Monday, March 30, 2009


FYI... is having a 50% off Friday sale through the spring.  Each Friday, they'll pick a skirt, and rather than selling it for $49.50, you'll get it for (you guessed it) $24!

If you've never seen their little running skirts, you have to go  by and check them out.  I'm excited enough about the sale to blog about it!  They are so flippin cute and they're practical (pockets for gu, keys, cell phone).  Now I have a special little place for my Uncle Sam refund...well, my little tiny chunk of our Uncle Sam refund.  

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sometimes I wonder if I am not a child raising a child.   I have these wonderful ideas of what may be fun for Layla and they almost always end up a total and complete mess.   One time I thought if would be just fine for her to help me mix pancake batter....but she's two and has no concept of gravity and the mess that pancake batter can leave if hurled onto the floor.  So she started stirring rather aggressively (and said, "See, just like mommy"--I had no idea I stirred with such enthusiasm) and the bowl ended up face down on the floor.  I will not repeat this fun little craft...ever...until she's got at least another year under her belt.  We did get a good laugh out of the mess it left.

Then there was that one time I thought it would be a great idea for us to go play pretend with her shovels and rakes in the yard after it rained like crazy.  I thought she'd enjoy pretending to cook (which is her favorite pretend game)--and I was right.  She had a blast digging through red mud...sitting in red mud...asking to bring her red mud cake in the house.  I, however, did not have a blast cleaning the mud off her clothes and shoes and fingers.  She had dirt under her fingernails for at least three days (sorry mom).  This one, however, we'll do again--wear old clothes--and we'll both have a blast in the mud.

Finally, last night I encouraged Layla --okay some moms may call it bribing, but it wasn't...there was no "if you do this, then you'll get _____"---shhhhh, I've done that before too and felt pretty rotten, but not this time.  I digress.

She was pretty adamant about staying in her room and playing with her Aunt Chi (Lauren).  I kind of thought that Chi would rather be downstairs with everyone than up in Layla's room.  We had already been up there  reading books for an hour.  So I told Layla to come downstairs with me and I'd fill her play sink up with soap and water and she could cook and wash dishes like mommy.
RED FLAG...FILLING up a PLAY sink (not intended for water) with soap and water?  Needless to say, she dumped two cup fulls of water on her shirt and pants and all over the floor.  So, I stripped her of everything but her diaper and her cowboy boots.  It was flipping hilarious.  Then she requested her apron.  She was so adorable and she was happily occupied for at least 45 minutes--wanted to play all by herself, occupied (which is a blessing while I'm cooking dinner)!    AND, the floor by her little kitchen set has never been so clean.  We are now out of paper towels, but the floor is so sparkly.  I think we'll have to do this again...she had so much fun (and I got the floor cleaned AND dinner cooked).  Hum, perhaps it wasn't such a bad idea?

Dad and I added another long run to the books yesterday morning.  We had so much fun--despite the consistent rain.  The weather was nice and we ran a route that we haven't done since before the marathon.  I finally felt really strong yesterday--I spent the three days prior to yesterday running with stomach cramps and this desire to head to the side of the road to throw up.  Must have been that stomach virus going around.  But yesterday, I was all better and it felt great.  

I love this time of year...the smell of spring in the air...getting up kind of early to run.  There are some mornings while we run that I swear if I close my eyes I can see my grandparents old house...set up for a yard grandmother outside smoking and my grandfather LOUDLY sipping his coffee outside.  That's probably my favorite thing about the seasons changing...they always bring back distinct memories.  I love that being outside running...with no other distractions...lets me enjoy those little memories.  It allows me to think about them for longer than a second or two--because I really have nothing else to do for 15 miles.  I like to share them with dad and laugh.  Its a nice change from the political ranting that we also do while running.  I did notice that our mile splits were a lot faster when we were talking politics.  Didn't have a heart rate monitor on...that would have been interesting.

I'll have a picture of dad and I running soon...really soon.  

Monday, March 23, 2009

Daddy Needs a Wipe part 2

Okay so after this weekend, daddy REALLY needs a wipe..probably just the whole stinking box!

This weekend, Neil was off to Savannah with some much anticipated time with his guy friends.  I have dubbed this weekend, "Man Weekend" because I wouldn't want to be around for anything they were doing--which says a lot because I'm not really a girly girl.  They camped out, made campfires, shot their guns, smoked cigars and rode 4 wheelers through the swamps.  They also did NOT shower or shave all weekend.  At least Neil said that he wasn't the only one who came home four shades darker due to the caked up mud on his face.  Seriously, I thought he had a really great tan when he walked in the door...then after his hour long shower...he was back to his normal Spring shade.  I couldn't stop laughing.  And it was nice that when he touched my hand while we were watching TV last night, he felt like he had sandpaper gloves on.  

I think this weekend for Neil was nice on so many different levels.  It believe we live in a world where our men are feeling more and more emasculated--where women are assuming the hunter gather role while our men are getting waxed and manicured.    I won't go any further on this one (I felt myself wanting to get into hyphenated last names and the like) guys know how I feel about the feminist movement.   This weekend, Neil and the guys were able to just enjoy being men (and I kind of enjoyed seeing a "man" walk through my door last night).

So while Neil was off in Savannah, Layla and I held the fort down (sort of) at home.  I enjoyed my alone time with her.  I know I stay at home with her, but its different when Neil is out of town and its girl time.  I don't really worry as much about keeping the house cleaned during the day because no one sees it but me....dinner is more simple because its just the two of us...and we spent a lot of time giggling and snuggling in the morning and at night...just the two of us.  On Saturday morning, Layla spent some quality time with my grandmother while dad and I did a long run.  And we stayed over at my parents on Saturday night so Layla spent some time with my crazy ya yas (aunts) who were over for dinner.  Layla was so sweet this weekend (despite her cold that kept her up on Sunday morning from 2am-4am) and SO happy to see her daddy come home!  Its so much fun to see her get THAT excited about seeing her daddy and wanting to get her little arms around him as quickly as possible.  

I'm thinking of getting a women's day together...not a whole weekend, maybe just a morning and afternoon--my diminishing marginal utility would kick in quickly when I started to miss Neil and Layla after a few hours :-)  So, what to do?  What is so insanely female that the boys would not even want to be around for a minute...hum...pedicures and a romantic comedy anyone?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Daddy needs a wipe

So last night, Neil was away at his normal "cigar night" with the boys.  His good friend Matt owns a cigar shop in Thomasville and sponsors a cigar night every Tuesday.  I know Neil must look forward to that time to be with the boys (as much as I kind of look forward to catching up on some laundry on those nights--seriously, I kind of get a little excited about it).  

ANYWAY as I was upstairs playing with Layla last night, she began to ask where  her daddy was and if he would be home soon.  I told her he was with Matt smoking cigars and he'd be home when she woke up in the morning.  She kind of got this perplexed look on her face....walked over to her baby wipes...opened the box...pulled out two wipes (she does everything in "twos") and came back over to the table where we were sitting.  She looked at me and said, "ewww....dats yucky mommy...daddy need some wipes?"  Apparently she is not quiet a fan yet of cigar smoke.  HA!  I am excited to see what's in store for Neil first thing this morning...that girl doesn't stop!

Okay, so I'm right on track for doing the half marathon in May.  I'm trying to finish it in around 1:38 minutes.  The training is somewhat challenging, but its fun.  I like a good challenge...I enjoy the feeling of sore legs when I wake up in the morning.  So we'll see.  Dad is getting back to his old running self again as well--which is so nice.  He had a few weeks of cramping muscles after taking that medicine for pneumonia.  

We had a great weekend at the beach.  My mom, dad, aunt, uncle, cousins and nephew, Bradyn, all  left for the beach on Thursday.  Dad and I were going down to work...we had a wedding on Saturday in Charleston...but the rest of the family was there to play.  Layla had so much fun.  I am always reminded at times like these how important it is to spend time with kids.  She's said for days now how much she LOVES Tyler and Madison and Donna and Bobby.  You'd think there were no other people on Earth but them.  

So, check out the Black Daffodil blog when you get the chance, I'll be doing a write up on how filming went on that blog. Lets just say, I had an absolute blast...that Super 8 camera is an amazing piece of work that I am developing a real connection with!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Repeat as desired

Yesterday was amazing.  Normally on Saturday mornings, I get up extra early to squeeze in a long run before the day starts getting away from me.  I really try to schedule every run while Layla is sleeping to avoid my hobby (running) from interfering with my job (mommy-ing).  Yeah, sometimes I get the two switched around for a hot minute...but the laundry, kitchen sink and a sweet little voice quickly remind me :-)

ANYWAY, because I'm doing my long run this afternoon, I was able to spend a fun morning with Layla.  I'm sure most of you stay-at-home moms would agree that it feels so rare that we get to do the really FUN things.  So, I promised myself yesterday was going to be a special Layla and mommy day (Neil was going to pick up our new KING size pillow top bed from his parents..THANK YOU--sleep never felt so good--now I know why some people really enjoy doing it).  

We started our morning by playing with her big girl undies.  Layla wanted to pretend they were groceries and she was cooking dinner.  So I pretended to eat big girl undies for a solid hour.  I was fortunate to have the chef right there to remind me that I needed to use my fork and not my hands.  Silly me!  We then decided to take the dinner party to Neil and climbed back in the big bed.  We snuggled and talked--and fed daddy big girl undies before making our way to the coffee shop.  Layla LOVES muffins.  I think she likes that she can eat them without having to use her fork and spoon.  So, we went to the Riverwood Coffee Shop for juice and a muffin.  If any of you live in the HAVE to give that place a try.  Layla and I sat outside next to the little goldfish pond under an umbrella.  It was so cozy and the gardens were beautiful. to the "new park".  We spent the rest of our morning at Finch Park with my dad, brother, sister-in-law and nephew Bradyn.  Layla  had a blast watching all the other kids and learning new climbing skills.  And I managed to refrain from hovering!  YAY mommy.  I tend to hover.  I have an insane fear of her falling or busting her mouth open...I hover...I am a hover-er.  But not yesterday--and she did great.  And I loved seeing that sense of accomplishment when she climbed the potentially hazardous bars :-) up to the slide.  

So here is a picture of a successful Layla...compliments of Dad :-)

And yes...we fed the ducks--well geese (YIKES), I didn't really see any ducks.  Layla was a hit with those geese too because she just launched the hamburger buns..didn't even tear them into pieces.  They loved her!  

FINALLY, we had my brother's birthday last night at my grandmother's house.  The smell of spring in the air mixed with her cigarette smoke, the feeling of cold grass on my feet (yeah, my grandmother yelled at me for taking my shoes off so early in the season) and the sound of familiar voices made me feel like a kid again.  It was one of those times where you just want to sit back and breathe it all in (not the smoke....) knowing that one day you'll look back and realize how quickly time passed.  I feel so blessed to have a family that I know so have each person's movements etched in my have relationships with each that are so different and so tangible.

Yesterday was perfect.  If it were a bottle of conditioner it would say, "repeat as desired"

Friday, March 6, 2009

oops I did it again...

So Layla had her two year check up yesterday with her doc.  She was so funny.  She was so excited to see "Doctor Griffim" and to find out what her heart had to say :-)  It was a great appointment until the nurse came back with the finger pricking thing, two tubes to fill up with blood AND a Hep A vaccine.  YIKES.  Neil was amazing with Layla.  I held her on my lap and he made the whole thing a game.  Layla never felt tense or scared.  She said "that hurt Layla" and cried a little, but it was nothing that two kisses on her ouchies AND a pink camo bandage couldn't take away.  It was great having my partner there...we make a pretty great team, even if it is just holding and entertaining a little one.  Which, come to think of it has been our biggest job for the past two years, so I probably shouldn't minimize it, huh?

Okay so here is a little picture of her playing "dress up"--somewhat scary to see her in pink heels.  I remember promising my dad at a very young age that I would never wear heels or make up and that I'd be his little girl forever (sorry dad--I love my heels).  I felt myself wanting Layla to agree to that for me already and she's only TWO.

What in the world was I thinking.  I was having a great morning yesterday--productive, calm, energetic.  THEN out of nowhere (and I fault Facebook, not myself :D), I found myself in the pit of a political debate and I could not dig myself out fast enough.  I don't know why when it comes to politics, I instantly turn into a little pit bull.  

Really, I was just sort of NOT minding my own business and looking at a friend's Facebook blog when I noticed some female--who will remain anonymous-made a comment about how this country needed less people like Rush Limbaugh who admittedly wanted this "country to fail".  EXCUSE ME...I couldn't let a misguided comment like that just go down in Facebook history as the truth.  It was up to me to set this seemingly ignorant person straight, right.  I think my dad warned me of trying to argue politics with the other side of the ideological spectrum.  OOPS!

Anyway, as we started inching toward arguing the tenants of socialism, I replied that Facebook probably wasn't an appropriate venue to flex our academic muscles (although I do feel mine were in far better shape)..HA!

So I went out for a run yesterday afternoon after all of this went down, and could only get 4 miles in because I was so stinking upset.  You know, when you leave a discussion and you say to yourself, "I should have said ______" and then you start rehearsing in your head for the next time something happens.  GUILTY.

But its over...and I promise more political banter on Facebook for me.  I have to learn when to keep my mouth shut and just suck it up.  Isn't that what most of my conservative contemporaries do anyway?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Elmo P

Layla's new phrase, "ooooo....I love this...this is MY favorite".  She says it about cereal, juice, milk, milk cups, the colors pink, red and yellow--really just about anything that she likes at the moment.  Last week when I was getting her ready for bed, she grabbed my face...looked at me and said, "I love favorite mommy".  Yeah, my heart turned into a great big pile of mush.  I reminded myself of this moment several times this week when we were battling over diapers and getting dressed.  I have a feeling that I'm going to look back at this stage of her life and find it very strange.

So...I guess thanks to Rachel's little ABC video....and mommy singing ABCs as a night night song (until Layla looked at me and said, "no mommy, not like this song") Layla is now singing her ABCs like crazy.  The first time she said them all together, I squealed with excitement.  And who knew that it was actually "Elmo, P" instead of "L, M, N, O, P"  HA!  The funny thing is that she is starting to really recognize the letters and know that "L" is for Layla, "M" is for mommy, "B" is for Bradyn and of course, "C" is for Chi--which translates into a request for doughnuts.  

Anyway so here's a video (forgive me..its on my camera and not an actually video the quality is not so great) of her ABCs.  

ABCs from dillon james on Vimeo.

Finally...despite the forecast for ice and and I have plans to lace up our shoes this afternoon.  NUTS O!  At least there is one other person on this Earth as crazy as me :-)