Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Perhaps Chuck and I should just ditch our collaborative cooking. The last time we were both cooking in the kitchen, he asked for Cumin for the charro beans and I handed him Cinnamon.
As for the Halloween costumes, I'm almost sold on dressing like Bristol Palin, but I've got to convince Chuck to dress up as my Baby Daddy (full on with the Bristol tattoo on his left ring finger).
Monday, September 29, 2008
Luke keeps asking when Halloween is. He can't believe it isn't until October 31st, although I'm pretty sure he still has not grasped the concept of time, but he is getting there. He wants to be Batman, by the way. (He was Superman last year). Evie wants to be a butterfly/fairy/princess. I want to be Bristol Palin - think I can pull it off? Yeah, probably not.
In keeping with this wonderful sense of the season, my sweet, dear husband sent me an autumn flower arrangement today. I'll have to take a picture. It is beautiful and I keep getting compliments on it. The best part is he actually supports my obsession about the season. It's definitely starting to invade my spirit since this is my favorite time of year! In fact, I've decided that I must make an apple pie tonight. Yes, I, too, think it might be the hormones talking, but why ignore such a great craving? In fact, I think I might go on a quest to find the perfect apple pie recipe. Anyone want to come over and try pies? I'll be sure to post the results on the blog.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Last night at 5:30 was the kids' first Open House at their school. I've been swamped at work, but I thought there might be a chance of breaking away to go visit the school and see my little angels/devils at school. So at 6:15 (already late) I ask Bossman 1 if all is well and he says "sure, go on home." I go to drop something off in another conference room and see Bossman 2 who says, "We need to work on this. It is a little more complicated than originally thought." So, I sit down (even though I'm late) and wait for him to explain what is going on and then I ask, "So what kind of deadline do we have on this because we keep having things come up?" He looks soberly at me and says, "The client wants us to figure it out tonight." My eyes widened and I feel myself beginning to lose control of my hormones, as my eyes turn glassy and I say hesitantly, "Okay." I take a deep breath, Bossman 2 catches sight of the watery eyes and asks, "Do you have somewhere you need to be?" (A simple, innocuous question, particularly since I have no trouble staying late to work usually.) I nod slightly trying to quickly gather my emotions which have separated from the rational thoughts circulating in my head. (I hate that being pregnant can cause you to completely and utterly lose control of emotional reactions - it is so freakin' frustrating.) Bossman 2 asks, "Where do you need to be?" I squeak out, "My kids' open house," as I continue to spiral downward out of control and feel the tear ducts increase water production. Inside, I'm groaning and totally pissed off that I can't get my emotions under control. I feel so stupid! Normally, I'd just adjust my testicles and say, "Yeah, I didn't want to go to that anyway." But instead, here I am looking like a man's worst nightmare of what it is like to work with a woman. Bossman 2 responds, "Well you need to go to that." Me, "No, no, it's no big deal" - a real tear falls (Ugh! I'm mortified at this point). "Really it's not a big deal." Bossman 2, "You need to go to that. I'll stay and get this ready and you can analyze it in the morning." Me (fully out of control at this point although not sobbing), "I'm so sorry about this, it's got to be the hormones, because this really isn't a big deal. It's not like my Mom's in the hospital or something." Bossman 2, "This only happens once a year. You need to go. I'll take care of this." Me, "I'm sorry, I hate being a chick! I'm so sorry." Bossman 2 (now looking thoroughly scared and feeling awkward), "Stop. You don't need to apologize. Go to the open house." More apologies and stupidity.
I proceed to leave the conference room and the tears fully begin to flow at a ridiculous pace. To my horror, I run into yet another attorney (this time a female associate) and she asks, "What is wrong?" Me, "nothing, nothing" sniffle, gasp, tear drips. More embarrassment, more ridiculousness as my mind processes that this is simply the stupidest thing to cry about, because the Open House is pretty much over already anyway, and the kids don't care whether I'm there or not, and finally, Chuck is there so it's not like they're orphans. Stupid.
I get to my office, gather my stuff, wipe my face with a tissue and try to gather my control, but my hormones are totally in control of all my bodily functions even though my mind is processing the entire event in a calm, rational manner. Hormones suck!
I get to the open house. Most everyone is gone. There are some parents and teachers. The tears haven't completely dried up, my face is splotchy red, I have a damp tissue in my hand, and my nose keeps sniffling. Teachers repeatedly come up to me, "Are you okay?" Me, "I'm fine, I'm fine, really" as I wave my nasty tissue in their direction and they back up in response. More teachers approach as I enter each room desparately looking for my children. The teachers also inquire as to whether everything is okay. I repeat over and over, "no, no I'm fine. I swear. Just ignore me. Have you seen my kids?" I finally find my children and my husband upstairs mingling with other parents from the school. The parents we are close to again ask me what is wrong, and I say, "Just don't ask or I'll start crying again." Of course, I don't get all the words out when tears burst forth from my overworked tear ducts yet again and I bury my runny nose into my soaking tissue. Still embarrassed and still totally pissed that my body has run amuck from my completely rational mind.
About 45 minutes after the first teary-eyed response to Bossman 2, the tears finally dried up after Chuck and the kids made me laugh for about five minutes. God bless them. Chuck lined up Luke, Evie and friend Savannah to see which one was the tallest and proceeded to ask them silly questions to determine who was the tallest. Who smells the tallest? - He sniffs each head and determines that Evie smells the tallest. Who sounds the tallest? He put his ear to each kid's head and determines that Savannah sounds the tallest. (all kids giggling the whole time). Who has the tallest shoulders? - they all raise their shoulders as high as they can almost touching their ears. I crack up. You get the picture.
This morning, I'm still embarrassed and hope desparately, that I won't lose control of my emotions again. I'm the first one to actually get pregnant and have a baby at the firm, and I know they're all thinking, "Oh, my God, what did we get ourselves into by hiring a person with a uterus?!" I continue to work and just hope that my hormones will turn back into bitchy hormones instead of emotional hormones. Bitchy hormones are much more conducive to my job as an attorney.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Work aside, things have been going alright. We had a big weekend. Evie turned 3 on Sunday! Like every parent I know, I can't believe how fast they grow up. Among other things, Evie got 4 Barbies for her birthday and she LOVES them. My mom particularly despises Barbies and the short reason is that she thinks Barbies lead to premarital sex. I think there's a disconnect in her evaluation, but I'm sure she'd be happy to explain it to you. Personally, I know many, many girls who had Barbies and I don't think that played any role in whether they engaged in premarital sex or not. You guys tell me? I think most people engage in premarital sex these days (barbies or not), but that's just my opinion. I digress.
Back to the boring post regarding my weekend:
Chuck went to the Aggie football game. Not pleasant, but I'm glad he still enjoys doing it even though the team isn't having a stellar season this year. Chuck is totally red-ass so I don't think the score matters so long as he and the players show up. Chuck tries to carry the dead weight of all the two percenters out there. I swear I think he thinks it is like Christmas magic. You know that movie Elf with Will Ferrell and there is the part where Santa's sleigh won't fly because not enough people believe in Santa or have Christmas cheer? Well, I think Chuck sees football season like that. If not enough people cheer or believe in the Aggies then they won't win. Accordingly, Chuck does his best to take up all the slack in the cheering and belief in the mythical Aggie National Championship so that the Aggies will win.
Otherwise, a pleasant weekend although I did spend my Friday night at McDonalds (yikes) and then shopping at Wal-mart. I never imagined my life like this, where a Friday night could be so easily (and painfully consumed) by 30 four year olds running around and screaming at the McDonald's playland. And Saturday was similarly occupied with entertaining the children on my own. Lucky for me, I have another similar weekend ahead of me as Army plays at A&M on Saturday.
On the bright side, my Cowboys trounced the Packers in Greenbay! Congratulations Boys! Like Chuck, I believe in the magic of team spirit, and I had the kids and myself totally decked out in Tony Romo jerseys for the game.
Hope Tuesday is better than Monday! Peace out.
Friday, September 19, 2008
I have to admit that it is a very strange feeling to have strangers going through our house. What are they looking at? They know what size I wear. They know that our dog wears a cone on her head (still). They see our taste in art, the college degrees we hang on the wall in our study, our kids' penchant for Dora and Diego, and everything else about us. It is very strange.
So, we've been talking to our friends, family, and co workers about this issue we're having regarding Luke and Evie's recent questions and facination with private parts and we're coming up with some interesting answers.
To my great relieve, Luke's teacher (Ms. D) assured me that Luke does not talk about or touch his penis at school. Thank Heaven! She did admit that her kids went through the same phase and it is totally normal. She said her daughter was acutally worse than her son (when they were both around Evie and Luke's ages). Ms. D said her daughter would touch her hoohah (aka vagina) for comfort - almost like having a favorite blanket or binkie. (yeah, I think this is weird too, but I can't throw stones because one of my kids might start doing it too). So, Ms. D said that whenever her daughter would put her hand down her pants, Ms. D would send her little girl to her room and whenever she was done doing whatever she could come out. This was, of course, never meant as a punishment. Ms. D just said that if her daughter was going to do that then she had to do it in private. Ms. D encouraged me to tell Luke that his penis is private. Interesting - but we're always in private when Luke talks about it, and I'm not ready for him to announce something about his penis in the middle of church just so I can emphasize that his penis is a private matter.
A couple we know and love (who shall remain unidentified) has a daughter Evie's age who sucks her thumb and rubs her nipple (all at the same time) for comfort. They asked the doctor about it and the doctor didn't seem concerned at all. Frankly, if the doctor isn't concerned then I wouldn't be either, although I totally understand their distress. At least Luke doesn't constantly have his hand down his pants.
Chuck was talking to one of his coworkers about Luke and Evie's facination and told her the story about Luke asking what happened to Evie's penis. Chuck's coworker told him that when her son and daughter were Luke and Evie's age, her daughter asked what happened to her penis since she saw that her brother had one. The mother explained that little girls don't have penises. Her daughter then announced that instead of a penis she had a "front butt" and a "back butt." God bless their little souls, I can't believe some of the stuff little kids come up with, but I guess it makes sense. I could see how a little girl's hoohah could look like a front butt, can't you?
I guess, it isn't just boys (little and big) who are obsessed with their private parts, although I think it is more prevalent among boys.
A coworker of mine said his mom was constantly getting after him and his brother to stop touching themselves. He said boys are just like that. I guess it's true, and now I have little George to contend with.
And of course, there are still those adult men out there who touch themselves in public without even realizing they are doing it. How in the world do they get this far without someone saying something to them? I have no idea what the deal is, but some men just never stop touching themselves everywhere and anywhere. Maybe they need new underwear. Maybe they have jock itch. Whatever it is, they've got to stop touching themselves! I see men adjusting themselves obviously while they're running, in the elevator, in the office, at a happy hour, in a deposition, standing over my shoulder, at church, in line at the movie theater, or really just about anywhere. You name it - they do it! Lord knows that we women aren't constantly reaching down to adjust our boobs or our hoohahs.
Back to the kids. The most recent incident regarding private parts at our house took place a week ago when my mother (Ike Refugee) was in town and planning to watch the kids. I came downstairs fully dressed for work and was sitting on the couch chatting with my mom about her plans for the day. Evie crawled up on my lap, patted my chest and interrupted with, "Mommy, your nipples are bi-hiiig!" I said, "Thank you, Evie. That's enough." and I removed her hand. I looked up at my chuckling mother and said, "See what I mean? That came out of nowhere!" Dear mother had no wise words to address the matter. I'm starting to realize that Evie has not distinguished between a nipple and the entire breast. Still, most of you know that I'm not well endowed at all, so if she is telling me my nipples are big (meaning my breasts) then what in the world is she telling her new teacher who has enormous breasts?!? And, do I ask the teacher, "Hey, Ms. C, has Evie mentioned anything about your nipples lately?" I'd like to nip this thing in the bud (no pun intended), but I'm not sure how to address her teacher's private parts. Some of you reading this are teachers. Any of you experience this? What would you want the parent to say?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
We all do this - catagorize our time and how we spend it. Do I get enough time with God? Do I get enough time with my kids? Am I spending enough time at work to impress the boss or earn my salary? The problem is that within the practice of law (and among other professions), I spend my time so diligently tracking how I spend every minute of my day. Can I spend an extra fifteen minutes at lunch? Instead of 1 hour, I've spent 1.3 and now I have to make up the .3 somewhere. If I bill less than 7.5 hours in a day, I realize that sometime during the year I will have to sacrifice to make up the billable hours that I missed, and I have to weigh the importance of missing any time at work.
Some things are easy to determine, but others are not. For example, there is no decision to be made when it comes to going to my kid's school presentation, staying at home with a sick kid, or like today, attending a funeral. Yes, I will sacrifice the 3 hours of billable time so that I can pay my respects to my friend who passed away and his family. Yes, I will stay at home with my sick child. Yes, I will do my best not to miss my kid's mother's day presentation. These are things, however, that force me to recognize that my law firm is not receiving it's day's work that I owe for my salary. In another job, I would just have personal time (elusive in a law firm career) and I would take that personal time without guilt or any thought that I have to make it up sometime in the future. However, at a law firm, I know that I have to make up the time when I'm gone. So, I do it.
In the grand scheme of life, however, I am contemplating whether it is healthy for a person to live in increments such as these - measuring my life by ticks in the clock rather than by my accomplishments at work. Did I bill 40 hours this week, preparing for a single deposition that never took place? Yes. Success. Did I settle a case, win a motion, and provide helpful counsel to a client entering into a contract? Yes, but I did it all in only 32 billable hours - no success. I still have 8 hours to make up.
The same is applied to life. Did I spend every day with my kids while I cleaned the house and let them watch tv? Yes, success because I a majority of time with my kids. But what if I spend two hours every night with my kids, talking about school, reading books, and playing soccer? Then, no success because I only spent 14 hours with my kids.
The problem comes into quality. I would rather spend 14 hours of quality time with my kids than stay at home with them and spend that time cleaning house or constantly riding them to do their homework or their chores. Does this seem backward? Am I missing a key ingredient in life with kids? I feel the same way about work. I'd rather accomplish something rather than bill out hours for document review or letters and phone calls. With that said, the billable hours and tasks that I just listed (such as document review) are necessary evils in the practice of law.
Still, when attending a funeral it brings to mind whether measuring my life in increments of 10ths of an hour is wise, healthy, and worth it.
Try measuring your life by this clock and tell me how much you love/hate it. In a glass-is-half-full kinda way, at least I know where I spend my time, and I can evalute whether I'm making the right decisions. Tell me what you think.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
My sister Cathy told me a few weeks after my Dad died that my Dad's mother believed that people who die are raised to Heaven through beams of sunshine like the one in the picture above. I always look for those beams after someone I know passes away. I also always think of those who have left this world for another one. It does seem like a beautiful way to enter Heaven. There are no beams today as I watch the sun set in a clear sky. Perhaps I will see them soon. Much love to you all.
Friday, September 12, 2008
What is most amazing is that she can squeeze throught her doggie door with this enormous cone around her head. I still won't let her out in the backyard by herself because I'm afraid she'll jump in the pool and drown herself (and I would never know if it was a suicide or an accident).
I have to admit that I'm totally having seller's blues, because, really our house is so pretty and, well, it is our home. I will certainly miss it if someone buys it. I even feel like I'm betraying the house that has been so good to me for the last four years. It is beautiful (to me) and I hate to see someone come in and make it ugly. Of course, if someone can come in and do even more good for it like putting more money into the backyard, then I won't feel so bad. Gosh, it sounds like I'm putting my kid up for adoption or something.
So there you have it - we're actually going to move if someone buys our house.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
We have another practice this afternoon if it doesn't rain. Now, Luke is unhappy if he doesn't get to wear his full-out game uniform instead of the second-class practice clothes. Are all kids this complicated, or is mine more demanding than most? Seriously, I thought boys weren't supposed to care about this stuff. Luke has very specific ideas on how the uniform should be worn. For example, when we put on his shin guards, he insisted that the shin guards go over his black soccer socks instead of under. I tried to convince him that all his friends would be wearing their shin guards under their socks, to which Luke responded matter-of-factly "Sorry Mom, I want to wear them this way." I rolled my eyes and gave up. Chuck lifted his eyebrows at me and in recognition of Luke's I-know-better-than-you, so-leave-me-alone tone of voice. And Luke, looking oh, so stylish, showed up and "played" the entire soccer game with his shin guards over his socks. He's so cool.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Both Luke and Evie have added to their daily vocabulary the word "beautiful" however, they say it differently. Luke quite clearly says "beautiful" and Evie quite clearly says "bootful." Luke will see a bird or a picture or his sister in a dress and say, "Look, it's beautiful!" It is such a sweet sound and I love that he can appreciate nature, art, and his sister in such a heartfelt, sincere way. Evie, usually uses this word only in the context of personal beauty and in her own way, it is almost more precious than Luke. For example, every morning we get Evie dressed and she will ask sweetly after she's put her dress (or shorts and shirt) on, "Mommy, am I bootful?" My heart wrenches with sweetness every time and I gush, "Oh, yes, Evie, you are definitely beautiful!"
Some of the sweetest moments, however, are when I come out in a dress or a fancy outfit and either one of them looks at me with saucer eyes full of awe (as if I look like the porcelain faced Audrey Hepburn) and says with soft amazement, "Mommy, you're beautiful." I love it! I wish I looked that good.
Each year Chuck and I go to the UT Arlington Distinguished Alumni Gala which is a black tie affair. Chuck wears a tux and I wear a formal dress. A couple years ago when Luke was 2 and a half, I came downstairs wearing my formal black dress and was giving the babysitter final instructions when Luke saw me. He came up with his sticky hands and reached out for my billowing skirt and asked, "Mommy? Are you a princess?" He was absolutely amazed that I could be so transformed. I swear, he earned a little something more in my will that day (not that I've got a lot to give." Here I am in my "princess" costume standing next to honorees in my official capacity as President of the Alumni Association. Not quite Audrey Hepburn.
They're just so darn honest, so a compliment from a child is truly more valuable than one from an adult. Children are so sincere and have no idea that they should or shouldn't say something, aside from not saying dirty words or calling their friend stupid, etc. Although Luke has been super sweet as evidenced above, he has also been brutally honest. As you all know, I suffer from mild acne (sometimes not so mild) and when I "bloom" (as my father-in-law calls it), it can get quite ugly and noticeable. For years, my loving husband has listened to me whine and complain about this plight in my life. Obviously, it isn't cancer so I should shut up about it already, but I can't help but complain. Anyway, in the last year, Luke had gotten old enough to notice that my face is "blooming" and he will point and ask me with just a smidgen of disgust, "What is that on your face?!" Until now, I've basically told him that it is a boo-boo. This, of course, elicits great sympathy on his part whereas with adults and teenagers, it would elicit pure, unleashed disgust. At least, I know that's how I feel about it. But, teenagers and adults would never even mention a sore on someone's face, so I guess it is a trade off. Plus, I'm so used to my "blooming" face being politely ignored, that I am thoroughly embarassed by it and hate even subjecting anyone to lunching with me and having to stare at me while they eat. I know I make it out to be worse than it actually is (sometimes), but I can't help how I feel. So, it was a sweet change to have Luke feel sorry for me and my plight as I reassured him that it would be okay and go away eventually.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Now I need to figure out what the Bennifer name is for Obama and Biden: Obiden? Obaden? Can you combine two men's names who are not in a relationship? Surely you can if we are combining a man and a woman who are not in a relationship. Wouldn't want to take away the rights of any same-sex couples, romantic or otherwise, right?
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
There was no such thing as satellite radio. He did not have a cd player in his car. He did not get to watch Britany Spears go "Oops, I did it again" - in more ways than one. Once again, I'm not sure he would have cared. He couldn't just pick up his cell phone and call home when he got a flat tire - he had to carry a quarter to make a call at the nearest pay phone. There were few SUV's and "SUV" was not a common term back then. There was no Firestone tire episode, no memory of 9/11, no epidemic of crystal methe and having to register to buy sudafed at the store, no reason to leave your pocket knife at home when flying, no such thing as "Homeland Security." It is amazing all the things that have happened since his death. I can't even post a picture of him because I don't have an electronic picture of him. I think the last major thing to happen while he was alive was the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Just think back to what you were doing then and it should put into perspective how much can happen in just 18 years, when really, 18 years just doesn't seem like a very long period of time in the grand scheme of things. But clearly, 18 years is a very long time in the grand scheme of our lives.
So, take a moment today to be thankful that we're here to appreciate all the wonders of our world, good and bad. Take a moment to be thankful that you will see someone you love today. And always remember this, and I quote from someone else's deceased father (may he rest in peace), "Yesterday is a canceled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is the only cash you have - spend it wisely."
All my love to everyone reading, and to you, Dad. We still miss you.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I wonder what possesses them to take all their clothes off and leave them off.
Luke and Evie have also taken to wrestling this weekend - a new phenomenon in our household. I wonder how long that will last. They roll around on the floor like a couple of puppies and Chuck and I (being the civilized parents that we are) look at them in confusion and wonder where they came up with this new game. We certainly have nothing against wrestling - some of my favorite parents engage in this sport with their kids - but we really don't do that and never have. The kids think it is hilarious. They must know something that I don't.