Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mini Me in Canada - Day 1

Mini Me had a great trip to Granny's house. No problems crossing the border. Of course, I wrote a letter detailing our permission and had it notarized. They are having a blast so far. Mini Me bonded with my father before they left the meet-up restaurant. Her first question this morning was: "Where's Papa?"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mini Me to Canada - T Minus 1

In less than 24 hours, Mini Me will be in Canada for 2 full weeks! I joked around and not-so-secretly looked forward to it. But as the day draws nigh, I find myself stuffing my emotions down.

I don't want to be without her smile everyday. And her hugs. I could do without the screaming and crying, that is for sure. Even Motor Mouth said he was looking forward to a break from Mini Me's crying and fighting - wow! But she is so quirky. And funny!! And she is baby girl. Two weeks!!

When I was 2, my entire family moved to Canada and left me with my grandparents in Trinidad. I don't remember those 6 months. I do remember arriving at the airport in Canada and having some mixed emotions. I can recall some residual feelings and stuff I dealt with over the years, probably stemming from that separation. So I wonder how Mini Me will fair.

The difference between me and Mini Me is I stayed with my favorite people in the world - my grandparents whom I had lived with since birth. Mini Me hasn't seen my family for an entire year. At 3 1/2, that is a long time. 

With this in mind, I've been diligent to discuss the trip with excitement and awe. And to let Mini Me talk to my Mom on the phone more often lately. I think I felt more assured things were going to go well when Mini Me talked my Dad's ear off last week. That's gotta be a good sign. Right?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Favorite Lullaby

My high school German teacher, Frau Boehm, taught us a lullaby she sang to her children. I have sung this lullaby to both of my children. It instantly calms them down. It does this mother's heart good when they ask me to sing it to them and are now trying to learn the lyrics themselves. 
Here is our special lullaby. It speaks of the beautiful evening and of the bells ringing - ding dong, ding dong:
O wie wohl ist mir am Abend,
Mir am Abend,
Wenn zur Ruh die Glocken läuten,
Glocken läuten:
Bim bam, bim bam, bim bam.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Maybe this, maybe that

Mini Me has speech delays. Have I told you that?

Mini Me is 3 1/2 years old. We have play dates with 2 year olds that speak clearer than my girl. At first we thought it was because Motor Mouth talks non-stop she doesn't have a chance to talk and learn how to do it properly. We thought maybe kids mature at different rates. Yeah, no.

I had my friend who is a speech therapist evaluate Mini Me. She does have speech delays. More than likely from when she was a baby and had fluid on her ears. Which is crazy, because we got tubes put in her ears and her adenoids removed LONG before Motor Mouth did when he was a baby.

I read the report from the Tulsa Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) the other day. I had it faxed to me. It says Mini Me had some hearing loss. Which we knew, but assumed it was going to clear up after the tubes were put in. As is the way with tubes.

I've been doing speech therapy with Mini Me to get her talking properly.  Sometimes, I hold her hand to my mouth so she can 'feel' the sound. It's something I learned from my aunt when she was teaching my cousin who is deaf.

Now, I have a hearing test scheduled for Mini Me next week. I need to know either way if it is a hearing issue or just a speech issue. Or if I have a wee touch of Munchausen by Proxy.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ugly and Not Ashamed

Such a horrible picture.
I love it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Where Were You?

Where were you when...

Martin Luther King, JR was shot?
I wasn't even conceived yet

John F Kennedy was shot?
See MLK answer

Neil Armstrong walked on the moon?
I was a fetus, born later that year

Elvis died?
I was on my way to church with my dad and brother when we heard the news on the radio

Space Shuttle exploded?
At home, watching it on TV

Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was bombed?
Working as a network administrator. Came home for lunch to watch the OJ trial but it was pre-empted.

OJ Simpson was acquitted?
Took a long lunch and went to my friends' house for a verdict luncheon

John F Kennedy Jr's airplane went missing?
At J's cousin's farm in Western Oklahoma

On 9/11?
I was at my desk at the church where J and I worked. J called me into the audio suite where we watched it on TV.

When Obama was voted President?
On my couch in our Chicago loft. I thought it was going to be a neck-in-neck race and didn't want to have Mini Me out for hours in a crowd. We stayed home while J and Motor Mouth went to Grant Park. If I had known it would be over by 9:30 pm, I would have gone with.

Michael Jackson died?
I was driving, about to get on the highway, to pick J up from work

Thursday, September 17, 2009

City Walking

We do so much walking in the summer,
Motor Mouth wore out his flip flops by August. 
What? Did he bite it????
And less than 1 month later,
his replacement flip flops
are wearing thin...
Mr. GAP, I am NOT a happy shopper

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jeepy - Toyoty

We got a new city car. Finally.
We loved our Jeep, but it was starting to show its age.
And we really needed to get something small.
A car we can easily parallel park.
Farewell Jeepy!
The kids were sad to see Jeepy go.
Mini Me was crying for Jeepy...
Salesmen at 2 dealerships tried to get us into a larger 'family' car. No thank you! If I was alone, I would have come home with a 2-door.
And now I present to you....
Our sexy little city car

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Letter to Our Roomie

Our friend moved in for 4 days while between homes.
Here is a letter I wrote him the night he arrived.

Hi Roomie!!!
Welcome to Widney Loft!

If you promise to make yourself at home, we will promise to keep our clothes on when walking in common areas.

Sorry about the pink sheets, Dude. Washer is broken. Please enjoy the mints on your pillows in lieu of ironed pillowcases/sheets. There are 4 pillows on the bed. 2 are flat and firmer. 2 are soft and fluffy.  Like mine and J’s tummies - before and after.

If you need an iron, the ironing board is in between the big and small hall closets. The iron is in the big closet with the coats, at the top in a bin, marked – get this: Iron. Feel free to take it all and leave it setup in your room. You can also throw clothes in dryer on ‘dewrinkle setting’ with a Bounce dryer sheet. I should go make sure none of my undergarments are in there. Wouldn’t want to traumatize a boy.

Motor Mouth’s closet door fell off yesterday and J has not been home long enough for me to tell him about it and get it fixed. But that just gives you a better view of the shirt and pant hangers you are welcome to use.

There is a welcome ‘basket’ in your bathroom. Feel free to help yourself to what you need. The glass shelves are there for you to put your toiletries on. The kids know not to touch that stuff. There is a shower caddy just for you as well. If you need extra toilet paper or a make up mirror or something else, check under the sink. Might be there. If not, I have extras of stuff. Just ask.

Help yourself to whatever food you find. Waffles in the freezer. Syrup in the pantry on the lowest shelf. Don’t eat the salad in the crisper. That stuff went bad. And you wonder why we are fat? No eat-y the salad-y.

There is a key on this letter. Try it in the entry door downstairs. I hope it works. The guy screwed up 2 of the other keys he made for us.

Sometimes brick dust falls on Motor Mouth’s head at night. Think of it as fairies sprinkling fairy dust on your dreams. Instead of sugar plums dancing, think tuck pointing.

The TV in your room does not have cable. Use the black DVD player on top of the TV. Mini Me broke the TV/DVD part. You want? I sell her for cheap. Motor Mouth has 2 DVD cases on his shelf. They might be of interest.  Feel free to use the cleared off space on the shelving unit. I wouldn’t use the alarm clock… It’s set to turn on/off with the light switch. Do you see the problem that would cause in the morning?

Enjoy the U2 concert if I don’t see you!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Super Saturday

My dear friend over at The Mommy Project is hosting a weekly PJ Party for her girls on Saturdays. I took her wonderful idea and made it my own.

I will be hosting Super Saturday events for my kids and 2 of their friends. Crafts, snack, something fun and lunch. 3 hours for my kids to bond with their friends and I get a chance to see my kids interact with peers while getting to know their friends better. I can't do weekly. I'm going to start bi-weekly then go down to monthly Super Saturday events.
Finger Puppets
Some sort of madness game on Motor Mouth's bed
Good idea for Jello shapes
Gone wrong
Terribly wrong
They really enjoyed making their toilet tissue roll critters!
I think a fun time was had by all.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pretty Patio

I LOVED our patio this summer. 
It felt like we really made it our own this year.
New patio table and chairs
Lots and lots of flowers
It's like our own sanctuary in the city

Friday, September 11, 2009

Finished for Friday - Finally!!

Lit and Laundry
I have been looking at Lit and Laundry for months and watching her Finished for Friday accomplishments. Each week, I felt like a bit of a failure. Lit gets so much done in a week!!! I'm quite proud of her (and her amazing kids). Finally, this Friday, something I have FINISHED!!
Patricia Cornwell is my favorite living author. But this was a THICK book!! 512 pages. I borrowed it from the library for 3 weeks. 3 times. I took the book everywhere with me. I would read a page every chance I got. Still, I took 5 extra days past the final due date to finish it. 9 weeks, 5 1/2 days. Finished.
I finished reading Scarpetta in the morning. By that night, I had started - and finished reading Candyland by Candi Spelling. I had read both of Tori Spelling's books and watched the last 3 seasons of her show. It was only fair to read Candi's book. I'm glad I did. Candi Spelling is a remarkable woman with far more substance than her name implies.

And no, I did not get ANYTHING else done that day.
2 books, though!!
I feel like the 'old' me - before kids.

Now, if you finished something this week, please head on over to give some Linky Love to my bloggy friend, Lit and Laundry. She's a pretty remarkable woman herself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Perfect 10!

Our 10th Anniversary Weekend started with NO WATER in our building. Water was out for 2 days without notice from the city. Early Friday morning, I trekked to a lavandaria (laundromat) around the corner where I could wash our clothes to pack!
It was clean and had free Wi-Fi.
This machine that said, "You can be a WINNER!"
EVERY 5 minutes
No water meant no showers at home.
Thankfully, we have a church with
a Green Room and a shower.
After depositing the kids with one of their favorite families,
we drove to our hotel.
Little did we know, it was a McDonald's hotel
located at Hamburger University!
The view from our Hyatt Hotel patio
It was a beautiful, secluded wooded area
Our tradition is to go to a DoubleTree
for the Cookies!!
But read the morbid line up at the DoubleTree
Suicide and Self-Mutilation!!!
Back at the McDonald's Hyatt
Beautiful campus to explore and relax
Then we off to a Daughtry concert
Did drinks with David Hodges & his band
He wrote songs with Daughtry, Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, 
wrote all of Evanescence for years, and many more
And was the opening act for Daughtry

It was a wonderful way to celebrate 10 years because the weekend truly reflected the chaos, beauty, humor, awesome coolness and surrealness of our 10 years together.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Want to CUSS!!!!!!!

If you know me at all, you know I am a PROUD Canadian and the only reason I live stateside is because my husband happens to be American. I would love to travel home to visit my family in Canada. My little niece is almost 2 and hasn't seen me in a full year.

But my passport is expired. 
Here is the situation:

1. If my passport was issued in August 2003 or later, I would be able to complete the simplified passport form. Easy peasy. It was issued in July 2003 so I could attend my sister's surprise 40th birthday party. Missed it by weeks.

2. If we lived in Tulsa, I could have any of the attorneys, dentists, doctors, notary publics we know sign my paperwork and I could go to the passport photo place in downtown to get a good passport photo taken. We moved 1.5 years ago.

3. Last year, I got a passport photo taken by the only place in Chicago I managed to find who said they did Canadian passport photo requirements. Wrong size, wrong everything.

4. We have only known the people in Chicago for 1.5 years. Have to have known them for 2 years.

5. I could have a Canadian doctor or lawyer or dentist do the guarantor form for me. Only my doctor for my entire adult life in Canada (12+ years) is no longer to be found on the internet or in practice. Our family dentist retired. And I never had use for an attorney in Canada. We have a family friend who is an attorney but the last time I saw him, I hadn't lost my 2 front teeth.

6. I can have a PPTC 132 form completed and the guarantor requirement would be a non-issue. Only they no longer have this form online because of some (insert expletive) Canadian press stories that broke.

Seriously, this shouldn't be this difficult. I love filling out forms, but when it comes to immigration or passport forms, I just feel so alone and hate the process. I have no one I can turn to for advice. I don't know any Canadians living down here. Yet still, I know there are thousands in Chicago. It makes me want to cry. And cuss. Not swear. Not curse. Cuss. A lot. And write a letter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lawrence Cannon to tell him to reinstate online passport services for Canadians.

Happy Labor Day.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Knowing Me, Knowing You - Sep '09

The Fairy Blogmother hosts a monthly interview segment, "Knowing Me, Knowing You". It's something I enjoy doing and look forward to each month!

1. What is your favorite smell?
Bleach on white sheets. Smells so clean.

2. Did/Would/Are you co-sleep(ing)?
No/Yes/No. We worked really hard to not co-sleep with our first child. My brother's kitten passed away after being rolled over in bed. I was terrified of that happening to our baby. When Motor Mouth was about a year, we had flood in our home, requiring us to stay at J's parents. We did co-sleep then. It was months before Motor Mouth would go back to sleep in his room without us. Like, 9 months.

3. Fall fair season is upon us, what's your favorite fair food?
I'm not into the deep fried everything at fairs. At the Tulsa State Fair a few years back, I had the most amazing french fries. I had it 2 years in a row and never found it again. The most fun I've ever had at a fair is when Starr and I spoke in British accents the ENTIRE evening. It really pissed our husbands off. We had a blast!

4. Thinking about Christmas shopping yet?
Nope. Well, yes. I made crochet animals for my nieces and nephews last year. Not sure what I will do for them this year.

5. What is your favorite color?
Purple. Purple. Purple.

If you decide to post on your blog, 
please give Linky Love to The Fairy Blogmother!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Little Known Fact

One day, about 10 years ago, J's parent's house alarm went off, sometime after the guy who sprays for bugs each month had left. The police had to respond and check all the rooms in the house. The doors to our room were locked. The police managed to get in. They thought the room had been ransacked!! Then one police offer said, "Wait! It looks like this is all in piles. They're doing laundry."

And that is how it came out that we locked our bedroom door instead of cleaning our room so the bug guy could spray and see our messy our room was.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

You Ask - I Answer: September '09

I have questions from my faithful readers!!
What's happening with your potential housing search? Are you staying with your beloved loft?
- I was really comparison shopping to see if we really have a great thing here. We are spoiled. Great skyline view, great neighbors, huge balcony, lots of free street parking for guests, and more. We may need to move if both kids are in school and J is working in another part of the city though. It would only make sense.
How is J's Grandma doing?
- Thank you for thinking of Grandma Grandma. She traveled to Florida, where her daughter's family lives. J's aunt is able to provide any care Grandma might need and still run her businesses. Grandma Grandma has been improving in leaps and bounds. I saw a video clip of her from last month and she is almost back to her normal self. Laughing, happy, healthy looking. Skinny. But she looks great!! I got to talk to her for a long time the other day. I really love her so much.
Where are you working?
- I am working at Motor Mouth's school. It is a private, Christian school with a worldview and city centric focus. The staff are really great. All of the teachers clearly LOVE kids. I'm the marketing and events coordinator. Basically, I am doing what I learned through 20 years of volunteer work - not my previous jobs or education. Isn't that something!
Dr Crystal
What is your favorite thing about your new job?
Oh, Crystal, just one? Hmmm... I've worked there for going on 4 weeks. 3/4 of those weeks, there was a DQ ice cream run, root beer float surprise, or ice cream sandwich from a child's b'day. Sweet!! Literally. I love being in the same school as where Motor Mouth attends. He is so freakin' cute!! I get to see him several times during the day. I really love that boy. I love how much the teachers love the kids. Really are excited about education and their jobs. Oh, and I get paid which helps.
It's not too late! If you have questions you would like for Widney Woman to answer, just ask in the comments section!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You Ask - I Answer

I'm kinda busy right now. I have lots to post with little free time. But I am able to respond to questions. So. Ask. Floor is wide open. As is our lives. Ask what you wish in the comments section below.