Monday, December 22, 2008

Her Christmas Carol

Pickle in a nasty tree, Fa La La La La La La La La La.

Pickle in a nasty bush, Fa La La La La La La La.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Some Observations from the Merrill Lynch Shootout

E and I spent the Friday and Saturday at the Merrill Lynch Shootout in Naples. I'm not a huge golfer, but I have the following observations:




  • Camilo Villegas is hot. Doing the low crawl or whatever, just plain hot.



  • Braggarts are funny. If you have a condo on the golf course in Naples, you don't need to anounce it to the world. It just makes you look like, well, a braggart.



  • Sweater vests are ugly. Especially if you're 5'6" and hammered. Drunkeness at 3:00 in the afternoon is never attractive. But often funny to observers.

  • Ladies wearing a shear white shirt should always wear a bra. Men tend to stare at you with droopy jaws otherwise.


  • Portapotties are nasty no matter the type of venue.


  • My head fits perfectly into Nick Price's chest. I walked straight into him on the cart path. E was horrified. I didn't get to see Nick's face, but according to E, Nick was too.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Because You Can't Have a Sunset Without the Sun

One of my favorite things about living in Southwest Florida is the sunset. And we had a beautiful one last night. The following pictures speak for themselves (but I can't resist the urge to attach captions).

Ray found a shell

Goofiness.

Silly Monkey

"Magical"
It was after the sun set that Ray realized that the sun had actually set. Distraught because she missed the sun set she told me that I needed to get the sun back up. "Why," was my response.
"Because you can't have a sunset without the sun, mommy," was hers.
Obviously.

Ray and Droopy Drawers. After the sun set.
Afterwards, we went to Doc's Beach House for pizza. I love nights like this.

He's one cool dude.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lipstick Class

Ray has been talking about going to lipstick class for a week now.

"Mommy, I'm so excited to go to lipstick class."

"Mommy, we have a lipstick class on Wednesday."

"Lipstick class is the best."

"I looooooove lipstick class!"

And this whole time I'm wondering to myself, "What in the hell kind of school am I sending her to that teaches kids about lipstick?" But, whatever, I didn't think much about it. Until I figured out what she was talking about.

Ray's dance class was canceled last week because of Thanksgiving and they have a make up class this week.

Get it? Make up class? Lipstick class?

I've been cracking up all day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks. You Earned It.

I asked Ray and Chay what they were thankful for this morning. Ray gave the appropriate responses, kinda, and Chay, not so much. I didn't either, much to E's chagrin.

Ray: I'm thankful for Em, my mommy, and Miss Nicole. Oh, and my brother, Chay.

E: You're not thankful for Daddy?

Ray: No, Daddy. I had to tell you to stop snoring two times last night. I'm not thankful for you.

E: But I'm thankful for you!

Ray: Two times, Daddy. I had to tell you two times not to snore! I am not thankful for you.

And then there's Chay --

Me: Chay, what are you thankful for?

Chay: Cars are yucky.

Me: What?

Chay: Cars are yucky.

Me: Ok, that doesn't even make sense.

Chay: Cars are yucky.

Me: Whatever you say, Al Gore.

Chay: I not Al Go. I Chay.

Me: Whatev.

And then there's me. I'm thankful that E let me sleep in this morning and dealt with Ray at 5 am. I'm also thankful he was the one sleeping with her in the guest room at 7 am when she wet the bed. Tee Hee.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Obsessed, Part 2

Turns out I'm not the only one obsessed with Twilight. That's good. I'm normal, well, as normal as any adult woman obsessed with a pre-teen saga can be.

I introduced my friend, Dre, to the first book last Monday by lending it to her. She was done with it by Wednesday. I've since given her books two and three which she planned on completing over the weekend.

Dre's friend has also already started the fourth book, having started the first one right around the same time I did. Laura said she feels like Bella, she just can't get enough.

A co-worker read all four books in a week, too, complaining that now she's twiddling her thumbs wondering what to read next. She's seriously thinking about reading them all again.

My girl, Melodie, is in on the obsession too.

And, of course, we're all going to see the movie. Duh.

What is it about a series of books written for teenage girls that has a bunch of grown women, literally, addicted?

Is it the romance? Do we want an Edward in our lives? Or maybe the more down to earth Jacob? Is it the danger? The imminent threat to Bella?

I haven’t been able to pin down exactly what it is about the books that affected me so much, but I can say unequivocally, that I love the world in which Bella and Edward exist. Are the books imperfect? Yes. There are things about each book that drove me absolutely crazy. I hate it, for instance, when something is introduced into a book and then has absolutely nothing to do with the plotline, which became infuriating during the fourth book. The endings were anti-climactic and predictable. Jacob was always annoying and Edward was way too forgiving of him. But the overall story was captivating.

Its been brought up before that these books are inappropriate for young girls. I have to say that my initial reaction was along those lines as well. But now that I'm done with the whole series, I disagree. Would I let my 11 year old daughter read the books? Perhaps not, but maybe depending on her maturity level. Would I let my 17 year old read them? Absolutely.
The sexual tension is strong, undoubtedly. But, there's no sex until the fourth book and that doesn't occur until after they are married. That's the key here. Edward teaches restraint and old fashioned ideals. He is, after all, over 100 years old. And the sex parts are written much tamer than some TV shows that are on at the 8:00 hour. In my opinion, there are things much worse that young girls could be doing than reading a love story about vampires.

So, now I'm done. We're off to see the movie tomorrow night, and I have very low expectations. I really do feel lost though. I need a new diversion. Anyone have any suggestions?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Chicken vs. The Rooster - The Chicken Won

A commercial with a rooster came on the other day, which prompted the following conversation between Ray and Chay:

Chay: Chicken!

Ray: No, Chay. That's a Rooster.

Chay: No Chicken!

Ray: No it’s a Rooster! A Rooster is a different kind of chicken.

Chay: See it a Chicken! Cluck cluck cluck.

Ray: No Roosters don't cluck cluck. They cockadoodledooooooooooooo.

Chay: No, cluck cluck. It a chicken.

Ray: But don't you hear it cockadoodledoing on the tv? See its doing it right now. It’s a rooster.

Chay: Nope. Chicken. It clucks.

Ray: Grrrrrrrr! ITS. A. ROOSTER!!!! (Yelling in Chay's face in frustration by now).

Chay: Nope. Chicken. (With a dirty little grin on his face).

Ray: CHAY! Listen to me! It. is. a. rooster.

Chay: Chicken.

Ray: FINE! I give up.

Chay: See, it a chicken.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Obsessed

That's the only way I can describe it. I started reading "Twilight" on Sunday. I was done with it by Monday morning.

So, of course, I needed to go get the second book, "New Moon," immediately after work yesterday. I only have 62 pages left. I'll be done with it before the kids go to bed.

Think I'm stopping by the book store yet again tonight? I plan to have all four books read by Friday, Saturday at the latest.

I can do this.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

That's Her Deal (So, I Guess I Just Have to Deal with It)

We've been having issues with sleeping in our own beds lately (OK, Ray has had issues with it. I've just been forced to sleep in the guest room with her.) We had the following conversation last night --

Me: Ray, are you going to sleep in your bed all night tonight like you promised?

Ray: That depends, Mommy. When you're awake and I'm asleep, I'll sleep in my bed all night. But when you're asleep and I'm asleep I'll sleep with you. That's my deal.

Me: Excuse me? I don't think I understand.

Ray: Moooommmyyyy. When you are awake, I will sleep in my bed. When you sleep and I sleep I will sleep with you. That's my deal. Leave it or take it.

I told her I'd leave it but it didn't work.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Poser

Ray became a model this weekend and practiced her posing. We're not sure where she got it from, but it made for some funny pictures:




Wrong kind of pose there, Sweety

Much better, thanks!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Let's Talk About Hosiery

I'm interrupting my regular programming for this public service announcement --

Ladies, let’s ban together and ban pantyhose from our wardrobes. Let’s face it, pantyhose are just plain ugly. Don't wear them. Period.

But if you insist on wearing them, let's follow a few simple rules, shall we?

1. Drop the word panty. It’s one of those words that should be banned from the English language. I don't know why but when I hear that word it crawls under my skin and scratches at me for hours. From here on out, it’s just hose, ‘k?

2. Hosiery is not meant to be worn with open toed shoes, especially if they have a reinforced toe. I know, I know, the trend right now is to wear dark hose with dark peep toe shoes, which can be fine assuming everything is black. But strappy sandals with nude hose -- a big no no. If your feet are cold, put on socks and boots. Or try some closed toed heels. There are some really sweet shoes out there when you look for the right style.

3. If you wear an ankle bracelet, take it off before putting on the hose. A scrunched up anklet is tacky, not cute.

Finally, I realize there is a place for hose and all things hosiery. A cool skirt with black tights and boots is a stylish look. And there are certain (archaic) places that require a dress code which mandates no bare legs. I get that.

But, I say, instead of hose, wear pants

Monday, November 3, 2008

Her Interpretation of Our Yard

Ray drew this picture tonight:


Seemingly innocent, right? Well, let me break it down for you like she did me...
Here we have a sky with rain clouds and rain:
The rain is falling on this flower and helping it grow:
This is Ray playing in our yard:


And this is our yard:


Let's take a closer look, shall we? (She didn't say that, I had to throw it in for a little dramatic flair.)


What's that blue spot, you ask? Maybe you didn't, but I did.

Dog poop.

Looks like Ray is telling Daddy he's got some yard work to do.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Preparation, The Event, and The Aftermath

The Preparation

E picked Ray and Chay up early from school on Thursday so that they could go to the pumpkin patch and carve pumpkins. They each picked out what he was going to carve - Ray picked a witch and Chay picked a ghoul.

They also insisted on helping to gut the pumpkin.


Chay's World: "I want pumpkin guts!"

Here was our very successful end product:

According to E Mom, we had many compliments on the pumpkins

The Event

We tried to prepare as much as possible, but things were still a whirlwind. We learned our lesson last week and dressed Chay first. However, even though he was wearing the frog hat an hour before, he still wouldn't wear it when the time came. Ray, of course, made a beautiful Belle.

Since we weren't going to be home, we sat Grandma at the end of the driveway to hand out candy and drink.

This is Grandma after a few vodkas while handing out candy. Love ya, Grandma!

Our entourage included our neighbors Joe the Plumber (not the famous one), his soon to be ex wife, Kristen, and SpongeBob, their four year old daughter.

Fearlessness.

E made that situation really comfortable when he yelled to the girls, "Y'all be good. Just act like you're loyal to your husband!"

Screeching hault.

Joe the Plumber and Kristen and I stopped in our tracks with glaring stares. I gave Kristen full permission to kill him. She lovingly didn't take me up on it.

Let's move on.

Belle and SpongeBob grab some candy

We would have had a whole lot more loot at the end of the night if Chay had actually participated. He's a stubborn little dude and refused to trick or treat.

The first house we went to, they gave lollipops, which he insisted on eating first thing. He also insisted on not collecting any more candy until he was done with that lollipop. So he skipped ten houses. And, strangely, he was fine with that.

This is the frog king who won't trick or treat

Overall, we had a great halloween. We partied hard, ate lots of candy and didn't sleep. Wow, that made for a cranky Saturday.

Success.

The Aftermath

Spongebob tripped over a speedbump which ended our trick-or-treating prematurely. We really wanted to keep going, but since Spongebob was down for the count, Belle wanted nothing to do with continuing on. And, since Chay had his most recent lollipop, he didn't care about moving on either. So we gave up and had a party and Joe the Plumber's house.

While decompressing, Ray realized she had some blisters as a result of her Belle shoes. Nurse Spongebob was a huge help in applying bandaids:


Thanks, Nurse Spongebob!

We didn't get the kids into bed until midnight. Ray woke up from a nightmare at 4:30 am; Chay at 6 am. The house was active by 9. I'm exhausted, Good Night!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weather Wimps

We're not cold weather people. Never have been. Its why we moved to Florida in the first place. In fact, I hit up E for a convenient discussion on a particularly cold February when we lived in Virginia right after he finished shoveling the sidewalk.

I said, "Hey, I've been thinking. Wanna move to Florida?"

E: No.

I said, "But its cold outside."

E: "OK."

Well. Maybe it didn't take that minimal amount of effort, but that basically wraps up our decision making pretty easily.

My children have inherited my dislike of the cold. Of course, since Ray moved here when she was one and Chay has never felt anything colder than 60 degrees since he was born, that's just a given.

It was 48 degrees when we rolled out of bed this morning. FORTY-EIGHT DEGREES. That's cold for Florida in October. I had no clothes warm enough for them. Ray's pants were about two two inches too short since I haven't bought her any new ones since last December. She also had to wear socks with sandals - seriously, I'm still horrified at the sight, high waters and socks with sandals. She's recovered, but I haven't. We're on new shoe and pant patrol, stat.

Chay threw an absolute fit at the thought of having to wear socks with lace up sneakers. Yes, we actually have sneakers for the boy, but Mr. Barefoot has always preferred his sandals. Up to this point in his two years in life, it hasn't been an issue. Now the poor boy gets to learn how his Northern friends live.

Please, feel sorry for me. Or, better yet, all of you that hate the cold - come visit me! We have plenty of space... Just wait until January. It'll be warm then, I promise.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What is it about a Mama's Kiss?

What is it about a Mama’s kiss that makes that boo boo stop hurting? They can be screaming and in so much pain but when I kiss their sore spot, they stop crying and are instantly happy? Blood could be dripping down their leg and a little love can make it all better?

Daddy’s kisses are just as special, but they somehow lack that healing touch. Daddy’s kisses will suffice when Mama’s not around, but if I’m here, only my kisses will do. There’s just something special about a Mama’s kisses.

Chay just slammed his head into our headboard and, instead of crying, I heard, “Mama! Tiss it! Mama! Tiss it!” His poor little forehead was bright red from the fall. One little kiss was all it took for him to go running right back onto the bed to wrestle with his sister. (Which I’m sure, will lead to a few other necessary kisses here shortly).

I asked Ray tonight why my kisses can make her boo boos stop hurting and she told me, “Because I really, really love you.” This is baffling to me because I really wish a kiss from my husband would make all the bad stuff in our adult world disappear.

After all, I really, really love him too.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

He'll Be So Embarassed One Day

Ray and Chay had a halloween party at their school on Friday night. Chay was so excited about his new froggy costume - all day before the party he carried it around yelling "ribbit. ribbit." He even willingly wore the froggy hat. The eyes. are. cool.

See, I told you he wore it.

Before the party, I put Ray in her Belle costume first, while Chay was in the other room watching Backyardigans. This was a huge strategic mistake. Huge.

For a month he's been talking about being a frog for halloween. He's been adament. He's been loyal to his new frog costume. We couldn't tear him away from it.

Until he saw Ray in her Belle dress.

He yelled, "No froggy!" as I tried to put it on him, and he ran the other direction. Straight for Ray's room. And out he came.

Carrying a pink and purple princess dress. All while yelling, "No froggy. Dress!"

E was having none of that, and forced him into the frog costume. In defiance, Chay refused to wear the hat (with the cool eyes), the froggy hands (which he loved just the day before) and really fought the feet. There wasn't much he could do about the feet though, since they were attached to the costume.

Lesson learned. We'll be getting HIM dressed first on Friday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Case in Point

Me this evening: Ray can you show me what you learned in dance class yesterday?

Ray: (Demonstrating her ballet positions.) You know what, Mommy? Daddy remembered my dance clothes and shoes. He's good at remembering stuff. You aren't good at remembering.

Me: You just aren't going to let it drop are you?

Ray: Nope. But do you know what you are good at? Driving fast. Daddy isn't so good at driving fast. He's slow. You're fast. But remembering stuff? You're not good at that.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Forgetfulness

I took Ray and Chay to the Pirate Playdate tonight (which was awesome, BTW. But I had to wear a pink apron since I was technically "working" and we all know how much I hate pink. Oh, some of you don't know me. So here's a piece of trivia. I hate pink). Ashley had a ton of cup cakes left over so I volunteered to take them to Ray's class as a special treat. Then I proceeded to forget the cupcakes and Aileen had to chase me down so that I could take them.

And, apparentally I forgot that today is Friday and Ray doesn't have school tomorrow. Somehow I don't think that the 50 cupcakes I lugged home will last until Monday, whether they get eaten or thrown away due to staleness. I'm thinking Ray needs to have a bake sale tomorrow.

Ray has picked up on the fact that I've lost my mind. On the way to the car after being chased down by a cupcake toting Aileen, Ray said, "Mommy, you forget things a lot. Like really a lot."

I guess she's still hurting from all those times that I forgot her blanket and sleeping friends for naptime at school. Or, the past two Mondays where I've forgotten to take her dance clothes and ballet slippers for dance class. I could go on but I'm beginning to get a complex.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quick - Someone Make Me Laugh!

'Cause I'm feeling pretty beaten up right now. E lost his job today after only being there three weeks. He worked his hiney off trying to get them squared away and caught up. And they repayed him by saying "Dude, I've got to let you go."

If they had just come out and said its a temp job, that would have been fine, he still would have taken the job while continuing to look for another. Instead, he worked himself right out of a job into nothing.

Well, dear Anonymous Cabinetry, your loss. E is smart, a fast learner, and a hard worker. You just lost a prize employee.

Now we just need to find someone who will appreciate him like we do.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sickness

It sucks. I've been dealing with walking pneumonia for a week now, and I'm miserable, which is why I haven't posted much lately.

BUT!

Please check out Sarah's Relay for Life page. She's Melodie's daughter and is raising money for Cancer research. To put it in Sarah's words here in my comments section:

"Come on guys!Let's not let Paige Andringa pass me up..She's at $185.00here I'm only at $115.00How are we falling so behind??Please help raise money for the fight against cancer and pass it on!!!"

I'm posting this in honor of my mom (breast cancer), my grandpa (lung cancer), my Bo (lung cancer, etc.), my Grammy (lung cancer, etc.), E's dad (throat cancer), Jeanmarie's mom (breast cancer), TJ Law (not sure what kind but it was in his nasal passages), and the many other people in our lives and in the future who deal with this nightmare disease.

Thanks, Sarah, for workin' it. Rock on.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Something Only She Would Do

Only my daughter would use her stuffed horse as a pillow and cuddle with her pillow like a sleeping friend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My First MeMe

I was tagged for a meme by Melodie! I've never done one and I'm sick and tired and way too mentally challenged at the moment to create a post of my own (see, I even my grammar is bad!) so here you go...


The rules are these: answer the following questions with one word answers, then pass the award on to seven others.



1. Where is your cell phone? Idon'tknow


2. Where is your significant other? Lazytown


3. Your hair color? Golden


4. Your mother? Spitfire


5. Your father? Supportive


6. Your favorite thing? Kitkatclock


7. Your dream last night? Crazy


8. Your dream/goal? Undebtedness


9. The room you're in? Living


10. Your hobby? Writing


11. Your fear? Bikes


12. Where do you want to be in six years? Virginia


13. Where were you last night? Florida


14. What you’re not? Patient


15. One of your wish list items? Vacation


16. Where you grew up? Indiana


17. The last thing you did? KidsBath


18. What are you wearing? IndianaShirt


19. Your TV? HD


20. Your pet? Huge


21. Your computer? Destroyed


22. Your mood? Fine


23. Missing someone? Kevin


24. Your car? Filthy


25. Something you’re not wearing? Bra


26. Favorite store? BananaRepublic


27. Your summer? Humid!


28. Love someone? Wholeheartedly


29. Your favorite color? HOOSIERRED!


30. When is the last time you laughed? Minutes


31. Last time you cried? Months

Now for my tags -- I only read a couple of blogs so I can't make seven. I fail on that one, sorry.

Melodie stole AFRO from me, Ashley will just ignore it, and, maybe, Lipstick will play.

I'm off to bed to recover from my sickness. Goodnight!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

He's a Hoosier Fan

He picked out and put on the hat all by himself. He also picked out the cup. I had nothing to do with it, I swear!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cool, That?

Ray and I just had the following conversation --

Ray: Mommy, I want water and ice. Cool that?

Me: Excuse me?

Ray: I want water and ice. Cool that?

Me: How do you ask?

Ray: Cooool.That? (Complete with the eye roll and attitude)

Me: No. Its "May I have water and ice, PLEASE?"

Ray: May I have water and ice, please?

Me: Yes.

Ray: (Running the other direction) COOL!!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

What Does a Chay Say?

E: What does a tiger say?

Chay: ROAR!

E: What does an elephant say?

Chay: PTHHHP!

E: What does a puppy say?

Chay: Wuff! Wuff!

E: What does a froggy say?

Chay: Wibbit. Wibbit.

E: What does Chay say?

Chay: Nope!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm Not Martha Stewart

Ray's birthday is tomorrow, and she's really into the whole keepin' up with the Wyatt in her new VPK class. Wyatt's mom is one of those cool moms who can do everything and bake too. Well, I'm not one of those moms and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

So, Ray and I baked cupcakes tonight and she is so excited to take credit for them. We spent "hours" mixing the Store Bought Mix with eggs and vegetable oil. Ray helped with tasting the batter full of raw eggs after being told numerous times not to, which meant being sent to time out at least twice.

After it was all said and done with, I told her to tell everyone that Daddy helped her decorate them.

How pathetic do these look? But they taste good!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

She's a Big Girl Now (but not until Wednesday)

It is the end of an era. An end to babydom. My big girl is finally getting her well deserved Big Girl Bed!

Ray poses while E (with Chay's help) dismantles Ray's old bed

I must admit that I have been putting off the inevitable and the fact that my first born is growing up. I forced her to stay in a toddler bed for way too long. I know this. But it was my subconscious trying to keep her as my baby forever. Or, I was just too lazy to get her a new bed, take your pick.

However, for months we have had issues with Ray not sleeping in her (too small) bed at night. Inevitably, three to four nights a week I end up sleeping with her in the guest room because she is scared of a monster, Swiper or Ursula. IT HAS TO STOP.


Today, we set up her big girl bed and made such a huge deal about it. Ray is exstatic about, in her words, "my beautiful new cover with dots and flowers and -- ooh, look, there's a purple flower!" She has really embraced her big bed. She loves her new pillows, but she didn't quite grasp the sheet AND comforter concept.


When I asked her if she was going to sleep all night in her big girl bed by herself, she replied, "Not until Wednesday, Mommy. I'm not 4 yet."

Please note Tinkerbell and Ariel jammed in the corner



I really can't wait until Wednesday to get a good night sleep...

Monday, September 15, 2008

He's Got the Devil in Him

If there are random mis-spellings or nospaces in this post, I apologize. You see, it is taking me twice as long to tyype this post, because I've been ashley'd (warning ifyou don't like cuss wordsdon't gothere).


Erik called me on the way home and said thati needto stop at the store on the way home for beer. apparentally it was a long day at home with Chay and he needed a drink. then he snuck in, "Oh, you better grab some wine, too. You are going to need it."


say what?


this iswhat i came home to:




Yeah, I definitely need that wine. do you know how hard it is to type without a space bar or an enter key?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You on September 11, 2001?

I was listening to Elliot in the Morning on DC101 during my morning commute from Virginia to DC when I heard about the first plane crashing into the Tower. When the second plane hit, like everyone else, we knew it wasn't an accident.

I was stuck in traffic on Constitution Avenue directly next to the White House when I saw random people start running around - a bum jumped up and started yelling into a phone, a guy literally jumped my SUV while screaming into his radio. I knew something was up locally, I just didn't know what. Ten minutes later I learned that the Pentagon had been hit. And, yes, I was still stuck in traffic in front of the White House.

Traffic was at a stand still because local authorities were tightening down the hatches, and I really started to panic. Rumors were coming across the radio that a plane was heading for the Capital, of which I had a direct view.

When I finally made it to work, everyone was in the main conference room watching the footage on CNN. Many were crying because they knew someone in the World Trade Buildings. The rest were crying just because of the horrific events that were unfolding before our eyes.

Rumors ran rampant that bombs had been placed throughout the city, and our law office took the necessary steps to keep us safe. Their major concern though was that we were located directly above Metro Center - a major transfer station for the DC Metro.

Of course, it turns out, we were safe. The threats had just been rumors.

By the time I left the city, it was a ghost town. As I drove over the bridge to Virginia, I was on the phone with E letting him know I was on my way home. When I looked to my left, I couldn't speak. It took my breath away when I saw the Pentagon burning.

The next day the people working in the Pentagon were at work AT THE PENTAGON. They weren't allowed to cry and take a day off to soak it all in. So, I sucked it up and went to work too. But as I drove by the Pentagon while it was still burning, I cried some more. Not just for the Pentagon and our country, but for everyone that died and lost someone the day before in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

God bless you, all. I still feel the pain deeply, and I know everyone else does too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

BFF

Tonight, I have been off – just cranky, moody, tired, and not feeling altogether well – the only thing that’s made me happy has been lounging in my favorite PJs that consists of a black tank and lavender sweats. Ray picked up on my mood and was very concerned about me in a very cute lil’ momma way.

During our bedtime routine that consists of four – definitely not three – songs from the classical music CD, we had the following conversation:

Ray: Mommy, are we going to have a fun day tomorrow?

Me: That depends on what you mean by fun. You’ll have fun at school!

Ray: But you have to go to work? I don’t want you to go to work.

Me: I know, I don’t want to go to work either, but you have fun when you’re at school! When you are at school, you have all your friends. Can you tell me who your friends are?

Ray: Hmmmmm. There’s Wyatt, I like Wyatt. And, Kara, Emma, Jackson, and MacKenzie. And, and, and…I can’t remember my best friend’s name.

Me: You can’t remember your best friend’s name?

Ray: Nope, I can’t remember her name. But she wears black. I can’t remember my best friend’s name that wears black. Oh, wait, Mommy! I remember…..

It’s you!

I laughed. And, then I left the room and cried.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Animal Lovers

One of the reasons that we moved to SWFL was the environment – from the beaches, the close proximity to the Everglades, the endless summers, and, primarily, the wildlife. My children have been exposed to more animals in their natural habitats than many of their friends up north. Plus, Ray and Chay get over-the-top excited when they see a new animal or one of their favorites.

For example, manatees. How could you not love one of these adorable fat things? I saw my first mommy and baby manatee in May and I couldn’t get over them. Playful. Sweet. Gentle. Giants. Love at first sight.

Ray’s favorite is the dolphin. We saw no less than eight of them today at the beach. A dolphin played in the wake of our boat, jumping, diving, flipping his tale and having a grand ol’ time. Ray was so excited that she declared, “He’s so cute. I’m going to keep him.” I had to convince her he couldn’t live in the lake behind our house.

Chay is infatuated with fish. He desperately wanted to catch a fish (with his hands, no less) in the shallow water today. Schools of little fish swam right up to him and checked him out like he’s Dr. Doolittle. He’s so in tune with the fish, I like to believe he can communicate with them.

Our house has become a mainstay for all the tree frogs in the area. Chay chases them every night pretending he’s a frog – Wibbit! In the morning, there are hundreds of little frog footprints all over the dew on the windows and our car.

And, the pelicans! Such cool birds, in my opinion. I’m biased though because they remind me of my Bo, so I imagine each and every one is named Julian. I don’t know why, they just do.

We can’t forget the lizards and gators – some of my favorites. But I can do without the snakes I’ve found in my house on two separate occasions.

I could also live without some of the insects that grow down here. It’s like Jurassic park with enormous dragonflies, mutant palmetto bugs, and oversized mosquitoes. And, fire ants? Don’t get me started on how extremely unfair their existence is.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Of Wishes and Dreams: Big Brothers

I am an only child. But growing up, I wanted an older brother SO BAD. I always pictured that perfect older brother: someone to protect me from those mean kids who picked on me in elementary school, someone to beat up that mean boy that I happened to be dating and cheated on me, or just a boy to be my best friend and help guide me through the trials and tribulations of young adulthood.

Of course, the beatings, tauntings and agony that imaginary older brother could cause never entered my mind.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was positive it was going to be a boy - no doubt in my mind. We didn't know at that time whether we were going to have another child, but if we did, I was going to give whoever that second kid was a big brother.

At my 20 week ultrasound, we found out that "Herman" was a girl, and I was thrilled. My first thoughts during that ultrasound were, "Does she have all its limbs and look healthy?" Then, I'd be less than honest if I didn't admit that my second thought was "Damn, looks like she's not going to have that big brother either!"

Twenty-two months later, I got that boy. I was wrong to think it would be better any other way.

Chay is all boy x 10. And, the best thing yet, he loves his big sister. When he wakes up, his first question is "Where is Ray"?

Ray is a little mom to him, constantly giving him hugs and kisses. She watches out for him and makes sure that his needs are met, even at the sacrifice of her own (granted, she'll make sure you know she's given up something and beg for an extra special treat).

She makes sure he is fed, and she makes sure he is happy. Ray interprets for us when we can't understand his form of English. And, when she can't even understand, well, she just looks at me and says "That's your job."

If he's unhappy, Ray will make sure she tells me even though I know by the screams he is letting out through the house. She'll also make sure to tell me when he hits her in the eye with sunglasses, which may lead to an unfortunate black eye. But we won't talk about that right now.

The scary thing is that people think they are twins. At 22 months apart, they wear the same size shoe. Ray still wears a size 3T, while Chay is starting to grow out of 2T already. Ray weighs 33 pounds; Chay is 31 pounds. He is only an inch shorter than she is. Needless to say, she isn't going to have to need an OLDER brother to be her enforcer.

And what is my lesson in wishing? Don't wish. I'm going to get what I get, and it looks like I got what I deserved. Ray has her big brother. He's just not going to be older than her.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mr. Cranky Pants

The past three days have been hellacious with Chay. He just turned two and has the attitude to show for it. My normally happy boy - not so much anymore.

He's whining. He's crying. Constantly. I don't think he's smiled since Tuesday. I want my boy back!

I think we've narrowed down the problem though to two things.

First, he's frustrated. He doesn't speak very well (yet another thing to worry me) and I think he is getting frustrated because he can't get his point across. Anytime he wants something, its like playing three guesses. By the time we finally figure it out, he's so upset that whatever it is he wanted, well, he doesn't want anymore. Ray is doing her best to interpret for us, but sometimes, even she can't figure it out.

Second, could he be going through a growth spurt? All he wants to do is eat and sleep. He ate two breakfasts this morning in one sitting. As soon as we get him home from school, he needs to eat again -- an hour before his dinnertime. Today at the water park, where he normally is a fish, he kept yelling "Nap! Nap! Want Nap!" And at night he's begging to go to bed 45 minutes before his normal bedtime.

What gives? Is two years old a normal time for a growth spurt? Shouldn't he be able to talk more by now? I'm not normally such a worry wart, but seriously, this just isn't Chay. Make it stop!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Its My Birthday and I Refuse to Feel Guilty

I feel like a failure most days, honestly, as a parent. I let my children watch TV. I send them to daycare. I work. I give them popcicles pretty much once a day. Their idea of a good dinner includes chicken/grilled cheese/mac and cheese and fruit.

Of all of those, though, my biggest guilt inducer is that I work full time. I would love to spend my days with my kids. I would love to be their full time teacher. Unfortunately, today's economy requires that I work. (And. sssshhhhh. I like to work.)

But, you know what? My kids are healthy. They rarely go to the doctor other than for well baby visits. They haven't had to go for a sick visit in almost a year.

Ray is off the charts smart. She is truly amazing and impresses all of her teachers. She was counting to ten in spanish before she was 18 months old. Chay is 100% personality, and a happy one at that. He's one of those full of charm dudes that can steal your heart in a second.
Chay is also an awesome ball thrower. As stupid as that may sound, it actually takes skill to have a good arm. He's going to be a sportsman one day. Although, I predict he'll be better at football (defense) than baseball, because, while he can throw, his tackle is killer.

Ray is a beautiful dancer and she hasn't even had any training yet. She loves to dance and, I believe, will be a brilliant talent one day.
I always strive to be a better mom. I wish I had more patience. I wish I had more cooking skills. I wish I had more time to play with them. I wish I just had more time, in general.

But, today is my birthday and my present to myself is this – I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I am a good mom. I know that in my heart. At least for today.

My neon flowers that Ray chose for me. I really am loved!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Gross

Do you want to know what is really nasty? Chicken nuggets dipped in applesauce. That's what Ray ate for dinner tonight.

And I thought it was gross when she dipped the chicken in ketchup.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Back Another Day

Fay has decided to go across the northern side of the state because, obviously, disrupting life in the southern half wasn't enough. Today we had to deal with the southernly rain bands, which were nothing but bad storms. But rain nonetheless.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Its Windy

And its raining. Looks like we've been spared the big one. And we have power!

Now I just need to entertain Ray and Chay who want to do nothing but go outside. Its going to be a looooong day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Getting What I Deserve

So, I've checked my bravado at the door. I really believed that Fay was going to go elsewhere. They never go where they say they are. But, now its heading straight for us.

E has spent the day battoning down the hatches. Unfortunately, my lanai has been recreated in my living room, including our massive grill, while the slide and sandbox/watertable is in the dining room. At least the kids will be entertained tomorrow.

Oh, and in my infinite wisdom, I planned on having steaks and veggies on the grill tomorrow night for dinner, just in case we had no electricity. Then a co-worker politely reminded me that we might not want E standing outside grilling in the middle of a hurricane. Well, duh.

I'm a little nervous, but I still have faith that this is going to be a nothing storm. Much ado about nothing.

I hope.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Calm Before the (Non?)Storm

The media is really playing up the storm known as Fay. It could hit anywhere between Southwest Florida and Texas or break up over Cuba, but if you would believe the TV news (don't worry, Dad, I know the newspapers have it all right!) you would think we're heading for the next Hurricane Charley down here.

Want to see what the Gulf looked like today?

Really scary, huh?

Granted, the storm is still over Cuba somewhere, and only time will tell what is going to happen. But some of my neighbors have already totally freaked out, emptied their lanais, hung the hurricane shutters, and gotten out of dodge. Then there are those like me and E, ready to ride out the storm.

E and I discussed our options if a really big storm came through in the future (I still hold a firm belief that Fay is going to be nothing more than a 1, if even that, and if it were to take landfall here). We've agreed that we are willing to hang in through and up to a low three hurricane. Anything above and beyond that we're probably packing up depending on the situation, maybe higher depending on where landfall hit.

So, yeah. We're in a holding pattern here. My hope? Fay comes in low and does enough damage that it can stimulate the construction industry around here (and E can find work!) but no one gets seriously injuried or experiences so much damage that they can't recover. Is that too much to ask for?

Monday, August 11, 2008

"I'm Not Max!" aka The Happy Birthday Post!

Happy birthday, Chay!

Two years ago yesterday, you were forced out of my body into the world. Sorry, little dude, but you were one big boy and the doctors were worried about leaving you in there for too long. Other than those three unnecessary days in the NICU when you were three to six days old, I think you faired pretty well.


Please check out Chay's jersey. He picked out his birthday outfit. He would not wear anything other than a Redskins jersey. Godfather T should be proud.

The morning of Chay's birthday, Ray played that they were Ruby and Max. Every time she tried to call him Max, he said, "Not Max" while shaking his head forcefully. After about an hour and a half of being called Max, he became very upset and yelled, "I NOT MAX. I CHAY!" Ray got his point, eventually.

However, he didn't get his point across to the rest of us because throughout the rest of the day I couldn't resist calling him Max. He did, slowly, start playing along and at least grinned when he said "Not Max" while shaking his head.

And we discovered that Chay melts down when he's the center of attention. The above picture is him while we were singing Happy Birthday.

He obviously got over it...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Patient at the Door with a Gun

My friend, Mo, emailed me the other day requesting support for her good friend, Michele Davidson. Michele gave birth to a son back in May, 2007, who, due to delays in the delivery, is now a quadriplegic and suffers from severe birth defects. This past spring, Michele, allegedly, entered her doctor and his wife's home with a gun and threatened to kill herself. But first, they would have to wait as long as she did to give birth, which I understand from news reports to be an hour and a half. The doctor's 11 year old child was able to escape and called police. Michele is now in jail awaiting bond, which she's been denied three times. She has not seen any of her children since May.

This headline and all of the above info is available in the Washington Post. Please read the story which I linked to up there ^. It will give you a detailed account of what happened and both sides of the story.

I know Michele. Not as closely as my friend Mo, who considers her one of her good friends. But, I have hung out with her a few times with Mo. If I had not left Virginia for Florida, I may have become better friends with her. The few times I met her I had a fun time and really enjoyed talking to her. She came across as a really good and caring person. E seemed to get along with her husband pretty well, too. And, I trust Mo's taste in friends. She and her husband are good people who I know would not hang with unsavory types.

I am writing this post as dry as possible for a reason. I want your opinion on this story without any influence from my comments. Who do you think is at fault here?

ETA: Maybe the question isn't who is at fault. Obviously, there are a lot of unanswered questions in the story that I have provided. I don't have the full story, only what has been made available to me. The better question may be how can we make the system better? On both sides?

ETAA: Oh, come on., leave a comment! I've had a slew of new visitors, and I know you have opinions. I truly want to hear them regardless of the point of view.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

She Continues to Break My Heart

I just finished putting Ray to bed. During the winding down phase, Ray and I had the following conversation:

Ray: Mommy, promise me something.

Me: What's that, Ray?

Ray: Promise me you won't go to work anymore.

Me: Oh, honey, I wish I could promise you that, but I just can't.

Ray: But, Mooooommmmyyyyyy, I have plenty of money in my piggy bank. Lots and lots and lots and lots of money. Please?

Me: I wish I could baby.

***
Oh, how I wish I could. But then I remember the really scared email I sent to G-mawie and realize that I just am not cut out for stay at home momdom.

I think it would be easier on her if she was back in school full time. For the last two weeks she's spent Monday and Tuesday at home with E. And, unfortunately for everyone, E has had a bad case of the gout which has rendered him crippled for a day and a half. While he's alone with the kids. Two days in a row. Poor thing is just bored!

E is always a great dad to the kids and finds all kinds of interesting ways to entertain them. But when he has the gout as badly as he has the past day and a half, he really just can't walk. Finally, last night I had to take him to the urgent care to get him meds so that he could just sleep, let alone walk.

Seriously, I can't wait until E gets a job and all is back to normal in our world!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mommies Shouldn't Have to Work

E called me at work today to relay the following story:

While driving home from the grocery store, Ray asked E where I was. His response, "She's at work."

Ray: Daddy, Mommy needs to stop working.

E: Well, unfortunately she has to work so that she can make money to pay the bills.

Ray: But, Daddy, I miss her.

E: Yes, I miss her too. But just like Daddy, Mommy needs to work to make money so that we can have toys and yummy treats.

Ray: Daddy, I have lots of money in my piggy bank. I'll give it to her so that she doesn't have to work.


Doesn't she just make your heart melt?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Two Days with Daddy

Ray and Chay were home with E for the past two days while I was at work. Since he's still not working full time, he is going to keep them home for a couple days a week, which is nice that the kids get to spend some good bonding time with him since they don't get a whole lot of time alone together.

I was quite jealous yesterday, though. It was my first, very stressful, day at my new job and what did they get to do? Go on a nature hike!

How pretty and peaceful does that look?

Ray found a pink tree:

Where are we -- in Seussville?

Much to Ray and Chay's dismay, they didn't get to see an otter in the otter pond, nor did they get to see a duck in the duck pond. They DID get to see an alligator in the alligator pond. Ray wasn't all that impressed though because, as she put it, there's an alligator in the pond at the soccer field. I guess she's all "been there, done that" with alligators.

But how cute is that? Its a baby alligator!

This is one huge Cypress tree (I think) that they saw:

How would you like to climb that thing?

And, from what I understand, everyone got along all day.

Sista and Brudder

Which, according to E, is more than I can say about today.

Apparentally, Ray was all about challenging daddy and fighting Chay today. They went to the fountains again, and Ray hurt her foot badly enough that it was bleeding. (Note to future Ray -- you won't make a good doctor). A fight soon ensued over the type of bandaids they were going to buy (Princesses vs. Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty was the same price as regular bandaids while Princesses warranted a $1 more. A dollar more? Seriously? Needless to say, daddy won.)

Then, as a special treat, he took them to McDonald's. Ray proceeded to throw a fit because there was ketchup on her cheeseburger. E only ordered her cheeseburger like that because THAT'S THE WAY SHE ALWAYS WANTS IT. I guess just not today, though.

She refused to nap, as always, but fell asleep at 4:30 on the way to Home Depot, and I'm guessing that only made the HD trip that much more difficult. Oh, and while he was folding laundry, she knocked over a pile of t-shirts. On purpose. Then laughed when she was punished. Challenging authority much?

As much fun (and challenging) it is to be home with Ray and Chay, I think E is exhausted after two full days alone with them. Ha!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Magic Umbrella

Dear Em,

I understand that you don't believe that I am Mary Poppins because I don't have a magic umbrella. But, my dear, Em, I do have one:

I found my umbrella in London, which is where Mary Poppins reigns supreme. It was a really late rainy night and E and I had just left the pubs. A strange figure approached me and gave me this special umbrella and told me that it held a special gift if I used it right. If you believe in magic, it will talk to you and help you fly. (It will at least keep you dry *wink*wink*)

So, my dear Em, do you still believe that I'm not Mary Poppins?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dancing the Employment Dance

I got the job! Its at a law firm, which I am pretty excited about, believe it or not. The sucky part is having to deal with billable hours, but hey, who am I to complain? I've got a job!

I will be working closely with an attorney who handles medical malpractice suits for law enforcement and correctional units. I think I may get some good blogging material out of this, assuming that I can tell the story without giving away any confidential and/or identifying information. The attorney at the interview yesterday already told me a few good ones and that was in just the first five minutes.

I start on Monday. They are extremely busy so I agreed to start right away. Go me!

Now, its time to find E a job. Keep thinking happy thoughts for us -- it seems to be working...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Seconds

I have a 2nd interview tomorrow! Yippee!


When Ms. HR called me yesterday, she told me a little about the attorney that I would be interviewing and potentially working with. She prefaced it with, "Are you sitting down?"


That's one way to make someone excited to work for you.


The attorney works in their Torts and Insurance practice and happens to deal primarily with law enforcement and the prison system. Ms. HR wanted to know if that would be OK?

Oh, hellz, yeah! May I remind you that I was a double major in college -- one of which was in Criminal Justice? I love that stuff!

Please think good thoughts for me. Pray, even, if you believe in that kind of thing. I want this job (assuming that I like the attorney and they like me, of course).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

She Stuck It Up Her Nose

I'm sitting here applying for jobs and needed to post this because it is so unlike a Ray thing to do.

She's in the bedroom watching Backyardigans while we wait for Chay to wake up from his nap. She ran out and told E that she was picking her nose. Uhm. OK.

Then she came to the front room and told me that the key was in her nose.

Me: Huh? A key? In your nose?

Ray: Yeah. Its stuck up there, way up there. (Points to her nose). The white thing. Its in my nose.

Me: E, do you know what she's talking about? Ray, blow like you are blowing your nose.

Ray: I can't! It hurts.

Me: (Thinking, oh lordy, we have no health insurance and can't afford to go to the emergency room for a key that may, or may not, be in her nose.)

E: Blow hard (while holding her right nostril closed).

And low and behold, a shell flew out of Ray's nose.

A flipping shell! Why would she stick it up her nose? That's something I expect Chay to do, not my girl!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Numbers

Nine people. One 2000 square foot house.

One Queen Mother. Two brothers. Two wives (regardless of legalities). Two teenagers. And, Ray and Chay.

Friday night upon arrival: Dinner and a movie. Relaxing enough.

Saturday: Three hours at the pool. Three dozen blue crabs. One trip to the beach for a sunset. A school (is that what they are called?) of stingrays. A meal at the beach bar with a couple of beers with live music under the stars. Priceless.

Sunday: Two bus rides to/from the parking lot. Two boat rides. One beach visited. Two manatees, a couple of dolphins, a few pelicans diving, and thousands of baby clams burrowing into the sand. Three movies watched upon arrival home, three fights among the teenage siblings, one timeout for Chay, and one very needed drive for me and Tracy. And, finally, one pot of E's famous chili.

Monday: 7:00 am. Goodbye Uncle Mark, Tracy, Lindsey and Shawn! We loved having you.

Tomorrow's post: An ode to Cousins

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Let's Talk About Stress

Tomorrow, I have two interviews. Friday, my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, the Girlfriend, and the Cousins are coming to our house for the first time. When am I supposed to clean?

Oh, never mind. I don't care. I need to focus on the interviews first and foremost.

These interviews couldn't be more opposite.

The first is for a single attorney with her own independent office. She does probates, wills, bankruptcies, etc. I've never worked with anyone in such a small atmosphere, and it could be to my advantage. She may be flexible with the kids, and she may be a really good mentor.

On the other hand, I'm a law firm snob. LET ME BE CLEAR: I find nothing wrong with that type of work. However. I worked in DC, I've assisted on federal briefs and attended oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court. I've met and had a (brief) discussion with Ruth Bader Ginsberg (yeah, ask her about me. I bet she'll remember me! Not.) I've been the lead paralegal on a large trial in the Ninth Circuit as well as an arbitration in London. I rock when it comes to experience.

But, during all that time, I never had a family. So, my priorities have shifted. Of course, my job is a number one priority. However, I just don't have the flexibility to work 70 hour weeks like I did pre-children.

That brings me to the bigger firm, which happens to be the second interview I have tomorrow. They will have work more in line with what I am used to, but will they be as flexible as I may need? Will I have to work 70 hour weeks?

Granted, I live in SW Florida now, not DC. Please, don't get me wrong. I am not scared to work long hours. I am just scared of leaving my two young children for such long hours. It's all about balance, right?

Of course, now is the time that I realize -- hey! You need to be offered the job before you worry about all this nonsense, OK? When that happens, I'll be back to keep you up to date...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm Too Excited to Sleep

So, we may be gone for a couple of days. I may or may not be able to blog while we're gone. We may or may not be having too much fun with the Princesses and pirates and maybe even a couple of mice too. Just maybe.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Get Off Your A** and Parent!

After being home with my two children for about, oh, say... a day, I sent an email to my BFF, Jeanmarie (aka, G-Mawie):

What in the hell am I supposed to do with them all day? The daycare is reserving our spots for two weeks free of charge while we figure out what we're doing. But, until then, my dear children will be home with me ALL. DAY. I had Chay with me for a year and a half, but he was just a squishy baby that didn't require entertainment. So, as a pro stay at home mom, can you please provide tips for free and educational entertainment for my sanity?

So, yeah. Feel free to feel sorry for me. (Insert sarcasm here.)

But I've found my way. Nana and I went to the teacher store:


That standing art easel -- THE BEST PURCHASE EVER. Yes. It deserves all three -- CAPS, italics, and underlines. It has a chalkboard that they never stop playing with. I have attached a felt board, which they constantly play with. The painting can be a pain in the a**, because Ray needs help keeping Chay away (he wants to paint the furniture, which I can't allow). But the entire board provides all day entertainment, and I cannot recommend it enough.

I have also found that the local park fountains are good, and free, entertainment:



My Baby's Handprints (those are Chay's but Ray disagrees...)

Obviously, we are working hard to keep our children's lives normal. I don't honestly think that they notice a difference between us leaving for work or a normal weekend day.

I do know that they notice our stress.

And I am not sure how to deal with that. Any advice would be appreciated...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Keep the Tourists at Bay

Papa and E played golf on Saturday. E, of course, hurt his elbow. Shocker. He manages to hurt himself just clipping his toenails, so it’s not a golf game without a few injuries. He did get a birdie, which we have not stopped hearing about.* While they played golf, the women (i.e., Nana and Mitch) hit the beach with the mini-mes.

The beach is a semi-private beach which can only be accessed by boat however, it is shared with a rather large four-star hotel, which shall remain nameless. The local members own the first boat allowed to land on the island, so at approximately 9:55 am we were in our lounge chairs (and by “in our lounge chairs” I mean throwing our stuff at the chairs while chasing Ray and Chay into the water).

The hotel’s boat usually arrives about a half hour later, so at roughly 10:30 am the tourists arrived. It really is such a peaceful half hour at the beach between 10 and 10:30.

The family that took up the space next to us was a mirror image of the Ray and Chay family – a thirty-some curly haired mom (slightly overweight, but with red, instead of brown, hair) and an older (slightly skinnier) dad.* The children were a little older. The girl was around 4 ½, and a little timid in the water. The boy was 2 ½ and NOT scared of anything. The kicker? Mom pulled out a bottle of wine (at 10:30 am, mind you) and poured herself a plastic glass full. Now, that’s my kind of girl.

If you can’t drink at 10:30 am at the beach while on vacation, when can you?

*I say this in the most lovingly way.


The Princess Awaits Her Snack of Grapes