Thursday, August 30, 2007
Keith and I went for Parent Orientation a couple nights ago and got to tour his new room and meet with his new teacher. The brightly lit room was filled with items bearing my son's name. There were little semi-circle tables on which a big label bore his first and last name. There was a "clothesline" of T-shirts with one that read "Daniel." On another wall was a year's worth of cupcakes and there was his right next to a tree full of apples with a student's name written on each. Then I spotted my favorite... a little blue school supplies box complete with little scissors and little glue...and pencils...yummy yummy school supplies neatly labeled with his name.
The organization freak in me can hardly stand it.
This time of year is my favorite for many reasons. We're on the cusp of my favorite season--Fall. School buses abound and the temperature is dropping (albeit slowly). College football is on its way and pretty soon I'll be trading my shorts and short sleeves for my favorite pants and cozy sweaters. (OK, that probably won't be til March here...but you get my point!)
But this year is different. Our son is in SCHOOL. Real school. Five-day-a-week school. We have begun those 13 years of schooling that really count. He'll be learning to read and do math problems. It's sort of a contradiction in my heart because, since we got him at age two, it feels like we've had him forever. But, at the same time, it feels just like yesterday and I can't believe that next week he'll be sporting his new backpack and lunch box and heading out the door to (what he calls) Big Boy School.
Where did the summer go? I guess the time has indeed come... for little tables and little chairs...and little hands holding pencils and books and...yes, my heart.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
"Jello, and other gelatin desserts, use gelatin obtained primarily from cattle skins and bones. Gelatin can be made from almost any animal skin and bones, including pork and horses, if they were available, but there are very few horses slaughtered for food. The skins and bones are treated as food, even though the process highly purifies the gelatin. Different grades of gelatin are obtained, which are used in film, capsules for pharmaceuticals, and foods."
Eeeww. Blech. Ok, I won't think about that now.
Regardless of the ingredients of Jello, am I the only one that stockpiles this stuff? I'm not kidding, if you look in my pantry you'd think either I'm hosting a huge end of the summer "Jello Jubilee" or that I was preparing for possible rationing on the stuff. Starwberry, lemon-lime, orange, blue raspberry...you name it. That doesn't even touch the number of pudding boxes I've attained. Do I ever make Jello? No. But there's something domestic about having those boxes neatly stacked (labels all facing the same direction, thankyouverymuch). Just knowing that I could whip up a gelatin mold at a moment's notice surely is worth some sort of Mommy-Bonus Points, right?
What's the shelf life of the stuff anyway? I know I must have a box from 1995 in there. I just know it.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Actually, this is the "I am planning a conference that is 2 weeks away" kind of blogging. (Although, admittedly, thinking of "K" words was pretty challenging, too) You take a stab at it......you have to come up with answers using the first letter of your own name. Have fun!
1. Famous Singer/Band: Kajagoogoo ("you're too shy...shy...hush hush, eye to eye....")
(I think I just dated myself, so I'll also answer "Korn"--though I have no idea what they sing!)
2. 4 letter word: kite
3. Street: Keith's Bridge Road
4. Color: khaki
5. Gifts/Presents: knife set
6. Vehicle: Kia Sedona
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: kazoo
8. Boy Name: Kevin
9. Girl Name: Kayla
10. Movie Title: Karate Kid (double whammy...woo woo!)
11. Drink: Kool-Aid
12. Occupation: Karate instructor
13. Celebrity: Kyra Sedgewick
14. Magazine: Kiplinger's
15. U.S. City: Kosciusko, Mississippi
16. Pro Sports Teams: Kansas City Chiefs
17. Reason for Being Late for Work: kid sick, knife attack, you know common stuff...
18. Something You Throw Away: Kleenex
19. Things You Shout: Krispie Kreme (yet another double, y'all!)
20. Cartoon: Koala Brothers
Monday, August 27, 2007
"You know, Mommy...there are lot of good shows in Las Vegas...and what's happening in Vegas should be happening to you."
School starts back next Tuesday. Not a moment too soon.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I couldn't resist Friday's Feast...It was full of yummy questions today.
Nia Vardalos...star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I love her voice and her self-effacing humor.
Soup: Take the letters from your favorite kind of nut and write a sentence. (Example: Perhaps every avenue needs understanding today = peanut.)
Caring and sharing helps everyone win.........
Salad: If you could go back in time and spend one week in another decade, which decade would you choose?
It would have to be the either the 20's...for it's "roaring" reputation, music, and clothing...or the 50's for the "Leave it to Beaver" lifestyle and simplicity.
Main Course: Name a song that brings back memories for you.
"Sailing" by Kris Kristofferson...I'm sitting by a lake with my Mom in high school and we're listening to this song and watching the sun glitter down on the ripples in the water. I felt safe...content.
Dessert: Do you prefer to wash your hands in cold water or warm water?
If it's hot outside, I LOVE cold water on my hands... but, the opposite is true if it's hot outside. Profound, I know.
Do you remember the treatment I received at Spirit Air a couple months ago? I am not alone. Apparently the anti-Spirit-airlines movement got a little boost this week. If you haven't heard, the CEO of Spirit committed the ultimate cyber-faux pas...hitting the dreaded "reply-all" to an email from a dissatisfied cutomer. Of course, his non-sympathetic, cocky response was then thrown in the lap of the customer...and, needless to say...it made them none too happy.
This response has made its way around the internet quicker than kudzu taking over a telephone pole. And, for disgruntled passengers such as myself, it has basically cemented the fact that no fare is cheap enough to let folks get away with treating customers like this.
To see the original email in its entirety as well as the CEO's response, click here.
As for me, I can't help but smile as I think about the moment that he realized who was on the receiving end of his jerky response.
A hard lesson learned, for sure.
It's so rewarding getting to be on the "outside" watching this process...this blessing...unfold. It conjures up all the anticipation and excitement Keith and I had going to get Daniel and my stomach is in knots for them as they embark on this new chapter in their lives. As we left their house this morning, it was surreal to know it will not be just the two of them residing there when they return. Soon there will be a little person sharing that space...and their hearts.
You know, it's funny when you think about how this whole love thing works. You have two people that are sharing life together. Then you bring a child into the picture and logic would make it seem like their hearts and love would then be divided...no longer solely focused on each other. But, it's quite the opposite. For us, the love we had for each other actually multiplied when we brought Daniel home. It strengthened our love for each other as we jointly sought to meet the needs of this wonderful new creature in our lives.
I am overjoyed that there are two people waiting to board a plane to California right this moment that are on the verge of discovering this for themselves. I'm an ecstatic bystander and can't wait to share in their joy...
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Never having much of a gymnast body (or talent for that matter), I could only dream of floor routines, double twisty things on the uneven bars and pulling off a vault worthy of a 10.0
But, under water I can.
Tonight, the husband and son unit accompanied me to the pool for a late night swim. As my husband rocketed my five year old through the air, I did somersaults and floated on my back in the cool water. As I was performing my best aquatic acrobatics, I realized that--underwater-- I can be whatever I want to be... especially a gymnast. The weightlessness that the water provided allowed me to stretch my body and perform everything from a tuck and twist to a fully outstretched layback position. Of course, when I landed (simultaneously on both feet like any respectable gymnast aims to do...) I threw my arms back in a victorious manner...10.0...the crowd goes wild....
OK...wayyyyyyy too many people read this that know me. What in the heck and I doing giving them even MORE fodder for ridicule than I already have? :-)
Monday, August 20, 2007
Without going into all the nitty gritty details, suffice it to say that I received a one-two-and maybe even-three punch with some expenses dropped on us... we had a planned renovation of a guest bath that ended today... "cha-ching"...then our home study expired for our adoption so that expense is upon us...cha-ching... then my golden retriever gets sick from a bone she ate and I take her to the vet. Twenty minutes later the doc comes out with a diagnosis of "let's keep an eye on her" and they bring in the bill. $500.
FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS, Y'ALL.
X-rays, blood work... and a wait and see and I'm suddenly $500 in the hole. It's not that she not worth it...or that their expertise is not worth it...it's just that I was expecting something around $100.
Later on, I was reminded by a friend (kiddingly) about a nice chat I had with a deputy sherrif on the way home from Florida that resulted in a a little yellow piece of paper. Oh yeah, that, too. Cha-ching. Cha-ching.
So, I was sharing my financial woes with hubby who's traveling on business. And, he just so happened to be traveling through a city where we used to live and he had this thought on my our situation:
"You know, there was a time when we were right outta' college and you used to drive a long way to work, twice a day for next to nothin...and then your car broke down and we didn't have the money to fix it...and that time our power went out and we lost all our groceries and couldn't afford to replace them...you know what? We've come a long way since then. No matter what, we're gonna be O.K."
That's all I needed. A little reassurance from my glass-half-full guy. I love that man.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
On the other side of the room was a changing table with baskets of tightly rolled washclothes...all freshly laundered and in neat little rows. The diaper stacker contained the exact number of brand new diapers that it would hold and a box of unopened baby wipes stood at its ready position. I felt a lump in my throat as I watched my friend Melissa point out all the new "baby things" she received at her shower. Soft-sided building blocks and a basket of snow white bibs await the child that is soon to be theirs.
They received the call earlier today.
The birthmother is having contractions and all the signs point to a soon-to-be-delivery. Airline reservations were hastily made, suitcases were sitting atop the bed and the anticipation floated in the air...the same air that held wishes and dreams of a child of their own...the very air where prayers had been uttered night after night and where two wonderful people talked of one day starting a family.
As hard as I tried to hold them back, the tears flowed freely as I watched her proudly move about the room. It was ready. This once guest/catch-all room had been transformed into the perfect nursery. My emotions got the best of me as I recalled the evening before we flew to pick up our own son. Even now as I write, tears well up in my eyes as I thank God for bestowing upon our friends this very special gift.
Not long from now, they will hold their baby and they will discover the limitless love presented to a parent the moment they behold the face of their child. Very soon there will be laughter and tears and sweet, sweet dreams...lullabye dreams there in the pale yellow room.
I can't think of anyone more deserving.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Laundry routine? [Katiebod is laughing. Katiebod is rolling on the floor, holding her side laughing] My laundry routine is to do laundry when I run out of underwear. Or, when my husband runs out of underwear. Yep, that's my routine.
Soup: In your opinion, what age will you be when you’ll consider yourself to truly be old?
I honestly think it depends on how I feel. I used to think late thirties was old. Until I hit my late thirties. Now I think I'll feel old in my sixties. But, by then, I'm sure my 80's will seem old. It's all relative. My child thinks I'm ancient.
Salad: What is one of your goals? Is it short-term, long-term, or both?
Short-term-- to finish our guest bath renovation!
Long-term-- to owe no "moolah"... to anyone. ever.
Name something unbelievable you’ve seen or read lately.
This. Sicko people, I tell ya:
Dessert: On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how happy are you today?
My husband. My dog. My own bed.
Ahhhhhhhh. So good to be home!!!!
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
So here I am, visiting my sis in the LIGHTNING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD-- Tampa, Florida. Let's say you're afraid of spiders...so you go for an extended stay in the SPIDER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. Get my drift?
One website explains: "...the odds of being stuck by lightning are like the odds of hitting the lottery, but if you live in Florida your odds are unfortunately greatly increased."
Breathe, Katie. Deeeeeeeep breath.
It started on that roller coaster I told you about yesterday. An announcement came over the intercom while we were in line stating that "impending inclement weather could cause us to close down this ride." OK, so we may get some rain. Lightning didn't cross my mind. Until I was strapped, buckled and five-point-harnessed into a metal seat perched at the very tip-top of a metal roller coaster. That's when my sister...a person who has been in my life for over three decades and knows the depths of my fears... chooses to exclaim "did you see that LIGHTNING? Cool!"
Are you kidding me? Again, to use the spider example. You're strapped in and someone shouts out that there is a spider crawling toward you. Panic set in. Hyperventilation neared. It certainly took the thrill of the coaster to a different level.
Then, last night we get a severe thunderstorm. This was no normal lightning storm. These were bolts unlike any I'd ever seen. Straight as a board, cloud to ground, bright bolts...popping everywhere. We were headed to my sister's school to do some work and, when we got there, we had to make a run for it.
You'd a thunk FloJo hopped out of that car. I really shoulda won a metal or somethin. For bravery, at least?
As much as I'm gonna miss my sis, I think I'll breathe a little easier getting back to Georgia where my biggest fear will be the mound of laundry I'll have to tackle when I get home.
Monday, August 13, 2007
We paid a sum of money to get in...a sum that I won't disclose here to protect the innocent. A sum so high that I should have received a golden whale tail necklace and a lifetime supply of Shamu pops. It was expensive enough to cause my darling husband to shreik into the phone, "IT COST HOW MUCH?????!!!!" He really is an understanding man, you know.
So... we pass through the golden gates into a sea of sweaty individuals. As we approached our first line, beads of perspiration began to form on my temples and the nape of my neck. And I DO NOT SWEAT, Y'ALL. An hour later, I look like I'm fresh off a water ride (which woulda been nice since it was 789 degrees. Did I mention how hot it was?) There were lines everywhere. We waited 40 minutes in the broiling sun for Daniel to ride this bounce-you-up-and-down ride only for him to have this PETrified look the entire time. Great, I suffered a near heat stroke to pyschologically damage my child. Wonder when my Mother of the Year application is due?
Then we tried to find a bite to eat. Finding a table in a theme park restaurant is daunting at best. Have you ever tried? I feel so vulcheresque...scanning the room for any sign of completion...a last slurp of a drink or the wadding up of a napkin. It's a science, a trained art if you will. First of all, the eaters avoid all eye contact. They know that we are lurking and they try to keep as low a profile as possible. If the table vulcher senses any movement, they'll lunge forward as if a gun just went off for a 50-meter dash. It's crucial to send your best man (or woman) in to scout a location. Overt actions of desperation will only turn off potential table-giver-uppers. It is the innocent, gee-where-can-we-sit attitude that usually garners some sympathy. This time it was a table of four and the gentle walk-by with a casual glance around the room worked. It's one of my trademark moves.
But, y'all, it wasn't all bad.
Yeah, it was hot. "Straight-from-the-bowels-of-the-molten-earth" kind of hot. But, there were some nice parts, too. There were some shade trees and a nice family who gave us their double stroller. (I swear I saw halos above their heads, I'm not kiddin) There was also the fun, fun, fun roller coaster my sis and I went on while saintly bro-in-law watched the kiddos. And then, there was the Shamu Show. It was spectacular (I'll have to post some pics when I get home) I actually teared up...or maybe it was a stray bead of sweat, who knows? But, in the midst of a 956 degree day (it gets hotter in the late afternoon) it was so nice to see those beautiful creatures leaping out of the water, the thrill on the faces of too-tired children and to sense a wee bit of magic in it all.
Even if it did cost our life savings, it was worth it for that moment.
Friday, August 10, 2007
And, in the absence of company,
took the time
to take it all in
The flicker of the candle
and the serene way the
floated on the surface
of the olive oil
on my plate
Shiny green olives
with their tanned interiors
bursting with tartness
contrasted by the
sweetness of the sangria
in my glass
Clear lightbulbs draped
and lively Italian music
adding to the festive
once in awhile
taking it all in
a nice change of pace...
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
My feet are tired
My brain is, too...
I gots me a blister
From my brand new shoe
Yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah
I miss my hubby
My house and pup
How much longer
can I keep this up?
Yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
It's what I have to do
My mind can't think of anything
To write for all of you...
Yeah yeah yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
The end. Pitiful, I know. I'm now of the firm opinion that sometimes it's better just to not write anything at all.
:-) Hope you're having a good week. ~ Katiebod
Monday, August 06, 2007
Now, lemme back it up for you.
It's 2:00pm yestersday and hubby and I arrive at the Chicago airport in plenty of time for his flight back to Atlanta which departs at 5:00pm. Mine leaves an hour and a half later (6:30pm) so I was there 4.5 hours early. But--I'd have extra time with Keith since we wouldn't get to see each other for two whole weeks.
We check in at separate airlines (me Air Tran, him Delta). After checking in, I ntoiced a 3:30pm flight that would get me back to Orlando at 6:30pm. Tempting--but that would only give me an hour with Keith so I kept walking. I found him in line to check in and, when I did, the agent had just informed him there was plenty of room on the 3:45 flight if he'd like to go. He looked at me and I knew he really wanted to get home to get ready for work the next day, etc. so I told him I'd go try to get on the earlier flight myself.
I hurry back to the Air Tran counter and ask if there are seats on the 3:30pm flight.
"Yes," the ticket agent replied.
"Can I switch to that one? " I ask.
"You could, but you checked luggage. Regulations state that you cannot check luggage onto a flight you're not on. You have to be with your luggage."
At this point, I wasn't going to fight it. I'd read, browse in the gift shop, grab an early dinner...no big deal. It's 2:30pm.
Then I saw Keith. I guess my "PMS-tainted-we've never been apart this long" emotions got the better of me. Yes, y'all, there were tears. Here I was stuck in the Chicago airport (the smaller one at that) for 4 hours and it was all of my own doing.
Fast forward to four hours later. We are on the plane, buckled up and ready to go...some of us more than others. A cheerful captain comes across the intercom announcing there have been some weather delays so we're gonna hold off departing for a little while. Lawd have mercy.
7:00pm: "Folks, we have to go out to the runway to take a spot in line but we still haven't been cleared to fly. Sit tight."
Somewhere during this time, condensation from the coolant starts dripping on our heads. People are agitated. Babies are crying (2 babies and a toddler sitting in the seat behind me). Flight attendants are passing out paper towels for us to stuff in the cracks by the air vents. It's not looking good.
8:00pm: "Folks, they've come up with a new route for us but it takes us out west (remember, we're going to Orlando) so we have to return to the gate for more fuel. Don't wanna get over Iowa and run out now do we?" He chuckles. OK, Mr. Last Comic Standing...are you gonna get me to Orlando or what? The natives were getting restless.
9:00pm: "OK, folks looks like we're ready to take-off. Our new estimated arrival is 12:30am." Groans are heard throughout the cabin.
I think to myself that I could have gotten in at 6:30pm if I'd been able to take that earlier flight. BUT--I understood regulations, safety,having to be with your bags. So, oh well...I'd deal with it.
12:30am: we arrive in Orlando. Child behind me (bless his heart, I really do feel for him) has screamed the ENTIRE flight. We deplane and head to baggage claim. Obviously they haven't had time to pull the luggage off yet so I'm setting off to find somewhere to plug my phone in to call Keith.
That's when I spot them.
Two black bags with white polka dots. Sitting alone in the dark outside the Air Tran window. You have to be kidding me.
Yep, you guessed it. They arrived...safe and sound...six hours earlier...
...on the 3:30pm flight.
I won't even go into the ordeal of getting to my car. There's only so much a girl can blog about without her head exploding you know?
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Keith and I have spent the weekend in the Windy City and have had a blast. Of course, I've had to work quite a bit touring four different properties...but we have managed to work in a little sightseeing, too. :-)
My hubby surprised me last night, though. He had booked a late night cruise on Lake Michigan that provided breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline at night. It was quite chilly with a sprinkling rain shower as we set sail on the tall schooner-style ship named the "Windy II." What a treat!
As we cleared the jetty and entered the open water, the engine was cut off and the sails took over. The most remarkable part was the silence...the city was abuzz with lights, cars, the normal hub-bub of a weekend in the city and we could not hear a thing. It was as if we were watching a colorful silent film before our eyes...only the sound had been replaced by the sound of gulls and our boat creaking as it bobbed up and down on the waves. I could feel every ounce of tension drip out of my body. I vowed then and there to live my life at sea. Forever.
OK, so not really.
But, it was a wonderful evening capped off by fireworks with the skyline as a backdrop. I can't convey how safe and content I felt...a summer evening with a cool breeze whipping through my hair, my hubby's arms wrapped around me for warmth and the gentle knock of waves against our boat...
Bliss. Sheer bliss, I tell ya.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Yeah, well...fast forward 10 hours later.
The Florida Turnpike is a long, longgggggggggggggggggggggggggggg endless road completely devoid of civilization except for a service plaza every 45 miles. I was drivin, singing and READY TO GET OUT OF THE CAR. My journey began at 11:30am and it was now knocking on 9pm. It was dark, ya'll. NO LIGHTS to be found...on the horizon or otherwise. Where is Orlando, I asked myself? Shouldn't I be seeing some sign of life somewhere?
I began to worry.
And, to add to the fun--I have less than a quarter tank of gas. To say panic was setting in would be putting it lightly. So, I call my hubby. After finding me on the map based on the last mile marker he shouts into the phone, "YOU PASSED IT FORTY MILES AGO!"
Yeah, I was on my way to Miami.
"Turn around!," he shouted, um, I mean ... gently encouraged.
"I'm trying! There's no turnaround!!!" I screamed, um, I mean... calmly replied.
My heart was racing. By this point, I'm watching the needle dip below the 1/4 tank mark and my oh-so-distracted child is now paying attention.
"Why are we lost, Mommy?"
"We're not LOST, baby...Mommy just missed the turn. We're turning around."
"Where, Mommy? And are we gonna run outta gas?"
For the love of Pete. Why does he choose to pay attention now?
My hubby calls again and I explain that there is a cut-through that is for police only but I'm going to have to take it or I'll run out of gas. Well, that's all it took.
"Mommy, that is illegal. You can't turn around there."
"Sweetie," I said with words dripping with tension, "it'll be OK."
I whip through the cut-through and head back north.
"Who am I gonna be with when you get arrested?"
I couldn't help but chuckle as I rub my temple--now throbbing.
We finally pull up to the next service plaza and there are, of course, 3 police parked near the entrance.
"Uh, oh," Daniel exclaims. "They're here."
That child cracks me up.
I pull up to the cops to ask them how in the heck to get to the Orlando airport area. As I was getting directions, Daniel is shouting in a loud whisper from the back seat: "tell 'em, Momma! Tell e'm what you did!""
Thank heavens that my child has sense of right and wrong. Now I just need to work on his timing! :-)
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I will actually be there tomorrow through the 17th of August so I'm sure it will begin to feel like home. I'm doing an event in Orlando next week then spending a week with my sister the following week. The catch is--she'll be keeping my son the week of my meeting and I'll be keeping her daughter the next week when she goes back to school... so, lots o' quality cousin time. We may both rethink our desire for a second child after the trip is over... :-)
Besides a quick trip up to Chicago this weekend with my hubby (woo hooooo) I'll be in Florida but will still be bloggin away. 15 nights away from home (gulp).
My next entry will be from the road.
Anyone have a good wireless internet "rain dance" I can use to ensure connectivity? [grin]
Florida...here I come.
But I do it.
Yeah, my calves were on FIRE...but maybe, just maybe, each day we do it will get a little easier.
The key is going to be sticking to this walking routine when my uber-fit and always encouraging walking partner goes back to being a teacher next week.
I will say (and not just cause I know she reads this)...she's so good for me. Kim calls faithfully every night to reconfirm that we're gonna go at 6:15am and she lovingly listens to me groan up and down the hills and she keeps me motivated.
Thanks, Kim. Are you SURE you wanna go back to school to educate our youth?? [sniff, sniff]