Saturday night the snow was just starting to fall along the Jersey Shore and we had been enjoying a dinner party for Nanny's birthday at "the farm." The kids were engrossed in a movie in another room while the adults were by the fire watching my late father-in-law's retirement video from several years ago. Little Man came bounding into the room, and, on the TV he saw his "Poppie" Though he was not yet three years old when his grandfather passed, the little guy has clear memories of him. He pointed to the set and asked,"Is that Heaven?" How dear is that?
We saw "Tooth Fairy" with Little Man on Sunday. Well, it was cute ... for five-year-olds. It was somewhat amusing to see Dwayne ("The Rock" Johnson) flit around in a fairy tutu. Now Little man says he knows everything about the tooth fairy, so, I suppose it was educational. Ha! There were some good (or bad, depending on your point of view) puns scattered throughout for adult's enjoyment (my personal favorite was the "fairy krishna's" at the airport) and there was a nice saccharine sweet ending. Like one review says, "just floss with a couple of good Pixar films afterwards and you should be just fine". All in all it was a fun family outing.
Last night Jim and I were looking for a good Saturday night movie to watch after Little Man was in bed. We stumbled across Away We Go, a 2009 comedy/drama directed by Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes and written by the husband-and-wife team of Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. It starred that cutie, I mean, "good actor", John Krasinski from the Office, so I figured it was worth a watch. What a pleasant surprise. It was so well done. And, as a theater person, great acting gets me excited and there were some really good (and funny) performances in this film. Krasinsky was a slightly geeky, but sweet natured boyfriend to Maya Rudolph's character who gets pregnant, and they both find themselves wondering if they are f- ups because they are in their early thirties, pregnant and not truly settled yet. Maya Rudolph (daughter of singer Minnie "Loving You" Ripperton and former Saturday Night Live cast member) gave a surprisingly straight and touching performance, particularly in the last scene. Kasinsky and Rudolph had a nice chemistry between them. I think most anyone would like this, unless you are prudish, then you will find the opening scene in, um, bad taste (couldn't resist). But, I LOVED the cameo performances in this film. Catherine O'hara (Of Waiting For Guffman and various other Christopher Guest films) was hilarious as usual as Krasinsky's selfish mom who decided to move to Belgium with her husband (played by a dry-humoured Jeff Daniels) one month before their grandchild is born. This drives Krasinsky and Randolph to set out to find a home near loved ones. They visit an old co-worker of hers, played by Allison Janne, who is completely insane and extremely funny as well. As someone who has studied the virtues of attachment parenting, I howled during the scene where they visit Krasinsky's "cousin" played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Rudolph misunderstands her name to be "Ellen", but it was "LN" for lactation nurse. They walk in to see her for the first time tandum nursing a big boy and an infant. She and her husband played by Josh Hamilton are absolutely hilarious, and the faux pas of the young couple bringing them a stroller as a gift had me literally laughing out loud. Also, as one who has dealt with infertility and pondering adoption, I was touched by the storyline of their friends they visit in Montreal who have a housefull of adopted kids. Rudolph decides that she wants what that family has. But the heartbreak of infertility bubbles up and is beautifully portrayed in the words of Chris Messina's character and in the sadness on Melanie Lynskey's face. The storyline of a motherless little girl was intense as well. I definitely recommend this film to anyone who is specifically interested in parenting or in fine films in general.
Taking an idea from buddy Michele at the Finding Trinity blog. Yup, this is a day (or so) late, but we definitely did have a Freak-out (or freaky) Friday. I got a call from Little Man's preschool in the middle of the day yesterday (never a good sign!) that he was freaking out and wanting to come home. It basically consisted of running through the Montessori preschool and yelling at the top of his lungs (with a big smile on his face) and saying he wanted to go home. Throwing work and saying he wanted to go home. Saying "I make bad choices and I go home" Not so fast, little mister. Had he come home he would have had a very not-so-fun day with no TV or fave toys. But, we all realized that the last thing we should do was cave and give him what he wanted, or else he would never forget it and always act out when he wants to go home. He apparantly got sat on, I mean, put in time-out multiple times until he eventually pulled himself together. Later on that day another five-year-old boy got in trouble and got sent home. My son asked the teacher "Why he make bad choices and he get to go home?" "Because he DOESN'T want to go home!!" Here is to a freakin' great Friday next week! :)
The union that we hoped to make through an adoption, that is. Some of you know that we have been hoping to find Little Man a little sister. We even had a near miss this year with a pregnant teenager that I know. She met with me a couple of months ago, saying that she had decided that she wanted me to adopt her baby that is due this spring. But, as she was saying it, my gut told me it wasn't going to happen. She has since decided to keep the child, and I am happy for them that they are able to make it work.
Meanwhile we are on a waiting list with an agency in another state. We have had a couple of near misses with them, too. Actually they called about a baby who was born a couple of weeks ago, but we did not act fast enough and the situation got away. The timing was awful though. I was getting my stitches out (from my crazy accident) that day, driving my mother-in-law to the airport, and in the process of closing on our new house. Not exactly great timing to leave town for two weeks. I just have to trust that it was not meant to be. I really would love to have another child. But, now with it taking so long, and Little Man turning five, I wonder about the age difference starting all over again with a newborn. We are thinking an older infant or toddler might be a good fit and are interested in adopting from Ethiopia (though that would still take a while). Or, if there was some way to adopt from Haiti we would love to find out about that, too. I am trying to trust that the best thing -- for all involved -- will happen!
Since there is no school today I am searching the web to find ways to educate my little boy about Martin Luther King, Jr on Martin Luther King day. I may do a craft of paper dolls (once I am finished blogging, haha). Here is a link I found about MLK activities for kids. http://www.daniellesplace.com/html/martinlutherking.html
I also wanted to share a link, for adults, of my "brother",cowriter/producer, Don Henry, doing his amazing song, Beautiful Fool, about Martin Luther King at the Bluebird in Nashville.
I got tagged by Molly at I'm A Sleeper Baker on a "meme" ... a ten things that make me happy list. Sooo, off of the top of my head, here goes ...
1) singing goofy or retro songs at the top of my lungs with friends 2) playing with kids and animals 3) my family, of course! 4) springtime and daisies and the color purple 5) daydreaming on a walk on the beach with a balmy breeze 6) art projects 7) the Beatles 8) dancing for fun or exercise (Zumba, baby!) 9) getting in bed with a great book 10) being swept up in a new project
oh ... and blogging! :)
now I have to tag 10 peeps ...
Amo at Where A Woman Shakes Her Tablecloth Modern Mom at How to Survive Life in the Suburbs Amy at Milkbreath and Margaritas Helene at I'm Living Proof That God has a Sense of Humor The Girl with the Flour in her Hair, Pealing an orange with a Screwdriver Margaret, Take A Walk with me Lori, Family Trees May Contain Nuts Magda, I'm Just Sayin' Blue Violet, A Nut i a Nutshell Margaret, Facts From A fact Woman
The zoo? My wacky life. ;) The review is of my book, A Journey To the Son, by fellow Nashvillian/author and blogger Leisa Hammett. She makes mention of the importance of social networking for authors and bloggers. So true. Here is the link to the piece for anyone who would like to check it out. Thanks, Leisa!
My dad's sweet kitty, Tigerlily, just passed away this week. She was almost eighteen, so it was sad, but for the adults in the family it was not totally unexpected. Little Man, however, who still seems to be a little obsessed with such subjects, had a million questions about it when my dad ate dinner with us the other night. "Why Tigerlily DIEEE, because she was really, really old and really, really sick?" "Yes, honey" One minute later, "Why Tigerlily dieeeeeeeeeeee?" "Is she in heaven with Poppie now?(His paternal grandfather)""Is heaven in outer space?" Considering other options ... "She live in my HEART now!" Then, putting his left hand to one side of his heart, "Tigerlily meet Poppie", then his right hand to the other side of his heart "Poppie meet Tigerlily!" Then, pondering the possibilities and touching his heart again with a grin, "Tigerlily, meet MICHAEL JACKSON!"
Our snowday cabin fever turned into a party marathon. Friday night Little Man had his "first sleepover EVER" (a line he repeated, ummm, a gazillion times!) We went to our neighbor/friends and had dinner and watched "Up" and "slept" there. Well, actually, the kids were so excited they didn't get to sleep until 11:30. My friend and I, paranoid that my impulsive and curious boy might decide to go for a stroll to our house in the middle of the night, found ourselves laughingly creating baracades at the front door at 2 AM, just in case! Little Man, still excited, woke up at the crack of dawn wanting to plaaay, in spite of my pleas to pleeease sleep a little longer. Later that morning, amped on caffeine, we set off for back-to-back birthday parties. Important not-to-be-missed parties ... one of his first friends from playgroup and also his best little buddy from preschool. The first party was a "fairy party" at a gym, mostly girls with him and one other little boy, so he went in his Peter Pan (friend o' fairies) costume and had a blast jumping from the rope into the foam pit. Then, off to the 2nd partay at "Pump It Up", one of those inflatables places, for a b-bouncing extravaganza. It was all big fun, but this mama was "whooped" and ready for a good nights sleep! And a hope to chill for the rest of the weekend. The next morning (today) Jim and I were discussing how to lazily spend our Sunday when an agent called wanting to show our (absolutly and COMPLETELY WRECKED) house in 1 1/2 hrs. UGH! We got it together somehow, but it was NOT easy! :)
Gotta love Nashville! Big to do over a big predicated snow storm. Everyone goes batty, going to the grocery store to stock up on supplies "just in case we get snowed in", schools close, so much anticipation! Then, drumroll please, we are going to get ... 1/2 inch, mayyyybe one inch today. woohoo! Still fun though, and "purty". Happy "Snow" Day!
Okey doke- fellow bloggers are making bloggy goals for 2010, so I figured that I would jump in and do the same. For Christmas I hit 100 followers, finally meeting that little milestone. Which is great because when you first start blogging, it is a bit like yelling from a mountaintop, not knowing if you are the only one hearing the echo. I posted for the first time on March 12, 2009. So, I have had this new obsession, er, hobby for almost a year now. I hope in the new year to do exotic things some of you girls do, like strike-throughs. I tell you I am a total tech-flunky. I don't see myself doing a lot of give-a-ways in the new year, but, you nevah know. I will do the occassional review, or let people know about a product if the right situation presents itself. But, mainly, I enjoy whining, I mean pontificating (see where that strike-through would come in handy?) about the journey through mommyhood and any discoveries and blunders I may make along the way. I want to continue posting special events in my little guy's cherished little life and hope to collect the best ofs for him to have someday. And I am journaling the trial and error of being an indie artist, writing a book/CD about this journey and seeing where it all leads. I hope to stage it as a musical and pitch a screenplay and get on Oprah before she goes off the air (a girl can dream, can't she?) but, like being a mommy, there are certain things you feel compelled to do regardless of the outcome. It has been amazing to make some new friendships through blogging and to feel the unity of this rockin' rollercoaster called parenthood. Lots of love and looking forward to new adventures for all in the new year! xo
I am clinging to last lazy holiday days in jammies as long as I can. Monday, it is back to real life. And, I have decided, Monday is when my New Years resolutions kick in as well! (With New Years day on a Friday, I think we have some flex time!) We have a move coming up, I'm not sure what is going to happen in adoption land, and I have lots of work to do so I am enjoying chill time (and bad habits) as long as I can. :) December 30th we went to my "brother", co-writer/producer Don Henry's annual birthday bash at the Bluebird Cafe, the well known "listening room" for Nashville songwriters where you can often hear the person who wrote hit songs performing them themselves with just a guitar or keyboard. Their slogan is "shhhhh" because it is all about the song there and people want to actually hear the lyrics, so if you talk during songs you get shushed! Anyway, the show was a blast. It was Don, Craig Carothers, Annie Mosher and Nathan Bell in the round and I got to sit in and do mine and Don's "Mud Mama" song from our A Journey to the Son project. (There is a button on this page where you can hear Mud Mama for yourself, by the way! And if you decide you simply cannot live without it, there is ordering info on here as well ;)) Anyway, it was big fun! Lots of o' great special guests and the night ended with Danny Flowers (w/ the gang) doing his song "Tulsa Time" (recorded by Don Williams and Eric Clapton).. pretty cool! I wish my buddy Don 50 plus more incredible years! New Years Eve we decided to go up the block to our friends/neighbors kid friendly shindig. Little Man was in heaven watching the fireworks and running the house/playing with the toys and friends. He cried pretty hard when we pulled him away at 10 pm because he desparately wanted to have a sleepover with his friends (we promised to have one in the new year). He counted down the New Year (early) in his bed and was out like a light. Jim and I saw the new year come in at home. A great home which we will be leaving in the new year for a new chapter. I was happy to see that Rockin' Moms included two of my songs (Breast Intentions and Dec 11) in their New Years Eve podcast. Thanks Tiffany! New Years Day was one of the rare jammie days I was referring to. Bliss. We made a fire and the traditional Southern New Years day fare of hoppin' john (black eyed peas and rice) with collard greens and corn bread. After Little Man fell asleep (in his new tent, AGAIN!) Jim and I watched Julie and Julia using our new Roku box. Julie and Julia is a pretty cool blogger success story for my fellow bloggers who haven't seen it yet. And now here we are, the day after new years day. Lots I need to start doing for the move and to gear up for the new decade. The last decade brought a lot of exciting things and I look forward to lots of great things in the decade to come. But, I hope to remember the sentiment Don and our friend Tom Occhipinti expressed so beautifully in their song at the Bluebird ... The Road to Paradise IS Paradise. I wish you all love and laughter and music and magic in 2010 and beyond! xoxoxoxo
Watered-down earth mother, singer/songwriter and actress, Lauren Braddock Havey has penned a parenting memoir, A Journey to the Son, being released October 2009 by Two Harbors Press. She is also concurrently releasing a companion CD, a “folk-rock opera” of the same name. For more info, please visit www.ajourneytotheson.com