Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Clay!

A few years ago I was at a gathering of preschool moms who were discussing establishing traditions for their children. The speaker suggested writing a letter on your child's birthday, saving all of the letters, and then beginning 18 days before their 18th birthday, mail a letter a day (in order) to the child. I thought it was a great idea. And every year I've meant to do it. But never remember.

This year, I still didn't get it together. But then I remembered... I have a blog! Who needs the US Postal Service?

And so... Happy Birthday Clay! For your birthday, we had all of your preschool friends over on Saturday for an afternoon party. We turned on the sprinkler, hung a pinata, and played 'Pin the Hood on Mater', which was our version of 'Pin the Tail on the Donkey'. Daddy spent an hour coloring a Mater mural for it, and I spent the time cutting out paper hoods. You had a great time, and got tons of Car toys. But I think your favorite is 'Whack A Mole'.

Today you asked for doughnuts for breakfast, and Chuck E Cheese for supper. If you ever doubt my love for you, remember that I went to Chuck E. Cheese. And, it wasn't so bad. The place was relatively clean. (Do you remember your cousin Ryan's birthday party at Safari Sam's last year? You kept calling it 'Farty Sams'. All I remember is that the place boasted a healthy menu, but when we actually looked at it, the only thing I saw was cheese fries and pizza. Well, Chuck E Cheese has a salad bar. And, it was okay. I've seen worse.)

After supper we came home, had a piece of cake, and you opened our presents. We gave you lots and lots of board games and puzzles, and a cool gyroscope that Daddy picked out for you. He loved them as a kid, and couldn't wait to show it to you. We let you stay up late an extra hour, and we played Scrabble, Jr.

All in all, I had fun. I hope you did too.



Friday, June 22, 2007

The estrogen runneth over

In addition to the nuns, and the bitch (female dog, people!), that VERY SAME day, two neighbor girls came over for an extended play date. It was chaotic, but fun. Clay had a blast, but let this be a warning to all parents I know: if you bring me your clean children, I cannot guarantee they will stay that way.

I am happy to hose them off, however.

I wasn't kidding about the nuns

Yesterday, we really did have three nuns at the house. And a priest. Sister Anne, Sister Olga, Sister Monica, and Father Jim stopped in because they needed to have a meeting with Mike, who's been doing some freelance work for them. They were on their way home from a convention, or maybe it was just a meeting. (Fun distraction: what would be involved with a nun convention? Would there be an exhibition hall with aisles of rosary and prayer card vendors? Would the seminars offer styling tips to prevent "habit hair", or advice on rapping your students' knuckles with just the right force to cause excrutiating pain, but not enough to break the skin?)

Move over Momma, there's a new bitch in town...

... of the female dog variety (get your minds out of the gutter, people).

I'm not ashamed to admit that I enjoy being the only female in the house. Sure, there are times when I see a little velvet dress and I think that it might be nice to have a daughter, but then I remember that when it comes to my gender, I'm not a fantastic example of all things feminine, and I'd hate to handicap a little girl that way.

Case in point: I HATE lotions. Hate 'em. They're greasy and yucky and I've spurned them all my life. Back in high school, I recall my mother saying I needed to moisturize my elbows because they were looking dry, and I just laughed at her. Who's going to look at my elbows? They were covered up by my favorite faded black rugby shirt, which I wore every other day because it went so comfortably with my faded blue jeans and worn keds. Mini skirts? No thanks. Make up? You've got to be kidding. (If I won't moisturize my elbows, do you think my knees and face stand a chance?)

So, I think it's fitting that I have two sons. They don't care that I rotate the same three pairs of shoes, or that my wardrobe consists of knit tees and bermuda shorts. Toss 'em a Matchbox car, and they'll love you all day. I'm their "best girl". Sons. They love their mommas.

It may be time to face facts, though. Clearly, I'm not enough woman for the Sheleheda boys. And already, they're turning their attentions to another. Her name's Daisy, and she's got long hair, big brown eyes, and a wigglin' walk that makes the world go round...

Say hello to Daisy, our temporary pet. We're dog sitting for friends, but they might not get her back. She's the sweetest little shih tzu around, and Clay and Drew can't get enough of her. Mike thinks she's pretty special too. I'm hopeful that when she goes back to her parents, things will return to normal around here and I can go back to being the adored, LONE, woman. I'm not sure if that's really what God has in plan, though. Just yesterday He sent three nuns to the house.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I love good quotes. Actually, I collect them. I have a little notebook of my favorite lines from literature, celebrities, sitcoms, which was mostly compiled during college. Occasionally I'll open it and chuckle over the things I found so profound then, or marvel at the items that are still relevant to me today.

But in this electronic age, I'm giving up the notebook. Instead, I'll post them here. This is the first, and as a data person, it's a good one for me to remember:

"Not everything that counts can be counted.
And not everything that can be counted counts."
--Albert Einstein

To One in a Million

Here's to one in a million... my best friend, my soul mate, my handsome, funny fall guy. The one who loves me even though I don't know why, and who takes care of me and our boys with no (okay, minimal) griping.

Here's to the guy who does our laundry, cooks our meals, cleans our dishes, and takes out our garbage. The one who cuts the grass. Who lets me sleep late whenever I want.

Here's to the comedian who always keeps us laughing. Who picks us all up when we're feeling down. Who makes us feel happy, and worthy, and loved.

Happy Father's Day honey!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Remember that writing class I was taking? Well, I'm not taking it after all. On Monday evening I stayed late at work, made my way to Bethesda, paid for parking, and sashayed into The Writers Center, only to be told that my class had been cancelled due to low registration. And they forgot to call me. Sorry.

I'm not sure which is worse... the fact that this is the second class I've tried to take from them, and the second that they've cancelled, or that I had to drive to Maryland to find out! I'm a Virginia girl, after all. I only go to the M state when absolutely necessary...

Clay's First Solo

Clay performed his first solo on Sunday! His repertoire was the illustrious Twinkle rhythm "Stop Pony", Bread movement.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Ack! Has it really been 11 days since my last post? I'm a slacker. Sorry kids!

Here's a few snippets of posts yet to come: Drew's crawling, Clay had his first violin solo, my in-laws are visiting, laundry's backed up, and Clay started summer camp today.

And now, I'm off to enjoy my birthday gift to myself: a writing class!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Check out Mike's Blog!

He's a funny guy... you won't be disappointed!

Magnus Patris

Jay Jay Gets Washed Up

Our bedtime ritual hasn't included reading in a long time, save for the usual evening recital of 'Goodnight Moon'. But, Clay hasn't heard it in a while. Drew gets it every night, though. It's part of our 'here's your routine, now GO TO SLEEP' for the baby.

Tonight, Clay wanted to me to read to him, and then he grabbed a little water book for bed. It's called 'Jay Jay Washes Up', and it's based on the PBS series 'Jay Jay the Jet Plane', which I HATE. Jay Jay and Brenda Blue are so saccharinely sweet it's nauseating. Whenever possible, I try to steer Clay towards something cooler, like 'Jakers' or 'Thomas' or anything else. But tonight, I agreed to read Jay Jay because, primarily, it was short. And I know that sounds bad... I should want to read to my children as much as possible. And truly, I do. Reading is extremely important to me, and I want it to be important to them too. But tonight, I also wanted the kids in bed so I could have a quiet evening. So I sacrificed literature for short twaddle.

The book has Jay Jay getting washed down, his face, under his wings, and then the final page has him taking a flight once around the field, and then back to the hangar for bed. Clay wants it read TWICE. Which is fine with me, because did I mention it's short? After the encore presentation, Clay asks what a hangar is. "It's a house for the plane. People live in a house, but airplanes like Jay Jay live in a hangar." Clay asks if it's a big building, and I tell him usually, but it really depends on the size of the airplane. He asks if helicopters also live in a hangar. And when I say they do, he wants to know if the helicopters and airplanes live in the same hangar. That's when the old standby of 'Sometimes' came into play. Love the 'Somtimes' response. Very handy indeed!

"What spells hangar"?, he asks. "H-A-N-G-A-R." I consider telling him that a clothes hanger is spelled differently, but decide it's too advanced a concept for him. That's when he asks me:

"What spells hanger for clothes?" And after chuckling and spelling the word (emphasizing E), I chide myself for doubting his capabilities. Thanks, Jay Jay!

Oh how he goes!

Drew's been making tremendous strides in locomotion lately. He's quite determined to be in the middle of the action. And to be fair, he might have made this progress sooner if we'd been a bit more vigilant about tummy time. But he's just too darn cute to not hold, ya know?

Right now, he SO wants to crawl. We'll put him on the floor next to a little bin of toys, and he'll pull a few out, playing and gumming them for a bit. But soon, he'll spy an interesting object under the rocking chair (yes, I know this is a hazard, and yes, we're going to move the rocker... and yes the house is cluttered, so there are many objects to be discovered. But, I prefer to think of it as a smaller scaled obstacle course, thank you very much!)

So, back to the newly discovered shiny something under the rocker... Drew's intent to have it. But how to get it? To his credit, he doesn't holler to one of us to bring it to him. He wants it under his own power. So he flops on his belly. Now what?

First, he'd push off with this hands. And yes! He's somewhere he wasn't... but the problem is the somewhere is further away from what he wants. He's spent a few weeks doing this, and he's gotten good at it. I'll look up and find him across the room, under a chair. Strangely, he hasn't discovered that if he just spins around, he can get himself wherever he wants, but just backward.

For the past week, he's been experimenting with sticking his butt in the air. This is better, but now he's like an inverted 'V' with his butt as the peak of a little mountain whose base is formed by chubby baby toes and hands. It's a precarious position, and even my 8 month old knows this. Back to the belly...

Next, he discovered that if he goes on his 'knees'.... ah ha! He can rock back and forth. But rocking will only propel him a few inches closer to his toy, and then he rocks back. What sort of cruel existence is this??

Lately he's discovered that if he sits Indian style (or Native American style, for you politically correct types, or Aboriginal American style if you're my husband since he insists that anyone born in this country, IS a native American), he can 'hop' his way across the room. Case in point: yesterday at dinner-making time. Mike, Clay and I were in the kitchen, and Drew was in the family room. Next thing we know, Drew has hopped his way over to the kitchen-family room threshhold. Bless him, he wants to be with us!

Guess I'd better start cleaning the floors...