Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Came Up With 25 Random Things

Well, I squandered my morning away writing a list of 25 Random Things About Me, in response to a F@cebook tag. I know. Really. I could have been writing an entertaining story about my Mom's visit.
But since I wrote the list, which I struggled with due to issues with talking about myself... (I know. Really. Am I bipolar? I blog about the kids, right? Not me?) I am going to post the dern thing and make everyone read it. 'Cause it took a long time and I really thought hard about it, even though that was a bit OCD of me, and I could have chattered off 25 things in a flash.

And, I wrote the list because I was tagged by 2 people that I enjoyed reading about, and who were fearless enough to tag me. Even though they know I have a rather busy life around here. Or maybe they tagged me because they notice the inordinate amount of time I spend online writing, and just wanted to give me something to do?
I like to think they really wanted to know 25 Things About Me. Really. Well, ready or not, here you go. And if you feel so inclined, consider yourself tagged. Because I really do want to know 25 things about you.

25 {Random} Things About Me

1. I loved the Bobbsey Twins books as a girl, and remember wishing I could have twins when I grew up.
2. When I grew up and in fact did have twins, I secretly thought myself to be a teensy bit magical, in a wide-eyed-wondering-if-wishes-come-true sort of way. That’s why when people ask if twins run in Rick’s family, the little girl in me squeals “No! No-no-no… this happened because I wished it.”
3. I have a fear of losing my keys down storm drains. I instinctively clutch them tightly whenever I walk over one.
4. When my Dad died almost 2 years ago, it changed my paradigm regarding spirituality and the nature of life after death. Because he speaks to me still.
5. I find it hard to define & describe myself, because the ultimate truth sounds philosophical. Are we spirits having a human experience? I believe so.
6. Reading is my absolute favorite pastime.
7. I am a really fast reader. I mean, 2 books a week fast. Even with all the goings-on around here. Please advise if you know how I could turn this skill into cash.
8. Writing is my passion. When I am going about my day, I am always composing stories, documenting as I go. It is so satisfying to me when I am able to capture the feeling of a time with a turn of phrase.
9. I am laboring over this list. See #5.
10. Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert make me laugh out loud.
11. In raising four children, I see that we are all a little nuts, and it shows early.
12. In everyday life, I search for connectivity everywhere. In events, relationships, seeming coincidence… synchronicity that supports my belief in God and the omniscient presence of Spirit.
13. I have the soul of a clown. I always manage to goof up at the crucial moment. I believe it is also called foot-in-mouth disease.
14. I believe in soulmates, plural. I have found a few in my life – one is my husband, the others are friends.
15. I believe my husband and I were always making our way to each other, and that’s how we managed to meet and marry in 3 months. Almost 13 years ago… If my children try this, I will question it. Maybe.
16. My mother-in-law once asked why I married Rick, when I could have been President. I’m not sure where she got this idea. :)
17. I am extremely optimistic. Not only is the glass half-full, it is half-full with wondrous possibilities!
18. I have a thing for Swedes. If there is one within a 20 ft radius, we will talk. Shopping in Ikea doesn’t count.
19. I hope to travel a lot when my children are a bit older.
20. The smell of fresh baby intoxicates me. Even more so with the fourth and last one. I dread losing the memory of that smell, and the feeling that all is right with the world when you breathe it in.
21. I try to raise my children to be thinkers, and to believe they are here for a purpose.
22. This is a number that crops up everywhere in my life. It is my number.
23. When I sit on the deck with my husband and a cold beer, I sigh with utter contentment.
24. I do not feel guilty when I email friends and play online instead of doing laundry.
25. I have a tattoo on my foot. It is an infinity symbol, and to me it is a map of where my Dad now dwells. {Thank you, Shah.}

Monday, January 26, 2009

Life got in the way

I think that is a perfectly appropriate way to describe what gets in the way of our intentions.

My intentions to post a s-w-e-e-t birth-to-fourth post about the girls went awry... due to an extremely busy birthday spent doing all sorts of activities that were very fun but at the end of the day caused me to find the bottom of a bottle. Then, my extremely flexible Mom came a day early (arriving at the end of the birthday), since she was flying standby, and the NC snow caused her planned flight to over-book. So she simply drove to the airport a day early to get on a different plane. This occasion did not pass without a little bragging of how flexible life is when you do not have a brood to consider. I think she phrased it "I can just lock the door and go."

Hmm. I can do that too. And sometimes, I do. I just walk out, lock the door, and sit in the yard just breathing the silence. It's the closest thing to therapy sometimes. I have a chair out front that serves the purpose nicely. I sit in the sun, breathing deeply and being thankful for the self-governing capacity to cope. Ha! Does this serve as a birthday post, or a de-stressing-after-birthday post?

Let me try again - I know you want to see those little pumpkins when they had 3-fat-roll legs and bald heads.

The most fascinating thing about their personalities is that they have remained the same since they were in the womb. True to form. Jadyn's raucous grin, and Isabella's reserved smile.

So, on their big day we mixed up cakes (one for each, thank you very much), baked them, iced them (each one icing their own, if you please), had a birthday bath in Mommy & Daddy's whirlpool tub (not me, just them. Not Rick either.), opened some new shoes, went to Chuck E. Cheese's, came home to eat cake, opened some new pj's, said good night, got Gigee from the train, opened some vino, and called it a day.

At Chuck E. Cheese's when we sat down to eat, things happened rapidly in the first 2 minutes. Jadyn's pizza fell face down under the table. Isabella's full drink fell under the table. Phoenix pulled Cole's pizza off the table. Rick & I chugged a beer, quickly. What is under that table?! A Chuck E Bermuda Triangle that sucks food right off the table? The Hunchback of Chuck E, lurking, waiting for a meal? Like gravity and magnets, things flew off that table.

A sweet moment happened at the end of the day, when I went back in their room to hush them and say good night again. They were laying at the foot of each bed facing each other, chins in hands, talking about their day. Like little teenagers. Isabella said "I can't sweep, Mommy. I can't help it. I just want a wittle more cake."

In a flash they went from being my little pumpkin doodles, to being 4.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why, come on in, Mr. President!

I'd be delighted to spend the day with you. Really! Try not to be alarmed by the watery eyes. You bring me to tears. Frequently. And this promises to be quite a day... so look away when your hear me sniffle, m'kay?

What? You enjoy my blog?

Why thank you. I think you have quite a way with words too. Have you heard that before? I am also rather partial to your wings. They suit you.
Come on into the kitchen, I'm making lobster ravioli with asparagus. See? Jadyn wants to feed you a piece.
I feel like I should gush at you, or say something profound to mark this occasion. Only, my latent editorial skills have kicked in. Mind if I sum things up in monosyllables?
You don't mind at all, and in fact prefer that? Bless you. We will get along just fine.
A day well-spent.
Thank you. I feel sure we're off to a good start. Thanks for stopping by. I'll keep you in my prayers.
(*squeeeeal* - don't you love-love-love my new shirt????)

Monday, January 19, 2009


Martin. Cole is surprisingly casual about Martin. As though they are close friends, compatriots and compadres. He almost always uses only the given name, adding on the others only for impact.

It started in kindergarten, when the class did a section on great Americans. Cole came home talking about Martin and his dream. He drew pictures and decorations to celebrate Martin's Birthday, marked it on the calendar, and expounded on The Dream to whoever would listen.

We were amused by this, and impressed at his teacher for making such an impression.

Then, he came home with a picture of George Washington that he had colored... and Mr. Washington had dark skin. We were even more amused. Cole would describe in disbelief the segregation of past years, but add a modern slant to it:

"I mean Mommy, come on. Can you believe there used to be rule about hanging out with people who had different skin color?! It's just skin! That is so crazy."

In his world, it could only be described as crazy. Because growing up in the 00's in a major metro county, the life experience of a young Southern boy is decidedly different. In his classroom he sits side by side with children of Japanese descent, South American, Scandinavian, African-American, plain old American and everything in between. He knows the difference between an American Indian and an Indian from the Asian subcontinent - because he has friends that are Asian-Indian. The eyes of a seven year old with this experience look out on the world with no bias. It is refreshing.

When I was about 8, I was in love with the song We Are The World. I had Mom get the sheet music, and I played my little heart out, trying to learn that song on the piano and to sing along.

"We are the world...we are the children... we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving. There's a choice we're making, we're saving our own lives... it's true we make a better day just you & me."

Remembering the lyrics brings me back to those times of certain hope and utter belief that many things could be set to right. And I see it echoed in Cole as he walks a world where the divisions of life and race will not mean what they meant when I was a child. And to slough it off as childish naivete is to miss the beauty of change a generation brings.

How do you question the insight of a child that hears about Barack Obama's election, and though we had never discussed the historic impact of that outcome, immediately smiles up at me and says "Mom. This is just what Martin wanted." As though the voice of history whispered in his small heart.

Well. It is a good day for hope and change, and for remembering what Martin wanted. As we learn from these small, wise ones that it is indeed the content of character that proves a man or woman, we can't help but walk alongside change. Recognizing a child's open heart to all is the first step. And it will be the children and their choice to move into a time where they do in fact make a better day.

The continued lyrics of We Are The World are potent, and these many years later have been echoed in the chant of last fall - Change.

We can't go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of God's great big family...

...When you're down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize
That a change will only come
When we stand together as one...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Twin Phenomenon? Or Just Plain Weird Kids

I am truly doing the mommy blogger thing this week, because all my posts are about these kids. What can I say, they are rich fodder for writing, and I'm on Day Four Without Rick. Sure, his story of being propositioned in Vegas makes for a good tale (*cough*), but you'll have to wait for that one.

Instead I will introduce you to a twin phenomenon.

This is not a scientific phenomenon by any means. I'm pretty sure it's just an oddity that happens to affect both of these children, but it sounds cooler to say its a phenomenon than to say I have weird kids.

You may recall that the girls were awake in the night and noticed the power was out, earlier in the week. Well, I really can't say how much they are awake in the night, or what they are doing, since as you might guess I am sleeping. I also can't tell you what they are doing most nights, because they are in night-time quarantine, to curb their wanderings. I do know that before the current quarantine regime, we had all kinds of evidence of their nightlife.

The final straw that necessitated the lockdown was The Creepy incident.
I came down one morning to find the girls up at and at 'em as usual. But as I entered the playroom, I immediately noticed that the back door was unlocked, and the lights were on out back. The situation jumped out at me because at 5:30am it is still very dark out. In a shocked tone, I asked the girls if they had messed with the door and lights. Isabella replied "We wanted to go out into The Creepy." Ah. They made a game out of the dark night, called it The Creepy, and went outside. Freak out. This disturbed me, this evidence that they had no qualms about leaving the house while we were all asleep.
Result: Lockdown. Quarantine. Reversed door handle on the bedroom door.

Cut to today, a few months later. The girls are advised to wait until they see a "6" on the clock before knocking on the door to come out in the morning.
Only last night there was a change of schedule. Around 2:30am I heard a tap-tapping at their door, and little voices chanting "Knock, knock, who's there...". I stumbled to their room to see what the problem was.
I was greeted at the door by two fully-dressed children, ready to come out and play. What?!? I mumbled something about it not being anywhere near "6" and why did they have their school clothes on? Apparently they were "ready to go to school" and Isabella was urgently hungry and thirsty. They implied clearly that I was the one with a problem, not them. I demanded urgently that their pj's be re-donned post-haste and no I would not be singing any more lullabies.

This boggles me. What are they doing in there all night?? They don't get crazy amounts of sugar, drink no caffeine, and I certainly have not left any speed laying around on the end tables. They are high on life and living in their own little world, in which I am mostly a satellite that swings by to serve food & set them free in the morning.
A twin phenomenon? Or just a separate wavelength? They mock me & my prying questions, cutting eyes at each other and giggling.
We should've known. Should have seen this coming the day they were born. The moment the OB stated that Jadyn had the shortest umbilical cord she had ever seen, we should have prepared ourselves. Keep that one a short leash, kids. That one and her cohort.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Greetings brave souls!

If you are still checking in on me after my shocking, voluptuous belly expose yesterday, then welcome. And all apologies. I really should have put a warning on that post.
I got caught up in reminiscing and looking at those pictures, and musing on the girlies upcoming birthday.
Today I have been thinking of metaphors. I mean, sure, I could just say that some days are a challenge, but where's the fun in that? The dementia can usually be chased away with a fun metaphor about tending the tribe and their daily needs. Alone. While my husband is working in Vegas. So here's what I came up with:

1. Life is like PacMan. Some days I gobble all the circles and fruits, dodge the bad guys (aka breakdowns), and win the game. Other days the finale music "womp-womp-womp-waaaahhhh" plays every hour.

2. Life is like Tetris. Some days you build something out of all the blocks thrown at you, other days the stuff just piles up.

3. Life is like Star Wars. Some days you have The Force, and it is with you strong. Other days you find out Darth is your father, the Millenium Falcon breaks down, and the Ewoks have multiplied beyond belief. (This one really works, because Phoenix and his little ears are so very Yoda. And he totally keeps me on track.)

"Help you I will..."

4. Life is like Pinball. No matter how hard you ding those silver balls, they keep rolling back your way. Heh. I guess I mean for the kids to be the little silver balls? I think?
Anyway I will live to play another day. Hit me with your best metaphor.

Monday, January 12, 2009

G'night Jim Bob...

Last night our city had a power outage. No storm, no rain, just an outage around 4am.
Now, most people would never notice a middle-of-the-night outage, because most people are sleeping. My twins are not "most people" and did in fact notice this outage. Loudly.
We were startled awake by Isabella screaming for both of us, and I scrambled in there quickly once I realized everything was pitch black. And silent. We keep small fans going in the kids rooms to block out household noise. So, without the hum of fans it was dark and silent and apparently creeping the squeaky out of Bella.
I felt my way into her bed, shushing her and hoping the boys would not be wakened.
I heard Jadyn mumble something, but she laid right back down. So I snuggled in with Isabella, reassuring her that the power would come back on soon, and so would her nightlight.What is more cozy than snuggling a freshly bathed child, all warm from sleep? The sweet scent of baby shampoo just wafting from that silky fine hair... it had been awhile since I had been in their room in the night.
Out of the utter dark I heard a quavery voice: "Mommy, can you bring Bella and come to my bed?" I said Jadyn could come over and lay with us, and she replied "But I can't find you!" A moment of vulnerability for my iron-clad toughie.
So we laid in that little bed whispering about the power guys. Jadyn wondered what they were doing working on the power at bedtime, and when they would get to our house.
Suddenly Phoenix tunes up, and Isabella whimpers urgently "Don't leave me!"
I lay there debating which mole to whack, when creakety-creak goes the floor and in comes Rick. And I called his name, like there would be someone else creeping around upstairs in the dark. :)
He came and snuggled the girls while I got Phoenix back to sleep... or so I thought.
I was just slipping back to sleep in our own bed, when Phoenix screamed again. As a 5am riser, I figured it must be his time, so I tucked him in with me to nurse and hopefully doze some more.
Not 5 minutes later, here comes Rick into our room, carrying both girls.
I whispered warningly "I'm in here, with Phoenix!"
And then we both burst into giggles.
Because we just got a new king-size bed, and this was the first time we had most of the crew in there. He settled the girls between us, and we giggled some more, and I was itching to call out G'night Jim Bob, or whatever that Walton's name was.
So the 5 of us lay there listening to Cole snore (he had snuck into his sleeping bag, beside the bed, much earlier), enjoying the warmth, and trying to sleep a few winks before dawn.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Little Bit of Heart

Life takes a little bit of heart. Today I will not be faint of heart, I will in fact put stamps on an envelope and send it out on the wings of the gods.
See, my dear one and husband called my bluff yesterday with a few stark words. I didn't like it, but in the interest of self-examination he nailed the situation to the table. Too many metaphors? See, I told you I needed heart.
Today I am sending off some writing samples and an introduction letter. To a local paper. Hyperventilation starting..... now.
This is something that is hard for me to do. To put it out there in the wind, something that is a joy and a pleasure for me, and risk rejection. I can envision what would thrill me to count as a job, to write about these slices of life in a way that brings a smile and a moment of respite in a busy world. And I want that to... fall into my lap with no effort? Perhaps I have written a tad too much about MagicLand?
The topic came up (for the 5 zillionth time) and Rick bluntly said "You will be 50 and still want this." My mouth dropped. 50?! That is years away, thank you. Then he smiled and said "hypothetically" - because the point is that I talk a really good game. I have been talking this game of submitting writings, and gaining experience for quite a long time. Since I was 8 years old, precisely. :)
I even wrote the intro letter and put together a packet last September.
But that doesn't really count for much, huh.
So, faint heart never gained fair maiden and all that.
I have been feeling the love from you, dear friends, and I'm going to do this. And if this takes one try or many, I will know that it is only through the encouragement of many that I gained some heart. And the timely words of my fellow who knows me so well.
It's about the journey, not the destination, right?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Secret Life Of B

Catchy, eh? I'm thinking I should copyright that for myself, you know, so no one else grabs it. Me being The B and all.

The name goes way back.

It sounds way cooler than I used to think I was. Only now? Now I know I am way cool.

Because not only did I venture into magical territory inside an open computer, I fixed the d@mn thing! I installed a new CD/DVD drive that actually works!

So it IS a secret life for The B, this side of me that fixes magi-technological thingies.

No one would suspect...

Lest I jest, there is proof that I actually did open some sort of boxy/wirey/contraption.
See the small dark button just above my hand? That is where you pop the top, kids. That thing is not even screwed closed as a warning to people! (And by "people" I mean "me.")

I suppose better proof would be me blogging more frequently, to show that I have in fact reclaimed my computer...

Well. I don't know where the week has gone, but I can promise it was not spent in the worthy pastime of drinking mimosas in celebration of school starting. (Susan!) That would at least have resulted in some entertaining tales, I feel sure!

But back to my secret life.

I felt a spark - a delicious shiver!- of nerdiness as I connected the cables and twisted the tiny screws. I would so love to be one that is comfortable in that world of wires and sparkly, colorful nodes. To walk amongst the aisles of Circuit City and know just what a circuit is.

But I will settle for simply being able to use whatever technology comes my way.

And to that end I am embarking on MagicLand project number 2: In Which I Successfully Transfer All My Photos To An External Hard Drive So That This Computer Will Run At Warp Speed.

I have had said hard drive for almost a year. I have yet to figure out if all my files are on it or not. I keep synching... and spying the filenames when i check from my computer... but when I plug the drive into Rick's pc to verify that I have indeed copied my precious pictures - nada.

See, that is why it is MagicLand. Files appear and disappear at random. (Don't lay the blame at my feet, just because I have blogged about ye olde slipping mind. I read the manuals before I even open the packaging!)

This may prove to be a frequent topic for me, so it's best to name it right off the bat.

MagicLand. MagicLand. MagicLand.

Say it 3 times and all your computing wishes come true.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Look!

A new year begs a new look!

I found my header here:

And the spiffy ad to the left tells where the background came from.
A morning of fiddling around online begs a shower & a field trip out of the house!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sideblog: Redeemed! Maybe!

Part 3 of the Computer Tales:
The second family computer arrived from the North Pole.
The CD/DVD drive does not work. At all.
Words fail me now, though they did not fail me when speaking with customer service. Hey Murphy, your law sucks! What are the flippin' odds??
As Rick said, "I want to tell them to take a hike, but my wallet keeps saying let's give this one more try."
The things we go through for a good {refurb} deal.
So, I have been assured that the new CD/DVD drive they are sending is a simple plug n' play deal, that I should have no trouble installing. The customer service dude casually said I can just pop off the top of the computer, twist a few wires and it's done.
My eyes! My eyes! I cannot look at the interior workings of a complex, nay magical, electronic device! He lost me at "pop off the top." This is not a coke! I don't even pop the top of my van to check to oil!
I am not a techie, I just play one on tv. There is a reason my diploma says political science on it, and not computer science. And science in this case is v-e-r-y loosely defined...
Be prepared for Part 4, if the drive arrives today: "In Which I Attempt A Foray Into Magic-Land."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Do you hear that sound?

That fragmented sound? Like small, tinkling bells?

It is the sound of my sanity shattering into itsy bits, and scrambling for a quiet corner.

It means that school has been out nigh on 14 days, and my children need to go back. They are squabbling despite all the new toys and activities, and have OD'ed on Spongebob. Such insane bickering I have not heard before. At the moment, the girls are painting watercolor princess pictures, and arguing over who swirled their paintbrush in the water longer. And who the paint is closer to. And exchanging insults.
"I don't like you." "Hey!" "Don't touch my paintbrush." "Hey!!" "She is not getting any more pictures." "Hey!!!" "Bella, gimme some!"
Here comes Cole: "Where did you get that paint!? Where?!" "Is it mine?!"

And I have lost the point of this pointless tale.
Oh yeah. Sanity and school starting.

But there is also a brief rant involved!
I am debating about the header: "Why Malls Are To Be Avoided" or "House Committee on Un-American Activities."

What? You say you like the sound of the second? Me too. But it did start at the mall, so that gets a mention.
While parked at the mall, some unknown un-American defaced my Obama sticker.
It was a rather historic one, because I bought it way before he was in with the in crowd, and way before he even announced his candidacy, and even before the campaign logo was created.

It says "Barack Obama. Hope. Courage. Vision."

But I had to smirk at the current state of affairs. Because all of the good ole patriots flying their flags and denouncing anyone of questionable descent have now become un-American. :) It is decidedly un-American and un-patriotic to deface a sticker that supports our new President!

I have another one, but will leave the battle-scarred sticker on. Though perhaps the unknown vandal could take up a hobby of scraping off the W stickers that run rampant in these parts...
Change has come to Georgia, whether you're on the train or not. :)
Please report any other un-American activities to me. Ya'll are on notice, patriots. The new patriots are coming to town, and we've got plans. Plans to make the word swivel back to its true meaning...

Happy New Year! The countdown is on! 18 days til the skies open and the angels sing!
Ah... I feel a little more sane just thinking about it...