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?


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


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.