...sugar and spice and everything nice...

Friday, June 11, 2004

Something new:

I'm going to shake things up a bit around here and try something new. Rather than add time and time again to the old topics, Im just going to start a new one each time. I still plan to use the Top 5's, maybe post a proverb or two, and talk about the entertainment biz, but each post will be new, rather than additions to the old. To read old posts you will eventually have to go to the archives. So here we go!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

News 7/28/04

7/28/04 Not much new happening here. It's a really beautiful evening, not too hot and humid, but definitely summer! We are off to the park to run around a bit (let's face it, the only running we do is chasing after our girl...).

We finally realized it is easier to take turns watching her at the park. If we double team it we look like over-anxious parents and we both end up worn out. If we take turns one can hang out at the picnic tables while the other works up a sweat climbing the jungle gym. It's no fun being the "on duty" parent (well except for the joy of watching her have fun) but it's SO EXHAUSTING! She is right at the age where exploring is everything but danger means nothing. And she's a daredevil. She will climb those stairs and run right to then where the fireman pole waits for the big kids. You either have to chase her up the stairs and over the little bridge to beat her to the pole, or stay on the ground and hope she doesn't take a turn and head down the ladder! It's crazy!

But the best thing about the park is lots of excercise means lots of sleep for a toddler. Can't wait to get home!

7/24/04 Howdy folks! We made it home! It was a great trip! Aside from a few melt downs (from our daughter and from me) it was a really nice time. We were able to have a change of scenery, which was so necessary after the usually monotonous schedule. The only set back was that she didnt like the swimming pool! For some reason she freaked out whenever we would go in! This was highly unusual because she loves the bathtub and has been swimming once before. So, although I'm not a big suntan freak, I am unfortunately still my natural white color that I've been the last two years!

7/16/04 Isn't it funny how we get all stressed out before we leave for something fun? What I mean is, it seems like whenever there is a vacation, trip, party, night out, something fun planned, it seems like stress levels get real high until you arrive at the destination. This happens to us time and time again!

I dont know exactly what causes it, maybe it is the anticipation of excitement that drives us to the edge. Maybe it is the craziness of getting ourselves together and on our way that winds us up until we pop! I know it's not right, but it's something our family deals with.

Speaking from experience and from conversations I've had with his family, my husband can be quite a task master when it comes to leaving on time. It usually goes like this: if he is the one "supervising" the trip, we leave at "0800 hours" or you might get left behind. I remember watching him follow family members around the house putting on the pressure to leave by telling them once they walked outside there was no coming back in! This kind of stuff stresses people out! But to his credit he is famously known for arriving early to events. I, on the other hand, succeed in stressing myself out by "thinking" too much about the whole occasion. I make lists and more lists, start packing days in advance, wake up in the middle of the night remembering that one key item I haven't yet packed and then spend the next day wandering around the house trying to remember what it was I remembered the night before. I plan out just when and how we need to pack the car then freak out if we dont do it just as planned. So I guess we both have our little ideosyncracies that bother not only others but also ourselves!

I think my biggest pet peeve about my husband is he has a small time management problem (is this going to get me in trouble?....) which often causes tensions to rise because just as we set the house alarm to leave he is suddenly having to brush his teeth, find his keys, search for his wallet, as if we hadnt made these plans hours or days ago. The man standing at the door saying, "Ready when you are!" is suddenly dashing around the house trying to beat the alarm as it counts down. So I am often standing at the door with the baby and my purse, diaper bag, snacks, etc, waiting to find out if we really are leaving or not. This from the man who barked out "We leave at daybreak!"

I suppose his biggest pet peeve with me (besides me sharing this information with the general public...) would be my "my way or the highway" mentality on how to pack, how to load the car, how to drive, how to get there, etc. Is that a woman thing or a deeper issue that needs to be dealt with? I guess you could say I am particular, or maybe even perfectionistic. Ok, let's be honest here, I'm a control freak.

Anyway, needless to say, we are on our way, and cant wait to get there. And oh yeah, I wasn't joking. We really do leave at daybreak....

7/12/04 We are embarking on our first family vacation since having our daughter 16 mos. ago! Granted, we have been on a few short trips in the car (when she was about two months old), and two flights across the country to visit family, (when she was about 8 months old), but nothing like this. You see, once they start walking, travel is a whole new ballgame.

Trying to figure out how to entertain a toddler who cannot yet talk, but definitely knows how to run around, while she is locked into a car seat for six hours is mind boggling. I know many parents make longer trips than this with several kids tied down, and hey, I applaud them. But hearing about it and actually set off on your own adventure are two different things.

See, you aren't just packing for you and your husband, or even just "packing" for your child. You are underdaking the mother of all packing project. You've gotta pack clothes for each day, all kinds of weather, and then another round of clothes in case those clothes get soiled. You've gotta pack diapers, diaper bags, diaper cream, thermometers, medicines, ointments, snacks, toys they love, toys they've never seen before in case they ditch the toys they love, more snacks, strollers, play pens, hairbands, barretts, shoes, more toys, sippy cups, bibs, baby silver ware, doctor's phone numbers, the baby carrier in case they wont go in the stroller, baby music to entertain them when they ditch all the toys, and every other thing under the sun that you might need when stuck in the car, stuck in the hotel, or stuck in the room in the middle of the night.

Then you have to try and fit it all in the itsy-bitsy compact car you plan to make the drive in. I'll let you know how it goes! In the meantime, we appreciate your prayers....!

7/5/04 Well I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July celebration! We got together with my husband's sister and her family and it was lots of fun. We met up at an ice cream parlor near the main street of a small parade that takes place each year, and cooled off before finding our seats along the curb.

The four of us have had so much fun together in the past it has been great "growing up" or "growing old?" just 10 miles from each other the last 4 years. In that period of time we have begun to have children, the men have settled into their jobs, and I think we have moved a total of 4 times all together. Anyway, it is strange watching us become the "adults" and our children begin to enjoy the perks of childhood, while we still feel like the 20 year olds we were when we all became a family. Anyway, back to my story...

So like I said this is a little parade that takes place each year. Kids decorate their bikes and wagons and ride alongside mom or dad to start the parade off. Then the political candidates make their drive down main street tossing candy, balls, and what-have-you to win a few votes in the upcoming election. It ends with the police cars and fire trucks blaring their sirens. The whole thing takes about 20 minutes.

Well about midway thru the political part of the parade we had acquired a bit of candy and my brother-in-law was goofing around with a tootsie roll and stuck it to his top teeth to get a laugh from his 4 year old daughter. Just about that time one of the candidates taps him on the shoulder to shake his hand and he, not knowing who it was, turns and gives her a big grin with tootsie roll wrapped all around his teeth! It was truly one of the funniest moments we have had as a family in a long time. We are still laughing today about it.

7/2/04 Have a great Independence Day celebration! Thank you to all of our service men and women who have served to protect this nation and our way of life over the years. May God bless you all! Have a great 4th!

6/29/04 I dented the Scion.......! Nothing major, but ooooooo was I in trouble! Well, not really, but I was sure I would be. It was all so innocent, really. I big huge innocent accident. That's why it's called "accident" right? It's not on purpose therefore it's an accident.

It happened in our own driveway! We had a guy over to do some recording and he parked awkwardly (if I might say so myself) so that his backend was just crossing the path of my exit from the carport. Now I have been exiting that stall of the carport for years, so it is basically like clockwork to me. A little angle right with the steering wheel to avoid the big tree and a quick turn of the wheel left to stay on path down the driveway. I do it several times a day and could probably do it in my sleep!

But not this time. I put it in reverse and without even putting my foot on the gas...with just the slightest backward motion....less than 5 miles per hour.....I hit his car. EEEEK! I panicked! Luckily --and I love you buddy---his car is kinda a junker so I couldn't even tell if or which dent I made in his vehicle. I had to get to my appointment and didn't have time to go in and tell my husband and his friend. (OK, you're right, there was plenty of time but what's a girl to do!?) I saw the damage had been done and didn't want to face "The Man."

I went to my appointment and came home knowing the buddy would still be here and so would my hubby. Our friend didn't see a thing and I was off the hook there. But someone else wasn't quite so forgiving. Honestly--and I say this with a pure heart--it is a very small dent. More like a ding. I mean no paint damage, smaller than my hand, like the size of an egg. Just a small ding. When I told him his face went white--I'm not kidding. "What happened?" he asked. So I explained.

I suppose I've been forgiven, but I must admit it comes up every now and then. It doesn't help that he had already given me the nickname "the barreler" as a driver, and then I have an accident in our new car! (His nickname, by the way, is "daydreamer." He's one of those guys who looks around a lot and kinda accelerates then decelerates. Drives me crazy.)
Anyway, let's hope he makes the next dent.

6/25/04 I guess life is normal right now. I don't have any quirky little stories to tell or news to report. My husband and I are adjusting to being alone together with our daughter again....isn't that funny? Company leaves and life returns to normal but you have almost forgotten what normal is. So it ends up taking a few more days just to return to normal! With his work we are used to him coming and going and we have come to accept that this adjustment period exists and we just have to roll with it. Sometimes it goes rather smoothly and other times it is a lot like a football game with one of us on offense and the other on defense. Lots of tackling, kicking, throwing, tripping, foul play, bumping heads, facemask fouls, yards lost, and fumbles as we both try to reach that glorious endzone unfortunately on opposite ends of the field. Eventually we figure out how to work as a team again and we cross the line together, exhausted, a bit bruised (metaphorically speaking...) but happy to be one again.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Old News

6/19/04 Those of you who read my very first post about having company know that as much as I love having people visit, it can get a little hairy after a few days. These past few weeks have been just that--HAIRY! Here's what happened.

It all started Friday May 21, with my sister-in-law's baby shower. Just three days later, Monday May 24, my brother-in-law came to visit and stayed thru June 3rd. Three days after that my husband had to leave for business for the week, June 7-11. The day my husband returned home (Friday the 11th), my sister-in-law had her baby. The very next day (12th) my mom flew out to visit for a week (a trip that had long since been planned). So after my mom arrived on the 12th of June my mother-in-law arrived on the Monday the 14th to see the new baby. Three days later on the 17th my husband left again on business and the very next day, Friday the 18th (yesterday), my mom flew home. That same day (last night) my father-in-law arrived to see the baby, and then tonight my husband returns from his trip. Tomorrow the in-laws head home and finally Monday June 20th life returns to normal.

Now those of you who know me well know that I am prone to melt downs when things get stressful. I am proud to say I have only had three melt downs during this month of craziness! (Maybe I should say four melt downs because I am sure I will break down once more after everyone goes.) But in the midst of it all there have been some really great moments and I am learning to appreciate the time I get to spend with loved ones even if it throws things out of whack for a bit. During one freak out my husband said to me, "I know it's making you crazy but try to enjoy this time. You will wish you had once they're gone." I'm not sure if he meant "gone" as in "after they have gone home" or "gone" as in "never to be seen again in this lifetime." Either way, it was good advice. Only God knows what tomorrow brings so we should try to enjoy each moment we have together.

6/15/04 I went to the mall this week and as I walked around I realized my expectations always far exceed the actual experience. It's like that everytime, but for some reason I keep going back. It's like I think I'm missing something, so I make the trip out there and once I get to walking around I realize, "Nope, not missing much at all."

I seem to always park on the same level of the garage near the same door. I follow the same path thru the mall visiting the same stores every time! If I eat in the food court I buy the same meal and sit in the same general area each visit. Is this normal or does everyone do it?

What strikes me as funny is that the whole reason I go to the mall is for some excitement, something "to do!" And then I end up doing the same predictable thing each time. There are some stores I don't enter because I know they don't have anything for me, but there are others that probably do have something interesting I just don't normally visit them and I have no idea why. If my point is to spend some time looking around you would think I'd want to see something new, rather than the same old same old (although the same old same old does often have something new, but you know what I mean.)

I guess as much as we like excitement we tend to gravitate toward the familiar. We stick closely to what we know and don't like to waste time when we are out wasting time. Next time I go I think I will purposefully try something new...like parking on the complete opposite side of the mall (although the place I park now is really the best spot I've ever found)...and maybe I will make a point to stop into three stores I would never usually visit....(why would I go in there? there can't possibly be anything for me in Chicos!)...and I will get my food at that funny little place on the end I never visit...(let's face it, I'll never go there.) Well, it was worth a try!

6/11/04 Isn't it amazing how time flies? I remember being in elementary school or junior high and it seemed like forever before the school year would end and summer would come. Now the weeks just fly by and I can barely keep up with them!

Sometimes an old memory will pop into my head of something that happened in high school. I get to reminiscing and then it hits me--that was 15 years ago! FIFTEEN! Just the other day I was thinking about my college roommates and some funny thing that happened and I realized that was back in 1995--almost 10 years ago! i can't believe it!

Not too long ago I got an email comparing today's youth with our youth, those of us born in the 60's and 70's. It talked about how we used to ride bikes all day without helmets, share sodas in park, ride in the back of pickup trucks, walk to the store several blocks away all by ourselves, play kick the can after dark, and so on. School fights were with fists or maybe a knife, our biggest worry was whether or not we'd get asked to the dance, and sitting in front of the tv all day was boring. It's hard to believe the years have passed so quickly, and life as we knew it has changed completely.

I don't know if I'd want to revisit my youth in today's society. Not that I'm THAT old, but I am thankful I lived those years when I did. Today's young people seem to have so much more to think about, too much if you ask me. It's like they don't get the chance to be kids anymore. And now that I am thirtysomething I see how important it is to cherish those early years, because they are gone too quickly.

6/8/04 We just bought a Scion xB. Have you seen them? You either love them or you hate them...there really is no in between. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, it is a new car made by Toyota (it's actually a sister company they created) and it is very unique looking. A box on wheels if I do say so myself. Here's how we came to own one.

Last winter the miles on our Jeep began to climb higher and higher and we started knocking around the idea of selling it and getting a new car. In our relationship my husband loves to do the searching. He spends hours on the internet scouring ebay, autotrader, and all the carfax pages searching for the perfect car. (It used to drive me crazy until I realized he was saving me lots of hassle!) Anyway, all the while he kept coming back to the Scion. Now one thing I've learned about my husband over the years is that when he latches on to an idea, it is virtually impossible change his mind. Driving home from church we'd pass the Toyota dealership and he began taking long, lingering looks in that direction searching for a Scion to test drive. He started leaving autotrader open on the desktop of the computer with a nice big picture of a Scion for me to view. Out of the blue he'd start giving me the stats on Scion versus other cars we had considered. He denies ever doing such things but I see...I know...the obsession is growing.

Finally I broke down and went to test drive the car with him one afternoon. I'll admit, it was really roomy and handled quite nicely! But several things were holding me back from making the commitment to buy. First, and most importantly, we hadn't sold the Jeep! Second, I've never been good at commiting to large purchases. The idea of spending money frightens me, and the more money we need to spend, the more hesitant I am to spend it. And lastly, the shape was too odd. As an observer I would be fine saying it was a cool design, "Real unique!" But the idea of driving it around town and having people stare just made me nervous. I'm not an attention seeking kind of person and that thing screamed "Look at me! I'm odd! I'm different! Bet you wonder who'd drive such a thing!" We went home and my husband was thrilled! He'd found his car! I, on the other hand, had a nervous breakdown. I freaked. I melted into a pile of "I hate it!" and "It's ugly!" and ripped his tender, love-filled heart out.

It was months before he brought it up again. The Scion dealer, after numerous phone calls to my husband, realized it probably wasn't going to happen and stopped calling. Winter ended, old wounds healed, and spring arrived in all it's beautiful glory. And suddenly we were about to sell the Jeep. During this time we had researched other cars and just didn't find anything that compared (in terms of price/mpg/room.) It was time to decide just what we were going to do. We decided to test drive it again.

As you know we ended up with the Scion. But what I haven't mentioned is what changed my mind. I guess just knowing how happy he would be to drive that silly car around helped me make the decision. We are a team, he and I, and even though I might not like everything he likes, I do like seeing him happy. And I benefit too from the situation. I get to drive a new car that I really love...I just pretend not to see the funny shaped exterior and instead i see the what really counts. What's on the inside.

6/6/04 Due to the controversy surrounding my post on visitors it has been erased. In it's place I've decided to write a short commentary on the problem of understanding what I call "internet speak."

On more than one occasion I have run into trouble when trying to communicate via the internet. You see, it is very difficult to understand the context or tone of voice of the message you are receiving which leads to various interpretations. If I only use periods as punctuation I can come across either really calm or really dull. Too many exclamation points (something I'm often guilty of!) and I'm too bubbly! or too fired up! If I TYPE IN ALL CAPS I SEEM AS IF I'M SHOUTING MY THOUGHTS. I suppose it was for these reasons that we developed the smiling face icons that litter our emails (let's face it I'm just as guilty of using them as the next.) They help signal to the reader the emotion we're trying to get across.

I remember the first time I saw ":)" at the end of a sentence. I had no clue what that meant. At first I thought it was a symbol for an ear or listening. Then I got a ";)" and I thought the sender had accidentally hit the semi colon instead of the colon. I think it took getting a ":(" for me to realize "Wait a minute...is that a frown?" And suddenly all of the emails I had gotten before started making sense! Now I see all sorts of faces; the ":o" for "Oh, no!" happens to be a favorite of mine.

6/5/04 I keep getting songs stuck in my head. I happened to watch the VH1 special on the worst videos ever and #1 was "We Built This City (On Rock & Roll)" by Starship, or Jefferson Starship, or Jefferson Airplane....not sure which they were at the time. But anyway, I thought it was the perfect song to be voted #1 for the worst something because I have cringed at that song since the first day I heard it back in 8th grade. Unfortunately since celebrating I have had the ridiculous song stuck in my head! One of my absolute least favorite songs has been running thru my mind off and on for days and there is nothing I can do about it! Everything about the song is ridiculous.

Every once-in-a-while I go a few days without a piece of music playing in my mind, but then suddenly one latches on and it takes forever to get rid of it. Usually it just gets replaced with another song, and then sometimes the two songs take turns driving me nuts. Have you ever liked one song but detested the other? And you try so hard to get the favored song to stick and replace the hated song! There are certain songs that I can't even mention...can not even try to recall the name of or they're in. And somehow I know every word! It's as if I sat down with a pen and paper and replayed the song over and over trying to memorize the lines...and the guitar riffs! Amazing how our minds work.

lil lu's world 7/28/04

7/28/04 The funniest thing happened yesterday. She found a piece of foam on the ground from one of her dad's pieces of equipment. She looked at me with excitement in her eyes over her new discovery, and as her mom I just had to comment on it. "Foam...that's foam!" I said. She paused and looked at me then put it up to her ear. It took me a minute then I realized she thought I said "phone." I laughed and said, "Not a phone, silly, but FOAM, it's foam!" She smiled at me and put it up to her ear again and started babbling. She was so proud. She carried it around all day occasionally putting it up to her ear to "chat" for a minute.

7/24/04 Her words are getting so close to the correct pronounciation that I believe she will wake up one morning and declare "Ready for breakfast, mother!" She can say Momma, Dadda, PaPa, dirty, bubbles (sounds like PaPa so you have to watch what she is pointing to), dishes, banana, water, and a few other things.

She says dishes because she loves to watch me wash dishes (we dont have a dishwasher so it's ALL BY HAND BABY!!) She pulls in the chair from the dining room and I help her up onto it and she just stands there and watches! I give her a little cup with some soapy bubbles and a few little things to wash of her own. She loves it! Now if anyone is even remotely close to the sink it's "dishes! dishes!" until we either explain that we aren't doing dishes or decide to do a few dishes so she wont continue yelling "dishes! dishes!"

And everytime we open the fridge she is RIGHT THERE! It isn't even that she wants anything in there, she just wants to explore all the neat bottles and containers. We have resorted to either distraction or kind of a 1 on 1 game to get what we need out of the fridge without her "participation." One of us calls out "I gotta get in the fridge!" Then the other plays defense while the first guy goes in quick for the play. It's ridiculous but it works.

7/16/04 Oh great...she's just discovered MY nostrils....!

7/12/04 OK, the nostril thing is getting out of hand. She is really amused by the way her voice changes when she "plugs up" her nose on one side. Her favorite time to do this is when we are stuck in the car. We can hear her back there talking away, and then suddenly her voice changes to that nasilly(?) sound we all go to when our nose is plugged. She thinks she's being sneaky because we cant see her back there, but she doesn't realize we can hear her voice change. I hate to say it's cute, because I know it is a huge no-no, but it is funny to see your child discovering new things and innocently crossing those lines we aren't allowed to cross as adults. And it's funny because she can't quite take her finger straight there--it kinda slides around her cheek and nose until she locates the nostril. (ok, that was probably too much information...sorry....!:) So we always know when she's heading that way. We try to turn away until we can hide our smiles and giggles, then with a straight face we make her quit.

7/7/04 ...oh great....she's just discovered her nostrils.....

7/7/04 She's taken to tickling me now, and her sharp toddler nails are nothing to laugh about! She hasn't exactly learned what "gentle" means and so her tickling is more like being attacked by a small, angry cat than a loving tickle from a child. She gets me whenever I squat down to pick up toys or sweep close to the floor. She grabs the back of my shirt and sticks her hand under and begins clawing me, "tick tick tick!" Of course my husband just eggs her on, "Get her! Get mommy!" All the while I'm flinching and jumping from the pieces of flesh being torn from my back!

7/5/04 My husband and I are going thru a funny stage with our daughter. She isn't having trouble being without me, but she is exhibiting a strong need to have me do everything for her. Basically showing a preference for me over any other person, including daddy--although daddy is a strong second choice! If I leave the room the "mama's" start until I return. As I walk around the house she sometimes grabs ahold of my legs and holds tight giving me a big hug, so I end up walking with her attached to me. If my husband and I show each other any kind of affection she starts grumbling and tries to pull us apart, or tries to get in the middle of us and hug just me real tightly.

As much as I appreciate this show of affection from our girl, we are doing everything in our power to move her quickly thru this phase! In the meantime, however, we have come up with some fun jokes about the whole thing to get us thru. The other day an ad came on tv for a cd of love songs for weddings and my husband nudged me and said, "This cd is dedicated from our girl to mommy, with love." As each song clip played we laughed harder and harder as the lyrics fit with just how she was behaving towards me. Check out the Top 5's to see our Top 5 love songs dedicated to mommy with love.

7/2/04 Lil Lu spends so much time with me each day that she has begun mimicking my every move. For instance, when we can't find something I tend to say "Where is it? Hmm." She can't say the words but she mimicks the intonations of the sentence exactly. She starts walking thru the house looking around and using those exact intonations as she searches under furniture, behind doors and on top of shelves. She has also begun associating sitting in chairs with praying. We pray before meals and she has started praying everytime she sits in a chair! The other day she climbed up into the rocking chair in her room and clasped her hands together and started "talking" like she does during prayer. Can I say it again? Too cute.

6/24/04 We've started "scribbling" if you can even call it that. She prefers to carry the crayons around in one hand and the paper in the other. Occasionally she will make a tiny mark on the paper then gather all the crayons into her hand again and walk around for a few minutes. It's the same with chalk. If we draw a circle or star or something on the pavement she loves to sit right on top of it getting chalk all over her clothes. She also likes to hug the chalk and try to carry it under her chin. It's so cute! And I'm happy to see her showing an interest in new activities. Just a few days ago she started hanging from the bar at the park. We just held her up there and she grabbed on! Her little arms are so short right now it is a sight to behold! She starts twisting and turning and smiling real big as she hangs. What a cutie!

6/19/04 Ahhh, molars. What can I say? Teething has got to be one of the toughest things little ones have to go through. She is getting her two right molars (top and bottom) these days and has been quite cranky. Today she was angry at this picture of a little boy who is holding a ball ready to throw it. I don't think she realizes that he is just a picture and she wants that ball thrown to her. She walks around with the book and keeps making throwing motions with her arm and saying "throw" in her toddler language. Then she stares at the photo and points to the ball and fusses. We try to pick different books to read or even turn the page but it all comes back to that one picture of the little boy smiling real big ready to throw the ball. Maybe she's upset he's happy and she's at home cutting teeth. Maybe she can't figure out why he won't just throw the ball. Let's just hope those molars cut thru soon.

6/15/04 Ok, she's now tickling the plastic baggy full of wipes.....

6/10/04 The tickling phenomenon has continued to grow and she has been tickling everything in sight! Today at the park we picked a few wildflowers from the overgrown grass and she carried them around for awhile. Later I noticed her squating down on the pavement carefully laying out the flowers. Before I knew it I heard her "ticktickticking" and looked to see her tickling the flowers! She then proceeded to give the flowers a big hug.

6/5/04 Today lil lu is 15 mos. old! Amazing how time has passed so quickly. Lately she has taken to mimicking me. Every few days, it seems, I find a spider or a bug of some sort that I have to "take care of." Inevitably I let out a little yelp as I chase it around before destroying it. Well she finds this incredibly funny and has begun mimicking my sounds! Just yesterday she grabbed a shoe and began "smashing" a pretend bug while yelping! The funny thing is the pretend bug was a raisin!

lil lu has also taken a big interest in her stuffed animals the past couple of weeks. She likes for me to make them life-like by moving their heads, walking them around, or having them dance to music. It's so cute because lately she has been tickling them the way we tickle her. Usually I kind of tackle her and say "tickletickletickletickle" or something like that. I found her just a few days ago in her room with her teddybear and she was tickling his belly making a "tickticktick" sound. Every once-in-a-while I hear her in there tickling somebody. so cute!

Friday, June 04, 2004

Entertainment news 7/24

7/24/04 The Bourne Supremacy! You must see it--too good not to see! I believe this one might even be better than the first (The Bourne Identity.) My husband saw Anchorman and thought it was really funny. So I may see it this week.

In other entertainment news today was the birthday party for our niece! She turned 4 and it was a Mermaid Princess party, complete with "pin the fin on the mermaid", as well as "decorate your own crown," "fish for prizes," and a paint your face table! Although our girl is just 16 mos. old it was lots of fun for her, and I'm sure her cousin wound up having a fabulous birthday!

7/16/04 Wow, it has been a while since I've posted anything here. Guess there isnt much going on entertainment wise in my neck of the woods. Britney's engaged, big surprise. Julia's pregnant with twins. woo-hoo.

What I have really gotten into are the Olympic trials! They are on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on NBC, but the rest of the week you can catch them on USA network at odd times of the evening. I really dont watch sports much any other time of the year (except March Madness and maybe the NBA championships, Superbowl, etc.) but I am enjoying the trials! Swimming and Track and Field are the sports they've been showing lately, and there have been some very exciting events. Marion Jones almost missed out on making the Olympic team after coming in 5th in her race (the 100?) But came back to win the long jump competition and now she's on her way! And Michael Phelps has dominated the swimming events, racing in I think eight or nine races and winning almost every one of them. It just gets me all pumped up (hee) about the coming Olympic Games. Woooo-hoooo!

7/5/04 Because I just don't want to comment on sweet little Mary Kate Olsen's troubles, I decided to list a few movies that aren't on my Top 5 list that I think are definitely worth seeing if you are a film buff. The sequel to "The Bourne Identity" is coming out this week, I think, and should be real good if it is even close to the first. It is called "The Bourne Supremacy" and stars Matt Damon.

I saw "The Terminal" this past week and although I'm not a big fan of Catherine Zeta-Jones I really enjoyed it. Tom Hanks, Stanley Tucci, and the rest of the cast do a wonderful job of pulling you in and making you believe this poor man's situation. It is funny, heartwarming, touching, and just one of those good films.

And I know Will Ferrell can be quite controversial, but I find him so funny. I don't know how I will ever get out to see the movie, but "Anchorman" looks like another hit for him. I still haven't seen "Elf" but I sure hope to. I can always use a good laugh.

6/29/04 So Jesse and Jessica broke up. Never saw it coming. Another "Bachelor" couple bites the dust. And I thought they were destined for a lifetime of happiness. It is interesting to me, however, that the "Bachelorette" couples have both stayed together--one married, but the "Bachelor" couples haven't lasted.

And so we hit the summertime blues of television. This summer is all reality tv--I havent seen a show advertised that isn't reality! I will admit there are a few reality shows I watch but I'm not as hard core as some friends of mine. I guess some of it is so ridiculous to me. My "Top 5 most ridiculous reality shows that I've never watched simply because the ads are so ridiculous" are listed in my Top 5's section this week. A little shout out to my friend Melissa, though, who appeared on "The Next Action Hero" last week. Woohoo!

6/24/04 "ProPain" the sophmore release from Mars ILL on Gotee Records is due for release October 17th. Right now the group is working on song order and album artwork, as well as touring on their 2003 release "Backbreakanomics." Their first single from the album "Breathe Slow" went to #4 on the CMJ charts last fall and stayed in the top 20 for over 2 months. Their video for the song was nominated for a Dove Award this past spring.
If you haven't heard much from this hip-hop group, check out their previous releases:
Raw Material 2000
their crew Deepspace 5 release of The Night We Called It A Day 2001
Blue Collar Sessions 2002
Backbreakanomics 2003

6/20/04 It's been a little bit since I've seen it but I had to mention to everyone how amazing the film "The Whale Rider" is to see. Not sure if you remember but the young girl, Keisha Castle-Hughes was nominated for an Academy Award for her role, and when you see the film there is no question why. It is appropriate for all ages although the accents are pretty strong and there may be some confusion for youngsters trying to understand the tribal positions and her decision at the end of the film. I really enjoyed it.

(Warning, spoiler if you havent seen the film) "The Stepford Wives" is a whole different ball of wax. It was OK, but there were too many loose ends (1, are they robots or humans with chips implanted in their brains? 2, where are the kids the whole time? 3, how does Matthew Broadrick suddenly know how to set everybody free from the system?) These and other questions left me frustrated by the film, as did the lack of interest in the characters. There were some funny moments, but I didn't care enough about the characters to become emotionally involved in the film. There's my two cents.

6/15/04 This weeks entertainment was the birth of my nephew Ezra. He arrived Friday via c-section after much drama and minor complications. He and his mom are doing well and are heading home today to be with dad and sister. This along with the arrival of my mom, mother-in-law, and lots of rain has been plenty of entertainment for a girl like me. (Also saw The Stepford Wives but will wait a bit to report on it in case you havent seen it.)

6/8/04 Just a little shout out to mom who celebrated her birthday yesterday! And also to Cat, who's probably not celebrating much today, but nevertheless it's her big day today. Happy Birthday!

Also, if you have a moment I recommend you view this link to the new Pixar animated film "The Incredibles!" It shows both the trailer and a teaser and it is well worth your time. Looks like they have another hit! http://www.apple.com/trailers/disney/the_incredibles/

6/6/04 I just learned that Ronald Reagan passed away this weekend. I dont know a whole lot about politics, but I remember he had a lot to do with the ending the Cold War. I also remember watching the news replay the assasination attempt over and over again, and poor Mr. Brady (?) taking the bullet. It is interesting to me how presidents are sometimes really disliked while in office (although I know President Reagan had a huge following) but then they become almost beloved years later when the changes in policies and decisions they made have had time to settle and you can see just what they have accomplished.

I guess my heart goes out to Nancy. I cant imagine spending so many years with someone only to slowly lose them to alzheimers, then see him pass away. On one hand you would be relieved that he is no longer suffering, but on the other hand the painful reality of the fact that he is gone must be beyond description.

Then on a completely different note I just heard that J.Lo married Mark Anthony secretly this weekend. Now, it's her life and I certainly think she has freedom to live it how she likes, but if I were her sister I think I'd sit her down and have a little heart to heart talk. There's something she is searching for and can't seem to find, and for some reason she thinks a man or marriage will fill that void. After so much media attention over her relationships these past few years you'd think she'd slow down a bit! Personally, I'd like to see her get back to acting, something she seems to be successful with. Maybe work with Steven Soderberg again.

6/4/04 So I have a few contacts in the entertainment industry that supply me with tidbits of information that I rejoice at receiving. After working in the industry myself I have found that there are three types of actors: 1) those that are very good at what they do 2) those that think they are very good at what they do 3) those that know they aren't very good at what they do but wish they were. Most of the great actors I've met are really nice people, as are the not so great actors I've met. It's the actors that THINK they are good at what they do that cause you the most trouble. They think the world owes them something for their mediocre talent and they often make ridiculous demands that the great actors wouldn't dream of requesting. It's those actors that make life in the business a drag. But my work was in the Southeast. My contacts are in the big time--LA.

One friend works for possibly the biggest star in the world, and although I only hear from him occasionally, it is always such an interesting conversation. The last time we spoke he weighed in on the Brad Pitt/ Angelina Jolie rumors that are flying. The official word (and he would know) is that there is absolutely no truth to stories. Brad and Jen are very happily married and life at the Pitt house is wonderful aside from his busy schedule right now. Whew! We can all breathe a little easier now.

On the music front I will spend most of my time promoting my favorite group on the planet, Mars ILL. Who, you ask, is Mars ILL? An up and coming hip-hop group from Atlanta GA that deserves national recognition but has yet to receive it. What I like about them is that they aren't radio pop rap that you hear on MTV and BET. They are a style all their own, deeper, spiritual, about life and living. Their music is based on the roots of hip-hop, what true hip-hop should be. Am I making any sense? Check em out for yourself and see if you like what you hear. marsill.com

In other news, one of my favorite shows, Alias, has postponed its fall premier until January---January! I definitely think it could be a good move since this past season was not nearly as strong as the first two. Aparently they want to close some open plots and really take things back to the original intent of the show. But January? Hope the fans remember to watch or it could spell disaster for this diamond in the rough.

Top 5's 7/28/04

Top 5 things I wish they'd change about children's toys:
5. Rather than the #1 song stuck in my head, I've got "Just A Spoon Full of Sugar...." playing over and over again.
4. Faces of the "children on the school bus" aren't quite human.
3. Music on basketball goal is so catchy daughter pushes button again, and again, and again...again.......again.......
2. Song plays just long enough to drive mommy crazy.
1. Creepy adult voice talking out of the toy.

Top 5 board games I loved as a child:
5. Chinese Checkers
4. Connect Four
3. Sorry!
2. Clue
1. Life

Top 5 things we bicker about before a trip:
5. Who moved the pile of stuff I had laid out?
4. Oh yeah? Well you haven't done nearly as much packing as I have!
3. I can't help you right now! I'm trying to get my own stuff together!
2. Did you remember (insert item)?
1. I thought you were gonna pack the (insert item)!

Top 5 daydreams this week:
5. Mommy flies away to a tropical paradise where no one needs anything from her and only want to meet her every need.
4. Mommy goes to the spa for a day and gets every treatment possible, from a deep tissue massage to a hair and face make over (excluding the Brazillian bikini wax....no thank you.)
3. Mommy goes to the bookstore and spends several hours reading everything from the latest UsWeekly to the #1 bestseller.
2. Mommy lays down and takes a big nap while baby does the dishes, sweeps the house and fixes dinner.
1. Mommy spends a few minutes alone in the restroom without a toddler saying "mama? mama? mama?" outside the door!

Top 5 songs dedicated to mommy, with love. (remember this is tongue in cheek!)
5. I Believe In You and Me
4. You Light Up My Life
3. Just the Two of Us
2. You're Once, Twice, Three Times A Lady
1. You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings

Top 5 favorite times of day:
5. naptime
4. around 3pm--daughter wakes up from nap refreshed and very sweet.
3. around 6-7pm--family time begins
2. my daughter's bedtime
1. my bedtime

Top 5 most ridiculous reality tv shows that I've never watched simply because the ads are so ridiculous:
5. Paradise Hotel
4. The Ultimate Love Test
3. Fear Factor
2. Temptation Island
1. The Anna Nicole Show

Top 5 meals I make in a week:
5. pizza
4. something hamburger helper
3. tacos
2. nachos
1. macaroni and cheese

Top 5 favorite films to date: UPDATED 6/24
5. (LOTR trilogy)
4. Whale Rider
3. Amelie
2. Life Is Beautiful
1. The Royal Tenenbaums (or any Wes Anderson film)

Top 5 phrases I say in a day to my toddler:
5. "Do your teeth hurt?" (any whining results in me using this phrase.)
4. "Are you hungry?"
3. "No" (typically followed by) "Momma said No!"
2. "Do not touch!"
1. "Momma loves you"

Top 5 comedians:
(Honorable mentions: Bonnie Hunt, Owen Wilson, Wanda Sykes, Jim Gaffigan, and many others)
5. Ben Stiller
4. Will Ferrell
3. Ellen Degeneres
2. Jerry Seinfeld
1. Bill Murray