Saturday, August 30, 2008


Someone needs to teach about forgiveness -- about letting go of past mistakes and moving on.

You see, eight years ago I bought a John Tesh CD. Not because I am a John Tesh fanatic or even fan, but because the CD "Pure Movies 2" had a song on it that I LOVED "When She Loved Me" from Toy Story 2. Lovely song.

So I do not regret buying that CD. Now, my Britney Spears CDs (that's right -- plural) and my Debbie Gibson CD, those I regret. Oh, and I have two Barbra Striesand CDs. Go figure.

But I do not want to be reminded of that purchase everytime I log on to Amazon. Just today I checked out my "recommendations for Alicia" section, and there was John. Good grief.

So check out your own recommendations. You may be surprised what Amazon remembers. And you may be just a little grateful that Amazon wasn't around in the 80's.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brilliant One Moment. . . Not So Much The Next

Before the girls can get out of the bathtub, they are required to put all of their toys away. And there is quite the collection of toys. Lots of fish and frogs and Doras and friends. Emma, being the oldest and sitting closest to the basket, uselessly does the lion's share of work. Macey usually hangs back and allows Emma to clean up for her.

But the other day, I was walking past the bathroom when I saw Macey throw a toy into the basket and she MADE THE SHOT! It was a good 30 inches away, and she's so little and Emma was in her way and she still MADE THE SHOT. It was thrown perfectly, curved perfectly, if there had been a net, the toy would have made a sweet SWISH it was such a good throw. I walked away, thinking once again that Macey was an amazing little girl.

A few minutes later, I walked past the bathroom again, and I saw Macey with her toy fishing pole, fishing in the toilet for who only knows what. Ugh.

The few minutes when she was my amazing little girl were bliss.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Quirky Dog

So I call our dog, Quincy, Houdini, after the great magician. Over the last five years that we have had him, I've watched Quincy break out of his kennel, unzip my diaper bag and steal fruit snacks, remove his really tightly buckled zapper collar a zillion times -- the dog has skills.

He also has an attitude.

Since Quincy pees on the grass and kills it, we've asked him to do his business in the back corner where there is just crab grass. So we open the door, tell him to go all the way back to the back, and hopefully he'll do what he needs to do without killing any more sod.

But lately he has decided that he is too good for the back corner.

And so he'll head out toward the back corner and watch and wait to see if he can fake you out, and then once you're done watching, he pees wherever he wants. Over here, over there, but never where he is supposed to.

I do not get this. I am restricted to peeing in three places in my house, and I am okay with these restrictions. I do not balk against the system and try out the dining room. So what is up with my crazy dog??

Lost In Translation

I have two favorite back-to-school traditions. Emma is not starting pre-school until October, and so I do not really have a kid to buy school supplies for, and so I buy them for my piano kids. I love school supplies. So sharp, so new, so fall.

Second, I also go to the mall and "reclaim the mall" for all of the stay-at-home moms. The crowds of teens are gone and it's toddler heaven.

Yesterday while we were reclaiming the mall, I got the girls an ice cream: A Dairy Queen Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Blizzard. Yum. Emma and I picked it out. I happen to really like that cookie, and she happens to really like ice cream. Little Macey kept asking for "chocolate" and I assured her that it had chocolate in it.

The nice lady handed us our Blizzard, and Emma and I walked toward the bench where we would share and devour our purchase. I did not realize that Macey was not following. She ran back up to the counter, stretched herself up on her little toes, and asked the nice lady, "But where's my ice cream?"

You see, apparently Macey had a certain "chocolate" ice cream picked out: the Fudge and Brownie Ice Cream sundae that was being displayed, and she was dismayed that the nice lady was not handing it over.

I explained to Macey that we were all going to share the lovely Blizzard, but the fact that Emma was holding it and it was not what she wanted was too much for little Macey. She was very sad.

When Daddy gets back in town, he'll have to take little Macey back to get her ice cream. Poor thing.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Definition of Rich

My mother always told me, "Alicia, it's not how much you make, it's how much you spend." I heard on the radio today that one of the Olsen twins was in financial trouble. I'm not sure where all of her millions went, but apparently she's down to just a million or two.

A friend of mine gave a great lesson a few years ago about the definition of wealth. They asked people who made $25,000 - $40,000 a year how much they'd like to make in order to achieve a little breathing room. And they all said around $50,000. That would be fabulous. But people who made $50,000 said they needed $75,000. And up and up. Everyone wants to be in the next bracket up.

So today I was thinking about being rich, and I decided that I would define myself as rich when I no longer had to shop at WalMart. And when I could choose Charmin over Angel Soft.

I know some people are great fans, but WalMart makes me sad. The experience is very trying. It seems as though shelves are always getting stocked where I would like to pass through with my cart. And people are always parking their cart at extreme angles making it difficult to pass through.

And FORGET having to ask an employee for help because it just is not going to happen.

And the lines. THE LINES! Why do they always put people in training in the 20 items or less register? They need to put their champion scanners on this register. The guy they call Lightning. He needs to work that register.

And if you are going to write a check, shouldn't you start filling it out while you are in line? What have you been doing for the last 15 minutes? Because personally I have been trying to keep my girls from killing each other and silently hating you and your 21 items.

Unfortunately, WalMart has me over a barrell. They are cheap, and I need cheap, and they sell Sixlets, those tempting little candy coated chocolate candies, in bulk, so really, I'm stuck.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Can I Get That Back?

If fashion is supposed to be circular with things from yesteryear making a reappearance after a few years or decades, I would like to put in a request for some items I want back. Please.

Hammer Pants: These were great and ever so flattering on most people, I think. They were stretchy at the waist (no silly zippers or buttons), flared in the leg, hiding some things I'd like to hide, and narrowing back down in the leg. They were great! I had a pair of fake denim ones -- they looked like denim but were actually soft cotton, and I really enjoyed them. I'd like them to come back.

Banana Clips: My hair looked awesome in a banana clip! All flared out and big in back but close to the head in front. So easy, so fun. I'd like these back but maybe in a hardier substance -- not those cheap plastic things.

Scrunchy: Alright, let's be honest, I've never let go of the scrunchy to begin with, but it would be great if I could wear them again without feeling completely out of fashion.

Don Johnson Colors: White with light pink, white jacket with a light blue shirt. Man, those were some awesome coordinates.

Double Socks: Remember the socks on top of socks. So comfy cozy. Bring that back. My feet could use some loving.

Alright, am I forgetting something?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dora the Explorer

I am convinced that if I met Dora in real life, we would not be friends. Here are some things that I think would get on my nerves.

Constant Cheerfulness: What's up with that? I think that on the days when I was just doing so-so, it would send me into shock.

All The Questions: Woh, this girl cannot have a conversation without asking a question, or two, or three. "I like cake, do you like cake?" Well, Dora, everyone likes cake. "I like presents, do you like presents?" Again, really, do you have to ask? Or, "I like puppies. Do you like puppies?" Who is going to admit to not liking puppies? This girl needs some self confidence. She needs to realize that it's okay to like things that other people don't. Like me and Bob Costas.

Counting: This girl cannot remember her numbers. She constantly needs help counting, even to ten. For the love, what are they teaching you in that school? And why aren't you in school? If you can save the Mermaids, you can remember how to count to ten.

Mooch: This girl always needs a ride somewhere, and little Tiko always gets dragged into giving her a ride. And I never see her offer to pay for gas. When you see Tiko, he's always racing away and Dora asks for help to ask him to stop, in Spanish, of course. I think that Dora needs to take the hint. Girl, he saw you a long time ago and is racing away on purpose because he does not want to give you ANOTHER ride somewhere. Get a bike or cough up the money.

Enabling Swiper: He is nothing but a common thief and needs to be turned into the proper authorities. By allowing his behavior, she is enabling him, and she deserves to constantly lose all of her stuff.

Singing: Wow, this girl sings wherever she goes. Sometimes it's just not appropriate. Now Billy Joel, that guy can sing, I mean really sing, but you do not catch him in the Supermarket singing "We didn't start the fire." Wow, I just really dated myself, but you see what I am saying. Save it for the shower like the rest of us, chica.

Attention Deficit Disorder: Wow, this girl cannot hold onto one thought at a time. Even after telling herself, "bridge, river, picnic", she has to keep repeating it over and over. And I just really think that she should have gotten it the first time.

Star Catching: Now this is just weird. Everyone knows that stars are really really far away and you cannot catch them by jumping up and down and laughing. It's not appropriate behavior. Worse, it teaches my kids crazy behavior. Macey just handed me a handful of nothing and said that she caught a blue one.

If I did meet Dora, I would like to know, how do I get one of those backpacks? They're awesome!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Little Privacy, Please

So if you watch television, especially chick flicks, you will notice that some women like to go to the restroom in packs. This is not something that I have ever bought into.

I do not really care for restrooms. When I was a teenager, I really tried to avoid restrooms altogether. Especially after Junior High when I got hopelessly stuck in a stall and had to crawl out under the door.

When I was in college, I hated buying toilet paper because what if I was coming out of Food 4 Less with a pack of toilet paper and the crush of the moment walked into the store at the same time and saw the toilet paper in my bag! How horrific! And especially embarrassing because of course I was a college student and buying the cheap stuff.

But with pregnancy comes trips to the restroom. It's just a fact of life. I have become quite an expert over restrooms in the Washington, D.C. area. The one at PF Changs is beautiful. Very nice. The one at the Cheesecake Factory, well, I could live in there. Target is so-so. It's clean and functional. The family restroom at the Waldorf Mall makes me so happy I could just cry. The toilets are kid sized and so are the sinks. Glorious! The restroom at the gas station on Interstate 64. Yuck. They kept soap in fry containers. Egads. The one in Toys R Us, well, let's just say I expect better. It's a toy store for KIDS but everything is up high and just difficult. And it's down a sketchy hallway. Not my favorite. And the one in Old Navy -- not a fan. It's hard to find and too close to the dressing room.

So apparently I have overcome my aversions. May all of your restrooms be the appropriate size, clean, and stock yummy smelly soap.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Emma can be one of the sweetest three year olds on the planet. She never really demands anything, she just asks for it, hopes for it. Sometimes it breaks my heart how unassuming she can be. When she was in school, she would frequently ask if we could go see the cats at PetSmart, one of her favorite places on earth. And everyday I told her no, Macey had to go home and take a nap, etc., etc. Until one day she was buckling up her car seat, looked at me and said, "Momma, we don't have to go see the cats today. It's alright. Maybe tomorrow." Ugh, I felt horrible for putting her off to see something that was FREE, for the love. So I said, "No, Emma, today is the day. We are going to go see the cats."

This last weekend, we were driving back from West Virginia, and Emma had started to associate poddy breaks with gas stations and candy bars. Well, we were just at a plain old rest stop, but Emma did not notice. On the way in, she told me, "I hope I get a candy, but I'm not sure. . " then she saw it was just a restroom, and her heart just sank. So she quickly asked her Dad when we were planning to stop for gas.

But this week, my quiet unassuming girl is showing a little of her dramatic side. Yesterday for breakfast she wanted a muffin and chocolate milk. Well, we couldn't have either. I had just enough milk for the cereal and no fancy chocolate chip muffin mixes that she loves so much. So I asked her what else she wanted. "Well, then, I guess I won't have anything." High drama. At age three? Today she could not decide what she wanted, but Macey could: her favorite french toast. So I made French Toast and chocolate milk and Emma walks into the kitchen asking for pancakes and chocolate milk. No pancakes. French toast and chocolate milk. "Well, then I'll just drink the chocolate milk." And off she walked. High drama. Heaven help me.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Heaven help us with Kid #3 because sometimes things slip through the cracks with even Kid #2, commonly known as Macey. When she was in her crib, she had Emma's old, little purple pillow that her great-grandmother made. Not that she slept on it much, she likes to move around, but still, it was a good place for her head to at least start off.

We're in the middle of moving the girls into the same room and painting and getting new beds and we've moved Macey's mattress into Emma's room. But though she is moving up the big girl ladder, she has not yet gotten a big girl pillow. But this week she's had a runny nose and congestion, so Garry gave her one of our pillows to prop her up and help her to sleep tonight without waking up all congestiony and snotty.

When she got the pillow, she smiled and said, "Is that for me?" Such gratitude over something so small.

So tomorrow after some errands, I think it's time for Macey to go to the store and get her very own pillow.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Me v. The Dog

My brother has had a lot of challenges in his life, and he has not always risen to them. Few, actually. There's been a lot of bad in his life, but one shining item of perfection was his dog, Maggie. She'd follow him anywhere and was the epitome of loyal. But this week she decided to go on an adventure walk in downtown Idaho Falls, and she has not been seen since.

My brother is distraught and my mother, who has never liked a single animal in her life but for this one, has spent countless hours looking for the dog, praying for the dog, to be honest I think that Maggie is one step away from being put on the prayer roll at the temple.

I get daily updates about the search for Maggie, and I truly do hope that she is found. But today I called my Mom with exciting news about my family and asked that she keep us in her prayers. She told me that she would, and then she added, "I'll keep praying for you and for Maggie."

Hey. Back up. Me and MAGGIE? In the same breath? I had to ask, let's just say in an everyday prayer, exactly who is coming first? Me or the dog? Because I like the dog and all, but I am her daughter, mother of her granddaughters. . .I don't know, I kind of think that I should come first. To which my Mom responded, "Yes, but Maggie could be DEAD. You're fine."

So please pray for Maggie so maybe I can get some attention from my Mom again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Staying Sane In A Land Of Crazies

So lately my stress level has been really high. On Saturday, little Emma and Macey were chasing each other around the dining room when my crazy neighbor came over to tell us to keep it down, it sounded like a marching band was coming through the wall. Since Emma and Macey weigh maybe 50 pounds together, I am not sure how their pitter-patters make up a marching band.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that he has complained about the "horrendous noise", and the frustrating thing is that it has been during the daytime: 9 am, 11 am, 3 pm, and I just feel like my girls should be allowed to make noise during the day because they are kids. And that's their job.

But instead of brushing his craziness off, I've allowed it to affect me and my day and my kids. I'm constantly shushing my kids and the dog, and I'm wondering, how do you stay sane in a land of crazies?

Sunday, August 10, 2008


It has come to my attention lately that not all lighting is created equal. Of course, I understood this in a sort of a vague-doesn't-really-affect-me-kind-of-way, but lately it has become a personal issue.

In my bathroom, there are eight bright lights. Pretty little circular ones. But three of the eight have blown out, and I need to replace them. But until that day, the lighting in our bathroom has been . . . not great. Well, great for me. Not so great for creating a true image of the situation.

Which has led me to leave the house thinking that I looked alright and then arrive at the gym with its harsh, bright lighting, and suddenly realize the truth. And then it's too late.

Take last Thursday, for example. I was going to the gym and so I pulled my hair back, and I thought that things were looking okay. My curls looked to be somewhat still in tact, miraculously holding their shape though I'd slept on them for a few hours. They cascaded down from their scrunchy, yes SCRUNCHY!, in a manner that I thought was quite attractive for the effort. I may have even thought that some women tried to get their curls so perfect on their wedding day and wasn't I just blessed to wake up with them. Maybe I thought about that. It wasn't until I arrived at the gym and got to face my reflection in the mirror for an entire workout period that I had to face the truth. And dare I say, it was ugly.

I'll find some lightbulbs this week. And I wish everyone perfect lighting.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Always Amazing

For my birthday, I took some of my own money, some birthday money, and a gift certificate and updated my bed. I got some shiny and slippery satin sheets and a beautiful white coverlet to provide some comfort for the summer months but definitely not make us too hot. Well, I think that the coverlet is beautiful. Garry thinks that it's something that an old woman would put on her bed, and he may have a point. But I still think it's nice. And apparently I can use it for the next 70 years.

The coverlet has put a serious damper into Emma's favorite activity: jumping on my bed. She is not allowed to jump on Mama's new coverlet.

But she still tries to sneak in a jump or two. Or three.

This morning she was busted by no other than her little sister. While I was in the bathroom, Macey marched in in all of her 30 month glory and announced, "Emma is jumping on Mama's coverlet."

Now how many adults even know the word coverlet? That girl is amazing. But she needs to stop tattling on her sister and she needs to start respecting my privacy when I am in the bathroom. But, besides that, she's perfect.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Before I got married, I used to "daydream" myself to sleep. I would daydream about the perfect date, or the perfect proposal, or the perfect wedding -- girl stuff. Total girl stuff. But then I got married and have been wondering for the last five years, what should I daydream about now? Usually I just think about the day or the last thing that I watched on television until I go to sleep. But I still daydream during the day.

I daydream about big old cul-de-sacs at the end of a long street where my kids can go out and play and play and play. Oh, and nice neighbors that do not care about kids walking on grass or noise.

I dream about having drawers in my bathroom! We don't have any! Imagine all the stuff that you cram into bathroom drawers and now imagine a life without them!

I daydream about baby grand pianos. Black ones. Shiny.

I daydream about corn dogs from Arctic Circle with fry sauce. Yum.

I daydream about "please" and "thank-you" coming from my girls without asking!

I daydream about gas prices being $1.32.

I daydream that my linen closet is a linen closet with fluffy towels and fancy sheets -- not stuffed full of toys.

I daydream that Garry gets to carry this baby for the next three months and that he thinks that the name Molly is just perfect.

All pretty boring stuff. But the thoughts make me smile.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Miss Congeniality

This month Macey will be 2 1/2 years old. With the things that come out of her mouth, it's hard to believe that she is so young. She's very verbal. And very smart. And today I realized that she's also very friendly.

We were on our way out the door to go to the park when Macey saw a Comcast repairman working on our neighbor's box. Always friendly, she shouted, "HELLO!" and waved to the young man.

Not getting a response, Macey thought about it and tried again. "Hola!" she yelled. Still no response, but she definitely tried.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Best Big Sister Ever

We are slowly starting the process of getting Emma and Macey to share a room. We have moved things around a bit and moved in Macey's mattress to Emma's room, all in preparation of putting in some bunk beds this fall. I was nervous about the move. Emma is a little territorial. She did not even like it when Macey's toys ended up in her room -- she promptly put them back next door. So actually moving in Macey . . . hmmm . . . this could be disastrous!

But I explained to the girls that we were making some changes and then I moved Emma's bed to make room for Macey's mattress. The move was done, and I watched Emma for signs of an up and coming fit. She looked at the changes, then looked at me, and said, "Momma, she needs a pillow."

Emma is not always the best big sister. Yesterday I heard her talking to Macey about playing soccer and trying to talk Macey into being the BALL, but overall, she's fabulous!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A True Hermit

The more that I go out. . . the more that I think that I should just stay home some days. And it's not just the stress of keeping track of Emma and Macey in a store. It's mainly the stress of other people interacting with Emma and Macey in a store.

Like the library. Argh the library! In the kids department there are two huge stuffed giraffes. Huge. And if you were two and three, what would you do? Try to ride them, of course! It's a constant battle to get the girls to not love on those giraffes, and usually they do alright. Today, though, a librarian with a face pinched like she had an eternal migraine marched over and explained that they could touch the giraffes but could not play with them. Does that make sense? How does a two year old touch and not play? It's a mystery. Ms. Pinchy Face should work in the paperback mystery department and they should put someone who actually likes kids in the kid department.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I Am Officially A Teacher

If we ever leave the Washington, D.C. area and my resume no longer looks like everyone else's, I would like to teach Political Science at a community college. I think it would be a great experience. But, for now, I am teaching piano to 25 little kids from my home and a few adults at the College of Southern Maryland. But I have never considered myself a "teacher" until yesterday.

I have a student, Stephanie, who is a joy. I have to assign her six to eight songs in the summer to keep her entertained. She practices hard and works hard. She's fabulous. But yesterday she came over to my house and was CHEWING GUM. I ignored it for awhile, but the smack, smack, smack sound drove me crazy. Finally, I told her she just had to spit it out.

I have arrived. I am a teacher.