Friday, April 30, 2010

Practically Perfect In Every Way

With my in-laws in-town, we wanted to show them just how big and intimidating Atlanta can be.  So we got opening night tickets for Mary Poppins, a Broadway musical premiering at the Fabulous Fox Theater.  My girls were so excited to wear their fancy dresses and get some live theater on a school night, and they looked beautiful. 

The Theater is really something special.  It was a Shriner's auditorium way back in the beginning and it has an Indian-inspired theme with is very opulent and exotic.  It is served by hundreds of volunteer ushers, all impeccably dressed, including one master of the house that looks spectacular as he greets people out front.  He reminds me of a ringmaster at the circus.

Circus is a good word to describe downtown Atlanta during rush hour and opening night.  Few things compare to the lunacy of Atlanta construction, the multiple streets named Peachtree, and all the general chaos of finding not-so-outlandish parking rates in Atlanta.  But we did manage to do okay, other than the fact that I did not get the photos I wanted of my daughters in the theater.  There was no time left, various family members went AWOL, some family members did not have their tickets or set their tickets down someplace inappropriate, and then there was the line for the ladies' room.  Sigh.

As for the show, it was enchanting.  Most of the songs were in the Disney movie, but good songs were added to make the stage story complete.  They embraced many tricks with the stage and lighting and props, making Mary Poppins as magical as she was on film.  I absolutely adore the Dick Van Dyke version of Burt, and the actor in the live show was so fabulous I would see the show again just because of him.  The performance of "Step In Time" is the highlight, with a team of tap dancing chimney sweeps that were absolutely, incredibly precise and fun.  The girls were blown away.  I was too, if you couldn't tell.  I want to go back to the Fox again and again.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Liz Lemon Life

Something comedic is conspiring against me - week after week after week.  I continually see a reflection of my life, my character, my personality - in Liz Lemon.  Liz Lemon is Tina Fey's character on 30 Rock, a somewhat dark-ish comedy that I happen to follow and would recommend to people who appreciate off-beat personalities and can overlook some very inappropriate behavior. The dialogue is very quick, which is a trademark of shows that I really enjoy.  The jokes are funny because they are true, and I can attest to exactly how true they are.

I never noticed the similarities until some random people commented on my likeness to Sarah Palin, primarily because I have the same color and length of hair, almost the same glasses, but that's about it.  Anyway, that triggered a reference to Tina Fey's portrayal of Mrs. Palin, and I started watching her show, 30 Rock, more closely.

And now, the character of Liz Lemon seems to be mimicking me.  This is a pathetic thing and not a compliment.  Liz has a lot of issues, most of which I happen to share.  To be completely honest, it is her issues that make her lovable and adorable and remarkable.  Her wearing of glasses, her lack of a social life, her wardrobe, her attempts at trying to be cool, her awkward dates, her diet, the fact that she wears old high school Tshirts when she works out at the YMCA, her weekend plans to play online Boggle, even her television addiction.  The list goes on and on.  I actually considered writing down every Liz Lemon similarity, but somehow an episode would come on and something completely unattractive would happen to her, and I would gape at the TV because of how it aligned with my life.  I made the editorial decision to not write down her high school humiliation because it only brings back uncomfortable memories.  Also, I have my pride.  My life is real, and however imaginary her life is, it is only funny because it is true.  But I digress...

I will positively know that Liz Lemon is channeling my life when she finds Jesus and starts a blog.  Wouldn't that be an interesting episode?  Yeah, maybe not that interesting, but it would really be my Liz Lemon life then.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Proof Is in the Picture

Much to the delight of my mother, I actually spent an evening camping with my family.  For a city girl, this is a profound step.  I was not half as bad as the evil girlfriend from The Parent Trap movie, but camping has never been in my lexicon of experiences.  Until now.

Darby was the one that really wanted to camp, so we willingly obliged her.  And, it was a good experience for the whole family.  For Darby, she wanted to cook all our food over a campfire.  But for some reason, all the recipes she read about in her printed camping material never related that actually having warm food for dinner involves a one hour wait.  Food takes a while to cook when natural gas is not involved.  Scott's prehistoric camping equipment did not help us much, either.  We did get to spend an enjoyable, mild, bug-free evening out in nature.  I attempted to teach my family to play poker in our tent where we used flashlights to see our cards (see reference to prehistoric camping equipment to understand why flashlights were necessary.)  I slept outside in a tent with my daughters with a yoga mat to cushion my backside.  My husband, who has issues with crowds, slept in the car.  When I awoke to the scene of the sun coming up over the lake, I decided that it was a good evening overall.  And when we decided that boiling water was never going to happen, we escaped to a bakery in town and I went to some of my favorite little mountain shops.  Momma like.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mommin' It

How many stereotypes can one mom confirm in one day? 

I did my best.  I made breakfast for children and sent them off to school, including one packed lunch.  I fixed everyone's hair.  I watched part of the Today show, waiting for a report about the amount of sodium and sugar in kid's diets.  I clipped a mountain of coupons and put them into my coupon binder, completed a grocery shopping list, then highlighted various sale items from the grocery store flier.  Cardio workout for 40 minutes, then weighed in because I am an overweight mom needing to drop a few.  Cleaned up and styled my mom hair (curly today.)  Volunteered at the kid's school.  Went to grocery store and saved $75 on my final bill, while chatting with all the other ladies mommin' it and couponing at the grocery store.  Picked up kid at school from the carpool line.   Cleaned up my kitchen.  Had a mom snack since I skipped lunch.  Went on Facebook to read about all the other gals mommin' it in the world.  And now I post to my mom blog, thinking about how much I can get done tomorrow, what I will cook for dinner tonight, and whether or not I can go one more day without doing yet another load of laundry.

There are some things that cannot be denied - I am definitely a mom.  No minivan, no diaper bag, no mom jeans, but  I can fully inhabit this role nonetheless.  Now it's time to iron my husband's shirts...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dating 101 - Franks' Style

1.  Take one kid to school.

2.  Take another kid to the bus stop.

3.  Hit the road for about 30 minutes.

4.  Arrive at the designated date spot at 9 a.m.

5.  Put on waders.

6.  Tie on lures.

7.  See some trout swimming in water.

8.  Cast.

9.  Watch fish swim around your lure.

10.  Watch fish swim around your lure...again.

11.  Switch to power bait.

12.  Move up stream after fish mock your power bait some more.

13.  Notice more good ol' boys showing up at your stretch of the crick.

14.  Hold hands with beloved as you wade across creek.

15.  Take picture of beloved wearing his spiffy new fishing vest.

16.  Promise beloved that you will not put the picture on the blog.

17.  Notice that beloved's fishing vest has front pockets placed in a most unfortunate place.  Consider adding underwire support for said pockets.

18.  Continue to fish in vain.

19.  Pack it all in - that fishing hole is not worth the time.

20.  Head to lunch with beloved and talk about what a wonderful morning it was.  Reflect that the best part was holding hands in the river.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Good News for a Hoarding Wanna Be

I never wanted to be a hoarder.  The people on TV are much worse off than me.  I hope I am not a hoarder.  But sometimes I wonder...

I am married to an incredibly neat man.  So, every small little stack of eight envelopes feels like I am backsliding.  But when my stack of mail is ONLY eight envelopes, I feel like I am on top of things.

My issues get more complicated because of my responsibilities.  I pay bills, so I am responsible for all the paperwork in this house.  I am a coupon mom, so I have even more stacks of coupons, fliers, and internet printouts to add to the inbox.  And, guess who is responsible for the taxes?  Yep.  So, for the past few days it appears that I am a hoarder.  Piles upon piles of papers and stubs and coupons and bills, yet I still cannot find how much ad valorem I paid for our 1996 Ford Explorer last year (although I think it was about $35 or $36 dollars.) 

These are the days that try men's souls, or my husband's soul.

I also hoard TV shows on my DVR.  And I am coming to terms with this issue right now, because we switched our cable service provider today and every Big Bang Theory, every Community, every Loony Toons is a goner.  My movies that I intend to watch someday (in the next six months) are no longer accessible.  Plus, all the TV station numbers changed, so I will have to come to grips with that problem as well.

But good news for me!  As I was entering in every last login on my taxes this morning, the new cable/internet/phone installer let me know that he has seen much worse.

And because I am so happy to have my taxes completed on time, I will choose to believe his comment.  I am not a hoarder...yet.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Eight is Great

Note to self:  When running daughter's birthday party, make sure someone without OCD tendencies is the photographer.  When you direct, "Take some pictures!", and you get three or four pictures of individual items on the party table, and approximately two pictures of guests without the birthday girl, you just have to say "Oh well" and move on because the moment is over.  The photos do not reflect the sweet birthday party I threw for Roxy.  I am posting only this picture because it conveys how much fun Roxy had.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Reflecting - An 8 Year Journey

My baby ain't a baby anymore.  Eight short years ago, I learned what motherhood is all about.  I was in a hospital bed, having just convinced my husband to leave church and get to the hospital pronto, hoping he would get untied from his obligations before I dominoed baby #2.  I had a three year old at preschool who was none too happy about a baby sister showing up, threatening to take her crown as Diva of the house.  I had no cell phone, I hadn't brought my bag to the regularly scheduled doctor's appointment, and I now got to worry about whether or not Roxanne Skye would be a carrier of group B strep, which could make her ill since my water was broken.  And I was just sitting there, lonely, knowing that this was the day when I no longer had any amount of control of my life.  And when my husband left me alone with this Darby clone in the hospital so he could get the church bulletin finished, I knew the honeymoon was over.  One kid is a piece of cake when you are a minister's wife, but it is a whole different ballgame with baby #2, and I better adjust my expectations of "control" pretty quick.

Roxy's entrance into the world was not exactly what I anticipated.  Besides the fact that I had her without a planned epidural and my husband was sick in the bathroom due to profound anxiety, Roxy was peachy keen.  And, she screamed her head off.  The neonatologist had to check her because of the group B strep issue, and his comment was, "A sick child would never be this mad."

Rewind...did I just have an angry child?  Oh Lord, no!  I already had one of those. 

But thankfully for me, no one is angry anymore, Scott is no longer ill at the thought of fatherhood, and I have embraced reality:  I never had control and would never need control again.  Being a parent to two children makes you learn what you are really made of - you learn the diplomacy of compromise, the art of negotiation, and the cleverness of finding every free kids meal in town because you have to, just to get by.

Roxy completes this family beautifully.  She is so loving, so joyful, so thoughtful, and so ready to play at every moment of the day.  Which is exactly what this trio of nerds needed.  She keeps us laughing with all her Jim Carey-ish ways.  She loves completely and unconditionally and tells you all about it everyday.  What a joy.

Happy Birthday Rockstar!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Ugly (Tooth) Truth

Sometimes it feels better to just not think about things, worry about things.  The old adage, "What you don't know won't hurt you" - doesn't that sound like good advice?

Not when it comes to teeth.

Due to my rational fear of subpar insurance and an irrational fear of dentists that may or may not have a vested interest with those that profit from putting braces on six and seven year olds, I have delayed the dental care of my children.  Prior to our appointment this week, the girls have been on a dental hiatus since we moved 900+ miles.  We brush, we floss, we change our toothbrushes regularly, but I put off finding dental care for various reasons, rational and irrational.

Essentially, I have been depriving my daughters of potentially bad dental experiences.  My record with the dentist has been very hit and miss.  The last trip was a doozy and I have not been back in a couple of years.

So the girls were VERY happy about going to the dentist yesterday.  They actually got spa treatments while their dental work was progressing.  Massage chair, parrafin wax treatments for their hands, aromatherapy.  All this distracts you (for a little while) until that scraper-thingy comes out.

The results were mixed.  Darby's teeth are in good condition, but all of the sealants that I paid for two years ago are gone, so now she has a whole new set of sealants.  If these are gone in a year, I will be sure that the latest racket in the area of dental hygiene is sealants.

Roxy's teeth - well, we know that her future will not be as pearly white as Darby's, or mine or Scott's for that matter.  Welcome to the world of novacaine, gauze, and setting off metal detectors with your mouth.

Would Roxy's teeth have been spared if I has bumped up her appointment by, let's say, a year?  The dentist wants me to believe that to be the case. 

Thanks for the guilt.  I was already in guilt-induced trouble for not putting Easter Bunny gifts in their baskets this year AND the girls got to share this fact with all the adults at our church.   (It is always fun to get shamed by church people on a religious holiday.  Now they think I'm down on Easter...)  The ugly truth is:  no matter what you do, you will not live up your daughters' expectations, your dentist's expectations, or your church's expectations.  But I will not be cowed by guilt for long - I will make up for these errors in one way or another, until the next trip to the dentist, or the next holiday I don't properly recognize.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Pretty Pic

Our new color for Easter is brown.  And no, it is not the seventies down here in Georgia.

The sweetest part of Sunday, Easter:  our dogwood opened up that morning.  Now if only the rest of the trees in the backyard would come in, and the azaleas, and the red buds (they are just now starting in), and the hydrangeas, and then the blueberry bushes...

I sure do love spring in Georgia!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pool School is So Cool

I guess every cool pool should have big, strong men in them, shouldn't they?  I can't wait to hear her solution for the public bathrooms...