Monday, January 30, 2012

Romanick Mixed Tape

There are a lot of things, I suppose, that should have tipped me off to him being "the one." Like all the times we broke up but couldn't seem to stay apart. Or the fact that we both needed to be told on a regular basis that we had toothpaste, or coffee, or ketchup on our shirts. (People, I'm here to tell you that those kinds of things are exactly what you should base a long-term relationship on.) But looking back, I guess I should have know that he was my End All Be All when he handed me two mixed tapes.  Or, rather, mixed CD's.

Do people even do that anymore? If so, does it mean as much? A lot went into a mixed tape. First you had to write out your music with how long each song was. Then you'd have to  remember if you bought the 45 or 60 minute tape. Then you'd have to do some math to pick out how many songs you could fit on each side. If you didn't, you could get to the end of the first side of the tape and only fit half of your favorite song. Or worse yet, you have 2 minutes of blank space so when you go to flip the're halfway through the first song on the other side.  Forget the time it took to figure out if the "flow" from song to song was right.

When My Chef made these particular CD's, we lived two hours apart. We'd see each other on the weekends and when we could. We did this long distance relationship for quite a while.  It's hard to know exactly how long, what with the breaks and all. But the music was for the road trips back and forth. The first one he titled "Driving to see the T." It was as you'd imagine. The kind of music you play loud, with the windows down. Not so much the kind of music where you'd sink down in your seat, guiding the steering wheel with the wrist of one arm, with your other hand on your chin as if to pontificate your coolness. This was the kind of music you needed both hands at 11 and 1. Ready to drum. Ready to stick one arm out the window and give a shout out to all your fans at the back of the colosseum.

The second CD , titled "Driving the hardest direction" was meant for the return trip home. Soulful, jazzy, full of longing and the promise of future rendezvous.  I listened to that CD every night like it was my first ever handwritten love letter. Taking in each word and note. Dreaming of the day we'd live in the same city, able to see each other when we wanted. Going on dates on a Wednesday. Not getting a stomach ache every Sunday, dreading the goodbye.

I found that CD last week and put it in my car, hoping for an outing without the children. Three days later, I got my chance. I went back in time, 8-10 years. I could feel the longing two notes in.  The newness and the insecurity that physical distance can inspire. Only this time, listening to my love letter, I had the wisdom of foresight. Assurance that my Happily Ever After would come true.  I got home from my 30 minutes grocery run and kissed My Chef like it'd been 5 days since I last saw his face.

Maybe this year for Valentine's day I'll try to figure out some fancy technology and download him a "play list." (Is that what the kids do these days?)  Maybe start off with some Pearl Jam, toss in some Phil Collins. Maybe end it with some Bob Seger.  Give it a fancy title like "Drivin' the long haul." Sounds romantic, eh? So romantic you might forget to pronounce the "t" and say romanick.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

TPNHL: Gator Watch

If you're me
with the initials NH
and your BFF
has the initials TP
and when you hang out you call it "League" night
because that's funny
because neither of you likes sports,
then you'd want to be just like all the majors
and refer to your time together as

Yesterday I got to combine my two favorites:
TPNHL and Gator Watch.

We were very lucky.
Here's a recap of our sighting:

"Tracy! Look! Do you see it?"

"OMGeeee. Let's get a picture."

"It's hard to see on my phone. Let's go home and get the camera."

"After this, do you want to go to Target?"
"Bed Bath and Beyond if there's time?"

"We probably shouldn't own a detective agency."
"Or a diner. Or do any type of food service for that matter."
"I'd do a bakery."
"Yea, yea. Me too."

"Look at him."
"He's a biggun."
"Let's go get my purse. I don't think we have any chocolate in the house."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Running Thankful

I woke up this morning feeling...something I can't put my finger on.

So I put on my sneakers, grabbed my iPod and headed out the door.  It was cool and wet and foggy and refreshing - just standing in the driveway. I started down the street very aware of my body. Checking my pace, my heart rate. Taking inventory of all the muscles that were sore from yesterday's workout. Focusing on my breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth.

Changing my rhythm from bull to swan; my focus shifted. No more thoughts about what my body was feeling. Just my feet moving under me, cool wind in my face and some sweet sounds in my ears. I took in the soft golden light that would soon wake up my babies. Oh my sleeping babies.

Out of nowhere my senses were assaulted with the smell of cigarettes. I looked around to find it's source, only to have moved past it. Then came dryer sheets. Bounce brand to be precise. I was running past houses and could smell who lived there. This one likes Sweet Pea flavored Yankee Candles. That one up ahead is making bacon for breakfast- and on a Wednesday.

I was running. Thankful for the lungs that could carry me. Thankful that my house smells like yogurt and dirt, not ashtrays. Thankful for the moment to see the benefit of quiting the harmful, and staying the course with the healthy. Thankful for the opportunity of it all.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crunchy Sandwich

The other day, in an effort not to have yet another well balanced lunch tossed in my face while listening to The Taz say "this meal is disgusting", I actually asked my well mannered (cough cough) preschooler what she would like for lunch.

Her: You know those crunchy sandwiches you make with cheese in 'em?
Me: A grilled cheese sandwich?
Her: YES! Those.

We discussed other various things that needed to happen before she headed downstairs for lunch
(wipe the booger off of her cheek, put on pants, maybe some socks). Then as I was halfway down the hall, she yells, not unlike Will Ferrell in Wedding Crashers (MA, The MEATLOAF):


There are now two things in this world that make me feel like a really good mom. The first is cutting out Box Tops. Sure, I take the kids to the doctor regularly, read to them religiously, make sure they play with their friends. I try to let them be kids and go wild, try to stimulate their creativity with crafts and projects, give them delicious gummy vitamins every morning and get regular baths so they aren't the smelly kids on the block.  But for some reason, every time I cut out one of those pink stamps and put it into a little baggie hanging in the pantry, I think "Man. I have the potential to be really good at this some day."  I don't know why.

And now, my sweet girl thinks that I invented The Grilled Cheese Sandwich. I have introduce to her something she loves to eat. Something she knows she can trust if she's out to eat without me and doesn't know what to order. Something I can make after she's had an exhausting day at the park, fighting then making up and fighting a little more with her friends. Something that on cold and rainy Fall days in college will bring her comfort and remind her of her Momma and how much her momma loves her.

Just imagine what Box Tops on slices of American Cheese could do for my self-esteem.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beauty Secrets

Dear Maggie and Rylee,

I don't know much about makeup or fashion. Some day, probably a lot sooner than I'd like, you'll want advice on these things. Sorry I won't be able to help you figure out eye liner and base. But since becoming your mother, I do happen to know a whole lot about beauty. So, without further ado, here is my list of secrets to help you stay beautiful:

1. Be kind.
2. Get a good night's sleep (without waking me up, preferably).
3. Keep an open mind about food and people.
4. Don't smoke. Don't smoke. Don't smoke.
5. Drink more water and milk than juice and pop.
6. Share your chocolates and your toys.
7. Work up a good sweat 5 days a week. This will be harder the older you get- but remember dancing counts.
8. Read. (Especially to me when my eyes have gone bad and I call you by the wrong name.)
9. Spend time with your grandparents.
10. Wear sunscreen.
11. Be thankful. (maybe not FOR all things, but IN all things.)

And last but not least...

12. Don't throw tantrums. It's really unbecoming at any age.

The Mother of Two Gorgeous Ladies

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Trophy

When Rylee finished up soccer this fall, she got a trophy. As seen here:

It was a fine day.
She was proud.
And she wasn't afraid to rub Maggie's nose in it.
"Ha ha. I got a trophy and you-ooh-ooh didn't"

My sweet Bear Cub has a way of pouting that will melt your heart faster than a quivering chin, so Troy dug around in the garage and found some cheesy appreciation award he got. We told her she got a trophy for being a good soccer game cheerleader. If you ask her how she got her trophy, she will tell you she got it from golf, or from soccer or tell you a three minute explination of which even the I can't decipher one word.

And every night as I tuck her sweaty little body into bed, she scans her surroundings, frantically trying to find her prize.  "My Trosey, My Trosey" she whimpers.  It's the weirdest security blanket I've ever seen. Well...maybe not as weird as her baby that looks like it got run over by a BMX bike gang.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Normally I like to make my New Year's Resolutions something that I can measure, or tick off a list, or point to and say "I did that."  But this year, I'm going to try and change it up.

The one resolution I really want to make, I have no idea how to go about doing. If I were going to put Weight Loss down this year, I'd know how to do it. I'd get a gym membership, and vow to go three times a week. Then I'd start tracking my food intake. I'd set goals and track my progress by a scale or my pant size.

If my resolution were to learn how to cook, I'd actually watch My Chef make dinner, or actually open one of the gazillion cook books on our shelves. I'd try and make mistakes until I got the "atta girl" after dinner.  At the end of the year I'd be able to host a party without asking Troy to make all of the dishes. I could point to my items and say with pride "yes, I made that."

But no. I just want to do one little tiny thing. I want to follow one commandment in the bible. I wish it was on my heart to pick the one about obeying your parents. That'd be easy. The only thing My Mudda asks me to do is kiss the girls before bed. Check and check. Or the one about not committing murder. New Year's Eve 2012 I could pat myself on the back and say "Yep. Made it the whole year without killing anybody."

Nope. The one I'm going to pick is Love One Another. Sounds simple, right? But how do you really start? How do you measure if you've gone about your day with a heart of love towards those in your path? I'm not sure being nice and saying hello to the grocery clerk is showing love, but maybe it is? Maybe that person needed  to be asked how her day was. There's no measurement, no "reward" or visible ramification of loving others. (If just now you're thinking about STD's then you're thinking the wrong kind of love and we should have a serious talk.)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you'd start if this was your resolution. How you'd measure if you were keeping your resolution. But remember, the commandment isn't to just love your family, or your friends, or people who look and talk like you. How would you do it?

And just because I'll need something to point to and say "I DID IT!" I am going to aim at having Maggie potty trained by May. I know that's more of a group effort and based on the willingness of my sweet little Bear Cub, but the process won't start until Momma's ready. So in 2012 this Momma wants to quit buying diapers.

Ok, 5 days in...let's get this year rollin'.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's that time of year again...

Ahh my dreamy Christmas vacation is over. I wasn't ready for it to end until we were 800 miles into our 1500 mile journey home.  You know it's going to be a long day when you've been driving for 5 hours and the GPS chimes in "Continue on this route for the next 300 miles."  Nevertheless, we made it home safely to a house that, although looking like was tossed by a pair of thugs, was just how we left it two weeks ago.

We are nowhere near settled back in, but the fridge is stocked, school has started and My Chef is at work. I guess that means that the New Year has already started. And I suppose that means it's time for some self reflection and resolution making. BUT, before I go there, I want to take a look back and see how I fared from last year's list.

Of the things I listed, I didn't make one of them throughout the year.  The closest I came to keeping one of my resolutions was flossing.  I went from being a 3 day a week flosser to a 5 day a week flosser. I think I can feel good about that.

And I guess if you count that pile of pine cones that I stuck onto a Styrofoam tree as "creating something", then I think I can add two to my list. Ironically, the things I said I could (but didn't) add to my list (exercising more, cooking more, being more patient) I actually did accomplish. (Thanks in part to Prozac.) Which begs the question: Should I even make a list this year?   Ahh what the heck. I think I will anyway. But not today. I have to put a little more thought into it. Because right now, all I've come up with is to keep the windows clean. SURELY I can find something better (and easier) than that.