Thursday, February 21, 2008

by the side of the road

We visited my brother Mike and his family in Houston last weekend, but before I get too carried away, let me just explain who, exactly "we" is, and is not. "We" is not Randy. He stayed home to work. "We" is all four children, plus Holly and Big Much and Middle Miss. We filled Big Red, her suburban, and off we went. Like Thelma and Louise, but with 6 extra people who are not self sufficient.

The weekend was about M, my 8 year old niece getting baptized. M is truly a wonderful girl. She is a human version of monkey bread, a sometimes overlooked but never disappointing dessert. M is warm and soft with a generous coating of sugar and a touch of cinnamon for spice, and her giggle makes you always want to go back for more. Providing comfort and snuggles to the troubled hearts of her cousins, she is the last to require attention or praise. And her stories, if you listen carefully, make hilarity out of the mundane of everyday life. One day ask her about the GPS who the family refers to as "Lady Bugs" as M says, "because she's a lady and she bugs us".

Other things that made this trip priceless -

panic attack as two claustrophobic sisters are trapped on a 20 mile stretch of HOV lane surrounded by cement barriers and NO WAY OUT!!

"what's that smell" (Stevie asks) all the way through stinky Louisiana where refineries provide the only view from the freeway

post-church popcorn Holly shared with us from her tub of boy scout chocolate covered caramel corn - apropos considering it is truly DIVINE

Wally and Stevie singing "Little GTO" from RV, the movie each of them chooses when it's his turn

Big Much imitating Auntie Mel as the roller coaster announcer when we go over big hills

Watching the cousins play High School Musical Wii - Mel scored a solid C as Sharpay in some boppy song

Auntie Holly doing a sit bounce trick on the trampoline

"I'm S and I just turned 4" my nephew's constant introduction

Being left by the side of the road for Randy to pick up when we hit our freeway exit (it was at my request, but still funny to all the Best Buy customers who watched us unload)

Monday, February 18, 2008

My cup runneth over

I am officially the mom of a boy. You may wonder how, after 4 years, it is only now official. Because now my son is the proud owner of a cup. Not the kind you drink out of or the kind you win when you have achieved something great. No, this is the kind that boys wear with a strap when playing particular sports, his being karate - the kind brothers leave out in hopes of making their sisters gag, the kind that requires some explanation to a 4-year-old before use, and of course, I was the sole parent at the karate studio who "got" to offer it.

For some background, Stevie has a fascination with his parts that is foreign to me. When he was first formally introduced with the proper name during potty training, I think I heard the word 87 times per day - usually in public when he would ask the unsuspecting clerk at the store where her "part" was (much to my blushing face, he didn't use the word "part") or when he would declare the gender of people (including close family members) he saw using the restroom in public.

So, that beautiful Saturday, as he saw the cup included with his new gear, his first reactions was, "will my "part" fit in there?" Well, I don't know how well-endowed he had grand illusions of being, but clearly yes, it would fit. But, oh, the joy when he found out he had two other parts in dire need of protection during a karate fight. Only, this time, I got to choose the word rather than his dad, and so, I am the proud mother of a boy who is the proud owner of his "boys".

Thursday, February 14, 2008

a blog is born - jump in with me!

You could call it my 6th child, say its time is overdue, and most correctly recognize that even its coming-to-be is representative of me: lots of thought, lots of time, lots of fret, a GRAND idea with NO finished results.

I have been dabbling around a bit trying to come up with THE perfect blog - from colors to the best first post to a great name. And finally, after 6 months, several training sessions from patient friends, a name from Randy (why are his jokes so telling???), and a not-so-gentle nudge from my mom (I think she called it NAGGING PERSUADING and CHALLENGING me to do it), I am "jumping in".

I have officially started a blog.

And, just like a child, the blog seems to point out my weaknesses even as I am still caught up in the newness and wonder of it all and the pride for actually bringing it about. I have grand plans for this blog, major renovation, frequent posts, exploring my creativity, etc, etc.

But blogging highlights how little I know about linking or labeling or HTML-ing (or even blogging for that matter). It publicly screams to the world that I don't upload my pictures from camera to computer with any organization or regularity. It fusses about whether I actually have anything to say. And it beckons me to do better.

Hopefully it will quiet the nagging voice in my head (not my mom this time), maybe because it provides an outlet for three great loves of my life: photography, writing and nostalgia, maybe because it takes the "I'm never caught up" scrapbooking pressure off of me, maybe because it connects me to those I love, maybe because it makes me feel more like my "cool" friends.

Marmet said "We respond to a drama to that extent to which it corresponds to our dreamlife." I spend much time living the life I dream and dreaming the life I (want to) live, so grab some chocolate and a Diet Coke and jump in with me!