Saturday, May 31, 2014

INSPIRATION ON POINTE

"Mama, look at her. She's MAGICAL."

Mags has been preparing for her recital for months. The dance steps, the costumes, the ballet bun...it's all very exciting. But her shining moments don't come in her own dances. They're fantastic, don't get me wrong. That girl can smile the smile and shuffle the shuffle. However, the moments that make this girl light up come when she's inspired by the "big girl ballerinas." 

They're beautiful. They wear stunning, poofy-skirted costumes.  They dance on their toes. They are doing what she hopes to build up to in dance. 

But tonight, there was one. One of those ballerinas, one of the sweetest, ran off the stage in a transition point of the dance. While she was waiting in the wings, she looked over, saw my Mags waiting against the wall, and I watched both their faces light up. 

"Hi, Maggie." she mouthed and waved at her.

Mags looked at me with such awe that, during the middle of this production, her big girl idol would be so excited to see her. That this budding pointe dancer took a moment to INSPIRE a younger dancer left me breathless. And as she arabesqued back onto the stage, I turned just in time to capture the moment in a picture. 


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How 24 Taught Us To Live Another Day

Mel's Twitter post on 5/5/14: "The only day it's perfectly acceptable to roll over, kiss my husband and whisper another man's name. #JackIsBack"


A guest post by Christopher Bugaj

The year was 2008.

Tuck, our oldest, was 3. Mags, our youngest, was 1. On most days I was up early and out the door to work. Melissa worked from home during the day, fitting in odd jobs, completing household errands, coordinating play-dates, and doing everything else that needed to be done.

At 3:30, the roles reversed. Sometime in the morning we compared schedules and picked a spot to meet to swap the kids. In school, church, or store parking lots (or even, sometimes,  just on the side of the road) we met to flip the kids from one set of car seats to the other. Melissa headed off to work, mostly, at the time, to tutor students. I assumed the parenting responsibilities of dinner, clean-up, bath, reading, and bed.

Melissa would get home around 7:30, often just in time to give the kids a kiss goodnight.

At 8pm, I’d march myself into the bedroom, close the door, and work until 11. Every. Single. Night (including weekends). I was contracted to co-author a book on the topic of building a successful Assistive Technology program.

The project consumed almost every evening for a better part of 9 months. The title of the book was The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools but Melissa affectionately gave it a different title. She called it our “third child."

The work was incredibly rewarding but very time consuming. The book never impacted the time spent with the children but it had a devastating impact on the time spent with Melissa. Needless to say, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” won out over “out of sight, out of mind.” The lack of time only strengthened our relationship. We learned how valuable our time together was and found ourselves longing for more of it.

We missed laughing together. We missed eating together. We missed sharing our thoughts on pop culture and current events. We just missed being together.

We resolved to rectify that situation as soon as I was finished with the book.  

When the book was completed, with the final draft sent to the publisher for editing, we decided one way we could reconnect would be to simply snuggle up on the couch and watch a television show. Most take the time spent together watching television for granted. For us, it was a luxury we hadn’t indulged in for almost a year. The show we chose to watch was the one everyone was talking about everywhere; 24.


We ordered Season 1 on Netflix and fell into the world of Jack Bauer and CTU. It turned out to be the perfect show for us. The show featured just the right mix of action, adventure, excitement, and intrigue. At times, we found ourselves gasping in shock and shouting at the screen like we could somehow impact the outcome of the events. At other times, we found ourselves cracking jokes, making up our own dialogue, and laughing at ridiculous predictions that remarkably came true in the plot.

It wasn’t long before we were hooked. Friday or Saturday nights found us up at 2am, not because of nightmare fueled screams from the children but from 1am conversations of “Let’s do one more episode! Let’s see what happens next!”

We discussed refreshments for our nightly viewings, usually trying some new appetizer or drink to accompany our viewing pleasure. We snuggled up, just enjoying the close proximity. We howled, cheered, cried, laughed, and lounged reveling in the time together.

It was awesome. Thank you, Jack Bauer,
for giving us a vehicle with which to hone our witty repartee.

When 24 ended, we were sad. We missed rooting for our buddy, Jack. We missed talking like Jack, Chloe, Tony, and the other characters from the show. We missed poking at the dialogue, mannerisms, and outrageous plot twists. Mostly though, we missed the fun we were having simply being together.

We tried to fill the void with other shows, looking for the right mix of character, story, action, drama, and humor. Shows like the John Adams miniseries, Battlestar Galactica, Nip/Tuck, and Arrested Development all had their merits. We watched them all from start to finish. We enjoyed our time with these shows too, but none captured our attention like 24.

Now, 24 has returned for a 12 episode season called Live Another Day and we find ourselves falling right back into our old routine. We’re sitting, snacking, snickering, and snuggling our way through each episode...and loving the time we’re taking to just be together. Although we have ambitions and goals, both personal and professional, we’ve embraced the idea that these are really secondary aspirations. First and foremost, we need to be happy.

That’s what makes it worth it to
Live Another Day.

Dammit people, we hope you’re having just as much fun as we are! 
If not, what’s the point?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

KETCHUP WITH US

It's time for Ketchup With Us. Hosted by Michele and me on the 1st & 15th of every month, the link-up gives you TWO ways to play: (A) Set a timer for 10 minutes and write about whatever enters your head OR (B) Link up an old post. 

We're hosting our own writing prompt by answering the prompt of another. MamaKat, a sweet fellow blogger, always has a writing prompt that speaks to me. Since there has been so much "dog" talk in our house lately, I had to choose the following:

If your family were dogs what breed would they be?

Tuck: A Yellow Labrador Retriever

Affectionate and loyal, he's playful and sensitive. He bounds down the stairs with such enthusiasm to retrieve laundry from the dryer. The second you mention the word "walk" or "run," his shoes are on and he's waiting by the door. He is always happy to see any of his human family when we walk through the door. Like a Lab, he is beyond forgiving and patient with all of our parenting faults.


Maggie: Bulldog

She can be described as a very affectionate and dependable, gentle (and maternal) with other children, but is known for her courage and excellent guarding abilities. Bullheaded and determined, she can be very persistent. She does not give up easily. Like a Bulldog, she seeks out human attention and loves every bit she can get!! A lot of human attention is required for Mags' happiness.



Chris: Mutt (consulted a "dog breed quiz")

He's a renegade, creative, and will not be confined to any sort of box. He's a hard worker, very loyal and always willing to lend an ear. He's his own person full of real life experiences. He's always up for an adventure. He's adorable and unique, making him first choice to be adopted from the kennel. He often follows the mantra of "ask for forgiveness rather than permission." 



Mel: Border Collie  (consulted a "dog breed quiz")

You are a Border Collie! You are very intelligent, loving, loyal and dependable. You are also very athletic and fast. You may even have OCD over a tennis ball or a frisbee. You love to please others and you never give up with the job you have to do. If someone makes you mad,you just give them the good ol' Border Collie stare!


Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer 
from last time is ...
* * * * * * * * * * *  

* * * * * * * * * * *  
BEHIND THE KETCHUP 
Click here to read how this foolishness all began.  
KEEP TRACK OF OUR SILLINESS 
Facebook (Michele /Mel
Twitter (Michele/Mel)
Instagram (Michele/Mel)
Pinterest (Michele/Mel) 
SPREAD THE WORD 

ketchup with us
<a href="http://www.accordingtomags.com" target="_self"><img src=&#34http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s492/accordingtomags/th_a410bb31.jpg" alt="Ketchup With Us" width="125" height="125" /></a>

FINALLY! THE LINK UP!


WE give you a (completely non sequitor) picture to inspire you to KetchupWithUs.

All YOU need to do is link something up.

And, for the love of Taco Bell's new Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco, TELL YOUR FRIENDS!



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

FANCY

Me: "Tell me all about your field trip!"
Mags: "Well…let me start with the most EXCITING part."
Me: "Okay."
Mags: "The bus had a BATHROOM!"
Me: "NO. WAY!"
Mags: "Yes way. It was a FANCY bus. AND I used the bathroom TWICE."
Me: "How was it? Fancy?"
Mags: "Sorta. The first time I went in there it smelled like cotton candy. The second time I went in there…it smelled less like cotton candy and more like…poop."
Me: "Oh, bummer."
Mags: "It's okay. It was still fancy. Just a smelly fancy."

Mags and Chris went on a field trip. What's not to love? 
My favorite shot that he took today. 



Saturday, May 3, 2014

Making a SPLASH!

Mags: "You want me to do what?"
Me: "Use your foot like this to flush the toilet."
Mags: "Are you crazy? My legs don't stretch that far."

There's an unspoken rule in dirty gas station, highway rest stop, WalMart or grocery store bathrooms. At least for women. Always flush the soiled toilet handles with your foot. 

So, today, like any other normal day in a public restroom, I performed my trick. Except my phone began to ring JUST as I poised my foot. I looked down, only for a second, while my brain simultaneously pushed in a familiar downward motion. I was jolted forward, as I heard the flush, but it didn't register until I heard, SPLASH! I looked into the toilet in disbelief. There. Was. My. Foot.  Becoming surrounded…and wet…by the fresh water that replenished the bowl, I lifted up as fast as I could.  

Moral of the story:

Cute, cork wedges do not have the sturdy platform needed in order to remain securely on the flush bar for the entirety of the force placed upon it. 

(To be fair, they also don't have a sturdy platform for walking. But sacrificing comfort for cuteness in shoes…that's a whole other unspoken rule.)





Thursday, May 1, 2014

KETCHUP WITH US

It's time for Ketchup With Us. Hosted by Michele and me on the 1st & 15th of every month, the link-up gives you TWO ways to play: (A) Set a timer for 10 minutes and write about whatever enters your head OR (B) Link up an old post. 

Michele decided to be an overachiever and kill two birds with one stone. Since I seem to wandering aimlessly lately, I'm following her lead. What? She has cheese…and I love a good snack. We're hosting my own writing prompt by answering the prompt of another. MamaKat, a sweet fellow blogger, always has a writing prompt that speaks to me. This week for Michele was MK's TV prompt. For me, it was the prompt : 

Begin with "I wish someone told me…" 

I wish someone told me that just because I start to feel like I have some time to breathe, doesn't mean I need to fill that time with something else. It's possible to just enjoy having a moment to yourself. Sometimes your cape gets dirty and needs to be put it in the wash. Sometimes…you need to give yourself permission to let it all go. To just sit down and watch a train wreck of a TV show. To eat junk food that stains your fingers. To drink as much coffee and Samoa Girl Scout creamer as you want.  You don't ALWAYS have to be doing something "productive." Taking care of yourself can be considered OKAY. 

I wish someone told me…

Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer 
from last time is ...
* * * * * * * * * * *  
Torotno Teacher Mom
* * * * * * * * * * *  
BEHIND THE KETCHUP 
Click here to read how this foolishness all began.  
KEEP TRACK OF OUR SILLINESS 
Facebook (Michele /Mel
Twitter (Michele/Mel)
Instagram (Michele/Mel)
Pinterest (Michele/Mel) 
SPREAD THE WORD 
ketchup with us
<a href="http://www.accordingtomags.com" target="_self"><img src=&#34http://i10

54.photobucket.com/albums/s492/accordingtomags/th_a410bb31.jpg" alt="Ketchup With Us" width="125" height="125" /></a>


FINALLY! THE LINK-UP!

WE give you a (non sequitor) picture to inspire you to KetchupWithUs.

YOU just need to do is link something up.

And, for the love of Clamato, TELL YOUR FRIENDS!