Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Real Ten on Tuesday post

Wow, I got 6 comments on that last post - I think that may be a record for us. Am I that interesting? I guess so.

Here's the real thing, a true 10 on Tuesday post:

1. When Stella has a runny nose, she wipes her nose with both sleeves so often and so hard that it looks like she has a bright red smile going from cheek to cheek and under her nose. It looks terrible.

2. Eric is headed to Durham this weekend to attend a weekend of events honoring Reynolds Price, the author he worked for and lived with back in 1998. Fine food and drink, interesting people to meet and reunite with, and best of all (what I'm most jealous about) - Toni Morrison is doing a reading in Duke Chapel. I will be at home, breastfeeding.

3. We're considering putting our house back on the market in the spring. The real estate market sucks so badly right now that we don't know if we're getting our hopes up, but we may give it another shot.

4. I bought a jogging stroller and am loving it. I'm trying to get back into running, and Eric and I want to do a 10K together in July. Really, I want to do it with him, but to be honest, he is way faster than me so he probably doesn't want to do it with me. I pushed Meg first in it - no sweat. Then the other day Stella wanted to come, and all I did was walk and it about killed me. That child is about 35 pounds.

5. I got an invitation to join a book club and am not sure if I want to do it. I mean, I want to, but I seriously doubt I'll read the books, and I don't want to be lame. But I think the group of people are pretty chill, more just looking for an excuse to get together once a month. If it's like that, I'll probably give it a shot.

6. I'll probably be starting Meg on solid food here shortly.

7. I cannot belive how boring this list is.

Let me end there, but include a few photos of the girls instead. They're way more exciting to look at, at least to me!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My first "Ten On" anyday

So let's admit it, we all read our friends' friends blogs. I know I do. And I've noticed this trend, "Ten on Tuesday," where people will reflect about 10 things going on with them. I'm so unconventional that I'm doing it on Thursday. So here goes:

1. Our Kindermusik class started back after a long holiday break today. We had a blast. Hands down, that's been the best money spent on any kids' activity for this family. It is both great quality time with Stells and great social time for her too. And I've made some of my best friends here through it as well.

2. After trying for 3 long, harried, horrific nights to have Stella and Meg share a room, we decided it just wasn't working. We've spent the last several days re-arranging the house so that Meg has our old room, and we moved into the guest room. So far, it's been MUCH better for us all.

3. I joined Weight Watchers online on Jan 1st and have lost 13 pounds. And Eric has lost 8 just by eating my cooking. We are gonna be the DILF and MILF of the world! Email me if you need an explanation of those acronyms.

4. I'm getting more excited about the upcoming addition to the Jones side of the family - we've got another niece coming in April! Lily Therese Jones will be here before we know it. I cannot wait to hold her. I wish she didn't live in California.

5. It's a good thing Meg is cute, because she sure is needy. But I do think she's teething, so I can't be too mad at her.

6. Eric joined the local Kiwanis club and spearheaded a big fundraiser for them last month. It was an auction where people bid on services instead of items, things such as "pet sitting for a week" or "help around the house for 5 hours" etc. Well, we bid on a few things, and one that we won was vegetable soup for eight, brought to your house ready to eat! So this Sunday, friends Sheila and Max are coming over and we're gonna have the soup.

7. We're both reading a book called "The Nature-Deficit Disorder" about the lack of fresh air and unstructured outdoor play that kids have today. I tell Eric sometimes that I just want to pack up these kids and move to some cliffside town in freaking New Zealand or Portugal or somewhere that I imagine life being much simpler and more romantic. Of course those places have their problems too, I know. What I mean is that I want Meg and Stella to be able to explore freely, be able to play outside safely and just to be kids.

8. I don't think #7 made much sense but I'm too lazy to re-word it right now. You get my drift.

9. Our businesses are keeping us incredibly busy, and it's not even the end of January yet. It's a good problem to have!

10. My favorite food in the world is cheese. Why is it also one of the most fattening?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

No, look at me!

Got one to look at us...

Then the other...

And finally, a good shot of both!

We've gotten lots of snow over the past few days, and it has been BITTERLY cold, like 5-7 degrees in the mornings when we've woken up. Needless to say, we're all a little stir crazy around here, but today it warmed up to mid-40s so we got out for a while.

Did anyone hear that Heath Ledger the actor died today? That upsets me, I really liked him.

Gotta run, only 8 more minutes until American Idol comes on, one of my secret addictions. I can't reveal the others or else they wouldn't be secret now, would they?

Friday, January 11, 2008


stella & great grandma
another stella & great grandma
meg with her great-grandma
hettie mae andrews parrott 1920-2008

I've been bad about blogging lately, especially since Saturday the 5th, when we got the news that my beloved grandma Hettie had passed away. She hadn't been well for years, but the past few months had been especially rough. When I saw her at Christmas, I just knew she wasn't long for this world. And ten days later, she lost her life to complications from pneumonia.

I almost feel guilty at how little I seem to be grieving. I can only believe that her not suffering any longer, unable to breathe, walk, or do much for herself, is a blessing. The grandma that I miss isn't the one that's been for the past few years, but the one that I had when I was growing up.

My parents separated when I was 11, and my mom and I moved into a house right across the street from Hettie. We spent a good deal of time together even before that, but when we moved there, I was at her house every day. As any good Southern grandma should, she was constantly pressuring me to eat, eat, eat. There was no calorie counting in that house, let me tell you - some things I remember VERY FONDLY include chocolate pie, homemade cheese biscuits, and this dish that now sounds so nasty to me, but at the time it was sooooo good - it was basically a chicken baked in a sour cream sauce wrapped in bacon. Yuck - and yum.

She was about 5 feet tall in heels but still somehow played basketball on her highschool team. I think she also won some yodeling award - don't ask - and at age 16, she left the family farm in Eastern NC for nursing school. Before that, she had never even seen a telephone! She worked as a nurse, primarily an ER nurse, for something like 45 or 50 years. The hospital in my hometown honored her on several occasions for her service to the community.

She had four kids (in 5 years, can you imagine?) and 5 grandkids, and now she has 5 great-grandkids. Out of all the grandkids, I was definitely the closest to her. We spent countless hours just hanging out, sitting on her porch or around the island in her kitchen (in which I so tackily carved "marian wuz here" when I was old enough to know better) eating Werther's Originals candies. Sometimes we'd just get in the car and ride around. She'd even meet me and my friends for lunch when I was in highschool and treat us all to the meal.

I remember once going out to dinner with her at the local pizza place, and as we were backing out of the parking space, she bumped into the car parked beside her. She decided to just drive away, quickly, all the while telling me I should never do that. Of course she didn't even leave a mark, but that still makes me laugh, because it was so out of character for her.

She was just a great lady, and I will miss her dearly. love you grandma.

And if this wasn't downer enough, today is 4 years since my dad died. Lord, get me out of January!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Fun Winter Activity

Whether it's playing inside or outside, or helping to cook, there's always reason to take a break from one's Sunlight Deficit Disorder clinical depression to love the mountains in the winter!

When Stella kisses, it always makes a loud "smack."

One word: "Framable!"

"Hello, are you guys coming or what?"

Just call Stella, "Child Julia." (Get it?)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

eBay, and Why Coke Makes Me Want to Pee - "It's Hydrating!"

Judging by a lack of response to my initial blog about eBaying Original Snow Village collectibles (come-on, doesn't this excite you?!) few will care to hear my final report, but here it is: I sold all nine pieces and, even after paying eBay those "nickle-and-dime fees that really add up" I cleared about $75. Now, was $75 worth the time I spent taking all those photos and packaging the pieces so they wouldn't break in the mail? Uh, no. But it was fun to an extent, and I learned how to use eBay.

I was delighted to see the Starbucks piece go for $152. The Coca-Cola piece only went for $50 -- I was a bit surprised, because some people spent more than that for Coke sweatshirts in the 1980s. Incidentally, Coke really gets on my nerves. 1. They have language on their cartons that "hydration" is provided by their sodas -- they even have a webpage dedication to touting the hydration virtues of their drinks. Talk about spin. It reminded me of ... 2. ...when I actually paid to spend time in the Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta years ago. Now, we all know that Coke was called Coke because in 1900 or so cocaine was one of the minute ingredients. Ah, but that's not mentioned at all in the museum. Instead, the man who founded the company "just liked the look and sound of 'Coca-cola.' " (Perhaps this is why we should not have private companies owning and managing public libraries - the newest rage?) Please join me for a boycott of Coca-Cola, the unapologetic Evil Ministers of Disinformation.