Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Playlist

***Update 3/28 - so this is random. Perez Hilton had two posts that at Beyonce's kick-off concert on Thursday she sang both Alanis Morissette and Sarah McLachlan. Isn't that weird that I mentioned all three of them in my blog and then Beyonce sings them in her show?!?! Does Beyonce read my blog?!?!****

I have always appreciated music but I've never been a die hard fan of many musicians. When I am in the car by myself I tend to scan the radio, listening to 10 seconds of every station, listen to NPR, or classical. Also here in Albany CBS is on the radio so I will also listen to various tv shows. So while I may know all the words to Beyonce's "Single Ladies" it isn't so much because I love Beyonce but more because I've learned the words in my hours of scanning the stations.

Brian, on the other hand, is a music geek and is somewhat elitist when it comes to musical selections. Luckily, he is smart enough to not judge me by what I listen to. Or I should say, he's smart enough to not verbalize it.

Recently I was looking at my music preferences on Facebook and realized that if someone doesn't really know me they would be very confused by my selections - maybe I should change my music choices? I then felt a little bit of inner conflict. Why should I have to change my choices just because others will be perplexed by my list? Why is someone's playlist so important in determining who you are? Why do I feel like my playlist is the antithesis of what I am yet exactly who I am?

This actually occupied my thoughts for a number of days. No joke. Maybe I have a simple life, but to me this was an issue. And then I came up with an analysis for my apathy towards music. Basically, what it comes down to is this:

I like music that either makes me want to move (Just Dance by Lady Gaga) or makes me want to relax (Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole). Most other music is acceptable but it doesn't affect me.

I do remember a time when I liked music that made me think or had lyrics that meant something. Chick music from the late 90's especially - Alanis Morissette or Sarah McLachlan. I don't know why I stopped caring about music that actually means something except that maybe I finally needed music to help me zone out. It's easier to listen to brainless music like Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" and definitely easier to belt it out when I'm alone in the car. There is little else that can quickly make you feel better than yelling out a song in the car.

So for right now my favorite music is going to be anything that has a fun beat or anything that will help me calm down. Those are my only categories for music appreciation at this point in my life. And if people want to use that as a reason to judge who I am then I am satisfied with that.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rare Spare Time

I cannot remember the last time I had this much spare time on my hands, unfortunately it wasn't good circumstances that brought me this time.

I spent Monday at home with the kids since my mother wasn't back in town yet from her mini-vacation. I was home again with the kids Wednesday and Thursday because my mother made an emergency trip to Rochester to be with my uncle who thought he'd scare the crud out of all of us by having another heart attack. Thankfully, Uncle Loren is on the road to recovery despite his hospital room being occupied by my Aunt Linda and my mother and a bunch of my cousins for two days. If he survived that much time with Linda and Lila in a teeny, tiny hospital room, he is, indeed, a strong man. There are a lot of commas in that sentence and I doubt they are being properly used.

So I have had three days at home and I've organized and cleaned out almost everything that I can. Including my eight purses. I don't use all eight at once, obviously, and most days I just stick with my black purse in the winter and a light pink one in the summer. The rest are randomly used as I see fit.

I wouldn't have thought this cleaning would be worthy of a post but I don't have much to post lately (see previous posts on FLOWERS BLOOMING as proof) and I was amazed at the amount of stuff that I found in all these bags.

Here is the list, in no particular order:
2 business cards
4 splenda packets
1 ipod shuffle (I was wondering where that thing went)
6 paper clips
1 Thomas the Train (I'm sure Jamie was wondering where that went)
1 half eaten South Beach Diet breakfast bar
7 pens
3 pieces of gum
1 cough drop
1 mint
1 lactaid (note: I haven't needed lactaid since I was pregnant with Jamison - 2 years ago. Apparently I don't clean out my purses often enough)
1 Barnes & Noble receipt from August 2008
1 coloring book page from The Picture People (Lily colored it while we were waiting for our pics in November)
1 gate check bag (This was from my trip to Searcy for Reagan's wedding. This was the flight that I literally had to jump from the jetway onto the plane because I was so late for the flight. This was also the day that I started reading Twilight....memories....)
1 e-ticket for this same Little Rock trip
1 Heritage Inn room key (also from Little Rock trip...that bag hadn't been cleaned out since November)
2 lotions
2 free panty cards from Victoria's Secret....expired...I hate when that happens
1 hair clip
2 chap sticks (anyone who knows me should be surprised that there weren't more than 2. And that I would let 2 chap sticks disappear in the depths of a bag)
1 travel pack tums

So I can't say that my life is so exciting that my children have cows named after them or anything like that, but at least I feel like everything in my home is clean and organized. Is anyone else finding fun things while doing your spring cleaning?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Flower Watch '09 Friday - Monday

I cannot wait to put all these flower pictures together for the kids. I should say Lily since Jamison only pretends to care. He is just excited that we're letting him outdoors again. I'm going to try to make a huge chart to plaster on one of our walls showing the daily progress. In one months time I'm sure I'll just have Lily look at the pictures on my computer and ignore the whole "hands on" idea.

I've divided my flower watch into five groups - single crocus, single tulip, group of crocus, daffodil bunch, and group. (honestly, if this bores you, you should just find another blog right now. I won't be offended). I'll post the pictures so that they are in their group and I'll label them according to the day I took the picture.

WARNING - this is not interesting in any way. I am posting this purely for selfish reasons.

Saturday March 21 - the whole garden area. Daffodils are on left, bunch of crocus to daffodils right. The rest are too small to see.
Sunday, March 22.
Monday, March 23. Temperatures plummeted. It was 22* at 9am when I took this picture.

Friday, March 20 - crocus.

Saturday, March 21 - crocus. Happy Birthday to me! My gift was a bloomed crocus. Lily was so excited that it was purple.

Sunday, March 22.
Monday, March 23 - crocus. Out of no where Jamison has expressed an interest in this flower only. He wouldn't move to let me get a better shot. He was gently petting the flower but I was scared that he would rip it out of the ground and try to eat it.

Friday, March 20 - these tulips are incredibly slow to bloom. The best thing about them is that they last the longest once they do bloom. When I first planted the bulbs years ago I tried to plant them in a fan of colors. They are now all over the place since we re-sodded and messed with the mulch.

Saturday, March 21.

Sunday, March 22.
Monday March 23.
Friday, March 20 - bunch of crocus.
Saturday, March 21.
Sunday, March 22.
Monday, March 23.
Friday, March 20 - daffodils. This is the best shot of the daffodils. I need to stop taking pictures from above and crouch down to take them.

Saturday, March 21.

Sunday, March 22. Do you see another purple crocus in the back of the daffodils?
Monday, March 23. I should just go outside now and take a better picture of these poor flowers. What an awful shot. But it's 30* and I don't feel like putting my coat on. So if you've made it this far in this post you are really faithful.

That's all for now. Don't worry it won't be all flowers in the next post.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Flower Watch '09

Each morning before I load the kids into the car we walk around the yard looking at the flowers that are just starting to pop out of the ground. Lily gets the most out of it and Jamison uses it as an opportunity to make a run for it. On Wednesday he actually pushed the double stroller down our inclined driveway and forgot to let go of it as it speeded towards the road. He was only dragged for a few feet before it (thankfully) off-roaded into our sideyard. I saw all of this out of the corner of my eye as I was talking to Lily about the beauty and wonder of God' creation in the springtime. It kinda ruined the moment.

I took pictures yesterday and today and so I thought I'd document the flower growth for the kids throughout the spring. Unfortunately for you it's a slow story week so.....onto pictures of my yard.

My daughter can't take a normal picture to save her life. She looks like she's presenting the flowers to the bidders in contestant row. So the next items up for bid are the crocus blossoms that have appeared.
(I allow her to choose her stockings and shows so that explains the red shoes with the navy and pink dress)

Here are our tulips.

And the daffodils.

And now for the growth between yesterday and today. Before we actually begin I should point out the following:
1. I didn't plan this comparison so my pictures aren't exactly from the same perspective. They're probably going to be difficult for you to even see.
2. I don't use any of the functions on my camera that would make these pictures better and I know I should. But I don't know how to use them.
3. If you are having difficulties falling asleep or problems staying asleep, just keep on reading. Get in bed, fluff your pillows, and dim your lights. Don't forget to set your alarm.
So here we go.
Wednesday March 18 - crocus. We have lots of yellow, a few whites, and we usually have some purples if the squirrels don't eat them.
Thursday March 19 - crocus. You can see how they've completely opened now. The daffodils are the green leaves near the bottom left.

Wednesday March 18 - crocus, I think.

Thursday, March 19 - now I'm pretty sure it's crocus. This picture is really bad since it doesn't appear to be in focus and the color is bleached out of the flowers. But I promise that these are the same flowers as in the picture above.

Wednesday, March 18 - crocus

Thursday March 19 - crocus about to be attacked by 21 month old monster. You can almost hear the ground shake as he thuds closer to his prey.

The untimely death of some young crocus. Squirrels and rabbits love these blossoms. They don't usually leave any petals behind though so this was a hasty killer.

Now if you are all lucky I will forget to take pictures tomorrow.

On a final note I have to make a correction about an earlier post. For my birthday night out last Saturday I noted that my mother reluctantly babysat my children. To clarify - she was more than willing to babysit the children but the time frame was the issue. It was worked out and I should have be more clear in my statement about her willingness to babysit. Of course now she's somewhere in the Caribbean so I doubt she even cares.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SPRING...for now.

Now that the weather has consistently reached above 40* I would like the world to know that the Whitt family THANKS GOD for the wonderful weather we have had for the past few days.

Jamison is so much happier outside! Naturally, he is still letting us know when he has a different opinion - we're just trying to guide that behavior in the proper direction at this point. But when he hears that we're going for a walk that boy is pulling his coat off the hook trying to get ready.

I admit that I am ready for the surprise spring snowstorm that we usually get but we'll take advantage of every minute watching the crocus and daffodils slowly peep their little blossoms out of the ground.

Pictures soon!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Night Out

So If I lived near my sister and her husband, Mark, I would go out on dates with Mark every weekend. Of course, Brian would be with us. The three of us have a deep love for food. It actually doesn't matter if it's a nice restaurant or not as long as the food is DELICIOUS. Mark, Brian, and I love trying new foods and eating A LOT. My sister, on the other hand, prefers mozzarella sticks. When she's feeling wild she'll branch out and have chicken fingers. Occasionally she'll order french onion soup. That's fancy food for her.

So coincidentally, Brian and I and Kristen and Mark all went out to dinner tonight...985 miles apart. Mom and dad offered (reluctantly) to watch the kids so Brian and I could celebrate my birthday a week early and Mark and Kristen had a gift certificate and most likely used their live-in babysitter to watch the twins.

And it was before appetizers that I received this picture:

Mark was excited about his food. Kristen titled it "Tomatoes and Cheese." The mean side of me wanted to write back: "you mean caprese salad?" But I didn't want to confuse her.

So I sent her this picture:

I thought it was a little trendy and therefore not necessary, but our restaurant offered a variety of sea salt with the meal. We've been offered varieties of olive oils and mashed potatoes but never sea salts. I'm a fan of salt and I do love sea salt but what is the point of having four different salts on the table? It's not like you can just take a spoon and eat a bite.
And we texted all through dinner. Here is a sampling:
Katie: I ordered a duck taco appetizer with a mango salsa in a Parmesan shell and an encrusted sea bass for my entree.
Kristen: That's exactly what I ordered!!!
Katie: What did Mark order? (what was the point of asking what she ordered?)
Kristen: We're at a steakhouse so we both ordered steak.
----------10 minutes goes by-----------
Kristen calls: So Mark just got a new client and he wants to support her.
Katie: ok?
Kristen: Well she plays roller derby so we're in line to watch the Nashville Rollergirls.
Katie: You're going to a roller derby game?
Kristen: Yes, we just ate at a 4 star restaurant and now we're going to watch roller derby.
Katie: I can't beat that.
And then she sends me a picture as proof:
The home team. Mark's clients game name is Fully Addomatic...because her real name is Addie.

Kristen: There is an odd number of children here.
Katie: Their moms are racing. Familial support.
Kristen: I would give anything for you to be here to see this.
Katie: Can you take pictures?
Kristen: I can, but it doesn't do the national anthem done on the fiddle justice or the fact that it's sponsored by pabst blue ribbon beer.
Katie: I haven't told you about our recent St. Patrick's celebration experience.
Kristen: Please tell me it doesn't involve Pabst blue ribbon beer.
Katie: No, our restaurant was in downtown Albany and apparently our reservations were for an hour after the St. Patrick's Day parade ended. Let's just say there was A LOT of green and drunks. Driving was interesting since drunk people consider the street the sidewalk when they can't differentiate between the two.
Kristen: Mark just told me he wants me to go to the Nashville Rollergirls open auditions.
Katie: What would your nickname be?
Kristen: I don't know. But randomly Nicole Kidman is here.
Katie: What!??! You have to get her picture! Are you sure it's here? Is Sunday with her because that would be odd.
Kristen: No, it looks like she's with a girlfriend.
Katie: Are you sure it's here? That sounds weird.
Kristen: Yeah, I thought so too. I keep watching because when she gets up I'm going to intercept her.
Katie: Try to hear if she has an accent.
Kristen: Ok, I just met her. She wouldn't let me take her picture because she had to say no to other people. But she shook my hand and I got to talk to her!
Katie:Did she have an accent?
Kristen: Yes it was her. Very tall.
Katie: That's your proof!?!?
Kristen: Katie. it was her. I talked to her. She was leaving because of all the camera flashes.
In the end, until I see a picture or read on that Nicole Kidman was at the Nashville Rollergirls roller derby game I will put money on the fact that my sister shook hands with a transvestite who is the next contestent on RuPaul's reality show Drag Race. She was at a roller derby game, after all.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our Little Annie Leibovitz

Ever since Brian got his iPhone Lily has been addicted to taking pictures with it. At first we only let her do it when we were all in the same room so she wouldn't accidentally hurt the precious phone. We soon realized that if we let her roam around the house with it she would stay occupied for up to 30 minutes. The risk was worth it. After she returns the phone Brian deletes all the ones that look like this:

Those make up 90% of her pictures. The remaining 10% I have divided into two categories: Princesses and People.

This was the picture Lily sent to Nana when she wanted her to make "The Rippin' Dress". It was after my Saturday morning breakfast and devouring of the paper so the table is a mess.

The next four pictures show a montage that I think is thoughtful for a four year old. This is how I think they should be titled in their gallery:

Prince with Slipper - Silenced by Beads.

Cinderella Alone with Remaining Slipper. (Beads represent her entrapment by her step mother and step sisters)

On the Verge.

Reunited! The Prince and Cinderella are bookended by the slippers that brought them together and united by the circle of beads representing their never ending love. I have no explanation as to why they're so far apart.

The majority of pictures she takes of us are blurry. Here are three taken at a sing that we recently went to. Nikky had no idea that she was also in this picture. Jamison was going crazy so I was holding him upside down. The blood rush slows him down for about 17 seconds. Oh what a wonderful 17 seconds they are!

Poor Nikky got cut out of this one. I'm sure this has hurt her feelings.

She really likes taking pictures of Jamison. Unfortunately, her talent for blurry pictures and his talent for moving non-stop lead to doubly blurry pictures.
Watching golf, I'm sure.

At the diner, eating dinner. Jamison, naturally, is not sitting. At least he's not under the table.

Family portrait. If I had only remembered that Lily put a white bow in my hair this would not have been a bad picture at all.

I deleted about 30 of the other pictures since only Brian and I could ever determine what they were of. I figured these few were torture enough.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Quick Trip

Last month dad and I had a trade show in Orlando ( not tell Lily what is in Orlando). My grandparents were wintering in their RV about an hour away in Zephyrhills so we went to go see them after we set up the booth in the exhibit hall (absolutely no fighting between dad and I so it was a success!).

Coincidentally, my Aunt Kathy was also visiting them from Little Rock so we had a little family reunion. It was interesting to hear dad and Aunt Kathy talk about how they grew up in the next town over - Lakeland-and how things were when they were little.

I'll leave out the part where I finally succumbed to the pestilence that made it's way through my entire household and encamped in me while I was out of town. Let's just say that I was five pounds lighter by the end of it all. No complaints about that!

Before dad and I headed back to Orlando we took some pictures with my phone:
Mammy, dad, Aunt Kathy, and Grandpops.

Mammy, me, Aunt Kathy, and Grandpops. The RV made the perfect backdrop.

After church on Sunday I received this picture of Brian and Lily:

They went to Smokey Bones for lunch. For some reason Lily loves that restaurant. She doesn't really eat a lot of food unless it is sprinkled with candy so I can't say it's because she loves their cuisine. I think she just likes to say Smokey Bones.
And then Lily sent me this picture:

This is what you get when you teach a 4 year old how to take pictures on an Iphone. In the near future I will dedicate a post to her Iphone photographs - they are truly inspiring and deeply vague. Later she and Brian went bowling with our Young Families group while Jamie spent the afternoon with Grrrmam.
It's always tough on the kids when one of us is traveling and unfortunately I'm the one that is usually out of town. Thank goodness Brian is such a supportive husband who can take care of the office as well as our family! He only earned 100 gray hairs on this last trip - our goal is for less on the next one in April!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Trying Anything I Can

The kids had Monday off from school and on top of that the temperatures dropped and the snow fell. I was able to take them food shopping in the morning but by 11 we were trapped in the house with two hours to go until Jamison's naptime.
I was desperate so I pulled out my ace. We turned our furniture into a fort. This is what our family room usually looks like:
And this is what we turned it into:

We dumped Tulip out of one of the chairs, turned them so the backs became the top of the fort, and created a front porch out of the kids chairs. Later, Lily went on to add more blankets so that it was dark and hot like an Indian sweat lodge. Jamison wouldn't go near it at that point.

But before she turned it into her own little sauna they had a good time in it.

Jamison dragged in his huge bla bla (blanket) and sucked his thumb.

Lily also created a small skylight so she could still watch tv and be in the fort. I thought we should have a picnic lunch in the fort but she thought that was a crazy idea since people aren't supposed to eat on the floor.

Jamison did not understand the purpose of this fort like Lily did. He also didn't understand why he couldn't walk upright in it. So every time he tried to go in or out he would drag the sheet with him by his head. Lily would scream that he was "ruining everything!" and I would rebuild it. At one point she decided she would hold the sheet whenever he went in or out.

So now that I have showed them what we can do with our furniture I have a feeling we'll be doing this a lot more often. There's only so much you can do with weather like this!