Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I'm caught...

So I've been doing this for at least a week but now my mom was finally sneaky enough to see it and catch it on video too and I am not happy about first...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Playdate to Heaven...

A little bit of background:
1. I gag when I brush my teeth.
2. When I was younger, I was known for the Shea-shudder--an uncontrollable whole-body tremor when drinking any strong alcohol.
3. When Sidney was an infant, I could not clean her umbilical cord stump without gagging and leaving the room after every swipe. That was the first time. After that, it just didn't get cleaned unless Matt was home.
4. Thinking about anything the texture of runny egg whites, no matter what color causes an instant gag. Seeing it almost guarantees a trip to the restroom.

So, Sidney had a playdate the other day. She was long overdue for some non-adult and non-infant interaction, so I finally took the initiative I should have taken much earlier this summer and called one of her schoolmates to arrange a visit. The plan--I would pick up her little friend and bring her back to our house pretty early in the morning so her mom could take full advantage of her toddler's midmorning nap. We'd return sometime in the afternoon so mom and I could enjoy a chat while our girls gained some extra play time.

Despite the lack of sleep our 4 month old is imposing on us these days, we miraculously get out the door shortly after 8am and make the trek through the morning traffic to pick up Sid's friend. As we're heading to the car, the two girls holding hands, mom calls after me to let me know that her daughter was too excited to eat much breakfast, so she barely even finished a kid-sized yogurt. No problem. We get in the car and we're off, the baby screaming as is her traveling habit, the two girls buckled in but still managing all kinds of loud interactive movement. I begin offering up the Hail Marys as my weak attempt at not scolding them for all the unnecessary noise in the car.

When we're about 10 minutes from our house and stuck in slow moving highway traffic, Sid's friend announces that her tummy doesn't feel too well. I'm not surprised or too concerned--she's been awake for hours, with just a small yogurt to fill her tummy and she and Sidney have spent the last few minutes looking at one of those seek-and-find books...just a little case of the carsick-queasies. I give an offhand reassurance that we're almost home and then suggest she tell me if she thinks I need to pull over for her. The girls resume their backseat fun and I go back to my Hail Marys. Phew.

We finally manage to get away from the slow-moving highway fumes onto our exit, when the little girl again announces that she still isn't feeling well. I offer some suggestions about what could be wrong in a weak effort to reassure her--perhaps she's warm, reading in the car makes me carsick, empty stomach, the fumes. Nope, nope, nope, nope. "I think it's driving too fast," she states matter-of-factly through her now greenish-hued glance. Ok, I think, better pull over.

We make it to a McDonald's parking lot, where I park and let her out of the car and guide her to a grassy patch, hand her a water bottle and suggest she just sit for a few minutes. We sit a long time, and she doesn't look any better, but we're just sitting. No need for a bag or a stop in the restroom. We're 2 minutes from home now, so back in the car we go. Because we've worked hard to instill a sense of concern and care in our daughter, Sidney repeatedly asks her friend if she's going to puke and then proceeds to talk about how gross that is. More Hail Marys.

We pull into the garage, I let the girls out of the car and move to get the baby seat out and into the house. As I'm putting the car seat down in our front room, I hear a request for the bathroom. As Sidney directs her friend, I hear the splash on the hallway tile.

Somehow I was able to mentally check out for a few minutes--just enough time to give the poor little girl a roll of paper towels to clean herself off as I wiped up the rest with minimal gagging. The little girl was so devastated--can you imagine adding insult to injury by gagging and being sick while trying to help her clean up. Somehow I don't think that getting sick immediately after someone else qualifies as compassion.

God doesn't called the equipped. God equips the called. Thank You God!

I'm thankful today for the realization that sometimes I feel completely out of my league in this adventure of my vocation. I'm thankful for the reminder that if I was so great at everything I was called to do, I would fail to seek the One who called me to this job in the first place. And, I'm thankful today for long naps.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Dreams can come true...

even in animation!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Don't forget why we celebrate this day!

I can't say it any better...

"Just a little note to wish all of you a very Happy 4th of July. Today you all celebrate America’s 231st birthday and that’s something quite special. To some, it may just be a day off, and a break from the everyday routine of going to work, school or just doing the necessary chores to maintain our busy households.

I caution the former however, as that would indeed miss the significance of the day. America gives us much but it’s up to you to embrace her promise. Today, hopefully, you will all take time out to enjoy her gifts, by perhaps enjoying your families, your homes, and your freedoms to do just about anything you want. All because your country has given you that gift and that opportunity. Please take the time to thank her in your own way for these wonderful gifts. Gifts not shared by the majority of the populations of the world.

Take the time to realize just how special and wonderful it is to be an American, especially today. Patriotism, love of country and the love of the colors red, white and blue, should never be dismissed as corny or unfashionable. Whether young or old we must never forget this and must never turn our backs on the Great Lady in the Harbor who has stood as a symbol for so many throughout all these years. To do so would ignore the sacrifices of so many Americans who have served in her wars and her military, worked in her factories, studied in her schools, taught her children, built muti-million dollar companies from her garages, comforted the sick in her hospitals, protected us from crime and fire, volunteered millions of hours to her children, among countless other examples. Let us continue to be proud, not ashamed, to embrace the words, “In God We Trust” and recognize that without the opportunity to embrace any God or Supreme Being, we can not be truly thankful for the blessings of today and reality of America.

I have been away from the shores of our country on this day before. It is both rather remarkable and rather sad. To those who have not experienced this, it is quite unique. Today, I miss the hills of Georgia and the shores of America more than ever. I miss the scents of a burning BBQ, and the sounds of children running, of pool water splashing, of parades, of fireworks at night, of the crack of a bat and a ball, of flags snapping in the wind and most of all laughter in the air. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to be at the US Embassy in Kabul. The first thing I saw, after going through the steel gate with my helmet, weapons and protective gear, was Old Glory waving brilliantly from a huge flagpole. As they say, “I was on American soil,” and my God you can’t imagine how wonderful and different that felt.

We all serve our country in many ways. Know this is our wish to you from all your Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen, who wish we could be there with you today and enjoy all those sounds above. We’re very proud to serve you today and always. The Honor is ours. Please continue to serve your great country. Teach your children what it means to be American and what it means to celebrate Independence Day. God bless America. " ~MAJ Nick Satriano
Legal Advisor
Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation..." ~General Douglas MacArthur

Monday, July 2, 2007

Proud of the house we've built...

Of course I don't literally mean THE House. I mean the environment. The warmth. The comfort. The friendship. The fun.

Have you ever walked into someone's home and you just knew you didn't need to take your shoes off if you didn't want to, but that you totally could throw shoes and socks to the wind if your pretty little heart desired? I think that's our house in a nutshell. At least I hope it is.

I often look at the Pottery Barn catalog. Actually, I pine over it every time I get a new one in the mail. I adore The Pottery Barn. I want every single item I see in those catalogs. I pour over every sleigh bed in a variety of finishes. Every day bed. Every bedding ensemble and organizational piece of furniture. The items in the Pottery Barn catalog are elegant and expensive. They are rich in fabric, in texture. The pieces that look like they are made with real wood are actually made with real wood! Everything has a color coordinated everything else!

In my mind, I imagine a beautiful and amazing Pottery Barn house where each and every item is put in the place perfect for its display. Everything in that house is meticulously organized. The junk-drawer-that-everyone-has-but-can't-admit-to-having is actually a beautiful fabric lined basket tucked neatly away. All the kids have monogrammed polos which are folded nicely and put in the proper monogrammed bin in the closet. Every time I imagine this nonexistent house, I can't help but think of all the things I would do if I ever visited someone there. Of course, I would be wearing something linen, my hair would be perfectly windblown and my freckles would be glowing from having just stepped off my boat from an afternoon frolic on the ocean with the sun beaming on my face. I would probably be wearing sandals that may be a bit sandy, but I would enter the house with them on anyway. My host would generously offer me a cup of tea, because despite weather befitting an afternoon on the water, the wind blowing up from the beachfront is just enough to create a chill in the house. A light breeze that perfectly accompanies an afternoon cup of tea. My host would politely remind me that the tea will take "just a few minutes" and that I shouldn't hesitate to "make myself comfortable." This will immediately bring a bright smile to my face, because I am already in her living room with my sandals kicked off and my feet pulled up onto one of those beautiful armchairs, happily flipping through the most recent Pottery Barn catalog.
Gosh, that image makes me so happy! It makes me miss my dearest friend in the whole world--the one who would be furious if her husband brought an important guest home without at least giving her the 20 minute warning so she could whip around the house desperately trying to create just the right order and ambience. This is the same friend who would be delighted if I popped in just to say hello and spent the whole afternoon gabbing with her instead. And the order in her home at my random pop-by is basically the same as the special guest would receive. Because her home is that elegant and comfortable all at the same time, all the time. Everyone is always welcome, and everyone feels as if the environment is just perfect for whatever the occasion.

When I think of my friend, I realize her house isn't full of expensive catalog furniture and accessories. There are neatly organized areas for kids' things. The furniture is nice, but comfortable. And there is always a cup of tea brewing on the counter. It's never perfectly neat and clean, but it's never a disorderly mess either. It's not about creating an image for her, it's just simply living. Everyday, it's the same way--a day full of games and fun with the kids or an afternoon gab with a good friend. It's simply a home filled with love.