Wednesday, January 25, 2006

California – the tough life

I overheard Amelle telling Auntie Wendy that her dad was on a field trip visiting the planes. Jermaine left for California on a business trip on Monday, it’s so funny to hear things from a child’s point of view.

What I found even more amusing was the viewpoint of a loving mother: During the course of my conversation with Sylvia last week, my wonderful mother-in-law says to me, “So, Jermaine is going out to California next week, that’s gonna be tiring for him, all that travel”. I had to laugh. TIRING? Try staying home with three kids – one of which is a colicky newborn!! Jermaine is going to sunny California, staying in a nice hotel, sleeping without the fear of crushing the 12-pounder, dining out every meal – and HE’S going to be tired? We got a good laugh out of that one!

Jermaine called last night, he said the weather was a perfect 70 degrees. Had eaten Salmon (his favorite) for lunch, so had decided that he was going to order the filet mignon at Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I had some leftover macaroni and the scraps from Avery’s taco.

Poor Jermaine.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I'd rather be...shoveling?

When I began blogging I made a secret pact with myself that I would not blog about the weather. However, I will mention that this past Saturday (mid-January) I found myself raking the yard! I was literally shoveling leaves into a Home Depot bag instead of shoveling snow off of our walkway! It was such a beautiful day Amelle even broke out her high heeled tongs! Amaya slept for four hours in her carseat which was placed in the middle of the backyard. The whole family spend the entire day outside enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. So there it is, I blogged about the weather. Darnit.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Chocolate matters

"How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about," said Mayor Ray Nagin. "New Orleans was a chocolate city before Katrina. It is going to be a chocolate city after. How is that divisive? It is white and black working together, coming together and making something special."

Actually Mayor Nagin, you take the cacao seed, roast it, grind it, mix it with sugar, milk & cocoa butter, heat it up & then mold it into a desired shape. That's how you make chocolate. The recipe you provide would simply yield a glass of milk with a hunk of dark chocolate sitting at the bottom, not so delicious.

Also, white and black working together makes gray, it's really not all that special.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Baby's 1st Haircut...

After four years and 11 months Amelle underwent her first "Hair procedure" today. Yesterday Amelle watched Avery and I get haircuts, after which she proclaimed that she wanted to get her hair cut as well. This was a major surprise. So Jermaine and I combed through the hair mop and braided it up in preparation for the big event.

This morning Amelle, Amaya and I went to the mall (Remember, Amaya is in training) and Amelle kept hounding me, "Now can we get my hair cut?!", "Is it time yet?"... after every store. So we drove over to Best Cuts and got her ends trimmed. It took two stylists to get through the brown, enchanted forest that took root from her scalp. They kept commenting on how much hair she had (like I don't know!). One person cut the sides and the other took on the back. The lady who cut the back actually sat on the floor to cut her hair. 30 minutes and 4 inches later we were handed a bag of fuzzy brown hair and a card that read "Baby's First Haircut", complete with the first lockes that were trimmed.

Though not actually the first time scissors have been put to Amelle's hair (I have been known to take pieces off here and there when I get tired of combing), this was her first OFFICIAL haircut ever. She seemed pleased by the end result.

Friday, January 13, 2006

I know a girl...

I have been blessed to have so many wonderful women in my life. My mother, my grandmother, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, & my best friend from high school. That doesn’t include all of the other women who have come, hung around long enough to teach me something, or inspire me in some way and then moved along. And of course there are my two daughters that act as drill sergeants, forcing me to apply all of life’s lessons, especially those that require patience!

The marvelous thing about each of these women is that they have all taught me valuable life lessons. I could almost label each woman under a topic: Savvy, Humble, Faithful, Light-hearted, & Genuine. They would all have the same middle name: Generosity, because each of these amazing women have, at one point or another, generously shared with me their love, patience, time, wisdom, financial resources, kindness, and most of all, their friendship.

It’s so great to be surrounded by such inspiration! I have drawn so many different things from each woman. I’ve even been known to follow the “WWJD” model (“What Would Joline Do”) – particularly when I’m cleaning. If the kids drop apple juice on the kitchen floor, I’d just assume wipe up the spill and move on, but then I get this nagging sensation that says “what would Joline do” …then I get out the Mr. Clean and mop the area because I know that my mother would do so. When I think I’m in control, and worry sets in, I ask “WWSD” – Sylvia wouldn’t be consumed by worry, she would turn it over to God.

Wendy tells me I’m being ridiculous when I need to hear it (and when I’m right, darnit), and I'd run outside naked just to hear her contageous giggle. My Grandmother was the most humble woman I’ve ever known. She was so sweet to me, even when I didn’t deserve it (which was nearly all of the time). And my dear friend, Heather who I have grown up with, epitomizes the term “genuine”. She is honest about who she and who you are. I’ll never forget her calling me out on being “fake pretentious” because I told her I wouldn’t date a guy that shopped at Walmart. I love that she called me fake pretentious, because right there it ended. Now I’m president of the Walmart fan club, and proud of it!

I know that most of the women who I just wrote about will never read this blog (particularly my grandmother), but I wanted to take time to give them their props and to acknowledge their impact in my life.

With much love and adoration,
-Erin

Sunday, January 08, 2006

You don’t know anything about college!

This morning I was trying to get some “quiet time” to do an assignment that was a bit of a challenge for me. Jermaine had the baby and I felt confident that I could knock out the assignment in an hour or two, if uninterrupted. The kids were settled at the breakfast table and I began to read my textbook at the computer while typing in notes.

Approximately 7 minutes into this endeavor Avery approached me, “What are you doing?”.
“My schoolwork”, I replied without looking up from my book.
“What school do you go to?”
“College” I muttered, trying to pretend he wasn’t bothering me.
“When do you go?”
“I’m going right now” I said pointing to the computer screen in front of me. “My classes are online”.
“Well how do you learn?” He asked.
“I read the book..” I responded, resigned to the fact that I had officially been interrupted.
“..and then you have to draw pictures about it?” he asked.
I smiled thinking about his weekly book report that consisted of reading a book with four word sentences and then drawing a picture about what he had read. “No, I have to write papers about what I read”.
“Oh yeah..” he said with an embarrassed grin. “What grade are you in?”
This question stumped me, I used my fingers to come up with the answer, “18th”
“Eighteenth! I never heard of that grade!” he exclaimed.
I put my book down and explained how I derived at that figure. “9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th are high school. 13th, 14th, 15th, & 16th are college, that’s where I got that certificate”, I said, pointing to my diploma on the wall. “17th I just finished and 18th is what I’m working on now, In July I’ll get another certificate for the wall. You can go to college as long as you want”.
“Even old men can go?” He asked.
“Yes” I said, turning back to the computer.
There was a moment of silence. “What does a crocodile eat?” He asked.
“I don’t know” I said, trying to brush him off.
“Fish!” He exclaimed. “You don’t know anything about college!”
“Yup, you’re right, I don’t know very much, that’s why I have to keep going to school” I said, thoroughly amused by his wisdom. He wasn’t impressed by my academic credentials, the truth was evident, I don’t know much of anything.

Friday, January 06, 2006

...want you to want me baby...

While I was pregnant Jermaine would reach his hand around my big watermelon belly and proclaim "I can't wait to get my hands on this baby!" After Amaya was born, he spent hours by her side in the intensive care unit holding her and talking to her with tears in his eyes as she was hooked up to all kinds of tubes and IVs. When I call her a fussy baby, Jermaine sticks up for her and says "she's a good girl".

Last night, when I handed our 11 1/2 lb bundle to her dad, I watched her transform from a smiling, cooing baby girl to a screaming ball of rage. ..no different from most nights. As a headed off to sleep I heard Jermaine whisper a plea to her for just "one night that he could hold her without her crying", and the words from Marvin Gaye's classic "I Want You" ran through my mind.

I want you, but I want you to want me too
Want you to want me baby
Just like I want you
I'll give you all the love
I want in return
But half the love is all I feel
Sweet darling
It's too bad it's too sad
You don't want me no more
But I'm gonna change your mind
Someway, somehow

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Sweetest Pie

Why is this pie sweeter than any other? Because it tastes of victory! Last night Nyam and Jermaine went at it again for bragging rights in 2006. Jermaine won the first game (Which Nyam attributed to Divine intervention because Jermaine got his last two pies from religious questions) & Nyam won the 2nd game. At midnight they called it even and each vowed to beat the other next time.

....the saga continues....

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Maine Event

We just returned home from another wonderful visit to Maine. How great it was to spend time with the Caseys! The seven hour ride was nice and quiet thanks to Grandmom's Christmas gift to the kids....4 DVDs later, we arrived in Maine!

I don't think I even saw Avery & Amelle the whole time we were there...they were having so much with their cousins!

...even Will & Amaya shared some bonding time!

White men may not be able to jump, but Jermaine (and Avery) proved that black men can't rollerblade! Here's Shaun with Mina & Avery..