Archives for December 2006

Our New Year’s Rockin’ Eve

We have been the Sneezy McSickersons at our house today, thanks to a monster of a cold / sinus infection that Mama was kind enough to pass along to all of us when she was visiting for Christmas.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Unfortunately, Alex is about two days ahead of D. and me in the recovery process, which means that the youngster has a major case of cabin fever and two parents who don’t much want to venture outside the “cabin,” as it were. To add insult to injury, Alex ripped up a DVD case (why? I have no idea, but the people at Blockbuster will be none too pleased with his handiwork), lost his TV privileges for the day, and do y’all have any idea how it’s taking every ounce of strength I have not to cave and let my child watch “Max and Ruby,” for pete’s sake?

You see, the problem with punishment is that you have to enforce it. Which totally stinks. Especially when your head is swollen to twice its normal size and stuffed with cotton.

So, to entertain himself, Alex has been removing the attachments from the vacuum cleaner and using them as microphones, mostly saying, “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, it’s MAAAAAAH-MAAAAAAAH!” And then I take the stage, sneeze, and blow my nose. Tickets are going for upwards of a penny, so you’d better order yours quickly because there’s no question that the show is going to be a sell-out.

We have also made pretend phone calls to Mickey Mouse, Batman, Superman, Donald Duck, Goofy, the grandparents, and all the aunts and uncles. And do y’all know what’s CRAZY? According to the information that Alex says they’re giving him, they all got Criss Cross Crash for Christmas. ISN’T THAT UNCANNY? Alex has also called Mickey Mouse to tell him that we’re going to make some chocolate chip cookies and to ask him to excuse him because he “pooted and had gas,” and if y’all would just remind me that the next time I have some sort of cold and Alex misbehaves, I need to come up with an alternate form of punishment that does not involve taking away the television.

(By the way, right now D. and Alex are playing Criss Cross Crash, and it’s so loud that I feel like I need to TYPE IN ALL CAPS JUST SO YOU CAN HEAR ME.)

So here’s our plan for the evening, once we get the child into bed:

1) Sneeze
2) Wipe nose
3) Repeat

If we get really wild and crazy I guess we’ll wipe each other’s noses, but maybe not, because, well, EWWWW.

I actually did get my Christmas decorations put away today, and that was a huge accomplishment because I kept breaking out in a cold sweat and having to sit down and fan myself (in a word: ATTRACTIVE), and I found myself getting a little reflective about 2006. I don’t know if that was because I was running a touch of fever or because I was actually examining my life thoughtfully (stranger things have happened), but I think I’ll probably write some of that stuff down and post it tomorrow when everyone’s too tired from their New Year’s Eve festivities to care. Because I like to bury the thoughtful stuff in places where no one can find it, you see.

So now it’s almost 10, and Alex is asleep, and the dogs are all snug in their beds (it took some doing because Maggie the lab is terrified of the sound of fireworks and had a full fledged anxiety attack about 7, right around the time when Alex was calling Mickey Mouse and telling him all about his gastric woes), and I think I’m going to watch a movie.

I know! A movie!

I think it’s pretty clear that I’m planning to LIVE ON THE EDGE in 2007.

Happy New Year, everybody.

Okay. This Is Definitely Going To Be The End. Really. I Think.

When D’s mother Martha was in college, some of her sorority sisters gave her the nickname “Martie.” They’ve continued to call her “Martie” over the years, and the reason why I keep putting the word “Martie” in quotation marks is because that’s exactly how Martha writes it. Every card, every letter, every note that we get from her is signed like this:

Love,
Mother
“Martie”

Personally, I like to think of “Martie” as Martha’s rap alter-ego, someone who would be featured on a hot new single called “Mother’s Got A Bell (A Ring-A-Ding Bell)” by Jay Z. featuring “Martie,” Ludacris and Justin Timberlake. As far as I know neither Martha nor “Martie” has any plans to enter the hip-hop scene, but I’ll be sure to let you know if that changes.

Anyway, Martha is as proud of her nickname as she can be; I think it makes her feel all young and fun and devil-may-care-ish. Many times when we have been out shopping I have overheard her talking to complete strangers about the texture of a bath towel or the cut of a jacket or the length of a strap on a purse, and inevitably, after she mentions that her son and daughter-in-law just love this town, just love it!, and then gives them a brief overview of our college days, early married years, and our current obligations and responsibilities with work and parenthood and whatnot, she’ll mention that her grandchildren call her “Martie” because that was her nickname in college and she always knew that she wanted her grandchildren to call her “Martie” because she was afraid if she didn’t ask to be called “Martie” they would end up calling her something like “Big Maw” or “Mar Mar.”

So after we wrapped up the festivities at Martha’s house on Wednesday night, after Martha apologized for the amount of food on her dinner plate because all she’d had to eat that day was a piece of caramel cake and certainly those four tablespoons of squash, two tablespoons of turkey and the half a roll were Terribly Excessive, we knew we had another big day-o-fun in store because D’s best friend, Todd – who also happens to be Alex’s godfather – was coming to town on Thursday so that we could meet his girlfriend, whose name just happens to be – can you guess it? – Marti.

!!!

Now see! Isn’t that more fun! We were going to have “Martie” and Marti! In the same place! Can you even imagine?!

Todd works in Los Angeles as a sound editor, and because of that we don’t get to see him nearly enough – what with the thousands of miles in between us and all. But he and D have talked almost every single day for the last fifteen years, so we don’t notice the distance as much as other people might. By the way, Martha always tells people that Todd “does the sound on the movies,” and it never fails to make me laugh because it implies that he is singlehandedly responsible for the fact that the world’s moviegoers can hear anything at all when we sit down to watch a show at the local cineplex or enjoy a DVD in the comfort of our homes. So thank you, Todd, for taking care of that for us. It must be a whale of a job.

So by the time Todd and Marti got to town, Alex was thoroughly confused about who was going to be with Todd. D and I tried to explain that Marti is a different person than the grandmother he knows as “Martie.” And when he finally met Todd’s Marti, Alex rectified the problem in a way that only a three year old could: he immediately called Todd’s girlfriend “New Marti.” And he called his grandmother, at least for the purposes of clarity, “Old ‘Martie.'”

At which point Martha no doubt wished that she’d just gone with “Big Maw” or “Mar Mar” when it came to her mamaw moniker.

From here on out I’m going to mostly let the pictures do the talking, but I have to say that Todd’s Marti, aka “New Marti,” is a total doll. She had been at Martha and Sissie’s house all of eight minutes when we started taking pictures, and I’m here to tell you that she just jumped right in and loved on them like she’d known them all of her life. D and I both hope that Thursday was just the beginning of many, many afternoons with New Marti. She’s warm, genuine, and real – LOVE HER.

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Todd, “Martie,” and Marti

Now around the sixth time that “Martie” said, “Oh, this is just more fun! I’m not used to having another person named Marti around! It’s so much fun! Isn’t this more fun?,” Todd got a little tickled, and it snowballed into one of those wheezing laughs that results in tears. And the more Todd laughed, the more Martha grinned and giggled.

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Todd absolutely adores Martha and Sissie, as evidenced by the fact that he wanted his girlfriend to meet them. And with everything they’ve been through lately – Sissie’s broken hip, extended hospital stay, doctor’s visits, ongoing therapy, etc. – I think Todd and New Marti’s visit meant more than Todd and New Marti will ever know. “Martie” and Sissie were tickled to death, no doubt about it.

Sissie even had her picture made with them in spite of the fact that she wasn’t wearing make-up, even though Martha asked her several times if she wanted “a little lipstick? Do you want just a touch of lipstick, Mother? Just a little bit? Before you get your picture made?”

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I do hope all of you noticed that Sissie has her bathrobe cinched at the waist with a black belt, because really, even at 96, there’s just no excuse for wearing a shapeless garment, girls. And there are no words to articulate how much I love the fact that she didn’t have her make-up on yet, but BY JEHOSEPHAT SHE TOOK THE TIME TO PUT ON THAT BELT. Yes ma’am she did.

And finally. This next picture sums up why the visit would have been worth it even if we hadn’t enjoyed our time with New Marti and “Old ‘Martie'” and Sissie (not to mention the delicious lunch that my mama cooked):

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The whole day just made me happy.

And I’m all done now.

Bloggity Goodness

Veronica at Toddled Dredge is, in my humble opinion, one of the most gifted writers in all the blogosphere. And she is currently writing an incredibly beautiful series of posts about the Twelve Days of Christmas.

My link is to Day One. You can start there and play catch-up.

You’ll be so glad you did.

Comment For A Cause

If you haven’t done so yet, click on over to Pass The Torch – every comment equals a $1 contribution to St. Jude’s, thanks to a very generous sponsor.

Go on. Comment. All the cool kids are doing it.

I Won’t Even Try To Fit It All Into One Post

So we went to Mississippi.

And I don’t even know where to start, so I think I’ll just go with chronology. It’s not nearly as ambitious in terms of narrative structure, but it’s functional – which is about as much as my brain can handle right now.

We got to Mama and Daddy’s house yesterday afternoon, and Alex immediately started demanding things like Coke and Little Debbies and injections of sugar straight into his molars. But since it was the first time I’d been to Mama’s house during this particular holiday season, I chose to ignore my offspring (MOTHER! OF! THE! YEAR!) and take pictures of Mama’s Christmas decorations.

Now I know that the Christmas Tour was a couple of weeks ago, but I have to show you two things:

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This is her tree. Sister decorated this year, and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a prettier Christmas tree. I took many photos from various angles so that I can try to replicate the effect next year. (Of course, I’m kidding myself by thinking that I can in fact replicate it, because we all know that when next Christmas rolls around I’ll just stand in front of my blank tree, staring and trembling, and then I’ll end up calling Mama and Sister to ask them what to do.)

But pretend world is fun so indulge me.

This next picture is the most Southern Christmas decoration I’ve ever seen:

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It’s on the light fixture in Mama and Daddy’s breakfast room, and I know that all you Southern girls just experienced a mild fluttering sensation in your hearts at the sight of all that mismatched antique silverware. And it’s perfectly fine if you think that it’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, cuter than your own children, in fact. Because I love Alex and all, but he wouldn’t look nearly this good hanging from garland.

Here’s an obligatory picture of the child emerging from one of Mama’s voluminous bedskirts:

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It should be no surprise that the bedskirt is pink. It should be a surprise that the bedskirt is not floral or toile, because I believe that there are four items in Mama’s house that are neither floral nor toile, but all of those four items are pink, because she is nothing if not consistent in her decorative scheme.

Oh! While I was there, I happened across an old picture of me with Santa when I was the age that Alex is now:

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And then I happened across a picture of Sister when she was close to the same age:

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Are we a bunch of genetically freaky clone people or WHAT?

My, this all must be absolutely riveting to read. Picture me jostling you awake now.

And oh my word I have to go to bed as it is now almost 11:00 and I haven’t even gotten to the part where we went to Martha and Sissie’s to exchange presents, much less the part where D’s best friend Todd brought his girlfriend (who is adorable) to meet us today and subjected her to lunch with my parents as well as TWO visits with Martha and Sissie, and seeing as how she’s from Minnesota and all, she must have thought she had been dropped straight into some Southern Gothic novel gone all wrong, gone all terribly, terribly wrong.

But here’s a picture of Alex with the first present Martha gave him last night:

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It’s a stuffed lion. That sings “What’s New, Pussycat” when you press its paw.

And Tom Jones is very, very proud.

See y’all tomorrow.

I Think She Liked It

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More later once I tackle some laundry and get a particularly lively three year old into the bed.