Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I have a Mac computer.
I have an iPhone.
I have a mac website, mobileme, iworks, and all other kinds of cool mac things.

I am a Mac.

Husband has a Mac computer.
Husband has an iPhone.

We are a Mac family.

SIL & SIL got back from the Mac store on Sunday after having spent an obscene amount of money on a MacBook Air, mobile me, an iPhone, and a vast assortment of other Mac goodies.

She has been mac-i-fied.

Mom, being very impressed with SIL's new abilities, takes me to the Mac store. She walks out with an iPhone, an iPad, a Mac desktop, and all kinds of Mac-a-roons.

Another convert.

Really, I should get a t-shirt.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kitchen Dancing

Kitchen dancing is, quite possibly, one of my most favorite past times. It evokes a whimsical freedom of youth that crosses all ages and times of my life. From brother than boyfriends to boyfriends who became husbands (well, boyfrieND who became husbaND) to cousins and friends- there really is no better place to dance than in the kitchen.
Long before LMC, Husband and Wife would flip on the stereo when a weekend was to be had and without a second thought found ourselves laughing and dancing in the pea pod green kitchen, just the two of us with the spring air wafting through the craftsman windows of 2635. It is a great place and as I have heard many times, the heart of a household. 
When Husband is on call and it is brr cold outside, I will find oldies on the iPod, fun dancing music and my little date and I will dance, dance, dance running around the house (as the kitchen is not large) until we collapse in giggles.
Last night, the 85 degree day found The Junior Merrys hosting the Cagle girls for supper of a wonderful cold chicken pasta salad that Martha created off the top of her head. Tellis was running around saying, “It’s GAAA night! Toooo-night! GAAAA night!” Martha knew what she was saying and asked, “Do you want to hear that song?”
A few flips of the touch screen on my iPhone found Tellis dancing in the kitchen to the Black Eyed Peas, “I Gotta Feeling.”
“Ra Ra! Do Dis!” as she patted her thighs to the beat of the music. “Leen! Dance!” (Leen looked at her like she was crazy) “Mama! Dance! Mama! Watch ME!” Ford ran in to join the action wearing nothing but pants- totally appropriate club wear.
Martha and Eileen by the sink, Ra-Ra and Tellis by the fridge, and Ford in the middle- all four girls- dancing. In the kitchen. Where we should. Ford made a request for “Single Ladies” and I showed the kids the Beyonce Single Ladies ... and then the lawnmower.... then the sprinkler.... because those are my top three kitchen moves. The Merry kids were fast learners and quick on the beat- they certainly did not get that from Brad’s side. They just might have some rhythm in them.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Me, Tellis, & Eileen

I had the pleasure of babysitting both Tellis & Eileen for about 45 minutes yesterday. Tellis is 6 months older than Eileen and her BFF- not to be confused with An-Ew, her other BF (boy-Friend).
Eileen ran into the sleeping Tellis’ room, climbed into her bed and under her covers. Tellis, a very slow waker-up, rolled over and looked questionably at the peanut beside her. Half a second later, they were both jumping up and down in the crib. Eileen, who does not take pacifiers, found one of T’s “baas” and popped it in her mouth... upside down. Tellis pulled it out and replaced it proper side up.

They kissed each other, exchanged baas, and otherwise acted like two long lost soul mates, a new sisterly love rekindled. 
Promises of playtime, we evacuate the crib and the girls take off, running down the hall on their tip toes, arms stretch behind them. Trains, kitchens, markers on the wall, they were old pals with not a beat lost. Then, as quickly as it came, the plans changed. T walked up to me and said, “Paci?”
“Your paci is in the night-night. You don’t need it.”
And then, I contemplated where we were. She was (a) communicating and (b) not whining so I said, “okay, let’s go get it."
On the way back to her room, Eileen left to her own devices in the play room, I asked T to sit in the rocking chair. 
“What do you want?” I asked again.
“Paci.” She responded plain and simple. Duh.
“I sad.”
“I want my paci.”
“I sad,”
“Why are you sad?”
“I want my paci.”
“Will you paci make you happy?”
“Than why do you want it?”
“I miss mama.”
“Ohhh.... you’re sad because you miss your mama?”
“And what will make you happy?”
“Spider man gummies.”
“OH? Spiderman gummies will make you happy? Not a paci?”
“Yeah! Spiderman gummies. Ra Ra, spideman gummies?”
“Okay, tell you what. Let’s find a snack that you can share with Eileen since she can’t eat gummies yet.”
“No. See, you know how you have teeth? Where are your teeth?”
A gesture to her mouth.
“Well, Eileen does not have as many teeth as you and she cannot eat something like that. How about a cracker?”
“YEAH! Let’s go get Eileen and get some chee-tos.”
“EYE-YEEN! EYE-YEEN! Chee-TOE!” as she tears down the hall, pacifier-less.
And they say you can’t reason with a child...

Two little girls sharing Froot Loops & Chee-tos makes a mess, but makes a big smile on three happy faces.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The battle ensues.

As I have said before, I am many things.

Picky eater. Check.
Creative. Check.

When the two get mixed, Eileen has met her match. We made smoothies out of peas and carrots and she was none the wiser. Yesterday though, she turned her nose up to creamed corn.

Seriously? Who doesn't just fall head over heels in love with creamed corn at first sweet, succulent whiff of the yellow-gold good stuff? If she would just try it, she'd like it... but how do you reason with a stubborn little girl just shy of 2?

You smoke 'em out.

Yesterday, she had an excellent breakfast of an Eggo & yo-yo. Lunchtime came around and I tried to feed her corn kernels, off the cob. I was kidding myself, that sounds unappetizing unless it has been dried and popped. Quick deviation, food processor, milk, butter, salt... voila.... exceptionally yummy creamed corn.

"Eileen, are you  hungry?"
"Okay, let me know when that changes."
"Nope. Corn?"

Three attempts at creamed corn. Nothing. Different bowls, different spoons, different presentations, different tactics (MINE! is my favorite-- that would be ME saying MINE! to her. Yep, mother of the year and reverse psychology)

Post lunchtime, post naptime, post snacktime (of creamed corn- NO!), we string up our Nikes to go play with some friends at the portrait gallery. The babes can run around and the mommies can get a glass of wine. Eileen had some saltines and gold fish as her appetizer with An-Ew. There was water running over the stone floor in one section about half an inch high. I ripped off her heavy cotton tights and squeaky shoes. She and An-Ew ran, ran, ran, and RAN until they could not run anymore. They made splashes and messes and started a trend. Other little children peeled off their shoes and took to the water. You can take the girls out of the South, but not the South of the girls.

We're such trend setters. Totally unprepared, we had to let the girl in the sweater dress and the boy in the red corduroy overalls sit at the table while they dried off before we went outside.

"Eileen, would you like a bite?" (as I had packed her C. Corn)
"Okay, let me know if you change your mind."

Eileen kisses An-Ew goodbye, I hug Elizabeth and we set out for home.

Within 10 minutes of arriving at the apartment, Eileen is cuddled up with her blanket and asking to go to bed. No supper. No bath. No nighttime milk. No Mickey. No NOTHIN'. She wanted the B-E-D.

All this to say, this morning, she HAD to be hungry. No getting around it, had to be. No Eggos this morning. No yogurt.

Creamed corn.

Five minutes of protesting, I walked away to start working on the 15 sandwiches for Husband. Eileen put the tiniest of bites on her spoon and in her mouth. No gagging. A second tiny bite... and then a big bite.

SUCCESS! The girl can eat something besides chicken fingers!

Who's Mother of the Year?!

PS... And wife of the year. I'm going out of town today & Will has to bring his lunch & dinner to work. 15 sandwiches made. 15 Vitamin Waters purchased. 30 cookies made and packed. 15 coffee filters filled with 30 scoops of coffee grinds. 15 frozen meals purchased. All safely stashed in the freezer to retain freshness.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Smoothie by any other name...

Eileen is a picky eater. This is not a statement to be taken lightly and this is not something to put in the "every mother states" category.

I am a picky eater.

When I was about 7, we were eating Thanksgiving dinner at my Aunt Susie's house with 30 of our closest relatives. This precious angel pulled the hostess aside and very politely asked for a PB&J. The very polite hostess laughed, took me into the kitchen where all the cooks were preparing to serve, took out the Sunbream, Jif, Smucker's, and set to work. After she was done, the treasured PB&J was presented to me on the dinner china and I asked her to remove the crusts. Only then was the PB&J deemed acceptable for my palate.

As I was saying, Eileen is a picky eater.

If it is not a carbohydrate, she is not interested. If it is not a fried piece of meat, she is not interested. No carrots. No peas. Nothing healthy. She does drink milk, so we have that going for us. She does eat yogurt and is quite a fan of chocolate chip cookies.

Today, we had to get creative. Carrots were cooked, pureed with milk and a smidge of brown sugar. This was poured into a cup and served with a straw. She gulped down the carrot smoothie and asked for more.


Baby peas were then cooked. Pureed with milk and a smidge of salt, these presented in the same cup with the same straw. Two sips into the pea smoothie- it was everywhere. She was not a fan.

Strike one.

New cup. New straw. New mission. Peaches and heavy whipping cream with a splash of sugar. A dance with the food processor to create a peaches and cream smoothie. Sucked it down in 10 seconds flat.

Cried from the head freeze.


She is still my daughter, still a picky eater, but we are winning the war. I still cut the crusts off my sandwiches.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

spring cleaning

While on a walk today, I saw the first sign that spring is around the corner...

Technically though, it's the second. The first sign started on Friday afternoon when it Was Time. Time to Clean. This apartment was in serious need of some tidying. The more I tidied, the more focused I became on cleaning the closet. So, taking a page from Eileen's closet, I grabbed a hammer and nails and locked myself in the clutter haven.

I have ten pair of flip flops.

Four pair of tennis shoes.
Will has three.

I have four pair of boots.
Will has one (shown here).

These are my favorite boots, now hanging smugly at an angle.

And 6 hats. All mine.

Hammer. Nails. Those suckers are really, quite, handy.

Now, every pair has a home, all are off the ground. Purses are in marked boxes, wrapped in their dust jackets. Pashminas are tucked in a separate, tagged, box. T-Shirts and scrubs are in cubbies.

Technically, there are 45 size 7 shoes in our tiny closet. (A few more in hiding under my bed) Let's ponder this little factoid for a moment... forty-five. That is more teeth in your mouth, letters in the alphabet, and diet cokes in a case. If I had a dollar for every shoe I owned, I could buy lunch for 6 at Chick-Fil-A and still have money for Target. If I had not purchased 45 pair of shoes... averaging $50/pair. Considering that flip flops are about $30 each, VanElis are closer to $100, and Steve Maddens are about $80. Tennis shoes are about $120 (amazing that I spend more on tennies than anything else). So, averaging $50/pair... I would have enough for one month's rent, plus change.

But, let's not go there. Forty five pair. It's enough. For now. 

Gone are the days when I used to buy one brown pair of heels, one black pair of heels, one pair of flip flops, and a pair of tennis shoes. Long gone.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday and I have had to sit on myself to not say, "Happy Ash Wednesday!" as it is not an "officially official" holiday. And, is it really something that is supposed to be "happy?" Don't get me wrong, FAT Tuesday-- now that's a happy holiday. Ash Wednesday is like the ancient hangover from Mardi Gras. 

St. Patrick's day is not "officially official" either, but people walk around wearing green and saying, "Erin Go Braugh!" and "Happy St. Patty's!" without the slightest idea of who St. Patrick was or have the first bit of Irish blood running through them. They make pilgrimages to Savannah, Dublin, and... um... other places that have an Irish heritage. Today, while not strutting green, Eileen & I did strut black ashes on our forehead. We were not drinking green beer or creme de minte; we were eating food that did not contain meat. We did attend mass- similar to both occasions, but this mass did not include big hair, eighteen shades of the same color and the more lively atmosphere March 17th has. 

Walking home today, a garbage man stopped me and Eileen and asked, "Hey- why e'eryone have dose black spots on they head for today?" And, for the first time, I spread the word of God. "Today is Ash Wednesday and we've received the ashes of last years burnt palms. Today is the start of lent, a day of repentance, and a day to remember that we are dust, and to dust thou shall return. (~Genesis 3:.... my Catholic education is escaping me at the moment.) I am sure that he thought I was a loon, which I'm okay with, but in that moment- I registered why we do what we do, why we believe what we believe.

And I was happy for the two horribly embarrassing melt downs my daughter had in the aisle today at mass. And happy for the ancient woman who came up to us afterwards to ask if THIS was the child who had the great lungs. And re-relished the looks from the older-than-me adults who knew what I was dealing with trying to wrangle the flailing child.

Little girls can be dressed up in the most precious of dresses, but they are just little girls, fits and all.