Saturday, May 29, 2010

Potty, Nastics, and a Green Thumb

Okay, so I've held out for a few days, and I can't stand it anymore. Blog, I have returned to you. Since I wrote the last time, we've had a couple of exciting things take place. First of all, Mimi has "poo poo pottied" not once but TWICE. This is HUGE for me because there is a possibility of not having her in diapers once Connor or Mack or whatever we name him arrives. Yes, we have another option for Baby Darby. Connor Wilson or Wilson McLain. I hate decisions. Mimi and Mack or Mimi and Connor. Sigh.
Anyway, so Clint and I sang the "Mimi poo poo pottied" song (it's kinda like what you'd sing in a congo line), Mimi did her poo poo dance, and she was rewarded with "nima nims!" Hoooo-ray!!

Mimi also had her Little Gym "Big Show," which is sort of like a recital. Totally unorganized and crazy and disco-ball bright from grandparents flashing their cameras . . . and so much fun for little Mimi and all her friends at "nastics." Who doesn't love a good dogpile?

Okay, so maybe nothing too exciting has been happening . . . but all very important, right? Along with using the potty, another favorite bathroom pasttime for Mimi is brushing her teeth. Notice how she is standing on the potty. I know it looks convenient, but it's actually pretty dangerous. I have to keep the bathroom door closed now because she runs in there yelling, "Teeth! Teeth!" and the next thing I know she is turning on the scalding hot water and dangling in the little space between the sink and toilet.

As a kid, one of my favorite parts of summer was my plastic pool. My mom would fill it up in the morning to give the water time to warm up a little, and then after lunch she would sit in the shade and "shuck" (is that the right word?) corn and peas in a lawn chair while Bobby and I splashed around.
Now Mimi has the newer version blow-up fancy little pool, and I am so happy that she loves it. She doesn't care that the water is fah-reezing and loves getting in and out and in and out.

She discovered that her swimsuit had little strawberries dangling from the front and said, "Look, Mommy, stwawbewwies. Yummy!" She also walked up to every single hydrangea bloom and gave it a smackeroo. "Hi, Flowa. Mmmm-ah!"

And now for some "yumminess" -- the gorgeous gardenias in my back yard. Are you drooling? Because you should be. We have two monstrous, shiny green bushes completely covered in stark white petals that emit a fragrance that I want to bottle up and sell. Someone named Rita lived in my house a very long time ago (I learned this from my current neighbor, also named Rita) and knew what she was doing with her green thumb. I have never seen anything like it. The bushes are at least 12 feet tall and make me so happy at the end of May. Since living at the little house on Prescott I have killed hundreds of dollars worth of bushes, but one thing I've done right are the hydrangeas. I was a little reluctant to even try them because I'm not a fan of the smurf blue ones. A couple of homes on my street have the smurf blue, and since my soil is probably similar to theirs I was a little nervous. No reason to be. I get the most beautiful pink and purple and light blue hydrangeas, and I have no idea what I've done to deserve this.
Sewing update: still have no time. I want so badly to create so much, and it just isn't working out for me. Here are a couple of fun things I've tried lately for gifts. For a new baby in our Sunday School class, a fun turtle towel:
And for my little diva of a neice, a hip tank top and comfy wide-leg capris. I totally stole the beach towel pants idea from Bumbletees (please don't tell them!), and I think they look so stinkin cute. Miss Olivia's birthday was, oh, several weeks ago, so I hope she doesn't mind our tardiness with the gift-giving. And I also hope she doesn't mind that it didn't come from Justice. Ugh. I know every girl her age loves that store, but it's just a little too grown-up for my taste. In my eyes she is still 3 years old, so you can see why I take issue with this.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


How annoyed are you by me this week? I NEVER have this much time to waste rambling on my blog, but going on vaca and to Paducah all in one week is the cause of all this. Oh yes, back to Paducah . . . yipee . . . and once again trying to make the best out of what I consider a sorta bad situation.

After a refreshing trip, I was forced to dive right into some "drama" with the 9 to 5. It's not awful but is leaving me very, well, disappointed. When I taught public high school in Mississippi, I was always prepared for drama from students, other teachers, parents, budget cuts, testing, yada, yada. When I was in sales with Cintas, I expected them to constantly change rules and policies and mess up my orders and installs. These jobs taught me to adapt to change, but I guess I have gotten very comfortable in my current job. I constantly brag about how much I love it, but right now I have a very bitter taste in my mouth. None of this is my fault, but I have to deal with it for the majority of my day, which is just no fun.

I fully expect the problems to be resolved soon and I am probably making them into a much bigger deal than they really are. In the meantime I am trying to keep my mood balanced by meditating on the positive (if you can't tell, I have to talk myself into being positive occassionally). Just today I made a list of who deserves some props:

1. La Baguette, Memphis, TN
Ah, who doesn't love a good pastry shop? In college I worked at Bottletree Bakery in Oxford and have had a really hard time finding something in Memphis that can compare to their blueberry brioche and cream cheese danish. Not everyone may get along with Cynthia (I always loved you, by the way!), but she sure has a fantabulous bakery. Anyway, for the past two mornings I have gotten a sausage, egg, and cheese on croissant that comes with a mini blueberry muffin and orange slice at La Baguette . . . heavenly. This morning I even bought an extra blueberry muffin that is the size of my head and have been munching on it all day. I'm pretty sure it's 90% butter, 10% blueberries, which makes it all the yummier.

2. Bumbletees, Germantown, TN

I'm sure I bug the mess out of these women, but I love to pick their brains. This little store is right across from the Gtown Commissary and Methodist Hospital, and I discovered it when leaving a doctor's office one day. They make the CUTEST little t-shirts, skirts, aprons, belts, and other fun little ditties, and they sell beautiful Heather Bailey and Amy Butler fabric. They are so patient with my pregnant self (remember, I'm very indecisive!), and have given me much inspiration for sewing. They don't mind that I might spend my entire lunch hour asking them how they made things or what fabrics coordinate with each other. The ladies get excited when I tell them I've sewn something new, and I must start taking photos in to show them and let them know how they've inspired me. What made me think of them is that I stopped at the Hancock's warehouse when I got to Paducah. It is gigantic and does carry some beautiful fabrics the smalltown Hancocks do not carry (I loaded up on some pretty Heather Bailey prints), but I can't get any of the old quilting ladies to follow me around and pay attention to me like the Bumbletees chicks do! While I'm at it, I would also like to give a shout out to Libby at Sweet Stitches and Amy at Brownie Goose for giving me inspiration. Libby has beautiful and classic taste and does a great job of mixing the traditional with a little funk in her appliques and monograms. Amy is pure funk all around and I stalk her blogs almost on a daily basis (psycho, right?). Although I still have a 9 to 5, I somehow hope one day I will have a little time to come up with pieces half as precious as theirs.

3. Jessi, Amanda, and the rest of the staff at Dr. Bodnarchuk's office in Paducah.

As I've said before, Paducah is not my favorite place to go. It's not that there's something wrong with the town or people, but it is my one overnight that takes me away from my husband and child. Yes, I enjoy the alone time, but I know it stresses Clint out to have to leave work much earlier than normal to get Mimi and to get everything prepared for the next day. Along with this, my sales numbers are horrible for this part of my territory. While I usually have about 30-40% of the business in the rest of my territory (this is above company average, if you're looking for a comparison! Tooting my own horn, how annoying?), I only have about 5% in Kentucky. That is absolutely awful, and although I've tried everything I know I can't get these guys to budge. So Dr. B's office has become my bright spot in the trip. The office is really small and everyone is so welcoming and friendly. I love hearing about their children and grandchildren, and they really seem to care about me and what's going on in my life. I'm saving them until tomorrow, so I'll have something to look forward to!!

4. My sweet, sweet parents.

They made the long trip to 30A with us last week, and I'm so glad they tagged along. More times than I can count my mom told Clint and me to walk down the beach, grab some dinner, or go shop in Seaside and to not hurry back. They dote on Mimi like she's the first grandchild and are so completely amused with every little thing she does. This is their time to shine because this is really when they are best with the grandkids. Most of the others are in elementary right now, and are a little over hanging out with Poppaw and Bebe. But not Mimi, she woke up every day looking for them and thinks they are sooo funny. My dad is extremely impatient and loves to complain, and my mom tells stories about people and things that absolutely matter to no one BUT I've begun to find these "flaws" really amusing. Dad has the funniest stories about growing up that usually consist of fun characters like his cousin "the boy" or the relative who "died of diarrea." I would really like to sit down with him and a tape recorder one day soon and just let him talk. He also LOVES to gossip and getting info from his is a lot like that game we played as kids where one person whispers a phrase in someone's ears and then passes down the phrase . . . my dad seems to be the one at the end to find out the info, and his "twists" are absolutely hilarious. Mom will make zero decisions on her own, which isn't always a bad thing. She may feed Mimi M&Ms (nima nima nims) all day, but she also crams as many fruits and veggies in her as possible. Ah, gotta love the parentals. Here's a link to a little "article" about Dad, Clint, and Brad on their fishing excursion last week. Blessed Moon Charters

5. H.R.H. Dumplins, Murray, KY
Yes, Murray, KY, does have some redeeming qualities other than the trailer park next to the Holiday Inn. It's called Dumplins, and I try my best to plan my lunchbreak in Murray just so I can eat here. Everything on the menu is chocked full of butter and cream of chicken and some other yummy yummy fatness. I got a snack around lunchtime just so I could hold off until later this afternoon to eat lunch there, and the Mexican Chicken Casserole was just what I needed. Thank the Lord there were tomatoes and cucumbers on my salad because absolutely nothing else I inhaled had one ounce of healthiness in it. Every little morsel is homemade, and their apple dumplins are absolutely be-a-utiful.

Because I believe in the yin and the yang, maybe I should have some anti-props just for fun:
1. Olivia Palermo on The City. Ugh. I could say lots of dirty words here. Maybe she should hook up with Freddy Facklemire (sp?) . . . or maybe even Spencer. Clint, we hate her, right?
2. The faux duvets on the end of my two queen beds at my hotel. Burgandy and hunter green. Enough said.
3. The episode of America's Next Top Model that is bugging me in the background right now. As said before, I usually travel on Tuesdays so I can watch American Idol and Lost, but vaca pushed me back to Wednesday. I must never watch TV on Wednesday nights because I had no idea that NOTHING is on.
4. My hair right now. I look like a dirty hippie. Sharlinda, please help.
5. And so it will be even, one more. The high fructose corn syrup commercials. They are so annoying and manipulative. It is bad for you. Just like sugar, and carbonated drinks, and absolutely everything I've eaten today. Ooh, time for a burger.
Okay, that's it for a while. I promise.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy to Mommy!

As of today, I have been on this earth for 31 years, and it has been a beautiful life so far. My childhood consisted of a very full and busy household with the two most insanely loving parents and three older siblings who couldn't be more opposite from one another. They helped mold me into a person who is patient, accepting, and willing to appreciate the small things in life. I was able to make some of my most amazing friends and teachers in high school who taught me to be confident and proud of myself and my, well, my quirkiness. Although I did many things in college that make me cringe to remember, I have so many memories and "AHA moments" that make me laugh out loud. As an adult, I love my job (and a few of my fabulous co-workers!!) more than anyone I know and am so grateful for the awesome group of friends we have in Memphis and those few girlies who are just crazy enough to remain in touch with me. I try hard to not have many regrets but to appreciate all the experiences and how they made me into the person I am today, which I can honestly say I am happy with.
At 31 years old, I am married to my very best friend who possesses all the good qualities and characteristics that I don't. I would rather not talk about problems when he is an open book, he manages money well when I NEVER do, I'm indecisive when he chooses quickly, and I second-guess myself when he has enough confidence for both of us. And he loves me more than I ever thought any boy could. He loves that my favorite clothes can come from Target and that I don't always shower or wear make-up on Saturdays. He loves my taste in music and trusts my judgement with literature. He loves my tanless, freckled skin and unruly frizz of hair that results from pregnancy . . . and he loves that I'm pregnant. He even loves that I am addicted to Project Runway, The Hills, and So You Think You Can Dance, and he watches them with me even when I won't watch baseball with him. He thinks I'm smart and easy to talk to and never fails to compliment me every day . . . and he is the father of the most beautiful little wild monkey in the world . . . and I have absolutely no idea what I have done to deserve him.
Oh, and Mimi. I can't even begin to say how much she has added to my life in the short time she has been a part of it. She has been singing "Happy to you, Mommy!" all day, which is the sweetest song I've ever heard. And I'm getting to add another little angel at the end of the summer. What do I have to compain about? Like I said, 31 beautiful years.
We are still at the beach, and Clint and I went to my FAVORITE restaurant, Cafe Tango, last night to celebrate my birthday. I recommend it to everyone -- reservations are a must and the gorgonzola steak or fish "Tango style" are the best. Here I am being a big ole goober. This morning I had my first official photo shoot with Mimi, which was a really sweet way to start my birthday. I must have commented to Mom a thousand times about how pretty Mimi is and pretended the saltwater was stinging my eyes and I wasn't tearing up. Everything is new and interesting to her little mind, and it is a joy to watch her discover the beach. She danced and sang and pointed out every little bird and seashell that came in her way. I'll post more pics later, but this is just a little teaser. And the lit for the week is Barrel Fever, the only David Sedaris I haven't read. I know, I know, you totally think I read James Patterson or Nicholas Sparks. Vomit. I hate that stuff. What I love is a selfish, cynical gay man's essays. L-O-V-E it. Don't recommend it to everyone because I don't think he's for everyone, but he is so for me. He makes me laugh out loud and look behind my shoulder to make sure no one from FBC Corinth is standing behind me reading the foul language on the page. Although we have nothing in common, he inspires me to want to write more. Once on a trip I read Engulfed in Flames and immediately started on about ten essays that week. Don't roll your eyes -- I used to love writing. Now it's all crap and a blog about a toddler, but I still love and appreciate the therapy of it all. I'm working towards letting people read them someday but for now they are for me.
Insert gasp here.
Yes, I am wearing a bikini and I'm six months pregnant. I do not apologize but do hope I haven't made anyone uncomfortable. If so, just scroll down quickly. Some may feel this is as taboo as wearing seersucking after Labor Day, but, I mean, why? One of the perks of being pregnant is that I don't have to suck in or worry about what I eat before hitting the beach. What bothers me most is the white legs. What in the world happens as I get older that causes my legs to not tan?

After both my mom and dad tried about 25 times to take a family pic, this is the best we came up with. Most only included some body parts, none that included our heads.

Pretty, pretty, pretty girl.
And I just had to include one more of Emerson . . . she may have to be my desktop for a while. How can I have a bad day after seeing how happy she is in this photo?
And the first official baby Darby pic in a while. Once again, he's getting jipped. Mimi had a belly pic like once a week, but this is only my second for Connor (still only 99% sure on "Connor" but nothing else is coming to mind). And this little booger is causing my feet and ankles to swell BUT he is causing no indigestion like what Mimi did. What else . . . he is still moving around like crazy and I swear he starts dancing when he hears Mimi sing her ABC's or one of her silly made-up songs (usually to the tune of ABC's). He kicked my sunglasses out of my lap yesterday -- I promise.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Beach Babies

Last night I asked Clint why Mimi looked so different. She has been completely lathered in sunscreen, so I don't think she has gotten more tan (although she is naturally more tan than I am -- not fair). "It's not her skin," he said. "It's her hair -- it's blonder."
Ah, something I know absolutely nothing about. Blonde hair. When I was her age, my skin turned pink and my hair might get a red tint if I snuck in some Sun-In, but never blonde. People pay a lot of money for that kind of stuff.
Sweet, happy Emerson -- Mimi's beach BFF. Three generations of crazy women.

Sand between my toes.

Trying to capture the "wildness" on film. Ready for their performance on stage. Just add Hadley and they'll have the white girl version of Destiny's Child.

They love to climb on the coffee table and watch cartoons.

"Emmy, please play Ring Around the Rosies with me so I can pull you down!"

I have already decided that Emerson will definitely win most photogenic whenever Emeri decides to put her in Little Miss Perfect Pageants (he he). Here is the "serious Em": The "playful Em":
The "I've got a secret" Em"
And she has a really funny sense of humor. Emerson loves to play "poo poo." Hang on, I've got to laugh for a few minutes before I can write the rest. Last night she turned to Brad and said, "Poo poo." When he asked if she had, she smiled and said, "No," and then he said, "Oh, you're just playing poo poo." She said, no, her daddy had done that and raised the back of his shirt to check his "diaper!" Oh my goodness, my side is hurting right now.

And they can't be wild all the time . . . she melts like butter, as my mom says.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Just Couldn't Wait!!

Yesterday we made the grueling trip to Santa Rosa with my parents and a teething toddler, but, oh my goodness, it was so worth it. We headed to the beach first thing this morning, and by looking at the photos one would never know what a scaredy cat Miss Mimi was. She didn't want any part of her body to touch the sand, so she sat on the quilt and whined for a while. Her friend Emerson, the mature one, was already an expert digger and just made Mimi look like a big sissy. It only took about 20 minutes and lots of baby steps and holding hands to finally get Prissy to turn into a complete beach-lover. Here she is with Em and their new buddy Asher. Note how cool Em is in her sunglasses. By the way, I am now the proud owner of a new camera but have no idea what I'm doing. Even worse, my dad really has no idea and took this super-bright photo of us. Well, at least he didn't cut off half of us like he did in some others.

The new cover of Toddler Vogue, the beach edition.
Classic. Mimi stealing Cheetos. Geez.Mimi also stole my corn tonight, gnawed on it a while, and then threw it on the floor so she could have both hands free to dance in her high chair at dinner.
Before we left for the beach, we spent the night with my parents in Corinth. Well, they don't actually live in the big city of Corinth but out in "Kendrick" (Dad is very proud of this). As much as I love living in the middle of Memphis, I am so grateful that my parents live in the middle of nowhere. It was so nice to have a yard for playing ball, a lake for fishing, and horses to care for when I was growing up. Dad has always loved having the grandkids visit so he can show them his garden and let them sit on the old bright blue tractor, so I had to snap a shot of Mimi being a farmer. She's pointing at a huge windmill in the backyard that was spinning like crazy.
And don't you worry, I'll probably have more photos tomorrow!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

I am beginning to feel like the grandmother in Flannery O'Connor's short story. Just a recap if you don't remember your Southern Lit:

An old-school Southern grandmother goes on a road trip with her son or daughter (can't remember which), his or spouse, and their children. Throughout the story she explains her definition of a "good man," which consists of someone who is polite and mannerly. At the end of the story, they get in a wreck and are completely taken advantage of by what she considers a "good man." Although he says "Yes, ma'am" he stills shoots them all in the end.

So maybe having manners doesn't mean one is a "good person," but, by golly, it sure could fool me just like it fooled the grandmother. If a car cuts me off on the interstate but gives an apologetic wave as if they've just realized their mistake, all is forgiven. If no wave is offered, then the driver deserves to be smacked. Being raised in the South has made me this way and makes me feel totally justified when I berate someone for being rude.

So where is all this nonsense going? Basically, I need to take some time to vent about someone who didn't follow my rules for being a "good man" today. And in case you are wondering about "my rules," here they are:

  1. Be polite at all times – especially when dealing with cashiers, waitresses, receptionists, etc. – and they should definitely be polite to customers in return.
  2. Always place shopping carts in the racks in the parking lot. No exceptions.
  3. Do not ever break line.
  4. Hold doors and elevators open at least for the approaching person to catch. This isn't a rule for just the guys – we can all keep it open and not let it slam in someone's face.
  5. Do not take up the entire aisle while walking slowly in grocery stores, Target, or a hallway. Understand that some people are in a hurry.
  6. Do not talk loudly about personal business in public. It makes others uncomfortable.

Now on to my drama for the day. I was working in Dyersburg, Tennessee, and decided to make a quick pharmacy call during lunch. Basically this consists of checking with a pharmacist to make sure he is stocking my drug, asking if he's had many insurance problems, and sometimes getting an update on the price for customers without insurance coverage. Normally pharmacists don't mind speaking with drug reps and I have never had anyone act annoyed with me -- that is until today.

I stopped at Wal-Mart since I also needed to buy dog food, and this was my number one mistake. I don't mean to be so judgmental of this store, but I rarely have a good experience and am grateful Target is much closer to my home. I parked a million miles away, walked straight to the pharmacy, and asked the pharmacist my normal questions. I asked if customers ever have insurance issues with my drug, and he said rarely ever – normally their insurance covers it well. I then asked how much it is without insurance coverage since I was trying to update a price list. My innocent question turned Mr. Pharmacist into Mr. Hyde.

"Well, I'll tell you how much it costs." Suddenly his voice grew louder and his tone became quite sarcastic. "It costs a ridiculous amount."

I'm sorry . . . what did he mean by this? Since "a ridiculous amount" is relative, I asked if he minded looking up the exact price for me. He walked to his computer shaking his head the whole time and mumbling about expensive drug costs under his breath. He came back, told me the price (which was actually more expensive than some other pharmacies), and then told me I need to cut the price in half. Every sentence he spoke grew louder and he became more animated and irritated. As you can tell, he has already broken two of my rules.

I reminded him that the majority of customers will not pay the full price, and I don't expect them to. While my company has worked very hard to get the lowest insurance co-pays possible, we are also very generous with samples, and the doctor's office should have samples for a patient who doesn't have insurance coverage.

He then gave me a smirk and said something rude like, "Well, you must be proud of yourself."

I tried to ignore this comment and explained that I know many people are on fixed incomes, and my company is trying to help in every way. I decided at that point that I had no reason to explain the worth of myself or my company to this guy, and I needed to thank him for giving me the price and walk away. Before I could even finish this thought, he leaned in like he wanted to share a secret and loudly said, "Help? Is that what you think you and your big drug company are doing? Do you really think your company wants to help anybody?"

This guy was a complete a-hole. I had just walked a million miles from the parking lot in heels that hurt my feet, I hadn't had a chance to eat lunch yet, and I am pregnant and oversensitive, yet he felt the need to harass me over something I have no control over. Someone peed all over his Cheerios that morning. He didn't know me. He didn't know anything about me, but he chose to blame me for the fact that Wal-Mart had marked up the price of my drug. There were a million fabulous zingers coming to mind in that split second, but why should I let him know that he had offended me? I have chosen to work and send my child to daycare, and I would never have done that if I didn't believe in my company and my product. Did he really want me to believe he was so much better than me? Does he give discounts to his customers? Of course not. This self-righteous jerk does work at Wal-Mart, by the way, and we've all seen those 20/20 specials. What was he trying to prove by embarrassing ME?

So I snapped back into reality, looked him square in the eye, leaned in and said, "Yes. Yes, I do feel like I'm helping. I appreciate your information."

I turned on my heel and walked away straight to the dog food. My sudden surge of adrenaline helped me easily toss that 20 lb bag over my shoulder, and I marched to the self check-out aisle. I wasn't about to deal with another soul in that store. There were four self check-out registers and everyone was making a line in the middle and then going to the check-outs as they opened. I was next in line and just as the bag began feeling really heavy, a little skinny girl completely cut in front of me and waltzed up to a register that was about to open. Since I had just bitten my tongue in half from the incident with the pharmacist, I wasn't able to do it again.

"Really?! REALLY?!!" I yelled at her. She looked back briefly but seemed to have no idea this was directed at her. I immediately walked up to her register and flopped my heavy bag of dog food down on top of her cosmetics and then proceeded to glare at her. Within seconds she began to realize what she had done but probably knew an apology was too late at this point. She quickly tried to scan her items but kept fumbling when the machine wouldn't accept her cash. In my insanity, I put her on an equal level with the pharmacist and decided she was getting what she deserved. More than likely, she didn't realize that we had been forming one line that would go to all check-outs, and I decided I needed to back off. I took the big green bag of Iams to the adjacent check-out and slowly walked out of the store grateful that they had installed automatic doors since I was almost certain someone would have let a regular door slam in my face today. I trudged back to the car while pushing a stray cart or two out of the way and into the cart caddy where they belonged.

I know a good man really isn't hard to find, and this is the first and probably the only time this will happen to me. The poor guy seemed bitter, and while it wasn't fair to me I happened to be the one who got him stirred up. For all I know, his wife left him this morning or he found out his daughter was doing drugs. Does that still give him a reason to be an a-hole? Of course not. Was it reason enough for me to be an a-hole to the skinny chick that cut line in front of me? Absolutely.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

GO . . . . Roadrunners!!

The Roulhac's Roadrunners (oh yes, my child's preschool has a mascot) recently held their Field Day, and, oh my goodness, Mimi thought she was Homecoming Queen. Since her little toddler class couldn't quite get it together to actually compete in anything, they were in charge of the opening ceremony parade. When the door opened I saw a group of shy little ones carefully taking steps down the sidewalk very unsure of what was going on. And then I heard someone say, "Look at the little blonde one with all the necklaces -- she thinks this is a race," and I knew it had to be mine. Mimi busted through the middle of the pack pumping her arms and moving her little feet as fast as her Keds would allow. And then she saw all her fans (Mommy, Daddy, Poppaw, and BeBe), squealed to the top of her lungs, and did a Forrest Gump, which was run away as fast as she could . . . and then run back to us . . . and then run away. You get the idea. Maybe you can tell from the photo below that her arms are a very important part of her running -- she always looks like she's the next Jane Fonda doing cardio when she runs.And she indeed had more leis thand anyone else because, well, she had stolen both Emerson's and Riley's. Little klepto. She appeared a little confused about what all the flags and games were about and didn't seem to care that her class didn't qualify to participate. She participated anyway . . . my favorite was when she "competed" in the tunnel race while another child was already in the tunnel. The four of us tried many times to contain her energy, and then a group of grannies on the front row yelled at me to leave her alone. Geez.
These two cutie pies are Mimi's friends Emerson and Will.

She has such a funny relationship with them that I guess seems to work in their own little toddler world. Mimi is so excited to see "Emmy" (as she calls her) every day, and has a nervous breakdown when she leaves for the day. Emmy is her favorite person at school by far, and she talks about her all the time . . . yet according to her teachers they don't interact at all while at school.
Will just turned two this past weekend and Mimi has been singing "Happy to you, Wee-all" since then. Clint's mom, Shug, had a bday Monday, and Mimi could only sing "Happy to you, Wee-all." I guess everyone's bday will have to also be Will's. Anyway, she and Will greet each other almost every day with a nice, firm shove and telling each other no . . . and then they get tickled and smile. Clint has actually witnessed Will (who is about twice Mimi's size) push Mimi and then she takes off and tackles him to the ground. Is this flirting? If so, they've got it bad.

I just can't get over how wild my pretty little pint-sized girl is. I spoke with my brother Bobby today, who has a little one just a few weeks older than Mimi. He lives in California and has been completely swamped with grad school and teaching for the past few years, so we have only gotten together once since having the girls. There is absolutely no denying he is my brother -- when he had long hair several years ago my dad accidentally thought he was me from the back! On the other hand, his little girl Oriana takes after her gorgeous Peruvian mother and has black hair, almond-shaped brown eyes, and beautiful olive skin -- she is also probably a foot taller than my little munchkin. The funny thing is that when Bobby and I exchange stories it's as if we are talking about the same child. They both love cartoons, vegetables, and being absolutely the wildest children at the playground . . . so I guess it runs in the Nixon family!

And for a baby boy Darby update since I already feel like I'm neglecting the pregnancy of my second little one (I hear this is normal so don't judge me too harshly!). He is kick, kick, kicking me nonstop. I'm pretty sure he might be the only child in this world that might be able to run faster than Mimi because he is getting in lots of practice in my belly. Mimi was fairly active when I was pregnant with her, but this little monkey has her beat already -- all hours of the day and night. I can already see distinct movements from the outside, which makes this all just a little too real. If it's a sign of what's to come, I'm screwed. Other than the gymnastics, my latest doctor's appointment was great -- good heartbeat and all is well. For the record, both my son and daughter have had similar heartbeats throughout, so whatever old lady wants to say fast is a certain gender and slow is another doesn't really know what she's talking about. The same goes for how I have carried them -- they've both been really low -- and the food cravings are similar, the sleep patterns, the length of my nausea, when I began getting more energy, etc. It's all very similar. The differences are subtle.

And I think everyone should copy and save this pic to add as your desktop background. I get a good chuckle everytime I open my computer:)

By the way, Miss Priss decided to completely surprise us by using the potty last night. We were at her friend Hadley's house, and Mimi found out that Miss Hadley, who just turned two, has just been potty trained. "Potty" was Mimi's word of the night after this, so Clint decided to place her on it after her bath. and Ta Dah! (one of Mimi's new favorite phrases) she did it. For this she was rewarded some M&M's or "nima nima nims" as she likes to call them. I know it's a little too early for all this business, and although she acted like she wanted to try again tonight nothing happened. That's fine by me because being potty trained is just one more step away from being a baby and, well, that just not something I'm ready for yet.