Friday, December 30, 2005

OCD . . not officially diagnosed

I don't know if this falls into the category of OCD EXACTLY . . but I find it hard to part with things, purely physical THINGS without some sort of goodbye.

Case in point, today at work, I took my 2005 calendar down to hang up my new 2006 Lighthouse calendar (that I snagged for $1 at Target!). I felt bad simply tossing the old calendar in the trash. I had to kind of hold it for a moment and then give it a kiss before throwing it away.

Get that look off of your face. I know that's not normal.

Happy New Year.

Still no Christmas pictures, but a Birthday pig* instead

Tracy, my buddy from work (bottom row, on the left) celebrated her 27th b-day on the 20th of December. We celebrated by going to Semolina's and ingesting mass quantities of pasta dishes. Enjoy this lovely picture of a group of us. I detest the way I look in the picture, but hey, I guess it looks like me, so what you gonna do?

As I've said before, I'm so thankful for my friends here at work. They make my days bearable and keep me laughing on a regular basis. They also all enjoy eating, which is way up there on my list.

**When I ran the spellcheck on this, it changed my 'pic' to 'pig'. I thought it was appropriate, so I let it ride.

Peace out. Probably my last post before the New Year 2006, so have a great one. See you next year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

If you want Christmas pictures, don't look here.

I didn't take one Christmas picture this year. Not one. Why, you ask? Because I'm a bad mother and Christmas was so crazy with everything, I didn't bring my camera anywhere. I do like to share a good picture though so here's an oldie but goodie from 4 years ago, wee Anna and wee-wee Pearl. I found it on my PC last week and just had to share it because they both should win an award for cuteness. Don't you think?

Christmas was great. The girls had a great time opening all of their loot. I ended up spilling the beans to Anna about Santa because I screwed up on two of her 'Santa' gifts and put the wrong name (one Emma and one John M.). She looked very suspicious and she had every right to be. I told her about Santa a little while later and she took it well. She said she suspected it, but she was afraid she wouldn't get any gifts if she let on that she knew. So, that's that.

1 nosy 10-year-old + 1 scatterbrained mom = THERE IS NO SANTA!.

So, now the stress of Christmas is over and a new year is about to begin. Look out, 2006, here we come.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Renee's 5 Random Things . .

I've been tagged by Kether to share 5 random things about myself. Let's see what I can come up with. Can you feel the excitement? No?

1. I was a REALLY picky eater as a kid. As in, I wouldn't eat pizza, peanut butter (still don't, on that one), spaghetti, tacos, a lot of the normal kid stuff. All I would eat was hot dogs, bologna, macaroni and cheese, and french fries . . lots of those.

2. I never made an 'N', (equivalent to a 'D') in elementary school until I was in 5th grade. I distinctly remember it because I had missed a couple of days of school and had to do a 'make-up' paper about Johnny Appleseed. I hurried through it and Mr. Goodroe ( a long string-bean of a guy with a little tiny moustache) gave me an 'N' on it. I wanted to punch him square in the face.

3. My student job while at LSU, was at a library called Hill Memorial, which houses special collections. I worked in the basement and my main duty was to microfilm newspapers from throughout the state. This entailed flipping pages, flattening them out with a stick and taking a picture. I did this for hours at a time. ANY job seemed exciting after that.

4. I have deja vu very often.

5. Aunt Flo first visited when I was 12, my sister was 9 when she got her visit. 9!!

That's it for now. Do you know me better now?
I tag Tara,
and Momyblogr.
Peace out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Christmas MeMe

Stolen from Christa and ChesneyGirl - the both of them! Thanks, girls.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate! I've never tried egg nog but I just know I don't like it!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? When I was growing up, they came unwrapped. My kids get them wrapped. More work for me, why did I start that?!

3. Colored or White lights on tree/house? Colored.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Sometimes.

5. When do you put up your decorations? I'm not a big decorator. Bah, humbug, but we usually put the tree up a couple of weeks before Christmas.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? It used to be Maw Maw Jean's roast and rice and gravy.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Hmm. . that's a hard one. I guess, when my sister and I saw the REAL Santa at Pike's Peak and came home and bragged to our cousins how we had seen the actual Santa Claus!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I think I was about 8. I cried.

9. Do you open a present on Christmas Eve? We open all of our family presents then.

10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him? Chips Ahoy! I'm no baker.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I like it . . for about 15 minutes.

12. Can you ice skate? Well, yeah, it's not really skating though. More like ice walking.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I was really excited to get the Weeble McDonald's when I was about 4 or 5!

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Spending time with my family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Christmas cookies...I'm not much of a sweets/baked goods person.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Mass on Christmas Eve and then dinner and presents with my family

17. What tops your tree? An angel

18. Which do you prefer, Giving or Receiving? Okay, I can't lie - receiving.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? Louisiana Christmas Day by Aaron Neville

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yum.

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Santa's visit 2004

I just found this photo of this picture from last year's Christmas. It was a note that 'S.C.' left for the girls on our dry erase board. I look at the handwriting and wonder how in the world they didn't know it was me. It looks just like the way I normally write. I guess they're so sure it's Santa, that it being anyone else writing it would be out of the question.

I always leave a little cookie and milk remainder. I'm not sure why. Do you do the same? I mean, he must be so full from eating cookies at all of the other houses . . he couldn't possibly eat the whole thing, right?! And reindeer food, we usually leave that too. Every year, the girls make this at school and they make sure I don't forget the reindeer on Christmas Eve. That food probably stays on the ground all of 15 seconds before being gobbled up by Nala, the golden retriever 'pig' next door.

I can't believe Christmas is just a few days away. Break out the reindeer food and let's party.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Exactly 1 year, 2 months, 3 weeks and 1 day ago....

Shoppers Anonymous

I've ordered so much crap in the last couple of months from every online website known to man that I can't even tell you what I ordered. I am the queen of looking for promotional codes, deferred billing, and free shipping deals. I owe so much on credit cards, I could cry. Mark, you're not reading this, are you?
Well, most of it is Christmas gifts. Notice I say 'most'.
But the good news is, I'm almost done. Almost . . .

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Happy 60th, Daddy!

Today would have been my Dad's 60th birthday. See him here on the left as a small boy. I just want to kiss the picture on my computer monitor. How cute is he?

My mom likes to have us think of what he must be doing up in heaven. Sleeping late (he loved that), having a drink, watching a ball game. The only thing that's missing is us. But not really.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

See that little red fella hanging out of the olive?

Emma was eating a stuffed olive yesterday and commented how she doesn't like the 'little red slimy thing' in the olive. I said 'that's called a pimento'. She says 'well, I don't want my puppy-toe'.
That's what it should be called. Puppy-toe. Maybe if the puppy was in a horrible accident.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Shrinking Family

Here's Category 5 John M. and his Paw-Paw PJ (Mark's dad). Are they a cute couple?

This picture, combined with the holiday season, has started me thinking about how our family is shrinking. Mostly on my side, I guess, not Mark's. Mark's brother just got married so I guess his family actually grew instead. (Hi Emily, we love ya!).

In the past 3 years, my family has had many losses. My dad a year and a half ago, my paternal grandmother almost 2 years ago, and my maternal grandmother the year before. Our family has always been small anyway (my dad was an only child and my mom only has one brother who lives up in Washington). I have only 2 first cousins who also live up in Washington. So, holidays were usually spent with the 7 of us. My three grandparents (my maternal grandfather died when I was only 7), my parents, my sister and myself. It was always great though. We shared a closeness among the 7 of us that I think many larger families miss out on somewhat. We each had our place at my parent's dining room table and we could all eat together at the same time. It was nice.

As I'm writing this, I'm thinking, okay, Renee, we didn't shrink, we EXPANDED. Now, with my sister's family of 6, mine of 5, and my mom and grandfather, we have 13. But, it still feels like we've gotten smaller. I guess because I feel so much that the three people that we lost should be here. Especially my dad, he was young and he should still be with us. Sitting with us at the dinner table. Holding his namesake, Category 5, on his lap.

But I didn't mean for this post to be a downer, and now it is. So, I'm going to count my blessings . . Mark, Anna, Emma, John M., Adele, Kelli, and so on and so on. I AM indeed blessed and sometimes writing these posts is just what I need to realize that.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Morning confirmation that I'm still in Louisiana

Mark (on the phone to co-worker): Hey Paige, where y'at?

Y'at = you at

We know it's supposed to be 'Where are you?'.
And no, we're not uneducated hicks as normally portrayed on TV and movies.
We're just embracing our Cajun heritage. You see?

It's just kinda rolls off the tongue. Try it, 'Hey, where y'at?'

Friday, December 09, 2005

Happy Birthday, Emma!

Emma's birthday is today. Another baby girl growing up way too fast. She's been looking at me with those huge blue eyes for 8 years (and yes, she's had me wrapped all along, just like her brother) and getting her way, against my will.

Em, you are so much like me, it scares me sometimes. Thank you for being so silly and cracking me up on a daily basis. Your sense of humor is way beyond your years and sometimes I wonder where you come up with the things that you do. Your memory is like one I've never experienced. You remember EVERYTHING and you serve as my memory too most days. I'm so proud of you when I see you with your brother. You are so gentle and caring with him and I know one day, you'll be a great mother to your own babies. Keep making me laugh, girl! I really don't think I could make it through a day without it.

Happy 8th Birthday, my Emmy. I love you more than you can ever know.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Before she was the cream in the oreo

Here's little mini-Emma; she was 3 in this picture. She's holding mini-Pearl, how cute are they both? Even down to the little bruised leg. She was my baby back then. Little did I know that in 4 years, she would be my 'middle'. Emma had a few Jan Brady issues about not being the youngest, nor the oldest. She liked the 'baby' position in the family. And I can't blame her; that was my family position and it was a good one.

The girls love to watch reruns of 'Full House' and there's an episode about Stephanie, the middle daughter, not wanting to be in the middle. They tell her that many of the best things in life are in the middle, the meat of a sandwich, the cream in the oreo, etc. I reminded Em of this and I think it helped . . a little. I still have to remind her sometimes how lucky she is to have a taste of both worlds. Being an older sister, and a younger one, all at the same time.

So, she was the chocolate back then in 2000, but now she's my cream.

And she's going to be 8 years old tomorrow. As I always say, how did THAT happen?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Master Photographer

Check out the egret on the left. At least, I think it's an egret.
Anyway, I took this photo at the zoo Saturday and I think it actually came out pretty good. It's somewhat centered, not too blurry, no fingers in the shot, no kids body parts obscuring the bird. Right? Right.

Anyway, as you've probably guessed, not much to post about today so I'm giving you the bird.

(Happy Birthday to my best buddy, Alison! Hope you have a good one, Al. Your age has finally caught up with my bra size.) ;^)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The best entertainment after 'Wife Swap' ends

Something about a little nude baby booty never gets old. I could just sit there and watch it for hours. And knead it like dough.

That's all I have to say about that.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Santa dilemma

I'm looking for advice. On the Santa situation. As you know, my oldest just turned 10 years old. My middle is about to turn 8 on Friday. They're a couple of little nosy children. Wonder where they get that from?! Anna's the worst. She feels the need to know everything going on this side of the Mississippi.

Anna's been very curious these past few weeks, with her birthday and now Christmas coming. She's been snooping worse than Cindy Brady. She discovered some of her birthday presents early, no big deal. Now, she's moved on to the hunt for her Christmas gifts. If we get a package (I've ordered lots from Mr. Internet . .it's so easy!), she wants to see what's in it right away. If there's a box anywhere in a 10 mile radius, she wants to open it up. Her big brown eyes are everywhere and it's starting to tick me off.

Mark had moved a box of Christmas things (one being a 'Santa' gift) into our office/junk room. The Santa gift was in sight and guess who saw it? She then proceeded to show Emma, who isn't naturally as nosy as her sister. They look at me with these little grins because they think it's funny. I don't. I finally blew and said to Anna, 'OKAY, do you WANT me to tell you about something that only grown-ups know?', and she got really sheepish and left the room with a quick little 'uh-uh'.

See, the thing is, I think she knows the truth, but doesn't want to have it in writing, so to speak. Because then the party would be over. She couldn't even pretend to believe anymore. Of course, I want her to believe and really hesitate to tell her, because you know, she's my first baby. A 10-year old baby, but hey. .

I'm lazy and the hiding and plotting and planning is getting to me. I'm not getting any younger, you know. This was much easier when I had just little kids, but these big, older, smart, James Bond types are hard to fool. What do y'all think? Should I tell Anna? What about Emma? What have y'all done or plan on doing?

Ho Ho Ho.

Bah Humbug.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Zoo Day

It was another Louisiana winter day here Saturday. Close to 80 degrees and breezy, so we decided to meet up with some friends and go to the Baton Rouge Zoo. Here's some pics from the playground there, where John M. had a great time. This was the first time he actually LOOKED at the animals and seemed interested. We had a good time and it was nice to spend some time with Joy, Frances, and Owen before they move back to New Orleans.
We're headed to a cookie swap in a minute to um . . swap cookies, I guess. Can you stand the excitement? I bet not.
Peace out.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The highpoint of my day . .

okay, maybe the highpoint of my week. The month . . the year?
When I picked John M. up yesterday from the babysitter's, he reached his little chubby arms up to me, as he does most days. When I scooped him up, he wrapped said arms around my neck, touched me ever so gently with his fat little baby fingers on my neck. And then leaned his little golden head against mine. For about 3 or 4 seconds. A hug! Initiated by him! I melted right there. He could have done absolutely anything right then and gotten away with it.

He's a little hurricane, a troublemaker, he breaks all of my things, and he's spoiled beyond belief. But, he's a keeper. He SO has me wrapped.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Anna and Emily

Anna approached me night before last and said this to me, "Mom, remember how you asked what we wanted for Christmas? I want an anthology of poems."

After I came to and got off of the floor, I said, "You DO?". She told me that her poetry teacher (a local poet who had volunteered to teach the kids poetry for 6 weeks) had told them about anthologies and she was interested in reading one. She has talked about the poetry class many times in the past few weeks and I could tell it was something that really caught her attention from the get-go.

She has a specific interest in Emily Dickinson. After asking for the poetry book, she gave me a pretty comprehensive background of Emily Dickinson that she had learned in her class. Anna spoke about it with such enthusiasm and genuine interest, that I knew this was something that had somehow struck a chord in her. She read me poems that she had written in class, including one about my Dad's shirt (a shirt that she kept to remember the smell of my Dad). It touched me so much that I started to cry. I felt so much pride, listening to her talk the poetry and her interpretations of that the words meant. At times like this, I'm so overcome with love and pride, I feel like I may blow. All you parents out there know exactly what I mean.

I hope her interest in poetry and writing sticks with her. I'll do what I can to lend to this interest. In the mean time, I'll just sit here about to burst with pride and try not to smother her with hugs and kisses every minute.