Sunday, September 28, 2008

Family Values

Today, Athena went shopping with me at the local warehouse store. As we were leaving, she noticed a young man with dreds pulled back in a ponytail. She commented to me, "Mommy, he has a ponytail!"

"Yes, he does, honey!"

"But boys can't have ponytails! That's silly!"

At this point, I explained to her that boys can have long hair OR short hair... whatever they prefer. Just like girls can have long or short hair.

She thought about this, and started noticing people around us... how they all had different lengths of hair. Somehow, this led into some musings on how to tell boys and girls apart. This transitioned into a conversation that I've been waiting for... but not the conversation you THINK it turned into.

She said something about how people always have a mommy AND a daddy. I told her that actually, sometimes people have two mommies or two daddies. And some people only have a mommy or a daddy. All of those different families are still families... but they all love each other just as much.

She said, "Yes. I have a mommy and a daddy though."

"Yes, you do."

"And you love me."

"I love you so much."

"All mommies and daddies love their kids."

"Yes. All kinds of families all love each other."

"I love you, Mommy."

"I love you too, sweetie."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Some Tidbits From My Day

(Overheard at a meeting to determine the nominees for the Wake Reads Together Program this year)
Librarian 1: So what is the theme that ties these two books (Year of Wonders and Fever 1793) together?
Librarian 2: Death
Librarian 3: Death after long and horrible suffering
Librarian 1: So, is that really programmable?
Librarian 4: We could have a mortician show the kids how to make a body look good after being ravaged by disease!
Librarian 1: Right. Moving on...

(Overheard in the car on the way home)
Athena: MOooooooooooooooooom! I dropped my CRACKER!
ME: We'll get it when we get home.
Athena: I can't reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeach it!
ME: When we get home!
Athena: Can we stop so I can unbuckle and get it?
ME: No.
Athena: *sigh* I wish I had a flying cracker.

(Overheard at Dinner)
Marcus: *Pointing at his mashed potatoes* Dangerous!

UPGRADE: Athena's bed time music selection includes These Boots Are Made for Walkin'!
DOWNGRADE: It's the Antonio Banderas version from Shrek. So much for Grrrl Power.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Now I KNOW the Economy Is Bad

I treat myself every so often to a lunch of fried shrimp and hushpuppies at a local restaurant here in Apex. They have won recognition in particular for their fish sandwich. It has been honored in several local publications as a "Best Value" because it's huge and cheap. Their shrimp is also a decent value... $7.99 for about 14 medium shrimp with a pile o' fries and three hushpuppies, plus a soda.

They have a self-serve soda fountain, but they have always had an annoying sign on it that said "Refills are only for dining in the restaurant," which made me wonder if they really had a problem with people coming in off the street (this is near a highway intersection... not a pedestrian area) and filling up their mugs with Pepsi products. But whatever. I would drink my drink in the restaurant, then refill, put a lid on the cup, and take the soda back to work with me to hold me through the afternoon. My conscious is clear. I don't see this as soda abuse.

So I went back yesterday for the first time in several weeks. I placed my order, and they handed me a cup that was HALF the size of the ones they used to have. Probably a 12 oz. cup. I looked at it and said, "I think this is the wrong size cup." He said, "It's the only size we have. It's right." And I could tell from his voice that he had answered this question a million times... and I knew what had happened. Apparently, the owner has decided to cut costs, and he thinks the soda is what is doing him in. Well... that and the hushpuppies, which were half the size THEY used to be. And the cocktail sauce, which was in the same size little ramekin, but it was only half full. And they used to give you TWO ramekins, but I was only offered one.

I was pleased that I didn't seem to be getting less shrimp or fries. But I have to wonder. Does he really think those items are affecting his bottom line that much?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Past, Present, and Future

Forgive me... this may ramble a bit.

Facebook has put me in touch with some people from my past who, in many cases, I had never expected to hear from again. It has made me reflect a great deal on my past lately--who I really am, and how I became that person. I've often wondered if I made good decisions in my life, and if those decisions really led me down the right path. Honestly, more often I've wondered how I got so freaking lucky that I DID make the right decisions, and I didn't end up married to evil emotionally destructive boyfriend from my mid-twenties or Navy guy from my college days. And I really love looking back at events in my life and seeing how they shape decisions I make today.

It takes many women a long time to come to terms with who they are and actually love themselves. I've been fortunate, in that I've been surrounded my whole life by friends who are supportive and real. I have managed to avoid a large amount of backstabbing, catfighting, and mudwrestling. (Sorry... but I wanted to be sure my male readers were still with me).

Anyway, as I reconnect with people who I have known for a TERRIBLY long time... who knew me before I learned to love myself and before I had really formed my own identity... I am amazed at how well they actually do know me. My inner core really hasn't changed that much. And as I am prodded to remember a moment from first grade (which I still remember SO clearly it's frightening)... just one moment when I first met someone... I marvel at how I can recall my little six-year-old mind processing what was happening, and my ability to realize that this person I was meeting... this was a good person. And this person would mean something to me later in my life. Even though I had no concept of what my life would be.

I see it in my kids too. I see their inner core. I watch them process new information and explore the world to figure out where they fit in. It's magical. And the perspective it gives on my own life... it's hard to explain. I am so excited to see what they choose. I'm fearful, yes, but I see their hearts right now... their true selves. And I love what I see. With hearts like theirs, I know it is all going to be just fine.

Monday, September 15, 2008

And Then One Day It Happened

Athena was put under a fair amount of pressure to move up to her big girl bed. We did everything we could to make it enticing. Painted the walls purple... got a new bedroom set... the list goes on. But it was several months after the room was completed (about five) before she finally said she wanted to go there. Now, she was between 18 months and 2 years old at the time. But we needed her to make the change to free up the crib for Young MC. He was born in March, and she moved into her bed around May. Fortunately, it was just before we really felt we had to put Mr. Man in his own room. So everything went swimmingly, and both kids loved their new digs.

Marcus is now approaching 2 1/2, and until last night, he showed no interest in the toddler bed we assembled opposite his crib in his room about six months ago. He is a burrower... loves to be snuggled down in many blankets and with every stuffed animal he possesses (which is a truckload, I assure you). He has not really attempted to climb out of the crib except once or twice when he was feeling particularly brave, bold, and not-so-bright.

Then, last night, out of nowhere, he told Daddy he wanted to sleep in his big boy bed. And that was that. I suspect that Seneca, our babysitter, had been talking to him about it earlier that day because I noticed a lot of his stuff was already moved over there. But sure enough, he hunkered down and slept... almost all night.

He got up at 4am and wandered toward our room. Unfortunately for him, he left his toy broom in the floor and tripped on it, causing himself great pain. I only wish that the cause/effect lesson would sink in, but I'm sure he will leave it lying out tonight too. The funny thing is, since I never think that Marcus might be walking the halls at night, I assumed it was Athena. I went in to offer to get some cough medicine for the awake one, and almost barged into Athena's room thinking that's where Daddy was doing all the comforting. Fortunately, Chris appeared just before I made that error and we avoided having TWO sleepy but awake and grumpy children.

So now we start talking about converting the crib into a bed, and buying a mattress and boxspring. Right after I had the A/C repaired today. And we still have to deal with the roof and subsequent interior repairs.

Perhaps I should have taken that other job. *sigh*

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Twinkle Toes

Athena had her first ballet class today. I was hoping to post millions of pictures of little 4 and 5 year-olds in pretty pink ballet dresses and tights and shoes, but alas. I carefully chose a "serious" ballet school where Athena could learn really good technique and form, and they frown on parents ooohing and aaahing over the wee ones. The windows all had sheer drapes on them so we really couldn't see in very well. Many times, I wasn't even sure which kid was mine.

She will not normally take class on Wednesdays. Today was a make-up day for last Saturday. This "serious" ballet school apparently got scared of the rain that fell because of Hanna, so they cancelled morning classes. It's kind of too bad too, because Athena really liked this teacher. If it turns out that she doesn't like the Saturday instructor, I will probably move her to the Tuesday morning class... same instructor as Wednesday.

I didn't get to see everything they did, but she learned to plie... they went through all the foot positions, and she walked with a beanbag balanced on her head. Well, it was balanced MOST of the time.

I was overjoyed to see her enjoy the class. When I asked her what her favorite part was, without hesitating, she responded, "All of it!"

Now I just have to get myself back into it. Still need to shed some more weight before considering it though. I like my knees just the way they are, thank you very much. No need to go and tear them up.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Roof, The Roof...

Our roof is leaking. It's 4:43 am. It was 4am when I heard the water coming in.

It's a small leak thus far... two places where water is coming into the upstairs area. Water damage to the plaster. Can't see where it's coming in though. We went into the attic... see no point of entry.

Called insurance company. Called roofer. Can't sleep. Drip... drip... drip...

Ah, Hurricane Hanna. You shall be remembered.