Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy White Christmas from Nashville!

Dear Friends,

It ain’t easy being green! At least the environment was our excuse for not sending hard-copy Christmas cards this year.

We brought in 2010 with the purchase of a new old house Nashville. It brought us back “into town” after living in the quiet, country community of Pegram for eight years. We are absolutely loving being close to everything again. The house was built in 1935 and we think that there may be a ghost of Christmas Past here…a lovely woman who passed away in the home several years ago when she was close to ninety. We understand she liked brandy, so last night for Christmas Eve we left some out for her along with cookies for Santa!

Jim continues to rock along as a PR man here in Music City and 2011 promises to be a great year with some exciting new business.

Lauren, when not being a “stalker mommy,” promoted her book/CD, wrote music and blogged, continued to do a bit of acting, and followed a whim and decided to get certified to teach “Zumba” (the Latin-based dance/fitness craze) just for fun.

It is hard for us to believe that our little guy was born this time of year six years ago! I’ll Be Home For Christmas always has special meaning for us since our baby got to come home from the NICU in 2004 just in time for Christmas. He graduated from preschool in the spring from a Montessori school we loved and started kindergarten this fall at an acclaimed elementary school. While it has been a transition, we trust it is the start of exciting times for him. He is a great little reader and loves going to school. He is currently all about zoo animals and magic!

2010 was a hard time for some with the economy, and notably for Nashville, with the 1,000 year flood in May. Our basement was flooded (about four feet of water) but so many others were hit really hard. People in the community rallied and helped one another clean up the awful mess. Our hometown made us so proud showing itself to the world as a brave, kind, and resilient place. The Volunteer State indeed!

We are enjoying a quiet first Christmas in our new home and Grand-Bobby stayed over with us. Nashville is having it's first white Christmas since 1993! What a magic way for little man to wake up!

We are so very thankful for such amazing friends and family. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas (Hannukah, Kwanza or Festivus!) and hope that 2011 is everything wonderful you want it to be and more!

Peace and love from our family to yours!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

December 11

Six years ago today my little boy and I almost died during his birth due to amniotic fluid embolism. Today, I joyously and gratefully celebrate every minute of his six years! He is an amazing little guy and we are so very thankful.
Today we also remember those who were effected by AFE. To find out more about AFE visit To learn more about our experiences and the book about it please visit

Monday, November 29, 2010

The attitude is gratitude!

I just want to stop and thank you, baby! Sorry that I haven't posted much lately, life has been busy but that is a good thing. I realize more and more how a lot of how we experience life depends on the way we view it. With Thanksgiving this past week I want to try to carry that attitude of gratitude forward with me for the rest of the year and most certainly into 2011!
Last week Little Man had his first school program. He and all of the other kindergartners at his school (approximately 100 kiddos) came onto the stage as the pianist played the Peanuts theme, it was too precious for words. My guy was dressed as a Native American. In light of the recent ADHD diagnosis there is always the concern that my little native could have broken off and done a solo rain dance down the aisle! But, he did GREAT! It was such a special little show and I can't wait to see it on video.
We had a cozy family dinner on Thanksgiving day at our house. Jim and I enjoy pulling out our special linen tablecloth we got in Venice and our wedding china we rarely use. (The centerpiece is what we bought at a dollar store years ago thinking it was a turkey, but is was actually a chicken! I ate Tofurky, by the way :)) We also love doing the cooking. I have several dishes I make, Jim has his dishes and Aunt Karen brings hers. I have been doing this with her and her hubby for many many years now and we have it down! I love the history/tradition!
I am grateful for Jim being such a good host. I made my dishes the day before, but he is Mr timing man in the kitchen on the day of, which allowed me to actually socialize a little. I love the traditions of the foods we really only eat once a year. The little guy and I made placecards for everyone that started with the words "I am thankful for" and then he wrote the names. The food was amazing BUT we had two meals of leftovers--so glad there are no more leftovers leftover!
Luckily, I had agreed to sub a Zumba class on Saturday which helped to burn it off a little. Something else that I am thankful for is that Jim and the little guy went and helped me set up so I wouldn't be stressed out. And the regular teacher had students help out too with the door, putting tables away, so I could just relax and remember the moves! Jim caught our little guy peeking in on the class. Whatever must he think about seeing mama and the other ladies shakin' it to Shakira-ha!

So much for so many of us to be thankful for. Hopefully we can all appreciate what we have and pay it forward a bit this holiday season. That is my goal! Muah! xoxo

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wild Times

Jr Zookeeper, Cougar Mommy (ha!) and GrandBobby Gorilla from Halloween night.

Cannot believe Little Man's 6th birthday is just a month away. And party central here is yet to have plan in place! He wants a zoo party (of course) but he is also interested in magicians that he has seen at recent parties. In kindergarten we are to invite either all the boys in the class or all of the boys and girls (19) plus we have other friends we'd like to invite. How many 6 year olds can you have at a house party without going ape?

Friday, November 5, 2010

First field trip without hellicopter mom hovering ...

The central struggle of parenthood is to let our hopes for our children outweigh our fears.
-Ellen Goodman

Yesterday was Little Man's first field trip sans Mama. We both survived. I knew there was an extra set of eyes going along and the teachers are well versed in my little boys bolt-ability, so I felt confident that they would keep a good watch on him.
He saw Suessical the Musical and loved it. There were puppets in it he said, but he wasn't scared because he saw the people controlling the puppets. (He has a thing about costumed characters and puppets)
My friends joked on Facebook about how stalker-mommy was probably incogneto following the bus, going on stage disquised as a Suessical character just so I could keep an eye on him, etc. etc. It was starting to sound like a Lucille Ball sitcom episode! But, I did no such thing. I actually stayed away. This is progress! Letting go as a Mama is not easy, for me at least, but necessary. SIGH!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

The scariest thing I did today was "audition" for a Zumba class by leading a test song in front of a group of about 20 strangers. It was actually kind of fun. Well,
I got through it anyway. :)
But, it was a great afternoon and evening. My little guy was a zookeeper for Halloween. He wants to be a zookeeper when he grows up and his bday party in December will probably be zoo themed as well. Since he was a zookeeper, I was a leopard (in my mind I was more of a cougar, but that is another story-ha) and my dad dressed in a gorilla suit, which was hilarious for us, but the mask totally freaked little dude out. The Daddy-guy decided to be a Muscateer. I made "Mummy dogs" for a snack before trick-or-treet. Super easy, just wrap crescent roll dough around a dog (soy in our case) bake for 12-15 minutes and voila. Though Jim laughed at the result. But it was quick and easy and then I had veggie chili in the crock pot for an easy dinner after the festivities since it is a school night. Thankfully we got one group of trick-or-treaters to our house because that was the highlight of Little Man's evening. As they left he called to them "good choices" about their candy selection. Sweet boy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Zumba Mami

For the past couple of years I have had a new hobby...the Latin dance fitness craze called ZUMBA. In fact, a couple of years ago I even had a Zumba birthday party. I have always loved to dance, but this high-cardio high-FUN activity is "exercise in disquise". Such a blast! Kind of like a night out dancing with the girls ... without the tequilla!
This summer I decided to get certified just for kicks (or salsa moves) So, I took a day long seminar and now, voila!, I can be a Zumba teacher! It is not quite that easy. The hardest thing, for me, is to learn/remember all of the choreography--but once you do it is great. I subbed a class once about a month ago, but now I have an audition to teach a class so I am cramming to learn some new tunes...probably driving my husband nuts with the Reggaetone bass thumping from our living room. I think I would enjoy having a class though. Gotta exercise anyway...may as well get paid for it!
If anyone reading this hasn't tried Zumba yet, go shake it at a class! The perfect way for a Mami to cut loose, do something good for herself and have a blast!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waiting in the Wings

Sometimes my five year old amazes me with the things he says. I know they all have little nuggets of wisdom they bestow upon us. These are the kind of moments we mommies have to immortalize in journals or blogs before they are forgotten and pushed aside in time like a misplaced baby tooth.

Last night was a great family night. The kind when stress actually disolves and we can just enjoy each other. I made a veggie meatloaf with Gimme Lean (yummy vegetarian option) accompanied by roast veggies and peas. Comfort food for a fall eve. Grandbobby had just returned from a trip to DC so Little Man started asking him questions about presidents. He asked if all of the presidents lived at the White House and learned that the White House had not been there for all presidents. "Who was the first president to live in the white house?" "Why are all the presidents boys?" I was happy to see him displaying curiosity about history.
He also told us who was president when he was born "George W Bush" (thanks to the President poster I put in is room from the Parent Teacher Store he knows the names of the past few presidents) He also talked about when Obama was elected when he was little--remembering small details.

Then he switched to more etherial subjects.
"Before I was in your tummy I was backstage."
"Backstage, where?"
"In the sky."
"What ... like heaven?"
"Not born heaven"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time to adopt a new attitude?

After my hard time getting and staying pregnant and subsequent near-death birth five (almost six) years ago, I decided a sibling for my son would come from my heart and not my womb. My husband and I officially decided to adopt 2 years ago on our 10 year anniversary trip to Vegas (what happens in Vegas regarding adoption does not stay in Vegas). I was a woman on a mission and had taken the Chinese adoption forms on the airplane intent to get sweet hubby to decide it was the best choice for our family. He did and it was exciting and romantic to think about expanding our family.
We immediately started the process with a Chinese adoption agency and then we hit a wall. Out of nowhere Chinese adoptions started taking 4 years! We decided to try for the "waiting child" program, to get a child with a minor correctible need, but alas, we found that our insurance company would not cover a child with preexisting conditions. So, we pulled out and decided to go with a domestic adoption agency where we have been on a wait list for about 1 1/2 years. We have had a couple of near-miss adoptions with them, but nothing has quite panned out. I got excited about a baby girl due this month until I found out that her birth mom is a methadone user. Bless that baby, but we will not be able to take on an infant in withdrawall as we already have a biological son to tend to as well and feel it would not be fair to him or the baby.
So, now I have been flirting with the possibility of getting back into the China program since my heart was there to start with. I recently found a beautiful little girl on a waiting child list. A little older than we had considered, almost three, but we got excited about the possibility of Little Man having a playmate in his age bracket. We got our pediatrician's take on her medical charts, which the agency sent us, which included some red flags, got a second opinion from an intl. adoption clinic and it turns out that this sweet little girl (who we daydreamed about for a good couple of weeks) has mild "mental retardation". Bless that angel. I know that she will end up in the best home for her, where the family can devote all of their attention to her. Unfortunately we know our limitations now and that is not us.
Soo, the search continues. I am sitting on a fence and the post is not in a very comfortable position. Who will our daughter be? An infant here in the US or a toddler overseas? OR, will we bag the whole idea and just let our boy rule the roost
since we are hitting roadblocks and certainly not getting any younger? I now officially let it go and trust that the best situation for our family and to the highest good of all will happen, or not happen, easlily and effortlessly as it is meant to be. Amen!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It A.D.D.s up

We got a diagnosis last week that comes as no surprise. ADD-C, the combined kind of ADD that includes innatentiveness, impusivity and hyperactivity. So, now what? The pediatrician said we are on the right track with behavior modification which seems to be helping to keep him on task. He was in no hurry to try medication, thank goodness, as I am not ready for that, but we will reasses in a couple of months.
I have known for some time that my little boy is off the charts impulsive--hence him being a bolter when he first started school. And when other parents have described their ADD/ADHD children to me (prior to medication) it sounds a lot like my boy. Many of theses kids are very bright. A friend said a doctor likened these kids to her with the Terminator, like they come in a room, scan it for details then they are done and want to move on. Another friend whose older son, who is also gifted, was diagnosed and before being medicated he would not look at his dad, even when his dad held his face, because he was so busy looking around the room. My kid is just like that. As our close family friend observed he doesn't stop moving in his mind or in his body. The sticker chart at school seems to be really working for him, thank goodness, as we just had three weeks in a row of smiley faces. Woo-hoo!
It is kind of a relief to get that diagnosis in a way. Sometimes people, who are not experienced with this condition, may think it has something to do with ones parenting, or with the child being defiant, when that is not the case. So, now we know he can't totally help this behavior, it is in his makeup and we will do whatever we can to alleviate symptoms that may not be successful for him, while embracing the parts that go along with it that are positive. I am reading a book, Answers To Distraction by Edward Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D. and they say that people with ADD often have the advantages of high energy, creativity, a good sense of humour and tenacity. In fact when asked asked why there are more diagnosis of ADD in the US than Europe the doctors said one could consider it a case of overdiagnosis in the US, but they really think there are actually more cases here. AND furthermore believe it is in our specific genetic makeup as the founders of this country, and the kind of people who would immigrate here, were not the kind to wait around, they were the kind to take big risks and be impulsive. He proposes that many of our founding fathers may have had ADD! So perhaps it is downright patriotic to have this condition, by cracky! I'm just sayin'.... Why, it is even in our name, Br-ADD-ock! So there ya have it. Onward and upwards.

Pop rocks!

Just sending a shout out to my daddy, songwriter Bobby Braddock. We went to a champagne toast/ "million-airs" event for him at BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) the other night that honored him for being the only living songwriter having #1 country songs in five consecutive decades. They presented him with awards on nine different songs of his that have had at least a million airs on the radio and said if you put it all together it adds up to over a hundred years of airplay! Wowza ... go Daddy, go! Endlessly proud of you! And thanks to BMI for the wonderful event.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kids Rock Nashville!

Psyched to be co-hosting and guesting on the groovy radio show Kids Rock Nashville 107.1 live from Music City 3:00-5:00 tomorrow, Thursday, September 30th. Please give a listen if ya can. I will try to post it here later, too! Thanks to DJ Jacie for having me on-I think it will be a hoot. She is going to tell a little about my parenting memoir and play a few songs from the accompanying album and we will talk mom stuff including dental health tips for kiddos. (And ya know the missing tooth story of last week will be blurted out for sure)Looking forward to it.
And in the words of my little boy who loves all things having to do with radios/microphones or walkie-talkies ... "Over"!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A week of smileys--minus one tooth!

Celebrating my 12 year wedding anni this weekend and the fact that our little guy kept his smiley faces in kindergarten ALL WEEK LONG. A VERY big deal and the best anniversary gift I could have asked for for the weekend! AND he lost his first tooth this week!
The school secretary has worked there for 25 years and has pulled 9000 teeth! It is rumored that she may be the real tooth fairy! She "tested" his tooth Wednesday to see how loose it was and voila! It was out in a flash. She sent him home with the tooth in a little plastic treasure chest. The stuff magic childhood memories are made of.

Friday, September 10, 2010

No kidding

Gotta share this weird story. So, on our way back from our summer vacation we were at a large North Eastern airport. I decided to go get a panini from a sandwich shop to have on the plane later. Little Man was in tow. The large guy with glasses at the counter said "would your little one like something?" "No, thanks, he has eaten". Then the guys says "I am required by state law to let you know that I am a registered sex offender in twenty-three states". Dumbfounded I asked "Are you serious?!" "Dead serious" he replied. I stood there kind of shocked and then he said "that will be $12.00, or free if you give me your little one." Oh. my. God. I was so freaked. I had given him my debit card before I thought about it which made me even more paranoid that he had my name. My husband and I went back and forth on whether or not that could possibly be true, but if it wasn't ...why joke about such a thing?! Was it a warning or cry for help??
Jim immediately reported it to the head of the corporation who responded promptly. They called the young man in (turns out he was only a teenager!) with a policeman present. They confronted him and he said he was just joking around and had no idea the seriousness of it. They dismissed him from his job and he is never allowed to work at the airport anymore. Sorry he lost his gig, but I guess that was a life lesson for him that some things are just NOT okay to kid about.
Oh yeah, the sandwich shop corporation sent us a nice goodie basket of sweets with a nice apology which was appreciated.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My dad's birthday "flocking"

My dad had a birthday last month and to help him celebrate we ordered a "flocking" as a gag and to help support the Nashville Zoo and their new flamingo exhibit. Little Man considers himself a zoo man and was very into this idea. My dad woke up to about 15 plastic flamingos on his lawn this morning with a sign that reads "you've been flocked" and tells about the new exhibit. The flamingos will roost there for 24 hours and they will leave one behind for him being a good sport. Fun!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stalker Mommy

It's true. I have surpassed the helicopter hovering mom and gone right to the slaker-mom status! This is my little boy's first week in kindergarten (all day, five days a week) in a big school. He is doing pretty good with the transition. Me? Not so well!
True, he is a very impulsive kid and a "runner" so safety has been a big concern. The school has been great to work with me on safety precautions and I am starting to feel a little bit better about it. But still, I can't imagine dropping him off in the drop off line, so I walk him up. I have been there at lunch the past two days to "help" (and make sure that he doesn't escape the cafeteria!) and I come early to make sure that he is close to the first one out so I can nab him. Yesterday, I admit, I drove around the school a couple of times when they were on the playground to make sure that he wasn't running off. Oh yeah, I have an ID tag on him too, like a puppy! He will hopefully stop being as impulsive ... he is way better than he used to be about running off and has actually been following the rules pretty good this week. (Though I do have an all points bullitin alert on him!) And hopefully I will learn to trust more. And we both will grow!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My baby is in kindergarten!

What can I say except that we survived! Mama was a hot (nervous) mess, but Little Man did really good!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summertime Fun!

We just got back from an action-packed trip to the East Coast. We went to the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, NJ (now infamous from MTV's Jeresey Shore show) Little Man rode tons of rides.

I had a blast riding with him until I met my match with the Octapus or Spider or whatever hateful contraption it was conspired to try to make me heave. I kept my eyes closed the whole time to try to keep from losing my lunch, an overindulgence of greasy delicious authentic pizza
, Little Man, however, love it!
We went to New York City for 24 hours to get to spend some extra quality time witCousin Gracie. They played in her condos way-cool playground, had take-out Chinese and Little Man hailed his first NY taxi cab!

Then back to NJ for another amusement park, Blackbeards Cove for more fun with his sweet cousin and they also went to Popcorn Park. A great, humane society owned, safe haven for mistreated or abandoned exotic/farm animals (that also houses a regular humane society as well. As you can guess from the name, you can purchase popcorn there to feed to the animals.
We spent the last three days of our vacation on Long Beach Island, NJ, a quaint, lovely, relaxing family vacation spot. My BFF from college was vacationing there with her whole family (5 older brothers and their big, great families) and invited us to stay with her. She has a 6 and 9 year old and so the kids had a blast together! The big kids did too! We spent our time on the bay beach, big beach, visiting the lighthouse there, going to get ice cream and going to the best Water Park ever! Little Man was afraid to go on the BIG water slide at first with me and his dad, but was finally convinced and loved it so much he ended up riding it by himself! Dad walked him up and I was planted at the bottom, a nervous wreck until I saw him pop out the bottom of the slide with the biggest look of eletion on his face!
Great summertime memories that will last forever!
We got back just in time for me to put together a dinner for my dad's 70th bday! Just a little family affair, but nice!
After two weeks of absolute decadence, this Mam is ready for a cleansing diet of sorts!
And now we have to gear up for KINDERGARTEN starting next week! Shew! I'm not ready!!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mayhem and Magic

A day in the life with a 5 year old boy ...
Yesterday Little Man almost gave me a heart attack by undoing his seatbelt while I was driving him on the interstate. He thought it was quite amusing. After me goin' all "crazy mommy" on him (borrowing this term from my friend Susan who used it about herself when her son did the exact same thing) I HOPE he will never do it again. I think I threatened no TV for a week (as it was happening) and going back to his babyseat like forever, haha. All Positive Parenting techniques that I generallly practice went right out the window! After it was all over I apologized to him for raising my voice, but explained that I was scared because it was so dangerous. He wasn't upset at all, but vowed not to do it anymore. Then I think about how we all flopped around the car as kids and kind of have to laugh at myself.
Then today, he made an angelic remark. He was talking to himself in his little imaginary world like he likes to do when playing, and I asked him what he was pretending to be. He said he was a magician, then told me how his tricks were an illusion and not real life. Then he came over to me and said "Real life magic is love!"
So sweet ... so true! I want to write a song with him now based around that line! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Please hold this family in your thoughts and prayers

I haven't written in a week because of a terrible tragedy that happened locally last Monday that I wasn't sure I should write about, but I can't ignore it either as it is all that is on my heart and mind. An old coworker/friend's toddler son and the baby's beloved grandmother died from an accidental drowning. Though I didn't know the victims of the accident, I know the family and as a mom (and a daughter) my heart absolutely aches for them. I have never experienced anything like what they are going through, but I have had traumatic events in my life (the unexpected death of an old boyfriend while I was with him, and the near-death of myself and my baby during childbirth) and the one thing that got me through both of these experiences was the outpouring of love, kindness and support that I recieved. I wish I could take their pain away, or turn back the hands of time, but since I can't I will just keep envisioning them surrounded by a coccoon of love to get them through this most difficult time. I hope that all of you who see this will hold this family's strength, peace and healing in your thoughts and prayers. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A MOMnivores Dilemma

I just finished reading An Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. It is A Natural History of four meals. He attempts to answer the question "What should you have for dinner" and after digesting this book, I can only answer "very little"! From what I understand his book is very much along the same lines as "Fast Food Nation" and "Food, INC" (Both on my list to see whenever I would like to shed a couple of more pounds)
As a mom I am now even more aware of the threats of potential hormones and chemicals getting into my precious child's body. The book tells of the multitude of uneccesary and downright scary ingredients in a certain crack-for-kids fast-food (which my child has had). You would think this item would have two, maybe three, ingredients, when in fact (according to the book)it has thirty eight. One of which, alarmingly, is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, "an antioxidant derived from petroleum that is either sprayed directly on the (food item in question) or the inside of the box it comes in to "help preserve freshness." According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives, TBHQ is a form of butane (i.e. lighter fluid) the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: It can comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a (certain food item). Which is probably just as well, considering that ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause "nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse." Ingesting five grams of TBHQ can kill."
Oh, my, my!!! I already wanted to avoid these items anyway for the animal cruelty that I believe is associated with them, but if this is true from a health standpoint I am horrified!
Yet, in the "muddiness" I grapple with, I am sitting here drinking a coffee my husband brought me this morning from the very same establishment and I will sometimes take my son there (right around the corner) on a rainy day to play in their play area and get him something else I consider healthier. Hypocritical of me? Probably!
I, as many of us did, grew up on the place. Even to get my kid a milkshake from there (which I have) I now have to think about growth hormones in the milk and again, not to mention cruelty to the cows separated from their calves and hooked up to milking machines all day. Yikes! Why can't it just be easier! It certainly is easier not to think about this stuff, but when you do ...
Eating organic makes me feel better, but it is expensive. I just amusingly heard someone refer to Whole Foods as "whole paycheck". I have heard some people compromise by buying organic produce that tends to retain chemicals more and non-organic for the produce that doesn't. I just discovered this list of "the dirty dozen" and "clean fifteen" that I found interesting.
Coming away from the book, I have a strong desire to support local organic farmers and the humane aspect to animals is huge to me and another issue altogether. ("Free Range" isn't always actually free range) Yesterday I found a farmers market that I can buy from once a week. That will help, but obviously it is not easy to eat that way all of the time--going to restaurants, etc. Is anyone else struggling with these very issues?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mama's Chance to Dance

Today I filmed a promo for CMT (Country Music Television)'s "Your Chance To Dance" It is an upcoming TV show where people will compete doing choreography from their favorite music videos. I auditioned to Beyonce's "Single Ladies" which was a b-l-a-s-t, but when I got cast I thought I was going to be filmed in the Beyonce leotard and put myself on a total emergency carb-free diet! Then I found out that I would be dancing to another video in a little more clothing and got to start eating again! I danced to a short routine with four other women to Leann Rimes "Nothing Better to Do". The women were all great; a couple of totally with it young pros, a Titan cheerleader and a Miss Senior USA! Always neat to get to meet new people on these things. We were supposed to be 1920's style jailbirds (in thigh high stockings), got to love playing dress up and getting paid for it. And a man who I did a stage production of "To Kill A Mockingbird" with a few years ago at TPAC was there in a Billy Ray Cyrus costume (read mullet) doing the Achy Breaky Heart dance (along with some other hysterical Billy Rays) Little Man got to have a rare week day out with his Daddy. It was a fun day!

By the way, this show would probably be a hoot to compete on if anyone feels so inclined to have their own "chance to dance"! Will post info as I find it out for anyone who may be interested.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Here's one for my inner flower child ...

When I was about my little boy's age one of my favorite songs was "Brand New Key" by Melanie Safka. It was just such a happy, hooky, fun, innocent feel-good song that totally embodied being a little kid in the seventies.

"I got a brand new pair of roller skates / You got a brand new key / I think that we should get together and try them out you see / I been looking around awhile / You got something for me / Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates / You got a brand new key. / I ride my bike, I roller skate, don't drive no car / Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far / For somebody who don't drive / I been all around the world / Some people say I've done alright for a girl..."

Later, as a singer/songwriter I delved into Melanie's music more and so appreciated her clever songs and messages of love and humanity and was very flattered when I was compared to her as an artist.

I had an opportunity to hear her the other night when she did a benefit concert for a musician friend of hers whose daughter is a school friend of my sons. Brother Don Henry was my "date" and we loved getting to meet her. What an amazing night!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

You've got a friend in me

We went to the opening night of Toy Story 3 and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it! The whole family did. I was a little concerned about going on opening night, but we got there early and got good seats. There was actually a fun energy surrounding it. The audience applauded when the movie first came on and when it ended ... I love that! The 3-D was pretty amazing, the plot was entertaining and, in parts, heartwarming and sentimental. (The little boy, Andy, growing up tugged at my heartstrings.) These films are really good about tossing little humor-nuggets in for the adults while still keeping it sweet for the kids. All in all it was very fun. I love having an excuse to see Pixar films!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wild things

My five-year-old boy is obsessed with zoos. Out of nowhere. And now he IS a "Zoo Man". He insists that we go to (funny to hear him refer to it that way) all the time so that we can make lists of all the animals there that are also at HIS (imaginary)zoo. He has a location for his zoo picked out too. It is at Centennial Park ... speaking of 'wild things', he has no idea that his mommy, as a rebellious teen, once innocently hung out and swilled tequilla with the reknowned folk-punk band the Violent Femmes into the wee hours at that very location, but I digress. He is obsessed! When I put him to bed I say "I love you, Little Man" to which he responds "Say I love you 'zookeeper'". "Okay, I love you zookeeper ... goodnight Little Man", "Say goodnight 'zookeeper'!" He has given jobs to everyone he knows at his zoo (I think my job is to either answer questions or swim with the dolphins and his dad is the ticket man) I love his wild imagination, and I hope that all of his wishes come true. However, I am not sure about the potential of owning a zoo. I speak to him about the importance of kindness to animals and have discussed the virtues of having an animal sanctuary instead. And we are going to visit one such place on our trip to the Jersey Shore this summer .. Popcorn Park Zoo, a refuge for abused or abandoned exotic animals and wildlife who get released back to their environment whenever possible. How cool would that be as a family venture?!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sex and the City II, spoilers!

Okay, so I wanted to come back to actually write about the movie. I have heard it getting panned some, but, gotta tell you--I thought it was a really good time. Yes, it helped that my buddy Leslie and I were all festive and into it in a sold-out theater with women all festive and into it, who applauded at the end of the film, but I must say that I did enjoy it every bit as much as the first one. They even dealt with the subject of aging (rather than ignoring it). Kim Catrell's character is quite a bit older than the others, and she wanted a little number for her ex-lovers film opening. The salesgirl said "don't you think it's a little young?" to which Samantha snapped "I am 52 and I am going to ROCK this dress!" I loved that. Of course she ended up having the same dress on at her event as Miley Cyrus!
Anyone who knows me knows I enjoy a good pun and this movie was chock full of them. The best was when the girls were lounging in a Dubai desert after a camel ride (don't we all have girls outings like this?) and, in a mirage of sorts, a sexy Dutch man in a four wheeler comes riding up and leaves shortly thereafter. Samantha, who has been going through menopause and was not feeling much south of the boarder without her confiscated hormones, is obviously feeling something from this gentleman. She asks who he is and is told that his name is Lawrence to which she retorts "Lawrence of my labia!" Also funny was the "gay wedding" with the glee club singing in which Liza Minelli manifests as the officient("whenever there is this much gay energy in a place she spontaneously appears." I am paraphrasing that, of course) Afterwards Carrie and Big are trying to sleep at the Inn and are caught somewhere between wild sex in one neighboring room(Samantha's) and a crying baby (Charlotte's) in another. Big said he didn't know which was worse to which Carrie responds "Samantha ... the baby will tire eventually". And yes, I loved seeing Aiden again, sigh. (Sorry, dear). Though Big was pretty cute in his silk jammies (Sorry, dear). But, Carrie's walk in closet was about as sexy as any man in the film.
As a mom the scene that was most poingant and really got to me was the scene in which Miranda gets Charlotte to actually admit how HARD motherhood actually is. They had me a little teary and that takes a lot. And they toasted the moms who do it on their own without nannies (unlike them). Soooo, here's to all those hard-working and hard-loving moms and to those SATC chicks, still fabulous, fashionable (except maybe for that one red number with the spikes on it) and totally fun to hang with!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sexin' it up (for the cure, of course!)

I was excited to be included as a media for the Sexy for the Cure event here in Nashville last night . It is a benefit for Women Who Rock The Cure, a breast cancer awareness organization. This was a pink carpet event for the opening of Sex and the City 2 with a before and after party. And moi covering the pink carpet (with my fabulous gal-pal Leslie Barr on hand helping with photography and various other things) We had a blast. This was a Carrie Bradshaw fantasy for sure! Thanks to Kia Jarmon with the MEPR Agency for the invite! The evening started very conveniently a quarter of a mile from my new digs. Ah, how I am loving being a "city" girl. The before party was at Yolo Restaurant, right next door to where the screening was at the Green Hills Regal Cinema. Cosmos flowed and you have never seen such a sea of pink, like an explosion of Pepto Pismol. A girlfriends Barbie dream-come-true! Skyy Vodka sponsored and was on hand with theme drinks and lots of fun swag! Pictured is the "hello lover" bling ring and me and Leslie on the pink carpet. After Yolo we walked to the movie theater for the big pink carpet event. The stars/VIP's of the evening were the breast cancer survivors who won the essay contest "why are you sexy" and they were glowing! I got to interview one along with some of the fabulous SATC fans there glamming it up. I will post the video interviews later.
Leslie and I really enjoyed watching the movie in one of two sold out theaters and I will write a review on another post, but I will just say everyone applauded at the end and it made for a very fun girl's night out! The after party at The Crows Nest was JUMPING! There were Cosmos and Carrie-tinis (made with Blueberry Vodka) and a cupcake bar. Skyy Vodka was on hand again with more swag, fedoras and adorable SATC2 tank tops. What a great event and festive way to raise awareness for Women who Rock for the Cure!

Holy smokes!

A smoking toddler? This two-year-old sucks down two packs a day. Child abuse for sure. All I can say is, people are crazy!|htmlws-main-n|dl1|link6|

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Biscuits and Jam (session)

Just want to document our excitement of breaking in our new house this week. My girlfriend singer/actress Ava Dupree was in town from LA with her hunnie Wally Holmes who wrote the 70's mega-hooky disco smash "Rock the Boat". We wanted him to meet my dad who is a country hit-songwriter and hang with my music partner Grammy-winning songwriter Don Henry and his awesome wife Molly. So, Jim and I hosted. We wanted to do Southern-fare to give them a little local flavor. Jim bbq-ed organic free-range chicken (yes, we have some California in us!) and salmon. I made low-fat versions of my grandmother's squash casserole recipe, "fried" green tomatoes, mashed potatoes and I wanted to make beer bisquits b/c I grew up on them. I had never made them before but they were so easy and yummy! (Especially with honey butter!)Thanks Paula Dean for "Bubba's Beer Biscuits", just like my mother used to make.
After dinner we retired to the den for a jam session. Little Man was the self appointed sound man and was quite excited! Wally played trumpet, my dad played keyboards and Don played guitar for an awesome blues jam. Ava sang Route 66. I sang my dad's song "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" by Tammy Wynette. Don, Ava and I did "Rock the Boat" It was a hoot! Hope to have some youtube footage to post soon :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The graduate

My little boy graduated from pre-school today, sniff sniff. It was extremely sweet. I was thrilled that he sat in his seat for the entire program (almost)and actually sang on some of the songs (haha). He got a diploma and gave a flower to mommy, these are the moments that make a mama weepy. I thank his teacher(s) so much for creating a loving environment and bringing him so far in two years. He knows his continents (at five), how to read many many words and knows good conflict resolution.
My dad came to the graduation in the midst of more thunder storms. More flooding was a concern that we tried to set aside for the ceremony. Ironically, after the festivities my dad wanted to take Little Man to buy a "graduation" present. The one thing my boy was attracted to was a huge "full body puppet" tht looked biblical. I thought it was Moses. It wasn't necessarily speaking to me and I thought it might take up too much space so I tried to encourage him to get something smaller and more, you know, perky ... like a chef or a zoo animal. But, he persisted so I agreed for him to get it. When they rung it up we found out that the huge character he was drawn to was NOAH! Though he did not get the significance, I found it quite fitting after a week of flooding!

Anyway, I am so proud of my sweet boy and feeling quite sentimental about this milestone of his pre-school graduation!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flood Mama

Thank you, Betsy Thorpe, for this clever post title! We are digging out of the aftermath of our flood here in Nashville. FEMA has come to record our damage. Though it could have been worse it is going to set us back thousands. Our hot water heater is still blown. Because of flooding at one of Nashville's two water supply plants we have all been asked to cut our water usage in half until this situation is resolved.
For Mother's Day I went to one of my favorite restaurants in town with my dad, Jim and the Little Man. I was surprised to see that they were serving their fine food on (recyclable) paper plates, and the fine wine we ordered in (recyclable) plastic cups. It was weird to see, but admirable that they were doing the right thing by majorly cutting back on dish washing. They also are giving 10% of their profits to flood relief this month. You see things like that going on all over town. I am going to rename my hometown "Niceville"!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mud Mama's Mud Room

Be careful what you call yourself ... I am now surrounded in mud! I am (along with my husband and the help of Steramatic) digging through the rubble of our basement from the Nashville flood of last weekend. Though it is sunny and 83 degrees today, Nashville is left to clean up from a flood the likes of which the city has never seen. I consider ourselves lucky, we have our house and our lives, but we have thousands of dollars worth of damage and damaged property. Our sump pump could not keep up with the demand of the 2 feet of rain in two days and at one point there was three and a half feet of water in our luckily unfinished basement. It knocked out our hot water and air conditioning because all of the wiring was down there. We are left with inches of mud and lots of soggy things that we are sifting through.So it is a big mess and a big expense. BUT, like I said we are still lucky. There are people we know that totally lost their homes and had to be evacuated by boat. People lost their lives. The Grand Ol' Opry and the Opryland Hotel are currenty under water. I know musicians who lost all of their equiptment (we lost our sound system)But Music City will heal! I am proud of my home town. No reports of looting, just people helping each other here in the "Volunteer State". It was frustrating that there was not much national media about this all week, but, last night Anderson Cooper put it as the lead story on 360 and apologized for not giving it more coverage sooner. He will be live in Nashville tonight.
I am feeling fortunate and sending love and healing to those who did not weather the storm as well. I heart you Nashville!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rain rain go away!

Nashville is having MAJOR historic flooding. Please do an anti-rain dance for us! The basement of our new house is completely flooded, I mean a couple of feet of water and boxes are floating. The retaining wall is caving, this is crazy! And there are supposed to be storms all day.
I sure hope this rain stops soon and things get back to normal "God willin' and the creeks don't rise" (more)! Peeps in Nashville be safe and stay off those roads.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jackson Polyp returns

This has been a very stressful week, all because I found out that I'd have to have another gynecological procedure. Because of my paranoia/hypochondria since my crazy birth complication, I requested an ultrasound at my recent annual at the ob/gyn to make sure that my ovaries were okay. Well, my ovaries are just fine, but I had a freakin' polyp in my uterus. I wrote in my book about having one before that had to be removed before I could go through IVF a few years ago. I can't believe that I had another one, I guess some people are more prone to them. The doctor told me that they are "almost always benign" but it was the "almost" part that had me in a tizzy all week. I think I can speak for us mama's to say we feel the overwhelming need to stay on this planet/be well for our babies! Anyway, I found out that there was only like a .5% chance that it could be something bad, great odds, but still ....
So yesterday I had to go to the ambulatory out patient center for the procedure. Little Man was thankfully occupied by my dad and our famiy friend Kathy at the zoo. But when I walked into the clinic with Jim I was so nervous. All the IVF treatments and pregnancy complications came flooding back. And it freaks me out to go under anyway. But, it is a wonderful feeling to wake up knowing the whole thing is OVER with, you survived and the milk-of-amnesia has done it's job! (The nurse anesthesist was introduced to me as my "bartender'-ha! She was my friend!)
I didn't even want to post about any of this until the whole thing was over with and the abstract expressionist art that had chosen my womb as it's host gallery was the hell out. Well it is now AND my doc called tonight with the good news that it is just fine and totally benign! Hot dog and hallelujah, now I can stop being nervous and enjoy my weekend!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Honest Scrap Award

Thank you to Elle at stilletosandvodka for this Honest Scrap award. Here are the rules, write ten factoids about yourself and send this award on to ten bloggy friends.
Well ... I am going to do it the lazy way. If you are reading this and you think it looks like fun to do yourself, I grant you the honest scrap award! Here are ten off the top of my head...

1) I grew up in the country music industry (my dad writes country music)and I loved hanging out with my dad on music row when I was a kid. I was into punk-rock in highschool. Two punk-rock bands I went to see (X and the Circle Jerks) did a cover of one of my my dad's songs (D-I-V-O-R-C-E) in concert. So much for my rebellion!
2) I was obsessed with the color purple in highschool, some people still expect to see me in it all the time, though I have discovered other colors now!
3) I used to be addicted to diet cokes, now the chemicals freak me out and I only have them occassionally
4) My granddaddy was a citrus farmer and I loved smelling the orange blossoms when we would go down to visit in Florida when I was a kid. I also loved eating my grandmother's key lime pie made from their own fruit.
5) I am currently infatuated with Zumba (Latin dance exercise)and am considering getting certified.
6) a) I am happiest in warm weather and enjoyed living in LA for that reason.
b) I lived in LA for the Rodney King riots and NY for 9/11. yikes
7) I am a semi-vegetarian and a bleeding heart animal person
8) I saw Grease a gazillion times (seriously about 30 at the movie theater) when I was a kid and could probably still recite most of the dialogue/sing all the lyrics
to you (pllleeease don't get me started! ;)) I am the same way with Rocky Horror and Little Shop of Horrors. Those musicals make me happy ... and hyper!
9) I can be quite indecisive.
10) I got my screen actors guild card in a bit part playing Lindsay Wagnor's kid sister in a TV Movie of the Week. I was 21 playing 15! Not sure how old she was playing a college student, but she was walking around the set singing "what a drag it is to be old"!
11) Have to add that my family (real and adopted!)is of the utmost importance to me!!!

Peace out!

stairway to heaven

Moving into a new old house recently there were lots of quirks. One was no hand rail on the stairay going completely up the stairs. Little Man's room is upstairs and ours is down so we were afraid to let him stay in his own bed for the first month we were here which meant he was in our bed. Since he is a squirmy boy there wasn't room for all three of us and none of us slept well and I like never saw the daddy. We FINALLY got the railing put up and a runner too. Yay! Now we can feel good about Little Man trucking up and down to his super cool new room! And a good night's sleep ... heaven!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A new dawn

A mommy-friend of mine, Dawn Gusty, has had MS for 12 years. Though she, since I have known her in playgroups for the past several years, has kept a super positive attitude and has taken great care of her body to stave off the effects, she fears without major intervention that she will be in a wheelchair within a year. (The past few years she has been relying on a walker and motorized scooter to help her keep up with her preschooler.) The great news is that there is hope for reversal of symptoms through stem cell treatments and she is already halfway to meeting her financial goal! She will be going to Tiajuana to recieve the treatments in June. Currently they are doing a drive for 500 people to donate 20 bucks to help out with the exorbitant expense. So, dear bloggy friends, I thought I would pass along the story of a brave and determined mom who I trust will get the help that she needs to rock a new dawn! To read her story and or to help, please visit Thanks! :)

Happy Earth Day to you ....

Happy earth day! So good to remember your mother and keep her beautiful!
Today we didn't really do anything special to observe (except for getting out in the fresh air and taking a nice family walk) but last weekend was the earth day festival in Nashville at Centennial Park and we spent the day there. Little Man enjoyed seeing dancers from different cultures, talking to local "farmers", getting a tree to plant and making a bird feeder. It was great to get to take a moment and get to talk about the importance of this blue dot we call home.
Maybe after dinner we will go out in the yard and pick up trash for our planet and feed the birds ... every little bit helps!
Happy earth day to you!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Congratz to Sweatpea Blogs for winning the book give-a-way!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm comin' up, so you better get this party started!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Oh, how I LUV me a party ... even if it is a virtual one! Thought I would hop on board for the Ultimate Blog Party via Five Minutes For Mom. What a fun idea.

Here, have a seat, would you like some cheese?

Allow me introduce myself. Like, I am an Aries and I like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain. No, seriously ... I am an Aries, but this time of year (77 in Nashvegas today, peeps) I prefer margaritas and sunshine.

I describe myself here as a "watered-down earth mother" hence the MudMama moniker. I have been a mommy-blogger for a year now and I love it. I am a mom, writer/performer and live in my hometown of Nashville (back from LA and NY) with my cute husband (pictured after our 10 year vow renewal with "Elvis"),
my wild and wonderful five-year-old boy (who I adore!)

And our feline friends

As part of the celebration I will be having a door prize! I released a book this past year, A Journey to the Son, about my highly dramatic road to motherhood a few years ago (including infertility and IVF, a crazy complicated preg/near-death delivery, PPD, etc!) and wrote a CD to go along with the book with my "brothah" and music partner, the amazing (Grammy-winner) Don Henry.

Please message me to be eligible to win and I will have a random drawing at the end of the week! :) Oh, and if you follow me here you get an extra entry, follow me on twitter too you will get two extra entries.

And if I happen to win any of the FAB Five Minutes for Mom party prizes, I would love the Toshiba Satellite L505D-ES5025**of course! (The better to virtually party on, my dear)
I would like to win a $150 shopping spree at Pedal Cars and Retro Collectibles.
OR Buds to Bloom Photo Tile Necklace ($95) – Features custom photo tile, hand stamped mom charm & bead cluster.

OR any of these things, US10, US11, US14, US23, US39, 47, 49 (starbucks), 58, USC42, USC45-or anything good for a five year old boy!

Thanks a bunch for stopping by this spring fling! Please introduce yourself! Cheers!