Thursday, September 20, 2012

Our little princess re-peat!

Kim and I are feminine, but not exactly what you would call "girly" girls, although I can step it up when I really want to get a point across. That being said, somehow we have created this little darling who was obviously birthed directly from the princess patch, gracefully gliding over rose petals as she sachets through life wearing her ruby red sparkling slippers and I absolutely love it. Sometimes she is so cute I could just eat her right up!
Just to fill you in, she's growing up at an astronomical pace, much too fast for my psyche to be able to handle it with complete rationale. I see now why certain women want to have 19 kids....you never have to give up the goody! Several weeks ago she was still standing at my knees with her arms extended in my direction asking "Hold you", because I would always ask "Do you want me to hold you?". I wanted to freeze her in time, never correcting her grammar because it was just so preciously endearing. Every time she would say it like that I could feel my heart fill with a love that is like no other and anything else that happened to be in my world at that particular time came to an absolute stop. Little did she know that at those moments she could have anything her little heart desired, not just comfort in my arms. Since then she has begun two mornings of preschool and suddenly has learned the different phraseology between hold me and hold you. Darn it. It is still sweet and I am thankful every day that she still is finding comfort with her Mommy, but its not quite as gripping.
With her new found sense of maturity, she is becoming quite taken with bags, purses, satchels, you name it, anything that will help her tote more stuff from here to there. Recently she had been given a little yellow purse, similar to a tot's version of a Vera Bradley, a zipper topped petite quilted mini duffel with matching ring hand grips and a stripe of red daisies vertically around the midriff. She thinks it is actually better than sliced bread and shoves everything she can into it: keys, scarfs, toy food, even those little 2"x 2" cardboard princess books...you know...everything she's going to need for the day.
The other day we went on a short walk after work pushing her in the jogging stroller down our usual route on the dirt road. Of course she came equipped with her purse, a blanket, one naked baby, and the ruby red slippers. Everything you need for a walk on a dirt road. If we let her walk too soon, we don't get much exercise, therefore we have a rule that she can get out of the carriage at the stop sign, because she likes to "run"...it's more like this heavenly prancing...similar to a deer gliding over a fence...very funny. So we get to the stop sign and let her out to do her thing. This time we decided to park the stroller because we were going to check out another route and double around, grabbing it on the way back.
We hadn't gone more than thirty steps before Senia Mae was screeching "Wait, wait, my purse!" sprinting back to the stroller and snatching her bag from the seat. She skipped happily back to us and went no more than twenty feet before she said, "Mommy, hold this", handing the pocketbook to Kim in her Reebok basketball shorts, T shirt, and running shoes, as she runs off to play with Birdie the dog. This is what is so hilarious, Kim who wouldn't be caught dead with a purse, is strolling happily down the road in her full sporting gear toting a mini Vera Bradley. Priceless!
On the way back the purse made it back into the stroller as I pushed and the two girls walked aside of me. Kim eventually got ahead of us as we were reaching the final stretch. Suddenly Senia Mae shouts "Mommy stop!". With honest concern, I bring the stroller to an abrupt stop, skidding in the gravel, wondering if I had accidentally run over her toe. She runs to the front of the stroller, grabs her purse and hurriedly unzips it, pulling out the scarf and the pretend bottle of soda, spouting off, "I need a coke!" I almost died with laughter, trying to hold it in so she would not become self conscious about her current task at hand. We would start up again and she forced me to stop several more times, about every five feet to repeat the same procedure. It was absolutely hilarious!!!
Apparently she is mimicking someone, possibly us, possibly someone else, but it makes me realize that our every word and action is being stored in her little Rolodex of memorized words and actions, things that adults do, things we are completely unaware that we say and do! YIKES!! Just when you think you are getting away with something sneaky....something as simple as eating a few M&M's while hiding behind the refrigerator...little eyes are watching!! Watch out!!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The REAL meaning of dos equis!

For those of you that don't know, we live on lovely Lake Lanier. Lovely, that is, when they are not draining the lake to send water down south to the Apalachicola River Basin so that the oysters can have enough brackish water to thrive. I am an animal lover, heck I've got seven rescue cats, but enough is enough. My dock has been on the ground four out of the last seven summers...aarg!

Since there is basically nothing I can do to change the water situation or my frustration levels, I decided that this year we would take our family vacation to the beach near Apalachicola, so that we could at least enjoy some of the world's best oysters living lavishly off of the excess of my backyard!

It was mid afternoon on a Sunday, the temperature was in the nineties with humidity so high that you could almost taste the salt in the moist air. It was the perfect atmosphere for beer and oysters. Driving along a side road we came across a raw bar that looked as if it was a weathered old wooden shack that someone had forgotten about several hurricanes ago. It donned three 8x20 foot shutters that clipped to the ceiling, providing bar seating as well as exposing an inner bar made of an old surfboard where the headlining selection was Pabst Blue Ribbon on draft. If you felt satisfied you were more than welcome to write your comments on the graffiti covered walls. Picnic tables were scattered under a rusted tin covered porch area that was graveled with crushed oyster shells. It was perfect.

We grabbed a picnic table and placed our order with the waitress, waiting patiently for our treasures to arrive. That particular morning I had eaten extra sparingly, knowing full well that we would be finding fresh ocean vittles for lunch and I wanted to make sure that I was good and hungry. The beer came cold and fast, going down easy in the sticky, salt air. Anxious, hungry, and now a little bit buzzed I started fiddling with the hot sauce bottles on the table, wishing our food would come quicker. Hmmm, there was a bottle I didn't recognize. I picked it up and rolled it between my fingers noticing that the label read that it was made by a local named Ed Creamer out of Port St. Joe, FL. "Hot Damn!" I laughed to myself as I whipped out my phone snapping a picture of the bottle and quickly sending it via instant message to my old friend Amanda, who happens to have a father with the same name, Ed Creamer.

I was completely tickled, reveling in the strange coincidence, enjoying the island atmosphere, drinking beer with my family and friends, texting back and forth to Amanda "It says it's an oyster's best friend!" as I fed yet another packet of saltines to my two year old. The one thing I wasn't doing was noticing the two red XX symbols underneath Ed Creamer's signature on the label.

The oysters arrived and we dove into them, spreading their sweet, raw flesh on crackers, topping them off with horseradish, Tabasco, and lemon. Of course I opted for Ed Creamer's sauce...for it proclaimed right on the label that it was an oyster's best friend and at this particular time, so was I. I smiled readily as I doused my cracker creation with the hot sauce and shoved it in my mouth eagerly. What happened next I will remember for the rest of my life.

My mouth was closed because the oyster and cracker together was a rather large bite. I was chewing and suddenly felt my eyes begin to water as they blinked rapidly. Looking around the porch I spotted the old black and white sketch of an oyster eating pirate with smoke coming out of his ears as he rose from the sea. Yes, that was exactly what was happening! This had to stop! I was sure my head was about to blow off. I scanned the table for some sort of relief as I tapped my hand nervously wishing I could locate a fire extinguisher to put a damper on the flames that were rapidly scorching my lips. My close friends were unable to offer any consolation because they were too busy falling off their seats with explosive laughter as they pointed their fingers in my direction, covering their mouths with their other hands to muffle their obnoxious, unsupportive noises.

Suddenly my little two year old angel reached across the table, handing me her cup of ice water, spouting, "Here you go, Mommy". My heart stopped. I am not sure if it was my tears that got her or the smoke coming out of my ears, but she empathized with me, and I grabbed hold of that water cup, sticking my tongue deep down into the ice cubes quicker than you could say Jack Robinson. My lips, tongue, and entire gastro intestinal tract ached deeply for the next twenty minutes and although the ice water probably acted more as a placebo effect, it was the most sweet, thoughtful, and appreciated offering and I loved her for it. I suddenly realized that in one brief second she had just made up for the fifteen hours of un-medicated labor. That's my kid!

So the moral of the story is that the REAL meaning of dos equis, XX, is PROCEED WITH CAUTION! There are Habaneros in that sucker!!!!