Day 10: Your favorite room in your house.
One of the things that made this house so appealing to us was the big basement den/family room. We instantly knew that this would be the room in which we spent most of our time — it was perfect for us, with plenty of room for Coraline to play and in which to entertain guests. (To the left of that three-headed lamp, just around the corner, is our home gym. And adjacent to that is the kitchenette.) After almost exactly two years of living here, this is indeed our most-used room in the house. And, dare I say, most popular — whenever our nephews come to visit, they immediately want to go downstairs. Rich, Coraline, and I spend every evening together in here, from the time we get home from work until Coraline’s bedtime. We watched Coraline learn to crawl and then walk and then run in this room. We held her first birthday party here. We’ve had gaming sessions and new year’s get-togethers here. It’s the room the entire extended family retreated to after Thanksgiving dinner. It’s where I held a chick-flick-a-thon back in February (and hopefully another one at the end of this month). And this Saturday, it will be the room in which we host my parents’ 40th(!) wedding anniversary party (thanks to my sisters for getting the ball rolling on that). I’ll be consulting with the siblings the next couple of days to figure out what decorating route we want to go. I’m thinking nothing too fancy since (1) it’s for a cookout and (2) the room looks like a Howard Johnson room frozen in time. Seriously — I cannot wait until we can afford to redo this whole room. And yet wait I must. Sigh.
You should see this room after Coraline and her cousins have trashed it.
Day 9: Your most treasured item.
I never really got to know my paternal grandparents. They lived in Puerto Rico, and neither they nor my parents had enough money to make frequent visits a possibility; travel from Houston to P.R. wasn’t cheap. One of the very few memories I have of them involved my parents and their friends getting the bright idea to pick bananas right out of the trees in (I believe) El Yunque National Forest on one of our visits to P.R. You know what I remember about that particular excursion? Sitting in the car after with my abuelo when cockroaches started pouring out of the trunk into the backseat with us. Turns out there were roaches living in those banana bunches. It’s a wonder I don’t flat-out faint at the sight of cockroaches to this day. Or bananas.
My better memory is of my abuela cooking for us (an abuela will never let you go hungry) and swinging in a hammock with my abuelo. That’s it. That’s all I can remember about them on my own. My last visit with both of them was when I was 3 or 4 years old. I saw my abuela again when my dad and I flew to Puerto Rico for Abuelo’s funeral when I was 11 1/2 years old. And on that visit, Abuela Maria gave me a religious medal that she and my abuelo had purchased for me years before. I wore that necklace every day from then on, only taking it off when I visited a beach, pool, or amusement park. I tucked it into my shirt if it didn’t match whatever other jewelry I was wearing (I prefer silver or white gold), slept with it on, and even wore it in the shower. Which is why, one day about 10 years ago, it was sheer luck that I happened to look at the floor of my shower just in time to spot the medal floating toward the drain. In a blind panic, I stepped on it at the last second, preventing it from disappearing down the drain. My mom took it to a jewelry store to repair the broken loop that led to the medal falling off. I stopped wearing it every day.
It now pretty much lives in my jewelry box, but every now and then I pull it out to look at it. It’s literally the only tangible gift I have from my abuela and abuelo, and I feel safer knowing where it is at all times than I do risking wearing it and maybe losing it. But after tonight, I might just start wearing it while I sleep so I can feel like I have my grandparents with me again.
Day 8: A birthday celebration.
I’ve had birthdays on the mind a lot lately: Coraline will turn two(!) in September, so I’ve been wracking my brain thinking about what to do, what would be age-appropriate, what theme she’d like (I’ll take a wild guess and say Elmo). She won’t remember her party, but I will.
There are two birthday celebrations of mine that I distinctly remember. One was a party at Chuck E. Cheese. While I can’t remember too many specifics, I do remember my sister Samantha seated across the table from me when Chuck E. himself came up behind her to say hi to our table. She turned around, looked up, and let out a scream that only a toddler could make, one that the astronauts in orbit probably heard clear as a bell in outer space. Her reaction pretty much made that party for me.
The other childhood birthday party that I distinctly recall is one we held at our house, I believe the last one I celebrated in Houston before we moved to Knoxville. I remember having a lot of friends over, and we watched cheesy movies, including at least one starring Elvira*. But what I remember more than anything, still clear as a bell, is the awesome cheeseburger birthday cake my mom got me from our favorite local bakery. (Oh, to be able to travel back in time to eat more of the donuts that bakery made.) I think it’s because that is still such a great birthday memory for me — that cake, the likes of which I’d never seen before — that I hope to make one just as memorable for Coraline someday. I’ll be sure to wait until she’s old enough to remember it.
I remember that cake being as beautiful as this one. (Get the recipe here.)
*I didn’t know until I wrote this post that Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira, and I share the same birthday. Synergy!
Day 7: Something you use every day.
My car? Most days. Our DVRs? Usually. My eyes? Definitely every day. My laptop? More often lately, but not every day. My brain? That’s debatable — do partial days count? (You know, those days when you just can’t seem to focus no matter what — oy vey.) So I think I’m going to have to go with my iPad. Whether I’m using it to check email, schedule bids on eBay auctions, let Coraline play a game, waste (way too much) time playing Angry Birds Space of Plants vs. Zombies, read news stories, catch up on blogs I follow, update my own blog, or just check the weather forecast, I use my iPad every day now. Which is great, because almost immediately after I bought it I wondered if I hadn’t just bought my most expensive paperweight ever. Thankfully, that did not turn out to be the case.
Coraline playing either Monkey Preschool Lunchbox or Elmo Loves ABCs, or watching Elmo and Sesame Street videos on YouTube.
Day 6: A favorite memory.
Ah, so many favorite memories to choose from. For this blog prompt challenge, though — and because I’m such a mom now — I’m going to have to say the first time I heard Coraline cry. After a pretty great pregnancy that ended up including a preterm labor scare followed by weeks of having to take a pill every four hours around the clock to keep Miss Baby under lock and key until she was fully cooked, hearing her healthy cry was the best sound in the whole world. I remember feeling helpless on the operating table after my unplanned (but not emergency) C-section, waiting to see her, when I asked “Is she alright?” Coraline immediately responded with loud, angry cries, and I burst into tears. And now here we are 19 1/2 months later, and I am still in awe of this amazing little girl who I made from scratch.
Newborn Coraline, 9/23/10
Day 5: Your day.
Woke up, gave Coraline breakfast.
Met my parents, sis, nephew, and friend at Roman’s for our monthly pizza lunch.
Dragged sis and nephew (along with Coraline) to Bed, Bath & Beyond and then Target to pick up home necessities.
Went home, put Coraline down for a nap, and caught up on Private Practice while she slept.
Had a long-overdue Skype session with my best friend/Coraline’s godmother, Caren.
Dinner followed by outside time on the downstairs patio where Coraline kept her eyes glued on the neighbor boys playing soccer.
Put Coraline to bed, washed some dishes, and started the dishwasher (see what domesticity gets you?).
Tried to unwind.
Went outside with the spouse to take photos of Supermoon. Tada!
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Supermoon!
Came inside and wrote this post.
Day 4: An experience that made you who you are today.
This one’s a no-brainer: Giving birth to Coraline. Before Miss Baby came along, Rich and I had a great life together. But after 10 years of it being just the two of us, Coraline made our life together a fully complete one. I mean, look at this kid. How could I not be happy just being around her? She was definitely worth the wait.
Day 3: Your favorite show.
I’m going to have to say The Simpsons. It’s been on the air more than half my life at this point, and I watch reruns every night to lull me to sleep (think of it as comfort TV) thanks to the 15 seasons I have on DVD (1-14 and 20). When the day comes that its last new episode airs, I’ll probably need to go into therapy. Again.
Besides, how could I not love The Simpsons after their (locally) legendary Knoxville World’s Fair episode?
Day 2: The person (or people) that make your world go around.
I don’t want to run the risk of forgetting to list someone, so I’ll go with the weenie answer of my friends and family. But I will admit this little beauty is at the center of my world:
Photo taken 4/14/12
In order to kick myself in the proverbial pants and get back into/make time for updating ye olde blogge here on a semi-regular basis, I’m doing a 31-day blog prompt challenge. I can’t remember now where I found the list, but here it is in its entirety, followed by today’s post:
- A photo of yourself with 10 facts.
- The person (or people) that make your world go around.
- Your favorite show.
- An experience that made you who you are today.
- Your day.
- A favorite memory.
- Something you use every day.
- A birthday celebration.
- Your most treasured item.
- Your favorite room in your house.
- A photo that makes you laugh.
- Something you do every day.
- How you relax.
- One thing you want to do before you die.
- Something that bugs you.
- Your least favorite chore.
- Are you named after anyone?
- Something you are afraid of.
- A skill you’d like to learn.
- Your biggest insecurity.
- Something you love about yourself.
- Your favorite holiday.
- How you came up with the name of your blog.
- Your favorite book or author.
- Something you are looking forward to.
- The best gift you’ve ever received.
- Your favorite meals or recipes.
- If someone gave you $1,000 to spend on YOURSELF, what would you buy?
- Your dream vacation.
- Your spouse or significant other.
- Free day. Whatever you like!
Day 1: A photo of yourself with 10 facts.
- I’m writing this late at night after attending the fabulous Death Cab for Cutie/Magik*Magik Orchestra concert at the Tennessee Theatre.
- I’ve lived in the South for 25 years and have never tried grits.
- I think my naturally dark hair looks like a bad dye job when compared to my daughter’s much lighter hair.
- I wish sleep make-up days were a real thing and a legitimate excuse for work.
- I have Spidey sense when it comes to detecting unmarked/hidden police cars when I’m driving.
- President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863. (Hey, the prompt list says 10 facts. It didn’t say they all have to be about me.)
- I love that most days at work I actually learn something new by virtue of what I edit.
- I’m amazed at the number of people who land on my blog by using the search term “Good Will Humping.” Especially of late. (Seriously, did they make a sequel?)
- I continue to hold out hope that the reality TV craze will wane. But I admit it’s been a long, frustrating wait so far.
- I hate that my eyes are usually so exhausted after a workday spent on the computer that it’s almost painful to read at night.
Lastly, here’s my mugshot.
Snapped by the spouse