Monday, June 26, 2006

Kids say the darnedest things...

Today the boys had fevers. They missed their first day of bible camp and were mostly lethargic all day. After the ibuprofen kicked in, they perked up a little before bedtime. I happened to pick up some of their baby books and journals I wrote in during my pregnancies stacked by my bed and took a little stroll down memory lane. D found me doing this and laid himself on my bed next to me, and was interested in the sonogram pictures. Then we came to a picture of my enormous maternal belly and D said I looked like a "big fat man". Nice. He said now I look like a "medium lady". While reading little bits in his book I came to an entry I thought I'd share here.

January 3, 2003 (D is just a few months passed his 2nd birthday.)
This morning while I was still in bed, D came to me saying he wanted to be undressed. He proceded to take all of his clothes off, including his diaper and climbed up on the bed. He looked down and said, "My penis is sort of a snowman!" K came running over to see and said, "Hey, snowman penis!"

At the conclusion of reading this D burst into giggles. I wonder if he will still find this story amusing when he is seventeen? Heh heh.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


I took the kids to our very first drive-in movie last night! I have wanted to go to a drive-in for as long as I can remember. When we first moved to Timonium, when I was about four, there was drive-in theater about a half mile away. I remember driving home at night and passing that giant screen and seeing dracula three stories high right along I-83. My parents never took us, (they probably had good reasons) and several years later it was torn down and a Holiday Inn was built in its stead.

I decided that I wasn't going to wait any longer, and when I saw that Cars was playing it was a perfect opportunity. (What better place to watch a movie about cars, than in a theater designed to watch from your own car?) The children had asked me to take them to see it. Pixar has done it again...another excellent movie that kids and adults can enjoy, with a good moral to the story too. [Ooooooh, and the short animated film which precedes it, "One-man band", is superb!]

Kids under eleven are free at Bengies, and my ticket was $8, not bad. They charge $7 to bring your own food, but I opted for the whole drive in experience and planned on getting our snacks there. The food prices seemed reasonable but it was a hassle carrying everything back to the minivan with the kids. Next time, we'll bring our own and not forget the bug spray! I got a bunch of skeeter bites, but I really enjoyed being outside to watch the movie. It was the best of both worlds: gorgeous nite, great movie, the best company, the perfect date with my munchkins. This is my new favorite way to see a movie.

Bengies Drive-in has been talking of shutting down for a number of years, but they keep coming back. They are celebrating 50 years of running. It's a great family movie experience, a great date opportunity and it's relatively inexpensive considering if you're a night owl, you get three movies for the price of just one! We stayed for part of the second feature "Akeelah and the Bee" which looks like a good one, but it was too late for us to stay for the whole thing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

family photo

About two months ago, after church one Sunday, I signed up for our family to have our picture taken for the forthcoming pictorial church directory. I must have been so sedated from the sermon that I wasn't thinking straight when I picked the time slot of 4:40pm on this lovely Wednesday afternoon. I guess I was thinking something like, well it'll be after L's nap, so she'll be perky and fresh. Or perhaps none of the morning slots were available, and I didn't want to interrupt naptime, I'm not exactly sure what the reason was. I hope it was a good one...

...Completely crazy this afternoon. L began her nap at a decent time of roughly 1:30pm. Our power cut out at about 2 pm, interupting the boys computer time, which prompted the eldest to have a sulky spell since he hadn't had a turn yet. After a call to BGE and a brief wait, the power came back on, the boys finished their game and I folded a gargantuan pile of laundry. L is still sleeping. After the laundry is put away, K asks to play Candyland (my least fave kid game) and I am able to convince him that he is much too old for such childish games..."it says ages 3-6 on it" we proceed to play our very first game of family Scrabble and are completely emersed, when suddenly I remember our errand today and ask, "K, what time is it?"
"4:15, Mommy."
"Shoot, we've got to get our pictures taken!" and I begin the flurry of brushing my hair and checking my make-up and then proceed to wake our sleeping Beauty...We are pottry training again, after a bit of a relapse, so I plop her on her potty seat and she begins to cry, still dazed and half asleep. Then I try to wrestle the unhappy princess into something to wear. She's sitting on the changing table completely naked refusing everything I hold up, even her ever-popular icecream cone t-shirt. (At this point I don't care what she wears as long as it's something. I gave up on the idea of all of us coordinating, that's not really our style anyway.) Then I decide she's going to be unhappy no matter what and wrestle her into a dress and matching panties while she cries and exclaims, "NO DRESS, MOMMY" repeatedly. Her face is red, blotchy and tear-stained. I hold her and she wipes her snotty, teary face on my shirt. Great, now I need a fresh shirt.

It is now 4:30...we will be late getting to church. My mom announces from outside the kitchen window that she has picked a lot of peas, I refill a sippy cup and still have to get everyone in the car.

Somehow we manage to get there only five minutes late. Not bad I'm thinking. L has stopped crying finally but still is blotchy and grouchy. She clutches me and her pink doggy and her sippy cup like a life line.

We are called into a room by a young man with a quirky British accent. I'm thinking, "Is he on drugs or is he just trying to be peppy for the kids?" It was bizzare and I felt a little uncomfortable. After many attempts to get the little Miss to smile, an Elmo doll appeared and seemed to do the trick, but not before a million obnoxious noises and faces were made at her. It's no wonder I look glazed over and annoyed in most of the pictures.

The one we chose but didn't buy, since the smallest "package" was over a hundred bucks, has everyone smiling to some degree. I think the kids look the best, but hey, so what? It's just for the church directory anyway. To remember the insanity I get one free 8x10 print. Oh, yay.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Kitchen!

I apologize for the poor quality of these camera-phone pics...but for now it's all I've got that's fast. Here are a few different views of the kitchen, which to my great delight is now finished (save the glass fronts for two cabinets and the lazy susan for the corner cabinet.) That cute boy in the pictures is my artist/thinker, "K". Notice the ginormous fridge which could've eaten the old one for lunch...and the double oven! I now have twice the baking power than I did out! It's kind of hard to tell, but the walls are now a pale robin's egg blue, referred to by the contractors as "Joyella's surprise". As you may notice, if you've been in my old kitchen, some things are rearranged and the new bar feature is my brainchild. The kids love it, it provides a great place to snack, draw, view the toads stationed there or chat with me as I cook.

All this kitchen goodness was made possible by my dad and mom and of course, The Great Provider of all things. To them I am very thankful...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Multicultural Weekend

My children are away with their father this week while our kitchen is being redone. Having the extra free time has been a little like a mini vacation, even though I have no sink or stove, the food is all packed away, there is dust everywhere, and the contents of my kitchen are stashed in odd places throughout the house. Friday was swinging to big band, Saturday was Mehndi and Bride and Prejudice with the girls, Sunday was pizza, Italian ice and Kung Fu Hustle , and tonight I went to a beginning swing class (to reinforce my freshly learned skills) and stayed for the Latin I class. We learned the Merengue. (Only in America.) I have wanted to take social dance lessons for at least 15 years. It was something M and I often said we should do, but never did.

On Friday night I was given a few helpful hints by a few of my partners. Tonight the instructor's assistant (who was filling in as lead since we had twice as many women as men) told me I follow really well. It is actually quite enjoyable to not lead I am finding, just follow and keep in rhythm. I am finding a good many parallels to partner dancing and relationships. Here are a few, you connect the dots:

1. When dancing don't look down at your feet, look ahead and just feel the movement of your partner to guide you.
2. Don't get too close or you may get stepped on, too far away and you get out of sync.
3. Look into your partners eyes when you take a turn, it keeps you going in the right direction.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I could have danced all night.

Last weekend my friend gave me a flyer for The Friday Night Swing Dance Club and I decided then that was how I wanted to spend my next kid-free Friday night. I invited a fellow I barely know to come with, we had dinner first at the Bayou Blue Cafe (yes it was a date, and no, I'm not posting any of those details here) and then got some directions from a helpful rent-a-cop on the Avenue. However, at dinner I learned that my companion works nights and would have to be off at nine-thirty p.m. (Some detail either he failed to mention earlier, or I had completely forgotten.) We took the one hour swing dance lesson, the instructor had fun pointing out all my stupid mistakes, and I learned that I have alot more to learn! After the lesson, the Crabtowne Big Band kicked up the music and the hall at the Boumi Temple was rockin'. Once I saw that it looked like a pretty fun crowd, and not all octogenarians, I decided to stick around even though my date had to leave. I'm so glad I did. I smiled and laughed and danced with numerous partners all of whom dance/lead differently so it was really good practice for me, especially since I learned I have a tendency to try and lead... Being a beginner dancer at this function was humbling, but all of the gents I danced with were so polite and fun and graciously smiled when I screwed up or missed a beat or didn't know the step. One man even taught me how to Fox Trot and another had me twirling to the Hustle. I'm really glad I didn't wear my high heels, extremely glad I used BodyGlide (I highly recommend!) in those places prone to friction, and pleasantly surprised to discover only one blister on the ball of my right foot.

While all this swinging excitement was happening inside, the most awesome thunder/lightening/downpour of a storm was happening outside. When it was time to leave I relished the cool summer(ish) rain barefooted as I slowly made my way out to my car in the lot. (There were several men standing under the awning, skiddish about fetching their cars for their significant others without an umbrella. It's just water guys...what's the big deal? Plus, after getting all hot and sweaty while dancing, what could feel more refreshing?) I put my bag and shoes inside the Green Machine and dawdled in the puddles for a while longer allowing myself to get thoroughly soaked before my ride home. It was superb!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

It is said that you can tell a lot about a woman by the things in her handbag...So here are thirteen items in no particular order from my bag pictured below:
1. cell phone
2. wallet
3. 40% off coupon for Jo-Ann fabrics
4. 2 quick snap cameras (one to be developed but I keep forgetting to drop it off)
5. 1 pack of Orbit sugarfree gum, cinnamint flavor
6. compact sewing kit (it looks like a compact, but it's really a sewing kit-with a mirror)
7. tiny yellow matchbox like car, but smaller
8. almost nude lipstick in leather case with mirror
9. checkbook
10. church bulletin and newsletter
11. my watch (needs to be taken to Smyth for a new battery, which is another errand that I keep forgetting)
12. plastic baggy with 2 tea bags inside
13. cool purple pen I confiscated from the kind man at the photo drop off place the last time I was dropping off film (I offered to give it back after oohing and ahhing over it, and he told me to keep it.)

bonus items: swatch of fabric from bag I made for mom, car keys, 2 old shopping lists, a receipt, and a check to deposit.