Friday, September 25, 2009

P is for Pirate

Layla has joined her first sport team. She is a Pirate on a tee-ball team of 3 & 4 year olds. Chuck and I made a bet on whether or not she would participate. Judging from Mia's frequent breakdowns on the soccer field, Chuck was betting that Layla would not do anything more than stand on the field and cry. I had more confidence in our little one after going to a Brave's game and watching several on TV, she always appeared so excited about playing baseball. Just like the guys she cheered for and chopped for. I brought the camera for proof I was so confident.

First, I grabbed the team's uniforms which she insisted on putting on immediately. I took that as a good sign!

She seemed a bit apprehensive. Keep in mind, we haven't even done a game of catch with her before this moment.

But she got into it. First they practiced "scooping" the ball up. Unfortunately, unless the ball was directed right into Layla's glove, she had no chance. Poor kid did not understand that you have to move to catch the ball. Nope, she was just going to stand there and watch it roll by and then run after it. Every time.
Then it was time to hit! She was not happy about the helmet but I promised that she could take it off as soon as she was done hitting and that she wasn't allowed to hit unless she was wearing it, so on it went!I was afraid that perhaps simple photos would not be enough for Chuck to believe that our child actually participated. And did not cry! Not one tear! And so for your viewing pleasure - I bring you Layla's first hit!!

I loved proving him wrong. I loved it so so so so much! He is right so often, it's infuriating. But yesterday he was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong. So wrong in fact that Layla is still wearing her uniform. She even slept in it last night.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Andre the Giant has a Posse!

In case you don't watch the news - Atlanta's been underwater for, oh, about 10 days! It's been cloudy and wet and downright miserable. But yesterday the sun ventured out and today a breeze came through and I tell you what - fall has arrived! To celebrate, I went for a walk on my lunch break today. Let me first say that This American Life podcasts are the greatest walking tools! I got so absorbed in the stories, I couldn't hear my internal voice that usually tells me to turn around once I hit the coffee shop. I ended up walking for 40 minutes of my lunch hour! It was fantastic!

On my way back to the office, stuck on the back of a speed limit sign, was a small sticker, no bigger than 4 square inches. On it was a sketch of Andre the Giant and scrawled in the corner was "Andre the Giant has a Posse". What a blast from the past! Andre the Giant?! In 2009?! For some reason this sticker just made me giddy. It was a treasure on a boring walk down a busy street. It's almost a better sighting than the fire next to the train tracks I saw awhile back. Almost. But then a funny thing happened. I started getting all nostalgic.

A silly little sticker brought one person rushing into my head. Grandpa Campbell. He LOVED Andre. LOVED WWF! But not like testosterone filled rednecks love it. He loved it for the comedy. So many times we'd walk into his house and see him sitting in his recliner, watching wrestling and laughing so hard he had tears running down his cheeks. The women sidekicks gave him the most amusement. The more hysterical they'd get, the more he roared with laughter. Then one day he bought us tickets! WWF was going to be in DC! What?! My 10 year old ears could hardly believe that these people who we watched on TV would actually be here, where I lived, and we could go see them! I saw Andre the Giant fight Hulk Hogan. I don't remember anything else from that day except that. It was a legendary match up and I knew it even as a kid. And people still today tell me how impressive that is when I tell them. I dutifully woke up at 7am every Saturday morning to watch "Hulk Hogan's Rock & Wrestling" cartoon and reveled in the knowledge that I had seen them in person! In. Person.

Today my grandpa is gone. And my cousin Stephen, who sat next to me on that awesome day and laughed along with Grandpa at so many things, is also gone. So many things lately flood these memories back to me since Steve left us. I always wonder, would these thoughts come back as easily if he were still here? Would I remember him teaching me the names of all the moves: Nelson, Half Nelson, Sleeper Hold. So many little things that come into my brain and they're fun, happy memories. But they make me so damn sad because I can't tell him that I saw this sticker today and it reminded me of when we were 10. I have to wonder if he would appreciate, as much as I did, a sticker that said "Andre the Giant has a Posse".

Monday, August 17, 2009

The worst brings out the best

How many more people are we going to hear about that are losing their jobs? Too many for my taste. You read the sad stories everyday, people selling their most prized possessions, cutting back on luxuries, downsizing their homes, cars, etc., etc. It's not often you hear the stories of people making it work with the new time they have or finding a new love after a long career was put to rest. Here is such a story. This is the story of Anna. This is a single mom, one of the millions in America laid off. Her newest venture - art. And I love it! It's funky and retro, and just plain fun! Her collages are my favorite. Please check out "It Takes Two" and imagine my girls.

She has her very first art show this Wednesday, August 19 at Get Coffee in Chamblee. Good luck Anna!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A time for firsts

Today is Mia's first day of 1st Grade. On Thursday of last week, she lost her first tooth! On Saturday, she took her first trip to Tennessee. And for the first time, my camera has stopped recognizing my memory card! So I have zero pictures of any of these events. So far.........

This blogger's absense has been brought to my attention twice in the past few weeks so I guess it's about time I put it back into my daily routine. Starting tomorrow!

Until then, let me tell you - though I have no photographic proof until I steal the photos I took with my Mom's camera - Pikeville, TN is pretty darn gorgeous! And my Great-Aunt Priscilla & Great-Uncle Ed have one amazing house sitting atop a mountain with the most amazing view from their front porch! We were only there a few hours but had a blast! Thanks to my wonderful family for a great day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wearing them out!

Hello Blog readers! Long time no see! I've been busy and lazy lately which is a wicked combination!

Layla has recently decided that only babies nap. She turned 3 in December and therefore has decided that she is NOT a baby and will NOT nap. An issue that wouldn't bother me as a working mom but kills me when I pick her up and she's tired. Tired in a 3 year old translates to whiney and rude. And since my 6 year old has decided that stomping her feet and screaming at me is going to earn her extra play time, my afternoons are just as soothing as they can be.
So I have a new plan. I can't control the weekdays since I don't have her but the weekends - oh boy, I'm going to wear her out on the weekends! On Sat we spent 4 hours walking around the zoo. Our friend had a stroller. Did I let Layla rest a bit in the stroller? Nope. She was walking. Now, I'm no tyrant and did occasionally carry her or put her up on my shoulders but not for long. The Altanta Zoo has 2 playgrounds. We let the kids run around on both. Now it amazes me that Layla is "too tired" to walk from the otters to the pandas but show her a playground and suddenly she's Usain Bolt. (you know, that dude from the Olympics? The fast one. Right. Him) Ten minutes into the ride home and she was conked out. I dumped her on the living room couch, not risking a walk upstairs and had a peaceful hour and a half to read. It was amazing! On Sunday, the only active thing we did was go to the grocery store and she was still so worn out from Sat that she fell asleep watching cartoon at her Papa's house. Thank goodness for the family pass b/c now whenever I have a good book to read, we're going to the zoo first!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

5 Albums that shaped me

On Facebook there is this application where you can pick your top 5 of basically any catagory you can think of. And if you didn't think of one, don't worry, some moron thought of it for you. I chose "5 Albums That Shaped Me" and as I did, very specific memories came into focus. And because most of my readers are family, I felt the need to share them. And Facebook status just isn't the place for that. So I give you my childhood set to music (the music will be in your head so sing along!)

The Beatles: Let It Be - My parents loved the Beatles and passed that love on to me & my sister. We spent hours watching their movies, singing their songs, choosing our favorites. I chose this album mostly for the title song. Remember the skit on Sesame Street with The Beetles singing "Letter B"? My cousin Steve & I loved that so much that when the real song would come on, we'd sing the Sesame Street version.

The B-52's: This is their self titled album. I'm saying album because that's how I was introduced to them. On authentic vinyl. It was awesome. Countless times my sister & I would scour the collection to find that bright yellow cover. I have no idea what songs are on this album except for one. The only one that mattered to a 6 year old and her 3 year old sister and the only one that matters to my now 6 year old and her 3 year old sister. That song is "Rock Lobster" and I contend that it is one of the greatest dance songs of all time!

Squeeze: 45's and Under - This is the soundtrack to 1982. Every car ride we listened to this and everytime I hear a song from it, I immediately feel like driving. Steve's favorite song was Cool for Cats. It's on Rock Band 2 and it makes me happy to sing it for him. He had a thing for cat songs, I remember we both loved the Stray Cat Strut too. This album was remasted onto CD in 1995 and became the soundtrack to my freshman year of college. It made my psycho roommate much more bareable when I could drown her out with Pulling Muscles from a Shell. When I wasn't driving her crazy blasting Mr. T Experience of course.

The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - This is the album my mother would leave parties early to go home and listen to. I know this because she told me hundreds of times! When I was in college I finally bought the CD and realized what she meant. It's an amazing album. My dad used to wake us up singing "Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head". It's timeless.

They Might Be Giants: Flood - My Aunt Nancy made a mix tape for my mom back in 1990 that included several songs from this album and I fell in love immediately. I must have been crazy nostalgic in college b/c I bought this one too and realized that there isn't a song on it that's not fantastic! And thus began my love affair with TMBG. I've seen them in concert twice and have several of their CD's plus both children's music CD's to pass the love on to my kids. I was so enamored of them that it was very hard to contain myself when on one of the first dates with my husband, he turned this CD on in the car. I was all, "You like them too?!" and I was done for. Not to put too fine a point on it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Get Unspoiled

I think I'm in love with this man:

It won't let me embed it, I apologize but it won't hurt you to click. It's worth it I promise.

So is this:

My cousin gave up Facebook for Lent. My mom is giving up internet Boggle. I'm giving up just being on the computer at home for anything other than necessities. Family & friends are more important. Call them on the phone, go visit them. Life is more than instant gratification. Just wait, it's worth it.