This Post Brought to You By the Letter M (for migraine)

I woke up this morning with a familiar pain behind my left eye, my evil visitor otherwise known as Migraine Mack. After brushing my teeth, I downed two ibuprofen, returned to bed with our portable DVD player and a Netflix disc of Burn Notice (I've only just discovered this quirky burned spy series and am LOVING catching up with it, slowly working my way through Season 1 now), and hoped for the best.

The best was not to be because after a while I had to stop it, turn off the lamp, close the shutters and just lie in the semi-darkness and suffer. The silly thing is we have some Excedrin Migraine, and I'm pretty sure it works even though I've never tried it. And even though Scott regularly reminds me it cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 and is labelled specifically for migraine relief, I usually rely on generic ibuprofen to work, which it usually does, albeit more slowly. Did you know I'm stubborn and afraid of liver damage?

Since we were out late last night roller skating (I know!), Annelise slept later (10:00am!!). When she finally came downstairs she assessed the situation (pitiful) and suggested she make her own breakfast and watch some TV.

I said that would be divine.

Or maybe I just mumbled something like Urgh.

A little while later, in nauseated desperation, I took one geltab of Excedrin Migraine.

About twenty minutes and one short nap later I felt human again. I guess I'll have to suck it up and tell Scott he was right and I should always listen to his advice.


Do you get migraines (or bad headaches)? What do you take? Do you watch Burn Notice?


You've Got a Friend in Me

Dollar store candy was stashed in my big purse.
A late Friday afternoon lunch at McAlister's Deli was enjoyed by this one.
And by this one and this little one too.
Cowboy boots were on. We somehow managed to convince her to leave her holster and *gun* at home.
And for the next hour and a half-ish, we three were completely caught up in the latest adventures of Woody, Buzz, Jessie and all their friends. We laughed, we cried (Annelise was almost in a ball in my armpit desperately trying not to do The Ugly Cry when, well...I don't want to spoil it if you haven't seen it yet, so I'll just say the traumatic trash incident), we didn't want the movie to end.
But it did.
In a delightfully perfect way.
That still got me choked up.

Over the weekend these guys took up residence, to the utter glee of this one.
We're kind of happy to have them here too.
Annelise even wrote her name in a Sharpie on the bottom of each boot (one space, one cowboy and one cowgirl). I thought that was fitting and sweet.
But then again, I'm the kind of girl who believes toys just might be having their own amazing adventures when left to their own devices. That thought makes me happy.
Have you seen Toy Story 3 yet? (You simply MUST go se it!) Who's your favorite character? Do you like to believe toys might be having their own adventures when we're not around too?


Tennis Anyone?

Game face: Check.

Ready position: Check.
Volley practice: Check.Water breaks: Check.
Skills and drills (sneakily presented as games): Check. Group Cha-Cha Slide: Check.
A great week of Coach Pat's awesome tennis camp with friends: Check.
(Shhh...don't tell her, but I'm kind of looking forward to sleeping in next week.)


And I Ran...I Ran (Not So) Far Away

There comes a moment, that perfect moment, when you (and I really mean me) stop making lame excuses and get back to running. Even if you (and I really mean me) have to start practically back at square one and shake off any potential embarrassment over bulges and newly found jiggly places.

Like the profound musical entertainer P!NK says, So What?!?

Sometimes you (and I really mean me) just have to getoverourself (and I mean getovermyself) and get back out there. Even if you (and I really mean me) haven't run since half past forever, even if you (and I really mean me) have to re-program your watch to WAY shorter intervals (somewhere in the run:2 walk:1 neighborhood), even if you (and I really mean me) can barely woggle through two miles before having to take your (and I mean my) sweet daughter to tennis camp...

it's still better than nothing.


As an homage to my return to this running thing, I leave you (and this time I mean you) with an 80s flashback video where a really strange guy with scary hair sings about running.


Fifteen Years (there had better be pie)

We celebrated our fifteenth anniversary Thursday. Fifteen years. 15. One-five. All day long I kept singing in my head that snippet from the song Gold Digger (the Glee version, not Kanye's) about the gold digger having his baby and having to support it for "eighteen years, eighteen years"...so if you know that song, then you know what I'm blabbering about--but I was singing fifteen years, fifteen years--and if you don't know the song, well, I apologize for leading you down a rabbit trail that led nowhere.

As if I'd ever do that. Ever.

So, um...yeah...about our anniversary. Since we are not big planners we rolled right on into Thursday with, you guessed it, no plans. A year or two ago I said out loud that I want to take a Mediterranean cruise for our fifteenth anniversary, and that's as far as we ever went with that, much less save any money toward that flash in the pan. I don't know, sometimes I'm on the fence about anniversaries. I do think marriage should be acknowledged and celebrated, since in our society it's often not honored, not valued and often cast aside, but I also think I can far too easily drink the anniversary Kool-Aid and think each and every one should (has to?) be recognized in some elaborate way--especially the milestone ones. Which of course can lead to disappointment and pouting.

Who, me?

I blame my unrealistic romantic expectations on reading chic-lit (in a former life), watching too many romantic comedies and TV shows (um, soap operas anyone? I don't watch them anymore, but they left their mark).

I say all of that to wind back around to my point that all the celebrating is nice, and perfectly A-OK, but it's the mundane day to day stuff, the daily life of a marriage, that really matters in the long run.

So, it seems I may still be disappointed that our Mediterranean cruise never materialized after all.

But back to Thursday. My dad and Peggy recently returned from their Alaskan cruise so Annelise packed her bag (she has this down to a science, people) and didn't even blink when we said we'd be going out without her. Scott and I went back and forth trying to decide where to eat dinner and what we might do afterward. We considered going to The Melting Pot, since we've never been (I know!) but neither one of us could get all fired up about dipping small chunks of food in various goo for three hours for lots of money. I know this is completely ridiculous, but the fact it is located in a strip center (you know, part of a shopping center) instead of a stand alone building, lessened its appeal in my eyes. I have no rational explanation for my reasoning, but there you have it.

We decided to try a seafood restaurant not too far from us called the Monument Inn.

Look! Here's the monument!
The San Jacinto Monument, that is, marking the fateful place where Sam Houston's army defeated (slaughtered?) the villainous Santa Anna's troops and gained Texas' independence from Mexico in 1836. I don't know if this is completely true, but since no state is supposed to have a monument taller than the Washington Monument, we, the arrogant Texans, built ours as tall as the WM and then put a star on top, because everything is bigger and better in Texas. We're kind of sneaky too.

I didn't take any pictures outside of the restaurant, but it was a stand alone structure (score!) and right on the Houston Ship Channel, so we watched cars get on the ferries and various boats sail along the water. Okay, okay, they were barges carrying large quantities of supplies and things. Not quite like watching graceful sailboats or yachts, but still interesting. Not romantic, mind you, but interesting. Scott had a fried seafood combination platter and I had the BEST stuffed flounder. Again, no pictures.

After dinner we drove across Houston to catch a show at Radio Music Theatre. We had first thought about seeing a movie but the only one halfway interesting to either of us was Ironman 2, which, really, did not sound anniversary worthy. Radio Music Theatre puts on live comedy shows and is kind of an underground Houston tradition. We stopped for a self-portrait in front of the building and after ten attempts, this is the best one, even though I never quite got the building in it and managed to cut myself almost completely out of the picture. Scott was rushing me, what can I say?
After the show we went a wee bit down the road to a delightful little place called The House of Pies. I'd never been there before--which is hard to believe given all the choices of pie--so I tried to document the experience with another self-portrait. Now, the House of Pies is open 24 hours and is a well known hang-out locale for lots of, how shall I say this...interesting Houstonians from all walks of life and in all forms of attire. Nobody even noticed that I took our picture, but Scott--who's usually a good self-portrait sport--was uncomfortable with me doing it. See?But enough about that, let's talk about the pie.

Since I'd never been there before I had NO idea how big the slices would be, but I suggested we order a few so we could sample more of the pie goodness. When faced with fifty-ish choices I managed to narrow it down to two, Bayou Goo (a mysterious chocolate concoction) and Key Lime (something tart to cut the chocolate). Scott chose Chocolate Cream, which is like ordering vanilla ice cream at Marble Slab, because he said he just wasn't sure about something called Bayou Goo. I tried really, really hard not to roll my eyes on our fifteenth anniversary.
Guess which one he declared the yummiest after all?

I think we ALL know the answer to that. (Don't we?)


Top Ten Reasons to Go with Daddy to Work

1. You get to RIDE IN THE CAR! (Not certain why this is so unbelievably cool, but it is.)
2. Pick up donuts for the office in honor of Bring Your Child to Work Day. (Can this sweet little thing put away two sprinkled donuts and a kolache? In a word, yes.) 3. Offer to take notes during an important cubicle meeting. Or maybe illustrate it. You also get to wear your very. own. badge.
4. Lunch is much better when eaten in the cafeteria with a new friend. (Did you notice she brought her jean purse?)
5. An up-close tour of the Neutral Buoyancy (no, not Beyonce) Lab where the astronauts train for space walks in a gigantar pool that mimics zero gravity.
6. Check out a shuttle mock-up in a slightly more personal way. Hey fellas, somebody left the doors open--were y'all raised in a barn?
7. Try to see if any astronauts are practicing flying the shuttle by peeking in those teeny windows.
8. See mock-ups of different space station components. Wonder, briefly, what it might be like to live in space inside tin cans.
9. Can't let all of that vast kindergarten knowledge go to waste this summer with first grade looming on the horizon. Time to solve some math problems. Look at that concentration!
10. Take an afternoon break from all of this hard work with video games and impromptu paper airplane construction with friends. Working in this aerospace business sure is tough!

Thanks for bringing me to work daddy! I can't wait until next year! Oh wait, will there even be one next year? As Bob Dylan said, the times, they are a changin' and the space shuttle program and all the jobs that go along with it are most likely coming to an end, which is of course a topic for a whole other post. If I wasn't so busy pretending to be Scarlett O'Hara or an ostrich I'd write it.


Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Lean on Me

I *heart* this picture so much, even enough to let any bitterness over my schlepping of the tote bag and water bottles alone gently roll off my wet beach towel wrapped back as I waddled along behind them.


A Little Light Summer Reading

I can not adequately describe how giddy this photo makes me.
You counted correctly, there are 14 pseudo-chapter books in that photo.


It's true. I have a sickness and am merrily passing it along to my daughter.

I l-o-v-e love the library.

We also discovered books on tape. Or CD. Or whatever. I can already tell this section of the library will be a fast favorite! I don't really know why we never investigated this area before, but sadly we did not.

We immediately started listening to Junie B. Jones on the ride home and Annelise was entranced. I can't say I'm impressed by the author's obsession with using words like stupid, dumb, hate, funner and bestest, so we shall see if Junie B. ever visits again. The narrator is great though and Annelise is really enjoying listening (and has promised NOT to start talking like Junie B. in the slightest manner).

For a read-aloud we checked out Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (also making a promise of a movie day to watch the Willy Wonka movie--the Gene Wilder version, not Johhny Depp though).

I also went a little literary crazy. Thanks to the Goodreads iPhone app. I was able to browse my to-read shelf and then wander the library aisles with purpose.
It felt so good.

I think we floated out of the library. Well, in all honesty our bulging tote bag kept us somewhat grounded.

That felt good too.

What's on your summer reading list? Please spill...
Do you listen to books on CD? Any suggestions for children's must reads?


Summer: So Far, So Good

(...it's moving right along just the way it should...Who can name the trashy with a capital T 80s movie that song is from?)

Is it really the start of our third week of summer vacation? Really? Are you sure?

I seem to have somehow lost weeks one and two in a haze of laziness and randomness which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

*riding bikes, scooters, miscellaneous playing outside
*Popsicle breaks (see above)
*Little House on the Prairie marathons (while mama sews)
*begging to go swimming
*staying up later
*sleeping later
*lazy mornings snuggled up in bed together reading
*lazy mornings spent in PJs somehow becoming afternoons spent in PJs (Scott doesn't even raise and eyebrow, he's good that way)
*various errands and a random dentist appointment (mine, not hers)
*random de-cluttering and cleaning (her room looks SO much better)
*rounds of Bananagrams and Rush Hour (I think she might be ready to try Monopoly)
*occasional work completed in first grade prep. workbook
*afternoon read-aloud breaks
*random crafts (like this robot made from a juice bottle, sticks added later for arms)(Annelise insisted on wearing her goggles to prevent glue from getting in her eyes. What???)

*more begging to go swimming

I don't know how we can possibly handle all of this stress. *cough*

Tennis camp (X2), VBS, weekly Bible Power Hours and weekly(ish) trips to the library will also be sandwiched into our already *cough* jammed *cough* schedule soon.

Summer, in a word, rocks.


From Rags to Bags

Back in the day, the day being sometime in the mid-to-late 70s when my mom kept herself busy sewing (along with appliqueing and decoupaging anything that stood still long enough) clothes for the both of us, she made purses out of old Levi jeans which were all the rage in that oh so groovy decade.

I know that old trends are always resurfacing in new! and improved! ways (I must confess some bitterness over the new Footloose movie--the NERVE! Kevin Bacon's hair, mad dancing skillz and his Volkswagen can never be replaced. Tractor chicken, anyone?) so I thought I'd try to bring back the jean handbag trend by my little ol' self. Feel free to join me in this teeny tiny grass roots movement if you get the urge.

All you need is an old pair of blue jeans and basic sewing equipment. Annelise had a pair of jeans with a hole in the knee and I picked up a faded pair of Calvin Klein (because nothing gets between me and my Calvins) jeans at Goodwill for my bag. At first, I planned to turn her jeans into a skirt but the poor things were almost too tight on her rapidly growing body so there was no point (but I will make one in the future).

Decide how deep you want your bag to be and cut the legs of the jeans off at that point. Save the legs to make your straps. You can stop right there and call it finished if you decide you'd rather have cut-off shorts instead of a purse (whew! that was fast). To continue though with making the purse, cut off the inner leg seam and pin the sections together. You can be all precise and even if that's your thing and make sure the front and back is the same and there are not any puckers, or you can do it my way and say, "Eh, close enough", either way will work on this DIY project. I promise.Sew the pinned sections together using a straight machine stitch.

Pin the bottom section together and sew a 5/8" seam to create the bottom of the purse. You can make a panel out of one of the cut off legs to make a wider purse bottom if you'd like. Since this was going to be for Annelise and she'd only be carrying essentials like lip gloss, gum and Star Wars figures, I kept things simple.

Then, follow me here...make a pouch that looks vaguely like a wanton dumpling, pinching the ends together like this...Sew across the triangle on each side. This squares off the bottom of your purse and makes it more, I don't know, purse-like.Now it's time to make the straps...which is fun because you get to rip things. Measure the width you'd like (maybe 2-3 inches). Make a small cut with your scissors then rip the remaining length of denim to create frayed edges.

Annelise had requested a messenger style bag (apparently they are COOL), so I ripped four strips of denim, each about 3 inches wide, then sewed the strips together on the end to make two longer pieces. Then I sewed wrong sides together to make one loooong strap.

I used a zig-zag stitch to help keep the fraying under control and add a little flair.Pin your straps to the sides of your bag and stitch in place.

Now you are ready to make the lining for your bag. Thanks to my earlier sewing mishaps, I had some cute fabric on hand begging to be used.
Using your bag as a pattern, cut your lining fabric (two pieces).
Since I was sewing in my t-shirt and boxers and not ready for public display, I scrounged the house for a zipper I could, er...recycle. I found a pencil bag that had two zippers, because it's always nice to have a back-up.

Having not sewn in a zipper since college, I quickly discovered my zipper skills were quite rusty. After viewing a few YouTube tutorials (God bless the Internet) I held my breath and tried my best.
Sew your zipper onto your fabric first, then sew a 5/8" seam around the lining fabric edges (right sides together), then turn right side out. Pin your lining into your purse and sew in place (slowly and carefully because you're sewing through several layers). I ended up sewing the lining in by hand while we watched Little House on the Prairie on DVD because my machine was having trouble going through all the layers/belt loops.
Did you notice I have no pictures of this part? Yeah, it wasn't pretty. Two zippers, one failed lining attempt, lots of one on one time with my seam ripper and I was finally victorious! And sweaty.
Here's another view.
Annelise was beside herself with glee over her new jean purse and has been carrying it with her almost everywhere. The grocery store, church, the dentist...even to spontaneous backyard football practice.
(I'm thinking the 3 inch strap might be a tad too wide after all, but oh well...)
In a way I feel like I channeled my mom a little and came full circle in a way by making a jean handbag for my daughter like my mom had made for me (although she probably didn't break two needles and need a back-up zipper). It was oddly satisfying, yet left me feeling a wee bit sappy and sentimental.
Now I guess I better hurry up and make mine so Annelise and I can be repurposed denim jean messenger bag MatchyMcMatchersons. I know, I know, y'all are green with envy.


So...A Needle Pulling Thread

Unlike Maria though I don't have to sew play clothes out of curtains by hand for several well-behaved singing Austrian children (how very Scarlett of her though now that I think about it--which also makes me think of Carol Burnett's Went With the Wind classic comedy sketch--although I won't have a Mammy to sew for me or Bob Mackie either).

(Did that peek inside my willy nilly secret head chatter freak you out? Just a teeny tiny bit? Sorry.)

Instead of curtains, I'll be using this stack of happiness...

I didn't think I was hungry when I picked out the fabrics, but maybe I was since there are several fruit patterns. I liked all the bold, bright, cheerful summer-y colors, I couldn't resist their apPEEL (hahaha, I am a laugh a minute! I know!) I also liked the texture which seems almost like a seersucker, the classic summer fabric and (fingers crossed) might not be so wrinkly like 100% cotton.

Now that I'm looking at the stack of fabric (both the picture and the actual stack on my table) I realize I may have been overly optimistic about my sewing prowess and allowed myself to be completely swept away by the colors and patterns, as I am apt to do. It has also dawned on me that I'll be quite busy the next few days, which is good, but it also makes me nervous. Like flop sweat nervous.

Last week I made this easy pillowcase dress for Annelise, which she liked. See?
Especially because it was cool and comfy and did not impede her scooter riding in any way (this is a deal breaker).

Note to self: Buy Annelise some summer sandals ASAP.

Following that sewing victory, in a moment of beginner sewing hubris, I attempted to sew two other dresses following the same pattern. In an effort to make the dress a little longer, I laid the pattern out differently than what the directions suggested.

Yeah. You're not really supposed to do that. Unless maybe you are a master seamstress and actually know what you're doing and not a Fly-By-the-Seat-of-Your-Pants and Get-Your-Hiney-Bit kind of seamstress like me.

So, I'll be making some place mats out of that mistake.

Not to be deterred, I tried again with an adorable lemon and orange print fabric, cut everything out and even sewed pockets onto the front piece of the dress. It was when I tried to line the front panel up with the back panel that I realized I had somehow cut the pieces wrong AGAIN. I'll spare you the details, but it boiled down to me missing a subtle, yet obviously VITAL, instruction.

So, I'll have to try and rework that mess into a top.

Needless to say I took a break from sewing that day and escaped into my book for a while to recover, all the while questioning how I ever managed to make the first dress in the first place.

But I will not let that (SIMPLE) pattern beat me. I won't.

I shall go forth and sew.

With the instructions clutched in my sweaty hand.

I'll be back with the after pictures soon(ish). I hope.

Wish me luck.



Wait! You Mean I Was an Orphan?

Like all children, Annelise loves to listen to stories about how she came into this world. Except in her case, some of those early details are a bit fuzzy, there are things we just don't know so there are a few blanks we can't fill in for her. We've always been upfront and open about her adoption and how she came to us (or how we came to her), but I'm learning that she is starting to process things a little differently now that she's getting older.

Oh. Great.

Last night, in between mouthfuls of spaghetti and meatballs while we were eating dinner at Zio's, she out of the blue (like usual) asked us to tell her a Russia story. So Scott and I started retelling the one about our first official day with her, each sharing snippets in some sort of misty adoptive parent tag team way.

I piped up in between bites of my Shrimp Limone that Daddy and I had to get her dressed from diaper, several layers of clothes, to snowsuit and shoes while the nannies in the orphanage watched us and I'm fairly positive ridiculed us in rapid fire Russian as clueless new parents. Everything that morning seemed to happen in a weird, unexplainable combination of supersonic speed and extra slow motion at the same time. The nannies stripped Annelise down to bare nekkidness in approximately 5 seconds, she, of course, burst out crying on the changing table. My nerves were in overdrive as I fumbled in my I'm a New Momma Diaper bag for a diaper and the clothes we brought for her and Scott and I both tried to get a diaper on her. I felt like I was on a Russian version of Candid Camera.

Yes, it took two. We got better.

We've told Annelise that story before many times, but for some reason last night she connected with the word orphanage. I was rambling merrily along when she stopped me with an important question.

"Wait a minute! You mean I was an orphan?"

Now that she's six and thanks to her recent recital where one of the songs was "It's a Hard Knock Life" from Annie she's obviously much more in tune with what it means to be an orphan.

Her brain clicked.

She looked at me with a mixture of disbelief and comprehension.

I looked back at her with my heart hurting at the fact that yes, the beautiful, spunky, smart six year old sitting next to me with spaghetti sauce on her chin was technically an orphan for the first 13 months of her life. And now she knows what that means.

I nodded slightly.

Scott and I continued to look at her across the table for what seemed like hours, but was only a few seconds, waiting expectantly, to see if she was going to burst out crying or something. My brain swirled wondering what I should say, how much to say, do we need to go to counseling?

She took another bite of spaghetti, swallowed, and asked us to tell her about the time she threw up on me.

I'll take that as a no for counseling.


North to Alaska, Cakes from Scratch and Tigers too

Look how happy my dad and Peggy are in this picture. Could it be due to the fact they were about to fly to Seattle and then depart on a two week Alaskan cruise? Is the fact they will be enjoying mild (60ish) temperatures and breathtaking scenery while I hide out as much as possible in my air conditioned bubble (praise, glory and thankfulness!) to avoid 300% humidity and 90++ degrees temperatures making me at least a shade green with envy?

I love that old Johnny Horton song North to Alaska, by the way.

Scott drove them to the airport Sunday morning (good son-in-law marks) and they popped in here for quick goodbyes and a photo. My dad is smiling but his face also says, "Hurry up and take the picture, we've gotta get on the road so we can sit in the airport for 1.5 hours."
Am I also kicking myself because that's the umpteenth time I've forgotten my camera was set on manual mode instead of Av mode and I've obliviously snapped away? Grrr...
Scott also earned more good son-in-law marks because the evening before they left my dad decided he HAD to have an iPhone so he could monitor the stock market like a hawk while they are gone and Scott offered to *help* them make their purchase. Two hours, three salespeople, and thirty minutes after the AT&T store closed, my dad and Peggy were the very overwhelmed and confused yet proud owners of two new iPhones. Bless everyone's little heart involved in that transaction.
Sunday after church we made a beeline to a new Tex-Mex restaurant in our area (yes, there is one on almost every corner, but they are not all the same), Cafe Adobe, to have an early birthday lunch since Scott's actual birthday fell on Memorial Day.
Their seafood enchilada is OUT OF THIS WORLD, let me tell you. Their shrimp taco is not too shabby either.
After lunch we stopped by the mall so I could surprise Scott with a present of new cologne. Or aftershave. Or whatever you call it. Turns out he wasn't surprised at all once he sniffed several versions, decided on one and watched me pay the extra flamboyant Dillard's salesman. After almost ten years, Scott is trying a new cologne (from Abercrombie & Fitch Woods to Chanel Pour Monsieur in case you were dying to know). Hooray! Hurrah!

Memorial Day (and Scott's actual birthday) was ultra looow key, just hanging around the house, but Scott didn't seem to mind. I did make him a cake. From scratch. I know.
As I was merrily mixing away according to my trusty but seldom used Betty Crocker cookbook (yes, her, really) I realized baking cakes from scratch wasn't as hard as I had imagined in my head. Of course I have baked cakes from scratch before, but they have usually been what I consider specialty cakes like Italian Cream Cake or something, not ordinary yellow cake which is what Scott requested. He actually wanted me to use a mix (because he remembered how moist the last yellow cake was) (and I really wish there was a a better descriptive word than moist) but I was feeling rather stubborn about not adding unnecessary preservatives and chemicals to our sugar loading festival. I also mixed in 1/4 cup of brewed coffee to the chocolate frosting because that's what PW would do and I was feeling rather devilish.
He later said the cake was *good* but then he reminded me how much he had liked that last cake mix cake with canned frosting because it was so moist. Do you think that statement went over well with me and Betty? I did concede that I might have baked the cake five minutes too long and that might have dried it up a smidge, but it was still better than chemical cake. I also told him to scoop another scoop of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream onto his cake and all would be fine.
When we were at the mall Sunday we had to stop by Paradise, I mean Build-a-Bear, you know, just to browse (although a certain six-year old hoped we would buy her something for Scott's birthday too). We didn't cave, but in an effort to show solidarity I told her I wouldn't even go into Ann Taylor LOFT because we were shopping for Daddy.
Tuesday afternoon I heard this repetitive shaking sound for several minutes followed by a loud, "Mama, come here!" She had shaken all the money from her piggy bank and counted out 18 pennies, thinking (hoping?) the Build-a-Bear tiger only cost 18 cents. I told her that she needed 18 dollars. Her bubble burst...momentarily.
A few hours later, after scrounging her many hiding places and wallets, she counted out 18 dollars into my hand and asked if we could go to Build-a-Bear after supper. I asked her if she really wanted to spend her money on one thing, reminded her that once she paid for it most of her money would be gone, it would take a while for her to get that much money again, was she absolutely sure blah, blah...BLAH.
She assured me she understood and that her life could not go on as she knew it until she had that tiger in her hot little hands.
So, without further ado, I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to one very happy little girl and her new ferocious tiger friend...Luke.
Luke, as it turned out, was only $16, so Annelise picked out a shirt for him (Scott ended up floating her $3 so she could get the whole shirt and not just a sleeve). She was mighty proud of the fact she was spending her own money (mostly) and made sure the Build-a-Bear staff knew that.
This girl, she kills me.
Do your parents try to embrace technology?
Have you ever tried a seafood enchilada?
Do you bake from scratch?
Does the word moist make you cringe too?
Can you believe she named her tiger Luke?


Dance, Dance, Dance the Night Away

One of my favorite birthdays (who am I kidding, they were all my favorite) was the year I received my very own Sears record player. Yes, an actual record player that used a needle to play music on a vinyl disc the size of a dinner plate sold in a colorful and informative cardboard sleeve.

This opened up a whole new world for me.

Along with the record player I also received Elvis Aloha from Hawaii (Via Satellite)!, Shawn "Do Run Run" Cassidy and...er, Van Halen.

My mom mistakenly thought they were another band so I was introduced to harder rock and roll along with David Lee Roth at a young age. I never listened to the whole album much since I was into Elvis (I know, don't judge me) and Shaun at the time, but I do remember listening to Dance the Night Away occasionally. (Semi-related tangent: I later had an ABBA album and to this day when I listen to Does Your Mother Know That You're Out? I can hear where the record skipped in my head.)

So. Anyway.

Annelise danced the night away last weekend at her recital. Well, after a day at the pool and a restorative nap.Since we spent the day before the recital in Galveston's surf, sand and sun we were all a little sunburned, but only one of us had to dress up in a scratchy sleeved leotard. Bless her heart, we coated her in aloe vera gel, waited until the very last possible moment to pull the leotard up onto her shoulders, sprinkled baby powder and I even teetered precariously into Scary Pageant Mom territory by begging threatening her not to cry because her mascara would run. She held it together pretty well, but did sniffle a little and her mascara did smudge a bit. The Scary Pageant Mom inside me told me it probably wouldn't show from the stage. I left my little Jolly Holiday ballerina backstage with her class and dance big sister and went to find Scott who was saving four seats. There are three levels at the Grand Opera House and we have ALWAYS managed to get seats on the first level. I frantically scanned and couldn't find Scott on either side. I frantically went upstairs to the first balcony. No Scott. He'd forgotten his phone at the hotel so I couldn't call him. By this time, they were flashing the lights and I did not think there was even a remote chance he was saving seats on the third level. I went back down to the first level and saw My dad and Peggy who had managed to find four really good seats near the front.

I am a bad wife. B-A-D bad.

I gave up hunting for Scott and sat down with them since the show was about to start.

Who did I see at Intermission with smoke emitting from his ears? Who had been saving seats in the nosebleed third balcony and ended up sitting by himself? I don't know, could it have been Scott?

Like I said, I am bad. Like Michael Jackson bad.

Annelise's routines were all in the first act then she joined us to watch the second act. Pappo and grandma gave our little star some roses which was very sweet.I know this next picture is hideously blurry, but it illustrates how Annelise spent the next hour and a half on the edge of her seat watching all the older girls dance. Can you say transfixed?
The show was finally over around 10:30 and we took our little cave girl and her roses to IHOP (we managed to convince her to leave her roses in the car) for a late, late dinner.
Because I know very few things are more fun than watching other people's children perform at recitals here are the videos of Annelise's performance. First up is her ballet routine:
Followed by her tap dance:
And before your eyes completely glaze over and you start babbling incoherently, here's her final number, her jazz dance.
Other than the fact that Annelise got a little crowded out at the edge of the stage (cue Scary Pageant Mom to rant and rave, nah, I didn't) and Scott didn't talk to me for a good long while, it was still a great evening. And there were pancakes.
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