Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Workin' 9 to 5!

The assignment - This week tell us about your favorite or least favorite job that you've had OUTSIDE of the home (we know the hardest job is being a Mom). Or just take a minute to document the jobs you've had.

So here goes...

BY A MILE, my favorite job was the one I had in college - Let me set you up - I was sure - SO sure - that I wanted an office assistant "type" job. I wanted to dress up, wear nice shoes, and greet people in a lobby. Sounds just like me doesn't it? :) So, I did the campus-girl thing to do - and went to the co-op office. The administrator set me up with a profile - username, password and all - I remember it like it was yesterday... SO, that night, I logged into the database of jobs and decided to take a peek around, not just at the "officey" positions, but ALSO at the nanny "wanted ads." THANK GOD I did!!!

It read something like this, "Wanted: Nanny for newborn twin boys." I was immediately interested. I called the phone number, set up the appointment, and the rest is history. My first day on the job, they turned 7 weeks old. AND, they were 7 weeks prematures, so you do the math! I think they were only about 5 to 6 pounds. Ever hooked up to monitors to read their heart rate, they seemed quite comfortable while I rocked those sweet sleepers... I remember LOTS of cooing, diapering, feeding and loving. Oh, and before I get ahead of myself, I have to divulge this minor detail... I worked there WHILE the mother was there!!! JACKPOT!

Because I need to go and watch Idol, I'll end sooner than later ... So, I did this for 2 years, till the day I got married and left town. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rockin' my baby

Thanks cousin Ali for the inspiration.

Maybe you've heard this poem before... Maybe you haven't. Well, I just love it! I'm posting it more for me than for anyone else... And, just for good measure, here are a couple of pictures to fit the occasion. Aly took this one of Josy and Charlie, and its one of my all-time favorite Aly pictures.


This is also one of my favorites - EVER. On Grandma Margarette's Porch. Easter Sunday 1985. Leah, Pa, and Joel Jr. (Somebody please tell me for sure what year it is - I can't figure out if Joel is 4 months or 16 months - To me, he looks about 10 months, so I'm very confused!)


Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Very, Very, Good Friday

I may not have any pictures to prove it (cause I forgot my camera - that's a whole 'nother post), but today, my older two boys and myself - yeah, we had a BLAST - with a capital B, and that rhymes with P and that stands for POOL!

Today, well, yesterday since it's 12:17 am, we spent the morning and afternoon out - downtown Raleigh, to be exact... At the Marbles Kids' Museum and then made out way outside to enjoy the 70 degree, absolutely PERFECT weather at the historic Pullen Park for lunch and even MORE play!

We three rode the "hobby horses" as Granny Carol affectionately calls them. I usually stand and protect the little guys - but luckily they're both at a place where a mommy is not quite as needed as she once was. So, there we were - Mommy up front - then Jackson and Brady side by side right behind. Just before the old man in the fold up metal chair put it into motion, I questioned the logic in choosing the one I did - "Should I have jumped on the one behind them - then I can watch their every move?" THEN, out of nowhere, a little girl darts to and climbs upon the back of that once-empty rabbit statue. Well Darn! ... Again - a seemingly unfortunate move is rather fortunate, afterall. Because from where I sat, just in front, I could turn and look - and see faces. So, what I am proud, even eager to report is - even without the physical pictures - the image is forever stamped into my memory...The grins, the laughter, and especially the thrill in their eyes and all over their beings were absolutely priceless.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A trip down Memory Lane...

Isn't that always the most fun?! Here are a few that made me giggle or were otherwise worth sharing... ;)

Jackson's work of art - his family tree - from his 3-year-old preschool class last year... 9/11/06

Brady Boo - apx 16 months ... 9/15/06

At a friend's Birthday Party at the Firestation - Brady was sad... 9/16/06

Sweet smiles...10/06/06

State Fair - Jackson at 3 years old... 10/19/06

Also at the State Fair - How could you tell?

Rodney scaring the pants off of many a trick-or-treater. 10/31/06

Rodney with his grandmother Louise - Affectionately known as "GG" ...11/14/06

Zac & Will in town for a visit... Too much fun! 12/20/06

Saydee, our firstborn... 12/23/06

Christmas Day 2006

Zoey Gray and Brady - God bless those sleep heads 12/29/06

The Christmas Holiday Photo Shoot of '06 - 12/30/06

Friday, March 14, 2008

You may not know that...

Let's go down the list shall we. :)

~Rodney used to want to be a weather man.
~He loves leggos. I've heard he was quite the little architect as a little boy - This skill abso-LUTELY comes in handy these days.
~He loves green. Match made in heaven, are we. :)
~He's never had a fever blister, never been further west than Chicago, and never watched The Sound of Music! LOL!
~He was a pitcher, and his High School pitching coach is now a Big League pitching coach!
~He's a steak and potato kinda guy. With Spring at our doorstep, The Holland Grill on our back porch is about to be resurrected! (We actually do grill out once or twice a week now, but still -come on SPRING!)
~His only major injury (that I'm aware of... or should I say "that I remember") was falling off a tree, and landing on a branch on the way down. (Picture shrimp on a skewer!) The scar on his leg is pretty gross.
~He's a big fan of UNC Tarheels, but all college basketball gets his adrenaline flowing!
~He's a collector at heart. This does NOT come in handy when there are 40-something superheros that "match" the first Wolverine and Spiderman purchase. Now it has continued for Cars cars... I believe we have about 25, and every trip to Walmart and Target includes a walk down that toy isle, boys in tow or not. LOL!
~His dream car after graduating from ECU was a Toyota Tacoma. It took us about 5 months to decide to take the plunge, and purchased it in May of 2001. He still drives it, and intends to till it has no more life left in it!
~He smells like heaven (that is, of course, if he's wearing my favorite cologne Aqua di Gio!)

ok, moving on....
~I miss high school. Scratch that - I miss the days of singing and performing on stage while in high school. Adelaide and Eliza Doolittle were dream characters, and I'll never forget how fun that was!
~I love green.
~I can't not tweek a recipe. I love to add an additional pinch of this, pinch of that - THEN, the recipe is complete!
~I spent over 10 minutes smelling different scents of Fabric Softener at walmart a couple nights ago. This is attributed to the following two revelations...
~I like to turn over EVERY stone. Wedding dress #35 was my choice, Boyfriend #25 was my choice to marry - KIDDING! But you get my drift...
~And, I love yummy smells. I remember my first Bath and Body Works spray. It was Sun-Ripened Raspberry. My all time favorite (from there) is Sugarplum. Reminds me of Tanya Best! :)
~I love main courses with sauces or gravy; Spaghetti, Enchiladas, Steak with Horseradish sauce, the list goes on and on... Oh, I almost forgot - Country Style steak! Gosh, I've got to do one more. Bojangles' Sausage Gravy Biscuits... that's enough for now...
~I have developed a new love for clorox. When I see that the last load in the hamper is all whites, I get kind of excited! LOL!
~I love Oprah and Ellen.
~I have to hold the remote when watching TV.
~I am realizing that hardwood floors are hard to keep clean...
~I love playing softball and volleyball. Basketball and soccer are for the birds. WAY too much running...

Mercy, this has gotten long, and he kids are running stir-crazy (Jackson's singing/shouting "RECIPE FOR DISASTER!") I have no idea where that came from!!! At least I know what my next post will be about.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What's In A Name?

What's in a name? That's the question this week on Tuesday Tell All. And this, my friends, is my first OFFICIAL week posting on it - correctly (*I hope*)...

I toyed with the idea of telling about how we chose our kids' names. But not for very long. This time it's going to be about the mama! This mama, in fact. My name at birth was Leah Margarette Hancock. I also answer to Emily, Joella, Alyson, Joel, Mike, Emaleah Joalyson (thank you Brent!), and Leah Margarette Hancock Junior. I've been told if there were such a thing as a Margarette Junior, I'd have been it. For that, I am immensely proud and touched. I do recall (are you as surprised as I am? - I recall something! HALLELUJAH!) pretty clearly what it was like having the name Leah Margarette Hancock, as a little girl. I didn't really care for Margarette. It was too different from the Anns, Maries, and Jeans that oftentimes followed a classmate's first name. It was long, kindof embarassing to say, for some reason, and basically not the best fit for me... Or so I thought...

Somewhere amid the growing pains of a young girl's teenage years, however, things changed. I realized, in small part, the gift I was given. I was given the name of my kind and dear grandmother. She is no longer with us, but because I'm here, and because my parents chose to pass along her name to me, she is somehow still here. (It's not just the name I got from her, by the way. Just ask my dad if he's heard Grandma Margarette laugh lately!)

Why don't I tell a few things that help to give some insight... What I recall (just about every day) about Margarette Lewis Hancock. Here's her picture, by the way...

I'm so glad this picture was saved on our family site. This picture was taken in July of 1990. It was the day of my 80-year-old grandfather's baptism. He's front and center, beside Grandma Margarette. I'm also up front, in the pretty white dress and big blonde bangs. Although you can't see it - the grosgrain bow atop my head was probably placed with a great deal of (caution - Bushism ahead!) STRATEGERY! Thank goodness I don't have to do that every day anymore. That's another Tuesday topic. ;)

Back to Grandma. I remember the countless Sunday afternoons spent in her yard, climbing trees, walking on white fences, counting cars, and chasing cousins. If there wasn't homemade light bread to sopp up the molasses, it was because we were too late, and all the goods were gone. I remember the afternoons she'd take me to town to pick out something special. My favorite find of all was always a pair of plastic high-heel shoes from the dime store. I was also pretty fond of Lee press-on nails, and I have a feeling, looking back now, that she probably spent the rest of the day worried I was going to glue my fingers together. I can still smell the glue! I remember her knee brace, her glasses, her handwriting, her beautiful blue eyes and her soft white hair. I remember the way she'd smile when I'd walk up to her for a hug, a kiss, and a smell. I remember the way she'd say "Don't I LOVE YOU!?!!!!" I remember what the inside of her kitchen cabinets looked like, and the way she'd save every drop of her drink till after her meal was all done. I remember caring for her as a teenager, when she was sick. I remember wishing those days with her would never end.

She was the epitome of good-natured, loving and kind. She was a do-gooder, and always let her extensive family and friends know how much they were loved. One day, a few years back, I was riding along in the car all alone. I was in a contemplative mood, and was really missing her. I felt her with me, though. I don't just think she was, I know she was. It was one of the most surreal experiences I've ever had. I can remember exactly where I was driving when it was happening, and 9 times out of 10, I think of her with I ever drive back through...During those moments of blissful reunion, I felt her tender spirit communicating with me, that she was proud of me. And that she's always with me...

"Way back when," when I didn't like the name... I was young... And frankly, I didn't know any better. But now I do. I know that to be named Leah Margarette Hancock, for many more reasons than I've found words to mention here tonight, was the greatest gift I could have ever been given. Thank you Ma and Pa!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tell All Tuesday

Now as far as I know, Tell All Tuesday is supposed to be a list of some sort... Like, List all the places you like to shop for clothes... Or list all of the websites you visit on any given day... Well, my thoughts turn to blonde moments... And the problem is, if I listed them all, I'd sit here all day, and only scratch the surface (This is assuming, of course, that I could even remember all of them...) SO, I'll just go this route - The #1 blonde moment of this past week... Maybe even month... Maybe even year!

I think it was last Tuesday... Rodney was going to be home from work soon, and I had two things that would "work" on the menu for that night... One was some sort of stir-fry chicken over rice... and the other was a rack of ribs that needed to be cooked soon, or else it'd expire in my fridge... I decided to go ahead and prepare both, and whatever was left over would be fine... leftovers.

Dinner went fine - We all ate the chicken and rice, the timer on the ribs soon went off, and I decided to let the ribs just sit in the oven for that extra 1/2 hour while the oven was cooling off, back down to room temperature.

The next day - I remember the ribs. How crazy is that?! I forgot to take them out - and think to myself - I wished I had just thrown them away to begin with, instead of spending the afternoon boiling, basting, baking, re-basting, re-checking... Anyhoo, they were as good as trash...Hold on, it gets better...

Fast forward to the end of last week... And the weekend, for that matter... Fast food was our friend. I think we've had Bojangles 3x in the last week... Throw in some Taco Bell, some McDonalds, and some Lean Cuisines, and you've got our less-than-perfect dinner menu... Fast forward to last night (6 days after the story began). The oven is on preheat for the FRIES I'm about to throw in on a cookie sheet (They would go perfectly with the made-from-scratch cheeseburgers that are about to be thrown on the grill)- I'm a serious cook, can you tell? Wait - What's that smell? MMMMMM... Kinda barbecue-saucey... Kinda like burning? No longer MMMMMMM.... More like... ucgh!!! There's even a little (gulp) SMOKE coming from the oven vent... Of course, when I see that, I am thinking "WHAT HAVE I DONE!? Have I COOKED A CHILD that had climbed in without my knowing it?!?"

Oh yeah. The RIBS of course. I laughed... a Margarette Laugh... And threw the week-old ribs in the woods. There's a happy bear out there somewhere, this morning. And a baking pan on my counter still soaking in the dish soap.