So I never go to Taco Bell, but I was going to be late for my mom's group so I stopped at the only place on the way. So as I peruse the menu, I noticed they have gone al fresco. Now before I go on, I should mention that while ordering I really had no idea what al fresco meant. I just knew this al fresco burrito didn't have rice on it! I am not sure why they put rice in burritos, but maybe some people like that. Anyway, I learned what the spanish to english translation of al fresco is: dry, chewy, no much taste burrito. I should mention I had them hold the tomatoes, so I am sure the juice from the tomatoes might have helped with the dryness issue. The other thing al fresco stands for is overpriced! The loaded chicken stuffed burrito-89 cents, al fresco 2.89! So my vote for the al fresco grilled chicken no taste dry burrito-sad face!
We went to Chick fil A the other night for a gourmet dinner. It was kid's night, so if your kid is screaming, it was drowned out by everyone else's kids. Emma wanted to play in the little fun zone area, so of course after not eating i rewarded her with a trip to play. Bad Britney. To my knowledge, Emma has never played in the "fun zone." She can sometimes be shy and scared in new situations, so I was intrigued to see how this would go. She would start out by climbing up one step, then immediately want to come down. But the thing was she couldn't put her feet down on the next step. After about the millionth time, I admit I was a little frustrated. I said "Emma just put your feet down, you know the step is there." And just as the words left my mouth, i had this epiphany. A chick fil a epiphany. As I looked at her little legs dangling there it occurred to me that her lack of trust that the step would be there is alittle like faith. As Christians, we are asked to believe in something we can't see. Like the step, we know it exists, but do we believe it will be there? Belief in God is a leap or a step of faith. Trusting in things not always seen is difficult, but believing there is nothing is tragic. For Emma, it just took attempt after attempt to realize that indeed, each time something was there.
While we were visiting my parents this weekend, we decided to go to the new outdoor mall. This place is really cool. It has an outdoor carousel, gondola rides, paddle boat rentals, and great food places like Ketchup! To every parents dismay they also have little toy vending machines. Ugh. Emma went to Hobo school and has learned to search for money left in the slots, whats next robbing the wishing well water features? Anyway, like an eagle spying her prey in this case a plastic alien, she was on the hunt. She would not be deterred. Well of course I didn't have any quarters on hand, and they don't yet accept Am Ex, Emma was out of luck. So sad, right? Uhh, back the bus up, what just happened here. Well it is obvious, she has a special gift! She indeed got that alien, unfortunately, some poor kid left it in the shoot. Aw sweet victory!
Last weekend, my brother and I hosted a surprise 60th birthday party for my parents. We had the party catered by their favorite mexican restaurant! It was a bit difficult planning a surprise party three states away, but the look on their faces was the payoff! Everyone had a great time, including Emma who was more than willing to open Nana and Papa's presents!
Like everyone I watch with disgust as the paparazzi hounded poor Britney. It seemed like her every mis-step was captured on some short of film or video. I am no Dr. Phil but I think Britney lost touch with reality for a time and I think her soul. I of course don't know Britney, but I felt sorry for her. It must be horrible to know that everyone around you wants something from you, using you then losing you. Everyone that is except the one that most celebs deny-God. I think it is so easy to fall into this trap of judging people, but instead shouldn't we be praying for people. Helping those that are lost find something greater than themselves. I stumbled onto this song by Christian artist Bebo Norman. Oddly enough it is called Britney. And you guessed it it's about Britney. My favorite line in the song is "I know love goes around the world we know, and you never see it coming back, but I can see it coming back for you." Then at the end of the song the lyrics change and he says"I know love goes around the world we know and you never see it coming back, but I can see Him coming back for you!" I can't seem to shake that line from my head. Maybe because it is so comforting to know that He is coming back for you!
It is so funny, we moms just seem to fall into routines. For us there is a certain routine on the days I work, and a totally relaxed routine on the days we are home. Of course school days are super rushed and usually start with me dragging Emma from the bed, just in time to walk out the door. You might could say she is a late sleeper. The rub with routines is you don't really notice things that are not part of your everyday routine. Well that is until last night. When my husband got home, Emma was so excited to see him. She ran over to her Dora the Explorer House (actually it is a mansion! ) Anyway, she sat down and said, "Daddy play Dora".
The word I would like to focus on here is "play". I don't think in all my days has she ever said "mommy play". Hmmm, now I am no Sherlock Holmes, but I think there might be something here. So I began to review our routine in my head, and I realized we are always on the go, shopping, going to lunch, shopping, working, shopping, and shopping. Stop reading here if you can't handle a pity party.... I guess that made me sad. Most of the people who know me know I am struggling with chronic knee pain. I will save you the pitiful details, but I just can't do alot of the things I want to do! I think it seemed easier to just stay painfully busy than to stop and enjoy the silence. I can't get on the floor and play, much less take her to the park and play.I have grown afraid of doing the things I love the most. End pity party-So I have decided I must do better. It all became clear as I laid her trying to sleep. I felt this calm presence and I heard these words "Live Simply". So this is my new motto. I love it. Just stop the time sucking activities and enjoy life. I need to recruit some friends to help me hit the parks and the pavement and get out there and make a change even if it is painful. Emma needs me to do it and I want to do it!
So you all have seen these crazy reports on tv, where people claim to see images in their food. One lady saw Mary in a cinnamon roll, someone saw Jesus in a piece of toast, and more recently a husband and wife claim to have a Cheetos in the shape of Jesus on the cross. Mmm really? The crazy thing is people actually buy this stuff on Ebay. Well I thought this all a bit of rubbish until tonight at dinner. We had pasta and a mix of veggies. Emma of course didn't eat her dinner, so I grabbed her plate and looked down and I saw this little carrot face staring back at me. Can you believe it !It happened right here in Memphis Tennessee, my very own carrot face. I spent the next 20 minutes trying to capture this on film. My husband would just keep walking by saying words like, obsessed, give up, really Jen. But I would not be denied. The pics don't quite capture the essence of my new carrot friend, but I did the best I could. My new carrot friend has inspired me to buy a new camera and wait for my next veggie encounter. I will not let my new friends down.
Emma and I both stayed home from preschool today because we both were feeling a bit under the weather. So what better time to try and potty train your 2 year old. My mom's friend found these Carter's training pants, so I decided to give them a try. The first pair in the bag was just a plain white pair. When she put them on it reminded me of Risky Business, all she was missing was the socks and the shades. But here is the rub.. umm she doesn't want to keep them on!! So I would look down and see this pair of underwear and a little naked butt run by. So plan B, we tried a pull up. Here is what happened.... Actually I decided I better not show that picture. Needless to say by the end of the day she was very confused. Notice the shoes. My poor baby is so confused and so is her momma!!!!!!!!!!
This weekend we packed up the family truckster and headed down to the zoo. We bought a membership this year so we thought with the nice weather it would be a great trip. Emma grabbed her shades and her new Dora shoes (which she slept in) and we hit the road. Here is a pre zoo picture. The weather was perfect and the animals were actually pretty active. We stopped by to see the two new female gorillas and the male gorilla. I couldn't believe it by the gorilla came very close to us and started making this scare the poop out of you sound. I wasn't sure what he was going to do. He was yelling and rocking back and forth on this rock. Later a zoo employee walked up to me and said"that was a great sound." I kinda looked at her and said uh huh, thinking if I could have translated it might have been something like this: you human ,look plump and tasty. like to use you as a ball and toss you round the yard. The zoo employee said the noise the male gorilla made means he is content. Well with this new information about him being content I decided maybe he doesn't want to eat me! Overall, the day was great! We ended the day with a carousal ride and an ice cream bar. I can't think of anything better.
Emma and I have this little morning routine. I get up and get showered and dressed, then I get her stuff ready for preschool. I then go in and wake her up, sometimes she is on the floor and sometimes she is in her bed. She comes into the kitchen and gets her cup of milk and goes and sits in the recliner. She always says "ooo cold mommy". So I get her a blanket and turn on some cartoons(so Britney Spears I know). I cook something for breakfast and then we snuggle under the covers. It is such a sweet and treasured time. I love sitting there listening to her talk. I pick up every 5 word but it is ok, I am learning to speak Klingon. I love this picture of my sweet burrito baby.
The good thing bout having a burrito baby no carbs or calories!!! My two friends with gestational diabetes rejoice and get a burrito baby today!!!!!!
So I was sitting here actually laying here not sleeping again, so I decided to put my mind to use and try and plan out my weekend. My husband has taken on the task of painting the outside of our house all by himself, so pretty much for the next few weekends Emma and I will be on our own. I have a few returns at stores and just some other errands to run and as I was planning this out in my mind it lead me to the title of today's entry. Emma has decided (notice I said she decided) that she is too big for the stroller and too cool for a shopping cart, so that leaves maniac child running through store! So several months ago my mom bought Emma an Eddie Bauer (get no money for endorsement) monkey leash.Before I had a child I thought these things are so cruel. I mean who walks there kids? On the leash do you buy a tag that says will fetch toys? If lost call home? But honestly now that I have a child I can see why people use them. For one thing it gives the child a chance to walk about safely, and you don't have to worry about them running off and getting lost. Still, I can't bring myself to strap on the cute little monkey pack. Knowing Emma as I do I think it would be a situation of not walking but dragging her and the monkey leash. What do you do when they go boneless with their little leashes on? Case in point I think the real reason I don't use it is I don't want people to stare and think that I can't control my child. So I guess I will have to do some field tests and get back to ya on this one. Maybe I will even have some pics!
Top 5 things you learn at midnight..... brought to you by WideAwake inc. 5. Your daughter is on the floor again! 4. Legs get really stiff when you haven't used them 3. The child proof door knobs you bought glow in the dark. Good to know. 2. The Golden Girls is on at midnight! yeah and the number 1 thing you learn at midnight......................... YOU NEED A PRESCRIPTION FOR AMBIEN!!!
Tonight little Emma shocked her dad and I! She counted to ten! Yes I said it to 10! Well she did leave out a few numbers. It went alittle something like this... 123...678...10 Yeah!I know, I know, this is what jealous mommies call shameless bragging. Well if your mom doesn't do it then who? Put the super cool thing came later that day. She was drawing on her magna doodle, and she would draw something and say "bird" and point to it. SHe then drew a flower, a tree, and a peace sign. no kidding. She pointed to each one of the drawings and named them. I love those little moments. I want to tuck them away in my heart and mind and remember them always. Her are some of her drawings. Clearly here you can see a peace sign. Ahh, the lovely but never seen Ivory billed woodpecker and a tall pine tree. And my favorite Emma pointing to the turkey and pumpkin she drew.
So I was having one of those deep thoughts kinda days. It was a rainy day today so Emma and I decided to stay in and she played and I worked on some jewelry. I have recently taken up working with metals. Sounds glamorous right? Anyway, I just feel calm when I am working with my hands. It was during this calm that I had a revelation. Before I reveal this revelation, I have to back track a bit. A great bonus in making your own jewelry is you get to wear some of it, well be honest all of it. So I had a perfectly good necklace that I always wear, but I decided I wanted a longer chain to show of some of my new charms. So I ordered a chain online and when it arrived I put it on immediately. I have worn it now for a few weeks, but today I started thinking is this chain too long? It kinda gets in the way and Emma likes to just about hang from it. So I thought maybe I should just wear my old chain. Wait for it... the revelation was this.... why is it that we or I just can't want what we already have. There was nothing wrong with the first chain, but I had to have another one, and when I got it, I didn't want it. Some of you might be thinking I need to consult the Physician's Desk Reference for some shopping disorder, but I think it is much deeper than that. I think God created us to always be wanting and to never be satisfied. But NOT WITH THE STUFF OF THIS WORLD! God is waiting for us to realize that he is the only true thing that can fill and sustain us. Not jewelry, and other stuff we can't take with us. It is so overwhelming to think of a God who created this wanting and the same God gives us free choice. I believe he is sitting there looking down waiting for us to chose him!
Emma at the tender age of 2 has taken up photography. Now I am no Anne Lebowitz but I think these photos might just be something special. They sort of have an Andy Warhol feel to me. I especially think she captured the essence of her nose in this photo.
I also like the flash effects in the following photos!
My favorite time of the day is in the morning when I wake up and walk to Emma's room to find where she spent the night. You see she is in a big girl bed now, so this gives her the freedom she never had in the crib. It is my favorite part of the day because you never know where you are going to find her, kinda like Waldo. It looks like she has been to a fraternity party in this one picture. At least she drinks at home and it does my heart good to know that her friend Dora is always at her side.