Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Man, I'm Old

Two things happened today to make me realize how old I am getting.

First, I heard on the news that Madonna's oldest daughter is 12. Madonna almost has a teenager. This was shocking to me. It made me do the math, and I realized that if I went back to the first grade right after graduating from college I would be starting college again this fall.

Second, while I was sleeping I tweeked my ankle. I really tweeked it. I do okay walking on it, but the stairs hurt, and I am surrounded by stairs. The sad thing is I did this IN MY SLEEP. How old am I when I hurt myself just sleeping? This is almost as bad -- but not quite -- as a friend who threw out his back putting on his underwear. He's old too.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm Dreaming. . .

I have a little insomnia tonight and so, of course, I am thinking about dreaming.

When I was at BYU, I lived in a great house lovingly known as "The Yellow Brick House" because, well, the house was made of yellow bricks.There were eight of us in the house, and it was great! Always something going on; always someone to talk to. And talk we did.

Before the beginning of a new semester, we would all get together and make predictions for the new semester. It was a lot of fun.What an amazing time! When else but in college could the course of your life change every four months!

So what are my dreams now? My friend told me about a house that she looked at once that had a master bedroom closet that was so big it had a washer and dryer in the closet. No more trudging laundry up and down the stairs! I'm dreaming. . .

Oh! Daughters willing to eat the peels on apples. I'm dreaming. . .

A metro stop in Waldorf. Oh, that would be awesome! I'm dreaming. . .

No more contacts. Just being able to see all of the time. I'm dreaming. . .

So, what are you dreaming about?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Big Day For The Cunninghams!

It was a big day for the Cunningham family, today! We went to the National Kite Festival at the National Mall. This is me holding Macey's Barbie kite. Molly is in the stroller.
This is Emma running with her kite, waiting for the wind to whisk it away. She did great!

This is Emma with her Barbie kite.
We were getting cold and so we went to the Air & Space Smithsonian and looked at planes and planes and more planes. Then we went to Krispy Kreme for some donuts and Fuddruckers for lunch. Fabulous!

And since it was Molly's 4 Month Birthday, she got to try rice cereal today! This is a before shot. Happy Molly!

This is a during shot. Suspicious Molly.

This is an after shot. Sad Molly.

Fabulous day!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Picture Day!

Today was FINALLY picture day. We got Emma's 4 year picture taken (since she's almost 4 1/2) Macey's 3 year picture taken (since her birthday was a month ago) and Molly's 3 month picture (since she turns 4 months tomorrow). Alright, I'm a little behind. Above are some of our favorites.

. . .Dreaming

I have a little insomnia tonight and so, of course, I am thinking about dreaming.

When I was at BYU, I lived in a great house lovingly known as "The Yellow Brick House" because, well, the house was made of yellow bricks.

There were eight of us in the house, and it was great! Always something going on; always someone to talk to. And talk we did.

Before the beginning of a new semester, we would all get together and make predictions for the new semester. It was a lot of fun.

What an amazing time! When else but in college could the course of your life change every four months!

So what are my dreams now? My friend told me about a house that she looked at once that had a master bedroom closet that was so big it had a washer and dryer in the closet. No more trudging laundry up and down the stairs! I'm dreaming. . .

Oh! Daughters willing to eat the peels on apples. I'm dreaming. . .

A metro stop in Waldorf. Oh, that would be awesome! I'm dreaming. . .

No more contacts. Just being able to see all of the time. I'm dreaming. . .

So, what are you dreaming about?

Thursday, March 26, 2009


In November our family welcomed two new additions: Molly Joy Cunningham and our Beautiful Blue Honda Odyssey.

I love them both. But I would like to share a few words about my Honda Odyssey.

It makes me happy. Such a beautiful color of blue. Leather seats that clean up so nicely. Seat warmers that have kept me oh so comfortably warm during these long winter months. A rear view camera that helps me park the car. Dual climate control that has greatly helped my marriage.

I have realized lately, though, that I have become a Honda Odyssey snob. It happens almost everytime I see another van. I think to myself, "Oh, a Sienna. Bummer." Or "A Town & Country. Well, I guess that's an option. . ."

Snobbish, I know. But, I guess I'm just lovin' me some Honda.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The King's Bad Idea

My girls are on a Sleeping Beauty kick. They watch the movie, both have Sleeping Beauty dolls, dress up like Sleeping Beauty. . .They like her a lot.

There is a part of the movie, though, that bothers me. After Aurora/Briar Rose/ Sleeping Beauty (so confusing for my girls!) is threatened by the evil Maleficient, the king demands that all spindles are destroyed.

Doesn't he realize this would ruin the economy? After the great bonfire the cost of clothes must have skyrocketed. And the poor producers of cotton and wool? They must have had goods just rot because no one could do anything with them.

It's all rather disturbing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Don't Take Her To Vegas

Macey stinks at games. She is just really bad.

For example, with Hide And Seek she assumes that if she cannot see you, you cannot see her. And so she'll "hide" by putting her hands or a pillow in front of her face. Not too effective but way cute.

This week Emma learned a new game called "What Am I?" where she describes an animal and you have to guess what it is. For example, she'll say that she is thinking of something that has paws and barks. A dog!

When it's Macey's turn to give the clues she'll say: "I'm thinking of a horse. It has a tail and says neigh." Ummm.. a horse?

Not too effective but way cute.

Or, on the way home from school, I said "I am thinking of an animal. It is black and white and looks a little like a horse with stripes." Emma guessed a zebra but Macey, well, she guessed a horse.

Monday, March 23, 2009


When I was in law school my favorite class was in my second year of law scool: contract writing. I loved thinking about all the angles, all the contingencies, all the possible loopholes and forming something that was unbreakable.

Apparently Macey has inherited my critical thinking. We have been painting and Garry took down the banisters so he could paint the stairwells. I put two back up but decided to wait until Garry got home to tackle the third. I put it down on the floor and had visions of my girls beating each other with it. Since she was closest I told Macey not to touch it.

"Can I jump on it?" she asked.


"Can I jump over it?" she asked.

For the love, no.

"Just do not touch it, Macey." I said.

"Okay," she answered. "But why?"

Good grief.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Common Luxuries

I have been thinking about common luxuries in my life. Things that we did not use growing up but I have become so accustomed to now they are almost necessities.

DRYER SHEETS: We did not use the dryer much when I was young. My Mom would go through the extra work of hanging the laundry outside. There is nothing quite like the neighbors being able to see your undies that make those awkward years that much more awkward. We use our dryer and our dryer sheets. I usually just use whatever is cheapest but love it when Garry does the shopping because he usually buys the good stuff. We're using Bounce now. We smell nice.

BUTTER SPRAY: Growing up, we'd just butter the pan by, well, spreading butter on the pan. Now we use butter spray. Garry bought some yesterday with a childproof cap. How sophisticated is that?

MCDONALDS: My sister has a favorite diary entry about a trip to McDonalds. Apparently my Mom told her not to get used to it -- it was a special occasion. My kids do not consider McDonalds to be a special occasion. They consider it to be lunch. And sometimes dinner. And sometimes breakfast.

FRUIT SNACKS & GRANOLA BARS: Is there anything better than being able to give a cranky, tired child a fruit snack or a granola bar? Yep, that's a necessity now.

So what are your common luxuries?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Trials of the Dora Shirt

Emma has a few Dora shirts, but one in particular is her favorite. It's pink and blue and has short little sleeves. It also comes with a pair of stylin' pants.

A few weeks ago, she got green paint on the sleeve. When she saw an Oxi-Clean commercial, she got really excited because HERE was a product that could help her clean up her beloved shirt.

If Emma could wear the shirt to school everyday, she would. I have to try to let it sit in the dirty clothes for several days because once it's washed, she's wearing it again. The very next day if not the very moment it comes out of the wash.

At first I could not understand why Emma LOVED this one shirt until one day, in a tantrum fit over the shirt, she yelled, "But Mama, my teachers LOVE that shirt!"

Aha! The real culprit! Her teachers at school had clearly complimented her shirt and that meant the world to Emma.

So here's my plan. The next time Emma picks out an outfit that does not match or is getting too small or I wish she'd stop wearing, I'll just safety pin a little note saying, "ATTENTION TEACHERS & AIDES: PLEASE DO NOT SAY ANYTHING NICE ABOUT THIS SHIRT."

That should work until she can read.

Friday, March 20, 2009

An Addiction Justified

Those who know me well know that I am a little addicted to vacuuming. I never put my vacuum away because chances are that I will be using it again -- and soon.

I like to vacuum. If I was honest, I would admit that what I really like about vacuuming is that while it's running, I cannot hear kids cry. It's just me, my thoughts, and my vacuum for a few blissful moments. I have a vacuum for the carpet, one for my floors, and one that shampoos -- known lovingly as The Hoover.

The Hoover only gets brought out every month or so, and usually just downstairs. Because I have over 20 piano students and their parents and my kids and my dog walking all over a cream carpet, it really does not stay clean for long. But for a few moments, it's truly lovely.

There are some who claim that I vacuum too much. But considering the parents that I encounter, I feel that my addiction is justified and necessary. The other day, one of the parents asked me if I had a carpet cleaner. I explained that yes, I had The Hoover, it just had not been used in a few weeks.

"Oh," she said, "because if you didn't, I was going to let you use mine."

I guess that was a friendly hint that I need to get vacuuming again. No problem.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Open Letter To Kelly Clarkson

Ms. Clarkson: I have a few words to say about your latest song. I HATE it. Let me explain. The music is great. It's catchy. The tune is fabulous. But I think that you only spent 10 minutes on the lyrics.

Let me remind you of the chorus:

Cuz we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

Because the tune is catchy I spend hours walking around the house singing "My life (my life) would suck (would suck) withhhooooouuuutt yyyoouuuu."

To avoid another horrible afternoon, I am going to have to take aggressive action and change the channel the next time you come on. I can only admit that you know your demographic. I am sure that there are a lot of 14 year old teenage girls texting each other about how much their lives suck and now they can sing about it, too.

My favorite love song was written by Bob Dylan and has been covered by Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and other. In his chorus he wrote:

I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
There ain't nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love

Now that's a love song.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Passive Aggressive

Recently I have been really jealous of all of Garry's trips and experiences. He's been able to travel and see some fun things over the last few months.

I feel a little stuck. Molly will not take a bottle very well and so we're never apart for very long. It can be a bit much some times and even though Garry complains about airports and hotels, I just think about time to read, a king sized bed that was ALL MINE, feeding myself first in the morning (what? what?), adult conversation, no diapers, no fighting!

Sidenote: do you know what Emma and Macey fought about today? They were pretending to catch imaginary fish and eat them and Emma was eating all of the imaginary fish.

Is it any wonder that I'm a little jealous of Garry's time away?

So, I've been a little passive aggressive in my jealousy and anger. I called Garry a nickname he HATES on purpose and last night I stole his pillow and pretended to be asleep while he was looking for it.

Small stuff, but it makes me smile. There's a shirt in my closet I know he hates. I think that I will wear it tomorrow.

Brad Paisley Writes Songs On A Dare

While I was in high school I became a fan of Country Music. It was a good time: a time of Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood before they were, well, Garth & Trisha Brooks.

But lately I have been really frustrated with the world of country music. I think that some artists are taking bets, as in, "Bet you cannot write a successful song with the word. . ." or "Bet you cannot write a successful song about . . .". And it's really hurting the world of music.

Case in point: The Brad Paisley song "Ticks" with the loving words "I'd like to check you for ticks". Really, how could this be anything more than a song written on a dare?


Or, what about the also Brad Paisley song "Little Moments" when he sings:

Well I'll never forget the first time I heard,
That pretty mouth say that dirty word and
I can't even remember now what she backed my truck into
But she covered her mouth and her face got red
And she just looked so darn cute
That I couldn't even act like I was mad
yea I live for little moments like that

Insane. What man lives for the moment when his truck gets wrecked?


Brad Paisley, I think you can sing. I just wish you would stop singing about stupid things.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Matter of Perspective

Yesterday I decided that just because Garry was still in Mexico did not mean that the girls and I had to be hermits. So, we ventured out! I took Garry's credit card all three girls to a sit-down restaurant. Woo hoo! Granted, Molly was still asleep, but I felt pretty adventuresome.

Afterward we went to Target to pick up a few things. While we were there I heard a lady screaming at her 18 - 24 month old son. Her husband was standing behind her. Apparently the son was running crazily through the store and she had had enough.

I was confused. She just had one little kid AND she had her husband there to back her up. I was outnumbered three to one and taking care of that one little boy seemed like a vacation.

It's all a matter of perspective. Will the day come when I am faced with teenagers that I will laugh at the "drama" I had with my toddlers? One day will I look back at this as the real vacation?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Molly's Spring Blanket

Today I finished Molly's spring blanket. I found a fabric that I really liked at JoAnn's and got the solids to intersperse through the blanket. But, I think that the solids actually dominate the blanket. The solids are purple but look blue in the picture. Hhmmmm.....

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Bad Luck Continues

I have bad luck when it comes to hair cuts.

For example, there was one lady who wanted to brush my hair before she washed it (POOF!).

There was one lady who had me stand up during my haircut because my hair was "too long" and hard to reach down and cut.

Most recently there was the stressful situation of deciding how much to pay the nice woman who cut hair in her home and just had people pray to decide how much to pay.

And, of course, who can forget Emma's mullet experience which, a few months later, she is starting to recover from.

I have put off getting another haircut for quite awhile. Molly will not take a bottle so it's hard to find a Molly-less time to go and get a hair cut. We're a package deal right now. So finally yesterday I gave in and just took her with me while the other two were in school.

I sat in the chair, completely ready for a good experience. I know my hair panics some hairstylists because it is curly and they do not know what to do with it. So I flat-ironed it straight -- no panic here! Just plain old straight hair. I was at the Hair Cuttery and their "Shampoo, Cut and Blow Dry" is $17. The nice lady took one look at my hair and said because I had "so much" and it was "so long" (what?) that it would be $31. Okay, I am not very good at math, but that is almost double.

I paid it, and I even tipped the lady. But I dread going back there. So HELP! Does anyone know anyone that can give me a stress-free haircut experience??

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Girls Make Me Smile

I have to say, my girls make me smile.

Emma: I heard Emma tell Macey a little while ago that if Macey did not start being nice we were giving her to the neighbor. I have no idea where she came up with that one! But it did send Macey into a little bit of a panic.

Macey: On Tuesdays we go to story time at the library. After story time, the girls pick out a movie and a book. We read the books before school and watch the videos when we get home. This week they chose Cinderella II and Barbie: Island Princess. At the end of Island Princess, the Prince and the Princess kiss. I heard Macey giggle when they kissed. How cute is that?

Molly: Molly is a trip. A regular hoot and a holler. She has a lot of attitude in her little 11 pound body. She knows what she likes and she's willing to wait you out to get it. But, she makes me laugh when she toots. With Garry gone I've been downing a lot of soda because he is not here to give me a hard time about it. Unfortunately a lot of that carbonation is going to Molly. Wow, she toots. And toots. And it's adorable because she lifts her little legs and tries to grab her feet giving you a great view of her little butt. STEADY. AIM. FIRE. Adorable.

Woops! You Said What?

Garry is in Mexico this week. Yesterday he was in Mexico City and there is a two hour time difference between the two of us. Last night we were talking on the phone, and he said that he would talk to me again in the morning.

"But if you call first," he said, "don't forget that I am two hours behind you."

In other words, please do not call me at 6:30 a.m.

Stunned Silence.

And then up came Mrs. Attitude.

"Because heaven forbid that I wake you up," said the angry mother of a newborn (that's me ;)

"Well, one of us should get a good night's sleep," he said.

I am thinking about changing the locks.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Truly Serious

Today I was at WalMart. The sketchy one in Waldorf. I know, I know. But it was close to the gym. What could I do?

While I was there, Molly was blissfully taking a nap and some people would get a little glimpse at her and ooh and aah because she is just darn cute. But one man stopped and stared at Molly. Then he started cooing "Wake up, baby, Wake up, baby."

I looked at the crazy gentleman and simply said, "If you wake her up, I'm going to smack you."

Because I said it with a smile and a little laugh, he thought I was joking, laughed himself, and walked away.

Good thing. Because I wasn't kidding.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Out! Woo Hoo!

I'll have to type this blog superfast. I can hear Molly cooing and where there is cooing there is soon to be crying. And where there is crying there is soon to be screaming. It can all spiral down so quickly.

Yesterday the Cunninghams took advantage of the 70 degree weather and hit the outdoors! Woo Hoo! We drove to Great Falls, Maryland. This is a spot right on the Virginia/Maryland border. On the Virginia side it is very built up and there is a lot to see and read regarding the history of the Potomac and specifically commerce on the Potomac.

On the Maryland side you have access to the great C&O trail. It's a great trail open to hikers, bikers & dogs. We used to take Quincy when he was a puppy, and this was the first time we had taken the girls.

Macey and Emma were so excited to be outside. Everything was a wonder. Look! A Rock! Look! A Stick! The hike to the waterfall at Great Falls took awhile because we had to stop every 20 feet for the girls to climb a big rock or throw a stick in the water.

Great Falls is a very wealthy suburb. Very wealthy. It was odd to be somewhere where I got more compliments on my dog than I did my girls. One lady on the trail had a Baby Bjorn for her dog. People are interesting.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I Knew I Was Cool!

The girls have show and tell every Friday. We are given a bag on Thursday and told a theme and then Garry and I work with the girls on what they want to take and what they are going to say.

This week the theme was Careers. The kids were to bring in something that represented their parent's job. I asked the girls if they wanted to talk about Momma's job (lawyer? music teacher?) or Dadda's job (Navy).

The girls went back and forth, depending on their mood. Finally Emma said that she wanted to take something of Momma's. "Okay, which job?"

"Um, you do the laundry. I could take laundry!" she answered.

For the love, why did I go to school FOREVER?

I told her no laundry.

I wish I could tell myself no laundry.

I digress.

This morning I brought the girls a boat and a maraca. I told them to pick. One daughter could talk about Dadda's job (Navy) and one daughter could pick my job (music). Emma picked the boat.

But when we picked them up from school and asked how it went, Emma was very upset. "I wanted to talk about Momma's job!" she cried. I guess Macey's maraca was a hit. I knew I was cool!

The Morning Of My Discontent

I sometimes daydream about the perfect morning. When baby Molly sleeps in (after sleeping through the night, of course) and the girls wake up and decide to just go downstairs and play quietly by themselves. I awake, completely refreshed, and turn on the television to enjoy a few sweet moments with Matt Lauer. The news stories of the day are about the Dow hitting 14,000 and a fashion report all about the return of scrunchies. So far, so good.

Eventually I drag myself out of bed to take a fabulous shower where, when I condition my hair, I cannot find a single split end. I get out of the shower, get dressed in pants that are comfortable but yet stylish, along with a nice sweater, blue, of course, and when I go downstairs I find that a Starbucks has been placed in my kitchen and a barista is ready with my Venti no-whip hot chocolate and my cream cheese chocolate muffin.

Man, that would be nice.

Instead, Molly woke me up for the third time that night at a questionable hour. Emma was already in my room, asking if she could watch one of "her shows": note -- anything that did not have Matt Lauer in it. Split ends abound. My blow drier is broken! No barista. I had to make my own hot cocoa. No muffin. And then Macey crammed too many pancakes in her mouth and she . . .never mind.

The afternoon will definitely be better.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Since neither Emma nor Macey can tell time, we sometimes run into certain problems. Especially with Macey. She does not understand that some things are at a set time: Story time at the library, school, church, etc. And so, when it's time to go, if she is busy with something else, a small battle may ensue. Well, actually, with Macey the battle may not be that small. She's a tad stubborn.

But this week it was Emma who struggled with time. On Tuesday Emma and Macey woke up with small fevers and horrible coughs. Emma wanted to go to school, but I told her that she was sick and should stay home. "But Mom," she said, "I'm the line leader!" I told her that it was a new week and that she would not be line leader this week. That seemed to close the deal; we'd stay home.

In the afternoon we snuggled up and took a great nap. When she woke up Emma felt better and was ready to go to school! It was 2:30. School was long over. I told her that we could not go to school because it was 2:30 and everyone was home.

You never know how your little ones interpret things. . . A few hours later Garry was teasing Emma about missing school and she told him she could not go to school "because Momma slept in too late." I guess she thought I let everyone nap too long?

I really hope that she does not tell this to her teachers. Since school does not start until noon they would probably really wonder why I was oversleeping!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Macey, The Artist

Macey drew me a picture. Can you tell what it is?
An octopus?
A tornado destroying a small village?
A spider with great hair?
I told her it was beautiful and then asked "But what is it?"
"It's You, Mom!"
Well, of course! Now I see it!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Crazy Beautiful

Wow, the last few days have been really busy. Here's a collection of pictures of my crazy beautiful girls.
Macey in the snow. She lasted about five minutes.

Emma at her first dentist appointment. She took it all in like a champ!

Macey's Princess Party! Nine little princesses present -- they all looked beautiful! Emma was Belle and Emma was Sleeping Beauty.

Hah! This is Macey with her hand in a bag full of marshmellows on her birthday. I came downstairs and caught her -- just like this. I asked, "Macey, are you eating marshmellows?" To which she replied, "No."

This is Molly watching me jam with Guitar Hero.

Garry thought Molly would look super cute in the girls' doll stroller. Molly disagreed. The sheer look of indignant embarrassment is priceless.

We only took group shots the day that we blessed Molly so here are some of just her in the beautiful dress my Mom bought for her. Bald truly is beautiful, especially with that smile.

Macey in the dress Grammy bought her for her birthday. She said she felt like a ballerina. Obviously she's never been to a ballet, but she's still crazy beautiful.

Molly in a dress from Grammy. Instead of bloomers it came with a built-in onesie. How wonderful is that?

Emma decided that it would be really fun to put handsoap in Macey's hair. Macey disagreed, but we got her to smile for the camera before we helped her wash it out.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

FEELING - - - everything

One of my nieces is in the ninth grade. Being a hip freshman, she is also on Facebook, and being a hip Aunt, so am I. Because we are "friends" I get to spy on her a little. She's very open on her Profile page and so I can get a general idea of what is going on just from her status updates. And I have to say, it's very exhausting.

She feels everything so deeply. Every crush, every heatbreak, every betrayal. From her adjectives, it seems to affect her to her core.

I would just roll my eyes and move on, but I think that I was once like this. So, I try to let her in on some fast advice sent through an instant message, knowing that she will not really listen to much, just like I didn't.

I cannot imagine feeling that deeply about anything right now. Can you imagine if my status update in Facebook read:

Alicia is DEVASTATED that the price of milk continues to be nearly $4.00. Why is this happening? Why? Why?

Alicia is so HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY that Garry let me watch America's Next Top Model without any comments about how gay everyone is.

Alicia HATES that Macey continues to have accidents in her pants. It's SO GROSS. I'm SO CONFUSED. Why does she continue to do this? RUDE.

Alicia LOVES the way she feels in her new gray stretchy pants. SEXY!

Alicia is MISERABLE because Garry ate all of the dip. All of it. Serious people, not even a dab remains.

Alicia thinks the IRS is a big fat JERK for finding a "mistake" in her taxes and keeping her money.

See, I'm exhausted just writing this. Imagine FEELING all of it. It's good to be thirty-something.