Sunday, January 30, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two Thoughts Tuesday: Two in a Row?

1) I've discovered a simple, little technological joy: the sleep iPod when timer ends feature on my iPhone. It's probably the second greatest thing on my things making me happy today list falling just after Harris Teeter finally getting Boar's Head deli meats--mmmm smoked ham.

Anyway, I've found that if I drown out my inner monologue with soothing music, it's easier to go to sleep instead of staying up half of the night pondering the various benefits of paper vs. plastic. So, in my nightly preparation to enter the realm of sleep,  I'll usually set the iPod to shuffle, the timer to 35 minutes and pop those earbuds into my ears and then proceed to spend the next five minutes fluffing my pillow a few hundred times. Then somewhere around 1 or 2AM, I'll stir just enough to take the earbuds back out and toss the phone onto the floor.

But being melodically escorted into dreamland isn't really what makes this such a happy little treat for me. No, what I like is to scroll through the playlist the next morning and try to pinpoint the exact moment my brain shut down. It goes something like this: Hmmm don't remember hearing that song, or that one, or that one, wait--um no not that one either, nope, nope, ooooh yes! I do remember that one! And the one I remember? Almost always the third song that played. I guess I could probably set my timer for 10 minutes instead. But that would make my morning game end quicker, and I really need it to last through the entire 2 minutes that I brush my teeth. I must be entertained at all times you see.  Plus, trying to connect any dreams I had with the songs that played while I slept is also good for a few minutes of distraction--very Inception like. Hello Leo.

2) The children have latched onto the idea of sleepovers like little stuffed animal squeezing leeches. In an effort to maintain some rules, boundaries and sanity, we've declared Friday nights to be the one special night of the week that these pajama parties can occur.  Once that day finally arrived, they were super, duper excited about it as you can see.

Once they were down, Mama headed out to her own little girls' night pajama party at Eva's--which by the way the Starbucks dude will think you're very strange when you show up wearing loungy clothes and requesting one of every item in the pastry case. Apparently, this does not happen often. Trying to explain that you're on your way to a slumber party does not seem to help matters either. But that's neither here nor there actually. The story is that when I came home Andy told me that about an hour after he left the two of them together, Chase stomped across his sister's room, threw open the door, let loose a loud ARRGGGHHH, shut the door, then stomped himself into his room, threw himself down onto his own bed and was fast asleep within 5 minutes. Apparently, Amaya does not really share her giant bed well. Or maybe she just never shut up--she is the night owl of the family.  And that makes Chase the late night Grumpster--he really is my boy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Morning Gym Lessons

1) TRX bands are the devil.

Also it's a good thing I'm going to the salon on you see those greys? Ridiculous.

2) I really favor my left side. I'm like a weeble...except sometimes when I wobble I do fall down. I just pop right back up and try to pretend like it never happened. Play along please.

3) Push ups are the suck. TRX push ups are the suckier. Also, head up soldier.

Wearing my sweat soaked, weighted combat gloves to do push ups was probably not the brightest idea I've ever had. Slippery dippery dock.

4) When Jeanne suggests we try something new & fun, I should probably stop smiling and just run.

If TRX bands are the devil then ropes are the devil's spawn. Twice as twisted for double the pain bringing. I was obviously never meant to drive a team of six white horses. At this point I question my ability to maintain control over a miniature pony.  Who knew a little braided fiber could cause so much pain? 

5) Sometimes, when you cry "Jeanne, I'm tired" she'll actually make the torture stop--but only if you look cute and pathetic enough while saying it. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tinker Tay

Amaya is a bit Disney princess/fairy obsessed these days. So it wasn't surprising that when she had the option of picking out one toy at Target yesterday, she quickly zeroed in on this plastic figure. She grabbed it in her grubby paws and hugged it to her chest with a mixture of joy, love and just a touch of territorial dominance. Hands off my toy people--don't make me scream now, it won't be pretty.

Aw Tinker Bell. Can't really say I'm a fan, but different strokes I guess. So there we were sitting at Red Lobster waiting for our biscuits to arrive when Amaya shoved the sprite in my face so that I could be sure to properly admire her pretty, pretty hair. My eyes looked at the doll's face, and then I shook my head and checked my diet coke for traces of rum because I was sure I was gazing upon a certain love challenged country crooner.

Kinda makes sense really--Tink had a thing for Peter Pan and well Ms. Swift seems unable to resist those bad boys who refuse to grow up, too. Maybe she needs a bit more pixie dust...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

APB: The Mellon Did Not Do It

I got new yoga clothes! I love getting new gym attire--it makes me want to practice more so that my technique can be as stunning as my wardrobe.

I still have a ways to go on that though--it's a process. Ohhhmmm.

Speaking of the gym, yesterday before combat this sweet lady told me that I reminded her of her son's 17 year old ex girlfriend--who she liked, I made sure to ask. I think that is an amazing compliment for a 32 year old mother of two to get, so I skipped through the rest of my day feeling pleased as punch. Well, I skipped as much as one can skip after pulling her hamstring while throwing an evasive side kick a little too enthusiastically.

I think I must have one of those generic faces because people always swear they've met me before or tell me that I remind them of their mother, aunt, niece, mail lady, dog, librarian.  Most of the time this works in my favor because the person will automatically associate any good feelings she has about this doppelganger with me, so I end up getting credit for someone else's awesomeness. Though sometimes the opposite is true such as the time in college when a girl told me that she didn't like me at first because I was the spitting image of the Heather Chandler of her high school. Luckily my natural charm eventually won her over--at least enough that she stopped shooting eye daggers at me from across the room. So, while there have been a couple of negatives to possessing these common facial features, overall, I'd say it's been an advantage. A plus column item. 

But then this morning, I got to thinking about how witnesses to a crime describe a suspect to the sketch artist so that he can draw a likeness for the cops to use to locate the perp. Doesn't it make sense that if I have these features that are so prevalent in the population that I'm more often mistaken for someone else than I am taken for myself, that one day there will be a sketch making the TV news circuit of someone who looks exactly like me? Freaky, right? So from now on, I'm going to be meticulous about documenting my whereabouts so that I can be sure to have an alibi ready to prove my innocence.  I am even considering getting one of those house arrest ankle monitor things. You just can't be too careful. The only thing holding me back there though is that I think it will unbalance my tree pose. And we can't be having that when my yoga pants are so darn cute, can we?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two Thoughts Tuesday: The Return Of

1) I got a new astringent yesterday. This is big news. Ok not really. The news is that the chemicals in my new astringent and my old moisturizer combined to create a smell that was not exactly what I would term pleasant. It was not so distasteful that I felt the need to rewash my face or anything, just odd--at least in the beginning. But, as the night wore on, I felt like the odor was compounding in nastiness and intensifying in strength to the point that I felt like I might suffocate from the stench. At that point, there was no benefit to be found from rewashing my face because the little stink molecules were comfortably lodged in my nostrils with no intention of moving despite my eviction notice. I don't think it is a huge coincidence then that I woke up with a piercing headache this morning. Needless to say, I will not be using that particular medley of beauty products again. And also, may the heavens bless the makers of Excedrin.

2) While scrounging around in one of my many book piles hunting for something to read, I dropped a metal bookmark on my toe. After saying a few inappropriate words, I picked up the offending hunk of silver and was met with one of my favorite--no matter how overused--quotes:
Where there is love there is life.
                                         --Mohatma Gandhi

And really how much simpler can it be? Love in all things, in all actions. The smallest act of kindness to show someone that she is loved and appreciated. A whispered word to warm a heart. And yet, it seems like we don't tell people that we love them enough. Almost as if we're afraid of the word and the obligations it brings to say it or have it said to us. I remember when I was teaching, I would tell my kids that I loved them. Then they'd all giggle and point, and I'd have to explain that there are all kinds of love in the world. There's that silly love like, "I love banana splits, Batman and unicorns." There's the love that you have for your family--including that very special, powerful love that a parent has for a child. There's also the romantic love that you see in the movies. But the love I'm talking about is a love for the person you are--for your intentions, and your heart, and your soul, that divine spark that flickers inside each of us. Namaste. I honor the light inside of you. I love you. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm Just One Mama

This is a line that I repeat to my children several times a day: "I'm just one Mama, guys. Please be patient" or sometimes it's "How many Mamas am I?" Egocentric as they are, kids have no understanding of why a need stated can't be met the second it has passed their lips. And so they continue to repeat their request with voices amplifying exponentially in whine. Which can at times be a bit much to take first thing in the morning I have to tell you. Especially when you're playing the role of single mother because your husband is busy sunning himself in nice, quiet Cali. But that's not really the point of this post.

The point is that I need to remember to remind myself that I am only one person. I can't be everything to everyone at all times. Being a perfect Mama is not a prerequisite for being a good one.  I need to get off of this mental hamster wheel of 'have tos' and 'should dos' and take time to just be. To enjoy each beautiful moment that life and these two little ones choose to throw at me.

Like say the complete, unbridled delight Chase felt upon finding that he'd been given the gift of an extra large chicken nugget in his happy meal. A double nugget. Wonders, they never cease.  

Or the quiet joy of sitting in an empty coffee shop with nothing to do but sip my latte and watch the snow fall.

Or how wet hair makes my children's eyes pop so much that I just want to reach in there and squeeze both of them until they too pop. Or until I end up soaked myself. Whichever comes first.

And within those moments, I want to remember to take the time to be silly with my children instead of constantly focusing on what's next on my to do list. To give them love and affection and the occasional bunny-eared photo op.

And also to work toward loosening my grip on having to maintain complete control by giving them the freedom to make their own choices however misguided I might think them to be.

See: Polka dot overload and monkey rain boots on a clear day.

And I do believe that if I remember to do all of those things, then it will make it easier for me to find within myself the patience necessary to deal with moments like this:

Gracefully, I mean.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Girls are Weird

I remember I went through a phase where my favorite font to use in scrapbooking was Girls are Weird. I just loved the curly-cuededness of it, but I never understood the name. Girls weird? How silly. But  understanding came full force once I had a little pint sized diva of my very own running around my house. Dude, girls are so weird.

So here for documenting purposes, I offer up a brief visual accounting of what it is like to live with a nearly 2 1/2 year old, female ball of energy.

First, no surface is safe from the invasion of little girl toys and little girl accessories. The big nosed, mustasched glasses are mine though--just so we're clear.  

Second, there are lots and lots of giggles and silliness. Drama some may call it.

Finally, there is never a dull moment. And by dull, I mean quiet. And by never, I mean never, ever ever.

But quiet is probably overrated anyway.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Wake Up Little Suzie

Yes, I know that it's supposed to be Susie, but my mom spells it Suzie so I took a little creative liberty there. Isn't the first time I've done so, and won't be the last either. Anyway, today is my Mama's birthday, and in the off chance that I forget to call her tonight like I did last year, I thought I'd devote an entire post just to her. And you know what that means, right? Vintage pictures!!! Two of my favorites actually.

Awwww. Just look at those little shoes! And whose face is that staring back at me--my mother or my daughter? I'm not sure. I'm a bit confused.

And this next one? Well it just makes me laugh. Every time I see it.

According to the back of it, this is my mother's second grade picture. But what I really want to know is who drew the chain link fence over her face, and why? Or is it a grid for target practice? Like I said, makes me giggle.

Happy Birthday Mama!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Got Nuffin

So there's this song by Spoon called Got Nuffin. And I love it. Apparently a lot since my iTunes tells me that it has 1485 plays. I'm not sure I believe that though. I mean it's nearly 4 minutes long, so that would be about 5,940 minutes or 99 hours. I just don't think there is any possible way that I've listened to 99 hours worth of Got Nuffin. So I think there must be something wrong with my iTunes. Which doesn't surprise me at all because technology and I are currently not on speaking terms. 

But anyway, the reason that is the title of my post is not to lament about how my iTunes messes with my head, but instead to point out that I really have Got Nuffin. I have not had much desire to write anything lately and it's all the fault of the December Daily. Kind of like how some people will train for months for a marathon, run it, finish it and then not lace up their sneakers for a month following. Burn out. It's probably healthy to take a bit of a break, right? Yea, try telling that to my Mama. I know if I don't put something up here soon she's going to be sending a lynch mob my way. (Hi mom! Love you!)

So what I'm going to do here is cheat. I'm going to do a quick recap of the past week throwing in a picture here and a tweet there so that it will look like I've actually concocted a lengthy and delightful tale when all I'm really doing is regurgitating. Your job is to play into the farce--pretend like it's an interesting read. Ok?

Alright then, let's start with January 1--the new year. A fresh start. The day that I decided that perhaps I should also resolve to not wear this shirt every day of my life.

It's going to be hard as it's the softest most comfortable thing I've ever had against my skin. But I will make the effort.

Also, on this day I was a little cranky because the fireworks next door disturbed my beauty sleep. I require at least 8 hours of sleep every night or I get cranky. Crankier than normal I mean. If you can imagine such a thing. There's only one cure for that--body combat baby. Yep, while all the rest of you were sleeping off your hangovers, I was practicing my katas and working on my evasive side kicks. And boy am I glad I spent that hour getting all sweaty because it meant I could eat all of the yummy food at Brian & Teresa's basement warming party without even the slightest touch of guilt. The kids had fun there too--see:

Grandpa should be especially thrilled by this picture here:

Chase and Joshua worked and worked with their tools on Pooh's house. So apparently carpentry prowess is genetically based though it appears to have skipped a generation in my particular case. As did the cooking skills.

 Speaking of cooking chops--on Sunday we had the most delicious brunch at Adriana's. Girl can cook. Which isn't fair because she's also one hot little mama with a high powered career and a beautiful family. But I'm not going to complain too loudly, because she's always feeding me and my urchins. Which got me thinking that with the proper planning and social scheduling I could probably work it so I never had to cook for my own offspring again. I'm already putting this new theory into practice by going to her house yet again tonight for a Three Kings Day dinner. I've never celebrated this holiday before and don't really know what to expect, but it only took the briefest mention of the word lasagna for me to say: "I'm so there."

Hmm what else? Well there was this: 

Princess Amaya says an upside down crown still counts, and I'm not about to argue with her. Are you?

And this: 
Chase: Mama my eighth brother will be 10 in 2011, but this isn't him.

And after watching several women in yoga grimace and pull away from me in disgust, I finally got around to taking care of this little personal hygiene chore:

The winter pedicure sandal answer is not such a big deal when it's 50° outside. The salon was empty, and I think my technician was a bit entranced by her soap opera because she rubbed my calves and feet for like 35 minutes. It was heavenly. The only problem was that my feet were so lotiony, that I kept sliding all around in my sandals. I felt like I was under the influence of some wacky drug. Which brings me to my final offering of the day that begins with this tweet:

I think I might be addicted to cough drops. Do they have interventions for this sort of thing?

Which led to this tweet later in the week:

My Halls Pep Talk in Every (cough) Drop says: It's yours for the taking. This mentality is what got me addicted to them in the first place.

And guess what I'm doing right now? Sucking on a cough drop. I am quite certain that I will be carted off against my will to a rehab facility soon. That should make Drew happy since he force fed me Nyquil yesterday because my incessant coughing so annoyed him. I'm still looking into whether or not that's a punishable violation of the In Sickness & Health section of our marital vows. I think at the very least, he should bring me home another bag of Halls. Cherry please.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Twenty Eleven

Ok people listen up. Y'all need to let go of this Two thousand, eleven stuff already. It's 20-11. I mean do you really want to be saying two thousand, twenty-two in 11 years? No. You don't. And our kids' kids' kids don't want to be saying two thousand, one hundred, eleven in a 100 years either. It is time to embrace the twenty people. It will hurt at first, and you'll occasionally slip back into your old ways, but I do believe that if you stick with it you'll find yourself happier on the other side.  Triumph over adversity. You'll thank me, really.

So anyway, business first. Here is the winning comment for the December Daily Starbucks Ornament:
Ndirishlover 1 month ago
I'm going with three. I feel it in my blood. Besides I already found a spot on my tree for the holy ornament.

DISQUS is being a punk right now by not letting me log in to check to see if you included an email with your comment. I'll check back later, but if you happen to come across this first, you can shoot me an email at Mellon(at)MellonBlogs(dot)com with your mailing addy, and I'll get your ornament sent out ASAP. 

Let's see what else? Oh yes. My resolutions for the new year.  You may recall that last year I chose the word "Open" as my word of the year--if you don't recall or never knew in the first place and are curious--you can read about it by clicking here. While I still have quite a ways to go on this one, I do believe that I've made enough progress that I can keep working on it while simultaneously tackling another goal for this year. So what will the new word be?


Yes, finish. You see, I have the kind of personality that bounces around from idea to idea like a pinball rattling around inside an 80s arcade game. I vibrate with so much excitement when I take on a new project that I have to completely immerse myself in it--obsessively devouring any and all information pertaining to whatever plan has taken root inside my head. For a time, this new interest is what sustains me, it's my only focus. I am driven.  This period can last anywhere from an hour to a month to a year. But then I get bored. Or distracted by something else. Or lazy. And I never finish any of these endeavors--at least not to the point that I'm happy with. So this year, I will finish something. Or hopefully a lot of somethings. Ok, that's lofty. How about a couple of somethings? As in:
  • My Spanish Rosetta Stone Program. I started out so well with this last year. I'd spend 30 minutes on it everyday and was really feeling my buried wannabe-part-Latina breaking free. But then the blizzards came. And with them, the children stuck in the house all day. And me stuck with them. So I couldn't find both the free 30 minutes and the necessary working brain cells to continue on. Once the habit was broken, I never found my way back. But this year, I will. I will complete the entire first set of lessons. I will FINISH.  And then I will beg/plead/demand that my husband buy me the next set.
  • My novel(s) Thanks to NaNoWriMo and a writing class I took last spring, I have 3 half-finished novels hanging around. Which is absurd. So, I will finish one of them. This year. Done. Finito. Please note though that I am not resolving to actually make it a good novel, just a completed one. Big difference. 
So there you have it. My 2011 word. And I think I'll go get started on it right away by finishing off that cupcake that is sitting in my fridge. I do believe that this year is going to go just swimmingly.