Thursday, March 29, 2012

Birthday Party Disaster, Averted

So, let's see...where was I?  Oh right!  Pouring rain outside at least 40 people inside, half of them kids, husband unable to move, all for Lana's fifth birthday party.  YAY!  Well, after I got Andy situated on the bed in a position that wasn't killing him, and after my small inner freak out, my mind started racing.  How could I fix him?  Who do I know that has good drugs?  Do WE have any good drugs?  I mean other than the very strong sangria I made.  Although, Andy's not really a big drinker, so that wouldn't work anyway.  And what about all the food he was supposed to be picking up right then?  How was THAT going to happen?  I could go get everything myself, but Andy was in no shape to watch the girls and I still had things to do in the house.  What about the PINATA??  How the hell were we going to do a piñata in my little house??  So I did the one thing I don't usually like to do, I asked for help.

No, I am not one to ask for help.  I am the woman you see walking out of the grocery with one kid on her hip throwing a tantrum, dragging another by the hand, carrying four grocery bags and insisting I'm fine.  I don't know why I don't like asking for help.  I guess it's a combination of me wanting to do everything for myself, and not wanting to put anyone else out.  This time I had no choice.  I guess I could have done it all myself, but it would have been more stress than I needed at that point.  Not to mention, I wouldn't have been able to shower.  Something I believe everyone should do before having a party with 40 people at their house.  Just sayin'.  

The first call I made was to the awesome, fantastic, amazing, always there for me in a pinch, Melinda.  It wasn't even a hesitation for her, but a "what do you need and where is it?"  She showed up at my house by 12:30, in the pouring rain, with a car full of food and balloons.  I had totally forgotten what kind of balloons I had ordered, and the gigantic Hello Kitty completely took over her small car.  I have no idea how she even got them in there to begin with!

The pickups were taken care of, which left me free to finish up what I needed to at home.  Now I just had to figure out what to do for my husband.  The second call I made was to my best friend and walking pharmacy, Melissa.  For a long time,  Melissa would have whatever kind of pill you needed on her.  Motrin, Tylenol, Excedrin.  You need something stronger?  She might have some Vicodin or Tylenol with Codeine. Anxiety?  There's some Xanex in there somewhere.  It's not like she ever obtained anything illegally.  Just the opposite.  She would have a prescription for something, and never liked to take all of it, so she had leftovers. Unfortunately, all those prescriptions expired at some point and a few months ago she got rid of most of them.  I tried to tell her that the expiration dates were just a suggestion. What about her friends who might need that stuff for back pain or anxiety from throwing her five year old daughter's birthday party inside.  Apparently we weren't in her thoughts when she flushed them down the toilet.  Whatever Melissa!  However,  she did find some Tylenol with Codeine that made the cut. She was willing to bring a few to help ease Andy's pain.  The only problem was that she lives about 35 minutes from us and wasn't going to be at the party until later in the afternoon.  I had to find something before then or Andy was destined to spend the afternoon in our bedroom.  Then I remembered the last time this happened, Andy got some muscle relaxers from our friends Norb and Cecelia.  Cecelia had back problems at one point and she too had some left over medication.  What were the chances hers weren't expired and flushed down the toilet to dope up the fish in the ocean?

I called them to find out and spoke to Norb.  Luckily, Cecelia did have some left.  The even better news was that they only live a mile from us. I asked if he could pretty please bring them over and he agreed.  We have some fantastic friends, is all I'll say.

About thirty minutes after taking the pill, Andy was able to move around a VERY little.  But it was enough to get him to take a shower and at least make him party presentable.  I showered with him to make sure he didn't fall over and have  a concussion.  That was all we would need!  I had to help him get dried off and dressed, since every move he made led to more pain.  He kept saying how humiliated he felt, but I help three kids get dressed every day, so really, what's the difference?  Besides, I think there was something about this in our vows somewhere, so I'm obligated to do it.  Once we got a heating wrap and his back brace on him, he was a bit more mobile.  Enough where he could at least come out and attend the party, even if he couldn't really help do to much.  

I rushed to get myself ready, which having kids has taught me to do quickly and still look good.  I remember the days it would take me an HOUR AND A HALF to get ready.  Seriously??  Well, that was in the days of high hair too, and if the bangs were to long and in need of a cut you could tack on an extra twenty minutes.  Not now though.  Now I can get showered, hair dried, makeup on, dressed and out the door in thirty minutes.  Well, as long as I'm left alone and don't have to break up fights.  To avoid this I let the girls sit in front of the TV for an hour, so I could get Andy and myself ready.  It was all I could do at that point.  They certainly didn't argue about it.  

Just after I was done getting dressed, I realized it was 12:25.  I didn't have the guacamole made, drinks ready or any of the snacks out.  No big deal though, because nobody comes to these things on time and certainly not when it's raining in Los Angeles.  Except my friend Stacy and her family.  They gave themselves to much time to get to our house and as I was trying to get everything together, I head the girls yell "someone is here!!" and there they were knocking on our door.  Damn!  Well, let's just continue with the asking for the help theme.  I was on a roll, so why stop now?

Of all my friends, Stacy is the most like me as far as cooking goes.  Meaning, she does.  So when they walked in and saw I wasn't ready yet and I explained the situation, they immediately asked what they could do.  I had no problem having her make the guacamole, while her husband and my girls helped get drinks in the coolers.  Within minutes, Melinda arrived and we had what food we needed.  Then before I knew it there were 40 people in my house.  I'm not sure when it happened or how fast, all I know is it got  very crowded and very LOUD very quickly. My Grandpa showed up at one point with his girlfriend (yes, my 85 year old Grandpa has a GIRLFRIEND!  SO cute!) They didn't stay very long, however, because I think it was just to much for them.  Can't say I blame them.  I was ready to stand outside in the rain at one point.  

It did go well though.  The kids all went to the bedrooms and played or got their faces painted by Sonya, The adults hung out in the kitchen or living room, ate, drank and chatted.  Time went by quickly and the rain came down harder.  We played pin the tail on the donkey, an old time fav and perfect for the rainy day party.  Happy birthday was sung to Lana, cake was eaten and good times were  had.  I even figured out a way to have the kids do the piñata.  

One of our friends who was at the party, who's name also happens to be Andy, is VERY tall.  I'm not even sure how tall.  6'3", 6'5" maybe?  I don't know, when you're 5'1" anything over 5'5" looks tall.  Anyway, I had Andy hold the piñata up. Instead of using a bat, because I didn't want anyone to injure tall Andy, we just had the kids pull the strings they put on the pinatas nowadays.  I never liked those strings and always thought it was cop out to use them.  What fun is that?  The fun part of the piñata is being able to beat the shit out of it, right?  Well, now I know what those strings are there for.  Inside birthday parties.  Plus, as it turns out, hitting the piñata is secondary.  All the kids really want is the candy anyway.  

So that was that.  Lana had a great time, which is all that mattered to me to begin with. I think everyone else did too.  A few of the moms hung out  past the party end time sipping (or recovering from) the sangria and chatting around my island in the kitchen, while the kids continued to play.  Andy had taken himself out of the festivities a little before then to lay down on the bed, since he was not doing well at all. Still, he was a trooper and made it though the whole party, which was awesome of him.  He's a good dad like that.  

Well, even though it took some doing I pulled it off.  I was kinda proud at myself, because there was a point where I thought about canceling altogether, but I'm glad we didn't.  It was fun and it's a great story for now and even in later years.  "Oh God!  Remember Lana's fifth birthday party when it poured and your back went out??  Fun times!"  Now it's a party we will remember and not some run of the mill, uneventful, bounce house and birthday cake, beautiful weather party.  Where's the fun in that?

 Oh! I almost forgot!  Lana threw up toward the end of the party.  Nothing big, just from coughing to hard and gagging, not a stomach bug or anything.  But, chocolate cake came up and her dress and the rug in her room had to be washed.  Not to mention, she effectively ended the tea party she and her friends were having.  Aaaannnnd, Georgia pooped her pants.  But, still good and still fun!  Just a bit crazy.

I think perhaps, after all this, that maybe Chuck E Cheese is not such a bad place after all.  It's starting to look like a real good option for Georgia's fifth birthday party next year.

The birthday girl.  Yes, she's wearing
her Christmas dress as a party dress.
The disaster area of toys.

Andy and the piñata
Sonya's face painting station
The kids pulling the piñata strings.

side note-Thank you again to all our friends who helped make the party happen; Melinda, Norb, Cecelia, Stacy-you rock. Tall Andy- thanks for holding the piñata.  Melissa-thank you for the Tylenol with Codeine.  Good thing those weren't expired!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Birthday Party Disaster

A few years ago, after Georgia was born, Andy and I made the decision that we were not throwing huge birthday parties every year for the girls.  That would be three big kids parties a year and we just don't have the funds, or the patience, to deal with it.  We figured we would just have parties on the "big" years.  One, five, ten, thirteen, sixteen, eighteen.  They can throw their own drunken all out crazy party for themselves at 21 in college, like the rest of us did.  Besides, it would be so NOT cool to have your parents give you a 21st birthday party.  Well, unless your parents are Angelina and Brad.  This is not to say we don't celebrate the girls' birthdays every year though.  We usually have a family and close friends gathering, with cake and a BBQ, but nothing like what I was planning for Lana this year.  We invited all the kids in her pre-school class, as well as other friends and family we have in our lives.  We were having a bounce house and a pinata, sandwiches and snacks, juice boxes and sangria. (Gotta have SOMETHING for the parents!)  There were about 40 people coming.  And then...then it rained, and then...then Andy's back went out TWO hours before the party.  It's a good thing I've spent the past few years practicing keeping my shit together.

Let's start with the rain.  We knew rain was fore casted.  I had been looking at the weather report all week, but I kept hoping it would change or they were wrong.  It's not like the weather people have that much to predict here in Southern California, so you'd figure when we do get weather they would be dead on, but not so much.  Just the weekend before it was supposed to rain all day Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday it poured, Sunday was sunny and gorgeous.  I was hoping for that kind of mistake.  But no, this time they were right.  Thanks Dallas Raines!  (Gotta love the meteorologist names.)  

It wasn't raining when we woke up on Sunday, but it looked like it might at any moment.  My only prayer was for it to hold off just until the afternoon, but as you might have guessed, prayers and luck were not with us.  As the man from the jumper company pulled up in front of my house at 10:30, the rain started. I debated whether or not to have him put it up anyway, and just hope for a stop in the rain.  As I stood out there talking to him though, I knew it was no good.  The rain was coming down in big, fat, we are here to stay for a while! drops.  Not the sprinkly, misty kind that might let up at some point.  He was very nice about it and didn't make me keep it or pay him anyway.  He totally understood.  Plus we've used them a few times before for other parties we've had, so we're best buds now.  (Burbank Jumpers and Party Rentals, for any of you close by.) 

When I came back inside, after deciding against the bounce house, I found Sonya and Lana on the couch in tears.  Great.  Just what I had time for, consoling crying children.  They wanted the bounce house!  Why couldn't we get it?!  I mentioned the rain, but they didn't seem to care.  I mean, a wet bounce house!  That's even MORE fun!  What was I thinking sending it away?

Eventually, they calmed down when I told them I would call and have it come back if it stopped raining. There was a better chance of Angelina and Brad showing up at Lana's party.  I resigned myself to the fact that it was just going to rain and I set up the party for inside.  I took the rug out of Sonya's room, set up the little picnic table and her face paints.  I put up the art easel, coloring book and crayons.  This would be the designated art area.  Lana and Georgia's room would just be a free for all play area.  I was sure it would be a disaster of mess at the end, but there was nothing else to be done.  Just for the record, we don't live in a huge house.  It's about 1600 square feet and about 500 of that is our bedroom, which I was NOT about to let the kids run around in.  Although, I briefly thought about setting up the bounce house in there.

 Okay good, I figured out how to have the party despite the weather outside.  Now there was the problem of my disabled husband laying on the bed in our room, unable to walk, let alone help get things ready. 

Let me go backwards a minute.  Earlier in the morning, before the unavoidable rain, Andy was putting something away in the attic. When he came back down, he mentioned that he might have tweaked his back.  He has this reoccurring back problem, that came about a couple years ago.  I told him to go take some Motrin and get on the Inversion Table right away, knowing how quickly this can go bad.  He usually hangs upside down on the Inversion Table on a regular basis, which keeps his back problems at by.  However, he's had a cold/sinus infection for a couple weeks and hanging upside down is not so great for his already stuffed up head.  He took the Motrin, but  before hanging upside down he needed to answer nature's call.  Except that sitting after he tweaked his back, was apparently not the best thing for him. I was outside rinsing out a cooler and the next thing I know Lana is calling me, because Daddy hurt his back real bad.  I found him in our bathroom leaning against the counter unable to move.  

"This is bad, this is bad," he kept repeating.  

We managed to get him over to the bed and laying down in a position that wasn't excruciating for him.  It was 10am.  The party started at 12:30.  He was freaking out, and saying how bad the pain was, how he couldn't move and what was he going to do.  I remained calm and collected on the outside saying,

"Let me think, we'll figure this out, don't worry about it.  Just rest."  

Except in my head I was thinking, "FuckfuckfuckfuckFUCK!!!"  It's okay, the girls can't hear me say that word in my head.

He couldn't move, I had a ton of things to do at the house still since it was raining, not to mention the food that needed to be picked up!  THE FOOD!!  And the Balloons!!  These were things he was supposed to do.  How the hell was I going to get everything done completely on my own in a little over  two hours, get myself ready and find a way to have Andy upright, in at least a little less pain, and party presentable??  This, my friends, is what being a mother is all about.  Finding a way out of a shitty mess of a day and make sure it's your daughter's best birthday party ever, without saying what I thought in my head out loud.  It wasn't easy, but I managed it.  

You will have to come back for the rest of the story later on this week though.  This one is getting a little long and we have to get to piano lessons.  

To be continued....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Fiery Five Year Old

Yesterday was Miss Lana's 5th birthday.  FIVE! She's FIVE!  Five feels like such an accomplishment.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's because it proves that for a second time I can keep a human being alive and functioning for five years. See, I DO know what I'm doing as a mom!!  And this one can be stubborn and ornery, so it's been even more of a challenge.  I think five also feels important, because this is when she will start elementary school, and her memory will most likely hold from here.  I know most of my earliest memories are around four or five.  There was a time, when she was a baby, that I wasn't sure I was good enough to make her survive until five. Why you ask?  Well, because at her nine month check up  we discovered she had only gained half a pound in three months.

Now for those of you who haven't had a baby, you're probably thinking, "How bad can that be really?"  But I heard you moms  just gasp in horror.  There are some babies that put on half a pound in two days.  So, half a pound from month six to month nine is more than not so good.  There was a simple explanation for this.  

When Lana was seven months old, I found out I was pregnant with Georgia.  Something, I've mentioned to you all before that was sooo not planned.  Yet, there I was pregnant and still nursing my second baby.  Lana had been eating some solid food, but she was still getting the majority of her calories from nursing.  Or perhaps she wasn't.  When my pediatrician discovered how little she had grown, he immediately became concerned and ordered a battery of blood tests for her.  I mentioned that I was pregnant and still nursing and perhaps my body couldn't keep up with both.  Perhaps my milk supply wasn't what it should be.  He didn't seem to think that was the problem, but decided it would be a good idea to put her on formula, so we knew exactly what she was getting.  

The good news is this all happened right after Christmas, and my parents were still visiting.  I decided to stop nursing completely and have my mom force a bottle on Lana.  I say force, because although none of the girls were ever good about taking a bottle, Lana NEVER took one.  When I say never, I mean never.  My mom tried for an entire day to get her to drink that thing and she flat out refused.  She would have starved to death before she put her lips on such a wretched thing.  Where was the boob??!!  It was so heartbreaking to hear her screaming and crying while my mom tried to coax formula into her.  The thing was, I really wasn't producing any milk, or very, very little.  I quit nursing cold turkey and I didn't even get so much as a slight twinge of pain or engorgement that you hear about.  My body had taken whatever it was using to make milk and put it toward growing the current baby residing inside of me.  I guess I wasn't up to the task of both.  Yes, it's silly, but I had felt guilty.

Since Lana refused to take a bottle, our only other option was combining any solid food she was eating with formula.  She had only just started the sippy cup and wasn't proficient at it, so we needed to get the calories in her any way we could.  So for a month, everything Lana ate was liquefied with formula.  Mashed green beans with two ounces of formula. Mmmm.... green bean liquid.  We fed it to her on a spoon and she ate it.  Mashed sweet potatoes, with formula, chicken with formula-you get the idea.  This worked though, because within a week she gained 1/2 a pound.  

In the meantime we still had to get her blood tested, just to be on the safe side that this wasn't some strange disease.  Let me tell you how much fun it is to make your nine month old baby have blood taken.  Zero.  Zero fun.  Less than zero even.   It was one of the more heart wrenching experiences of my life.  Turns out it is quite the challenge to find a vein in a baby.  The nurse must have stuck her with the needle at least five times before finding the vein to extract the blood from.  I held her on my lap and pinned her arms down.  Every time the nurse would stick her with the needle she would turn to me, crying and give me a look that said, "Why are you letting him do this to me??  I thought you were here to help me, woman!?"  I cried right along with her.  It seemed to take four hours, but I'm sure it was closer to four minutes, to get blood from her.  Thankfully, my mom was with me then too, because I don't think I could have handled it alone.  My nine month old baby begin stabbed over and over again.  My emotions were running high already because of being pregnant, nauseous, and overemotional with the third baby.   

When all was said and done the blood tests came back fine.  Nothing was seriously wrong with her.  It was just as I suspected, my milk supply had been seriously lacking.  As soon as the formula was force fed into her, she quickly gained weight and was back on track.  Well, sort of.  

Of the three girls, she is the tiniest one.  She and Georgia weigh exactly the same, and I have a feeling, G will be bigger than her soon enough.  Even though she just turned five, she will be sporting 4T for a while.  This may be just who she is and how she would have turned out anyway, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I feel responsible for her small size.  I don't know that those three months weren't pertinent to her long term growth.  I feel guilty that I didn't realize sooner that she wasn't gaining enough weight.  I feel guilty that I stopped producing enough milk.    It weighed on me for a couple years.  I've let it go, for the most part, now that I see how much she has grown and how healthy she is.  It's still in the back of my mind though, when I realize how much smaller she is than other kids her age.  My mom insists that my sisters and I were the same, and she is just "Taylor size". (My maiden name)  It's not as if any of my girls will be huge, seeing as how I am only 5'1" and Andy is 5'3".  However, as a mother, I still feel like I did something wrong.  

The good news is, she has stayed on track and grown according to her own chart.  Just today I had her at the pediatrician and she is growing and developing just fine.  She is only in the 5% for weight and under the 5% for height, but whatever.  Have you seen how big some five year olds are these days? Parents need to have their kids lay off the Happy Meals.  

Even though she is little, she is fiery, scrappy and a born survivor.  She makes people take notice even if she is a peanut.  She is headstrong and stubborn, but she can be loving and caring too.  She will be the one who makes sure she gets exactly what she wants out of life, I have no doubt.  Well, as long as she makes it though the teenage years without me killing her.  

 Happy Birthday Miss Lana Lu, Lana Drew!  Sonya may be the "sugar", and Georgia "the everything nice", but you are the "spice" in what little girls are made of and in our family.  I have a feeling five is going to be fun with you.  

Andy and I got her a guitar for her birthday.
She's going to be a Rock Star! It's pink AND
sparkly.  How could she NOT like it?
Trampoline from Nona & Grampy.
Cute outfit from Medz Mama and Meda Papa.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teary Eyed

Saturday Andy and I took the girls to see "The Lorax".  Normally, Sonya has baseball on Saturdays, but it was a very rainy day here in Los Angeles, which we needed badly.  So all games were cancelled and we took the opportunity to go to the movies instead.  Lana fared better this time.  There were only a few times she hid her eyes and asked when it was going to be over.  She will like going to the movies yet, dammit!

I thought the movie was good and the message behind it, which is of course the message of the book, is one that I knew would make me a bit emotional.  I get weepy at movies and TV very easily.  I always have, but it seems to have gotten worse since I had the girls.

Toward the end of the movie I could feel myself choking up.  Then I started to get teary eyed, when the last tree was cut down and the Lorax left.  (Sorry if I spoiled it, but it's in the book people!)  Just as I was trying not to cry I heard a sniff come from my right and I looked over to see Sonya completely in tears.  She was close to sobbing by the end.  Once I saw this there was  no way to keep my own tears from flowing.  She and I cried through the last ten minutes of the movie.  It appears I have passed on that sappy, overemotional, crying at movie gene to her.  I'm sure she'll feel just as stupid one day when she finds herself crying over a telephone or dog food commercial.  It's okay, though.  It happens to the best of us!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Season Two

Since it's the middle of March, Sonya is in full baseball season mode.  She had her first game a couple of weeks ago. This year she plays on a  coach pitch team.  I wasn't sure she was going to play at all this year though.  I'm not sure why, but by the end of the season last year, and all summer, she kept telling me she didn't want to play again.  She did such a great job last year and seemed to love it.  I wrote about it here and here.  I don't know if she was burnt out with all her activities by June, or she was nervous to go from T-ball to coach pitch, but she was adamant that she wasn't playing again.  I let it go and didn't bother her about it for a while, but then sign ups came around in December.  I managed to convince her to play again this year and see how it went.  If she hated it by the end, I would never make her play again.  So far, she is enjoying it even more this year, and I am putting a check in the good pushy mother category for myself.  Well, so far.

There are few reasons why it's better for her this year.  First of all, the team she is on this year, The Cardinals, really has their shit together.  The coaches know what they're doing and they're great with the kids.  Figuring out how to hit the ball when it's not on a T has been a challenge for her, but it's been a challenge for most of the kids.  She is starting to get the hang of it, as they all are.  She is also on the team with her best friend since she was 10 months old, Carter.

Carter and his family moved about an hour and half away a couple years ago, but this past December they moved back.  When Sonya was going to try outs for baseball in January, I told Stacy (Carter's mom) about it and mentioned they should sign Carter up.  They decided it was a great idea.  We did a little finagling and managed to get the kids on the same team.  This has helped to keep Sonya's interest in wanting to go to practice, because she gets to hang out with Carter.  It has also renewed her interest in playing the game.

She did well the first game of the season, but I could tell she was still a little nervous about doing this again.  Especially since the T was gone.  The good news was, the T came back after any kid couldn't hit the ball by five pitches.  During that first week, it was all of them.  So, T-ball was in effect that first game.  The second game, everyone seemed to pick it up a little more.  Sonya did end up hitting off the T her first at bat.  Her second time up, she did a bit better.   She was down to her last pitch before the T came out, but no need.  She hit the pitched ball.  So what if it was more like a bunt and rolled a few feet in front of home plate.  It was a fair ball, that she hit!  The other team had to scramble to get it, and because my girl is one speedy runner, she managed to make it safe on base before the ball was thrown.  This started a rally for her team.  Every Cardinal hit the ball and headed for base.  They scored quite a few runs, although I'm not even sure how many.  They don't  keep score at this age.

She played extremely well, defensively also.  During the second inning, she was playing the pitcher position and a ball was hit to her.  She stopped it, thought she had it, then quickly realized it had dropped out of her glove in front of her.  Any other kid would have become frustrated and moved more slowly to pick it up, not sure what to do.  Trust me, I've seen it.  Not Sonya though.  She spotted the ball on the ground, grabbed it, turned and threw it with precision right into the glove of the waiting first baseman, making the out just in time. Despite the mistake she made, she kept her cool and managed to get the out.  The kid seems to know what she's doing.

The coaches apparently agreed.   After the game, while the kids were having their snack and listening to their post-game talk from the coach, my little girl was presented with the game ball.  I, of course, choked back tears.  She was so excited and proud.  Andy and I even more so.  I mean, we know it's only Little League, but it's so great to see your child do well at something.  Especially when it's something they love.  Even if she fell out of love for a few months, it seems to be going strong again.  

Coach Marvin presents Sonya with the game ball.

Sonya, Carter and the game ball

Congratulations Sonya! Here's to many more great games to come!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Her Two Scents

Last week on my bi-monthly Target trip (I'm trying to cut down), I stopped in the candle aisle to look for something for the house and for gifts.  Usually we only burn Yankee candles around the holidays, but on those days when the house reeks from me making fish, or the trash hasn't been taken out in a timely manner, I need something to help cut down the smelliness.  So as I was smelling every candle in Target, Lana and Georgia were right beside me taking their own wiffs.

After a couple minutes, this started to make me nervous because one false sniff of the wrong strong scent and Georgia might be thrown into a migraine.  As of this point, she hasn't had one since the doctor put her on the medication.  She is due for one, so I'm grateful that it hasn't happened yet and keep hoping it's because of the medication. However, I am wondering if it just isn't time for one yet.  It's hard to tell.   I wasn't really wanting to tempt fate by having a bunch of different scents surrounding her, so I asked them to please stop smelling the candles, for Georgia's sake.  Yeah, right.  I realized I  had to get out of the aisle.  I quickly chose what I wanted and we left, before any damage was done.

Georgia seemed to be fine afterward and talked about how "da smells could make her dizzy", but she wasn't dizzy, so it seemed that test was passed.  It's nice to know this medicine really seems to be doing it's job.  On the way home in the car, she and Lana started to talk about smelling the candles again.  Georgia said,

"I smelled dem and day didn't make me dizzy!"

"I know," I told her, "but you just have to be careful, okay?"

"Yeah," she agreed. "Cuz I don wanna get dizzy and frow up."

"No, you don't," I said.

"Yeah, because wememba yast year when I frowed up in da bucket?" She told me.

Well, it was only two months ago, but it might as well be last year to her.  "I do remember," I told her.

"Yup!" She said.  "Cuz dats what being sick is ALL about!"

"Throwing up in bucket?" I asked.

"Yeah, and being dizzy," she reminded me.

Well, I guess to her that IS what being sick is all about.  Hopefully not anymore, or at least not for a while.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Bunny Hop

A few months back I wrote this story about the girls, and particularly Georgia, in dance class.  At the time I couldn't show you what they were doing, because we weren't allowed to video or take pictures.  This past Tuesday was the last class for this particular session, so the teacher allowed us to roll or snap away.  I took these videos with my phone.  The first one is a bit further away from them and you can get an idea of what everyone is SUPPOSED to be doing.  Sort of.  The second one, I managed to get closer to the girls so you can really see how awesome they are.  Awesomely adorable anyway.  The dancing....well, we're going to practice some more.  They are doing this Bunny Hop dance for the spring recital at the beginning of June.  You can tell the "hopping" is the favorite part for all the kids, especially my girls.  I also find it entertaining how Georgia can never really figure out which direction she is supposed to be dancing.  And Lana...Lana just looks bored.  Okay, so they might not be headed to a career in dance, but they do love going almost as much as I love watching them.  Hope you enjoy it too!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Burbank's Very Own Glee

A couple months ago, a friend I used to work with, sent me an email telling me about a show at the local high school in March.  Her daughter was in the show.  This particular show was not a play or a musical, but a singing, dancing Glee like extravaganza.  I had heard that the local high school had performances like this and that they were quite good.  So good that they had, in recent years, been on Oprah and traveled all over the world to compete.  In fact, the hit show Glee, had been somewhat based on the vocal program at John Burroughs High School.  They even fashioned the room on Glee after the one at JBHS.   Last year the teacher I had at the Parent Education Class I took Georgia to, was the mom of the director of the vocal program there. This how I came into all this information.  She really liked to brag about her son, and with good reason.  It was after that I found out my friend's daughter, was involved in the program.  Being somewhat of a Gleek myself, I was up for checking out a show sometime.  So when Marie sent me the information, I bought tickets for Sonya and myself.

I decided to just take Sonya for a few reasons.  First and foremost, Glee is something she and I watch together.  Now before you freak out about what content my child is exposed to, I usually preview it, or at least know what the episode entails, so it's nothing I can't explain and she shouldn't know about.  She did NOT watch the episode about everyone losing or trying to lose their virginity.  Obviously, we are not ready for certain conversations.  However, it's opened up other conversations for us and she asks me questions when she has them.  And to be perfectly honest, most of it goes over her head.  She just loves the singing and dancing.  Not to mention, I was watching shows like Three's Company when I was her age.  I did not get the whole  Jack pretending to be gay thing and living with two girls until I was much older.  I just thought John Ritter was funny.  It didn't really seem to effect how I turned out, although maybe it IS why I was okay  living with a boyfriend before marriage.  See mom and dad-it was TV's fault!  Anyway-  Sonya loves Glee, so I thought she would enjoy this show.  I wasn't about to take the other two because I knew there was no way they would sit through a show that long and I figured Andy wasn't chomping at the bit to go.  Plus Sonya and I needed some bonding time.  We don't get enough alone time, which I think is what is contributing to her acting more and more like hormonal eye-rolling teenager toward me.  I needed to get her back to a 7 year old little girl.

So, Saturday night we got dressed up and headed out of the house excited to find out just how good this vocal program was.  While we were searching for our seats I ran into a friend Andy used to work with.  I was surprised to see her and she informed me that they come to this show every year.

"It's AMAZING!  You're going to LOVE it!"

She did not exaggerate.  For almost three hours we were entertained with songs from every genre.  There were dance numbers with all the songs and the costumes.  OMG! THE COSTUMES!  I can't even tell you how many times those kids changed.  And the kids, they WERE amazing.  I couldn't get over the voices on kids 14-18 years old.  I couldn't believe I was watching a high school production.  The amount of time, energy, dedication, talent, and yes money, that went into this production was incredible.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  Sonya did as well, although she started to fade toward the end.  We didn't get out of there until 10:30 and her bedtime is two hours before that, so yeah.  She was a wee bit tired.  She fought to stay awake though.

During intermission, I found my friend Marie and commented on how beautiful and awesome her daughter was.  And she was.  That wasn't me being nice, that was me being completely honest.   Her daughter is in the highest vocal group, plus the acapella group.  She was fantastic and so incredibly pretty.  I'll let you know when she becomes famous.  Marie asked Sonya if she was enjoying the show and she said yes.  Then she asked if she thought she would want to be in it someday.  I knew the answer to that one.  Sonya is not my performer.  She has told us this herself, on more than one occasion.  Even though, she was in the school variety show and is all about doing things in front of the camera when I pull it out.  Still a huge audience that like freaks her out.  She might change, but I doubt it.  My money is on Lana or Georgia getting up there.  In fact I'm hoping one of them does.  Which brings me to one of the most surprising thoughts I'd ever had.   As I sat there that night, watching this talented bunch of kids and all the hard work they had done, more than once this thought went through my head:

"I can't wait for my girls to go to high school."

Never saw that one coming!  Even though I've always feared the teens years, I see now that there will be much to look forward to.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Age Is All Relative

Last week, while driving Lana to school, here is the conversation we had:

Lana- "Mommy, when will we be old like Nona, Grampy and Medz Mama and Medz Papa?"  

Me- "When will YOU be that old?"

Lana- "No, when will you be old like dat?"

Me- "You mean me and Daddy?" 

Lana- "No, not Daddy.  He's already old.  When will just you be dat old?"

Then, Lana officially became my favorite.  Can't say my parents, in-laws and especially husband will have the same feelings though.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Okay, so have I made you wait long enough to tell you about our celebrity encounter?  Well, if you're in the know, the title of this entry clues you in to who it was.  If not, then I'll just say it.  Neil Patrick...wait for it...Harris.  That's right,  Doogie effing Howser!  AKA-currently the girl chasing character Barney on How I Met Your Mother, a show I watch every week.  In real life he's a super nice gay guy with a partner and adorable boy and girl twins.  We're totally best friends now and have a playdate set up for next week.  Here's what happened.

Well, I guess before I tell you this story, you should know that I like to talk to celebrities. Anyone who knows me will tell you I have no problem walking up to them, introducing myself, and chatting with them. Most of the time I tell them how much I like whatever show or movie they've done.  I promise it's not as douchy as it sounds.  I am very respectful.  I don't chase after anyone and when I've said my piece I leave.  I don't turn into some teenage Justin Bieber loving girl and squeal when I see someone.  (Although, I have not met Jon Bon Jovi. There is a small chance I would do that with him.)  

There were many celebrities I met when I used to work at the movie advertising company.  People like, Adam Sandler, Kevin Costner, and Mike Myers.  Then there is the place the girls take gymnastics where I became acquaintance/friends with Christine Taylor of the Brady Bunch movies, married to Ben Stiller (who I also met at one point).  We used to chat while our girls took their class.  They moved to New York last year though, so we don't hang out anymore.  Sonya used to have class with Joel Mchale's oldest kid and we were friends with them for a while.  For real though.  We went to birthday parties.  Last summer I walked over to Jason Bateman, who was sitting at gymnastics, and chatted with him for a bit.  He recommended that I see Bridesmaids stating that it was a very funny movie.  Then there are the countless times I just run into stars out and about.  One of my favorite encounters was with Michael Keaton and Quentin Tarantino.  It was my twenty something  birthday and I was out at a bar with some friends.  Michael and Quentin were sitting at a booth chatting.  I walked over to them, and complimented their work.  They asked what we were doing out, I mentioned it was my birthday and the next thing you know, they were singing a round of "Happy Birthday" to me.  Yup, I got serenaded by Michael Keaton and Quentin Tarantino on my birthday.  I don't think many people can say that.  It's one of the perks of living in L.A.  You can just run into a celebrity on any given day.  And I don't care what anyone says, when you see someone, it's fun.  I love it, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.  People can pretend they don't care, but they sure will tell you if they see someone themselves.  So, on Saturday night when Andy told me that Neil Patrick Harris was in the restaurant, I did happen to get a little excited.  

He mentioned it to me as we were looking over the menu to order.

"Don't turn around, but Neil Patrick Harris is here," he said to me.

"Where!?" I said excitedly, but NOT turning around.

"DON'T TURN AROUND!" He said again, not trusting me.  

Please!  I've been through this before.  I know how to play it cool in these celebrity situations.  I just took Lana to the bathroom to see where he was.  Well, she did have to go.  

Sure enough there he was sitting diagonally behind us with a table full of family.  The twins were in high chairs and looked to me not much older than a year.  That in itself, it when I felt better about the girls being there.  We WEREN'T the only ones with kids at sushi!  Neil Patrick Harris brought his even younger kids out!  He was even more awesome now.  

Of course, after I realized he was there, the wheels started turning in my head as to how I could go over and tell him how much I loved him. Without being douchy or disrespectful of course.  Eventually, I decided there wasn't really a good way.  He was having dinner with his family and I wasn't about to bother him.  I figured this would just be a celebrity sighting this time and not an encounter.  Until...

"Hey mom!  That looks like the guy from TV!" Sonya said halfway through dinner.

Andy and I responded at the same time with, "That IS the guy from TV."

"He's an actor, Sonya," Andy explained to her.  

Her eyes got wide, "Ooohh..." she said somewhat captivated.  

Then Andy and I spent the next five minutes trying to figure out how she knew he was, "the guy from TV".  She doesn't watch How I Met Your Mother.  I love the show but it's not exactly kid friendly. Perhaps she'd seen a commercial for it?  

"Was he on Sesame Street?" Andy asked.

I'm sure he had been at one point, but it has been a while since the girls have watched that show, and I doubted she would remember him from when she was three.  

"Wait!  Wasn't he in the Muppets?" Andy said referring to the latest movie.

"Yes!" I said at first, and then immediately, "No, no he wasn't in was another kids movie...THE SMURFS!' I suddenly realized.  

"Oh yeah!" Sonya exclaimed.  "I liked that movie."

Here was my opening.  Yes, I was going to use my child.  It was only fair.  I mean I feed her, and take care of her all day.  The least she could do was help me meet Mr. Harris.

"Sonya," I said.  "If you want, I will take you over there and you can tell him how you liked him in the movie."

Sonya is a bit shy when it comes to new people and with a pained look said, "Nooo...I don't want to."

"Okay," I said, letting it go again.  "I guess she didn't get that gene from me," I told Andy.  

"I'll go!" Lana piped up.  

"No, it's okay Lana," I said.  She had no idea who he was or seen the movie, so that was pointless.  But it's good to know she's so willing to talk to strangers.  

Over the next ten minutes I could see Sonya glancing in Neil Patrick's direction.  She looked conflicted.  Then finally she said to me,

"Mommy, I want to go, but I want YOU to tell him." 

Let's see, let me think about this...."Okay, let's go!" I said.  

Luckily, he was done with dinner and they were all packing up getting ready to leave the restaurant, so were weren't interrupting the meal.  I walked over to where he was loading up the diaper bag, with Sonya in tow.  

"Excuse me, Mr. Harris?" I said, making sure I didn't sound  not to sound like crazy fan lady.

"What? What happened?!" He said in his comedic tones.  

"My daughter just wanted to come over here and tell you how much she liked you in The Smurfs movie," I told him.  

"OH! You saw The Smurfs?" He said addressing Sonya.

She shook her head yes, completely entranced and beaming.  

"I'm Neil," he said shaking her hand.

She responded with a somewhat audible, "I'm Sonya."

"Well, you know we're making a new one that is going to come out next summer.  Smurfette gets into all kinds of trouble." He told her.  

"Oh we'll have to go see that!" I said, looking at Sonya.

Then I told him how much I liked him in How I Met Your Mother.  I asked about the twins and how old they were.  He told me 16 months. Then his partner interjected apologizing about how bad they were at dinner, hoping they didn't bother anyone.  I reassured him that it was fine, and they were braver than I was for even taking babies out for sushi.  Neil, (yes we're on a first name basis) said they've been eating sushi, since they started eating food and how much they loved it.  Then we thanked him, he said goodbye to us, we went  to our table and they left.  He couldn't have been a sweeter guy and especially to Sonya.  She sat back down at dinner smiling from ear to ear.  I love him even more now.  

When I told my sister, Beth, this story she requested that we have a run in with a celebrity when she and her family come to visit this summer.  While I can't guarantee that we will run into someone, I am the person you want to be with if you do.  I will go up and talk to anyone.  They're just people, after all.   I see no reason NOT to talk to them.  And in all the years that I have met and chatted with a star, I have yet to meet someone who has blown me off or been a complete asshole.  When it comes down to it, they got into this business not just because they loved to act, but because they wanted to be famous.  Having someone recognize you and want to talk to you comes with the territory.  I don't care what any of them might say, on most levels they like it.  I know I would.