adventures in awesomeness…

Something to Feel Good About

Now, I was worried when I put on Akeelah and the Bee and I saw previews for Arthur’s Missing Pal and other bad kids movies. But five minutes in, I was hooked.

Akeelah Anderson is an 11-year-old “girl from the hood” who took up spelling after her father was killed. She’s got a “mind like a sponge” and can spell just about anything after seeing it once. But she lives in a bad part of town, has an overworked mom who has to deal with four kids, one who is getting involved with gangs, and is subject to the typical “smart-but-poor kid rises up” scenario. The plot seems pretty rote and run of the mill and the movie predictor person inside of me is just waiting for something bad to happen, like the death of her brother who is getting mixed up in gangs. It seems to follow what they have set up. From her second loss and her family’s pain, little Akeelah will be able to rise up and overcome all of the stereotypes of the ‘hood and win the spelling bee.

But that’s not what happens. It’s something much more inspirational. Instead of her brother getting shot up in a drive by, he’s forced to help his sister study by the local “gang boss”. Her mom suddenly has time and she (and the whole neighborhood, even the grocer and the friendly homeless guy) rally around her to help Akeelah learn 5,000 words to prepare for nationals. She learns them in record time, and then her coach, who ditched her after an inability to cope with his own familial hardships, sucks it up, and comes through for Akeelah too. They all fly to DC and she wins the spelling bee – actually it’s a tie between her and Dylan, a two-time second place champion who has a “you-win-first-place-or-you-are-disowned” father. (The father ends up being proud of his son.)

It was magical. Finally a movie about a seemingly down-and-out kid who makes it despite the odds, but doesn’t have to have the whole kitchen sink thrown at her. I mean, isn’t living in a bad part of town and having only one parent enough? Does an 11 year really need to overcome MORE adversity? I like that Akeelah wins because she is no longer afraid to win – and that’s it.

There’s a quote in the movie that when I heard, my mouth dropped agape. It was the quote by Marianne Williamson that I used in one of my blogs:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

Bottom Line: Movies that make you feel good without running your mascara are awesome.

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Matt and I decided that we should keep a list of all  the strange/neat/amazing/bad things our kids are doing at the moment. Right now there seems to be a lot of them:

The Whisper: Jaxon is potty trained and (I believe) but is woken up by accidentally pee-peeing (as Liz would say, just a quarter size amount) in his underwear. He runs into my room (Mylo following, always) and then taps me on the shoulder. I look down at him and he whispers: Tee-tee ina pawdy. He also whispers for more Ovaltine. It’s a riot, when I can hear  / understand what he is saying. The shoulder tap adds a nice touch.

Jumping: I remember a few years ago we all got together at Stephanie’s house to go out in PB. While we were waiting, Stephanie’s oldest son was jumping from the end table to the couch. I was pretty much horrified. Fast forward 3 years and guess who’s jumping now? And it’s not just from the end table to the couch. Jaxon (and Mylo — the ringleader) are jumping off of couches, tables, and my favorite, the adult-waist-high dresser. Nice. Sometimes they’ll put a pillow down to ease the fall. Where did they even learn that!!??!! Can’t wait for that first trip to the emergency room.

Secret Songs: Mylo and Jaxon have this song. It’s not a real song and it’s not in a real language — because Mylo knows like 10 words and they all sound like “key” or “pizza” and Jaxon is just unintelligible — but they both know the words and the melody. Best part? It’s completely original. Mylo is also singing along to Dora’s Backpack song and knows the ABCs. It’s incredible how musical they are. I love, love, LOOOVE it!!!

Sharing, Kisses, and Hugs: So they fight most of the time. And these are knock out, drag down, choking fights over stupid things like a plastic spoon or Thomas the Train’s caboose. But other times, they are so loving and will just hug and hug and hug. And Jaxon will even kiss Mylo on the mouth (the most I get is the bowing of the head). Also, Jaxon is very fair when it comes to Mylo and always makes sure that Mylo has a turn when they are doing fun things, like being thrown up in  the air by Daddy.

The ‘Ottie: This is Mylo’s way of saying the potty. About a week ago, he got REALLY into wanting to use the potty. I was slightly annoyed at first, because he would push and push and then two drops would come out and then he’d get up and pee all over the dining room.  But a few days ago he starts tugging on his diaper and says “the ‘ottie!” and I almost tell him to keep his diaper on and then I realize — what am I thinking! I put him on the potty and out comes the biggest poop! Whooo!! Mylo starts clapping and peeking into the potty at his poop. Jaxon joins in on the fun by emptying the contents in the toilet. Now whenever Mylo says potty, I put in on — and fast. He can’t yet hold it — so I have a bout 20 seconds before showtime. He claps every time. It’s the most adorable thing ever.

Never Tall Enough: Our boys are still of puntable size and they don’t like that we can put things up out of their reach. So they have decided to take matters into their own hands with the chairs. There is always at least one chair in the kitchen. Some morning when I am fighting to wake up, Mylo will move a chair from the dining room into my bathroom — so he can eat toothpaste. Jaxon likes to use the chair to get on the counter and get the fruit snacks that are stashed way up on the top shelf. They’ll also use chairs (and step stools, over turned laundry baskets – with laundry, toy bins – after dumping out the toys for mama to clean up, of course) to get into just about everything. I’ll be glad the day I don’t have to move a chair out of the kitchen.

Macgyver: Jaxon likes to take things apart. Neat. But since he is a baby, he doesn’t know how to put them back together — and his “take-apart skills” aren’t exactly what we would call delicate. Luckily, the printer survived. The garage gate remote, however, didn’t.

There are so many more, but these are the first that came to mind. I can’t wait for the boys to read this some day. =) Hahaha.


The Beach, the Beach!

Well it’s official. I can return my boxes to Costco because we’re staying put in NoHo!! Matt’s un-ex-coworkers got a new deal together with more money, better benefits, bonuses (bonus!) aaaaand we don’t have to pack up and move again. Effing awesome. I had gotten all psyched about moving to SF but… moving sucks.

And so do foggy beaches. (And while I have been known to bring the sun with me everywhere I go, I don’t think my sun-drawing powers are any match for a San Francisco summer.)

A long walk down, but oh-so worth it.

Jaxon preparing for his swimwear photo shoot.

Playing together in the sun.

The beach! The beach!

Some lucky bastard stole my dream home!!

Mylo the sand-faced glorious one.

Babies and boobies.

Bottom Line: Sorry San Francisco, the beach has put me under it’s magic spell.


Drugs Are Bad…

… especially the ones that you don’t know you are addicted to, like caffeine.

Three years ago I was making breakfast with my roommate Paul and his girlfriend and we were talking about coffee and I announced that I wasn’t going to drink it anymore. They looked at me like I just said I was going to practice my swan dive off the Golden Gate Bridge. What about the headaches?? They asked. Headaches? I don’t get headaches from coffee. I don’t drink that much. And then next day I had a protein shake instead of coffee and headed out to suffer in Desjardin’s Musicianship class, headache free.

Fast forward four years, one husband, two babies, and five moves later. After an exhausting trip to SF for Matt’s interview filled with copious coffee drinking and plenty of bad food, we announce that we are fasting – including no coffee… because it’s too easy to add milk and sugar to your coffee and then next thing you know, you’re eating the few delicious things in your fridge. I wake up, drink some ginger tea (talk about peppery!) and I’m feeling fine. A few hours later I start to feel sluggish. We go  to the store for milk. I am counting down the hours until I can crawl into bed. Everything is getting hazy. I drink more water. We get home and watch a movie “A Single Man”. I just couldn’t seem to concentrate on it. Why am I so tired?? Deciding that I need a formulaic Hollywood type move, I pop in “The Blind Side” and watch. About half way through I develop this nasty headache. Everything is foggy. Kids are just kind of all over the place. Matt has passed out on the couch. After the movie, we decide that perhaps we should eat something. Fast failed due to salad and kids not eating the delicious chicken quesadillas I made for them. (Lucky parents.) By 7pm I was pretty much debilitated. My head felt as if I had been bashed repeatedly over the head with a 2×4. I passed out on the bed, only to be woken up by this nasty headache.

This morning I still felt like crap, so I popped two Tylenol and drank a half cup of caffeinated tea. Like 5 minutes later I was all peppy and smiling. WTF? I never thought caffeine withdrawal would knock me off my ass like that. No wonder Paul and his girlfriend were so freaked out four years ago. And then when I got some caffeine back in my system…! That’s one nasty drug. And I am addicted… because later, after we got some updated Matt-job news, we had to get iced coffees just to think.

Bottom Line: Starbucks is a liquor store that doesn’t sell chips.

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The Waiting.

Isn’t that a movie about Shenanigan’s? That movie was great, minus Justin Long whining about college the whole time.

Well it’s been a while since I’ve posted and so much has happened!!

Aside from three GLORIOUS days at the beach, two weeks ago (the day after Matt finally talked me into re-starting our gym membership) his studio was closed down. 18 guys out of work with a day and a half notice. I don’t know if it was because of exercise I had just gotten and the extra oxygen in my blood, but I didn’t have the hardcore freak out that I should have considering our year lease, new gym membership, and that fun-time credit card statement.

Luckily, Lolapps in SF had contacted Matt a week earlier regarding a resume he had sent back in May. He had declined, because he had a job (or so he thought) — fortunately they were still hiring when he called. Things moved extremely fast. Interview was the next day, then a test (which Matt just blew out of the water despite babies running amok and beach day temptations.) We celebrated on Thursday by checking out La Piedra beach (my new favorite) and then got the call for an in person interview.

After some of the best tacos of my life, we headed up to SF on Sunday. Got to stay at an awesome hotel downtown with free internet (bonus!) The kids were pretty much a nightmare due to the lack of sleep we got, but despite everything, Matt rocked the interview and Tuesday he got an offer for employment!

Now we are waiting because the Hangout guys are trying to get something started up here. SF would be great but it would suck to leave mainly because we have 10 months remaining on a 12 month lease. Also, I know everyone talks crap about LA (and it IS a bitch to drive through) but I love the sunny warm weather and the beaches… the BEACHES!!! Also, I don’t know where we are going to find a 1400 sf apartment with hardwood, washer, dryer, dishwasher, covered parking, that allows pets for the price we pay (sigh).

But it’s SF. Oh, the waiting!!!!!!


The Fast: Day 1

Diet. Failed.

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Little Blue Strip

First off, fucking cheers re: the decision to overturn Prop 8!!  Now if we only had a babysitter (or a job) we’d be out partying it up in WeHo. And while Thursday is usually reason enough to drink, overturning discriminatory laws make the Miller High Life that much sweeter. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of this, God, or magic underwear Jesus spaceships, but today is a good day for celebrating what we’ve got.

However. It’s a bad day for Maxi Pads.

My arch nemesis… the little blue strip.

You piece of shit marketing ploy. Why are you even in my underwear?!? You don’t work! Are you simply there for decoration? Is red and white not enough color splash for you? Is the blue supposed to be soothing and calming? Are you trying to highlight where all the menses is NOT going??? And why the eff is there anything down there anyways?

And the commercials… the COMMERCIALS! Who has ever had blood that just pours out of you like milk into a cup?? What the fucking fuck?!? I know it sometimes feels like that. And I know some of you may imagine that it comes out like a cascading water fall, complete with Daniel Day Lewis diving into the pool below (I will find yooouuu!), but it’s not. Unless you are wearing that cup thing and for Friday-Night-Fun you pour it out onto a maxi pad before disposing of it.

Wow. And this post just became TMI. Not that I have a cup or do anything fun on Friday nights, but I’m sure you’re either cringing in horror or laughing at someone who is right about now.

Bottom Line: Eff you, little blue strip. Spoon sucks. The Bravery rule. Eat it, Britt Daniels.