Saturday, June 30, 2007

You Can't Please All the People All the Time*

*Unless it involves chocolate, then I'm happy and who cares about everybody else?

I was driving home today behind an evangelical van with these words on the back door:


I guess that's a reverse acronym (I looked it up for all of about 30 seconds but didn't find a word for it) but I thought it was a good one. I have had, or been in the vicinity of, several conversations lately about how vengeful "our/my" God is. In reality, this reverse anagram is the view of God I wish people understood. The loving, forgiving parent. Yes, you might be punished for your bad behavior, but it's only temporary, just like in real life. Eventually your punishment will be over and you will have learned a lesson, and God will still love you. Some of His punishments might be a bit painful, but who among us has not had a painful punishment from our parents or teachers during our lives? Did we learn a lesson from that punishment? Hopefully the answer is yes. Do you still respect the parent/teacher? Probably, sometimes even more so for teaching the painful lesson. So why not God? I hate it when parents shove this angry, vindictive image of God on their children. He knows we're not perfect, He made us this way. Should we strive to be perfect? Yes. Will we fail? Of course. He knows this and He still loves us anyway. Do I occasionally use that good old Catholic guilt? I admit, yes. Sometimes, if I can't tell if my kid is telling a lie, I might end the convesation with "God knows. I'm not sure if you're telling me the truth, but God knows." I'm not sure if that puts me in the School of Bad Parenting or not. I'd like to think not. Does that make me a hypocrite? I hope not. Telling your kids that God knows if they're lying is (I hope) not the same as telling your kids they're going to hell if they don't live their life the way you want them to.

Anyhoo, I thought the "reverse anagram" was good and wanted to share.

Bring me chocolate.

Friday, June 29, 2007

In the Summertime, when the weather is high...*

*I think that's Mungo Jerry?

Wow, it sure is hot outside! Part of my job is to drive from my office (I have to walk two blocks and cross over 6 lanes of traffic to get to my car) to a federal building in Elmwood. It's about 16 miles away. I've gone about 12 times this month, mostly around 3:00 pm. It's hot! According to my car, it's usually 93-97 degrees at that time. By the time I get there I'm totally sweating, even with the A/C on. Then, when I get back I still have to walk back to my office. I've got to find something else besides twinsets (i.e. sweaters) to wear to work!!

Another wierd work fact: I have heard of seersucker suits, but never actually seen one...until I started this job. There are seersucker suits everywhere. Is this just a New Orleans phenomenon, or is it the South in general? Does it stretch to other parts of the country? It's funny, someone walked past me this week in a seersucker suit and I started wondering if my boss owned one - I couldn't decide if he would or not. Guess what he wore to work the very next day? You got it - a seersucker suit! For the record he looked very nice in it.

Many thanks to Chiapop and Chiamom for my wonderful birthday gift -a hot pink computer keyboard and mouse, and pink speakers! I'm using the keyboard as we speak, it's a real hit at work! One coworker called them sassy - yeah, she's right! I kept the speakers at home, as I do not want any type of noise to emit from my work computer ever since mom sent me that freakin' "chicken in a nursing home" e-mail. You could hear chickens squawking up and down the hallway in my office!!! So I panicked and turned off the computer, waited a minute, then turned it back on - you guessed it - chickens again!!! I had to call her to tell me how to turn it off - I thought I was fired for sure!!!

A couple of things I really like about this new job: I get to talk/e-mail SIL(H) several times a day, end-of-the-month coctails (like today, for example), trips to the MMS (breaks the monotony of the day, even if it is HOT!!!), I love the view from my boss' office - you can see the West Bank and most of New Orleans from his windows. Breathtaking!

Family stuff: Molly said Mama! Actually, more like "mamamama" because she wanted to get out of her bed! She had an ear infection but just finished her antibiotics. That hasn't stopped her from crawling all over the place!!! As soon as you turn your head she is gone!! Today is Ian's last day of summer enrichment. I think he really enjoyed it and it will be much easier for him when he starts school and knows where everything is and knows the teachers and has a few friends. He has had to wear "dress shorts" and a polo-type shirt w/belt and he has been looking so handsome. I can't believe how much he's growing up! (sniff, sniff) BB has been at summer camp and she loved that. They have a huge pool so she now has a great tan! She'll probably be taking swimming lessons very soon.

Happy Anniversary this weekend to KenEllie! I can't believe it's been a whole year already!

Friday, June 22, 2007

First Word?

We're at Outback last night having dinner, and we are pretty sure Molly said her first word....Was it Mama? No. Was it Dada? No. It was Brother. I am not kidding - it sounded like "Bu-tha". She said it several times, so we got a good listen to the sound, and we're pretty sure that's what it is. I guess Ian's gotta be feeling pretty good right about now!

Add this to the BB insult file: We're watching TV, and a commercial for some eye "puff/cream" product comes on. "You need to get that mom, it will erase your wrinkles." So I ask her, "I have wrinkles?" "Oh yes, lots!"

Add this to the BB smarty-pants file: We're watching TV (a show that will remain nameless b/c I'm too embarassed to admit we were watching it), and Daddy Yankee is the featured guest singer. So he starts singing his song (English and Spanish) and BB says "He can sing in English and Spanish, that makes him bilingual." J and I just looked at her in amazement and said "That's right, BB. Good job!"

Oops! The Boss just walked in - more later!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

funnies... (*updated 6/20)

So I'm holding Molly, who is staring at the television, and J says, "Hey, Vidiot". She keeps staring at the TV, so he says it louder, "HEY, VIDIOT". We hear Ian from his bedroom, "What?" Hahahahaha!!! We really have them trained well.

H1 and SIL(H), there is an upside to your living in Mexico, I mean have been spared from the latest round of BB comments:
To H2 (on his birthday) "How come you're 28 years old and still live with your parents?" (His reply, "To take care of them" - good save!)
To me, about SIL(E) "I want to be just like SIL(E), except not short and not a doctor." (she wants to be a teacher) What do you say to that? I just said "Okay."

Molly has started antibiotics for an ear infection - I can see a difference after just 24 hours - yay!! J is on antibiotics for his tooth - I can see a difference after just 24 hours - yay - on the plus side, it's also helping his sinus infection!!

Nothing else going on - working like crazy but still enjoying my new job. J loved his class and is looking forward to next month, Ian likes enrichment, BB likes camp, and Molly still likes Ms. D. I guess all is well with the world, hope your world is good too.

*How can I say nothing else is going on? Molly is crawling!!! She's scooting all over - yesterday she crawled from the living room to Ian's room! Looks like it might be time for the "gate" to keep her out of the hallway...

Friday, June 15, 2007


JK Rowling is coming to New Orleans!!! According to her website she will be here on October 18 at the Convention Center to read to schoolchildren. Where do I sign up - I mean, where do I sign my children up? KenEllie, do you need to borrow a kid?


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Today I force you to listen to How Wonderful My Kids Are

Yes, yet again, validation that my kids are brilliant and wonderful. Ian got his class schedule for next year. He'll be taking Computers, Religion, PE, Honors English, Honors Science, and (drum roll please...) Honors Geometry. Now, what makes that so special is that 9th graders usually take Algebra. Ian took that in 8th grade, so we were hoping he'd be able to take Geometry. At the Open House back in November the math teacher said they don't usually do that unless the student took Algebra at BMHS. So, I was pleased to see he was assigned Geometry, then Ian pointed out it was HONORS Geometry!!! He'll be in with older kids (uh oh) and still taking an advanced class. I'm so proud of him!!!

In other news, SIL(H) needs to change the name of her car to "Jinxie". Hope you're feeling better soon. Maybe you and H2 can compare pain meds! I can get you the name of a good attorney (hahahahaha)!

This week J has been in BR at a class, so I've been taking BB to camp, Molly to Mama D, and Ian to Chiamom's house so she can take him to school. Because I've been in the right place at the right time, I've been enjoying going to work with the north half of KenEllie in the mornings. KenEllie's southern half has been picking Ian up from school in the afternoons and I hope she knows I am incredibly grateful. I think Ian is enjoying spending time alone (no siblings) with you both.

Many thanks to Chiapop and H1 for their travelin' stories. I have really enjoyed hearing about your experiences in other countries and I hope others have enjoyed them as well. Dad - you have seen and done so many things that I can only imagine. I'm glad you had a camera there for some of them (and maybe you're happy there was not a camera there for some of them?:) H1, a few of your stories end up with you chatting up/drinking with total strangers (some that don't even speak english). Why am I not surprised? That's one of the many things I love about you.

Oh yeah. There's this song out, "Hey there Delilah" by the Plain White T's and it's one of those songs that really sticks in your head. I love's kind of Simon/Garfunkle-ish and has a very basic tune. The words are sweet and romantic. This is one of those songs that if a kid can pick up a guitar and learn the melody (it sounds very easy/basic) and sing it to a girl, he'll be gettin' some for sure!!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

I'm an ungrateful bitch!

As you all know, Ian is going to Catholic high school next's pretty pricey...very pricey. Well, they have scholarships (apparently not academic, which makes no sense)but you have to fill out a really involved form. So, I did. They want all your financial history from birth through now. Babysat when you were 13? Include that. Grandma gave you $5 for a good report card in 2nd grade? Write it down. Tooth fairy money? Document it. (Okay, so I'm exaggerating a bit, but not much!)

So, I fill out these forms, which took quite a bit of time and research (value of home, cars, all credit card balances, I'm talking EVERYTHING). Yesterday we got the award letter - Ian has been awarded a $300 work/study grant. That's right, a whole $300 spread out over our year of payments = approx $20/month. So, J and I talked about it - do we really want Ian to have to empty trash cans or wear a hair net in front of his friends for $300? I just can't bring myself to do that to him. If it were a couple of thousand, sure, he'd just have to suck it up. But $300 is about half of one month's payment. Plus, how much work is he going to have to do for $300? I'm not turning him over to be a slave for that.

So now I have to think of how to politely decline this offer without offending the school or appearing ungrateful, when what I really want to say is "Are you kidding? Thanks but no thanks."

Friday, June 8, 2007

She's so cute!!!

I just have to mention how cute my baby is!!! Of course, they're ALL cute, but still...

She would not go to bed last night, so finally I put her in her crib to let her "cry it out" for a while, maybe tire herself out and then she'd go to bed. So, I lay her down and leave the room. Immediately she starts wailing, but I held my ground for a few minutes, then stuck my head around the doorway to check on her. There she was, on her knees with her little head over the railing, looking at the doorway. Well, I knew if she pulled herself up to a standing position she could possibly fall out of the crib, so I raised the bar to the top. I held her for a sec, then put her back down. Wailing again. I wait a few, poke my head around the door, and there she is, standing with her chin resting on the railing, crying. So cute! But, I went back out to the living room b/c she didn't see me. A few more minutes and I don't hear anyting...I go in to check on her. She is asleep (thankfully) on her knees, with her head and arms on top of the crib bumper pad. What a cutie!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I'm Calling You Out

Yes, Dad, I'm calling you out. I got to thinking about all the different countries you've visited in your life and that I'm not sure of all the places you've been. I am asking you to blog where you've been, and maybe an interesting story or two.

H1, if you're so inclined, ditto.

How do you give this a title?

Last night, I'm sitting in the living room feeding Molly. I overhear this exchange:

Bridget: "When I grow up, I'm going to become gay and marry my cousin." (I'm pretty sure she means Matt - DO NOT TEASE HER (or for that matter, Matt) ABOUT THIS)
Brian: "First of all, that means you'd have to marry a girl. Second of all, I think it's illegal."
Bridget: "Oh."

UPDATE: I spoke with her this morning and she was referring to Matt. She also asked me if it is really against the law to marry your cousin. Thank God she did not ask my why! Not ready to go there!!!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Be careful what you wish for...

So in my last post, I mentioned I was bored at work...famous last words! Just as I'm getting ready to go to lunch, one of my bosses tells me she has some work for me that needs to be done asap. So, I ended up working through lunch AND staying almost 2 hours late! Ah, truthfully, I was glad to be working and it was sort of interesting. Plus, it should make a nice little "extra" on my next paycheck!

I've got Uganda On My Mind

Seeing "The Last King of Scotland" recently made me start to think about Uganda again. Add that to the fact that I've been bored out of my mind at work (I'm in between tasks for the last few days) so I brought my disks of pics from our trip in 2005. Looking at those pictures brought back a lot of memories. I can't believe it's been almost two years since our trip. Some things I still vividly remember, some I was reminded of when I saw the pictures again. It was so beautiful!!! The people were overwhelmingly nice - occasionally I'd get a little nervous, but that only happened once or twice and I think it was me, not them that had the issues. I just keep thinking about how I'd really, really, REALLY like to go back. Ideally I'd bring J and the kids with me this time - I believe they would have a great time and I think spending time there would make the kids appreciate the lifestyle that they are living now and also get more of an understanding of how large and diverse our planet is. The sights, sounds, and tastes are so hard to convey in stories and photos. Everything there is so vivid - I would love for the kids to see and experience that. It would be cool to see what has changed and what has stayed the same, to see old friends, and to even make new ones. Last time I brought a bunch of Ian's clothes he had outgrown, I'd definitely do that again - last time I wished I'd brought more. I'd bring pump hand soap for Godfrey, movies for Daniel, and snacks for Cissy. I'd try more things (maybe even bugs?) and encourage the kids to play with the children there and to try new foods. I think J would love to try a different beer with each meal. I'd take the kids to see the water experiment at the equator and to visit the Uganda Martyr's Shrine. Hopefully Ian would meet a penpal.

I know, I would take a miracle to make all that happen (esp. J in a plane!!!), but wow, it would be cool. Really, really cool.