Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And then there was one

My parents came around noon yesterday to pick up my oldest child and take her to the beach with them for a few days. It’s been pretty quiet around here without her. Davis took a nap, and I folded laundry, then ironed, all while catching up on the Real Housewives of New Jersey. When Ava is home, I can get things done around the house, but I can’t really watch my Housewives because she’d want to watch with me. Probably not the best tv for kids. Orange County, on the other hand….

Davis woke up from his nap and very quickly, it occurred to me how much I rely on Ava to entertain him. Of course, he immediately wanted to know where she was. They do love each other. And, when we got in the car, and she wasn’t sitting with him, the first words he uttered were, “I want Ava.” Well, it was more like, “I want Ayba.” But I knew what he meant.

So, we went to Target, where we acquired a Mater truck for Davis, a refill of Ambien for me (rarely taken anymore due to frequent 5:30am workout/running alarm and recent ability to fall asleep by 10pm), and some heavy cream for the new Cuisinart ice cream maker we gave Morgan for Father’s Day.

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker with Extra Freezer Bowl, White 

It’s great to purchase heavy cream on the same day you decide not to wear jeans because all of your lower body parts feel too big. It helps, really.

Anyway, I used the cream to make strawberry ice cream. Oh. My. Gosh. So  good. I probably should not own this machine, because I’m already dreaming up new concoctions involving lots of mix-ins.

On an unrelated note, I think I forgot to mention that a few weeks ago we got a swing set for our back yard. It’s been a huge hit with the kiddos. Davis was all smiles on it last night:

Davis old school

His happiness may have been the result of not having to share with his sister. Or the fact that it was only about 72 degrees. Or maybe because it was 7pm, and he was still outside playing because Mommy was enjoying her glass of wine while watching him play.

Since I’m sharing Davis photos, I should share this one of Ava as well. My friend Jill French braided her hair last week. Jill has some crazy hair skills. I am seriously impressed. Here’s the evidence:

Ava braids

The funniest thing happened when we took the braids out. Ava’s normally silky-straight hair was wavy from the braids. She took one look in the mirror and literally burst into tears. Uncontrollable tears. Sobs, even. Then I got in big trouble because I laughed. It was terrible, but I couldn’t help myself.

I’m pretty sure this is the only time we’ll see the braids. Wavy hair is just too traumatic for my little drama queen.

I’m off to figure out how to entertain my two-year old boy.


Thursday, June 23, 2011


Last Saturday night, the hubs and I headed out for our annual Phish concert. I know, I know. Hard to believe that this Lilly-loving girl could be out there with all the hippies. Even harder to believe that I have seen Phish more than 20 times, in locales as far away as Vegas.

Now, I’ll admit that the Phish fan in me was created by Morgan, when we were dating. He had seen them a bunch, and took me to Atlanta in the summer of 1999 for my first two shows. It’s funny. Back then, in my 20s, I was not nearly as secure and comfortable in just being me. I used to feel like I needed to shed my preppy attire and  try to look more like the typical Phish girls. Long skirts and dresses, flowy tops, etc. That’s not me. It wasn’t then, and it certainly isn’t now. Even then, I think I usually just threw on jeans with flip flops and a tank top. That’s as hippie as it gets for me.

These days, I don’t care if they think I’m a DEA agent disguised as a regular concert-goer. I just wear my clothes. At this point, I’m so much older than most of the fans, it really doesn’t matter. They aren’t looking at me. So, I decided to sport a stripey little LOFT dress. Morgan wore stripes, too. Matching married couple!



I had really not been looking forward to the night. I kept thinking, “I’m almost 35 years old. Why I am going to see Phish? I can’t deal with that crowd. Can’t we just go out for dinner somewhere nice?” As it turns out, I had a great time. I also consumed entirely too much $11 canned beer. Admittedly, that probably enhanced my good time. We were also in a VIP box, so I had a good amount of space away from the ecstacy-taking 20-year-old girls. Helpful.

Something tells me that I would have been hard pressed to find anyone else in that crowd who has also seen Britney live.

I just heard she added Raleigh to her Femme Fatale tour dates, so you know I’m thinking about going. Who’s in?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day is all about the men, but it sure does make me feel like one special girl. I have two wonderful men in my life who exemplify what it means to be a good dad.

=\ (my dad and mom with the kids)

First, my own dad. I can honestly say I had one of the best childhoods of anyone I know, and it’s all because of the time and love given to me by my parents. When I was a little girl, my dad and I spent every Saturday together. We had a routine that started with breakfast out at this great little old-timey drugstore that had a breakfast and lunch counter. I always had the same thing: a one-egg sandwich (white bread, of course), not toasted, with mayo, and the crust cut off. And an orangeade to wash it down.

Breakfast would be followed by various activities, depending on the time of year. In the summer, it was the pool. And I don’t mean a couple of hours at the pool. It was all day at the pool. In cooler months, he occassionally took me ice skating, or to the toy store, or maybe to the mall. Either way, he spent the better part of his Saturdays with me, and I cherish those memories.

Even as I got older, and had a social life that kept me busy on the weekends, we stayed close. In college, he called me at least 5 times a week. It was kind of a running joke with my roommates, but really, I loved it.

And now, as an adult, we remain close. We still talk several times a week, and I know he’s there for me when I need him. He’s generous, loving, kind, and caring. What else could a girl ask for?

Obviously, having been raised by the Best Dad Ever, my own husband has big shoes to fill in his own parenting. He doesn’t disappoint. Watching him with Ava and Davis is one of the best things to me. He has more patience than I could ever dream of having. He has this calm manner that I really envy. He has spent countless hours playing dollhouse with Ava, and that alone should put him in the Parenting Hall of Fame.

He works long hours, which I often gripe about, but he’s never too tired to spend time with the kids when he comes home after an 11 hour day at the office. I guess coming home to delighted squeals of, “Daddddeeeee!” can make you forget the stress of work for a few minutes. He loves them, and they love him. Who really needs anything more?


(Morgan and Ava, after her dance gala. Hence the costume and makeup.)

So, thanks to my husband, one of the two greatest dads I know. And, thanks to my own dad, the other greatest dad I know. You guys are the best, and we probably don’t thank you enough.

Happy Father’s Day.



Friday, June 17, 2011

Frantic Friday

Here’s a fact about me: I should never be allowed to be in charge of things. Somehow, though, someone who obviously didn’t know this asked me to co-direct Vacation Church School this year. In years past, VCS has always appeared to run like a well-oiled machine, so I figured, “Sure, I can handle this.”

Here’s the thing, though: I am a little bit of a proscratinator. In college, I was a political science major. That meant writing lots of long papers. I got pretty good at churning out a 20-page paper on things like British Parliamentary Procedure in oh, one night or so. Maybe 2. I was really good at doing the preliminary research, but then would wait until the very last second to actually start writing. As you can see from my glamorous jobs of unpaid house slave and blogger, those college years worked out really well for me.

I digress.

VCS starts on Monday, so this week has been a little crazy. That’s okay, though. Procrastinators like me work best under pressure. I can see that everything is going to work out fine, and spending the better part of my weekend chasing down a box of 250 CDs is just fine. Of  course, it would be easier for me to chase down the CDs if the guy who was burning them for me would actually return a call or a text. And maybe didn’t sound drunk when I did actually speak to him.

What has really made me day, however, is this:

In the midst of all this stress, though, some humor:

This new “children’s” bedtime book is the most hysterical thing I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve been hearing about it for a month or so now. It rocks. Even better than the book, though, is the audio version. It’s read by none other than Samuel L. Jackson. If f-bombs are going to be dropped, I can’t think of anyone better to do it.

Now, I’m attempting here to embed video of this hilarity for you. Hopefully, I’m tech-savvy enough for this to work. If not,  sorry.

I’ll be back Sunday with a Father’s Day post. Happy weekend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy Baby Giveaway!

No, no….I’m not giving away a happy baby. Or even an unhappy baby. I just wanted to let you all know about a great giveaway that’s going on over at Hines-Sight Blog. If you aren’t familiar with the blog, please check it out. And if you have babies, or even big kids, enter to win some great products from the Happy Baby line of yummy baby and kid food.

Now, go enter that contest!

Monday, June 13, 2011

3 weeks Down, how many to go?

I think my kids have been out of school for 3 weeks. It kind of feels like 3 months. Already, we’ve:

  • Gone to the beach
  • Nearly gone to the ER
  • Soaked up many rays at the pool
  • Complained of boredom
  • Exemplified sibling rivalry
  • Seen the “Judy Moody” movie (run far away from this one)
  • Accomplished nothing
  • Had a little fun here and there

Honestly, it took less than two weeks for me to realize I hadn’t signed my kids up for nearly enough camps this summer. I was used to having 2 mornings a week completely to myself. Why did I think I wouldn’t need that over the summer? Luckily, one of the camps around here had openings for both kids this week, so I have three mornings of bliss this week.

Don’t get me wrong. I do love these kiddos. Ava and I had a great time looking at old pictures for an hour the other night. I cracked up when Davis saw a shirtless man running and announced, “BOOBIES!” But I also loved my quiet house this morning. It was so nice not to hear the bickering, whining, or backtalk.

I also got to catch up on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Decorators.”

Like all Bravo shows, I lurve it. Over the weekend, I caught up on “Real Housewives of NYC.” Those women wear me out. I’m behind on the New Jersey Housewives.

Wait. I should probably be embarassed to be sharing all this, shouldn’t I? What can I say? My brain is fried by the end of these summer days, and I just can’t process anything more cerebral.

Besides, Bravo goes so well with wine.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer Beach trip #1

I’m at the beach. I’ve been here since Monday, and it’s been hot hot hot, but still. It’s the beach. So, no complaints. I drove down here with the kids in record time. A trip that often takes 4 hours took only 3 hours, 20 minutes. I’m still not sure how that happened. Maybe it was because I put my almost 6-year-old in a diaper and told her to deal with it because we weren’t stopping.


It was a pull-up, not a diaper.

Kidding again. I promise.

Things were going well until Wednesday evening, when this happened:

If you think that’s bad, you should see the coffee table he ran into.

I thought we would need stitches under that band-aid, but as it turns out, I waited too long to seek medical attention, which eliminated the need for stitches. It’s fine, though. It’s looking much better now. All that purple is turning a lovely shade of yellow-green.

So, the morning after the fight, I took Davis to a local urgent care. My mom went with us. As we were walking in, I told her that I envisioned a beach urgent care doctor to be a bit of a hippie, who goes home and smokes weed after treating patients all day.

I wasn’t completely wrong.

The doctor turned out to be maybe late-30s/early 40s. He wasn’t a hippie, but was trying to project some kind of rock-star vibe. When he  found out we were from Raleigh, he said, “I’m gonna be up that way in a few weeks for the Def Leppard concert.”

Dude, you just admitted that you’re driving 220 miles to see Def Leppard? I’m not sure I trust your judgment in treating my child.

I was especially relieved when he said Davis didn’t need stitches. I wasn’t entirely confident we were being treated in a sterile environment. The office reminded me of something from MASH. In fact, I was thinking, “My mom can needlepoint pretty well. Wonder how she’d do with Davis’ face?”

The rest of the week was uneventful, save for a couple of extreme meltdowns from Ava. (Note to self:  don’t let her stay up til 10pm at the beach. Every night. It catches up. And it’s ugly).

We did manage a few good beach pics.


Tomorrow is Ava’s dance gala,which is sure to be entertaining, in a Toddlers in Tiaras sort of way. I promise to give you a good report.