Thursday, April 30, 2009

She Knew Just What to Do

As I was getting ready to go get the big one from school, and chatting on the phone with a friend, I pulled my jacket out of the bottom of my stroller, and I gasped.
There, in the bottom of the stroller, where it sat all day, was her lunch bag.
It had been covered by my jacket, and neither one of us remembered it.
I panicked.
My friend, a teacher, kept reassuring me that they would have given her lunch, as long as she told someone. That isn't a great comfort, though, when you have a very finicky eater, who would absolutely go hungry before she would eat something she didn't like. At least my friend tried.

In the event that this happened, I always send her with lunch money in her back pack. So, maybe she just bought lunch, I hoped.

I grabbed a granola bar and some juice, in case she was starving, and ran off to get her. I get to school, and start chatting with some moms. We were in the middle of a heated bad neighbor discussion when she came out of her classroom. She didn't say anything, and there were no tear streaks on her face. She just ran off to play. I finally had to call her over to ask her about it, because it was killing me.

"What did you do for lunch today?"

"You forgot to give me my lunch bag!" (Of course it was my fault. She gets it from her daddy. = )
She continued with her story.

"I came out, and my lunch bag wasn't there. So, I went back in, and came out again. It still wasn't there. So, I knew just what to do."

Now, I swear she said that. She had to double check, just to make sure it really wasn't there, I guess.

"What did you do?" I ask.

"I went in and told Mrs. N that we forgot my lunch." (Ahhh, and she shared the blame this time)

"Then, I went out and got my money in case we forgot, and I gave it to the lunch lady."

"What did you eat?"

"Chicken nuggets."

"Did you eat all of them?"

"No. I ate one."

"Did you at least drink your milk?"

"Some of it."

I kept thinking about this. On the way home, I started talking out loud about it.

"So, I paid $2 for one chicken nugget and a little milk?"

" are right, mom. I should have only used one of my dollars."

I explained that it doesn't work like that.

Even if I did pay full price for one chicken nugget, I am really glad she knew what to do, and was able to get a lunch. She enjoyed the process, if not the food itself.

In fact, she told me I could forget her lunch again once day. I told her that didn't work that way, either.

My Mother...

In one of my thousand calls with my mom this week, I got what had to be the best news that I have heard in sometime. It ranks right up there with hearing that your daughters are fine after they are born.

My mom is no longer fighting cancer. She is done. She has been dealing with cancer for over 6 years now, between finding out she had it, the surgery, the chemo, radiation, and even the pill form of chemo. She finally finished her last pill, and was given the all clear.

I can not tell you how happy that makes me. I can not express to you how my heart feels when I think about my mom, no longer needing those medications, and actually being healthy. I realize, though it saddens me, that she will never be the same as she was before that disease afflicted her body, but she is better and hopefully, now that those drugs are going to begin to leave her system, she will continue to get stronger.

As mother's day is fast approaching, I am even more pensive about how much she means to my life.

She is not just my mom, she is my friend. She is the person who taught me to be me. She is the one from whom I draw my creative and cooking inspirations. More importantly, she is my daily inspiration. The older I get, the more I want to be like her. I want to have her knack for witty comebacks. I want to have the patience and wisdom that she has, to know when not to use those comebacks.
No matter my age, I think I will always aspire to be someone that she will be proud of. I want to be a good mother, like her, and be a strong woman, like her.

She really is my rock, if ever anyone was such a thing.

I will never forget the day that she told me she had breast cancer. It was both a beautiful and painful day. She found out in January of that year that she had cancer. I was pregnant with our first child at the time. We don't have the best history when it comes to pregnancies. She decided that she didn't want to risk the stress of telling me. So, she told no one. Not one person knew that she had cancer. My dad finally guessed, but she had no intention of telling him until it was time, either. She put off her treatment, and waited. I never knew. My husband was deployed, and we had planned on my mom being in the birthing room with me. She made plans to come down and stay with me for a month before the baby came. She came down, but still I didn't know. My husband came home early and was able to be there for our daughter's birth. Mom wasn't in the room, as we had to go into an OR, but she was there, waiting. She was in the postpartum room when I got there, waiting. She had gotten to see her grandchild.

It was there, in that postpartum room that I found out. She told me that she had cancer, and had kept it s secret for me. She had to tell me right away, because she had to head home immediately to have surgery, and begin her treatment for the disease. She had waited for me, and suffered for me. Her sister, my aunt, who was with her, didn't even know. She bore that burden alone for months, in order to protect me, and my unborn child. I can not imagine what it took to do that alone, but I love her all the more for it.

As I said, she is my rock, and I can not imagine my life without her. I think that if I stopped calling my mom, the phone company would call to check on my line of their own accord. It is that serious.

So, this post is for the most fabulous, intelligent, and inspiring woman that has ever graced this earth, at least my portion of it, my mother. Thank you for being you, and being my mom. I love you, mom, forever and always.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Embarrassment - The Job Duty

I think, should any child pull their list of responsibilities as a child, on the the first few, right under throwing tantrums, but before fighting over naps, is embarrassing their parents. My oldest takes her job seriously, too.

She is obsessed with America's Best Dance Crew. I know, the season is long over, but we watch the online episodes sometimes, and even if we don't, she just digs the dancing. At the end of last season, she decided that she was going to form her own dance crew, and be on the next season. She went to school, bear in mind she is in Kindergarten, and recruited friends for her crew. They practice sometimes at recess. It isn't just the girls, either, she has a couple of boys in her crew. I haven't managed to drive by and get a peek of them on a day they are dancing, but I hope to happen on it, because I can only imagine the sight.

Anyway, I have to keep explaining to her that she can dance all she wants, but it takes years of practice to be good enough for that show. I offer to put her in dance lessons. She wants to, for about five minutes until she decides that she wants karate instead, then five minutes later it is music. So, she just keeps on practicing on her own.

The other day, as we were getting ready for school, the whole thing came up again. She spent the morning dancing, and telling me that she was going to be on ABDC next season. I reminded her that she really had to practice a lot.

"But, mom, I already have my moves." She told me. She really thinks she both grown, and ready to go on this.

I reiterated that moves or not, she needed lots of practice to be good enough. I guess that was the wrong way to explain it. She decided right then and there that she was going to practice all the way to school. And she did.

We walk, about a half mile, to school each morning. We walk along the main street through our housing subdivision, in front of a convenience store, and our housing office. We walk by tons of people, all taking their kids to school.

The entire way, with only the music in her head, my child danced. I don't mean she pirouette and pliƩd. No, she break danced, jumped, kicked, twisted, posed, popped and even krumped her way. She emulated everything she possible could from ABDC. The entire time, I just smiled, and walked. I never looked to the left or right. I just kept on.

Finally, we met up with another child and a mom from her class. After my big one pop and locked her way past us, I turned to the other mom, and said "She will never watch America's Best Dance Crew again." The mom just laughed.

She kept it up, right up to her class room. She jumped and moved to hang up her back pack. Then I called her over to me. I told her that I was glad she liked to dance, and that she could dance more on the way home, but dance time is before or after school, not during school. I reminded her that she needed to calm down a little, and be ready to listen to her teacher.
"So, no more ABDC until after school. Right?"
"Right mom. Got it."
"Ok. Love you."
"Love you, too, mom."

Then she turned, looked at her teacher.

"Mrs Noroozi! Mris Noroozi!"

I knew what was coming. She didn't have it all out of her system yet.
She immediately leaped and twisted over to her teacher.

"I'm going to be on America's Best Dance Crew!"

"That's good. Now go in the class", her teacher said.

Ahh.. And her teacher knows her well.

Even though she may have embarrassed me the entire way to school, I think you have to take it all in stride. It won't be long before she won't be willing to dance any more, and I will miss these days.

Not only that, but her time is coming. My husband believes that turn about it fair play, and is already plotting the different ways he can embarrass the girls as they get older. I fully expect them to come to me, embarrassed to death one day, telling me that their dad did something to them on the way to school, that just mortified them, and that they couldn't even look at anyone the whole way there, because they were so embarrassed. I will hug them, tell them it will be ok, then remind them that they started it.

Friday, April 17, 2009


WWIT = What was I thinking?

There are moments in life, when you seem to be doing just fine, think you are doing things just right, then all the sudden you have a wwit moment.

Today, I had one of those WWIT moments. I bought these incredible new phones for my home. I got a digital phone system with 4 handsets, and more features than my first cell phone had. It has multiple ring tones, distinctive ring tones for different callers, and so much more. The feature that I needed most, and really wanted, was the intercom feature. You can call from one handset to another, and it is easy. When you live in a 3 story house, I think something like this is a god send. Well, it could be, provided you don't have small children in the home.

I had to teach the big one how to use the intercom, so that I could call her when it was time to come down from her 3rd floor playroom, or so that she could call me if she needed me. About the 3rd time my phone rang for a minute, then quit just as I got to it, I had a total wwit moment. Why on earth did I give a 5 1/2 year old access to something that could annoy me beyond belief. Not only did I give it to her, I taught her to use it, and made sure she was proficient in it. Seriously. There should have been an extra warning on the package that read something like:
"Do not allow children to operate unless you are willing to endure all consequences of their actions. Note that there will be repeated misuses of this handset should you give it to any child and that will result in great frustration for the the owner. Any throwing of the handset against the wall will result in voiding your warranty." Something along those lines.

I mean, I love these phones, but I foresee many problems in our future. She has already started answering the phone , granted it was only her grandmother who I have given permission for her to answer, but she had it in a ring and a half, way before I could have. That means I may never get to talk to my own mom again.

We are going to have to have a long, serious talk about phones, again, and lay down the rules, again. Hopefully, we can figure this out. I mean, now that I have made the mistake of giving a 5 year old access to a phone, we better make sure she knows to use it properly and with in the guidelines, or else, I think we all know what will happen....I'm going to have to sue the manufacturer for not putting that warning on the box.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yet Another Faculty Death

My oldest daughter's school has suffered yet another loss this year. Another faculty member passed away last night. I don't know if she had been sick, or what caused it at this point, but I do know this, that one was sweet woman, and she will be missed.

She was one of the lunch and recess ladies at school, and she was with the kids every single day. She played with them, she laughed with them, and now, they will cry for her. It breaks my heart to think of all those little kids who will miss her, but I suppose that is really a testament to her character.

She leaves behind a husband and son, who will be in my thoughts and prayers.

I expect the children to be upset, and I can only hope that the school handles everything as well this time as they did the last. In fact, this seems to be the only thing that I think they handle really well.

She will certainly be missed. I hope she rests in peace now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Peter Pan and the Pirates - A 2fer

Today, something very special. This post is going to be a two post in one, aka a 2fer. Two great and related stories need to be told.

Last night, I actually got to turn on the TV and put it on a news channel. That is a rare and wonderful thing for me, a news channel junkie. The US ship captured by pirates was the story on at that time. The big one looked at me and ask "Are pirates real?"

"Yes. Pirates are real."

"Like Captain Hook?"

"Well, no. Not exactly, like Cptn Hook, but there are real pirates. These pirates captured a US ship."

"Oh wow." said with a look of disbelief on her face.

"Everything is ok. The crew got their ship back, and there is a US Navy ship there to protect them now."

"A Navy ship like my daddy's?"

"Well, sort of."

"You mean my Daddy is fighting pirates?"

"I guess he could be." I mean, it is possible, how ever not likely.

"Oh man! That means my dad is fighting Captain Hook!! Wait! That means my Dad is Peter Pan! My dad is Peter Pan!"
She was thrilled with her realization, and danced all around the room yelling that her dad is Peter Pan for at least a couple of minutes.

At this point, I couldn't respond. I was too busy trying to hold it together. I was laughing, but I wanted to be crying and laughing it was so good. If you had seen the sheer look of conviction on that child's face the moment she decided that her Dad was Peter Pan, you would have lost it, too. It was priceless.

Now, on to part two of our pirate tale.

Later on, my mom was telling my sister, whom I have mention before, about The Big One's epiphany. She only got to the part with the news story and Sis stopped her.

"Wait. You mean there are real pirates?

Seriously. My sister just ask if there were real pirates. I swear. My mom told her of course.

"You mean like Johnny Depp? Real pirates?"
No really. She ask.

My mom went on to tell her it was all over the news, and tell her about them. I love my sister, and I think this is more proof positive that somehow, my daughter is just like her.

To make the tale even better, Sis was out to lunch with a friend of hers who is from Sierra Leone and the friends mom. The friend came to the USA in order to go to college. She is very intelligent, speaking multiple languages,with multiple degrees. You know, a nerd. Sis starts to tell the tale of the pirates, and gets to the same point in the story as my mom did, and her friend stopped her.
"Wait. You mean there are real pirates?"

My sister was thrilled. Having someone that she considers uber smart echo her same questions seemed to give her some sense of validation, and that she wasn't that off for not knowing that pirates still existed.

I was discussing this with her, and she assured me that she could go out and find 10 people she knows that didn't know there were rel pirates now. I assured her that was not necessarily a good thing. Her parting line, and the line that I let finish the conversation because I couldn't take any more, was "I'll be honest. My friends and I care more about our hair than pirates." Right on. As long as you know who you are, and are proud of it. You just keep on, keeping on.

Love you, sis and thanks for the great stories to post.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Gotta Love Johhny / Can you play that? Post

I love Johnny Cash. I think he was a fantastic artist. I was searching around for something today, and happened on this video.

Love it.

I was telling my mom about the video, which she needs to see, and she came back with a Johnny Cash story that has to be shared.

You see, June Carter Cash was from an area that a lot of my family is from in Virginia. In fact, my grandmother grew up with her family, and they used to sit around on some one's front porch and pick and sing.

So, Johnny and June could often be found around my home town, and even more often up in the hills of southwest Virginia just doing normal things. My Dad even said hi to him at our local library once.

One day, and this has only been about 10 years ago, my Great Aunt Nell, was on her way up to our family home place. One the way is this little store that sells antiques and things, but also has some general store stuff. She stopped in with her granddaughter to get a coke. As they walk in, this man is sitting in the front, just sort of picking a a guitar. He isn't playing, just picking. Aunt Nell walks by, looks at him, and asks "You think you can play that thing?"

He looks at her and says "Ahh, a little bit."

"Alright then" She replies, and goes on about her way.

She walks on back, and Everett, the sales man, says to her "Nell, do you know who that is? That is Johnny Cash."

Aunt Nell turns, takes a good look, and says "Why, I guess it is."

"His wife June is over here, come on back, and I'll introduce you."

So, Aunt Nell goes on back on gets introduced to June Carter Cash. They chat for a while.

On the way back out, she stops at Johnny, who is still picking, and asks "Is that yours or is it Everette's?"
She mean the guitar.

"Oh. Its Everette's."

"I figured."
Apparently, Everette was a wheeler dealer, and was trying to sell Johnny that guitar.

Then she walks out.

As soon as they are out the door, Nell stops, leans down to her granddaughter, who is a preschooler at the time, and says, "Now, honey, you aren't going to remember this, but one day, I'm going to tell you this story, and it will be a great one."

I have to agree, Aunt Nell, it is a great one.

I hate to let you boys down...

I am about to post something that I think will be a bit of a let down to two young men out there somewhere.

To the two young men in the Army uniforms, driving a silver late model sedan around town, Fellas, I hate to break it to you, but I was not flirting with you today. No. I wasn't. In fact, I didn't even notice you until you rolled your windows down to say something to me.

Yes, I was smiling, laughing, and pointing in your direction. I see how you could have thought that I was saying something to you, or talking about you. However, what you may not have noticed is that I was actually smiling laughing and talking to two young ladies in car seats behind me. I know, my back windows are tinted pretty dark, and the girls can be hard to see. So, let me assure you, that they were there. Seeing as how I do not make a habit of flirting with men in cars I pass, not anymore, and I would never do anything like that with my children in the car, then you can believe that even if you were incredibly cute, and I don't know because I really didn't notice, I wouldn't make note of it with the girls present.

What you probably also failed to notice, is that there just happened to be a giant inflatable Sponge Bob Square Pants seated on top the of the Burger King at that red light we were stopped at. You probably didn't notice because it was just over your shoulders, where I was pointing. You may not have noticed, but my two year old daughter, who doesn't even watch the show, did. She thought it was hilarious, and wanted to know why Sponge Bob was a) so big, and b) sitting on Burger King. We happened to be have a very joyful conversation.

So, again, I know this is going to really break your hearts (haha, just trying to pump my own ego up a bit, there)but, that more than a little fluffy 29ish year old womyn, with the crazy hair, and the black car that hasn't been washed in forever, who was probably more than a little tired looking, really wasn't trying to get your attention. She didn't think you were cute stuff in your uniforms, nor did she want to talk to you all.

She was, however, truly enjoying the moments in life where your children just make you smile and laugh. I am glad, though, that you may have gotten some enjoyment out of that moment as well, even if it were for the wrong reasons.
I hope you guys had a fantastic rest of your day, and thank you for all you do for our country.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Maybe the 3rd time....

Today, we went to have pictures made for my little one's 2nd birthday, and spring pictures of both girls.

If you read my previous post, this was actually our second appointment. The first one didn't quite pan out thanks to the little ones sense of adventure.

So, today, I planned carefully to make sure we would have the time to get out and take the pictures. I laid out the clothes. When time came to pick the big one up, I drove to get her, as opposed to walking like we normally do. It saved about 15 minutes. We needed those minutes.

As soon as we get home, I rush both girls in. I give the big one a washcloth, which I had laying beside the door ready to go, and shove her in the bathroom with quick "Pee and wash now" instructions.

I get all the bags with extra outfits we need. I take the coupons, and make sure everything is good to go. As soon as the big one comes out, we get shoes, and we are ready to go.

I rush like mad to get to the place. Of course, the photo studio I prefer is about 20 minutes away. Naturally, the little one falls asleep on the way. Not a problem, she will have at least 30 minutes to nap between the car ride, and the time it will take to get us in, if she will sleep in the stroller.

Once we get there, I get everything ready so that I can get the little one out, and jut roll on in. She stays asleep. Cool. More nap time. She should be good to go once we get in.

I rush to the portrait studio, only to find out that I was too early, and had my appointment time wrong. I still had about 15 minutes to go. The big one wants to sit in the waiting room with all the other kids. So, the little one and I, who is still out, do circles around the entrance.
Our 15 minutes, even though it really was only about 15, felt like a good year, but it did eventually pass.

I send the big one on in, and she is stoked. My big ham is ready for some pictures. She has always been fantastic at having pictures made. In all of her life, there have only been 2 times she wasn't great at it. The first was because I had just pinched her belly in her car seat, and she wasn't happy about that. The second was because the young man assisting the photographer was so incredibly flamboyant, that she couldn't focus on the photographer. I had a hard time focusing,because he was just too much. So, I can't imagine how hard it was for an 18 month old. Anyway, like usual, the big one is good to go.

I grab the little one, and pull her out of the stroller. Immediately, I get the grouch face. I mean the serious grouch face. Crap. This does not bode well for us. I try to set her down, and the tears start. No. No. We came all this way. For another 15 minutes, that felt nearly as long as the first one, the photographer and I tried everything we could think of. That poor woman even put a cupcake on her head, all to no avail. It was absolutely useless. Not even the bribe of ice cream would work. She wasn't having her picture made. The photographer finally looked at me and said " I don't think this is going to happen today".
She was right. I apologized, and rescheduled for next week, at a better time. I packed up our stuff, put stinky shoes back on both girls, and got out of there.
I was totally defeated by a 2 year old. Ugg.

Of course, just so you know, this is where the big one started to cry because she didn't get her picture taken. No really. She did. So, both of them are upset, and I'm frazzled. I fixed it all pretty quickly, though. I bought big soft pretzels. Those seem to solve everything for us.

I'm hoping against hope for a better go around next week. If not, I'm just going to ask for some crying shots, because that is all there will be.

When she looks through her pictures 30 years from now, I will be sure to tell her of all the trouble it took to get her 2 year pictures, and remind her that it will all come back to her eventually. Then, one day, when she calls me to complain about how hard it was to get the pictures of her own children, I'll just sit back, listen, and laugh.