Just a first time mom writing about the randomness of life and how being mom is full of laughter, tears, fears and happiness. Living it out one gray hair at a time.

Monthly Archives: May 2014

I feel I can share things with y’all. So here is a pretty random moment that happened to me just a bit ago that brought back a REALLY old memory. 

Usually, I like to listen to music while I am showering. Music relaxes me, no matter what kind it is. If there is music playing, I’m usually pretty happy and content. So tonight, my Slacker Radio was playing some pretty decent music when this little gem popped up. Who can’t remember these guys or this song…

Holy crap! I totally forgot John Stamos was in this video! Does this man not age? Not like I mind, but I digress.

So this song came on and I immediately started laughing. Why? Let’s take a trip back in time, shall we? I was in 5th grade. My school required you to be in choir. So we were rehearsing some songs and our choir teacher, Ms. Fable, decided to teach us a new song that we were going to sing at an upcoming recital. What was this song? Yep, Kokomo by the Beach Boys. Now mind you I was 9, maybe 10, at the time. To us, this was some dumb, old song our teacher was trying to make us sing. We had no idea what it meant, nor did me care. The choir was split into boys on one side, girls on the other and when it came to the chorus it went like this:

Girls: Aruba, Jamaica, ooh, I wanna take you
Boys: To Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama
Girls: Key Largo, Montego, baby, why don’t we go?

Girls and Boys: Ooh, I wanna take you down to Kokomo
Boys: We’ll get there fast and then we’ll take it slow
Girls: That’s where we wanna go
Girls and Boys: Way down to Kokomo

I remember everyone giggling when we had to sing “perfect our chemistry”, yet no one giggled when we had to sing the words “afternoon delight.” Still too young to quite understand what those words implied. 

I can only imagine what was going through our parents heads while we performed this song. Classic. Let’s hope I have some of those embarrassing, profound parental moments with my own daughter when she’s in choir. 

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After my Nanie had passed in 2006, we discovered some letters that my Papa had written her while he was in the army. I had since put them away in an old chest, that was my Nanie’s, for safe keeping. However, yesterday for some odd reason, I felt the need to pull these letters out. Maybe because it was Memorial Day, but I had this overwhelming urge to dig through the chest and find them.

Their love story is something like out of a movie. They went to school together. My Nanie never really cared for him much. After she had graduated, she was walking down the street one day when my Papa saw her as he drove by. He yelled out his window to her and asked her on a date, to which she basically told him off and said NO! When my Nanie got home, she told her mom what had happened and her mother made her call my Papa back and accept his date offering. She told her that everyone deserves a chance. From that moment on, they were inseparable.

The year they became engaged, he was recruited into the army.

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From the moment he left, he wrote her a letter nearly everyday. Almost every letter began with, “How is my sweet little girl?” and usually ended with, “I love you more and more my sweet.” This was usually followed by a P.S. that continued to say how much he loved her. He talked about life in the army. He talked about being on the ship that was taking him and his battalion to Korea. Mostly, however, the letters were just plain and simple love letters to my Nanie. He would talk about how he couldn’t wait to hold her in his arms. He would talk about how he couldn’t wait to marry her. He would say that he had “the cutest little girl in the world.”

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As I scanned and read each and every letter, I could feel how much he missed her during those times and how absolutely honest and pure their love was. Now a days, it’s hard to visualize this type of devotion and anticipation to see someone you love and miss so very very much. His words were simple, but powerful. 

He was honorably discharged in February of 1947 and they were married in March of 1947.

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About 13 months after their marriage, they had their first child.

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I don’t remember much about how my Papa was before his stroke. After his stroke he had a difficult time talking and walking and doing a lot of things for himself. My Nanie tended to his every need, never complaining. When he passed in July of 1989 at the age of 69, I remember seeing my Nanie’s whole world just crumble. I was only 9 at the time, but I still remember the despair and pain on her face. She lived 17 years longer and I still remember, before she went into the operating room, her saying how much she missed my Papa.

She was in the hospital for about 3 days after the operation, which ended up being a no go because the cancer had spread so far and so fast that there was nothing they could do except make her comfortable, before she moved on from this world to the next. I can only imagine how much joy there was when they finally were able to be together again. In some way it creates a sense of comfort for those of us still here, missing them both. 

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Things aren’t always black and white. There is a lot of gray matter in between; how do you think we get from black TO white. People are good at judging others without really getting any facts and just taking things at face value. Remember that old saying, “you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover”? Well, it’s the truth. We aren’t one dimensional and everyone has stories that make them who they are. I’ve been miss judged, a lot actually. So, I would like to share 5 things about me that you may not know. 

1. I’m actually quite quiet and shy

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You may not be able to tell this in my writing, but when I am face to face with people I’m pretty quiet. I clam up easily. A lot of people I have dealt with in the past take this quietness as a sure sign of bitchiness. Just because someone is quiet doesn’t constitute them as being a b***h. I try to be kind to everyone. I think a lot of my shyness comes from an incident that happened to me in 1st grade. From that point on I stopped raising my hand to answer questions in school and really just became an observer. Yes, I have grown up since then and I am a little more outgoing now than the child I once was, but some things just stick with you. With writing I can express myself easily. It’s natural to me. I like to consider my writing as the more outgoing, extroverted me. 🙂 

2. I have a pretty weird sense of humor.

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The one thing my dad and I can bond over is our love for Monty Python and Mel Brooks. We both just get it. My mom and brother on the other hand, not so much. Sometimes, I think, I try to write witty responses on Twitter or other social media sites, but they don’t resonate that way to some individuals. Being “funny” is different to everyone, I’m just that off kind of funny.

3. I believe in Karma.

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Karma is the belief that if you do good, good will come to you. I’ve personally seen this effect and I try to follow this philosophy. If someone is mean or does something horrible to you, you don’t have to stoop to their level to get them back. At some point in time, it all comes back around.

4. I am pretty sensitive when it comes to animals.

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Damn you Sarah McLachlan and your commercials! Those poor doggies and kitties with their sad little eyes. Seriously, if I had the money I would save every single one of those animals. I can’t even go into an animal shelter without feeling guilty, then sad, then crying in the car because I just want to take them all home so they actually have a home and don’t have to live in a cage. I have already warned my husband that if we ever get another cat or a dog it is up to him and my daughter to go to the shelter and pick it out. My own animals are family to me. So technically, I have 3 children…4 if you want to count my husband. 🙂

5.  I’m a big dreamer.

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This must be the Pisces in me. I day dream a lot and often my ambitions are much larger than I am. For instance, once upon a time, I wanted to be a movie director. That dream has since disappeared after getting married and starting a family, but way back in my mind, that person still lives. I did write and direct a very independent film. I auditioned some very talented actors, who were kind enough to work for free. Spent a lot of my own money renting out places and equipment. Edited almost the entire thing myself, and then…well…life took over. By the time I got back into the swing of it, being the perfectionist that I am, it no longer held the magic that it once did. I over criticized the shots and it just didn’t feel right to me anymore. Then my Mac decided it no longer wanted to work with me and ate all my footage that was saved on it. I was no longer an Apple person after this. Currently, I am working on other projects that evoke my dreaming and creativity. Nothing makes me more content than writing and being creative. 

So there you have it, me in a nutshell (or blog-shell). We are all complex, made up of many different parts. If you only judge a book by it’s cover, you’ll never discover all the wonderful mysteries and beauty that lie on the pages inside.


Ah, my dream home. We all have a vision in the deepest parts of our mind of what our own personal dream home would look like. I know quite a few people who would love to own a “smart” home. That sounds great and all, but honestly, if you gave me an iPad that controlled every aspect of my house I can be 99.9% sure I would find a way to make the house explode. I’m not completely dense when it comes to technology, but let’s just say you don’t want me in control of a remote that controls everything. I’m pretty confident that it would be a complete disaster. 

However, I would love some type of universal button installed that would magically clean my house. Having a four year old ensures that my living room looks like a tornado struck it. It gets tiresome cleaning up time and time again. If I could just press one little button or flick one little switch and have all the clutter and mess disappear,(sigh) I may be one of the happiest people in the world. Seriously, someone needs to get on that.

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Also, finding my inner chef, I would love to have a large, open kitchen. Currently, I have a galley kitchen and really only one person can be in there at a time. A double oven, gas range, double door fridge, granite counter-top; oh how wonderful that sounds. That wine fridge in the bottom right corner of the picture doesn’t look too bad either.  😉

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Since I’m dreaming right now, a nice outdoor cooking area would be amazing! I love to BBQ in the summer and have friends and family over. Having an area where I can cook and store everything outside would be great and give me more time to spend with everyone rather than me spending half the time in the house preparing some of the food.

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Might as well continue with the daydreaming and add a nice pool with a waterfall. Why not, right?

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A fun little play area for my daughter would be great too. A place where her imagination can run free, even though she doesn’t really need much help with that.

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I don’t know why, but I love the look of southern style colonial homes. The larger front porch, the columns, the shutters on the windows; it’s just so beautiful to me. 

 Hmm, looking at this list I fear my taste is much bigger than my wallet. Oh well, I am content where I am now. I live in my Nanie’s home where my mom grew up and where I spent a lot of my childhood growing up. Not a lot of people can say that their own child is growing up in the same house that you grew up in. That’s pretty special. In a way, I guess, I already live in my dream home. You don’t need all the bells and whistles, you just need your family and love.

 

This post is brought to you by the writing inspirations of Mama Kat

Check out her site and see what prompts inspire you!


Honestly, I have completely lost track of my days and time, but I DO know it’s time to play Ketchup with Mel and Michele. You can play too! Just visit their respective blogs on the 1st and 15th of every month and either link up ANY (yes I said any) blog post or you can set a timer and write whatever comes to mind for 10 minutes. Easy peazy! So, even though I am still recovering from vacation, I decided to do the 10 minute brain drain. Timer set…and…GO!

 

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I survived my Disney trip with my 4 year old! Actually, I’m really proud of her. She was awesome during the 7 hour drive down to Anaheim, even with only taking an hour nap in the car. She listened A LOT better compared to the last trip we went on and she wanted to go on more rides than before. The only issue we had down there was the unbearable heat wave that decided to accompany us on our trip. I think it was close to 110 degrees the last day we were there. Thankfully the Santa Ana winds were blowing through, but still even with that it was like sticking a fan in front of an oven. What made this all the more fun was that a majority of the air conditioned rides were closed. Oh Small World, even though your song gets stuck in my head for weeks, I missed you greatly. 

My baby girl even went on some big kid rides! She didn’t attempt Splash Mountain or The Matterhorn, which are the rides that she originally was looking forward to (they were a little intimidating once she got close to them), but she did go on Big Thunder Mountain, Radiator Spring Racers and Goofy’s Sky School.

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She loved them all, but hung onto my arm tightly through the duration of each ride. For a 4 year old, I think that’s pretty good. We also tried to meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen, but after getting to the line 5 minutes AFTER the park opened and being told it was a 4.5 hour wait (yes, I said 4 1/2 hours) we convinced her it would be more fun to spend half the day going on rides than waiting in line. She did get to see Olaf dreaming of summer, however.

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Then, of course, she had to meet the princesses. We went to Ariel’s Grotto for lunch so she could do this. Just a bit of advice, it is better to stand in line and wait to meet the princesses than do this dining experience. The food was extremely expensive and even though the princesses did come to your table, a majority spent less than 5 minutes with you. The only princess that really took her time with Em and had a conversation with her was Belle. She helped Belle decide what to dress up as for the Beast’s costume party. Super cute!

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Even with the horrible heat, crowded lines (which is to be expected) and a few meltdowns, it was fun! Em is already asking when she can go back. She is a Disney child, just like her mama! 🙂


In less than a week, we embark on our yearly family vacation. We’re going to Disneyland

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This IS my happy place! I’ve been going here since I was 6 years old. Luckily, we only live about 6 hours (driving) away, a 1 hour flight if you’d rather get there that way. I grew up on pretty much everything Disney. The characters, the movies, the books, you name it I had it or have it. Thankfully, my daughter is following in my footsteps. Yay! We can bond over Disney and musicals now. I’m so proud!

I have to tell you though, traveling with a child IS NOT EASY! Especially with the overactive, social butterfly that I have. This kid will make friends with ANYONE! She is not shy at all. She strikes up convos with children and adults alike. She also doesn’t understand the meaning of “personal space”. You know, everyone has their own “safe bubble”. Kinda like in Dirty Dancing when they are teaching Baby to dance. This is my space, this is yours. I don’t go into yours, you don’t come into mine. (I love this movie!)

Em doesn’t care if you want to talk to her or not, she will keep repeating her statements until she gets a response and with kids, forget about it, especially babies. She is right there making faces, trying to get them to laugh or with kids, trying to get the shy ones to come out of their shells. It can be quite entertaining sometimes, but some parents (and kids) just don’t know how to take her. She’s just overly friendly. She loves people and this will serve her very well in the future. With that being said, long lines are like big circle times for her. It’s time to meet others, grill them with 100 questions and partially drive me nuts.

She’s also, what we call a runner. You’ve seen the Modern Family episode about Lily being a runner, right?

 

Oh Cam, I feel your pain. I have chased this kid down at Disneyland before, last year to be precise. Fat, short person, running in and out of a sea full of people, trying to chase down your daughter who just wanted to leave with her “new friend” that she met just seconds before on the carousel, isn’t a pretty sight people. And I do apologize to all those who witnessed this oddity last year around this same time.

The first time we took Em to Disneyland, when she was about 1 1/2, we did use a child tether…okay, it’s a child leash, not unlike a dog leash.

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Em’s was a pink dog. I was skeptical of it at first. What kind of looks was I going to get? Will it actually work? Will she just be dragging me down Main Street like over excited dogs do to their owners? Is this a reflection on my parenting? I did get some awkward looks from some parents, mainly from those whose children were hanging off of signs and railings like little monkeys, but after a fashion I saw that I wasn’t the only one with a kid on leash (no matter how many times you say this phrase, it will always sound odd and wrong). I get that kids want their independence, but when you have a magician like mine, sometimes you have to take desperate measures. She got her independence, I was able to keep her right next to me when she wanted to walk and she didn’t get lost. A winning situation. Would I ever do this again? Probably not. Will she need a tether this time, with how she is? Most definitely! She’s a runner, there is no denying that. Instead of a leash, however, simply reminding her (over and over and over and over….you get the idea) that she can easily get lost or worse, someone could take her from us, will hopefully be enough to keep this overactive child glued to our sides while in the park.

This time, Em is also tall enough to go on ALL the rides and my little dare devil wants to go on the BIG ones!

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When I was a kid, these rides scared the bagezzers outta me. I was that kid where the parents had to take turns riding on rides with the other child because I didn’t want to go on anything that “looked” scary and life threatening. This has all changed now, I LOVE these rides, but it took me a little bit to build up to them. Not my kid! The first ride that came out of her little mouth when I told her that she was tall enough to go on all the rides now was The Matterhorn. My kid is nuts! I’ll take her on it, sure, but I’m also kind of leery of the whole thing. Once you get on, there is no turning back. If she starts freaking out after the first drop or turn, we’re screwed! Then you are stuck with a screaming, crying child the rest of the ride. Do I dare take her on? And Spalsh Mountain? This is my absolute favorite ride and it is suppose to be mid-90’s while we are down there, so a nice drenching will feel amazing. But I don’t think my kid quite understands how deep of a drop it is, not to mention the drop that is in complete darkness in the middle of the ride. I don’t know. I’m torn. I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes. 

Monday is approaching fast, and little by little I get a more excited each day. Sure, it’s stressful (especially being the over protective parent that I am), but it is also so much fun and heart melting to see your kid so happy and having so much fun. Makes the chasing down, pocket emptying experience all the more fun.

Wish me luck and safe travels! (Oh, and if I get a video of my kid on one of the big rides I will totally post it) 


It’s May 4th, may the 4th be with you all! (If you’ve never seen Star Wars, then you won’t understand that. Although, it is all over Facebook and Twitter today.) Time to link up with the lovely Mel and Michele, the Ketchup With Us hostesses. The prompt is simple. You can either:

A) Set a timer for 10 minutes and see what spills out of your brain.

B) Link up any old blog post

Pretty simple, right? If you’ve got a chance, go ahead and link up something yourself! It happens the 1st and 15th of every month. I’ve even made it easy for you. Simply click on their names above and you will go right to their blogs where you link up your post. No excuses! Go on over and link up!

So, for this post, I decided to do the 10 minute brain drain. I even came prepared with a YouTube link and everything. You lucky people you.

In about a week I get to go visit my happy place…DISNEYLAND!!!!!! Oh how I adore this spot! I’ve been going there since I was about 6 years old and lucky for us, we live about 6 hours away (driving time that is). Now that I have a little one that adores princesses and fairies, daddy is suckered into taking us. He actually enjoys it now. When we went there on our honeymoon his words to me were, “yeah, this is fun, but I can’t see myself doing this every year. Maybe every five years or so.” Seriously? Who did I marry? Just for that comment, I took him on Hollywood Tower of Terror. Take that! He doesn’t like rides like this and he threatened to kill me after he got off. Totally worth it though. Tell ME you’ll maybe go every 5 years!

This will be my daughter’s 4th going. My parents took us every summer vacation and I wanted to try to do the same for her, or at least as long as she enjoys it. With the cost of it all now, that may not be completely possible, but we’ll try.

This time around, I’m starting to learn that my daughter is a little dare devil. She’s actually tall enough to go on ALL the rides (and where this height came from I don’t have a clue, I’m lucky I pass to get on the rides), and she WANTS to go on ALL the rides. She’s been talking about the Matterhorn non-stop. I fear this ride may scare the crap out of her, but if she truly wants to go on it…I guess we’ll try. She also wants to take the plunge down Splash Mountain (my favorite ride). Almost made me want to shed a tear; she’s like her mama. YAY!!!!! At least there is one thing that she inherited from me.

Thinking about Disneyland also makes me think about the Modern Family episode where they go to the Happiest Place on Earth. In some ways, Em is a lot like Lily. “We’ve got a runner!” 

 

I’m ashamed to say it, but we did…ONCE…try the “child tether”. Ok, yeah, it’s a leash. I understand both the weird stares, like we are just the worst parents ever putting a child on a leash, and the fact of needing to take such measures. I use to be one of those parents that looked at the people “walking” their children, but when you have a runner and magician like I do, I totally get it. I sympathize with those individuals now. Kids don’t want to hold your hand the ENTIRE time, nor do they want to stay in their strollers. They want to be free, feel a little bit of independence and they want to chase after those damn people in the chipmunk costumes. And if your child is anything like the social butterfly mine is, they want to run off with their new friends. Yeah, I have a story of me running after my little munchkin when we got off the carousel because she wanted to hold hands with her new friend. Let me tell you, when you are caring a few extra pounds, like I am, weaving in and out of people while chasing your then quick like lightning 3 year old is a task. They don’t understand that it’s dangerous. They don’t understand the mass amounts of people there and how hard it would be to find them if they did get lost. This time, thanks to Jay, I may have to employ one of his tactics.

At least the shoes slow them down. Wish me luck y’all. 

 

 

 



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