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Though Caroline appears to have her father’s immune system,  sadly she seems to have my brittle bones.  On May 2nd, she fell from the bottom step of a slide and broke her leg.  She is going to have her walking cast removed this week.  She has been quite a little trooper throughout all of this.  Paul took some great pictures of Caroline in her beautiful red cast and promise that he will post some of our favorites soon.

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Wee! It was lunchtime.? We took Caroline to an Indian restaurant not too far down the road. She didn’t eat much.? Mostly salad, a tandoori chicken drumstick, some onion fritters, and for desert gulab jamun aka Indian donuts.? It was awesome. The highlight of our trip was when a group of hipsters walked out behind me and from across the table Caroline points and loudly asks “what is that?”. I nearly peed ma pants.? I have no problem with anyone or their sense of style (except for emo kids, but then again I am not sure I classify them as people…they are more like git wizards) unless they take themselves exceedingly serious.? That opens them up to any mockery and/or mild disdain wielded their way.? I believe it is for their own good. I hope it will teach them to laugh at themselves.

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It is 22 minutes from midnight and Paul and I are discussing economic policy.  Wow we are so super hot.

Let’s move beyond that for now.  Caroline wants to send a big Congrats out to her Parrain for popping the question to Miss Wright (totally her name not an intentional funny)!  Now Caroline just wants to meet this woman who is going to be a part of the rest of her life.  Yeah Austin, you got a three year old who is convinced she is part princess, part cat, and spiderman hunting for you.  I think a nice family dinner would be in order or at least hot dogs at the Baton Rouge Zoo.

Speaking of upcoming nuptials, and no mom I am not referring to my own…  Caroline is going to be the flower girl in her cousin Jenper’s wedding.  This is the dress she will be wearing.

dressThis is what it looked like before I got all creative with it.

dress before

This is her hairbow…

bowAnd this is the star of the show pretending to be a princess while at home recovering from whatever Gras-Du she and Paul have had for the last week.

Thank you Granny Jillprincess practiceTa ta for now ladies and gents.

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I lost a friend today.

Without this friend this blog, in the form you know it, wouldn’t be around.  His name was Ron.

Ron was an older man.  When I found out I was pregnant, Ron was a full-time employee in the Appliances department I, at the time, ran.  He could have done my job with ease and run laps around me with time to spare, but that wasn’t what he wanted.  He taught me everything I know about appliances.  All he asked that I do was take care of the customer issues and he would take care of the rest.  We made a remarkable team.  I became one of the best MODs at 495 because of him.

Ron wanted to come in and do his job and leave.  He did plus some.  He was funny and smart and an all around remarkable man.

Monday night was the last time I will have seen Ron before I see him eternally laid to rest.  I think I got a bit of vomit on his shoe that day…

He didn’t say anything about it though, other than I need to take care of myself and not worry about “this” place.

So how is this person indirectly responsible for this blog?

Back to when I was pregnant.  I was scared out of my wits.  I was not prepared in any way shape or form.  I knew Paul wasn’t ready and that he didn’t want kids because he had all but said that.  I wasn’t even supposed to be able to have kids.

Paul and I had decided to give our baby up for adoption.  I told Ron that.  Ron took me to dinner one night to talk.  We went to Logan’s.  The one right by the Mall of Louisiana.  He listened to me cry about how unprepared I was, how stupid I was for getting in to this mess, and how I didn’t know how I would be able to live knowing I gave up, potentially, my one chance to be a mother.  He listened.

Ron never told me what to do.  He never told me I was wrong or bad.  What he did say is no matter what I chose to do he would back me up 100% of the way.  That meant a great deal to me because I respected Ron.  Ron was stable.  Ron was always ok.  He always seemed to know what to do.  If he said it would be ok then it would be.

Ron wasn’t biased like my mom.  He had nothing to gain or lose.

He helped me figure out how to tell Paul I couldn’t give my baby up.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

Others were there for me too.  Today isn’t about them though.  So, Mr. Ron here is a picture of the little girl who knows you as the tricycle man…

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Sleep well Ron

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”  Wow, babe!  You are the perfect man!”

Can you guess who made that statement?  I will give you a hint…it wasn’t a girl.

Paul said that to me this evening.  I know that I should be offended, but I find it absolutely hilarious.  I wonder what kind of example we are setting for Caroline sometimes.  In our household the traditional gender roles have been, if not completely skewed, blurred.

Tonight we were discussing the merits of the birthday gift we gave Caroline and Paul asked me if I had read the directions.  I, as per the usual, replied that I did not because, “I don’t need no stinking instructions”.  That is what brought on the aforementioned comment.  It is not only my complete and utter disregard of the rtfm rule that bends the gender boundaries in our household.  Paul is a guilty party as well.

If you can’t guess by the blogs title, Paul performs most of the cooking duties in the household.  He is also the one most particular on the “how to clean a dish appropriately” front.  I, on the other hand, for our first family father’s day, installed a new stereo in his car.

Now, to my credit (and his because otherwise we both need to seek help for a bundle of other issues), I am not a complete “dude”.  I do like my fair share of the “pretty”, I am just not willing to commit a great deal of time to it.  If a beauty regimen takes more than 20 minutes (including a shower), then it ain’t happening.  That is why I love you, person who invented the ponytail holder and headband.  I assume that it was one person who invented both doo-dads, because it makes me smile to think that so much awesome is contained in one mind.  And don’t get me started on jewelry… If it costs more than 5 dollars, 10 if it is an exceptionally special occasion, it isn’t worth it.  i like more practical things, like purses (shut it Brandon!).  You can carry stuff in them and they qualify as accessories!  Two birds, one stone.  Word.

Now purses, don’t get a great deal of  money either, maybe $20, if I am feeling loose with the pocket book.

I will say this for myself, I make 20 minutes of prep look good.

And don’t worry here is a picture of the real reason you came here.

It is a little old but hopefully I will find another more recent one to post soon.

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Later….  Mom

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I have a three year old daughter.  Jeez, I can remember getting on the school bus at the corner and looking up at the oldest kids on the bus, who were, at max, a ripe old thirteen years, thinking I can’t wait to be so grown up.  Funny thing is I am 26 and I still don’t feel grown up.

When I step back and look at my life, I am very confused, a little disappointed (in myself), and outrageously grateful.  Three years and a little more than a month ago, Paul came by my house before my baby shower, given by Megan and Jessica, at the house Jessica and I shared in the hood, to pick up sonogram photos to show his parents when he told them they were going to be grandparents twice over much sooner than they had supposed.  Paul’s parents are simply amazing.  That had to be a shock of a lifetime, but they handled it with a grace and a “je ne sais quoi” that i have come to realize simply permeates even their most mundane everyday tasks.

The whole clan made me feel welcome (you people know who you are).  My daughter has an amazing extended family.

I always dreamed that when and if I had children that I would be a sterling example of what it means to be a human being.  I would be married, have a career of which I am proud, and of course somehow I would instinctively know my child’s every need and want.  Well I am most certainly not married, although Paul and I are engaged.  I work a retail job that sends me into a death spiral of panic and depression every time i walk through the door.  Finally we arrive at the following conversation.

Caroline:  Mommy, I’m hungry.

Me:  Well, what would you like to eat?

Caroline:  Food.

Me:  What kind of food, sweetheart?

Caroline: I don’t know.

I will spare you the rest but eventually I resort to popcorn because I can find nothing that will seem to satisfy her.  A more well-balanced meal the world has never seen and will likely see never again.

Yesterday, was officially Caroline’s birthday.  As I was lying awake in bed trying to ease the pain in my knee in any way i knew how short of a hack saw and some whiskey, I came  to a realization.  I am a bloody sterling example of what it is to be human.  Every day I know my little girl sees what is most important, a mommy and daddy that love her.  And Paul, poor Paul,  he puts up with my ten kinds of crazy everyday and he still sticks around…You cannot tell me that isn’t love.  He is lying in bed finally sleeping after a feeling awful all day and driving from Lafayette back to Baton Rouge with a less than happy little girl.  He works harder than anyone I know.  I love him.

I think women have two hearts because if I say that Caroline or Paul are individually my everything, I am lying and stating a truth at the same time.

My job may make feel like a soulless automaton, but I do adore my co-workers.  I may not be saving lives or changing the world, but I am learning amazing things from amazing people.  On my team, there are some of the most encouraging and awe-inspiring characters.  I call them characters because when I try to describe them, they sound too large for life.  I know that the atmosphere in our little departmental bubble and that even I contribute to that indescribability, but  honestly half of these people don’t sleep, work two or three jobs, and go to school or raise kids  yet they smile and toss around playful, sometimes mildly embarrassing, banter that seems to float effortlessly across the room like the bubbles blown by Caroline that drift away upon the breeze.

I may not be a mom in the June Cleaver sense of the word or in the way that I fantasized, but I am a real mom none the less.  I am almost certain, that just like the fractures and scrapes that leave the scars of childhood, my flaws ( understatement of the year at least until I wake up in the morning) actually build character and make me a better mother in a way.   I will always expect the best from Caroline, but even if she screws up I think I will have shown her you can come out alright on the other side.

later alligator
Dancing Dancing Danciiiiiinnnng

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