Friday, November 21, 2008

The Reason for Thanksgiving

I'm happy to know our hard earned daycare money is paying off.

I picked LittleG up yesterday for the Grand Birthday Celebration, part 2, and she informed me that they had learned the REAL reason for Thanksgiving.

Seems that a long long long time ago, the Pilgrims came here from Alaska so they could believe in God.

And there you have it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, LittleG

I cannot believe it, my little duck, but you are turning five years old today! It seems like just last week, your Dad and I were bringing you home.

We wanted you so badly, and our struggle to bring you into this world was a source of sadness and frustration for many months. All of that was forgotten when we held you in our arms for the very first time. You were healthy, and Mommy was healthy, and Daddy was the proudest lion in the jungle! Those months of waiting and wondering were so worth it, and we've never regretted a moment of it!

I remember one day long before you were born, I was sitting at my desk at work, thinking that there would probably never be a moment in my life that you would not be on my mind. I did not know then how true that statement would be. You are never out of my mind, even for a moment. Even when I'm working hard at the office, or frustrated with a problem, there you are, always on my mind and in my heart.

I am so proud of you, turning into a big girl right before our eyes. I think back to those early days with you, so quiet and still. You never babbled or cooed like other babies, and I worried so much that you would never find your voice. You proved me wrong. Wrong indeed!

I hope I remember this era in your life forever. You constantly amaze me, and I love you, LittleG for all these reasons and more!

  • You are smart as a whip and your curiosity knows no bounds. This is not always a good thing, and I love that.
  • You still call that thing in the car a "beltseat" and that place we drive-through "Aunt Donalds."
  • You delight in the high tech toys that surround you, but you're just as happy to spend your time with Legos or Playdoh.
  • You keep Daddy company in the back seat on long trips in the crimson steed.
  • You say "hang on a minute please" as you pass the phone to your grownup.
  • You use words like unacceptable and inappropriate. And you use them like they are meant to be used.
  • You are comforted by Mr. Duck and Mamma Duck, and you share that comfort with me and Daddy when you sense we need it the most.
  • You love your doggies, and you accept their easy love from them.
  • I love it that you know my job in life is to keep you safe and happy, and I love it that you know your Dad's got your back.
  • You enjoy your Sunday lunches with Nana and "the girls," maybe as much as they do.
  • You are so challenged by your little cousins and yet you can be so gentle with them.
  • The little neighborhood ladies love you so, and you return their kindness with your dazzling smile and grateful heart.
  • I love the way you hug your friends before you leave daycare for the day, and I love the way you're glad to see them the next morning.
  • I love it that you "get it" that we should help others when we can, because we are so lucky to have so much.
  • You call me on it when I'm angry with you, and you're quick to say I love you.
  • You order my iced quad venti skinny cinnamon dolce latte at Starbucks like you've been doing it all your life.
  • You learned our phone number without even trying, and you learned that you drink your sprite with water.
  • You smile and say Thank You, and Yes Ma'am and No Ma'am
  • You hold the door for a grownup or lend a helping hand to a little one
  • You give a heart-felt "thank you" even for a gift that's not your favorite
  • You come to me, Mr. Duck in hand, and ask for a cuddle
  • You set the table or clean your room or help me with the laundry - you are so proud to help me!
  • When you do your homework in the evenings, you use your "unraser" to correct your mistakes
  • You constantly amaze me with good manners and politeness, and when total strangers tell me how polite you are, I could not be more proud.
  • I love it that you let me read to you, even when you ask me for the fiftieth time to read a book I don't want to read. And I love it more that you allow me, for the one hundredth time to read the one book I love the most.
  • You take your dad's face in your hands and kiss him square on the mouth.
  • You hold our hands when you say the blessing at dinner, then let your dad kiss your kiss your hand before you pull away.
  • You get sad when I have to go to the airport, and you count the Go To Sleeps until I return.
  • You are about as compassionate and empathetic as I think a five year old is allowed to be.
  • Your unbridled joy and enthusiasm are contagious. And exhausting.
  • You are smart and beautiful and polite and a joy to be around.
I could type for days and never cover all the reasons I love you. I wanted you to have this, though, because someday I won't be around to tell you. And because someday I will be around, but you won't believe me anyway. Those days will eventually pass, but in the meantime, these words to you will live on forever.

You are my daughter, my one perfect gift from above. I cannot remember my life before you were in it, and I cannot imagine my life without you now.

So, my precious baby girl, happy birthday to you. The first five years has been a blast, and I cannot wait for all the years to come.

Happy Birthday, Angel. Mommy loves you BIG much!

PS - Daddy loves you, too, but he just doesn't blog it to the world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tis the Season! Well, almost anyway.

I'm in trouble. MrG caught me whistling Carol of the Bells in the kitchen today as I waded through the junk mail. Clearing his throat loudly, he officially put the kibosh on the Christmas carols, at least until December 3.

Most of you know me very well, and you know that Christmas is without fail my very favorite time of the year, but there are other things to celebrate first.

This is a big week for holidays in our family. LittleG turns five on Thursday, then we have the annual Pilgrimage to Pecos for Thanksgiving. We see my inlaws precious few times each year, so any time we get with them is special time.

My dear sweet brother-in-law has a birthday sometime on or around Thanksgiving, I can't ever seem to get it straight. And I will forget, as I do every year, to remember him appropriately.

My BFF's birthday is coming up on December 2nd, then the Christmas season officially kicks off.

And so it will begin. You think I had lots of things to say this season about politics? Heck, I haven't even been interested in politics until this year! I've been obsessed with Christmas now for 41 years, so I have lots and lots to share with you during the next month.

In the meantime readers, please send happy birthday wishes to my little Doodlebug of Love as we celebrate her birthday. Think about Jhn (yes, that's what we call him). And take time out next week to be grateful for what you have.

If you need some inspiration, click here: My Thanksgiving Blessing

My brain is already bubbling with lots of fun things, so check back soon. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thank you, Keith

I have to tell you all I'm straight. Married for nine years to a really great guy, and happily, most of the time.

I never tried the Lesbian thing, not even that thing you're supposed to do in college a time or two. Never did the two girls on one guy thing, either. I'm just not wired that way.

But I have friends who are wired differently than I, and I've pondered more than once how it feels to be a gay man or woman, with the hate and prejudice and fear that they encounter. I am horrified that people in our country seek to take away the happiness and freedom that us straight folk enjoy.

Some folks believe homosexuality is a sin. I personally believe we have all sinned and fallen short, and I believe that it's not up to me to deem my sins any better or any worse than the next guy's sin. Who is to say that my sins of gluttony or pride or anger are any less eternally damning than a man's sin of sodomy? My sins are between me and my God, just as his sins are between him and his God.

I'm not sure why in the world the folks who are wired like me feel like they can or should change the behavior of the folks who are wired differently. I have personally never felt like the sanctity of my marriage is threatened by what anyone else chooses to do in his or her own bedroom or with his or her own partner of choice.

So what? Two guys want to hook up? That's as ok with me as two unmarried straight folk doing the horizontal bop. Truly, what they are doing has no effect on my marriage, or my happiness within the confines of my marriage. I've known plenty of straight people in really lousy marriages, and frankly, their relationships don't have any bearing on mine. So tell me, then, why the hell do people seem so intent on fighting this?

Keith Olbermann says it better than I ever could, so I guess I'll just quit typing now and let him take over.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Halloween Candy Oddness

There's something a bit unholy about the Chocolate Mix Skittles. They come in a bag and are just like the fruit Skittles, but instead of being fruity, they have chocolate sort of flavors. Same shape, same texture, just chocolatey and not fruity. Very odd.

Something is strangely familiar about the Vanilla skittle. It seems odd to say that it tastes like something else smells, but it's true in this case. This silly thing tastes just like one of those scented car deodorizer thingies that you hang in your car smells. Ok, that was an awkward sentence, but I think you know what I mean.

The Brownie Batter skittle actually looks a little purple, like something that's grape. I have artificial grape flavored candy issues, so that probably deserves its own blog entry. Anyway, kind of sickly sweet, but really nothing like I think a brownie or its batter would taste. And it certainly doesn't taste like grape, thank heavens!

There are two candies that are lighter in color - Smores and Chocolate Caramel. My little dinky package had two lighter colored skittles in it, and I cannot for the life of me figure out which flavor this was. Certainly didn't seem like graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows. And nothing about that candy said Caramel to me. So, I'm at a loss.

And I got totally hosed on the Chocolate Pudding ones. Not a single one to be found in the little package. Might be a good thing, though, since they might be as nasty as the other flavors.

I think the good folks at M&M Mars should know that you shouldn't fix it if it ain't broke. Fruit Skittles = good, Chocolate Mix Skittles = not so much.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A message from beyond, perhaps?

My dad died almost three years ago. While we were not particularly close, I do miss him. Imagine my surprise when I got this email at the office this morning:

Some people believe that when they find a penny, someone who has gone before us is sending them a cosmic shout out. Me? I prefer to think my dad has hijacked an email account from some random guy.

What's astounding about this is that I changed jobs two years ago, and he wasn't around when that happened. The old man is still sharp enough to track me down, after all this time.


It was a dark and stormy night. Ok, so it was only dusk, but it was getting dark fast. And it wasn't stormy, but in Texas in October, it could have turned stormy at any time. But I digress.

All Hallows Eve was upon us, and la familia de GarcĂ­a set out on our Annual Trick or Treat Pilgrimage around the hood.

Strange tradition this is. You start by going to your local mega mart to buy 10 pounds of Halloween candy to hand out to the neighbor kids. Then, as soon as it gets dark, you leave the house with your own kid dressed up in a get-up, that at least for us, involves Princess garb, AGAIN. Your kid knocks on the neighbors' doors, and essentially begs for their candy. After an hour or so of this, you go back to your own house and begin to pray fervently for the love of all that is holy that now all the neighbors will send their kids to your house. Because now you have not only the 10 pounds of candy you paid for, but also the 10 pounds of candy your kid managed to collect on the pilgrimage.

I understand from some of my clients in other states that when their kids trick-or-treat, the kids get candy and the grown ups get beer. That would have made this night even better!

Anyway, LittleG is looking adorable in her blue princess gown and tiara, with just the right mix of glittery make up and stick-on jewels. She is, by all accounts, the most beautiful princess in the hood. And the neighborhood little old ladies LOVE her.

Thank heavens MrG was along, because we really needed a pack mule, and he served the cause well. By the third house, we had accumulated a pretty yellow gift bag with a bright green bow, two plastic character doll toys, and a specially created ziploc bag, crammed with so much candy that it wouldn't fit into LittleG's bucket. Like I said, the neighbor ladies LOVE my kid.

So off we go, with me handling flashlight duty and MrG on bag duty. LittleG has her spiel. It goes something like this: Ring the bell, and when the grown up comes to the door, put on your most adorable princess face and shout Happy Halloween. Shove your bucket towards the candy bowl and say Trick or Treat, then earnestly say Thank You. If you're feeling particularly lucky, give them that spectacular smile and hope they shove more candy in your bucket.

We'd been at it awhile when we turned the corner and found a scary yard, decorated with inflatable creepy guys and plastic tombstones, covered in fog from the fog machine. And of course, the spooky scary music was playing from someplace. Suddenly, our little princess puffs herself up like a fish who sees itself in a mirror and begins stomping her feet, and begins yelling...."I AM NOT SCARED! I AM A BIG GIRL. AND MY. DADDY. HAS. MY. BACK!!!!"

TAKE THAT, SCARY MONSTER! And leave our kid alone.

I don't know how many years we have left of Halloween fun, but I can only hope they were as much fun as this one was for us.

And for all you readers at the office, YES, I am bringing the Halloween candy to share with you all!