasp she flashed her Crest-white teeth, all two of them, in a victory smile.

7:45 AM Everyone finished breakfast and hubby left for work. Time to "start" the day!

Missing sleep is like missing a friend. I know one day I'll get to catch up but until then I sure hope the giggles and the snuggles continue to ease our early mornings.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Favorite Time of Day

Shhhh. The quiet now surrounding me is a gift. Slivered almonds have replaced my eyes as I wish to write. My breathing has deepened and slumber is near. If only I could articulate and nap simultaneously.

Or if I could just snooze like this...

or this...

ahhh, I do love naptime!

Monday, February 2, 2009


This morning I bravely took a spinning class at the gym even though the Superbowl ribs and beer were telling me otherwise. At first I thought starting the week off so healthy would veto the damage done last night. Then I became anxious about being on that bike for a whole hour. Could I do it? Once the music started pumping and my heart caught up I knew I had made the right decision...luckily, endorphins took over.

My Sharona was the third song to blast as I was climbing an imaginary hill and it triggered a memory. Remember the movie Reality Bites? I love, love, loved Lelania (Wynona Rider) and Troy (Ethan Hawke) and the quirky dance to My Sharona in the convenience store.

Lelania, Troy, Vicky, Sammy and Michael eased a tough time during my teen years. One weekend four of my girlfriends and I watched Reality Bites seven times. Just before my senior year I moved to a new town and came back "home" for three days prior to starting my new school. We camped out in the living room that was usually parent free, smoked cigarettes, and sighed every time Ethan Hawke graced the screen. We wore out the phrases "Don't Bogart that can, man" and "Hey that's my bike!" and shared our dreams of being out in the real world.

That sound track remained a staple in my cd player throughout 1995 and occasionally I pull it out to torture my husband with Lisa Loeb's Stay (I Miss You) or Lenny Kravits' Spinning Around Over You. Oh yeah, I'm cool like that.

This first week in February of 2009 I'm feeling strong and silly. I survived that spinning class just like I survived being the new girl. My words of wisdom (because I'm oh-so-wise) this morning are...if you ever feel a little intimidated or jittery (whether from nerves or a pork and alcohol combo) try letting your mind, body, and soul spin with a favorite memory.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Yesterday I changed the sheets on one crib and two beds by 8AM. Today I reassembled a baby car seat and changed 3 poopy diapers before 8AM.

And that is how I justify this delicious chocolate chip cookie and third cup of coffee.

Last night my hubby decided to make cookies which perfectly complimented my plans to veg on the couch and watch American Idol. After he took them out of the oven we heard Dylan's bedroom door open. Very sternly I told him to go back to bed.

Then he said, "What's that smell?"

I said, "Go, now!"

He said, "What's that smell, Mommy?" as he closed his door. I could feel the sadness in his footsteps.

We decided to let him in on our little party so hubby took him a cookie and then witnessed the joy that only a cookie could bring an almost three year old past bedtime.

Thursday, January 29, 2009





I could feel my heart beat in my throat. Reluctantly, I glanced at the river. I saw nothing. I ran into the garage. Nothing.

"Dyyyylaaaaan!!!" I glanced back at the river and saw something floating. It couldn't be him. I just heard him beep the horn on the Gator. He didn't have time to get all the way down there, did he? I looked closer, it was a log.


I didn't know where else to look. He always answers when I call.

After I ran up the back steps I banged on my back door.

"Jayme, I can't find Dylan!" I yelled in massive panic mode.

"He's right here," she said. "Oh, you poor thing."

I sank at the back door and forced my tears into hiding. Dylan sat down beside me like he understood my fear.

Now, as I'm typing the tears are flowing. I still feel like I could throw up any moment...that happened four hours ago.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


"I want to go there." I love the fact that Tina Fey gets comedic lines for 30 Rock from her toddler!

Sometimes I wish that the Noggin channel had a news scroll on the bottom...I'm feeling out of the loop.

I have a girl-crush on Alicia Keys. Have you seen The Secret Life of Bees?

Facebook is ruining my writing...I'm going to try to stay away from that time suck 'till Sunday. I think I can, I think I can....

My son keeps saying, "Roger doger," and I have no idea what it means.

This morning I discovered my precious daughter, Emory, loves blueberry muffins.

During the Spring I'm hoping to take a train ride to Baltimore to see my big bro. I've never traveled that way before. Have you?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Good Friends

I remember a conversation my father and I shared many moons ago. I was around thirteen when he informed me that in my 30s I would be lucky to have half as many friends as I did then, so not to worry about missing a silly sleep-over. I thought he was certified Ka-Ray-Zie! For one thing, I would never be 30...that was way old. And second, girl friends rule and boys drool. And not attending that sleep-over was detrimental to my bra size knowledge, duh!

He was right. Go figure.

The childhood friendships that I have managed to preserve will forever feed my soul. The bond between us who cracked up during prank calls, shared tears because of impossible parents and Algebra, harassed gym teachers, and perfected the MC Hammer in our tight-rolled blue jeans is thick and sacred. We survived our teens...and our twenties (that's another post or two). How? I'm not so sure.

We are now in our 30s and life is beginning to make sense. I understand and look forward while smiling at the past. However, sometimes I can't help but to think...

"We're adults. How did that happen and how do we make it stop?"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pastas Anonymous

Hello. My name is Alysun and I'm a pasta addict.

It started with Penne. In college I worked at Ragazzi's and the head chef paired the noodle with an AMAZING spicy marinara. I was fully educated about the dangers of "gateway pasta" but naively thought it would never happen to me. Quickly my pasta of choice switched to Angel Hair. It's so light, so stringy. Hmmm, you can twist your fork for days. Then I went through them all, Rigatoni, Rotini, Elbow, Manicotti, Orzo, Ziti and even...I'm so ashamed...Wagon Wheels.

After I had children I toned it down a bit but Multi-colored Bow Tie became a favorite. Now, today, it's Wheat Linguine. I had it twice already. one day! I need help. For lunch I smothered the flat pasta with portobello mushroom marinara and for dinner it was pesto sauce and asparagus.

Back in 2003 I quit cold turkey during the Atkins craze. For two whole weeks I was pasta-free! I lost eight pounds, bought new bluejeans but shortly fell off the wagon.

My addiction to pasta is definitely a love/hate relationship. I adore the texture, the plethora of sauces, and that super full feeling you can not experience with any other food. I despise the cravings, the looks from the Food Lion check-out girl, and the $60 lost on those jeans.

However, in this era of hope I'm trying to stay positive and strong...and at least I'm now choosing wheat pasta. Right?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Elizabeth Alexander's poem at the Presidential Inauguration has struck a cord with me. The following line caught my attention and will not let it go...

"What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance."

What if the mightiest word is love?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Breathing Space

About a week ago this was the view from my back deck. After clicking the camera I just knew the breathtaking pink sky would not be portrayed as such in a photograph. However, I was pleasantly suprised and immediately named it Breathing Space after the graceful layouts in O Magazine. Who knew that I would see something similar in my own yard?
Speaking of breathing space...the air sure seems lighter knowing that Barack Obama's leadership is underway.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Watch Out Rachel Ray

Do you ever dread eating at home because you know nothing is in the fridge except butter and OJ and the pantry only holds canned vegetables and forever-old pasta? Well, that was me today. Sure I could have eaten peanut butter toast, again, but enough is enough.

Yes, I desperately need to go grocery shopping but we are leaving for our family vacation on Wednesday and I'm trying to prove something. Not sure what exactly...maybe that I can provide for my family with kitchen creativity.

I proved myself to myself at lunch. Who knew just one more thorough dig in the cheese/meat drawer would uncover prized, blue ribbon worthy sandwich makings. I found muenster cheese! (I think it was left over from what my Mom brought Christmas Eve...I didn't check the sell by date...dammit). Anyway, I made a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and dried basil. DE-LISH!

I'm too scared now to go look for an expiration date but if I don't blog for a few days it may mean that I've poisoned myself with rotten cheese. Just kidding, I hope. While in the mountains I doubt I'll have blogger access. Waaaaaa!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pepper Tooth vs. Bad Breath

Are you the type of person to tell an acquaintance if food is stuck in their teeth (a.k.a pepper tooth)? What if that person was a man or a woman...does gender make a difference? Surely you would tell a friend, right? What about bad breath? Would you be persistent if your gum offer wasn't accepted and they were about to enter a weighty board meeting?

In a boxing ring who would win,

Pepper Tooth

or Bad Breath?

Which is the lesser of evils? If forced to have one of these social faux pas could you choose? Would you prefer to know or be oblivious? Could you turn it into a joke or would you be devastated?

Yesterday I had lunch with a new friend. My enchilada espinicas were scrumptious and after I scarfed them down I wondered out loud, "Feels like I have spinach in my teeth." She heard me and said, "Let me see." Uneasily I smiled too big and she said, "Nope, you're good." If this story ended with a spinach leaf holding one of my teeth hostage I'm sure she would have told me so... after a chuckle or two...she seems cool like that.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Need Some Color

This week I have been reluctantly taking down Christmas decorations. My son first cried when hubby packed away the ornaments and then again when he discarded the tree. I felt his sadness. Santa's spirit tucked away until next December paired with the gloomy grey sky has made me a little, well, depressed. Not I'm gonna sleep all day depressed (even though that sounds magical) but I need some color depressed.

Hanging out in my yellow kitchen or plopping down on my red couch helps but I need more. Harris Teeter had flowers on sale, but I feel silly hugging the vase. I even got dressed this morning (with make-up!) and avoided my trusty black Columbia vest.

Maybe I'll finger paint with Dylan after school or go to the kids section of the library (we're welcome there now, remember this?) Maybe I'll make fajitas with red and green peppers for dinner. Maybe I'll watch a recorded episode of 30 Rock.

What picks you up?

Monday, January 5, 2009


Before Christmas I thought it was brilliant of me to begin my resolutions early. I know, kinda makes me want to vomit, too. My big one for this year was cooking a healthy breakfast for my family every morning.

This lasted for about what my hubby calls two "glorious" weeks. Eggs, fruit, grits, juice and sometimes bacon sure are yummy but every day is unrealistic. I mean, this morning I forgot to feed my baby. I dropped Dylan off at pre-school and was headed towards the gym when lo and behold there was no Earth's Best Oatmeal on my sweatshirt! She did drink a bottle of milk, however, thanks to my hubby, but no more.

And I thought I would cook? Every morning...seriously?

My other resolution was to keep a food diary. I'm a fairly healthy person but tend to "not count" the daily handfuls of M&M's or PB&J crusts. Again, this genius plan lasted for less than two not-so-glorious weeks.

So, if you are the type of person who likes to make resolutions but rarely keep them just follow my lead. Make them early. That way your wishes for the New Year aren't technically "New Year" resolutions. And when the obnoxious do-gooder asks about your 2009 changes you can nonchalantly say, "Um, I don't make any," and proceed to bring up the weather or NCAA basketball...but unless you are o.k. with raising eyebrows never volunteer that you forgot to feed your baby.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Kid Speak

Several days ago Dylan woke up from his nap and sat beside me on the couch. We snuggled as I flipped the tv channels and he looked up at me with sad eyes. I stroked his hair and asked him what was wrong.

He said, "Mommy, it makes me sad that Santa doesn't visit every little boy."

Of course my heart melted and I hugged him tight. Then I said, "Well, honey, we can gather some of your toys that you do not play with anymore and take them to those little boys," as I gave myself imaginary high-fives for being such a kick-ass parent.

My almost three year old replied, "Umm, I don't want to do that, Mommy."

Right about the time I begin to think that I've got this whole parenting thing in the bag a tiny voice lets me know that my job will never be done.