Monday, April 28, 2008

Upping my cool points

My hilariously wonderful friend Martha flew down to visit us this weekend. Let me just say that it was so fun to be with her, so refreshing, and so informative. Martha is about 12 years younger than I am, so she is always keeping me in the know about things that I would not have a clue about otherwise. She definitely increases my cool points considerably. Here are a couple things I learned from her:
1. If you want to text someone faster, then you do this deal on your phone so that the phone actually guesses what word you're typing and you ok it. That's a terrible description, but I don't know how else to put it. She called it t-9 or something like that. Try to figure it out, though. It could change your texting life considerably.

2. When you see a pair of tennis shoes thrown up over an electric wire, what do you think? I think, "Man, why would someone throw their shoes up there? I guess you just con your friend into taking off their shoes and then you try to throw them up there for a prank?". But oh no, my friends. Martha tells me that when someone gets murdered (like gang stuff), then the person's shoes are thrown over the wire. I don't know if the muderer does it or if the friends do it in honor of the person (like "I tip my 40 to your memory" or something like that). Either way, pretty disturbing.

See, I told you...she's very informative.

We got a babysitter on Friday and went to see "Baby Mama", which was hilarious. Martha basically is Amy Poehler from SNL, so it was funny to see that with her. You should check it out. After the movie we went to the mall to walk around. Martha got so excited to see we have an Urban Outfitters at our mall. I have no clue what this is since I've only been out there two times in the past 11 months. I go in there with her, though, and I can barely contain my laughter. It's like a warehouse with all these "indie" clothes and stuff. It's total 70's and it's outrageously priced. They have stuff like really thin t-shirts, huge sunglasses in bright colors, journals for sale, and lots of polyester blends. I tried to feign interest, but I just couldn't. I looked so out of place in my Gap outlet pants and shirt (thankfully neither of which had any throw up on them). So I went up to Martha and said, "OK, will you meet me in Pottery Barn when you're done?". She cracked up, said of course, and off I went. It was so fun. Even though we are a generation apart, she and I connect in so many ways that are way more important than cool points, and I am so thankful for her friendship.

Also, here are just a couple things that have cracked me up lately:

1. Ian got home from Texas on Saturday and he brought Maggie this cowgirl outfit. It's too adorable and she's totally into it. Just thought you should see it.
2. I'm on craigslist looking around for living room furniture. I just love the way everyone uses the word "retro" - retro couch, retro chair, retro lamp. Please read "retro" as total crap. Just try it sometime. Go on your local craigslist and type in retro. Hilarious.

3. Today I put Zoe and Tori down for a nap and heard Zoe gagging, so I ran back to see what was up. I opened the door and there was Zoe chewing on the side of her crib. I got a little closer and looked in her mouth to find a shard of wood that she had bitten off and was chewing. Awesome. So now Zoe is sleeping in the pack n play in the middle of the room. For those of you at home counting, that's now THREE cribs in their room.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Mercury, Venus, the Earth and Mars...

These are the planets that dwell 'neath the stars.
Saturn and Jupiter, Uranus too,
Neptune and Pluto, I know them, do you?"

This is the song I sang to Maggie on our walk last week as she was telling me she was learning about the planets at school. After I finished the song she simply said, "Mom, Pluto is a star, NOT a planet."

Two questions:
1. What do you do when your five year old is smarter than you?
2. How can they just go and change the planets like that?

Just doesn't seem right.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Daddy Daughter Dance

So much has been going on that I haven't had a chance to post about the Daddy Daughter Dance. It was seriously the most adorable thing ever. Ian got all dressed up in his suit and Maggie and I had fun getting her ready. She wanted her nails painted and ringlets in her hair like one of her dolls. The dance was at our church and a bunch of our friends went with their girls too. All the girls were given a rose, then they ate a fancy dinner with their daddies, then danced the night away.

I must brag on my hubby and say that he is such a great "daughter-dad". He has a great balance between treating the girls like princesses, and encouraging them to play hard and act silly. I am so thankful for him and the way he loves us.

So now I want a Daddy/Mommy dance - or at least a date. Luckily we are getting to go out tomorrow night. The funny thing is that I am pretty sick with a sinus infection, but you would have to pin me down to keep me at home. It'll be great to actually put on real clothes and get away. I think we're heading out to the beach. Ahh, you gotta love Jacksonville.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What I wake up to each day...

"Mommy, it's seven oh-oh (i.e. 7:00 am). I want Barbie waffles and a drink in my Hannah (Montana) cup. Come on."

How did it come to this? I am 35 years old and I'm being bossed around by a five year old. Don't get me wrong, we are trying to nip the sass in the bud, but it's a full time job and sometimes she catches me off guard.

Mag is a sweet kid - she and I have a blast. When she becomes Miss Sassy Pants, though, I have to regulate. The thing is, every time I hear her speak with a slightly sarcastic tone or respond in a way that doesn't thrill me I actually hear MY voice coming through her little body. Scary. I know she learned it somewhere and I'm pretty sure that a good portion of it is from me. The rest we'll blame on being five and spending time with other five year old girls - the cumulative effect of which produces a 13 year old in a 39 pound body. I really feel for Maggie's preschool teachers. There are about 8 girls in her class and they are all adorable and hilarious - daughters of friends of mine. When you get them together, though, they can sass with the best of them. "You're not my friend," "I don't want to play with you," or the kicker, "I'm the mom and YOU'RE the little girl." That last one is Maggie's favorite. I think she just loves to boss people around like I "boss" her around all day. Isn't that just what moms do?

I remember my mom telling me that one time she came back in my room while I was resting and she heard me talking to my dolls. I had them all lined up on the bed and I was saying, "No, you may NOT do that. If you do, you'll be in big trouble and will get a spanking," (or something to that effect). Or another time when I was at my ballet recital and the rest of the class started messing up on the dance. In the middle of the dance on the stage I began placing everyone in their correct spot so that we could continue. A little bossy, you think? But they were doing it WRONG! I just couldn't twirl by and watch that happen. I had to DO something!

OK, so I gotta run. Time to make up stories with barbies, which actually means that Maggie will dictate every move the barbies make. Wonder where she gets that from?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Nana feeding Tori ice cream

Just found this video of Nana feeding Tori her first bite of ice cream. It was taken Christmas 2007. I love hearing her voice! So southern!

Too much to post

I just have way too much to post about. It's been such a terribly sad week, with a terribly busy and exciting week right before that. I am completely spent. People have been asking me to put pics of the house on the blog, or to update them on the blog. Honestly, I have absolutely nothing left at the end of the day. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.

It's Sunday morning and we're skipping church. Twins are asleep, Ian is asleep, and Maggie is watching her 7th cartoon of the morning. Awesome.

We just got back into town late Friday night from being in Columbia with my family. My grandmother, Nana, passed away last Monday. She had been in and out of the hospital for a while, but the end was really sudden and really sad. I'm not even sure what to say about it except for the fact that it just feels really strange to be with my family and not have her there.

Nana was a wonderfully complex woman. She was "straight-laced as they make em" (as she said), but she LOVED a dirty joke and a "hi-ball". She wanted so badly to be adventurous and spontaneous, but was paralyzingly afraid of flying, elevators, and lots of other stuff. She was extremely picky about who her daughters/granddaughters dated, but her favorite character on her "program" (i.e. "Days of Our Lives") was Bo Brady, the motorcycle riding, beard and long hair wearing bad boy from Salem.

Nana could straight cook it up. She made fried chicken like nobody's business, but once Bojangle's came along she was done with the frying. For the last year of her life she drove Papa down to Bojangle's for a sausage biscuit...EVERY morning. If you're not familiar with Bojangle's then first of all I'm sorry, and second of all just imagine pouring really really yummy tasting grease down your throat chased by some brown colored liquid sugar they call sweet tea. De-lish. I can hardly remember a birthday without her famous pound cake, or a holiday without her chocolate cake, glorified brownies, trash (this is what she called homemade chex mix), or some form of fresh vegetable cooked in tons of fat back or ham or something like that. I seriously don't know how she did it, but she made everything so good. She had the BEST beef stew - it was just heavenly. Everything in our family revolved around food - it was and is the way that we show our love, I think. And judging from the size of our backsides, I'd say we're pretty well loved.

My best memories of childhood - seriously, my best ones - are from my time spent at Nana and Papa's lake house at Lake Murray. We would go up there almost every Sunday after church during the summer. We would jump out of the car in our church clothes and try to run into the house, tripping over the exposed tree roots on the path. Seriously, when you got out of the car and got a whiff of what was cooking for lunch it was all you could do not to pass out from the hunger. Nana always made tons of stuff, but her specialty at the lake was what we called "Papa's favorite", which was simply fried squash. It would come delivered to us out on the porch, fresh off the stove, on a paper towel covered plate to sop up the grease. Jidge. Nana couldn't fry them fast enough. She would fry up anything - okra, squash, chicken, whatever.

Did I mention our family time revolved around food? Just making sure.

The best was when I would get to spend the night up at the lake by myself with Nana and Papa. I would venture to say that I got to do this more than the other grand kids simply because I was older (or maybe I was the favorite? Totally kidding, siblings and cousins. Besides, we all know the favorites are Kelly H. and Jeannie!). Every night Papa would sit on the front porch and swing me to sleep. I would get a pillow and put it in his lap and he would just rock and sing - songs like "East Bound Train" and other old train songs. Not sure why they were about trains, but they were. Anyway, every morning when I woke up I would creep downstairs and look outside. Nana was on the swing in the front yard, looking out at the lake. She would have her coffee in her hand and her blue striped robe on, and she would be so excited to see me and have me sit with her. She would make me some "Nana Papa coffee" - which is pretty much like the Bojangles tea I described, except it's coffee. We would swing and talk all morning until it started to get warm and it was time for breakfast. So sweet. So fun. So peaceful.

Nana was a really anxious woman. I didn't really know this until she got older, but I think the most at ease I ever saw her was when she was on that swing looking out over the lake. She just loved it there and seemed to be right in her element. There were lots of things Nana didn't want to do - she wasn't a big risk taker. When it mattered most to me, though, she took the plunge. Like when they took me to Disney World when I was 5 or 6. Nana did not like to ride rides, but she did it anyway with me. She also went on the ferris wheel with me at the State Fair, which was quite a feat given her fear of heights. The one risk I most remember, though, is when she took me to get my ears pierced when I turned 13. Nana had never had hers pierced either, so she and I headed down to Sylvan-DuBose Jewelery in downtown Columbia (no Claire's boutique for us!) and we both got our ears done. It was so fun to do that together. A few years ago I found that first pair of 14k gold sea shell earrings she bought me that I lathered religiously with alcohol those first few weeks. I wore them all week this past week in her honor.

There's so much more. She LOVED the Gamecocks. Didn't come to my wedding reception, allegedly because she didn't want to drive at night in the rain, but coincidentally the Gamecocks were playing Clemson in basketball that night. You be the judge.

I guess I just miss her. In all her wonderfully complex glory, she was a beautiful woman. Really one of a kind. She always called me "Farina" - short for "Bufferina", and every time I left her house (even last month) she would say, "Remember, Farina, you're my FIRST," because I am her first grandchild. Everywhere we went together, my whole entire life (I am not exaggerating here) she would tell people, "This is Buffy...I call her Farina. She's my FIRST grandbaby." It always made me feel special (and a little embarrassed when I was a teenager).

I talked to Nana on the phone a little over a week ago when she was in the hospital. She was so confused and really not herself. Her mind had been going for a while and she was just not with it. When we got on the phone I could tell she didn't really know who I was. Then before I hung up I said, "Nana, it's Farina - your first," to which she said, "Oh I know Farina!". So thankful for that last memory. I sure hope I can love my family as recklessly and passionately as Nana did hers.