The Grinch Who Stole Night Night

For months now, Baylor has required various stuffed animals, books and other talisman in order to fall asleep. Sometimes she’s literally sleeping on top of them so that all of them, and her, can be tucked in. Because of this, I usually sneak in her room about an hour after she goes to sleep to pluck out several items and move others to the foot of the crib (I can buy myself 15  more minutes of sleep in the mornings if she has a book and an animal).

I have perfected the art of lightly plucking the toys, blankets, pillows, books, tea cups, wooden angels, etc from under her or around her so that I don’t wake her up. I always think I must look like the Grinch nabbing Cindy Loo Who’s candy cane and sugar plumbs – quickly and nimbly sliding each item away from Baylor.

The other night she was dead asleep. I was pulling out the usual items when, without opening her eyes, she snatched back her Spot the Dog  book and said “no. My book” and clutched it to her chest. I realized that maybe I wasn’t as stealthy as I thought….or the kiddo has inherited both sleep talking and sleep walking (or grabbing in her case) from her parents!

PB&J Sashimi

We don’t usually get to eat together as a family during the week so we make it a priority to eat almost all our meals together on the weekends. This Saturday we got take out from one of our favorite places, Dozo sushi. It is by far, one of the hidden gems in Scottsdale.

While PW and I enjoyed salmon sushi, a Vegas roll and a Rainbow roll, Bay enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a fruit smoothie and carrots. She was loving using the plastic forks that came with dinner – but then became obsessed with using the chop sticks. So we handed her a pair and cut up her sandwich so she could grab a few bites. And I have to say, she did pretty well!!

 

What?? I use chop sticks all the time.

allllmossttt got it….

Success!!!

The best part? The novelty of the chop sticks means she ate every last thing on her plate!

A Day to Remember

Honestly, every time something comes on the news about September 11th, I’ve changed the channel. As the 10 year anniversary approaches, this is getting harder to avoid. I am very blessed that I was not directly affected by the tragedy – however the haunting images and the heartbreaking stories of others pain is so hard to watch.

September 11th is this generation’s “where were you when Kennedy was shot?”. Every knows, vividly, what they were doing.

I was asleep on the Alpha Phi sleeping porch. It was sometime after 6am and the plane had hit the pentagon. Two older girls in the house came in to wake up a girl from my pledge class. Her sister, who was an alumna of A Phi and had graduated the year before, was living in DC.  Her parents were calling and they couldn’t get a hold of her and so they started calling the cell phone of my friend, the sorority house, any friend that would answer their phone to go find and wake up my pledge sister.

I rounded the corner from the porch to my room, I heard my phone ringing. It was my mom telling me to turn on the TV. I stood, silently holding the phone with my mom silent on the other end, watching. Friends started piling in my 6 foot by 6 foot room to watch. I remember asking my mom “What do we do? Should I go to class? Should I come home?” and my mom, who always has the most  level head of anyone I know and an answer for any question, was speechless.

Thankfully, the alumna and sister of my friend was found. She was safe and had been a good distance from the disaster and was home safe. I decided I couldn’t watch any more horrible news stories and the school had not canceled classes. I had one of the meanest math teachers going so I assumed she would be taking attendance. She didn’t disappoint. She gave a heartless speech about life going on and then gave a lecture where not one person took even one note. F16 fighter jets patrolled the skies. The deafening fly overs seemed to happen every 5 minutes.

I headed home that weekend. I needed the safety of my family and my home. When we went to church that Sunday, the closing song was an acapella version of “God Bless America”. The cantor was the only one singing because there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. There was complete silence when the song ended. I remember that the song didn’t bring comfort, rather it seemed to be more of a question. The silence was eerie and the sorrow and uncertainty of what life had now become, was palpable.

I am very much looking forward to Monday (for once). I am ready for the sadness of the memories this weekend has brought to be put to rest until next year. But I think it’s important to note that everyday we are proud to be Americans. Proud to say that the heroes of that day are our countrymen. And that “God Bless America” is no longer the question that it was that day.

I bought a new camera a few weeks ago – it’s my first digital SLR and it’s great. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing with it, but I love the pictures it takes and how fast it takes them. I can finally catch the munchkin on film before she looses interest and runs away! I also am loooving the landscape shots. I’ve started to just snap a few and see what develops. Here are some of my favorites:

 

 

 

 

 

The Legend of Kate Morgan

While sitting on the deck of the Hotel Del Coronado, my mom and I joked about the legend of Kate Morgan. We quickly realized my brother-in-law had never heard the story and so began a dramatic retelling of the legend…

In the late 1800’s, Kate Morgan checked into the Hotel Del awaiting her loovvvaaa. However, after days of waiting, he never showed. Angry, upset, sad, confused…no one knew her true state of mind when she flung herself out of the window. Kate Morgan checked in, but never checked out. It’s said that the room she stayed in is frequently disturbed by ghosts. A shadowy figure by the window, toilets flushing by themselves, ash trays thrown across the room and billowy curtains despite closed windows.

Somehow, the tall tale spiraled into this topic: what if KM had just moseyed down to the bar and enjoyed a “screw him” cocktail? Maybe things would have ended a little nicer for her. Having already imbibed our own cocktails, my mom and I flagged down the waiter and asked him: “What would you have brought Kate Morgan if she wanted a screw him kinda cocktail?!”. Bewildered and then suddenly amused, the waiter agreed to bring us whatever the bartender deemed worthy of Kate.

A few minutes later, the love child of a Mai Tai and a Pina Colada arrived at our table. We toasted Kate, wherever she may be. Two sips and we were giggling. Three sips and we were howling. Four sips and we decided it was time to go back to the beach before we were asked to leave.

Along the way, my mom informed me that the little metal strips on the short wall along the board walk were butt spacers – so no one would sit too close to you. I countered with the fact that they were there so skate boarders wouldn’t ride along the wall. “Oh.” She replied and then promptly told me I was wrong. Fits of laughter ensued.

Oh. Helllloooo my pretty….

 

What I Learned on Vacation

We spent the holiday weekend in Coronado, CA. We’ve take a trip there, long or short, every year since I can remember. It’s our happy place and it’s so much fun to get to share it with Baylor.

We met my mom, sister Ali and her husband Gary (or Jerry as he was known for most of the trip) and my step sister Nancy and her kiddos Blaise and Madi. It was a big group with high expectations for doing as little as possible. Which we did quite well.

Our first day on the beach, we pulled our wagon full of toys, boards, towels and snacks to the perfect piece of sandy paradise. We ran out into the water, caught a few waves, threw the football and then settled in for some gossip magazine reading. I kept waiting for B to run over to me and demand a new activity, snack or some other form of entertainment, but it never came. I watched her and Madi contently dig in the sand. They dug, poured, washed, filled and held the sand. All while silently enjoying each other’s company.

It occurred to me that not only does Bay really love Madi, but the reason she was so content to just play was because it was just play. No one was asking her what color the shovel was. Or how many buckets had sand in them or if the water was hot or cold. There was no overt learning going on, it was just quiet play. I realized that had I been sitting there, I would have been making it a teaching moment – and not that that is a bad thing, but sometimes we just need to sit and dig.

So the next day we did just that. No talking. No fuss, just patted sand castles into place and washed them away with a watering can. All while just enjoying the sound of the waves.  Lesson learned: less talk and more play.


Back to Life…

At 5:30am this morning, the alarm clock went off. The following are the thoughts, in order, that went through my head:

1. what the hell is that noise??

2. where am I??

3. why did I set the alarm clock on vacation?

4. oh crap, vacation is over and I’m home. So what was the alarm for?

5. oh right, wake up Peter so he can go run. I wonder if he really wants to run….

 

Ah the day after a fun and relaxing vacation is never easy. It’s back to the reality of emails, bills and work. And a serious amount of laundry and ironing. Sigh…

I mean seriously. And this isn’t even all of it.

Also, be sure to catch my new post on Scottsdale Moms Blog. Super cute DIY kids calendar that I made for Baylor. She still thinks every day is Friday, but really, don’t we all?

http://www.scottsdalemomsblog.com/

If You Can’t Stand the Heat…

This is officially the hotest summer in Arizona history. Like by actual meteorologist standards, not just by my “my calfs are sweating it’s so hot” standards. Granted, our centenial isn’t even until next year, but still, that’s saying something. There have been 30 days of 110+ heat this year. The average is 10 days. Even my cacti is looking feeble.

The solution? Retreat. Retreat and don’t look back. Go west. Go west until you hit the water….