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Friday, May 28, 2010

Safety Leo

Whenever Leo gets on his tricycle, he insists on wearing his helmet. He definitely takes after his Uncle—Safety Dave!

IMG_1708 Good thing he’s wearing the helmet; he’s going at least 1mph down the driveway.

IMG_1709 And aren’t these Polaroid style photos cool?


IMG_1711Speaking of cool, blog to come about Leo’s obsession with his shades!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beach Grocery Stores



I love beach grocery stores. Mainland grocery stores are okay but they don’t have that aura about them that beach grocery stores have. When you go to the grocery store at the beach, you’re there for beer, picnic food, sunscreen, flip flops, floating noodles, goofy koozies and more beer.

Come to think of it, it’s kind of like the fridge v. the gridge. The beach grocery store is the gridge of grocery stores! It may be the same thing but it’s more fun.

Plus, everyone at a beach grocery store is wearing their beach attire—even the cashiers. Sometimes people are even shirtless and barefoot. It’s like a Kenny Chesney song!

At beach grocery stores, the sun is always shining and you can actually see it because all the doors and windows are open. At mainland grocery stores there’s no natural light and you have no idea what time it is. It’s like a Vegas casino.

The food from the beach grocery store even tastes better. It must be the salt air.

We’re going visit my relatives in North Carolina at the beach this weekend. We need to stop at the grocery store to pick up things for Leo. My Aunt suggested that, as we drive in from the airport, we go to the grocery store on the mainland. “It’s Memorial Day weekend and it will be crazy at any grocery store close to the beach,” she told me. But that’s what I LOVE about beach grocery stores—the craziness!

I had to get my feelings on beach grocery stores in writing because get this: I’ve been sharing my thoughts on the topic for years and then one day, Frank suddenly blurted out in a conversation with other people, “I just love beach grocery stores. There’s something so cool about going to the grocery store at the beach.” The people he was talking to nodded in agreement.


They all looked at me like I was wack-o and Frank said, “I’m sure more than one person likes beach grocery stores” as everyone nodded and tried to discreetly make the universal sign for “crazy.”

I still maintain that Frank stole my spiel. I’m going to get him back. Not only am I going to dominate every conversation with MY adoration for beach grocery stores, but I’m going to make him go to that dark, dreary mainland grocery store this weekend. And when he’s not looking, I’m going to sneak off to a beach grocery store. Oh, it’s on!

Monday, May 24, 2010

How to be a good boy

According to Leo, all it takes to be a good boy is to hold your hands in this position and smile:

I asked him the other day, "Can you be a good boy?" He said, "Yes!" I asked, "How are you going to be a good boy?" I expected him to say, "I share" or "Be nice" or "Be quiet" or "I pick up toys." Instead, he put his hands like in the picture above and said, "Like This!" And with his two-year-old accent, it sounded like, "Like Dis!"

Here, he demonstrates it:

If only it were that easy!

Friday, May 21, 2010

How can I make you smile today?


“Hi, Thank you for calling Dr. Roof. My name is Nancy. How can I make you smile today?”

That’s seriously how they answer the phone every time. Isn’t that more of a greeting for a dentist’s office or a spa or Disney World?

I’m thinking, I don’t think there is anything you could do or say that would make me smile. I mean, I’m not mad. It’s just that I have to pay $185 for you to come out and fix one measly shingle on my roof. I’m sure glad you’re gonna do it because I don’t want it to rain inside my house. But it would be weird if I smiled about it.

So I made my appointment for Rick the roofer to come out. But later I decided that time wouldn’t work.

I called back. “Hi, Thank you for calling Dr. Roof. My name is Nancy. How can I make you smile today?”

“I need to reschedule my appointment,” I told her and then went on to tell her that if Rick comes as late as 1:30 and then has to do work on the roof, that could interfere with my kid’s nap. She then suggested that he come between 11:30 and 12:30. I said, “Okay, but does he have anything even earlier?”

“You know what, I’m going to make it work,” she said.

I said, “No, no. 11:30-12:30 is fine!”

“I want to do anything I can to make you smile today!”

Woah. She meant what she said. And I was smiling.

“What about 9-10, is that good? DOES THAT MAKE YOU SMILE?”

Forget smiling. I was laughing now.

“Yes,” I answered between laughs.


Now I’m hysterically laughing.

“Yes! Yes!” I said. “That makes me smile!!”

“Good. Because all I want to do is make you smile!”

Gotta hand it to Dr. Roof. They are serous about smiles. This lady should work at Disney World.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Prom Practice

Leo’s friend Olivia came over to play yesterday. Since we have a surplus of boys in the neighborhood, all the two-year-old boys are after this lovely lady.

Apparently, Leo is really thinking ahead because he’s already trying to convince Olivia that he would make a great prom date. As you can see in the video above, he tried to impress her with his dance moves.

He really came on strong when he insisted she pose for a prom style photo with him:



She eventually gave in:


Don’t worry, Dawson, John and Etienne.  You still have a chance. Leo may have wowed her with his dancing skills but he was not very polite when it came to sharing toys. And who wants a prom date who screams, “NO, THAT’S MY CHOO CHOO TRAIN!” ?

The Merry Merry Month of May

I was writing the date the other day--side note: I always know the date; I rarely say, 'what's today?' I'm cool like that--and I thought, "Ah, I just love May." And then I thought, "Why do I love May so much?" (Conversation with self continues below):

I guess because it reminds me of school getting out.
But you've been out of school for (A LOT OF) years. Why do you care now?
You just never forget that awesome feeling of the last day of school. There's no homework; you can defy the dress code; everybody's just itching with excitement about the summer. I should write a blog on how May is my all-time favorite month.

To me, May is like Thursday. There's all the promise of the weekend (or in May's case, summer) but the clock hasn't started ticking yet. When Friday afternoon comes (or June), the fun has begun. So that means the fun will end. And really, looking forward to something is way better than the actual thing.

Because summertime (especially if you grew up in Texas) is really hot. May's not quite as hot. And in my memory it's always sunny and breezy in May. The shorts come out, the sleeves come off. There's just so much promise.

And then there are graduations! Sure, the actual ceremonies are boring but to finish something and celebrate it--that's wonderful! And yes, it can be scary because if you're graduating college you may not have a job yet. But on that actual graduation day, none of that matters. You've got until June to worry about that!

I really wanted to have my wedding in May but Frank did some research and presented to me (in bar graph form) why April was better. Contrary to the whole "April showers brings May flowers" chant, May actually produces more rain historically than April (at least in Dallas). So how could I argue with such a compelling (and romantic) argument?

Still, I have lots of fun memories of May--dozens of last days of schools, graduations, our trip to Europe, other people's weddings (who apparently didn't see Frank's bar graph) and my grandma's annual Memorial Day pig picking.

Enjoy it while it lasts; there are just 12 days left. And I didn't even have to consult a calendar before I wrote that.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Smoothie Operator



Now that Leo can drink through a straw (he was a late straw-sucker), I thought we could try smoothies. This, I decided, would be a great way to  sneak in some vegetables. I mean, even if you don’t like to eat carrots, you’ll drink them when mixed with sugar and milk, right? We didn’t start with veggies though. I did your traditional fruit-based smoothie. I got Leo all involved too. He loved helping me make “mooeys.”

Here we are, getting ready for our little project. By the way, the apron…cute or cruel?


Leo’s reaction to the blender:


Enjoying our fruity drinks—a blend of frozen berries, milk and Yo Baby.  He took a few sips but the novelty wore off fast. He quickly pushed it away, saying, “Mama, please take.”


One thing he didn’t want me to take? The apron! Guess that’s a keeper.  Sorry, Daddy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cruel Summer

When I was a little Writinggal, I was so insanely jealous of kids who had pools in their backyards. Our next door neighbors “the kids”  had one. The dorky guy down the street had one. And the girl on the next street over who was my age but looked like she was 16? She had one too.

But here’s the thing with kids and pools: If you own a pool, you’re kinda sick of it. Sure, at first you swim in it every day but just like any other new toy, you get bored. Well, us kids without a pool were never bored of the idea. I wanted to go swimming in one of those pools every day during the summer. But the pool-kids were so stingy with them!

The rule was that I could never ask to go in their pools. I had to be invited. Oh, it was so hard to not even drop hints: “Boy, it sure is hot outside. Have you noticed that? If only there was a way we could cool off…and also jump from some sort of board into some water…”

One day I was walking down the street in our neighborhood with one of my friends. The dad of the girl who always looked like a teenager came out and said, “Hi! Would you girls like to go for a swim?”

“YES!” we both replied and before I could even turn to dart home and get my suit, towel (and permission from my mom, of course), this jerk said, “I bet you would!” The fact that I still remember that means it left a big mark of disappointment on me. (That, and I have a pretty awesome memory.)

“The kids” next door were no better. I could hear them splashing and playing through out adjoining fences and I longed to escape my backyard full of grass and go to their oddly-landscaped yard, featuring big ceramic shoes with plants growing out of them.

Dorky dude was the worst. I never once swam in his pool. Come to think of it, though, he was a little pudgy so maybe he was embarrassed to be seen in swimwear. Forgivable.

If one day I have a pool in my backyard, I’m going to invite all the neighbor kids so come swim in it. But really, there’s that whole liability issue and all the work involved in keeping up with the pool and my own kids would probably get bored of it quickly. I think I’ll just let them be kids who beg other kids to let them swim in their pools. It will be a good learning experience for them. Give ‘em something to write about one day.

And now (since I’m still excited about this new feature where I can insert maps into blogs), I’ll show you Friendswood, Texas, where all of this took place. See? down there just south of Houston. From here it looks so close to the ocean I don’t know why I cared about pools!

Map picture

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Playing Potty

Our pediatrician told us that he wants Leo potty trained by kindergarten. So with the pressure off, we just put a potty in our half bathroom and let Leo take the lead. For awhile he talked about it, played with it and even said he wanted to use it. But he didn’t.

Last week though, a breakthrough. He sat on it. Well, he’s sat on it before but this time he put the lid up and sat on it. Now since I took this picture and video he’s actually sat on it with his pants down but didn’t leave any gifts for us in the potty.



The best part was when he asked me to leave the room. No problem. Shall I give you a magazine too?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Late adopter blogger

I just downloaded Windows Live Writer (Thanks to Josh, my Writinggal IT Consultant!) My intention was to use it for some website copy I’m working on but I found it’s really helpful for blogging. For instance, whenever I put pictures on my blog it took forever because I had to add one at a time. With WLW you can add a bunch at once and make this cute little collage!

I can also insert a map!! Here’s Roswell, GA!


Map picture

Not sure why I’d ever need to do that but it’s good to know I can if i want to.

And OMG, inserting hyperlinks is so easy! I used to spend all this time cutting and pasting (well, it was like two minutes) and now I just pop it right in. Check this out: Be sure to check my Workout of the Week blog tomorrow for a fun workout I bet you’ve never tried!

I can’t believe I took so long to get a program like this. Actually, yes I can. I still own a VCR. (I think it will be valuable one day!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Unnecessary prepping

I’m on a high today since the housekeeper came and all my toilet paper is in cute little shapes like triangles and roses. Plus, the house is clean. But really, it was clean before she got here. You know why? Because I cleaned up for the housekeeper! When I explained it to Leo it sounded weird: “We have to pick up all your toys and put them in the toy box because Kezia is coming to clean today.” He looked at me like, “So you’re cleaning because someone’s coming to clean?”

I prepped the house by straightening, wiping and even doing a little pre-dusting.
I have two reasons for this neurotic behavior:

1. I don’t want her to spend all her time picking up toys. I need her to vacuum!
2. I don’t want her to think I’m a slob.

These are the same reasons I wash and do my hair before going to the hairdresser. I don’t want her to get nauseous washing my greasy hair. Plus, if I go in there with a pony tail she’ll have no idea what my hair normally looks like. She might wash it, cut and then put it right back in a pony tail! And then what would be the point of going out to dinner to show off my new do?

Getting the car washed: I mainly go so they can rid my car of Goldfish but I still pick up some of the bigger fish. I don’t want them to think I’m a savage.

Mani/Pedi: I can’t go in there with dirty feet and sharp finger nails!

If I had eyebrows I’d probably pre-tweeze them before going to get them done. But since I don’t, I can spend more time cleaning my house and then paying someone to clean it.

It sounds crazy but it's totally worth it. I could never make roses out of toilet paper.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

"Happy Mother's Day, Mommy!"

I can't believe that last year Leo had just learned to say "Mama" on Mother's Day and this year he says, "Happy Mother's Day, Mommy!" It's so cute, especially when he says, "It be mommy's birthday!"

We went to the park for a little picnic:

"I don't see ducks!" "Where are the ducks?"

Frank said, "The ducks are over here, Leo!" And that's how we got him to look at the camera. So cruel!

Two-year-olds forgive easily though.

Out of the blue he said, "Thank you, mommy!"

We never did find ducks but we eventually saw turtles:

Also, a shout out to our other favorite mommies: My mom (Rah Rah), Frank's mom (Granny Jo), Nana and Great Grandma Valerie!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Birthday Weekend

People came from far and wide (well, mostly from Texas) to celebrate Leo's 2nd birthday. The festivities started Friday and went through Sunday:

First, we had the annual "picture of Leo with mommy while mommy wears her Leo 08 shirt." This tradition was started by Jacquie and somehow hers always turn out perfect. Weren't any of her kids ever terrible two-year-olds? Cause this was the best I could do!
Then off to lunch at Party Chic with mommy, Granny Jo and Rah Rah.

And if taking him to a girlie lunch place wasn't bad enough, we took him to a girlie store to shop afterwards. Luckily, he found the one boyish item and just like most men, sat while we shopped.

That night he opened presents (this would continue into the next week)!

On Saturday we had Leo's birthday party in the park. It was a sports theme so we brought his basketball hoop along. He dribbled while waiting for his guests to arrive.

He shoots, he scores! (And how do you like his custom t-shirt by the way?)

You know that whole saying about herding cats? So much easier than getting two-year-olds to pose for a group picture!

Had to get a picture of the picture-takers!

The three musketeers--all two years old now!

The pull-apart cupcake cake tasted as good as it looked!

Sugar rush!

On Sunday Leo went to his first baseball game--the minor league team for the Braves.

Playing catch with Popsy:

Sharing a frozen lemonade with Popsy:

Leo and Grandpa Ron playing ball in matching caps:

It was John's first baseball game too so the boys celebrated with a hug:

Singing "Take me out to the ball game!"

A rookie no more!

Happy Birthday, Leo! If this is anything like Christmas, you'll still think it's your birthday in August.

News from WG HQ

Here are the latest headlines from Writinggal Headquarters:

1. I've got a new blog: I explain it all in the first post. This is an ambitious move from Writinggal as it means she'll have to really get serious about posting every week. She will not, however, be writing in the third person. She hates the third person. Actually, second person is worse. One should never write in the second person.

2. Look at my fun new background! It's sort of teenage girl wallpaper meets The Secret Garden.

3. Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of when the Mexican army defeated the French? I so wished someone would ask me that today so that I could show off my knowledge from growing up in Texas. But nobody has yet so I'll guess they'll just have to keep thinking it means "the day to drink margaritas."

That last headline doesn't really have much to do with my writing or blogging. I just felt I needed a third one. Guess it's time for a margarita!