Tuesday, July 31, 2007

And So It Begins

"I like what my skin is doing"
Says my three year old while sitting on the potty contemplating life. I had no clue what she was talking about so I asked her what she meant.
"Well", she replied, "I don't know what color it is called, but I like it"
And then off she went on to her everyday world leaving me snickering. Isn't three a little too young to be focusing on a tan? Before you call Child Services let me assure you that C'sa gets slathered with sunscreen all the time just like everyone else in this family. The difference is she is darker than the rest of us. C'sa has my father's skin (he is the Indian half of me while my mother is the blonde Scottish/English half) . Somehow she defied Mr. Clean's viking roots and has perfect copper skin. The rest of the offspring? Freckle faced blondes who will burn if they stand by a window too long. So imagine my surprise when she was born as copper and beautiful as my dad.

C'sa knows that she is a little darker than her siblings and she likes to compare skin tone each time the girls are in the tub together, but to already be excited that her skin is getting darker during the summer? I am not ready for this! I was hoping for genteel girls who kept the sun off of their skin in a quest to look 30 when they are 80. Isn't that the new trend?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Back in the Saddle

After a respite from the normal routine for a while we got back to business this morning and it really felt good. After breakfast we cleaned up and did school for the day which only took about 2 hours. Then they wanted to play with clay so I deemed it "art" and they had a blast. Now I am listening to a piano concert as all three are tickling the ivories with no real clue as to what they are doing, but they are doing it with determination. If only I could get myself back into the swing of things with my chores. This afternoon I will have to revive them!

Flax Seed Faux Pas

This morning I decided to make grits and blueberry muffins for breakfast. Since it was just a boxed muffin mix I figured I would give it a bit of a punch and make them a tad healthier. I had flax seeds in my freezer and had recently been told that flax seeds basically do nothing for you unless they are somehow smashed to release the oils from within. No problem! I have a coffee grinder for just that reason so I threw in a couple tablespoons of seeds and ground them releasing their precious oils.

Here is where I goofed. I forgot that oil will lessen the potency of yeast causing baked goods not to rise as well. Our result? Muffins that resembled hockey pucks and were about the same density. K.Z. still ate four of them regardless, but the girls and I were more cautious. Live and learn!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Home Again!

We just got home from a very travel intensive weekend (we visited 4 states in 3 days) and it is good to be back! After two family parties with two different sides of my family, we went to Virginia to my Grandmother's house to pick up some things from her estate that we are buying. The most prized possession I received is her piano. My Grandmother was an amazing pianist who studied at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and she loved playing. It was her form of worship and I hope to keep the tradition alive. So I am sure I will have pictures to post of the kidlets on our new treasure soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fighting Myself

Since my brain has been so fuzzy lately, I cannot remember if I have ever mentioned that I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and I am too lazy to go and look back (fuzziness and fatigue are two of a myriad of symptoms). Lately it has been going nuts and so have I. PCOS can be either dormant or flare up depending on whether a butterfly flaps it's wings in Japan or a man named Todd eats jam on Tuesdays in Toronto. There is no rhyme nor reason and basically not too much you can do if it decides to show its ugly head (never to fear however, this is a disease that you are born with so it's not catching).

My PCOS has been hanging around since it's last vacation about the time C'sa was born three and a half years ago and hitting me hard. Not much is working to remedy it so I have been moping around and whining about my symptoms while taking my man made medication that I hate. So while today I am fighting off a migraine (another lovely symptom), tomorrow I am going to start to try and find a more natural approach to battle this painful "syndrome". Maybe the Lord will provide where my doctors have failed. After all, He created this body and only He can truly heal it. Pray that whatever I do, I seek Wisdom first.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Year of Change

This is it. The summer. Last summer my son was a little boy. This summer he became, "a kid". I was watching him yesterday at the pool playing with his friend David. The boys swam for a while and then begged me to let them go down the slide into the deep end. This was something that they had been allowed to do in swim class, but until they have been tested there were not supposed to go anywhere near the diving boards or slide during normal pool hours.

After much pleading I checked with their swim teacher who was still at the pool and she gave them permission, confident in their abilities. For the first 10 or so times I sat on a bench just feet away from the slide watching the boys plunge into the 12 foot water. I came to the realization that they really did not need me hovering (since they were doing really well swimming safely back to the ladder and the lifeguard was a mere 8 feet away). For the next hour they went up and down the slide sans my assistance and eagle eye. It was a wake-up moment.

Looking at my "kid" I saw the muscular outlines on his back, chest and abdomen that indicate a boy growing stronger. Gone was the doughy softness of his belly and undefined toddler arms that I loved to hold for so many years. His tousled hair and prominent freckles look more like one of the young Sullivan brothers than Opie Taylor. And to top it off, his summer tan line is one of an older boy who has spent many days by the pool, slathered with sunscreen by a mom who can only pin him down for one application, instead of a carefully covered toddler whose skin rarely sees the sun.

As much as the realization jolted me, it pleased me as well. My son is growing up. The fact that this was going to happen is no sudden epiphany. I knew it was going to happen, I just have been too involved in everyday life to step back and appreciate the subtle changes. The young man/older boy he is growing into is a person I am honored to know and proud to call my son. I praise God that he still likes to have "Momma time" and sit and cuddle. I just don't think I am old enough to have a child growing this fast, although the subtle changes in my hair color would indicate a different reality!

The Question of the Day...

As a parent I have prepared myself for pretty much any question that may come along. Or so I thought. Today C'sa looked at me in all seriousness and asked, "when I am a girl alien, can I go into outer space?"

That child twists my brain in so many directions my head hurts.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dr. Henry Jones

Because Mr. Clean and K.Z. love all things Indiana Jones and Legos and I love Mr. Clean and K.Z. How could I resist posting this?

A Pear By Any Other Name

We recently acquired some pears whose label bears the name of my son. Obviously a company name since they were D'Anjou pears, but we made a big deal of it anyway and stared calling them "K.Z. pears". While I was eating one at breakfast today C'sa looked at me suspiciously and asked, "are those Mommy pears?"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

As The Sun Sets...

Today was idyllic. Unlike the last couple of days while I was stewing over my lovely familial relations. Thank you my beautiful sisters for your wonderful comments on my last post. They made me feel so "fed" again. I also realized that I was probably delighting Satan with my stewing and decided to get over it. I know who I can count on and who I cannot, so why be surprised?

Anyway, we spent a perfect 80 degree day doing 90 & 90 (a D.C. term when the weather is in the 90's and at 90% humidity) style activities inside. So we had to rectify it and add some outdoor fun. The best part was that the entire day was cheap and paid for with the cash in our pockets (for all of you Dave Ramsey fans you know this is a huge deal, especially for people like us addicted to our debit cards).

We started off catching Ratatouille matinée style. By the way, when did a matinée start costing $6.00?! Thankfully, I had some theater gift certificates that covered all but $5.00. We decided to forgo the $40.00 trough of popcorn and took the kids to Chick Fil-A afterward, compliments of the VBS program they had just completed (free kid's meal coupons). Mr. Clean used his mad money to buy he and I (him and me? my brain is fuzzy today) some grub costing us for lunch and a movie for a family of five just $16!

We then headed over to an amazing park in the area that none of us had been to before. This place was like a Norman Rockwell painting with bike trails, a river, manicured lawns, lots of trees and even a butterfly or two. The Creator even threw in a blue sky and puffy white clouds to bring it up a notch or two (puffy white clouds are almost unheard of in July on the East Coast, normally it is just searing heat and haze). It was fantastic. Almost surreal.

And as I type, Mr. Clean and the offspring have been missing for over and hour now to, in the words of my killer hubby, "give Mom a break for a while". Can it get any better?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just a Day; Glad it's Over

Today marks (officially anyway) the 7th day of school. We have actually done three days. I love being a homeschooler! I am in control of what they learn, when they learn and how. I decided that between swimming lessons this week that were not anticipated and were spur of the moment and VBS, it would not be too fair to expect academic genius. So we bagged it and even in doing so we will still finish in early spring if we stay the course, which I doubt we will do!

So today was all about fun for the kids and annoyance for me. I found out today that two of my relatives (not immediate family, but close) were talking smack about me regarding, basically, my socioeconomic status and the fact that they believe that I get "everything" in the family (including an item belonging to my late great grandfather that I have never laid eyes on, let alone own).

Just to back you up a bit, my grandmother whom I adored and was very close to just died in April. The things that I want of hers are few and I will be PAYING her estate for them. There is no free ride here since the estate is equally divided between my grandmother's children and she was not Midas in the least, but apparently since my mother is the executor of the estate, I am the privileged one. This really hurt and got under my skin.

These two relatives are ones that I have a good relationship with (or so I thought) and yet will be the first to smile in my face while running their mouths behind my back. Since I am not trying to bash them I will not go into the details, but the choices they have made in their lives have not been smart, pretty and in some cases not legal, but they are complaining that I have "everything". Maybe it is because Mr. Clean and I work, save and plan for what we want and then get it. No silver spoons here, just hard work and we tend to stay on the right side of the law. I know that I should not let this anger me and that in doing so I am the one sinning, but it just burns me.

Call me naive, but shouldn't your family members be the ones who have your back, not talk and lie behind it? Praise the King for my brothers and sisters in Christ who I can really trust. Maybe the family of believers is the family I should be focusing more on than the one who shares my genetic make up. Thanks for letting me rant. Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pulling Out My Hair

I love my daughters. I really do. With a fierce passion that makes me want to defend them to the death. Unless I kill them first, that is.

My son is a neat freak. His room will get messy but all it takes for him to clean it is either his own disgust with the way it looks or pretty much one request from the parental units. No problem whatsoever. My darling daughters however... No amount of punishment, pleading, yelling, threatening to give the toys to some other more deserving child (C'sa actually likes this option) or garbage bags can convince them to just get to it.

I know that I have complained about this before. But we just redid this room for the princesses 7 months ago and it was awesome. It's still an awesome room when everything is in it's place. I know that many of you are thinking, "What's the big deal? Kids mess up their rooms". Well, let me just show you.

This is not a "messy room", this is a ransacked, burglarized, did not find the jewels so we will trash the place room. And my girls? Well since there is no visible place on the floor to play, they moved out to the hallway where I busted them playing a game of chess instead of cleaning it as they were instructed.

My next line of attack is going to be to pile all of their belongings on their beds and make them sleep on the floor with their blanket and pillow until the beds are cleaned off and their things put away. I am guessing that one nap time spent on the floor should suffice? Then again, they have a cozy carpet in there and they would probably think it is a hoot. There goes another clump of hair...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Xena Warrior Princess

Tucking the girls into bed tonight was not as easy as usual. Normally we pray, sing , give massive doses of hugs and kisses, tuck everyone into their beds and then Mr. Clean and I punch out on the parental time clock. As usual K.Z. was more than likely asleep 2.8 seconds after his head hit the pillow. The girls, who share a room, normally talk a little while before dozing off which we don't mind.

Tonight however C'sa was not settling well and wound up crying. Going in to talk to her she cried that her blankets were askew, her doll needed different clothes, and mostly, I simply could not leave her because of the monsters. I quickly assured her that there were no monsters in our house (they would not dare lurk here!) and that she was safe in her room. She did not want me to leave her so I reminded her that she had her "best sister" (how she refers to Xena) with her to keep her safe, to which Xena replied from her bed, "yeah, and I know a little about karate too!"

Monsters beware.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Aspiring To Fail?

I like Dove products and use some, but I have no real love or loyalty to the company. After a couple glances in the mirror today as I passed one or two and since today is heavy duty cleaning day, it was a horrid sight (no make-up, hair pulled in a bun with a pencil), I have decided, I do love this (stop the music video playing on my side bar first)...

Be the beautiful creatures God has created you to be. He made you perfect the way He wanted you to look, not Hollywood or Park Ave. Have a great weekend.

I need Parental Guidance!

I had to laugh when my blog got rated as "PG" since it contained the words "missionary" (see, those darn missionaries get you in trouble every time) and "death".

Online Dating

What is your rating?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Just Cry

It has been said and medically proven that a good cry is very healing. While crying, hormones are released through the tears hence resulting in less hormonal build up in the body. This is an art I would like to perfect.

My friend Susie and I get together as often as we can to watch a movie (or two) and sometimes out of necessity we pop in a chick flick. Sometimes we cry, sometimes not, but never that gut wrenching sobbing kind of cry (well, not counting "Steel Magnolias" and "Red Door" of course). The last time I had one of those was when I got "the call" this past April. My Grandmother was dying and I needed to get to Virginia from Pennsylvania as soon as possible. My hubby, being the amazing man that he is sent me off on my own sans kids for some time with her. He and the kids would follow a few days later. Therefore it was just me making the three hour drive. I turned up my stereo and sang and worshiped and cried the entire time. Sometimes so hard that I thought I had better pull over. It was that good kind of cleansing cry that fogs up your contact lenses and cleans out your tear ducts.

Being from Scottish and Indian families "public displays of crying" were never encouraged nor seen often. You just "bucked up". If someone did it, it was usually for dramatics or ridiculous hysteria, never true grief. For me, I could pour my emotions into my voice when I sang or performed, hence never needing that silly sniffling kind of display. I would cry alone in my room if need be or when I got really mad (don't you just hate when you are trying to be tough and stand your ground in an argument and your eyes leak?), rarely where anyone could see me. It was almost a sign of weakness or vulnerability.

The two movies Susie and I watched last night both tugged at your heartstrings, but one really made me think. It was Shadowlands, about C.S. Lewis. He was fairly emotionless (although witty) throughout his life until he fell in love with his wife Joy who was subsequently dying of cancer. She had a great line in the movie, "We can't have the happiness of yesterday without the pain of today. That's the deal."

After her death you see Lewis finally open up and cry with his stepson. I hope I can be that transparent with my kids when they are older and let them know that a good cry is important. It has nothing to do with weakness, just surrender. Although I currently have no need for a good cry, the movie certainly made me think. Next time, I do, I just will.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Where Does It Come From?

I decided today that I needed to do laundry. I just did all the laundry Monday, which was not much since we got home from vacation with minimal dirty clothing (I always try and wash it wherever we are so that I may come home and simply put it right away). I gathered together all the clothes and as I was doing so it just magically began to multiply. Kind of like dust bunnies.

I must stress that yesterday when I checked, I barely had half a load. Today? Easily three loads need washing, drying and folding. This is not mathematically possible. I work on logic here on this planet and I cannot make any sense out of this. After all, even in a family of five we simply cannot possibly wear enough in two days to go from no dirty clothes to three loads. I know I sound like a naive newlywed, yet I assure you I have been a full time homemaker and momma for almost 8 years. Yet this a phenomenon that I still cannot figure out.

And can anyone tell me why there were two little pink gloves and one size 3 winter jacket in the hamper in July during a heat wave?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

How Cool is Daddy?

Today was the first official day of school for the 2007/2008 school year here at the Aduladi' house. Call us crazy, but we basically school year round taking about a 6 week break in the summer which allows us some killer holiday breaks mid year. It came up on me fast and I was lamenting to Mr. Clean last night about the fact that I did not plan a special breakfast for the first day of school as I have done in the past.

So what does any SuperDad do? Improvises! Mr. Clean made a run to the grocery store and came back with the perfect Daddy style breakfast...

He made it himself and decorated it as well (although if you ask him, he will not admit to the sloppy handwriting; he blames it on the spray bottle of decorative icing, click on the picture for the "full effect"). Their Dad rocks!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Are We There Yet?

Home again and all is right with the world (except my carpets desperately need vacuumed). We just spent 5 days in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains at my in-laws house. We spent the time fishing, hiking, swimming, roasting marshmallows over the fire pit and visiting. All the things you do in the mountains. A great time was had by all.

On the trip home however, life got interesting. Who would have thought that a Sunday afternoon after a major holiday would pose any traffic trouble? We ditched the NY Through Way for some back roads since Mr. Clean never travels without "Maggie", our trusty GPS (for the record, I named it Maggie, Mr. Clean claims no responsibility). A fact you should know about my dear husband is that he would much rather travel 25 miles an hour, 25 miles out of the way on back roads to avoid traffic, then drive 25 miles an hour with a bunch of other harried travelers on a main thoroughfare. Besides, the kids were getting hungrier by the second and we were trapped on the NY through way. It was time to find a place to grab a bite.

So off the beaten path we go. Right into Israel herself. Driving along minding our own business and enjoying the scenery we pass a Hebrew Camp. Very cool and camp-like. A block away I see a sign prohibiting littering. Directly underneath it is a sign in Yiddish prohibiting littering. I did a double take. At this point we are coming into a little town called Woodbourne. It is packed with people and all of them (the men anyway) are decked out in yarmulkes and rekels. Everywhere you look is a sea of Hasidic Jews. Now, I grew up in an area right near a highly populated Hasidic community so this is nothing new to me, but I had never seen so many payots in one place! I felt like I did the first time I saw a large population of Amish people. I had seen them before, but was still memorized.

What astonished me the most was that everything in this tiny 3 block town catered to the Hasidic community, including the street signs. I almost felt as if I was intruding as we passed the deli (kosher of course), a bookstore, the gas station where an ambulance was being refueled by a Hasidic driver (and the wording on the side of the ambulance was all in Yiddish) and last but not least, the "Mazel Wok". I kid you not. It was a kosher Chinese restaurant. As I sat slack jawed and probably punching Mr. Clean in the arm in amazement (who sat unfazed by our trip into mini Isreal), I exclaimed excitedly to the kids, "Wow! The Mazel Wok! And it's kosher!".

K.Z.'s famished reaction to his mother's glee? "Well, can we stop there, whatever it is?"

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Another C'sa-ism

C'sa is known around these here parts for (usually) accurate observations that pop up out of the blue. Today she said and I quote, "Fishes don't have books".

Brava C'sa, brava.

I Am Old

That may be an odd thing for a 33 year old to say, but let me pull you back to a time, not really that long ago, when I was in the 8th grade. 1988 to be exact. The year of the "gladiator shoe". I wore my pair with pride and I was stylin'.

That was also the year I thought anything my mother may have worn in the past was irrelevant since the style of "today" was what really mattered. I remember her commenting about a style here or there that was in vogue at the time that she had had "back in the day" and boy she wished she had held on to those "shoes", "skirt", "blouse", whatever. I also remember thinking that she was so old and not with it when she talked like that. Her generation could never have already been as cool and on the cutting edge as my generation with clothing, music, movies, whatever (let me say for the record that my mother is not old at all, still very stylish and probably reading this).

Fast forward to present day Metropolis. I opened a magazine today, spotted the exact same shoes I had in 1988 once again in vogue and said, "I had those shoes! I should have held on to them..."

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I wont forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today. ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I Have Officially Seen it All

The words "Kool-Aid" and "Dill" should only be used in the same sentence when discussing the menu for, say, a 4th of July soirée. But no, apparently for many many moons, the two have created a popular combination in the Mississippi Delta.

"What in the world?", you ask? Simple! You empty the brine from a dill pickle jar and replace it with Kool-Aid (preferably cherry or grape), soak the pickles 24 hours and poof! Magically a funky looking sweet and sour pickle emerges. Wouldn't be easier to just buy sweet and sour pickles? Oh right, but they wouldn't look like they were bleeding to death when you cut them open.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Monday, Monday, Can't Trust That Day

I have no idea why lyrics from a "Mamas and the Papas" song was running around my head this morning, but it was, hence the title. Other than that it has no significance. This morning has actually been an easy one and quite smooth. We are getting geared up for a trip to the Adirondacks to my in-laws house for 5 days so that is the only agenda today (packing and the like).

My nephew (a senior in high school this fall) IMed me last night to tell me that he had "found God". The more we chatted, the more it sounded like he may actually be on the ball with starting a true relationship with Christ and I could not be any more thrilled. Now the true test will begin, lifestyle wise. He has a lot of changes he will need to make and that will be a challenge for him. I am convinced however that he can do it. Pray for him, the road may be narrow, but the rewards eternal!

In the spirit of a "Musical Monday", I have changed my video to a Relient K song that I think sums up my nephew perfectly. We love you Jay and are praying for you.