Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Rose by Any Other Name...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - Emmie made friends with the boy next door about 28 seconds after we moved into this house. She was so delighted to have someone her age to play with, that it almost made up for the selfish mean dog owners on the other side.

We've lived here for 5 months, now, and Emmie and her friend have been getting along great. A couple of days ago, though, as they were playing, she was calling his name and trying to get him to catch a ball. He looked at me, with a smirk beyond his kindergarten age: "My name not Jose," he said.

LOL! We've been calling this poor kid Jose for the whole time. Turns out Emmie didn't understand his name, Zaquan (Zah-kwan), when she first met him, and we've all been calling him the wrong name ever since. Poor guy.

So we've been working on getting her to use his correct name, but you know how it is when you meet someone. Your brain attaches a name and your reasoning self is pretty much left out of it. Heck, I worked at a newspaper in Athens for two years, during which time the publisher never once called me by my name. She called me Katherine every day, and I never had the heart to correct her.

This, too, might be a losing battle. Because what Emerson has in recall - seriously, do not play Memory with her; you will be horribly embarrassed - she has equally in stubbornness.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thrift Store Lovin'

Saturday, March 27, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - Walking back from lunch at Blue Sky Kitchen, we passed a new thrift store called Once Again on the 800 Block of Broad Street. I spied a neatly organized children's section and found four or five well-cared-for pieces for Emerson.

"Look, Doodle," I said to Emerson when I picked her up, and held up a T-shirt. She gasped and screamed.

"Iss YOGABBAGABBA!" She danced around in a circle.

Dude. It's a $1 T-shirt.

"I goeend ta wear dis EBRY DAY," she declared, clutching it to her chest. "An EBRY morneen you goeend put it on da chair, an' if I don't see it, I goeend say, 'Mommmeeeee!' An' den you goeend get da T-shirt an' I goeend wear it. I goeend ta wear it EBRY DAY, Mama! I'm SERIOUS."

"Um... Okay," I agree. "Unless it's dirty, and then we have to wash it."

"YES," she agreed. "But - OOOOOH, I'm so ett-SITED!"

Um... It's a shirt?

"And dank you SO MUCH, Mama. You berry sweet to buy dis Yo Gabba Gabba shirt for me."

(Laughing silently) "You're very welcome, darling. Mommy loves you, and I'm very glad you like the shirt."

She squeals and laughs, but suddenly her brow furrows.

"Mama?" She asks quietly. "Was it berry 'spensable?"

I grin: "No, darling."

"But... how many dollars and moneys was it?"

"Just one."

"What?! Das AWESOME! Can we go to dis store all da time?!"

"Yep. I think we can manage that."

Side note: We also got a Paas Easter Egg-making kit for 50 cents!

Emerson Dissects Country Music

Saturday, March 27, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - The radio's playing "Breathe," by Faith Hill. Emmie cocks her head, then turns to me: "Mama? Why can't she breeve? Do she need a doctor?"

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I'll Try to Remember That

Saturday, March 27, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - We're rushing around, getting ready for Babypalooza, and I can't figure out what happened to my driver's license after the accident yesterday.

"Mommy needs to clean out her car," I mutter.

"Yeah," Emmie chimes in from the backseat. "You gotta lotta stuff in here. You gotta a box, an' sum trash, an' sum toys, an' some books, an' sum shoes, an' a sweater..."

"I get it," I laugh, but she continues.

"An' a DBD, an' some old yucky snacks, an'... an'... A DOODLE!" she laughs.

"Yep, she's in the backseat," I laugh.

"But don' frow ME out!"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bedtime Brouhaha

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - Emerson's in a mood. She dances as I read her a story. She rapidly zips and unzips her footie pajamas. She bounces her forehead off the couch when I have her sound out a word (yes, you read that right). And she's flat-out getting on my nerves.

It's bedtime, and nothing I do calms her down. Finally, I just tell her that it's time to go on to her bed. Her eyes well up, and she runs away, wailing.

Uh... What?

"Emmie, come here, please," I call.
She runs back in, still wailing, and buries her face in my chest.

"Honey, what's going on?" I ask. More tears.

Ah. Okay. She's disappointed about something. I know she won't be able to tell me, because she can hardly define disappointed. So, instead, we rock, and snuggle, and slowly she calms down. When she seems back to her usual self - minus the forehead bouncing - I remind her that it's still time for bed. She smiles and toddles off after "more mooches."

Soon after, as I'm engrossed in the lives of the Miss Dashwoods, I hear what sounds like a duck quacking. And we don't have any ducks... yet.

"Emerson, bring that here," I call.

"Aw, MAN!" she exclaims, and trots out the kazoo she'd been playing with.

"Thank you," I say, give her "anudder mooch, and wave her to bed.

Five minutes later, another small sound catches my attention. But I can't identify it. Whrrrrrrrrrrzzzzz! Whrrrrrrrrrrzzzzz!

I sigh and put down the book. Elinor isn't going to get Edward tonight.

"Emerson -" I begin, but she pounds out of her bedroom with a wry grin before I can continue.

"Here ya go!" she grins, places the noisemaker beside the kazoo, and trots back off to bed.

I try to contain my laughter as my stash grows. Mr. Tamborine and a pair of maracas join in. Finally, I go in and take away the wooden box of musical instruments.

"Sleep. Now." I command, but only half-heartedly. She is endlessly amusing.

She yawns and nods, and snuggles down into her comforter. Her eyes close, and I can see that she's down for the night.


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Monday, March 22, 2010

Because She is the Coolest Mom Ever!

Monday, March 22, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - My co-worker was putting her 4-year-old in her car seat to take her to school, when she heard the spring birds chattering away in the surrounding trees.

"Oh, Hannah, do you hear the birds?" she asked. "Listen to what they're saying!"

Hannah gasped and whirled around to stare at her mother: "Mama! You speak bird?!"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Goin' Back to College

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 By

Augusta, GA - I'm at the Augusta State University Communications Festival as a guest professional. Some people I've fooled - former professors of mine - have asked me here to help current students get a handle on what they need to have my ultra-fabulous career.

One of the speakers is introducing the newest members of Lambda Pi Eta, the communications honor society. She talks a little about the name being derived from Artistotle's Logos, Pathos, and Ethos.

"What was that?" I ask, oblivious. "The Three Muskateers?"

The students at my table look at me, incredulous. "Logos, Pathos, and Ethos," they repeat, with trepidation. They couldn't tell if I was serious, or if I was testing them.

Unfortunately, I was serious. I know I must have taken a speech class, because it was required. I also won some public speaking awards in college. But, I swear, though I have heard those terms, I have never heard them in conjunction with a communications class.


Visiting my alma mater made me wonder how much I "learned" and then forgot. All the media law, the genetic disorders, algebra, how to find the standard deviation without referring back to the textbook I never sold back (side note: I'm pretty sure "The 39 Steps" is a cinematic metaphor for that formula; but more on that later).

I've done little since graduating to expand my knowledge base, other than the practical, hands-on things I've learned as a professional. So what am I to do? Grad school is not within my current reach. Time. Distance. Money. And every time I pick up an old textbook or a new educational tome, I lament the absence of vampires, zombies, Dashwoods and Bennets. And, yes, I've read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. It wasn't that great.

What I think someone should compile is a list called "Books That Are Both Educational and Fun to Read and Were Not Written By James Mitchener." If anyone knows where I can get my hands on that last, please let me know.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stupid Husband Tricks - Or, It's Good Not to be the Only Moron in This Marriage

Sunday, March 14, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - I called home to chortle with Scott over my dress being inside-out at the doctor's office. And he said, "Oh, you'll love this."

Scott does a lot of recording out of our little "home studio" (an iMac and a mixing board, essentially), and sometimes, when he's on a tight deadline, he has to do an interview over the phone. For that purpose, he has rigged this combination of cordless hand set, digital recorder, tiny ear phones, and tape in order to capture the sound. It was very McGuyver of him, and it's done okay for him for the past couple of months.

But he scoffs at himself: "If I had bothered to actually look at the handset, however, I would have seen the big yellow speakerphone button."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I left Emmie with Scott for the afternoon, so that I could go do that thing called work. I called home to see if there was anything I needed to pick up on the way home.

"No, but let me tell you what I did today."

Uh oh.

"I gave Emmie a bowl of ice cream, but she didn't eat it. So I picked up the bowl, which was all melty, and slurped down a huge mouthful... only to have my throat start burning."

"What happened?!"

Emmie is what happened. She had won a "prize" of air freshener at a giveaway earlier that day. I don't know what it's supposed to freshen, since it smells like strawberry-freaking-beer. But anyway. She had decided not to eat the ice cream. She had decided, instead, to "freshen" it.

"I swallowed a whole mouthful!" Scott exclaimed, and I burst into laughter. "I had to call poison control!"

Poison control had to research the brand to make sure it wasn't going to kill him. Ultimately, he's fine. But if you get a whiff of strawberries-and-beer over the next few days, you know where to look.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

This is Why They Should Still Do House Calls

Thursday, March 11, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga - Sleep-deprived, we show up at the clinic for treatment of an apparent ear infection that kept Emmie up all night (and me with her).

Of course, right now she feels just fine.

"Dis is a plie (insert accent mark)," she says, and demonstrates. "An' watch DIS!"

She spins around, then folds her arms with a look of intense self-satisfaction: "How 'bout DAT!"

"So, anyway, uh... She was sick all night. Crying from ear pain, and we're exhausted."

I glance over at her, practicing a tendu against the wall, in the hodge-podge of mismatched clothing that culminates with a shiny, quilted, pink, fur-lined vest.

"Okay, I'M exhausted. And mommy let her dress herself."

The Physician's Assistant grins and glances sideways at me: "Mommy's dress is on inside-out."

I look down. Dang.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No Respect for the Dead

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 By

Augusta, GA. - We're starting our morning with gossip.

"You guys, Corey Haim died," KJ says.

"Which one was he?" I ask.

"He was a 'Lost Boy,'" BO answers.

"Yeah, but which?" I ask.

"The cute one," KJ answers.

"Umm...." (neither were particularly attractive to me)

"The blonde one," she clarifies.

"He was a total methhead, wasn't he?"

"Oh, he was a horrible drug addict," she answers.

"Well, that'll getcha," I answer. Drugs bad.

"Yeah, they're saying accidental overdose," BO says. "But I guess almost anytime you die, it's accidental."

"Nice, B."

(L-R: Corey Haim, Lost Boy; Corey Haim, Tragic Meth-Face)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Sometimes it doesn't matter how nicely they ask

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 By

Augusta, GA. - Emmie's just out of the bath tub, running around in her "Memo" towel.

"Mama? Do you wanna smell me?"

"Sure, honey," I laugh, and inhale at her neck. "Mmmmm. You smell like flowers and rainbows and unicorns."

"Do you wanna smell my bootie?"

"Uh, no."

"Why not?"

"I just don't."

"Come on."

"No, thank you."

"Come on."

"No, sweetie."

"I promise you it won't be stinky."

"I believe you."

"Just smell it."


"Come on. Just one time."

"Emmie, I do not want to smell your bootie. I'm sure it smells like flowers, but no thanks."

"Maybe Daddy will give you some candy," she sings.

"No, I don't need any candy."

"Mama, I promise. It won't be stinky. And you get candy. Really."

"No, ma'am."



"PRETTY please."

"NO. Emmie. I do not want to smell your bootie. That's it."

She begins to walk away, dramatically dejected, when an idea occurs to me: "Actually, why don't you go ask Daddy?"

Monday, March 08, 2010

And the winner is... US!

Monday, March 08, 2010 By

AUGUSTA, GA. - Out of only six entries submitted to the national competition, Metro Augusta Parent Magazine won four awards this year from Parenting Publications of America (PPA).

"I am extremely proud of the award winners. To take home four national awards out of six entered is phenomenal. It truly proves their talent level and dedication is second to none," said Bryan Osborn, group publisher for the company that produces Metro Augusta Parent Magazine, The Metro Spirit, and Bites & Sights.

The award underscores the talent and hard work that goes into each issue. Without the passion that drives the staff and contributors, the 40,000 women who depend on us each month to bring them the most honest and entertaining information about parenting in Augusta would be left wanting. The magazine has won a gold award every year for the past five years.

The 2010 Awards

Editor's Letter
Silver: Amy Christian, editor
The judges said: "This column takes an interesting stance and then explains it to readers as a way of starting the conversation. This is a strong voice driving the publication."

Amy Christian is a perennial winner in this competition. Last year she won a silver award for her story about Richmond County School Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden. Read some of her recent columns here:

* Managing the transition
* No longer little

Inside Illustration
Silver: Leonard Zimmerman, illustrator
The judges said: "An unusual drawing style and an interesting vantage point bring the reader into this illustration and successfully reflect the lighthearted tone of the text. The colors of the children's shirts contrast nicely with the background color."

Leonard Zimmerman is a talented painter, graphic designer, and illustrator. While this is his first PPA win, he was part of the Wierhouse creative team that took home more than 30 ADDY Awards at this year's ceremony. Take a look at his work below:

* Robots' meaning is in the eye of the beholder
* Nominated for Metro's Best Visual Artist
* Joint effort

(Above, the winning illustration from Leonard Zimmerman)

Profile Writing
Silver: "Year-long Learning ... and Then Some," Eric Johnson, staff writer; Amy Christian, editor
The judges said: "An effective and efficient (column-length) look at a remarkable private school that perseveres by sticking to educational priorities and human principles, with a compelling figure at the center of the tale. Convincingly demonstrates that "alternative education" doesn't necessarily mean something way out of the mainstream."

Eric Johnson is a solid and enthusiastic news and education reporter, whose profile of C.H. Terrell Academy is just a single drop in an ocean of quality work. This is a first PPA award for this writer, who studied fiction writing with Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo.

General Feature Writing
Gold: "Intensive Care, " Stacey Hudson; publisher; Amy Christian, editor
The judges said: "From the beginning, readers are drawn in to the story about a family in the midst of crisis with a father's life in the balance. The writer openly talks about the choices she made with her own family in dealing with the situation and uses professionals to explain how children respond in such situations. This is a great combination of memoir writing and service journalism all wrapped into one touching story."

Stacey has previously won for her pregnancy memoir, "Rabbit Done Died"; and for a look at the irrational suspicions that plague parents those first days of day care called "Miss Rachel Must Die." She doesn't know why all of her award-winning pieces mention death in some way.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Never Get in the Way of a Pregnant Lady!

"Are those Reese's Peanut Butter eggs, or just chocolate?" a pregnant M.L. asked.
"They're some of each. But we're not telling you which is which," I grinned.
"That's okay. I'll just eat them all."