Friday, March 14, 2008


Happy 8th Anniversary to Mac Daddy!

Eight years ago today we were wed among the orchids and banyan trees at the Audubon House in Key West. Accompanied by our dear friends, Chris and Shan, we had the perfect, relaxed day (unlike the hubbub and frenzy of most wedding days!). We set off for a sunset sail, toasted margaritas, and devoured a fabulous dinner at Louie's Backyard.

The talented chef and gracious owner of Louie's Backyard gave us a personalized menu as a wedding day token. It was unfortunately damaged in a flooded storage unit with much of our wedding memories (but not photos thankfully!). The fine folks at Louie's Backyard promptly sent us a new one that now hangs framed in our kitchen. If you ever go to Key West, and you must, you will miss out on the supreme island experience if you forgo dinner and drinks at Louie's Backyard. It's unlike any backyard you'll ever experience.

So after eight very happy years of marriage, all I can say is that I am lucky, lucky, lucky. If scientists were to start cloning human beings, the unanimous vote among all who know know Mac Daddy, would be to start with him. I might not strike envy into the hearts of those who know me, but the fact that I have a husband as awesome as Mac Daddy makes everyone just a wee bit jealous. He is a genuine guy who is more tolerant and witty than anyone I know. He's the best dad, which makes me love him even more. And he's hot, hot, hot...even as he's teetering on the cusp of 40.

Every night before I fall asleep I say my prayers and say thanks to the Powers that Be that Mac Daddy chose me. I joke that he married his trophy wife on the first try. That's really just a defense mechanism because I also pray that he doesn't wake up one day and realize that he has married way, way down. Let's keep that a secret just between us, OK?

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Ladies, we spend so much time shopping, dieting, primping, plucking, shaving, exfoliating, taping, tucking, concealing, glossing, flossing, painting, teasing, curling, brushing, waxing, poofing, and toning. Why, when you work so hard to look so good, would you ruin it with a bad, bad case of VPL? It's plain inexcusable.

This one's for the fabulously dressed woman I saw at Uniquities this morning. She was a knockout until I saw her from behind. No amount of riches can make a trendy, high fashion outfit look good when you're sporting VPL. I'm pretty sure Phillip Lim would have been aghast. I beg you, ladies, invest in a full length mirror. And use it.
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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gears in Motion

When Bird and Deal were babies every little burp, toot, or giggle was send-me-to-the-moon adorable. Every new discovery was heart warming and just propelled me to look forward to the next big thing. Sitting up blew me over. Crawling had me clapping my hands in a fury. Walking made me run in place stomping with pride. Talking forced me to shut up to hear my own children's voices. Bird's first word was dog. Ball, for Deal. Mac Daddy and I were swimming in sheer delight at all the things our boys were learning.

Those physical feats got nothin' on the mental goings on in their preschool brains now.

I am amazed every day at the thought processes in those little noggins. I swear, I can see the gears in motion. Bird is full of questions that are sometimes impossible to answer. Deal rattles off observations in a series of non sequitors. Bird is at the early stages of reading and writing, two things I have loved my whole life, so it is particularly amazing to see this learning process unfold before my very eyes. So far, Bird has really developed a love for words. His new quest is to find homonyms, which leaves Deal asking if virtually every word he utters is indeed a homonym. No, firetruck is not a homonym, but plane is. Mac Daddy and I must stop spelling very soon - no more looking at the clock saying it's almost time for B-E-D.

I don't recall my parents being so excited about what I was learning at any stage of my education and development. Perhaps it was cultural, but we were just expected to do well. Reading before kindergarten? Big deal. Paying for grades? No way! I don't recall many instances of pride welling up in the house. To be honest, I don't recall much from my childhood, consciously or subconsciously. I'm not saying my folks weren't supportive. I just don't remember it. Rather, I don't remember how I felt growing up (other than sometimes anxious and stressed since there were hard times in our home). All I recall is my mom and dad going through the motions to care for us physically. I'm not judging or knocking it; I'm simply remarking on the paradigm that's my reality. I'm pretty sure the parenting books back in the day didn't talk about a child's self esteem. I'm pretty sure there weren't a gazillion books available back in the day. And Parent Center was certainly not around!

Mac Daddy and I definitely raise Bird and Deal differently from our upbringing (not that it's not without its mistakes, lapses, and oversights). I hope that as adults our boys will remember the feeling of being loved and appreciated. I hope that they realize, now and later, that we well with pride and glee at the sweet, smart, funny boys they are growing into. I hope we are making them feel and know that they have enriched our lives in ways that words are inadequate to express.

I want them to remember the simple times when we sit at the kitchen table painting letters in pudding or spelling silly words out of Playdoh. I hope they remember all the time we spend nuzzled together reading books - the same books time after time after time; we could recite The Lorax by memory by now. I hope that in some small way, we teach our children about pride, a love of learning, and that there's more fun to be had at home than anywhere else. Yeah, that'll change when their buddies get gaming systems and we still have an analog TV with 3 channels. Or when they discover girls. Egads!
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

An Age Appropriate Easter

Easter is fast approaching. That means cute (matching, natch) outfits for Bird and Deal. This was an easy task when the boys were gurgling, swaddled infants with rolls galore and delectable chubby cheeks. At 45 and 35 pounds and approaching the limits of the height charts, they no longer look cute in smocked john johns with bunnies and posies embroidered. The whole one piece outfit is no longer an option with the torsos on my kids. Despite their extraordinarily long torsos, there is no way in hell you'd catch me dressing my boys in frou frou garb. They are boys afterall, not babies. And certainly not sissies. ..not that there's anything wrong with that.

There has been a permanent ban on Little Lord Fauntleroy clothing at Chez Dirt & Noise. There comes a time for every mother (I'm not excluding fathers, but let's face it, they would throw the kids in a paper sack with holes cut out for head and arms and call it a day), to come to grips with the fact their boy babies turn into big boys. Rambunctious, rough and tumble, BOYS. Moms need to stop shopping at stores like Mommas Boy Clothing once the kid can feed himself solid food with an utensil of any kind, fingers included. Let's be real, it is highly unlikely that I would ever shop at a store called Mommas Boy Clothing at all. Folks need to quit making this stuff larger than a size 2T, lest those boys get the snot kicked out of them when Momma's watchful eye strays.

Dressing Bird and Deal in traditional Easter attire would just make them look ridiculous, akin to the mother of a high school classmate I recall who wore mini skirts and anklets with spiky heels in 1985 because it was all the rage among teenage girls. She wore such a getup thinking she looked young and hip. In reality, she looked old and dreadful. Costumed, even. I am now as old as she was then, and you wouldn't catch me in any of the crap teenage girls are wearing these days. Another reason I'm glad to have sons! Those of you with daughters have uber fabulous options for Easter attire now, but wait until those girls want bling on their too tight shirts and cutesy words across their bottoms. Will someone please quash this trend?

Now the quandary is how to dress the boys appropriately for Easter photos without knee socks, saddle shoes, and a peter pan collar? Last year was freezing so we made do with madras pants and sweaters...I couldn't wrangle them into the white bucks I bought so those still sit anew in the closet. I'm going to cram their little (or not so little) feet into those shoes for a photo opp this year. At this rate, it might be the only Easter garb they wear.
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Sunday, March 9, 2008

When will it Spring?

This time of year makes me antsy. The way I feel about spring is the way Bird and Deal feel for the weeks, no months, thanks to marketing, leading up to Christmas. I'm not anxious to open the wrapped loot under the tree. I just want to free my feet. Spring marks pedicure season, which means sandal season. I don't need an excuse to buy shoes, but the turn to warmer days is a pretty damn good one.

I'm just itching to rip off my socks and boots and sport some cute little wedge sandals with a flirty sundress or don flip flops with madras shorts and a tank top. Sweaters, coats, tights and the whole ilk of winter wear are so confining. I hate layers. I hate coats. I hate shivering. Chattering teeth is so unbecoming. I left 10 years of frozen snot and icy eyelashes behind when we moved from the midwest 6 years ago. I miss the novelty of snow but not enough to ever go back.

I remember waiting and waiting and waiting for spring in Minneapolis. March would march right by in a whirl of snow. April showered us with cold rain and ice. May flirted with spring, but winter kept her gloved grasp tightly on the thermometer. June brought a glimpse of spring so brief that it really just melded into summer like two colors of Playdoh squished together. I felt like Margot in the Ray Bradbury story "All Summer in a Day," just waiting to feel the warm rays of sun on my toes. That story still wrenches my heart. I will read it to my boys one day to illustrate the utter cruelty that bullies can inflict. It is a sunny, albeit chilly, day as I write this. I shudder even now to think of Margot.

Spring fashion brings out the best in us (see me jockeying for another excuse to shop?). No more hiding that spare tire under a puffy vest and Irish knit sweater. Show off those gams you've been working on all winter! Be proud of the shoulders you've sculpted! Shed those constricting clothes! Exfoliate! Wear blue eyeliner! Paint your toenails! I don't know about you, but my toes are ready for a brush of I'm Not Really a Waitress. Red toenails simply make me happy. Let me clarify, my own red toenails make me happy. I'm not much into other people's feet. But you know as well as I do, that like well groomed brows, polished toenails look waaaaayyy better than the colorless mess they are unadorned.

Spring colors rejuvenate us all, adding a kick in our step. And I'm not just talkin' fashion hues. I am stockpiling recipes to try with the new bounty of vegetables our farmers' market brings. Strawberries! Swiss chard! Lettuces and greens galore! The drab colors of winter's root vegetables give way to produce's version of the Crayola box of 64.

Bring on spring. Its glorious food and fashion are beckoning.
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