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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday Tee Ball

Just in case anyone was wondering what we will be doing every Saturday morning from now through May, we will be at the American International school for Jeremy's Tee Ball games. This Saturday, it was Environmental Day ( I have talked about that in a previous post) so, his tee ball game didn't start until 11:30. It was really nice to sleep in, but let me tell you..after living here for 18 months, I am still not accustomed to the amount of heat and humidity here during the dry season (even though I have lived in New Orleans and Houston). I have to admit it is better to have the games at the regular time of 8 a.m. and not have to have the kids endure all the heat out on the field. But, Jeremy and his buddy, Samuel ( also in Pre- K) didn't seem to mind a bit.:)

Guy is Jeremy's personal coach out on the field.:)

Elizabeth and Guy watching Jeremy up to bat for the first time this season.

And, there's a hit!!!! Run!!!!
Really, don't stand there and watch the ball...RUN!!!!:)
Giving high fives after the game.
Jeremy really did an awesome job yesterday at his game He is so much more confident this year at playing than he was last year. He was eager to catch the ball and hit the ball off the tee. I had fun watching all the little ones out on the field....just maybe not the 90 plus degree heat!!:)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Back in the saddle...or the harmattan...again!

This week has really been an adjustment after being away from Lagos for six weeks. I think Jeremy is over his jet lag...but he is extremely tired. Yesterday, when he came home from school, we went to the pool and then to the playground. After he ate dinner, he laid on the couch and fell asleep by 7 p.m. We put him to bed and he didn't get up until 8 a.m. Elizabeth had a little harder time. She started out waking up more than 6 times a night and getting out of bed ( seriously, i lost count after i know it was more) when we first got only 2 times( because her covers came off) and not getting out of bed. Last night was the first good night of sleep i got since getting back here...Coffee has been my friend this week.:) I think my biggest adjustment is taking the malarone again. I swear that my brain takes a vacation when I am taking malarone. Today, I almost poured juice into Elizabeth's cereal...and I found my hairbrush in my underwear drawer. Two things I know I didn't do when I was in the states.:) But, I guess that is better than getting malaria!!
I think it is good that we can leave and come back often enough so that Lagos doesn't start to seem mundane to me. Whenever I come back, I am still amazed by the crazy things I have seen here. Yesterday, the police decided that would be out in full force and try to stop the okadas from driving on the expressway. When we were taking the off ramp from the bridge to take Elizabeth to school, I saw passengers getting literally dumped off the okadas by the drivers and the drivers actually weaved their way through the cars( right past mine) in the opposite direction of traffic. I couldn't figure out what was happening, but then I saw the police at the bottom of the ramp with batons (to beat the unruly okada drivers) taking some unlucky okada drivers' motorcycles. No telling when the police will decide to come back and take okadas again....that is why the okada drivers are so crazy...there is no consistency from the government...
Two drivers in front of us ( in cars) were arguing with each other and holding up traffic in both of the lanes they were driving in. Their fists were swinging at each other out the windows.

The men are still peeing on the sides of the roads.

There was a woman walking through the street wearing only a pants....wandering aimlessly begging for money... That is one thing that I never get used to...the overwhelming destitution and poverty here. I feel it especially when i leave and come back and see it with fresh eyes again.

On Tuesday, a woman and her baby were knocking on my window while the car was stopped begging for money...

Before you can have a phone conversation with a Nigerian person, you have to have a proper greeting. You can't just answer the phone and say hi. The other person will Say ," Good afternoon." and there will be a long pause which is where you are supposed to say " Good Afternoon" Then the other person will say " How are you?" and you answer and then, they identify themselves...and there are about 4 other niceties that occur before the other person gets to the point of why they called in the first place...and you get the picture. That is fine...but when the security guards call your flat about 5 times a day everyday and you know it is the security guards and you have to go through the whole thing again for the smallest little things... it can get a little annoying. I guess in that way, I am just "very American"....I just want to get to the point when I am having a conversation...

Of course, there are also the good things when we come back. I get to see the great friends I have made here who join me for wine time down by the pool. The smiles on Nigerians' faces are great!! Nigerians have the biggest brightest smiles I have seen anywhere.:) The kids love their schools. We all get to see Happiness again.:) Having here here to help me has been the biggest blessing I could have ever had while living here....she is truly one in a million!!!

So, all in has been an okay matter where you are I guess you take the good with the bad.....and don't forget the you can always appreciate the good.:)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Washing the Car with Minerals

With Guy's company, every expat family receives a new car. Until the new car arrives, you use a "pool car". Some families wait a long time for the new our case, we waited about 18 months...and in a country where nice new things are really hard to come by, it is a big deal for the drivers to be able to drive a brand new car. So, when Happiness came to me the other day and told me that Fatai was going to "wash the car with minerals". I thought, "That's great...they don't even use the hose water to wash the new cars?? They have to use bottled mineral water!" I was wondering how much it would cost me to buy the mineral water to wash the car every time it was dirty. When I asked Happiness about that...she started laughing...and I immediately knew I had gotten something wrong...
Before I explain what " washing the car with minerals" really means. I have to explain that words here are different than what I think they mean at times. The official language here is English ....British English and tie that in with over 400 tribal languages spoken in can lead to some confusion. So, when I hear the word biscuit..I think of my mom's awesome buttermilk biscuits hot out of the oven with melting butter....but here, when someone says means a cookie or sometimes crackers. If someone says doesn't mean a short little is a diaper. If someone says they need a isn't a man coming to pack my house up to is a dust pan. A jumper isn't a little dress my daughter would is a sweater. This is one that has gotten me a lot of weird looks especially from the guards on the compound......elevator. Here, the elevator is always called a lift...and many Nigerians don't have a clue what I am talking about when I say elevator. Of course there are also Nigerian words like okada ( motorcycle) and waholla( big problem) and others I can't think of right now...but I know you get the picture. Same language...different meanings...
Now, back to the "washing of the car with minerals". After Happiness was done laughing at me, She said "No, Madame, he isn't going to really wash the car." I looked at her really confused. "Washing the car means he is going to have a party and pass out soda to everyone." she said. Okay..I completely didn't get that one. Washing is the party and minerals means soda. So, I gave Happiness money to go out and get the supplies for a "car washing". I found out it has been a tradition on our compound for the driver of a new car to share "minerals" and "biscuits" with the other drivers and have a really happy " car washing". So, even after living here for 18 months...I am still learning something new.:)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Parallel Life

Today was Elizabeth's first day at her new "Big Girl" school. She has moved from going two times a week for two hours to everyday for four hours. I never really thought I would send her to school every day for four hours when I chose to stay at home with my kids...but in reality..there isnt much else for little ones to do in Lagos. There aren't any parks or streets we can take walks. Our compound is very nice...but the playgound here and the swimming pool can get really boring for a little one if that is all there is to do day in and day out. So, she is off to school. I have to say that she did a great job. I planned on staying with her for an hour today and then see how she was. When we were walking into the school, she said," Bye Mommy!" I wasn't ready for that at all. She is so differnt from her brother who would cling to me for dear life. I do have to say it is kind of refreshing...but also makes me feel a little sad that she doesn't need me quite so much anymore. She was so happy to go in and play with the other kids and when she saw the drama room with all the dress up clothes, she was absolutely sold!:)

It was interesting today that I was really feeling guilty that I sent her to school every day so early, and then I got an e-mail from a dear friend of my mom and dad's. She was an expat wife and totally understands what it is like to move with young kids. Her children are in college now, but she always drops me a line every now and then to let me know she is thinking of us over here and offers her support. Today she wrote me that she always felt like she was living two separate but parallel lives. One of her lives she said is that of a "suburban mom" and the other is that of a " nomadic expat". I thought that was very interesting to me and suddenly a light bulb went off in my head. That was exactly how I feel. Yesterday and today I have been thinking, "Who was that girl who got in her car and drove to the store herself? Who were those kids who were able to play outside in dust free air and play on a great playground? Who were those people who could take walks on safe streets without worrying about being robbed or hit by a runaway okada?" Of course, it was myself and my kids in our separate universe of "suburban life". When I come back here, it is really crazy to me how well the kids adjust to living their nomadic life. They don't ask questions about why we don't drive ourselves anywhere or why there aren't any other parks to play at or why we don't go on walks here. It is just their "life" here. I thought to myself today, in my parallel universe in the U.S., where would I be taking Elizabeth? Probably to library for story time or to the children's museum or the zoo. I certainly wouldn't put her in school every day at only two years old. Part of me feels a little guilty that I can't take her to those places like I did with Jeremy when he was small, but my friend's e-mail made me feel okay. She told me that her boys really have great memories of living all over the world. Elizabeth may not be doing the things I could do in the U.S.,but she is learning about a different culture and acceptance of people from literally all over the world who make up her class(as is Jeremy). So, maybe living in parallel universes isn't so bad...we can have the best of both worlds.

Monday, January 24, 2011

You Are Welcome!

"You are welcome!" was a phrase I heard alot from many of the Nigerians I saw today around our compound. I know I wrote about it when I first arived here, but it always strikes me so funny to hear them say that. I immediately want to ask them" Did I say thank you?" but, the phrase literally means " YOU are WELCOME" as in "welcome back". The kids and I did indeed arrive back to the "Centre of Excellence" ( as you can see by the license plate on our car) last night.
I do have to say that with the exception of a DEF CON 4 meltdown at the security line in San Francisco ( Elizabeth, not me) the kids did a really good job on the flights back over here. The seat I had which attached to my carry on was absolutely a life saver with Elizabeth. It worked so well that i was just planning on rolling her right onto the plane in Atlanta to go to Lagos. My plan was foiled when the gate agents told all the passengers they would have to check all roller bags for the flight. I am still trying to figure that one out...but can't come up with a rational or logical conclusion. I always prepare myself for the craziness which ensues when we land in Lagos...I was unprepared for the craziness to begin before we even boarded the plane. So, I had to unhook the "ride on carry on" and carry it ( in my hands ) onto the plane while my roller bag was checked...other than that...that seat was a lifesaver!!!!:)

Just a few pictures of the kids at the airport.:)

The kids were so excited when they both received wings from one of the pilots when we got off the plane.:) ( My head strong Elizabeth didn't want to model her wings for us... but Jeremy was way too excited to show them off). Just wanted to let you know that we did make it back...and am experiencing a little jet lag. The only way I can get over jet lag is to get up at the regular local time and get through the day (without thinking that California time is 9 hours behind Lagos...which makes it only 11:50 a.m. there right now...but enough about that...) So, I got Jeremyand Elizabeth up and got Jeremy to school, and unpacked my 6 fifty pound bags.:) I think I am tired enough to go to bed...I just hope my body also agrees.:) So, with that, I will say," E Kaale!" ( Good night in Yoruba) :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Final Countdown...

Today is the final day to be in fresh air and beautiful scenery.....tomorrow I fly back to the dust and harmattan of Lagos. My dad and I took a bike ride today...our usual route through the vineyards nearby and of course the destination was....a winery!!!:)

The kids have had such a wonderful time with their grandparents here in California. Playing at the park and riding bikes have been some of their favorite things to do.:)

Jeremy has opened his own art museum in my parents' kitchen.:)

The kids had fun riding bikes around the cul-de-sac on smooth ground.....something that is very hard to come by in Lagos.:)
Here is what my parents living room looked like last night as I was packing the rest of our loot. Every bag I have is packed almost to the limit!
Here is my "new find". A good friend who lives in Lagos who has four boys(yes, that's right four boys...ages 6, 5 and a set of three year old twins) suggested the "Ride on Carry On" to me. It is a seat which actually attaches to a carry on. Believe it or not I have been traveling back and forth from Lagos for a year and a half without a stroller to get through the airports ( with the exception of last Christmas)...I have been carrying Elizabeth in my arms and my other carry ons when her legs get too tired( which is all the time!). Guy and I decided not to bring a stroller anywhere when we travel because when we get back to Lagos it takes three hours for it to come out on oversize baggage!!!! I am not exaggerating. The Lagos airport has to be one of the dirtiest places to be we would rather get our bags ( which take a while anyway)_and go. I was so excited when my friend told me about this.....I hope it works...I'll let you know when I get to the other side of the ocean. So, this will be my last post until I make it to the other side!!! Talk to you later!:)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Psyching Myself Up!

This post is probably more for myself than anyone...I am trying to get myself in the right mindset to fly another trans -Atlantic flight alone with two little ones. So, I think I have all my "goodies" bought that I need to pack and take back to Lagos. I am still going through all the Christmas gifts trying to decide which ones to leave here until summer to put in the shipment and which ones I can still squeeze into the bags I am packing. Traveling with two little ones is always interesting. Jeremy has really become a "seasoned" traveler, but Elizabeth is always a big bag of surprises! I never really know what to expect from her. Both kids have their own wheeled carry on bag which I pack with things they would like to do. Each one is allowed to bring one "baby" or stuffed animal and then they each have their own coloring books/markers. Jeremy has a video game he can play. And, Of course I can't forget all the snacks a.k.a. granola bars, gold fish, fruit roll-ups, etc. ( Thank you to Guy for the Ipad which has shows ansd movies downloaded on it already to keep elizabeth's attention!!) I always forget to dump out their water at the security line ( you would think I would know to do that after all these flights) So, I always end up having to drink all their water and my stomach gets so bloated...I feel like a beached whale!!:)
On our flight over here from Lagos, we fly coach and we get meals and pillows and blankets. But, when we flew our shorter flights from Atlanta to Houston and Houston to Chicago and Chicago to San Francisco, you don't get things like that. Elizabeth was so confused. When the flight attendant walked past she yelled " That lady has my blanket!!! That lady has my pillow!!" When they were passing out drinks she said " Where's my food??" I told her I had gold fish for her and she said " No, that lady has my food, where's my pasta??" It is always funny to see what is going through the mind of a two year old...and I guess for all of her life...she has been on long flights where she gets those things...We'll see what happens on Saturday on our "short" flight from San francisco to Atlanta.:)
As I sit and write this post, I am psyching myself up for the long flight back on Saturday. We leave here at 2 p.m. local time and arrive in Lagos on Sunday at about 4:30 p.m. local time there. All in all, the total trip time from leaving my parents home to getting to our flat in Lagos is about 23 hours. ( That also includes layovers) Let's just hope I can keep my sanity...all prayers for that are welcome!!!:)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Uncle Greg's Work Out and the Quotes of the Week

My brother and his lovely wife, Julia. came up from L.A. this past weekend to visit us. As you can see from the pictures my children became "Greg Magnets" and no longer needed me when he was around. GREG CAN YOU MOVE WITH US TO NIGERIA!!!??? It was so great having him here. The kids enjoyed both him and Julia. It was great for Julia and Greg to see how much work two little kids are...hopefully we didn't deter any plans for children in the future!!! ha ha

He did have a little time to relax....but, he was put to work helping to cook the turkey....

Jeremy wanted him to help make little felt pillows that he had seen on T.V. Greg was such a great sport. He traced and cut out Elizabeth's pillow. He told me it had been a LONG time since he had done and cutting and pasting.....but I think he did a great job.:)

He even went with us to the park and played with the kids...but he did take a short nap when we got back because the kids wore him out.:)

Thank you so much to Auntie Julia and Uncle Greg for coming up to visit us!!!:)

We love you!!! I can't believe my little brother is all grown up!!!:) You can see our cute pillows that Greg helped us make in the picture below.:)

Now, for the quotes of the week:
Jeremy: " Elizabeth, you don't screw it shove it!!!" ( When he was explaining how to put the cap back on the markers...I was relieved that he was talking about markers when I came in the kitchen from the other room.)
Elizabeth: She went into my mom's room the other morning and she asked my mom where Grandpa was. My mom told her " He went to work." Elizabeth said " Did he wear his jeanses?"( with a lisp). Mom told her " No, he wore his dress pants." Elizabeth said," He wore a dreth?" ( with a lisp and very confused). Never knew my dad wore a dress!!!!:)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why I Don't Drive in Nigeria...

Yesterday, my dad showed me an article in "The Economist" magazine. It was an article detailing the most dangerous countries in the world to drive in. It incorporated data collected from 2007 (not sure where the data is from 2008, 2009, and 2010) but I am sure the data is pretty much the same or worse from the driving I have observed. It states that Nigeria is the third most dangerous country in the world to drive in ( because of the crazy okadas and people's lack of paying attention to simple road signs I am sure) behind Kenya and South Africa. Per 100,000 vehicles Kenya had 374 deaths, South Africa had 174 deaths and Nigeria had 60 deaths. The following countries in the top 9 were Russia, Brazil, United States, France, Germany, and Britain in that order. It is funny when I tell people I have a driver in Nigeria, and sometimes people look at me like it is something really special. ALL the expats have drivers. I knew it was dangerous to drive there...but until I read that article, I really didn't understand it was that bad. I did drive myself and the kids to a soccer game one Saturday last year ( when guy was gone on a business trip...and he wasn't too happy I did that) because I couldn't stand not being able to drive myself anywhere when I am there, but I really don't think I will be trying anything like that again...I think I will leave the driving to Fatai.:)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hot Tubs, Happiness, and Haircuts

The last few days have been busy here.:) my brother and his wife, Julia. came up from L.A. to visit us yesterday. The kids have been busy. We went in the hot tub, practiced tee ball ( to get ready for when we get back to Lagos), and last, but definitely not least, Elizabeth had her first hair cut.:) I needed to trim up the back...but I am not kidding when I say that all the hair you see in the pictures is all the hair she has had since she was born.:) Just wanted to do a quick post of what was happening over in this part of the world.:)

Friday, January 14, 2011

What Do I Miss???

Whenever I come back to the U.S. the question I get asked the most is " What do you miss the most?" Besides the very obvious answers of my dear family and friends ( and a quarter pounder with cheese from Mc Donald's...I know that is bad...but I really do miss that), I would have to say that I Now, you can definitely shop in Lagos, and it is fun if you are in the mood to barter and dig and go to multiple stores to even try to remotely find something that resembles what you wanted in the first place and usually you end up with something totally different than what you had in mind.....but it is still a treasure. That is exciting. But, I have to tell you that many times I yearn for a clean store that has the same things on the shelves every time you go in. You don't feel like you have to buy 50 of something just because the store has it that week. One of the many things ( besides doctor's appointments and haircuts/colors) that is on my list to do when i come back home is to get things I need to bring back that I can't find readily in Lagos. As soon as I get back from one home trip, I have a post -it next to the phone in my flat ready to be filled up with things I need to bring back from my next home trip. Luckily, I love to go shopping in the U.S. I especially love Target. I am not kidding when I say that sometimes, when I walk into Target, I get tears in my eyes that it is so clean, well lit , and has fully stocked shelves . The added plus is that the people working there are really there to help you!!! So, here are some pictures of all the loot I have bought to take back to Lagos....
I just have to make sure it fits into five suitcases that weigh no more than 50 pounds each. That is the one drawback to all the shopping I get to do when I come back to the U.S. I absolutely hate to pack and weigh and rearrange the stuff I bought to take back to Lagos. Many times, I get a little too shopping happy...and I have to leave some of my treasures behind ( thank you mom and dad for letting me use your closet for storage). I think I have all the Valentine's for Jeremy's class, extra party things for Elizabeth's birthday party in March, Sunday school supplies,miscelleous birthday presents for birthday parties,etc. I don't go anywhere anymore without my is light weight and it hasn't let me down yet ( this is the only scale I really like) ....I haven't had to pay for an overweight bag to back to Lagos yet (overweight bags for international flights are around $200 each). So, now I am off to start weighing my things....I have to start early to see if I have room to cram anything else in my suitcases.:)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Love Letter, Lagniappe ( and Laughter)!

First, for the Love letter. I received this beautiful letter from Jeremy today. He is getting really good at sounding words out for himself and he gave this letter to me this morning because he said, " I love you so much!"
Now, for the lagniappe. Yesterday, the kids, my mom and myself all went to the mall so I could use a gift certificate for Victoria's Secret ( only for some comfy p.j.'s.....nothing x-rated here.):) By the way, Victoria's Swecret is not conducive to strollers either...I think I hit almost every panty table on on my way back to the comfy p.j. section. As I was walking to the back of the store, Elizabeth yells, " Look, mommy, all those little dresses....are they for me?" She was pointing over towards the wall, and when I saw what she was pointing at, I wanted to burst out laughing....but I didn't want to in front of her. She was pointing at all the little teddies hanging up. I told her, "Well, they do look like they are small enough to fit you, but they are for bigger ladies." She looked at me and was a little confused and then she laughed at me and said "You so silly mommy...those are for buy me one?" In my head I said " NOT ON YOUR LIFE!!!" but outside I said, " No, not today." It just wasn't the right time to start explaining all that to her.:)
Today, the kids and I went with my mom to her doctor's appointment for her leg ( it looks like she will need another hip surgery in the near future). The kids were really good while we were waiting for the surgeon to come back in the room. Meanwhile, a technician came in and took my mom for an x-ray. Not two minutes after my mom left the room ( I was reading a magazine...the kids were coloring...which never happens) Jeremy yells, " Mom, I think she's gonna do it!!!" I looked over in the corner and there was Elizabeth. She walked over to me and said " I pooped my pants." I just looked at her. As I was wishing I would have just broken down today and put her in pull ups...I asked her " Why did you do that?" She looked up at me and said " I dunno?" and put her hands up by her face. I wanted to keep a straight face but I just couldn't....I really don't think she knows.:) So, I was taking off her panties and put her pants back on her when I heard someone coming from outside in the hall. I quickly dumped the poop in a Zip Loc bag and put it in the garbage can. I put the panties in a Zip Loc for my diaper bag. ( Zip Locs are very handy to have on hand) As soon as I closed the trash can, mom and the tech came back in. My mom immediately looked at me and grabbed her nose when the tech turned around...she mouthed " Did she poop?" I said yes....she mouthed, " Where is it?" I pointed to the trash can. We both started laughing. After the tech left, I took the baggie and properly disposed of it in the bathroom.:) While we were still waiting for the doctor, we talked about Lagos and everything we would do when we got back. Elizabeth said very matter of factly, " Yeah, Jeremy has Legos....he plays with them." So, there you have it ....Lagos, Legos....barely a difference.:)
After the appointment, we took the kids to the park to play , and you guessed it, she did it again!!!! My mom and I just looked at each other and laughed. I guess that is a good life lesson...poop happens......and you just have to keep cleaning it up!!!:) Just remember to laugh alot while you are cleaning it up!:)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Since I am going to be traveling back to Lagos next Saturday, I thought I should get back into the mindset of living there. Ekaasan is Yoruba and means "Good Afternoon". So, good afternoon to all of you! Another one of my goals for this year is to learn more of the Yoruba language while I am in Nigeria. I have been inspired by a friend who has just moved overseas and is learning a completely different language since she is in a place where English is not the first language. I have learned a little bit of Yoruba...but not as much as I want to learn since I have been able to get by with English.
A third goal I have set for myself this year is to finally get Elizabeth trained to poop in the toilet. We have the number one I am rooting for the number two!!! I have been trying all the different tricks of the trade...but to no avail! I was really hoping that since it is 1/11/11 that would mean a lucky day , and there would not be a nice present in her undies...but alas, I could not have been more wrong!!! UGH!!!! She is definitely a two year old....and stubborn as a bull. I have no idea where she gets that trait! ( ha ha) So, I have found an other form of positive reinforcement that i am hoping she will work for!( She is a girly girl all the way and loves any kind of make up) My dad keeps telling me it is a bribe. I keep telling him that when I was teaching, I always used "positive reinforcement" with the kids I taught. After all, I told him, who really ever does something for nothing. Even kids have that figured out. But, my "positive reinforcement" didn't work out today....maybe tomorrow! I need to find out how to say " Go poo poo in the toilet." in Yoruba. Maybe that is the magic ticket to getting this toddler fully trained!!:)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Trying Something New

I just wanted to share a few pictures of the kids finally trying out chopsticks. They both had shied away from trying them out, but they were willing to try them out today. Of course, I NEVER leave home without my camera, and I was able to get a few shots of them:) Now, maybe I can get them to be able to get along with each other longer than 5 minutes at a, that would definitely be something new.:)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Missed It!

Dear Jeans,

I haven't purchased a pair of you in quite a while, so I was so excited this afternoon when my mom was able to watch the kids so I could go out and find the perfect pair of you. I searched through the store and found the cutest pair of you I could imagine. I couldn't wait to try you on in the fitting room. I thought I was was doing so good and that you and I would be best friends....but I could not have been more wrong. I was able to get you over my hips and thighs...but after I buttoned the top button, you gave me the WORST gift ever....the MUFFIN TOP!!!! I think I stood there staring at myself in the mirror for what seemed like forever. How could you be so unforgiving!!!! How can you be so cold!! I thought we have always had such a good relationship!!! I'll show you!!! Gone will be the holiday treats I have been snacking on since I got to my mom's house and gone will be all the second helpings of my mom's fabulous cooking ( God, please help me show some restraint!!). I am going to come back and find another pair...a more forgiving pair that will make me love jeans once again!!! The worst part of the whole thing is that at the same time I was standing in the fitting room hating you.....there was a 4.1 earthquake right here near my parents' home that I missed because I was too distracted by the bakery item appearing across my middle!!! We will meet again ....and next time I will win!!!!

very insincerely yours,


p.s Don't go on going on sale when I come back to find you...I'll be looking for another pair!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Look out Tiger Woods!!!!!!!!

Literally!!!!!! The golf balls were flying all over the place when my mom and I took the kids miniature golfing today. In my head, I had this great idea of how it would turn out...but with a two year old and a five year old, reality set in almost as soon as we started the game. Jeremy had never miniature golfed before let alone held a golf club ( at least one that wasn't made by Fisher-Price , anyway). He was insisting on swinging it like a baseball bat and then getting upset when it didn't make contact with the ball. Elizabeth pretty much had enough on the first hole when she did hit the ball, but it rolled through the fence and into the road. After that she decided that it was better to hold her golf ball in her hand than take any chances of losing it again. After a few near misses of my head with Jeremy's putter, he finally decided to listen to his mom and try to swing the club lower and even held it the right way. Contact was made!!! I have to say that he did do pretty well after he decided that aiming for the ground was a much better idea than aiming for the sky. We played about 10 holes and then decided to go inside because it was only about 45 degrees outside. We are true Nigerians now...we don't know how to handle a little bit of cold.:)
When we got inside, I am almost embarrassed to admit how excited I was to see ski ball!:) I LOVED that game when I was younger and since it is one of the only games at an arcade that doesn't involve coordination with a video machine, it is pretty much the only game I can play. The kids loved it, too.:) ( Maybe a little too much. I had to duck down a few times when Jeremy threw the ball up so hard it hit the end of the table and flew back at us)

Elizabeth had fun riding on the cute merry- go- round. Of course, our visit to a miniature golf course/arcade wouldn't be complete without turning in your cheap tickets for some even cheaper toys!!!:) As they were fighting over their
little toys, I consciously told myself that I need to remember times like these when they think something worth 10 cents is a treasure. All to soon, they will be coming to me and asking for money to go out on a date or for gas. One goal I have for myself in this new year is to pay attention to the moment I am in instead of always looking ahead to what is going to happen next. I have found myself doing that too often. It will be a hard goal for this type A planning girl to achieve, but I am going to try. I have to say it was a really nice day spent watching the kids have fun...and I wasn't thinking about what would happen next:)