Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gaga about Opera (and more!)

Last night, I heard Clay singing under his breath.  I was a bit taken aback because what he was singing was a song from my childhood, and I was surprised that he knew all the words...

You just slip out the back, Jack 
Make a new plan, Stan 
You don't need to be coy, Roy 
Just get yourself free 
Hop on the bus, Gus 
You don't need to discuss much 
Just drop off the key, Lee 
And get yourself free 

That's right, folks - 50 Ways to Leave your Lover by Paul Simon.  This is so typical of Clay - he loves old music.  He's always singing or listening to Bon Jovi, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, U2, INXS, Springsteen, the Beatles, The Who, etc... If Tim or I buys a CD of "old" music (such as those listed) it invariably disappears.  To Clay's room.  

This makes me think of a scene from one of my favorite movies of all time, The Big Chill...

Michael: Harold, don't you have any other music , you know, from this century?
Harold: There is no other music, not in my house.
Michael: There's been a lot of terrific music in the last ten years. 

Harold: Like what? 

Oh, I LOVE that movie!  When I was in college I worked at The Cinema-n-Drafthouse in Tallahassee (which showed second run movies, and you could get beer and a Mugs and Movies).  We showed this movie for quite a while and I had every line in that movie memorized.  Love. That. Movie!!  

But anyway, back to Clay and his varied musical taste.  He also loves opera and classical music.  Paige will come in to our room late at night complaining that Clay has his opera turned up too loud.  Now, the love of 70's and 80's music (and probably the classical, too) he learned from us.  But the opera?  I have NO idea about that one.  He's such a funny boy!

So, back to the Paul Simon....I heard him singing that song, and I asked him where he had ever heard it...Because the Bon Jovi, The Who, the Springsteen? Yeah, we play that here all the time - but Paul Simon?  Not so much.  Not that we don't like him, but...just not so much.  So I wondered.  I was curious.  He scoffed at my curiosity.  Yes, he did!  He scoffed!  He said, "Just because I'm young, doesn't mean you can pull the old that's not your generation thing."  At which point I started laughing, because again - Clay is such a funny boy.  I still have no idea where he heard it.  I'm guessing the (OMG) "oldies" station.  

He doesn't only like the fabulous music of the 70's and 80's though - he's an equal opportunity music fan.  He also loves the Black Eyed Peas, New Boys, ColdPlay, and oh yeah - he is (like his father) gaga about Lady Gaga.  

Clay, you rock! 

Saturday, February 27, 2010


It was a rainy morning, windshield wiper on my van broke.  Since I had to take Paige to one last dance lesson to go over her solo before next week's dance competition...I ended up taking the wiper off, but then the metal screeched a hideous lament against the glass every time I turned the wipers on.  SCREEEEECCCHHH!  Ugh, it was awful! the rain was pouring down, I had a brainstorm!  I took an old kitchen sponge (lime green) and attached it to the metal part.  The wiper on the driver's side still worked, so I was able to drive her to dance.  Ta Da!!  I was pretty proud of myself for my inventiveness! I'm sure any drivers I passed wondered why there was a lime-green kitchen sponge on my windshield though!!  

Tim and Clay are at a boating class all day today, so Paige and I have just been relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet.  My goals for today are very simple - to finish up some laundry, make some bread, and read and enjoy this rainy, chilly afternoon.

Her piece is called "Clouds".  Isn't her costume just perfect?  The vision she has in her head while she dances, is of dancing on big white, fluffy, puffy clouds...

I love watching Paige dance - I'm always so impressed, and wonder where she got such incredible talent and such a work ethic.  

It seems like only yesterday....

Congratulations Clay!!
Way to go!

Friday, February 26, 2010

She Who Shall Not Be Named!

Clay is fine - he told me that his stomach hurt all morning, and then he just started feeling better this afternoon.  I have no idea what type of bug he had, but I am just SO glad he is feeling better.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that I am still having issues with "She who shall not be named"...aka the evil, mean, Nazi, possessed by a demon with hate it it's heart, teacher.  She is SUCH a B*****!!  I know, I know, I should be setting a good example to Clay of how to communicate and cooperate and find a way to all settle our differences in a mature manner. 


It's impossible with this person.  

I tried.

She.  Is.  Hateful.
Really, really hateful...and snippy...and holier than thou....and just, obviously, really disturbed...and...NUTS! She has no business being in a classroom. 


OK.  I can't talk about it anymore because it makes my heart start racing and my hands start shaking and I just want to CRY out of complete and utter frustration. 

Hey, that sort of rhymes, doesn't it?  

So other than that, here's what else is going on....

* It's really cold.  Again.  Below freezing last night, and highs only in the upper 50's...pretty much the same for the next several days, which (as Clay would say) is pretty "demoralizing".  

*Tim gets home tonight!  Yay!!

*He is only home for a couple of days.  Boo!

*Tim and Clay are taking a boating class all day tomorrow...Clay is very excited to be getting his boating license before his driver's license.  He can't wait until he is allowed to take the boat out by himself.  We can't wait until he has straight A's and can keep his room clean.  Hmmm.....I wonder if those two things would be connected??

Just for fun....

I found out about this cool site from my friend Suzette (I copy ideas from her all the time, but I do always try to give credit!! Blogger etiquette, don't ya know!)

If you'd like to make your photos look 100 years old too, go here.  You can click on English in the upper right-hand corner.

There is an update about Clay in yesterday's post.....

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Whew.  It is only 4:46 pm and I am officially exhausted.  I started out the day with the usual "O-dark-thirty" drive to Clay's school, and then a run to Barnes and Noble (looking for something to read) and a (long overdue) visit to Publix.  Since we were almost out of milk, bread, and most important of all - my Italian Sweet Cream creamer, I thought it was time.  I was in Publix, peering into the freezer section trying to decide between broccoli and asparagus when I received a text from Clay telling me, "I rly rly don't feel good".  I spent 5 minutes trying to find the correct keys to text back and ask "what's wrong?".  About 30 seconds later he replied, "stomach rly hurts & head 2".  I told him (again, another 5 minute process for the old-timer Mom trying to find the keys) "Go 2 clinic".  OK, I'll stop now with the back and forth of the texting conversation(it's exhausting me all over again, even with the keyboard!)  - the bottom line: He went to the clinic and the nurse gave him advil (for a stomachache...without calling me??) and sent him back to class.  He thought he could make it until the end of the day, so I ran home and unloaded the groceries in record time and then headed off to pick him up.

I could tell that he really didn't feel well when I picked him up.  You moms know what I mean - that Mother Radar can just tell.  Maybe it was something in his eyes, or the way he was walking gingerly to the car, sort of hunched over...but I knew.  I called the pediatrician's office because, to me, the symptoms sounded suspiciously like the beginning stages of appendicitis (Intermittent pain around his belly button, hurts to walk or cough, as long as he held still and didn't move he was OK).  When the nurse called me back she told me that she thought it was more likely that he is getting the dreaded and terrible stomach bug that has been going around.


Well, either way - my poor boy is lying in bed not feeling well.  I guess time will tell! And I guess I can either look forward to a midnight run to the hospital or being up all night with a vomiting Clay.  I'm really, really hoping it's just gas!

*Side far, so good with Clay.  He has been lying in bed reading a book, his temperature is normal and, while he says it still hurts, it comes and goes - nothing too bad. 

Sweet Paigey has been helping me by putting all the groceries away, vacuuming and sweeping, and bringing all the plants inside because...there's another hard freeze tonight.  I really should go and cover all the citrus trees.  I really should.  But I'm not going to.  Because - I'm SICK OF THIS!!  Sigh.  Spring, where are you??  

I'll leave you with a final thought.  This afternoon Paige said to me, "Mom, did you know that if you are yawning and you touch your tongue the yawn will just stop?"  I stared at her for a minute, thinking, and then asked, "Where did you hear that?" and she replied, "I figured it out all by myself."


I'll leave you to ponder WHY she was touching her tongue in the middle of a yawn in the first place!

Funny girl.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

There was a little girl...

who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead
...and when she was good she was very, very good
and when she was bad she was horrid.

Paige was a beautiful baby.  Gorgeous.  A Gerber baby.  Unfortunately, the full head of hair she was born with fell out and she was a beautiful, BALD little baby for the first few months of her life.
So, even though I always dressed her in beautiful little smocked dresses, and she wore pink all the time....people were always telling me what a cute little boy "he" was.  Stupid people.

Perhaps that's why Paigey has always has a strong sense of "style"

The tutu...she loved that tutu.  She wore it everywhere.  Always.  She threw a fit if we tried to take it off her - for instance, to try to get her to use the potty or to go to bed (as evidenced by the photo above of her wearing it OVER her nightgown).  Good times.  Good times.

Paige has always had a bit of the acrobat in her.  Here is a photo of a family outing to the zoo...there she is buckled all safely into the stroller

And then, after she threw herself headfirst out of the stoller!  

There has always been the "public" Paige....

and the "real" Paige

She really is a good girl - honor roll, loves to read, sweet and kind to everyone...

Which is probably why, when she does do something naughty, we are always so shocked.  She may look angelic, but she is only human, after all!

When Paige was in 1st grade, she was on a gymnastics team.

She started complaining about headaches, and saying her eyes hurt.  Her complaints became more specific and frequent....she told us she saw shadows from the corners of her eyes, and sometimes the shadows moved and everything got dark.   !!!  OMG.  Naturally, we were very concerned and took her to the pediatrician immediately.  He checked her eyes, and asked a lot of questions and we could tell he was quite concerned as well.  He scheduled an appointment for her with a neurologist at Nemours Children's Clinic.  We kept her home from school and when we called the school and explained what was going on, they were quite concerned as well.  She was on the church's prayer list.  A prayer chain was started for her.  The weekend came and Paige wanted to know if she could go to a friend's birthday party.  We gently explained to her that her Dr. wanted her to rest in quiet, dark rooms and that she wouldn't be able to go.  Whereupon, the sweet, precious little angel started sobbing and confessed that she was making it all up because her best friend from gymnastics had just gotten glasses and she liked them and wanted to be like Kelsie and so is it OK, Can she PLEASE go to the birthday party now?


Oh, the embarrassment.  Calling the Dr. and having to tell him, that no...Paige doesn't really have a brain tumor, she made the whole thing up.  Oh - that prayer chain, ya'll?  No need, thanks anyway.


And every single person was shocked.  Absolutely shocked.  Paige?  That sweet, little angel?  She LIED??

Mmmm Hmmmm.

Oh...and by the way, not only did she NOT go to THAT birthday party, she didn't go to ANY birthday parties, or much of anything else for a very, very long time.  She was extremely grounded!

Paige IS an angel.  Sweet, honest, overachieving...
Paige is also...


She can also be a bit of a drama queen.

When we took the kids to Paris a couple of years ago, we took this picture of Paige standing in front of the Seine in her red beret, looking oh so chic!  A few minutes later...

I took this one -  of her throwing a hissy fit because she leaned on the railing and put her hands smack dab into some pigeon poop.  (Don't you love how the boys are cracking up at her histrionics?)

So which one is the "real" Paige?

They both are.

And I love BOTH of them!

Stinky and hairy

Let me begin this post by stating that Clay is going to be furious with please DO NOT say anything to him about it!!  I debated whether to blog about this, but decided that since this blog is kind of a record of our day to day lives, I would...

(Also Clay?  You know how you sometimes cop an attitude with me, and act like I am sooo dumb and just, ya know, UNCOOL??  Well, like, ummm.....payback, dude.)

My baby boy is becoming a man!


I noticed several months ago that he was getting the "shadow" over his upper lip. You all know what I mean - the teenager's "mustache", which is just so sad and such a pathetic attempt at a mustache.  The only thing worse is the "soul patch" which to me is just a pathetic attempt at a beard.  Boys - don't do it!  It's just NOT a good look - for anyone.  Sorry, Apollo Anton Ohno - not even for you.  But I digress....when we first noticed Clay's shadow, we gave him an electric razor.  At that point, it was only necessary that he use it about once every couple of weeks.  Lately, it's been every day or so - so we knew it was time.  Yesterday, I went and got the supplies...
...and Tim taught him to shave.

Wow.  My baby boy is shaving.

There are a few other signs that my baby is becoming a man:  First is the fact that he now towers over me.  It's a strange feeling to have to look up at your baby when you talk to him.  Another is that when I pick him up from TaeKwonDo now, I have to leave the windows rolled down in the van.  Man sweat.  Ugh.  He has to leave his gym bag outside, or the whole house starts to smell.  When I wash his gym clothes, I almost gag!  I wash them in the "sanitary" cycle.  No more little boy sweat - this is stinky, manly, breathe through your mouth sweat.

I want my little boy to know this....that no matter how big, or smelly, or hairy you get....

I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be

Now, Clay tells me that I always write bad stuff about him and good stuff about let me assure everyone that I believe in fairness and equality for this there will be a future post about Paige.  I'm already gathering the photos.  It may even appear as early as this afternoon...I'll leave you all with a teaser....

My all-time favorite picture of Paige.

Because it is PAIGE!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Great Expectations

Last year Tim and I made the decision to pull Paige from her wonderful ballet training downtown, which was 4 evenings per week, and put her in a smaller studio only 5 minutes from our house.  The drive was really taking a toll on the whole family (45 minutes each way!), and we felt that it was very important that we all sit down to have dinner together.  Also, because that drive was sucking the life's blood out of me.  But mostly for the family dinners.  Really.

When the kids were younger we always had family dinners, and we taught the kids table manners (I promise, we did!) and had conversations about their days. Then, slowly, the many activities started to take over and the family dinners became more and more sporadic.  We knew it was time for us to take control of our lives again and to make the family a priority.

We envisioned lively conversations.  Polite kids, who use their cutlery and napkins...peace...tranquility...a time for us all to unwind from the stresses of the day.


Here's what we got.

First, before we can set the table or eat, we have to clear it of this...

Then, because we now have two teenagers rather than sweet little children...there is a bit of "Pull your pants up"..."Have you done your homework"..."Clay, gimme my pencil back!"..."HaHaHa"...."Put the cat down - now go wash your hands"...."Is your room clean?"...and so forth and so on, until  I screech ask sweetly for everyone to be seated.

The best part of the meal is the blessing.  Usually the kids take turns...they are always sweet and heartfelt, and always end with, "Dear God, please take care of Ms. Whitelaw and Kevin and Katie."  Which always, always breaks my heart just a little.  Then dinner progresses to this...

Great use of the cutlery,  Clay....a bit scary, perhaps.....

and this....

Um, Paige?  Those silver things sitting next to your plate?  That's a knife and don't need to use your hands to eat the asparagus!

As I am frantically trying to get my kids to display some manners, I glance over at my dear husband to ask him to help me out here and I see this....


Clearly, He's no help.  


You know?  That's not a bad idea!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday morning updates

*  Paige is still sick....still running a low grade fever, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, etc.  Thankfully, Clay felt much better after getting a good night's sleep.

*  The new breadmaker works!  Hallelujah!  I feel like Goldilocks..."The first machine didn't mix, the second machine didn't bake, but the third one is just right."  

*  I may have been a trifle optimistic with my springtime post yesterday...looking at the 5 day forecast, it looks like another mild cold front is moving in this afternoon and it won't get out of the 60's until later this week.  Sigh.  So...we will have rain later today, and then another week of chilly temps. At least it's a beautiful morning and supposed to be in the 70's today.   I want sun!  I want warmth!  Hurry and get here, March!!

That's all for now - just a brief update - must go ingest more caffeine and get started on my day!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spring has sprung...or it's springing...or something...


Today is an absolutely Bee-yoo-tee-ful day - it feels like spring out there!  The sun is shining, clear blue skies, the redbuds and azaleas are starting to bloom....Aaah.

Clay ushered in church today, and Paige gave the second reading.
When I snuck back to go to the ladies' room in the middle of the service, Clay showed me "M's" i-phone (the Rector's daughter, who was acolyting) and said (with a smug smirk), "M asked me to hold her i-phone and I have her password...heh heh".  I told him to leave it alone, and honestly didn't think much more about it...until we got home from church and saw "M's" facebook status.  From 11:15 (during the service) said, "Hi. I really should stop going on facebook during church".  Oh, that Clay!  What a naughty kid!  (Sorry, "M"!!)

This photo is of Tim explaining something about the sun and why it moves as the earth moves.  Or something like that.  I wasn't really paying attention - I was trying to get a picture (to preserve the memory for the kids!) and he was glaring at me and telling me to "just stop it, Lisa!" while the kids giggled and waited for the paparazzi to turn the camera on them.  Hmmph.  My family just does not appreciate the paparazzi.  One day he (and the kids) will be glad that I have preserved all these memories for the future.  Won't they?  Huh?  Won't they?

The eagles were back out today (also enjoying this fine spring weather?) but they flew off when I went outside...I did snap  a couple of shots of one of them in a tree.  

Isn't he gorgeous? Or she...I can't tell which is which..but either way, cool, huh? I love "our" eagles...and in the summer, I love "our" manatees...definitely one of the best things about living here.  Oh yeah...and the part about it being spring!  No more winter - yeah!

Afternoon update:

* You may remember that a few weeks ago I had to return the new breadmaker because it wouldn't mix the ingredients properly.  We ended up with lumpy, yucky, misshapen bread.  Tim got me a new breadmaker for our anniversary - very nice, with lots of nifty features and options.  Unfortunately, it was a bit of a dud.  While it mixed everything up very energetically (it made a lovely dough ball) didn't bake it.  It just never heated up. I even tried the  "bake only" option - it still never heated up.  So, it was returned today and Tim got me yet ANOTHER bread machine.  As I type this there is another loaf of bread (hopefully) being made.  What is up with the shoddy quality of things these days?  Very, very frustrating.

*  Clay had another birthday "party" this afternoon.  Party is really a misnomer, because it was just the boys meeting at the mall and eating and walking around.  I left early to pick him up and Paige and I did a bit of shopping...we ran into the boys, and Clay totally dissed me!!  He was completely into the whole "I'm a teenage boy and way too cool for the likes of you" routine.  Methinks we're gonna have to have a little chat, that boy and I.

*  Paige started feeling really yucky while we were at the mall, so we came home and took her temperature and, yep - 100.  Low grade, but still.  Clay was still planning on going to youth group tonight, but he came in a few minutes ago and said he wasn't feeling well either.  Oh great!  

Maybe a nice loaf of "homemade" bread will make them feel better.

Poor Paigie

Poor Clay-Clay

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