Friday, November 30, 2007

Blog Oversight

I have become aware of a blog oversight to the "My Babies" section. I have neglected an important part of our family in my picture montages, our dog Darby. She joined our family a little over 2 years ago. She is a nut and often drives me crazy but she is a good girl. She is a great playmate for Ella and Nate adores her also. My fuzzy baby's internet debut.

Chapel Hill Trader Joe's - It Is OPEN !!!

My Trader Joe's is OPEN!! So excited. So Excited.

I Had a Breakdown

So yesterday a mysterious thing happened at my home. Apparently there was a meeting while I was asleep, conspiring fiends! More of them decided they would strike. Who you may ask?

Certainly not the brownies that come in the middle of the night to clean for me. They apparently never deemed me worthy, though I did earn quite a few badges in my hay day. It must have been my distaste for cookie pushing. Was is the work crew we hired to help out on the construction at my house? Oh wait, that was just in my fantasies. Couldn't have been them. No no. The detestable slackers deciding they would malfunction are none other than the Microwave and Sewing Machine. Detestable Fiends.

Notice the Blank Expression

Notice the Tools, Threateningly Assembled.
They were used to no avail I might add.

Now ladies and gentlemen, this would be forgivable had the TV, DVD player, and VCR not all died within the last two months. This is too much, really. Is there some sort of electronic labor union I am not aware of? Have I committed some sort of electronic abuse? Perhaps I pressed the buttons too hard or have I not dusted them properly? Why all this hatred for me and my family? And not even a pre-Black Friday warning from them.

There I was walking around a unnamed superstore passing the microwaves for $3.99 (well 30.00) with nary an inkling I would be needing one 6 days later. Perhaps there was a sewing machine calling out to me whom I simply could not hear - a machine who would have been GRATEFUL to help me with my ology book project. snif snif

Alas, (I can say alas and nary if I want to this is my blog), I sit here. I am acutely aware that I can not microwave my silly little Healthy Choice meals causing me undue stress and turmoil in the form of additional dishes. Here I sit, staring at a half sewn book cover, not yet bedazzled with foofy glittery stuff because this waits on sewing machines who decide they do indeed hate me.

I ask you, what did I do to you Microwave? Was it that Egg I let explode in you last week? I though I cleaned it up. For this I am truly repentant. Sewing machine, was it that I called you a stupid piece of hoo ha when it was really me who couldn't get the sleeves to match up? For this I am truly repentant.

I understand if you don't want to come back to me. I do ask you this, please extend me this grace if nothing else. Remember the good days when I pulled you out of the box, unwrapped your Styrofoam, when you were there all gleaming and white. We were happy then. Please remember and I ask you this...


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ology Books - Personalized DIY Version

One of the cool things lately has been the "ology" series of books for tweens. I have a tween sister to buy for this year and thought this was a neat idea to tweak and personalize for her. I am making her personalized ology book: Graceology. This will be a place she can write down things like a journal, sketch, or whatever she pleases. I am excited and I hope she will like it.

I went to JoAnne's and got some supplies and Borders for the Sketchbook. Here are my Ology supplies. Wish me luck! Will post the final product later!

A Plethora of Glittery Sparkling Goodness

My Fabric - A White Background with Colored Thread Circles.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I have had a hit from Brazil. I have been on 3 continents lately. Look at that! I am traveling even if I can't use my passport! Where should I go next?

My Baby Stopped Breastfeeding

So we have had a new development recently. Nate has stopped breastfeeding. This has been about 3 months in the making so my emotion is not as extreme as it was a little while ago. I was so sad and upset with myself.

I was sad because it meant he didn't need me exclusively for "mokey" anymore. I was sad because it is just one more thing telling me he is getting older. I was sad because I felt like I had failed. More than sad, I was angry because I had failed. Silly? I don't think so. For those of us who decide to breastfeed I think it is sort of a badge of pride that we wear. It has to be. It is both incredibly convenient to mother and baby and glaringly offensive to much of everyone else.

It was so awful in the beginning with my first baby. I was exhausted and every time she needed to nurse I just knew it was going to hurt terribly (thank you clogged milk duct). Alex and I call those the "Amazing Grace" days because I would sing this to try to stop thinking about it and also when I needed my baby to stop screaming. Amazing Grace was the only song I could seem to think of that she would listen to. But with Ella I was able to breastfeed her till she was about 16 months. Exclusively till 12 months and toward then end, only once in the morning and once at night but still - we decided when to stop. With Nate my breasts have decided to stop, not us.

About 2 months ago we had to put him on formula - so expensive and not something I was excited about. We were supposed to be "supplementing" but I knew it would be the downfall of my boobs (thats kind of a funny statement if you think about it haha). He got down to 3% on the growth scale so it was obvious breastfeeding was not going well. I hoped I could hold out with baby and table food until he was clear for regular milk. We did not make it that far. That is ok. Then I just hoped my boobs would hold out till the cold and flu season was over nwhile we supplemented. I really do think my children are healthier because they have breastfed. That has not happened either. Not only are they on strike, he gets impatient with them because they are striking so he just wants the bottle that comes afterward.

I am happy I was able to feed him for 9 months. This is more than a lot of women get, and a lot of babies and I am very happy to have had it. I am left with empty boobs, a little lower than when I started, and fold memories of cuddling and "mokey" smiles. This is what I call it when they fall asleep on the breast and start dreaming. The smile is so happy and peaceful, as if they are dreaming of a giant milky booby. As they start to smile, with the booby still in their mouth, a little milk dribbles out of the side. Hubby would laugh. For those of you who have breastfed babies you know the smiles I am talking about.

So I guess a phase of my life is complete now. I quite likely will never be a breastfeeding mother again. Aside from the cold flu season part I think I am OK with it. (Can you tell I am putting on my brave face haha?)

Starting Out with My Little Gabriella
around 5 Days Old April 2, 2004

Finishing with My Not As Little Natanael
9 Months Old November 27, 2007

To all you mommies trying to figure this out - keep at it. It is so worth it!

A Side Note - My Boobs Aren't Dirty!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Beach & Back

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We did. We left on Friday after Alex got out of work and headed to the beach! We had a great drive down too. The kids slept a bit - yay. For those of you without kids you can't comprehend how nice this is. Alex and I got to talk. Really talk.

He and I have always loved to drive and talk. When we were dating we used to get in the car and drive for no reason. Sometimes we would just drive around locally, sometimes we would end up clear across the state. We would always talk. Now Kids, this was when gas was a lot cheaper!!! We don't get to do this anymore and I miss it. It was nice to get a few hours and really talk about life. We talked about the past, present and future guys. It was awesome.

We got there and got ready for bed. The next day was Thanksgiving and we had a good time then too! The boys and little girls went fishing and the big girls cooked. We actually ate by noon because we were so darn efficient! In our family on holidays the women cook and the men do the dishes, happiness. The rest of the time we were there we relaxed and hung out. Lindsey, sister, and I didn't even leave the house a couple days lol. We played LIFE, cards and In a Pickle. We walked on the beach and dug for sand fleas. One night I went out on the pier with the guys at like 11:30 at night while they were fishing. I brought a blanket out there with me and thought for sure I would go up like a kite. It was so cold and so windy! It was ridiculous.

The best part? We can actually do this and not kill each other! I love that my family; Mom, Dad, Me, Alex, Lindsey - 21, Grace - 9, Ella - 3 & Nate 9 months, can get together and really get along. This did not occur strange to us till we talked to a relative who honestly thought we would all go nuts.

So thanks guys! I was thankful for you this year! I was also thankful for my mom's macaroni and cheese.

Oh a side note. I made cranberry sauce this year and it was really good but we had so much! So the rest of the weekend was spent playing "101 recipes with cranberry". We had cranberry this and cranberry that. It was funny.

I almost forgot to tell you! I made Muddy Buddies - or my version. I forgot to look at how to do it before I left. I pretty much just melted down a bag of semi sweet chips in a double boiler, added peanut butter, mixed in the chex mix, threw it on a cookie sheet and into the freezer. SO good. Thanks guys! I finished the last of it last night.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks and Giving

We are off to the beach! Yes, we will freeze but it will be fun. Will be gone a few days with limited internet so I won't be posting.

I just wanted to say how nice it has been to get to know you guys, you know who you are, through this venue! I just think it is funny how technology can bring people together! I hope you all have happy thanksgivings! Cheers!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Construction Zone Cleaning Conundrum

For those of you who don't know, hubby and I bought a "Fixer upper" two years ago in July. She's a beaut. A 1960 classic ranch home bought complete with real (quite fancy for the time) pine paneling, mahogany brown cook top and wall oven, groovy wallpaper, faux brick vinyl flooring, and uninsulated walls.

The floor in about 1/2 the house
oh yea

The walls - the best I can say is at least its real wood and at least they aren't in the bedroom

The Kitchen Cabinets
What we found on the walls in the little bathroom.
Classic right?

I can gladly say I now have a nice convection oven and flat cooktop
- neither are mahogany brown.

Ladies and Gentlemen I have never divulged this tidbit of information prior to this but.. I have the ability to see into the future. I say this because when we were walking through our house for the first time I saw the house the way it will someday be. Someday in the VERY FAR FUTURE lol.

We are in the process of digging it out of 1960 and bringing it into my more contemporary style. This works on a few levels. The bones are there they just need to be reset and put in a cast. This is where we come in. *Rocky training music plays* we wont give up! Some day I will have all my walls and they WILL be drywall- not paneling. They will be PAINTED not just taped and mudded.

I got close to this goal a few months back - demanding the color I chose 2 years back be put on my walls. The living room was complete, painted, decorated, I was content. Then the windows were ripped out. And the drywall. Now I have 1 wall that doesn't need work. Oh well. I now have new windows in the living room as well as insulation in the walls. This process will be repeated throughout the house. Next - Ella's room.

In the meantime our yard looks like something akin to Sanford & Son, it is all I can do to keep tools up and out of reach, and we are constantly starting projects that inevitably take twice the time they should. So December is House Month in our house. Alex is out of school for about a month, I won't have class and we WILL accomplish (you can just hear the nagging that is sure to ensue can't you?).

December's Projects:
  • Blow in insulation in the attic
  • Molding around the new windows outside
  • Molding back on ALL the windows inside
  • Sand the walls down
  • Paint the walls(again)
  • Rip down Ella's walls and insulate, rewire, drywall, sand & paint (hopefully without reframing anything) (Rinse and repeat - all the way around the exterior of the home)
  • Paint the bathroom? This is a pipe dream but I can hope
  • Replace kitchen sink with pretty cast iron one we've had for a year
  • CLEAN YARD (sanford & son - Baw baw baaw naw, Baw baw baw naw na na naw)
Some of our lofty goals for the house in the future:
  • Recycle all the paneling from the walls for awesome hard wood floors without killing another forest!
  • 3 more windows to go
  • A Deck off the back of the house
  • The yard
  • Skylights
  • Open up the living room/kitchen/dining room up with cathedral ceilings (it sounds absurd to even type this)
  • Remodel the bathrooms to create a master bedroom
All this said, my husband rocks and we have accomplished so much. We are warriors! (Mostly he is a warrior but I like to think I am helpful sometimes). We bought her for $25,000 bellow it's appraisal value so we got a good deal and it really is perfect for us. Lots of room to grow and land to boot. One more thing to be thankful for right? Wow, to think, this time last year I was way prego and we were demoing, reframing and replacing all the windows in our house!

I am off to clean my construction zone! I've got my Shop-Vac and I am ready to go!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Baby Jesus and A Little Angel

Funny. So Ella is supposed to be an angel for our church Christmas play. Cool, cute yea. Last year she did this and it was hilarious. It really made me laugh and I had a great time. Today my friend who is directing the play said that the kids thought it would be cool to have a real baby for Jesus instead of a doll soooo guess what? Nate will be playing the role of Baby Jesus lol. Now, I laugh not because I don't think hes a sweet baby. I told Alex and said "A little far from Mommy and Daddy's DNA huh?" So this should be fun and funny. Anyone want to come? (Hey Lindsey, Dec 2nd) I need to borrow a video camera! Maybe we can make some money from America's funniest home videos.

By the way. I LOVE my church. I will be getting a podcast of last week's message (hint hint if your reading this) to post here soon. Maybe I can even get Rod to do this weekly?!

More Look Alike

OK Alex's was pretty funny. I can see some of them but Professor McGonnogall? I'm not sure.

I Don't know if I look like any of these ladies but they are all attractive. If you try it yourself try the morph thing - it is pretty crazy. Fun fun.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Inspired by Toddlers

Even though I can not believe it, Thanksgiving has come! I tend to refuse to acknowledge the preemptive decorating approach the stores take. This has sometimes meant that the holiday at hand sneaks up on me. (yes, I am pretty good at ignoring the assault on your senses at the stores) This year I think I will embrace the holiday spirit and actually make sure my Christmas tree goes up! It didn't happen last year. For Ella, I will make it happen!

I was inspired by a post from my cousin today. When you are a little person you are so thankful when you pray. Children appreciate things adults don't. I started to think about those child like things I appreciate and wanted to make a list. So here is my "Thank you Jesus" list.

I am Thankful for:
  • The amazing pallet of leaves falling all around me. I have been very aware of the leaves this year - maybe because of my painting class? I find myself noticing them more and wondering what colors I would mix if I were to paint them.
  • Baby wipes. Sorry, this is gross but I realized how thankful I was today when I ran out of them while we were out. You can take it from there.
  • My friends at church. Ella prays this every time and I second her. I love my church family. They really are a family. I need to get to know them better.
  • Chocolate. Do I need to explain this?
  • Cheerios. Nate has started to feed himself recently and it is just sweet to see him maneuver them into his mouth.
  • My husbands ability to "fix it". Aside from it saving us money he really amazes me sometimes. He uses this ability to not only provide for the physical needs of others but also to witness to people in his special way.
  • My pillow. I know it is silly but I have a good pillow and a good night of sleep is hard to come by so anything that helps is a blessing. I should amend this to say pillows because I haven't given up my pregnancy buddy as of yet.
  • Veterans discounts. My dad is a disabled vet so we get amazing rates for a vacation place at the beach. Last year we spent a nontraditional thanksgiving there and had a wonderful time with Mom, Dad, littler sister, little sister and my clan. Good times. I actually embraced several miscellaneous games and enjoyed them.
  • My new van's heated seats. YEA BABY. I have a large butt and it is hard to keep it heated. The leather seats in our new fancy shmancy (free) van are COLD in the morning but there are seat heaters!! It was a strange sensation the first time I felt it, much like when Nate pees on me and I don't notice till I feel this strange warm sensation. Happy bums!
  • Seeing my daughter dancing so freely. She loves to do what I can only describe as expressive movement. It is wonderful to be so young and free. I hope she retains that as she gets older.
So this is my list. There are more but thats good for now. I hope you are all counting your blessings, not just the big but the little seemingly insignificant ones.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thank You

Thank you Helper, Friend.

"The Man" Hit Me

Well, I am too drained and frustrated to go into it. But no help today from "the man". I will be battling the Aramark benefits people at a later date.

In better news - the "Big Man" sent help and that is always better.

I have been trying to think of something fun and lite to put on here as a pick up. I hate going too many days in a row with stuff thats too heavy! Guys have you seen anything funny lately or do you have a good joke?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fighting "The Man"

Have to fight the man tomorrow. Gearing up. Visiting the DSS for the first time - not the man. Government entity but not my "the man". Aramark is my "the man". This is Alex's employer. Corporate Nazis. This is where you visualize my game face. I have to work up to a game face. Will explain tomorrow. Must work on face! GRRR!!!!

Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to frighten you.

My First Painting "It's Nemo!" In Acrylic Paint!

So as a means of relieving some stress I signed up for a painting class a few months back. Thank you Skee for being the only teacher I have heard of to offer all the supplies FREE. Well we had our last class last night and I finished a painting that I was sure Ella would love. She did. It only took two classes and I have to say I don't hate it. We sort of all paint the same picture so it is a little easier for the teacher. An underwater scene is not what I would generally paint but I had fun with it. So here you go Lindsey (my sister the artist who paints for us every year) and Mom. Ella excitedly proclaimed "it's my Nemo!" when she saw it this morning.

Want to know what Alex said? So funny. He immediately goes "what are the bubbles for?" To which I responded, "Umm, I don't know haha". Fish don't make bubbles when they breathe. I think our teacher wanted to teach us how to make bubbles. It didn't even cross my mind. Oh well, here is my clown fish with lungs! It will be hung in Ella's room where there is a slight underwater theme ala "Rainbow Fish". The painting fits well.

The bubbles in question.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Too Much Information?

There is a funny thing about a blog that people who know you read. In the world of blogging you can choose your level of anonymity. Many of you, and at first all of you, know me. Well, I risk sharing too many taboo details of my life with you today. After all, it isn't proper to talk about money. We are all supposed to pretend we have enough, all is well, and that we are peachy keen right? Well, if I can not be honest on my own blog where can I be? If you know me and you will feel uncomfortable, stop reading (ala Oprah-about to talk about sex disclaimer: kids leave the room!).


OK everyone not necessarily proper with me now? Good. Something that annoys me about people sometimes is that we all feel like we should be OK. We can't be honest, we have to be OK. This is exhibited when you ask someone "how are you doing?". What is the standard answer? "I'm OK, how are you?" Are you really? Look guys. If I ask you this, I honestly want to know. Otherwise, I would just avoid you. This is how I am. Tell me if your crappy. Please make sure to be honest with me about how you are especially if we are standing in a church together. Why you may ask? NOT EVERYONE IN CHURCH IS OK. You don't need to pretend to be. You can tell me if you want.

I guess that is the end of my tirade. Back to my point.

What was my point? Oh yea (Hi, It's me, the muddled). I have no money. lol. Now guys this is just me venting and maybe figuring this out on paper, wait, screen? You don't need to fix this or reply with something inspiring. If you want to reply do so anonymously. Sometimes it is just nice for me to know I am not alone so maybe I can be that person for someone else today. Maybe you don't have any money either.

This does not mean I just can't buy some stuff I want. I mean, I am worried about having food. (as I type this I am re-thinking typing this but I know I am not alone so I go on). Nate has food, formula should last. We have some stuff in the house to be "creative" with but the money just is not there.

A couple weeks back I shared how we got a free car from our church. I wanted to share this to be able to remind myself how God provides for our Needs. I tithed in complete faith this week. Complete and utter faith - I say faith to convince myself it was not stupidity lol.

I had a strange experience on Monday. I was parked in a parking lot with Ella and Nate trying to situate them. We were in an area I am always in - safe. It was about noon. I was not paying attention to my surroundings because my guard was down. All of a sudden there was a figure in my passenger door. She said "Excuse me, oh I didn't mean to scare you. Can I get a ride to Maple street?" I explained I had no idea where she was talking about but OK.

Now guys, I do not pick up hitch hikers. I definitely don't do it with my two kids in the car. She was reaching in my door to unlock it as soon as I said OK. My mind was racing the whole time from thought to thought. She was obviously stressed and needed something. I agreed as I prayed this was a safe decision. I don't get freaked out by stuff like this usually but something just was not right. I only did this because I really felt like it was my duty (dare I say it and sound like a "Christian") as a Christian. I know. I said it. I hate how I sound saying that and sounding all judgmental and better than her but I am being honest today. Fortunately over all of the voices in my head (ahh the voices!) came this:
Matthew 25:35-40 -
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Isn't this what Christians are supposed to think when they see someone in need? Not the other things that were going through my head. She told me her story. She could have written a country song. I am in no way one of those people who can just minister to someone on the spot. I have always been more of a "do" person than a "say" person. By this I mean I am more comfortable cleaning up someone's yard than sitting down and witnessing to them. There are people who are good at that and I believe even some of them are lead by the Holy Spirit to do this. This was not the case here. I was just supposed to drive and listen. I was also supposed to give her the four dollars laying in my console that I knew I desperately needed. I was also supposed to give the guys in Durham at the home depot/walmart intersection, who are ALWAYS there, my change today. I did this knowing I also needed this for gas.

It is a tough time of year for a lot of people. So give without judging or at least try. Find a shelter or a food bank or a family to sponsor. Don't get caught up in Christmas shopping and forget that there are people who need you to listen.

I looked it up, I make 40 dollars a month too much to qualify for WIC. haha 40 dollars! I don't know. I do know that I have a lovely black bean soup (yay beans!) simmering on the stove for a warm dinner tonight! So cheers to inexpensive starches! I am counting my blessings.

Wow, this got long. Sorry guys. I guess Taboo takes a while.

Monday, November 12, 2007

On A Mission.

My Mommy!

Look at those cute kids haha.
These are the dresses featured in an earlier post with Ella
My first Trip to the UK
I was going to see the Queen.
Recognize anyone?

My Bailey Side Cousins - Look how cute we were!

I went on a mission yesterday. I had the need to find the pictures to go along with my blog. I called mom. She was off work! (Thank you for your service Vets!) Mom was home and this meant I was going to look for a picture of me in the purple and green plaid dress. I also wanted to find the picture of me and Lindsey in our matching luau dresses. I was successful on both counts! I also found some funny pictures along the way.

What made me think I would be able to go through 30 years of photos and scan the ones I wanted in one day, I do not know. There are lots more albums. Here are a few though. I found one random picture of me in that dress and you can sort of see how big it is.

It was fun to look through all those pictures. A little strange. And boy did I find some DORKY pictures of myself haha.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Maybe Not Everything Right Now

Well it has been a while since I posted an introspective post so, naturally, I must share what is on my mind. I have been in the process of finishing the book Reading Lolita in Tehran. Something the author has touched on several times is that she understands more about her situation now than she did then.

This sounds logical enough right? I have heard hindsight is 20/20. Well, for some reason this does not sit right with me. I like to understand things now. Maybe this is a side effect of technology we are surrounded by? Everything now, immediate gratification, knowledge at our fingertips. So what do we do when knowledge, or in this case, understanding is out of reach?

I don't exactly mean doubting something has a greater purpose. I actually believe that God as a hand in what happens in my life. I don't think my life is some great sequence of coincidences. I believe, as I have said, that even in all the ways I have screwed up God can work despite and even through those mistakes for the "greater good". I guess I just mean I assume if I think about something (obsess?) enough I will be able to squeeze all of the knowledge and significance out of it that there is - right now - or at least in a week or two.

Is that normal? Maybe this is my youth talking. I know I know more now than I did when I was 17. I better know more when I am 37 than I do now. I guess I am just annoyed that there are some things I just can't understand yet.

When I was little I remember getting clothes that didn't fit yet. They would stay in the closet hanging there. Hanging. All those pretty clothes going to waste. I remember a dress (the purple and green plaid one if your wondering mom) when I was six or so that was probably about 2 years too big for me. Eventually I disregarded my mothers directions (as I often did) to leave it alone. Eventually this dress was just absorbed into my dress-up wardrobe. I am pretty sure I never wore it out of the house because I had worn it out with dress-up before it fit.

I guess I just feel like all that understanding is just sitting there going to waste in God's closet. Just there. I guess if there is anything I can learn from what I just said about that dress is that it did not fit yet and I squandered it with my impatience.

How many things in our lives do we feel like we are entitled to have now? Maybe it is something material, maybe it is understanding, happiness, or even more time with the ones we love. I demand a lot from God.

It annoys me that I may have to wait 20 years to understand some of the things that have happened. It annoys me even more to think that I might not ever understand while I am alive.

So there is it, Deep Thoughts With Aprille. This sort of stemmed from Alex and I talking on the way to church this morning. I jokingly asked him "Do you thing there is a line to talk to Jesus in heaven?" I mean he is a popular guy up there, really. Alex joked about cutting in line in front of Mother Theresa with the excuse that he needed it more! I can't wait to sit down to a good cup of tea with Jesus and have all of that understanding flow over me! Till then I will try to be more patient and know that I don't have to know everything because he does.

A New Fear Faced! A Boy Haircut!

So I am guessing some of you have noticed how much hair my son has, or should I say had. Yes, I finally gave him a real haircut. It had to happen. It tickled his eyes in the front and got matted like a little dog in the back. All in all, his hair was more maintenance than Ella's or mine. I had been putting this off because I was terrified of doing it myself. Scissors and eye balls. Then once I did it I realized I had LOVED his hair. All the ladies would say what beautiful hair he has. It was what everyone noticed. So I guess I was vain about my son's hair without knowing it. How funny of me. So here is an ode in pictures to Nate's fluffy hair!

Here is Nate's new big boy - no I couldn't just trim it because it looked weird- haircut. Don't look too close because I am sure I will need to trim a little tomorrow. For the first few minutes looking at him freaked me out because it is more military than I am exactly comfortable with. (I lived for many years in a town where all the guys were military. No offense to our troops but I did not want to marry into the military life.) So anyways - here is my little Nate. He looks cute, just different. Cute.

So I did a boy haircut - much more intimidating to me than when I do Ella's. I don't think he looks like a dork - If you do - Don't share! So Cheers to me!! A Mommy Milestone.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Daddy's Birthday

Ella Peek a Boo

Ella wants to lick Daddy's Nose

Here are some pictures from Alex's birthday party this weekend. Yes, that is cake on his face. There is a tradition in his family that you have to take a bite out of the side of your birthday cake at which point someone smushes your face in your cake. Its fun when its someone else's birthday. Anyways, happy 31st birthday baby! I'm glad you will always be older than me!

Gee Who Do I Look Like?

This was in no way surprising. Thank you for the pic Lindsey!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

How I Married A Mexican Part 1: "Umm What?"

By Request...

It was a hot steamy morning. As the sun peaked over the river I had the overwhelming sensation that I was again distracted from my blog's original intent. Sorry folks. My muddled musings. I just thought a blog with parts deserved at least a novel-like beginning. Where was I?

Oh yea, my story. Well Alex and I met at work, you know, right after I decided I would NEVER date anyone else I worked with. We dated about 2 months before coming out of the closet at the office Christmas party. Next spring, after Alex had come home for a few holidays and family events which were his initiation into the family as well as good testing grounds for me.

In April, I have never been good with dates, I would say like the 13th or so? We had a wonderful day just driving around the chapel hill area's more scenic farm areas. We discovered the Maple View Farm ice cream country store that day. They have the most delicious homemade ice cream. We watched the sunset and then discovered this house we both thought would be perfect for us. We went back to his apartment and he cooked me dinner, huevos ala mexican I am sure. As we were laying on the floor he goes "you want to marry me?" as casually as can be.

Now if you know me you will know how insane this is. This is me, with all my issues and abandonment mess. Me who it took forever to say I love you back. By the way, this was by no means romantic. It was funny how unromantic it was but it had been a romantic day so I cut him a break.

After what seemed like about a millennium without a follow up on his part I said "do I WANT to marry you or WILL I marry you?" For those of you who don't know, Alex is from Mexico so I wanted to make sure there was no miscommunication before I said anything. He just says "Both". My brain is moving so fast it might explode all over his plain white walls and mismatched bachelor's couches from all the friction and smoke. So I look over at him, not looking at me, and say

I've Been Memed?? (Better than Mamed)

Four jobs I’ve had:
1. Saute Cook at a hoity toity hotel in Dallas
2. Saute Cook at the Outback - yea baby
3. Conference Concierge
Mommy/ nurse/ driver/ shortordercook/ teacher/ interpreter/ mentalhelthcoordinator/ sanitationworker/...... and on and on

Four movies I could watch over and over:
1. Goonies
2. Young Frankenstein
3. Pride & Prejudice
4. The Sound of Music

Four TV shows I like - reality version:
1. Umm..
2. Umm..
3. I can watch Americas Next Top Model until they start acting like women. I like the photo shoots. Is that even still on?
4. OHH I KNOW.. America's Next Iron Chef!!

Four TV shows that I like - non-reality version
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. House
3. The CSIs
4. Little Einsteins

Four places I’
ve gone on vacation:
1. Greece
2. Germany
3. NYC
4. Paris

Four favorite foods:
1. Pozole
2. Mom's Lasagna
3. My Chicken marsala w homemade pasta YUM
4. Mole Verde

Four web sites I visit daily:
Bank of America - boo
2. My email
3. Yahoo
4. Blogger

Four places I would rather be:
1. any small town in Italy
2. Acapulco
3. a cloud forest in Costa Rica
4. New Zealand

My Addition:

Four Things You May Not Know About Me:

1. I have a secret that would make most women hate me ;} ha ha you still don't know
2. I am quite possibly the worlds worst housekeeper
3. I love using new power tools

4. I feel an overwhelming need to use a passport - something i haven't done in a while and likely wont for a while

bloggers I tag:
2. Anyone who reads me and has a blog to do this on.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Strange Day

I have had kind of a strange day, in the surreal way I guess. It started out normal enough but then I had my 1st PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE at Ella's(3 1/2) preschool! How funny is that? I love it! It was strange though in the way that I had someone else telling me about my daughter! I think this is really the first time this has happened. She has never been in a child care situation before so I have always been in charge of her all the time. It is a little unnerving to drop your kid off for the first time and know that you wont necessarily know what she did that day. Not in a bad way but in a shes becoming more grown up and independent kind of way.

I was not surprised by what her teacher had to say. She is progressing well and is fun in class. The only thing she is working on with Ella, and most of the class, is performing a 2 to 3 task direction. This is no surprise to me as she gets distracted on the way to do ONE thing with me. She is truly 3. So we will be working on things like "Ella, go take your plate to the sink, wash your hands and go get your pull up" type stuff.

In more surreal stuff I have volunteered to do some immigration paperwork for an uncle. Now any of you who know anything about this know a little better what love this displays! It is not fun. Fortunately they have made it significantly easier since Alex and I did it. They have fixed so much since 911 I am glad to say. When we filed our paperwork it was so terrible. I will never forget, after waiting months and moths to hear anything from the then INS, that a DEAD KNOWN 911 TERRORIST got HIS paperwork approved while we had yet to hear anything from them. It would be 2 years and the help of my state representative before we would really hear anything.

Anyways, the surreal part of this was remembering the 3 weeks between when Alex asked me to marry him and when we turned in our paperwork after getting married. Yes. 3 weeks. I told my uncle today that I have never been more stressed than that blurry last week. It would be fun to blog on this experience some time. I haven't ever gotten that story out and it is an interesting one.

So tonight I have my painting class. I am taking an acrylic painting class which I love. We start a new painting tonight so I am excited!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Voting Day - 1 Year Left!

In honor of voting day and my previous commitment to find out more about the candidates, I looked up a couple links for you guys! I was happy to see that I matched up - so far - with the candidates I thought I liked. Maybe I am not as clueless as I think I am!

Apparently I am a "Theoretical Idealist" which I basically translate to mean - "yea right like thats going to ever happen". This pretty much aligns with my Utopian vision of how my world would be. It works in my brain but then you throw actual people in there who are all corrupt and it all goes to pot. Anyways - Have fun!

Meet the Candidates
Kind of obvious what this is right?

This is a fun bobble head version of a quiz. I liked that it gives more detailed answer choices, not just yes or no, black or white.
A longer quiz - 26 questions. A little more in depth but not as great if you don't necessarily think things are black and white.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Reading Lolita in Tehran

So I am supposed to be participating in a book club. This is not usually my kind of thing but I am starved for most anything intellectual in nature and even though I usually get along a lot better with the male species, it is good to commiserate with some females sometimes. This said I still have not finished my book - which I am in love with.

It is from an Iranian woman's perspective, Azar Nafisi. It is a biography about, of all things, a book club of some former students she hand picks to study western books that have been banned in Iran. She uses the backdrop of literature as a means of bringing these women who are all quite different, together to discover among other things who they think they are and how they are defined.

I know little about the Iranian revolution and little about Iran at all before this book. Wow. This really makes you appreciate how amazing it is to be born in America. As much as we complain about it sometimes - Wow. I am fortunate to not have to endure many of the indignities women all over the world are subjected to, not even allowed to complain. This book is just filled with powerful images.

I look forward to my book club tonight. I am going even though I am not done. I only know one person so it is a little intimidating but who knows. There is also potential for us to have someone with us tonight who can give us a little more of a first hand experience. They also promised chocolate!

Reading Lolita in Tehran
- I highly recommend it and I can not wait to finish.