Friday, September 30, 2005

Words to Melt My Heart...And Probably Make You Gag

My mom just told me that when my younger sister asked my eight year old brother who the important people in the world are, he answered "Mom, Dad, and Christie."
How I love that kid!
There are thirteen years between us, so it's a different relationship than what I have with my sisters...I've never had to physically drag him from my bedroom or kick him for listening in on my phone conversations. :)
Have I actually introduced you to my immediate family?? We're meeting tonight for dinner, so I'm thinking about them.
Here ya' go...
My dad is the most wonderful man in the world. He is loving, and giving, and a good listener...he has his moments as all human beings do, but he is always there when I need him. He puts up the blinds in my house, babysits my boys, cooks, lets me borrow books...a regular Renaissance man. By vocation, he is a preacher. Which means I did have some anxious childhood moments of too much moving and still have anxious grown up moments about the actions of church members putting too much stress on him...but what can you do? Pray and send out Secret Service Men (I have my own personal regime) to modify people's behavior.
My relationship with my Mom has been likened unto Lorelei and Rory behavior. By that, I mean that she has always been the person with whom I can laugh and cry and act incredibly silly. She inspires me to be the kind of mother that she has, inspiring, always loving. I do have issues with the fact that she did not pass down her fantastically natural blonde hair, but I guess I'll just have to get over it and keep up the highlights. My favorite pictures of Mom are when she's about 16, with this long Marcia Brady hair...she should have been a California girl. I love that my mom is not afraid to laugh, and not afraid to be herself. She's good at pretty much whatever she puts her hand to....and she and my dad are still so much in love that I gag at them even now.
Okay. Three to go.
Mandy is my 18 year old sister. That's such a hard thing to grasp. She and I are only four years apart, so we got the height of all the sibling stuff...the bickering, the screaming, the taking each other's stuff. The line down the middle of the room deal....the reading diaries deal...the getting lost when I first started driving deal...essentially, the fun stuff that I fondly recall. Playing barbies passionately...into the wee hours of the morning. Playing outside with our bikes (pretending that they were horses, of course) and lots and lots of laughing. It's so weird that she is grown up now. She drives better than I do, has a boyfriend, and is going to college...she still talks more than anyone I know, and cracks me up with her randomness...
Hannah, for a while, was the baby. We're ten years about...and right now she is going through TWELVE. Which means her emotions are on alert all of the time. But she'll be okay. It's a tough time, to which we can all concur. Hannah is smart and a terrific artist...and the only one to hold onto that aforementioned blonde hair. Lucky. Both Mandy and Hannah are athletic (a gene that skipped me entirely). I love that they get out there and play...Hannah made the middle school volleyball team this year. It's very cool to watch her as she's growing...from this little blonde that ran around imitating us to an almost-teenager who has had can blow your mind.
Jeremy, like I said, is the baby. And the only boy. That combination is bound for trouble...hopefully not too much. He may be a wee bit spoiled, but he is a sweetheart. All into video games and action figures and ball and all that boy of my greatest joys is watching Sinatra chase him makes me sad that I don't get to see him that often. I don't want to turn around and find him all grown up.
There is much more to be said, but I am all out of time. That's my family, in a nutshell. (Hello, cliched term of the day.)
They're mine and I love them. :)

It's My Blog, I Can Whine If I Want To

I am writing this in order to perpetuate my procrastination. I am working on polishing/revising my novel and guess what. It is haaaaaaaaaaaaaard. Every time I read a page, I can only think wow. This is crap. It is so bad and so past saving that I should scrap the entire project and start over with something else.
The thing is, I really do believe in the idea behind it all. So much that I can't bring myself to abandon it. It's just that expressing that idea is kicking my tail. I so want it to be good...the language and the details..the minute workings make a book worth reading, after all.
Frustration abounds.
And the red pen is calling me back.

later, ya'll

Friday, September 23, 2005

Random Thoughts

Friday. 4:09 pm. I type on the laptop in a weary daze, yawning and rapidly blinking my eyes. I have given up caffeine- at least for the afternoon- and so struggle on through the hours.

I am thinking of the Narnia movie coming out on December 9th and how the Disney producers better do justice to C.S. Lewis' work. Start messing with favorite books from childhood and you're on sacred ground. But it looks great. it out.

I read a book borrowed from Carrie this week...Edna Ferber's Giant. So well written. So good. Put it on your must-read list.

I am currently reading The Element of Lavishness (letters of Sylvia Townsend Warner and William Maxwell.) Both novelists, they met through the New Yorker, for which William was Sylvia's editor. He describes her conversation as so enchanting that he never wanted to let her out of his sight.
Don't you think it would be incredible to be described as enchanting?
And he wasn't even speaking in the romantic sense of things...he meant her mind...her work. He was in love with her writing.

I am happy to go home to my boys tonight. I get a little starved for cuddles and giggles and shiny big eyes when I've been at work for these three days. I love walking through the door...Sean runs to me with a "Mooommm" and a hug and a tug at the hand ("'Cmon")....and Christian lights up like a 4th of July sky and grins...his little dimple shows up and his tiny teeth are so precious and he reaches out those little hands to's a wonderful thing to be loved by these amazingly handsome and sweet creatures...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

One of Many

Another issue.
All I can think is that this headache is a sure prophesy of an aneurysm.
Aneurysms freak me out. There was a substitute teacher at my high school who taught math one day and had an aneurysm that night. Here today, gone tomorrow. Literally.
That is the nature of aneurysms.
And that is why they freak me out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Did you ever have a dream that keeps you off-kilter all day?
I awoke this morning from my dream with the worst knot in the pit of my stomach. I am a strange dreamer. Sometimes my dreams are very real and weird and frightening. Like this one.
This was my dream.
It was night. Raining. I was with the babies and my mom, hiding from these demon/angel beings...they eventually found me and informed me that everything would be destroyed if I didn't do...something. I never really clarified what I had to do with the whole saving the world thing. But I remember looking outside and there were these huge rising pools of water and I accepted my fate. I remember going with these beings and watching my mom get smaller and smaller in the distance as we traveled away. And I was just screaming names of my family, one by one, for her to tell them that I loved them...and to take care of my babies...and then I was in this hospital on an elevator, and I got out on the 42nd floor. There was a group of kids, reading stories. Because there was nothing else to do. And the water came through under the door...(it was green, which I assume comes from a Smallville marathon I had yesterday...kryptonite water???) and somehow I went through another door and into the nursery where all of these babies were...and I felt so helpless and scared, watching these innocent creatures and not understanding why they were in such danger.
And then I woke up.
The most horrible part was knowing that I wouldn't be reunited with my kids. And not knowing if they were safe. I could actually cry right now remembering that feeling.
I've dreamed this flooded world nightmare before. I can probably attribute them to the subject of my novel. It's about Noah's flood, and so I've envisioned the world destroyed in detail and written it down. It's constantly in my head. And then Katrina...images I'm sure have been cut into all of our minds.
So then I get to work and hear about a new hurricane that has strengthened to a category 4 and is heading towards Texas.

Friday, September 16, 2005


So Kerri sent this survey thing to me a few millenia ago and I saved it for a rainy day...always intending to fill it out and send it back. I never got around to it until now, and it'll let you all in on Dawn-World a little more...

Sunset Beach in NC...and a third on a hillside in Ireland...and a fourth in NYC. (top floor, glassed in penthouse)
Pajamas. I don't like my clothes since I had little Christian. My behind is bigger, my hips are wider...and my favorite jeans just don't fit the same. So I love pj's. They're forgiving.
The Emancipation of Mimi (Mariah Carey) and 3 Doors Down
Every day at 5:11 (I don't know how Christian got this timer) and then for good between six and seven. Oh, sleep, how I miss thee...
My coffee maker. Out of absolute need. I mean, did you see what time I wake up? I love that coffee maker so much it'll probably have a stocking on the mantle this year at Christmas.
The piano. I love the feel of the keys...and the way its voice can just express so much feeling. Also acoustic guitar. Because you can carry it around. And get people to throw coins in a hat while you play.
Purple, in all its lovely shades.
A sports car, baby. Shiny and fast.
Yes. I believe in Heaven and in Hell. I'm glad that they are there- that God is there-, because afterlife means that this life is only a chapter in my story. If death was the end of it all, then life itself would have no purpose. It only makes sense that there is more than this, a bigger view, rhyme and reason and meaning to the span of history and future on this planet.
The Little Prince
All Four. Snow and Christmas and sweaters and cozy evenings in Winter, the freshness and color of Spring, flip-flops and warm twilights and swimming in Summer, the crispness and leaves of Autumn...
No question about it. Reading minds.
I am terrified of needles, so no go on the tattoo. The only way a needle will ever come close to me (voluntarily) is if it contains an epidural and I am pushing a human child out of my body.
Yeah, right. I count myself as coordinated if I make it through the day without bruising myself.
My elementary school best friend.
Saturday. I feel less guilty if I relax.
A huge double stroller made by Jeep. A couple of toys, a T-Shirt, a hat. An empty grocery bag.
Rose. They're simple. Classic.
Breakfast. Coffee, fresh fruit, pastry...
Sense of humor- but thank God I found the combo in Zachary.
My babies...hopefully I will get them to adulthood without needing therapy.

There you go. More than you ever asked or wanted to know.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Daisies 'R Us

So last night I met a group of small people who instantly became a new highlight in my life. I decided to start helping out with one of our church girls' clubs...the 4 and 5 year olds. I dropped my boys off in their classses and enter...the Daisies.
The tiny things waltz in all shy because both the lead teacher and I are new to them...they're dressed in pastels, with adorable sparkly sandals and/or sneakers...curly headed...dimpled...demure and sweet.
And then these born and raised Southern angels opened their rosy mouths
I never stopped laughing the entire hour I was in the room.
Among the comments/actions...shouted at full volume and all performed with the thickest of accents...(all following 'i's are to be pronounced as the loooooong vowel 'i'. Practice. Niiiiiiiiiight. Briiiiiiiight. Liiiiiiike. Good job!)

"For Christmas, Santa has got to bring me a pink gun."
"I gots three cats, seventy chickens, three dogs, and three goats. The goats names are Yoda and Chewy."
"Can we make a mess? Pleeeeeeease I wanna wanna make a mess!!!!"
"My dog named Herod died." (Pouty lips.)
Catlyn- "I got me a boyfriend named Jordan. He's gots two girlfriends!"
At which I thought, wow. Jealousy must begin at some later age.
Marissa- "My boyfriend's name is Jordan, too!"
An interesting look passed between the two.
Catlyn- (Grin replaced by menacing stare.) "You can't have my boyfriend!
Ah, I thought. That's more like it.
"Hey, can I bring my goat to class and leave him here?"
Teacher Heather- "But if you leave him here, he won't have anyone to feed him or...take him to the bathroom."
All girls- EEEEEWWWWW and much giggling.
"Can we watch a horse fight? A cow fight? A HORSE-COW fight????"
The last comment, for some reason, caused all the girlies to fall out in the floor laughing and, inevitably, for a loud wave of gas to be passed, which led to shrieking which led to more laughter...and well, I'm sure you can imagine the rest.
All I know is that my Wednesday nights just went up a few notches in the category of entertaining.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

One Dark Night...(the story of my Saturday, story book style)

The night was dark. The last of the sun had slipped over the horizon as Nat and I brought the babies in from a walk, leaving the quiet country road enveloped in inky blackness. The evening passed uneventfully, with supper and baths for the children. As we settled Sean, Christian, and Natalie's wee little Xander into bedtime routines, it happened.
Bang, bang, bang!
We all jumped, startled at the rude interruption of our cozy night.
"Was that at the front door?" I asked Natalie, putting Christian into his crib.
"I think so. What time is it?"
"After ten. It must be Neil's brother."
I walked through the hallway from the boys' room and peered through the front door, which is glass and has a vertical panel of windows at its side.
no one was there.
Prickles raced up my spine. As one easily spooked, I was immediately on edge. Natalie came into the hallway.
"Was anybody at the door?" she asked.
I shook my head. "But I know I heard something!"
"Me, too. Turn off the TV. Maybe it was on the movie in here."
I nodded and walked into the living room, nervously glancing at the uncovered French doors. Just as I pressed the button to stop the DVD, we clearly heard it again. Bang, bang!
I gasped and looked at Natalie. Her normally dark skin tone was pale. We were both afraid to say it, but another round of bangs confirmed it.
"Is that coming from the garage?" she quietly asked.
I tried to appear calmer than I felt. "Yes. Yes, I think so."
We both stared at the door in the kitchen that opened to the garage. I was imagining it flinging open, bringing in all sorts of massive destruction and dangers. A three-headed alien, a giant, the witch from the gingerbread house intent on baking babies. Or even worse, the real stuff. Bad men. Men with weapons. Men from which two women and three babies couldn't protect themselves.
"I'll call Jimmy," I decided. I picked up Natalie's phone, anxiously listening to the continuing noise coming from the garage. The only place in our house that would pick up the cell signal was the space directly in front of those glass doors. I took a deep breath and began to dial, which was difficult considering how my hands were shaking. No answer. If ever I had needed my father-in-law to pick up his ever-present phone, it was then. I left a message. I knew no one else's number close to our house.
Natalie turned on the outside flood lights and the garage light. The banging seemed to get louder. I worked out an escape plan in my head, trying to figure out how I'd carry both Sean and Christian and noting the distance from the porch to my car. My car. I never locked my car. What if there were minions hiding in there, too?
"Ok. Do we call 911?"
A baby began to wail from the bedroom. Natalie nodded. "Yes. Call."
So I dialed 911 and talked to an operator who connected me with the county police. I prayed for the signal to sustain itself as I walked to the front door to watch for the police car that the operator promised was on the way.
It was a matter of about a minute before he pulled up. I breathed gasps of relief as the officer made his way up the steps, but worried that he needed to have his gun ready. What would a criminal do if cornered?
He seemed to waltz onto the porch. I was more than happy to open the door and usher him into safety. Standing out in the open was just a temptation for the snipers hanging out by the dogwood tree.
"Evening, ma'am. What has been going on?"
Natalie and I hurriedly explain the noises in the garage.
He nods and pauses before speaking. In the night air, from a distance, we hear it- "bang, bang, bang!"
"Did it sound like that?"
Natalie and I looked at one another. "Yes."
"What is that?" I asked, ecstatic that I would not have to fend off werewolves that night.
He smiled. "Fireworks. On the county line."
Fireworks? Fireworks were the cause of our numbing terror? Why the heck were they shooting off fireworks, anyway? It was not a holiday. Shouldn't they warn people? People could be on the fringe of heart failure and - boom! Surprise fireworks! And out they would fall into the floor, unconscious from fright. Shouldn't that be unlawful?
Natalie carried on the conversation with our good-natured knight in shining police uniform. He did say that he had been on several similar calls already. So we weren't the only overdramatic members of the community.
He left, dryly promising that the fireworks would not harm us.
Adrenaline kept us up for a few hours longer. The fear we had felt was not funny, but its cause sure was. And we were pretty thankful for that wonderful invention of 911.
And though we were promised protection from the night's celebratory explosives, we still slept with the lights flooding the yard.
(Ok, ok. And the living room and the kitchen and the hallway....)

Friday, September 09, 2005


Oh, I need to go home. I am developing a serious case of DIYS. Do it yourself syndrome. (Def: the overwhelming urge to scream out DO IT YOURSELF when a superior asks you to perform any task, be it large or small.)
So here's to 5 pm. And to the easy breathing of Friday. And to cleaning with the windows open and music cascading through the air...and long stretches of time in which to play with dimpled little boys...and looking on the bright side of the husband being gone for gigs because the remote to both tv and cd player will be free...
Here's to the weekend.
Have a fabulous one.
Later, ya'll.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Gear of Intrigue

So I'm preparing to park at work upon returning from lunch (while still eating a jr. bacon from Wendy's) and accidentally put my car into neutral. And then I realize I've never done that before. Not on purpose, anyways. In what circumstance, apart from towing, would a person use the neutral gear? Let me know. Maybe it's useful and I am driving around, ignoring the coolest part of my car. You never know.

And for now, that's all I have to say.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

September Song

The start of September brings kind of an achy feeling...awareness that the last bit of the year is at hand, joy at the thought of upcoming holidays, senses that travel through time and bring back a portion of your childhood. September is blue-blue skies, relief from the summer heat with cooler breezes and chillier evenings, the last hurrah for green trees. It brings football games and long sleeved shirts, school buses and cookouts in the dusk...because these are the last long-lit days. Labor Day passes and with it goes the wearing of white shoes (according to my mother). The anniversary of 9-11 will forever bring a pause this month, a remembrance of the day that time stopped and we all were stunned with the harsh reality of our world. September is the beckoning of autumn, Earth taking a soul-satisfying sigh in the midst of changing seasons and events. Yes, September is lovely in all its bittersweet endings and beginnings. Breathe deeply this month.

Friday, September 02, 2005

In the Mind of Sean

Yes, Mommy is home from work. I'll run to her and grin and put my arms up. "Hey!" I'll say, in my sweetest voice. Just like I've been missing her all day...she won't be able to resist when I say "cookie, pease!" Yeah. Ha ha...and she'll give me a cookie - just one, darn it - and pick up baby brother. To seal her thoughts on how wonderful I am and what a great 'Seventh Heaven' kind of family night it will be, I sit by her and kiss Christian on the head. Oh, she's putty in my hands. I'll follow her around the kitchen until she feeds me dinner. And then we'll have a bath. And then. It will be Time. Time to fulfill the Plan.
Because when it is dark outside, she puts on those sleepy clothes and sits down to feed Christian a bottle. He will go to sleep - and BAM. The house will surely be mine. She will say ''s sleepy. Lets read a book.' And I'll go to my room...hee hee....
except, really I'll sneak into those places they don't let me have because they are selfish and make me play with 'age-appropriate' toys.
So I'll go into the guest room and play Daddy's XBox. And then I'll look at Mommy's Friends trivia game and memorize the answers for my next playdate. I'll even leave the cards out of the box so Mommy can play later. I'll grab a couple of books to read through off Mommy's shelves...doesn't every two year old have the right to read some good essays on literary theory every now and then instead of Winnie the Pooh?
And then, because I'm nice, I'll open the dryer and take out the clothes. Yeah, they're wet, so I lay them on the floor so they'll dry. (And Mommy will see me. And just say, 'ohhh. Sean!' So happy!). I'll go into my room for a sec so Mommy will hear my drums and think I'm playing with the permissable...and then it's into the Master Bedroom. Oh yes. The room with a laptop so I can IM Dora and Steve, and the highlighters by the bed I can use to finish my mural on the wall, and shoes to try on...and best of all the big bathtub Mommy forgot to drain the water out of. Sweet. Reeeelaxation, here I come. The waters a little cool, but hey. I've got on my thick pajamas, so no big deal. I'll just step in and sit down...ahhhh...splash splash. Mommy will be SO proud that I will be extra clean.
And then I'll hear footsteps and put on my most innocent, adorable face.
"Moooom," I'll say. "Bath?"
She'll love me so much that she'll pick me up and put on my favorite pjs, read me a book, give me some juice, and let me watch Friends with her.
Yes. Life is good. I love the Plan.