Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gone Blonde.

Did that get you attention? Well, this once brunette has officially taken a plunge into the "dark" side... hmmm, or should I say the light side? hee hee hee. On Saturday morning I had gone out to go to Women's Group but the place we meet at was closed... so I headed over to a hair salon to get my haircut. In the process of cutting my hair the hairdresser looks at me and says, "you really should get some highlights sometime.." I thought, "heck, why not now..." So I have some seriously blonde highlights. I don't have a picture yet.. but have asked Mike to take some photos soon... so that you'll be able to recognize me. I don't think some people at church recognized me. It's fun... the haircut is funky and my hair's a bit wild but I am enjoying it. I needed something a little more happy and boy I got it! I feel like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly... look out world... I'm changing and it's good.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Zooey Days.

Definition of Zooey: 1.) Reference to the title Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger 2.) Days spent enjoying the animals at the zoo and bonding with family and friends.

I'm referring to my definition 2. I love going to the zoo. There is something about seeing the animals and discovering new creatures that I just love.

The Philadelphia Zoo boasts on it's website ( the following:

It has some of the most popular African species: warthogs, sable antelope, Mhorr's gazelle, reticulated giraffes, hippos and zebras; exotic South American animals, such as giant anteaters, capybaras (the largest rodents in the world) and giant bearded pigs.

More than 1,500 rare and exotic animals from around the world; 42 acres of picturesque Victorian gardens and historical architecture.

Recently we decided to go on a day that was cold so that there would be fewer people. We enjoyed the reptiles and amphibians and all the different monkey/primates. We loved the tigers and leopards. It was cool to see the large turtles and the crocodiles and alligators... as well as my favorite, the lemurs.

The kids had a great time and we're planning to go again this Friday. We purchased a family's an amazing deal. If we go twice to the zoo we've more than payed for our membershp.

Libby was completely struck by the peacocks. I don't think she knew what to think them. It's been over a week or two since we've been to the zoo. Yesterday morning she said to me (first thing she said) "Lions. Monkeys. Peacocks. Tigers." I said, "Oh Libby, are you thinking about the zoo?" She smiled and said, "to the zoo... lions, peacocks... and DINOSAURS."... I've never heard her say dinosaurs before and I have no idea where that came from. I'll be honest with you, we don't have any dinosaurs at our zoo.

By the way, our flamingoes our orange. The reason most flamingoes are pink is because of some type of shrimp they eat. Well, our zoo thinks it's a bit expensive so they give them sweet potatoes... voila, orange flamingoes!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Starbucks... my personal Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Holly GoLightly... she and I have one thing in common. We both have a place on the earth that we feel as if nothing bad can happen to us. Starbucks is my personal breakfast at Tiffany's. When life is hard. When the day is great. When it's sunshine, when it's storming, when it's snowing, sleeting, and flooding. When there's drought. When there's no hope. When the world is spilling over with joy and anticipation. There's Starbucks. I've been to Starbucks in London, Sydney, Beijing, Paris, Georgia, Louisville, California, William & Mary, Philadelphia, New York City. I've probably cried in a Starbucks more than any other location on earth.

When my sister died I went there to grieve. I would journal, cry, and drink coffee. I met friends and with tears streaming down my face receive hugs. I worked on my book on grief there. I worked at Starbucks from September 2001- My first day was on 9/11 and worked until March 2005. I transferred to Williamsburg and worked there while attending William and Mary. I worked my whole pregnancy with Libby at Starbucks. The insurance covered my pregnancy and delivery. When Libby was 5 days old my first outing was to Starbucks.... wait I think I might have stopped on the way home from the hospital...

So what is it about Starbucks? It's the smell of the coffee... the smell of the familiar. It's the million options I know how to make. It's the chatting it up with the person behind the counter. It's meeting a friend. It's taking my children and laughing and reading them books while sipping on an iced tea, a white chocolate mocha, or chai. And isn't their product line adorable. Okay, so I'm hooked. I love the way they care for those who grow the coffe beans. They build schools and medical centers for their farmers. They care about the environment. They do fair trade, organic, and have a heart for children and hurting people. I've heard all the ways people have mocked Starbucks, they call it "Four Bucks" or mock the ridiculous prices, but to me it's like coming home. I know it's a treat... and I look forward to when I can sit down, read a good book, and sip something sumptuous.

Today was a bit crazy. We're down to one car at the moment so I took Mike to school this morning. I made oatmeal for Mike, Libby adn I ( I have to cook it on the stove) and a French press (coffee) for Mike. We took it to go, the oatmeal and the coffee. It was kind of nuts packing, dressing the kids, feeding Samuel and giving him his breathing treatment... and then jumping in the car. Mike and I ate our oatmeal in the car and I told Libby she would eat hers at Starbucks after we dropped papa off. So we dropped Mike off and headed to my personal oasis.

We sat down on a plush leather couch. I pulled out her oatmeal and tried to feed it to her. she proceeds to throw up. Did I mention she had 2 cups of milk at home before we left? So she's throwing up everywhere and me in my silliness proceed to cup my hand and catch the throw up in my hand. Here's the problem. The three of us (Libby, Samuel, and I) are sitting on the couch... how am I supposed to clean up and make sure Samuel doesn't fall off the couch... so I scoop him with my right hand.. my left hand is full of an attempted oatmeal breakfast. I go and grab napkins and clean up the couch, the floor and strip Libby of her sweater. It was so comical. I was laughing the whole time. This guy was watching us with an amused expression and I'm thinking to myself, "It feels good to be a mom. I wouldn't trade this for the world."

Samuel read his 8 silly monkeys book. LIbby is chatting with me seriously, leaning forward with a pensive expression on her spritely face and saying like a 20 year old, "So mama....!" I'm composing our shopping list and planning out the rest of the errands.

All of a sudden this amazing Latin music comes on. Libby gets so excited and starts dancing... and so I scoop up Samuel and join her. She's doing some type of rendition of "Happy Feet" (the movie) and Samuel and I start cha-cha-ing. It was pretty funny. I'm sure people thought we were total loons... I didn't give a rip. I was free. Here were my children and I dancing our hearts out in the middle of Starbucks... and it made me think, "Wow. What will be doing in Heaven. Totally loose and free to dance and worship." It was so freeing to not care about what others thought of me.

Libby has a couple of favorite places... but her ultimate is Starbucks... next is church and then Target. She asks me almost daily if we're going to church but whenever we're in the car she arches her brows and looks at me "Aarbucks?" I look back at her and smile...mmm.... "Maybe."

It makes me wonder, does she get it from her mama?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mice, Miracles, Mac N Cheese, and Mini Skirts

Okay, people where to start.

MIRACLES. As most of you know I spent Easter in the ER with Samuel. Samuel was sick throwing up Saturday night and became dehydrated He was coughing horribly and starting showing signs of breathing distress... retracting deeply, and with all the vomiting and no wet diapers I knew it wasn't something I could put off till Monday. Mike stayed home to care for Libby. I thought I could simply take Samuel to the closest hospital. Apparently though I took him to a hospital that doesn't have a Peds (Pediatric) Unit. Bummer. So we took our first ambulance ride over to CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia).... the place is amazing. It's huge, clean, friendly and I really appreciated the care we got. Some friends came over and took care of Libby so that Mike could join me. We waited together in a private ER room. We weren't put into our room until after 12:30 a.m. and the doctors/nurses weren't finished until 2:30 a.m. We were exhausted. Mike had to wake up early and get back home to continue caring for Libby. There's a lot more that could be said but basically Samuel was officially diagnosed with asthma. I took an asthma class so that I could learn better how to care for him. Everyone in the class was surpised at how young Samuel was and already having such breathing problems. The thing with Samuel is once he catches a little virus, cold, etc. it manifests itself quickly and he has an asthmatic flare. Asthma is pretty treatable but it can be a very serious thing. I had a cousin who died at 14 because of an asthma attack so I know that we can't take this thing lightly. Also Samuel's condition tends to be a bit more serious than most. One of the good things is that as he gets older he will get bigger and stronger so the severity of the situation will lessen. Samuel was released on Wednesday night. I went home and got rid of ALL the stuffed animals. It was pretty sad. I loved all the fun animals the kids had but they tend to collect dust that triggers asthma attacks. Samuel had a follow up appointment today. Mike totally blessed me and took Samuel to the doctor's for me. The doctors said that his lungs sounded clear and upped one of his medications. He also got his 12 month shots today. Samuel seems to be feeling better and acting pretty happy. We are so thankful that the hospital visit wasn't too long and that God is providing us with the help we need to treat and care for Samuel.

MICE. One of the mice were killed by the trap... and I found him. We had been putting peanut butter on the trap (that's what my parents always did) but for some reason these mice were able to eat the p.b. without triggering the trap. Well, I opened the pantry door and there he was lying dead and pathetic... and I yelled, "yuck, yuck, yuck," and ran all the way upstairs and jumped on the bed and made Mike deal with the mouse. My hero... he took care of the mouse. Don't ask me why but these mice are freaking me out. This kind of stuff didn't use to bother me but now it does... death, death to the critters in my pantry. I hoped I don't find anymore... I'm afraid to open the pantry to just get items out for dinner... I usually wait till I know Mike is home before I open the door. Isn't that sad?

Mac N Cheese. Libby is actually eating beyond her staple foods, which consisted of: Lucky Charms, oatmeal, yogurt, and applesauce, oh yeah and fruit bars. She recently started eating macaroni and cheese! she also has been eating more bananas, taking bites of apple... and yesterday she asked for string cheese and ate some... So wow, that's a serious miracle in my book. This girl did not like textured food... and now, she's willing to try other foods... Praise God!

Mini Skirts... I'm sure that part of the heading got your attention. Libby has decided to start dressing herself... as of today. I was giving the kids a bath and before I got her undressed I noticed she had gone to her room and slipped on a skirt over her pants. She's also proceeded to wear my boots today. Now the funny thing is that the skirt is from LAST year so it's a bit short and snug for her. She is bound and determined now. after her nap today she was insistent about wearing a dress she found in her closet... I had to keep explaining it was too cold to wear the dress she wanted to wear. So, she put the skirt back on and is um, still wearing it! Why didn't I take advantage of the time when I dressed her?! Where did Miss Independent come from? She doesn't want help... she wants to do it HERSELF! Aaaghhh.... 2 and a half and trying to rule her world.

You guys should see her dance though. She's a riot. She jumps and leaps in place and twirls around. It's pretty funny. Everytime she hears a song she starts dancing.

Well, it's been raining and pouring lately. I'm feeling a bit of cabin fever... and can't wait for some sunshine to come our way so that we can go on long walks. Mike just bought me a double jogging stroller and it works great! I can't wait to put it to use!

Saturday, April 07, 2007


by Rose Fyleman

I think mice
are rather nice.

Their tails are long,
Their faces small,
They haven't any
Chins at all.
Their ears are pink,
Their teeth are white.
They run around
The house at night.
They nibble things
They shouldn't touch
And no one seems
To like them much.

But I think mice
are nice.

This was probably one my absolute favorite poems as a child. So why did I scream when I saw a mouse darting around my living room floor last night. Not once, not twice, but three times the brave little vermin has showed his head... or is it they have shown their heads... I have no idea how many of them there are. so we have set up traps for the past week or two and have caught zero mice. Someone suggested borrowing a cat and that will keep them at bay. I don't know why it's so unnerving. I remembered as a teenager opening my parents silverware door and a little mouse rushed out of the drawer, leapt onto me and slid all the way down... I think that's what did it for me. They are kind of cute when they stop and look at you but I don't really enjoy sharing my kitchen with any type of rodents.

I read Libby "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" all the time but I never thought about one or several trying to move in on our territory. Thankfully my brave, strong husband is wonderful about dealing with pest problems. Yeah, Mike! You are my hero!