Monday, September 21, 2009

And On The Eighth Day, God Created Starbucks

I apologize for the crappy photo quality. I own what is affectionately called a "welfare phone." It is strictly pre-pay and completely lacking in bells and whistles. Which is just fine with me. I've never found the need for a portable phone that can take movies, play music, speak in 5 languages, cook dinner and walk the dog.

Well, the cooking dinner part might be okay.

I promise you I have made the photo as big as possible without losing all resolution.

Meredith loves this water fountain. She adores this water fountain. It's in a beautiful courtyard in a park-like setting. You can take a short walk down a beautiful brick pathway to a nearby trail where you can walk along the river.

All I have to do is ask "Meredith, do you want to go to the fountain?" and she has a Pavlovian response of cheering, smiles and shouts of "Hurry up Mama! LET'S GO!"

I confess I have my own Pavlovian response to thoughts of this water fountain for a slightly different reason. Oh it's a beautiful place and I love our quiet mornings together (I'm starting to get used to this 2 older kids in school thing) and it's so pretty and relaxing to walk along the river's edge. But if you look closely at the background you will discover my true motivation for visiting this fountain a little too regularly lately.

Yes boys and girls, that's a Starbucks. Coffees, and Frappucinos, and Lattes, Oh my!

This morning we pulled into a parking space and as we got out of the car, Meredith told me, "Mama, I don't want to go to the Fountain House first."

I'm thinking this might be an indication we've been there a little too often.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Can Channel Martha AND The Three Stooges Simultaneously

We love waffles around here. And for Mommy's benefit, they're relatively low-fat and you can add some yummy fruit to them.

I love waffles, mostly when someone else makes them!

But I am positively allergic to mornings and I do NOT cook before noon, so if my kids want something hot, it's frozen waffles popped in the toaster. If I'm feeling REALLY earth-motherly and have had a cup of coffee, I'll boil some water for instant oatmeal (but that's pushing it).

So I think I want a waffle iron. I want to start making my own waffles and stop supporting Eggo frozen waffles. I'd rather just make a batch of my own to freeze. This way I could make them ahead of time and have my OWN frozen waffles. Hell I could even make them all healthy and stuff and add flaxseed and wheat germ and other things that I'm sure would taste disgusting not covered in syrupy goodness.

Did I just say that??? Has Martha Stewart taken over my brain? I told that woman to knock it off. Every time she tries I end up buying expensive gadgets and/or craft supplies that gather dust or get eaten by the dog. Sparkly dog poop decorating the yard just isn't the festive touch Martha had in mind.

Anyway, Martha Stewart Exorcism notwithstanding I still persist in looking at them. However as usual when I research ANY product, I start looking on Amazon, see all the negative (and positive) reviews on all of them and get paralyzed by indecision.

My Dad has a nice one and he makes very good waffles (before you get impressed with the idea of my Dad as Gourmet Chef, I must disclose that waffles is pretty much the extent of his culinary repertoire. Oh, and he can heat up a mean bowl of soup in the microwave.), but it's a round waffle iron.

I don't have one of them there fancy-schmancy toaster ovens, just a standard top loader toaster. I think I need a square waffle iron despite Martha's probable disapproval. Round peg, square hole and all that.

I was looking at this one, but it's EXPENSIVE. However, if it makes good waffles and 6 at a time it might be worth it. As usual, some people love it, some people hate it.

So, what do you love about yours? Hate about yours? Would you buy it again? Oh and of course what kind is it?

Because I still just can't decide on a waffle iron. I'm........................
wait for it............

about it.

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk!

I'm such a comedian.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Loss And Remembrance

September 11th, 2001.

I had a 10 week old baby and was still suffering from the shell-shock of new Motherhood and lack of sleep. Little did I know I was about to receive a new blow on that gorgeous September day.

It was to be my first major outing with my bundle of uncertainty. I had a good friend that was a Landscaper with a Greenhouse in Monroeville. We were driving ALL THAT WAY to the wilds of Monroeville (when you have a new baby, a half mile drive can loom large like a journey of 1,000 miles) to meet for lunch and he was going to let me pick out some lovely chrysanthemums to plant in my yard.

It was the perfect day for such a journey; one of those skies that are crystal clear blue, not even a whiff of a cloud. There was a chill in the air that promised a lovely comfortable dry day that would slowly warm with the sun, allowing you to shed your jacket some time around noon. I barely had time for showering back then let alone television. So when my mother called me from work a little before 9:00 a.m. frantically asking if I was alright, I was completely clueless and still blissfully unaware of the terror about to unfold.

All thoughts of journeys were immediately forgotten and I sat cross-legged on the living room floor cradling my child and saw a sight that was so surreal and so unbelievable that it was difficult for the mind to comprehend what it was watching. Planes don't actually fly into buildings on purpose do they? But the fact that this was the second one began to indicate that this was no tragic accident and that indeed something evil was afoot.

My husband was currently working on a roof on a very tall building in downtown Pittsburgh and this brought a feeling of terror into my heart as the horror threatened to become unbearably personal as speculation flew that yet another plane was headed for Pennsylvania.

My phone rang and it was my best friend Melissa in England. We stayed on the phone. A link, a life raft, stretching over an ocean keeping each other afloat as we received blow after crushing blow of bad news. We often sat simply in silence watching the evil unfold. As we tried to absorb the thoughts and terror of the people inside as we watched buildings impossibly fall to the ground.

I continued to hold my child close throughout that day, doing what mothers do and the only thing I could do to make her world safe at that moment. At that moment it was enough and yet not enough in a world that was surely changing right before my eyes.

Blogland will be filled with 9/11 tributes today I'm certain. Mine is just a tiny piece of our collective whole. But we all went through it together. It's one of the things I was most proud of. We as a nation.

We were, in every true sense of the words - United. States. of America.

Republican, Democrat. White, Black, Purple, or Green. Rich, Poor, Middle Class. Didn't matter. We flew our flags from every car, rooftop, flagpole, window, and skyscraper. We were one.

My flag flies again today from my porch. I will hold my children close and remember.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I Don't Think I Can Clean That Up With The Swiffer

We have survived the first entire week of school. There was a little crying, screaming, kicking, begging, and anxiety.

But hey. That was just me. Jamie's having a blast.

You may recall Jamie has a severe tree nut allergy. It's severe enough that we have to provide an injectable Epi-Pen to the school in the event of an emergency. So as not to ruin his "First Day of School" experience, and because really, the kid thinks riding the school bus is the coolest thing since Bakugans, I put him on the bus, then raced up to the school in my van to deliver all his necessary medications to the school nurse.

I handed her his Epi-Pen, Inhaler and spacer, all properly and obsessively compulsively labeled in Sharpie marker with his name and Grade, contained in a Zip-Loc baggie ALSO labeled with name and grade. And no. I did not sterilize it. Much.

To be able to deliver this little packet of medication I had to fill out several reams of paperwork; signed, dated, approved by his allergist, pediatrician, dentist, mailman, Notary Public, next door neighbor, paternal and maternal grandparents, five references not related by blood, and quite possibly the President of the United States.

But you know, I'm Super-Mom so this isn't a problem. Emily is even making me a cape. Just need to decide on colors and lettering.

The substitute nurse in the office made me a bit nervous when I heard her tell another Mom that she never works at this school and isn't quite sure where to put things, but I cross my fingers and hand it off.

That day Jamie comes home with two envelopes for me.

The first one says, "Your emergency health contact card indicates your child has a severe allergy response to bee sting, food or other allergen. We do not have medication on hand to treat this allergy. Please provide medication and proper paperwork" with all those same REAMS of papers attached.


(This is a family show folks, I may have used slightly stronger language in real life)

The second envelope has a second ream of paper with all those forms for the allergist to fill out with a happy little sticky note attached saying "We need Jamie's Dr. to sign these so we can give him his inhaler in school."

Excuse me. My brains just exploded all over the floor.

Does anyone have a paper towel?