Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's a Fantasy World, After All

A few years ago, Justin told me he wanted to play fantasy football in a church league with some of his family. "No problem, just don't get hurt," I said "Not flag football. Fantasy football." He tried to explain. "So, there's this draft and we get to pick our players. We bid on them and try to get the best team to earn the most points." Seems simple enough to me. Boy was I wrong. Apparently you get points for all kinds of things. Field goals, touchdowns, yards earned, the list goes on and on and on. Take my word for it.

Living in Nashville, we are smack dab in the middle of Titan Territory. And it really is lots of fun. I even get into the Titans' games- well kinda. I'm usually on the phone, reading or playing Barbie with Maddie. But I hear the game in the background. That counts, right? So just imagine my confusion when I hear Justin cheer for the opposing team's quarterback. "Ssshhh! The neighbors might hear you. Keep it down!" I try to warn him. "Oh, it's okay. He's on my fantasy team. I don't really want his team to win, just for him to score more points." WHAT?!? I'm so confused. Just tell me what color to cheer for. Okay?

And I try to be supportive, I really do. But honestly, who can keep up with it unless you actually play? So I propose a new type of fantasy game. We'll call it "Fantasy Football Players' Wives Fantasy Shopping Trip" But really, any of my friends can play. And we're all on the same team. And we stop at Starbucks on the way home (winner's treat). And we hope to make it back in time for Desperate Housewives.

Rules and Scoring:
No children allowed. Shopping for children always acceptable.
Gain 1 point for every percentage off on the clearance rack. Example: 15% off=15pts
Get double points if purchase is shoes. Buy one get one half off not included.
For every single item purchase under $20 get 20 points.
Lose 10 points for items purchased full price.
Only Sunday afternoon shopping is eligible and must be witnessed by at least one other player.

And when we get home, the children are bathed and in bed, dinner is cooked, the house is clean and our husbands love every thing we bought. This is either the best fantasy ever, or they just really want us to take the kids next time.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Little Ears

I have a bad habit of not considering what I'm talking about when Maddie is around. It hasn't really been a problem. But after today, I'll definitely be listening from a 3 year old's viewpoint.

I was on the phone today with Hope, my best friend from college. She is pregnant, and like moms tend to do, I started telling her about when I was pregnant with Maddie. "That girl would move like crazy. It looked like an alien was inside me, moving from side to side." You get the gist.

After hanging up the phone, Maddie said "Am I an alien?" "Only at 5:30 in the morning," I thought. But I explained what I meant. "No, when you were in mommy's tummy, you moved so much it felt funny, like an alien was there. You've always been human." Um,I think.

"Oh. I was in your tummy?"
"Yes, that's where God puts babies until they are big enough to come out."
"Oh. And then I came out of your mouth, like throw up?"
"No. Not quite."
"Then how?"

I braced myself. This was a HUGE parenting moment. In my mind I ran through every possible explanation. And then I said what any sensible, mature, well-read mom would say.

"Why don't we call Gram and ask her"

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Workin' It

On any given night, I may be working with college students, an assistant district attorney, a high school English teacher, old timers, or some just out of high school. And these are just some of the servers. Every single one of us has a goal. Make people happy. Happy people = tips.

In the dining room, servers are smiling, nodding emphatically, "How are you doing tonight?","Any questions, you just ask me", "I'll be happy to", "Of course we can do that", "I'll have it right out", "No problem", "I'll ask my manager" The customers are always right, of course. We do what we have to do to keep 'em coming back.

But, in the kitchen. . . "I can't believe what that jerk just said", "There's really no reason for her to snap her fingers at me", "Did you hear that kid keep slurping? Like I didn't know his stupid drink was empty." "I sure do wish they would teach their kids some manners", "Did you see that mess they made?", "Aargh, why am I here?", "Five freakin' dollars on a 100 dollar ticket" "Can't I even get 10%?", "What's taking so long with the food tonight?", "I NEED A MANAGER!!"

And when we leave the kitchen, it's with a smile on our face. And we pretend everything is great in our world and they are the single most important table in the entire place. We tickle cute and ugly babies' feet, we laugh at lame jokes, take pictures for the family, even sing "Happy Birthday" when we don't know their names.

After all, people, we really ARE in it for the money.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

First Day of Guilt

The week before Maddie's school started, we had a parent/teacher meeting to go over what we needed to know. It was also a great way to bring Maddie to her classroom so she could play and become accustomed to the room without all the other kids there. While she was playing with the puzzles, we discussed lunch time. I've already explained that Maddie LOVES peanut butter and jelly in a bowl. I had planned on making that for her almost every day. Until this. "There is a girl in the class that is severely allergic to peanuts. No peanut products are allowed." Oy. Okay- we can get through this. Her teacher then explained that they do offer hot lunches but most "brown bag" it. No problem. I CAN do this.

We woke up early the first morning of school, all three of us excited/nervous. After getting her ready, I began to pack her lunch. Cheese cubes, yogurt, grapes, pretzels. Would this be enough for her to eat? What would the other kids have for lunch? She won't eat meat or bread, so a sandwich was out of the question. I threw a banana in for good measure. I explained that her lunch would be in this brown paper bag with her name on it, and her new friends would have bags also, so don't get them mixed up.

We arrive at school with a few minutes to spare. I start unpacking her school bag and go to put her paper bag lunch in a cubby. NO. NO. NO. Most of the cubbies are already full. With Dora, Diego, Bob the Builder, and PRINCESS lunchboxes. Not brown paper bags. I shoved her paper sack in a bottom cubby and turned to give her a hug, but she wouldn't stop staring at the pretty lunchboxes. "But Mommy, that one has ALL the princesses on it" I explained to her that she would have a great day and took her to her teacher.

Who knew? I literally thought the teacher meant that the kids would bring brown paper bags. I'm an idiot. The entire day, my thoughts were consumed with my poor baby being the only one without a nice, pretty lunchbox- much less if she was actually eating what I packed her. Then I began thinking, "It's good for her. She doesn't have anything to prove to these children." I convinced myself that it was for her own good that she would be bringing a paper bag to school. My child WILL NOT fall into the trap of worldly goods. Might as well get used to not having what everyone else has, because realistically, she won't. It never hurt anyone, right?

Justin and I picked her up from school and headed straight to Target. Maddie got her lunchbox. Purple with 3 (that's right- 3) princesses.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Wrinkle in Time

When you are a mom of a very active 3 year old, certain things get left neglected. Between school, work, the gym, etc., there are days when I'm happy to have time for mascara. As I was helping Maddie brush her teeth yesterday, she said something funny. I laughed and glanced in the mirror. That was my first mistake. What. The. Crap? When did they get there? That has to be a mistake. I made another smile. Nope. Not going anywhere. In fact, I think another just appeared.

I dropped Maddie off and school, not making eye contact with anyone unless absolutely necessary. Headed straight to Target (best place in the universe) to the skin care aisle. Anti-aging to be specific. "Guarantee results in 2 weeks" 2 weeks? I don't have that long!! Do I need only eye cream or should I get face cream? Heck, at the rate these suckers are showing up, I need full body anti aging cream. Do they make knee cream? I'm at a loss. I make my decision- Neutrogena Anti Aging cream. Results in 1 week. Whew.

I put it on as soon as I get home. Feeling pretty good, I think one has already gone away. Confident that I will be back to my youth in super speedy time, I head to work. Things are great. Making good tips- I'm sure it's because I'm almost wrinkle free. After only 1 day, at that.

I have a table of 4 guys. All between the ages of 18-22. Really nice young men. I ask one of them if he needs a refill. And I hear the words that sent chills down my spine.

"Yes, MA'AM"

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Call of the Shrimp

They walk in with a swagger. Sizing up their competition, chuckling to themselves, each thinks,"I've got this. I WILL beat my record and anyone else that stands in my way." He looks at her, she looks at him. Another couple are doing the same about 5 feet away. Who will win? The race is on.

No one dares to talk. It would take too much effort. Sweat breaks out on their foreheads. "I need water" are the only words we can understand. Counting "50, 60, 70, can I do it?! 100!!!" When it is over, the survivors have a mix of emotions on their faces. Jubilation, agony, pride, satisfaction. "Wanna do it again next week? I'm sure we can do better than this." And they will. No one can resist the challenge.

Marathon? You may be thinking? Oh no-
It's all you can eat shrimp, y'all!!

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What makes a sister? I have 3 sisters, with me being the younger middle child. I remember my oldest sister getting ready for her senior prom when I was in 4th grade and all I wanted was to be her for one night. Fun summer nights when my other middle sister had a car and would let me tag along, music blaring. Then there's my youngest sister. When she is around, someone is bound to be laughing- either with her or at something she's done. Sisters.

We all have our special bonds with each other. We fight, argue, laugh, and hug. But life happens, and that fine. That's how it is supposed to be. We have our own lives now. I have 5 neices and 1 nephew, 3 brother in laws. How could we not get caught up in ourselves? One thing is for certain: if I needed one of them, nothing could stop them from helping me. Sisters.

But now that I live 3 hours from all of them, it's easier for me to call a friend if I need something. Whether it is a babysitter, cup of sugar, a laugh, or a shoulder to cry on. And she helps me with whatever she can and I would do the same for her. Sisters.

When I take Maddie to the park, and there is a child needing help at the monkey bars, do I help her or let her swing? Of course I help her. Soon after, her mother and I strike up a conversation. The bond was there. I helped her child. And now I have another sister. Would I know her name if I saw her at the grocery, probably not. But I bet I remember her daughter's name. And she would remember that I helped her daughter. And we would acknowledge each other and go on with our lives. Sisters.

Who knew it took becoming a mom to get so many more sisters? They are everywhere if you only open yourself enough to find them.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

D is for Dog

Let me introduce to you to our other family member. Grendal. The hairless wonder. We got this dog soon after we got married. Family members asked, "Is he supposed to look like that?" Yes, he's a HAIRLESS dog. Strangers ask, "What's wrong with your dog? Is he sick" No nothing is wrong, he just doesn't grow hair. Only on his head, tail and feet. "Do you shave him?" NO THAT'S JUST HOW HE IS!!! The list goes on and on.

I was worried when I got pregnant how Grendal would take to the new baby. After all, he was the perfect dog. No housebreaking issues, didn't chew shoes, loved everybody. I really didn't want to have to get rid of him b/c he couldn't handle not being our only baby. He was nervous for a while after we brought Maddie home. Totally understandable. He gradually got accustomed to her and would even act as a boppy pillow while I nursed, letting me lay her on top of him. He went through a stage when he really didn't care for her when she was learning how to crawl and walk and would pull on him.

Now- they play like crazy. She says it's her responsibility to feed him. Wants to give him goodnight hugs. And he eats it up. We play hide and seek with him- he's always the seeker and does pretty well finding her.

Which leads me to this. Last Tuesday was D for dog day at school. Maddie took pictures of Grendal to show her friends. She was so proud of him and couldn't wait to talk about him. She didn't really talk to me about what her friends thought of the pictures and I didn't press. On the way to school on Thursday, out of the blue, she told me that she didn't want Grendal anymore. WHAT?!? She said that he was too ugly and dogs were supposed to be pretty.

What could I say? He really is ugly. But he is ours and we're keeping him. No matter what some 3 year old brat tries to tell my daughter.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Now what???

Well, I've done it. Started a blog. I know, I know- not a big deal. It is 2007 and all. What can I say? I've been busy. I've got a little free time now that I my 3 year old has started a mother's day out thing. Two full glorious days a week. Not to say that I don't miss her- cause I do. Really. I'm just really enjoying Target (by myself), Starbucks (by myself), computer time (again, by myself). I think you get the idea.

I guess I could start by telling a little about myself and my family and what we're all about. First- why PB&J In a Bowl? Honestly, because that is what my little girl (Maddie) wants to eat for almost all of her meals. That's right. Peanut butter and jelly in a bowl. No bread and it must be grape jelly stirred well with the peanut butter. This was frustrating for me and my husband (Justin) at first- kinda like a power struggle. Us against the pb&j in a bowl eating kid.

me: what do you want for breakfast/lunch/dinner? her: peanut butter jelly in bowl. grape jelly. me: no her: why not? me: you need something else. her: i won't eat it. me: oh yes you will.

Guess who won? Not me and not her daddy. In fact, we've kinda embraced the whole thing. It really is the easiest meal you could possible fix. We always offer her the food that we are eating. She simply won't even think of trying it. Hopefully, this will pass. By the way, I blame Justin for this. He's the picky one- not me.

Now on to Justin and myself. We met in 2000 while working at a diagnostic center for troubled teens. I like to say we met in juvie, but he doesn't think it's too funny. Married in 2002 in Nashville TN, where we still live and love it. It is hard right now because we don't see each other as often as we would like. I stay at home during the days while he works, when he gets home I go to work at a local restaurant (I promise there will be crazy stories coming soon). We tell each other all the time that it is for the greater good, because Maddie has never had to go to day care so that I could go to work. We have the weekends together and try to make the most of it.

Lots of my posts will be about our daily life, complete with pics. Since it is about life- there will be ups and downs, funny stories and not so funny stories. Some posts will have stories about people that I know and love and would never intentionally hurt their feelings (but it is bound to happen), some will be about complete strangers doing even stranger things (again- restaurant life). I'm new at this and welcome comments. Please be patient as I learn all the ins and outs of this blogging world.

Sit back and enjoy!!!

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