St. Petersburg Garden

St. Petersburg Garden

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Shhh, don't tell Mike

I have a boyfriend. His name is Louis. I've had him for a very long time. Way before I met Mike. He's very special to me, not one of those guys that you can give up just because you get married. I'm pretty sure Mike understood this when he met me. I mean, come on. You can't expect a girl to get rid of her relationship with someone, one that has extended back for so many years, just like that. And I'm talking years.

I first met Louis when I was just a little girl. I can't remember where we met. Perhaps it was a magazine. Perhaps it was in a store window. All I know is that from the moment I first laid eyes on his beautiful brown skin I was in love. I think it was the steamer trunk. Yes, the steamer trunk pulled me in. I had visions of the Grand Tour. Europe. Wheeling my steamer trunk with the little LV's intertwined throughout. Oh, Louis what have you done to me.....

Throughout the years I kept tabs on Louis. When I would make him mine. There were so many different ones to choose from. What's a girl to do? I remember going to get my first one. I spotted the little guy and knew I had to make him mine. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen.

The mini speedy. Tiny. Adorable. I could still fit all the essentials in there. Phone, license, money, tissues, lipstick, car keys. Perfect. I will make him mine. And so I did. My mom was with me for my first Louis. You never forget your first. Or your second. Or your third. Well, okay, so you get the point. You never forget any of your Louis's. He's pretty much an unforgettable guy.

It had been a few years since Louis had made a visit to my house. I missed my old boyfriend. Mike now understood that I needed to keep this relationship alive. He was okay with it. There are some things that a husband needs to understand and this was one of them. He saw how I would longingly pass my Louis at the mall with sadness in my eyes. How I would lovingly caress my baby at the boutique and tell him that it would be all right, he would come home to me soon.

I didn't know when but I had to tell Louis something to make him feel better. It's cold and lonely in the store, any words of comfort were better than nothing. And then it happened. Dear God I don't know how but it happened. New York Santa and California Santa got together and delivered my Louis to me. It was a Christmas miracle! All is right with the world. Louis is back with me and I can once again walk down the street with my man on my arm. Oh, and Mike too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Houston, we have a problem

Like most parents, we pride ourselves on having a baby that is the most adorably perfect little specimen that you can find. Of course our Charlie is the best little tyke around. Now I know most parents say this and it's not true but in our case, it's true. No, really, it is.

Everyone knows it. Everyone agrees with us. Again, really, it's true. No lie. I can't make this stuff up. Charlie is so adored that even our friends and family love to spoil the little guy. We're not complaining and I know he's not. Bones in every corner, clothes everywhere, dozens of laps to choose from - the boy has it made.

Which brings me to the problem. Our little angel always follows us around everywhere. No, this isn't the problem. I'm getting there, just wait. He's my little shadow. Can't get enough of me. I secretly enjoy that he sits on my lap a little bit more than he sits on Mike's. I can't help it. We actually fight over who gets to hold him or who gets to snuggle him when we're sleeping.

I'm serious. I'm not ashamed to admit it. We have a routine. Every night as we get ready for bed, Charlie jumps into bed, nestles beneath the covers and waits for us to climb in. Once we're all in, it's bedtime. Simple enough. This is how it is. Every night. Always. At least that's how it's supposed to be. Until the grandparents arrived. Sure, it's always the grandparents that mess things up.

As we got into bed, all snuggled and warm, we realized that something wasn't quite right. Our little wiggler was missing. Mike, probably suspicious that I was hiding Charlie on my side, asked if I had him. Nope, not with me. I figured he was just along the bottom portion of the bed. We started doing some feet sweeping. Back and forth we went, feeling along the edge.

We figured he was just hidden along the edge of our pillows. Nope. No Charlie. Maybe he just didn't come into bed yet. Sometimes he stays up chewing his little bone. Sure, that was it. He was still in the kitchen having a snack. After five minutes and still no Charlie, we knew. He wasn't snacking. He left us. Our angel, our perfect baby, my shadow. He left us for the grandparents.

We couldn't believe it. They had only been here one day and already they had taken our Charlie from us. When we woke up we knew what it was all about. Charlie was a sleeper. Tired of having to get up early he did what he had to do. Go where he knew he wouldn't be disturbed from his slumber. The proof is in the pictures. Sadly, our bed is lump free.

But no, my friends it doesn't stop there. When we eat, Charlie is my lap warmer. He squeaks out a tune until I pick him up and place him across my legs. It's customary. It's how I eat. I enjoy a nice meal with a little brown blanket. Alas, I've been replaced. The man in the plaid pajamas, a.k.a. Grandpa, had worked his magic and taken my spot. Grandma had gotten her spot on LoveSac. What was happening? It's not looking good for us. I see a lot of presents under that tree. Our names aren't on all of them. It's looking to be a good Christmas Charlie Brown. A good Christmas indeed.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Munchkin has a Birthday

Like all good parents we were excited for our baby's first birthday. Well, at least his first birthday with us. Our little Charlie Brown was turning four. We couldn't just let this day go by like any ordinary day. Mike gets cake on his birthday. And presents. Yes, we can't forget the presents.

So why shouldn't our little tyke get the same treatment? (This is a rhetorical question people). It started out innocent enough. We weren't thinking of going so big. We thought maybe just a quiet little celebration, just us and our little guy, maybe an extra treat. Sure, that sounded like a nice idea. Perhaps I got a little carried away. All I did was add his name to the invite. Give him equal top billing. He is Charlie Brown after all. He deserves it.

Here's how it went down. Every year we have a big Christmas Birthday Party. We call it the "Annual Jeffries Ranch Christmas Parade & Mike's Birthday Party" Party. I know, great title. We're thinking of trademarking. Our neighborhood hosts a holiday parade every year. It's fabulous. Really. So fabulous we work our party around it. If the date changes, so does our party.

All of the boats and old cars will get decorated and form a procession and drive around with music - helloooo parade - sometimes even the Marines participate, tanks and all. It's to benefit Toys for Tots. This year we added the "& Charlie" to the end of the birthday portion. We thought hey, it's time he's celebrated as the awesomeness of cuddly brown fur that he is. Apparently we aren't the only ones that feel this way.

I was hoping to skip the present opening. I never liked this part. It's always an awkward moment of any party but all of a sudden one friend brought a bag to Mike and said, "This is for Charlie, you have to open it". The next thing we knew the presents were flying. All for Charlie. Hey, I think we're on to something.

Bag after bag they kept coming. Charlie was a very popular little fellow. He didn't know what to make of all this. He just kept running back and forth, nose in bag. He smelled something. We opened the first bag and out came some stylin' new clothes. I was pretty excited about that one. A guy has to keep up with the times you know and besides, it does get cold. This, however, was not what Charlie was searching for. And then, there it was. At the bottom of the bag. The mother lode.

The BONE. Mike reached in and pulled it out. Charlie did a happy dance. We put the giant monster in front of our 10 pound munchkin and watched as he opened his tiny mouth and proceeded to grab the massive behemoth between his teeth. He walked away a little top heavy but determined to take his new toy. The crowd erupted in laughter.

The bone giver admitted that he wanted to give a bigger one. He thinks it's funny. We've had to deal with the fallout. That face. It says I want that but I can't have it. We've had to unwrap the ends so that our little guy can attempt a chew. It's semi-working. It's a good thing he had his little birthday cake to distract him. Apple carrot with peanut butter frosting. It was all natural. Not bad. Yeah, I tasted it. Don't judge.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Joy of THE Photo

Ah, the Christmas card photo. Every year we look forward to what we are going to put on that card. We pose for pictures everywhere we go. Could this be the one? It doesn't matter where we are or what time of the year it is - you always have to be prepared for what could be your next Christmas card photo. We usually are. We always have an arsenal of photos to choose from. Did I say always? Remember that statement. Those things usually come back to haunt me.

If we don't like the choices we have then we always have fun figuring out what we will do for the picture of the year. Will we have a theme? The beach? Inside or outside? Of course in years past it was a bit easier because we didn't have the baby and there are certain areas he may not be allowed. I know, ridiculous, isn't it? The shame of it all.....This year we had some great travel pictures. We thought for sure we'd have some potential winners in the bunch. Only one problem - no baby. You can't send a Christmas card and leave out your little munchkin. Crap. We're usually the first people to send out the cards. People count on us. Like clockwork. Those cards arrive in the mail and it's the start of the holiday season. We were going to be letting people down. How could we do this? I was starting to feel some pressure. We needed to come up with something quickly. And that's the problem. Hhhmmm. Nothing was coming to us.
Every weekend we kept trying. Every weekend it was the same thing. Dress up, no pictures. We didn't know what was happening to us. For the first time, I'm ashamed to admit this, we weren't feeling the Christmas photo. Don't judge. I didn't know what was happening. We were caving to the pressure. The pressure of the photo. We couldn't pick an outfit. Or a location. Or a time. We kept putting it off. Slackers, that's what we were. Until it happened.
Oh no. Not this. We got our first holiday card in the mail. It was then that we knew we were in trouble. Those cards kept rolling in. We knew if we didn't get our act together it would be too late. We regrouped. The ideas came rolling in. Sure there were a couple of glitches. We needed some last minute wardrobe changes - Mike and Charlie couldn't both wear red - but we made it work.

Once we had our photos we thought the hard part was over. It took us a long time to get where we were. I should have known better. Here I sit waiting for those cards to be done. Glitches at the printer have now prevented us from being finished. Round One has not gone to me. I'm heading back for Round Two. I was talking to a friend the other day. She wanted to know what was up with me. She said I'm always the first one to send out my Christmas cards. The envelopes are all done. Maybe next week I'll have some photos to stuff inside.

Friday, December 3, 2010

B.M. and A.M.

For pretty much all of our lives we have only known the world in these terms - B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini). Everything is split into basically two worlds. What happened before and what happened after. This is common knowledge. Everyone knows it. Everyone may not believe in it but I'm betting that everyone understands it. Before and after. Regardless of whether you believe in religion or the modern day calender, let's just focus on the fact that we all believe in before and after. That's what I'm going for here.

B.M. - Now we all may have our own versions of this one but mine would be Before Mike. Before Mike I was a strict bed maker. I always made my bed. In college, I would make my bed every single day. This is not a joke. I'd give you my former roommates email addresses for verification but I don't know if they'd appreciate that. Not only did I make the bed but I took it even further. My bed was so perfectly made - I'm talking every pillow in place, every bunny in perfect position - that sometimes I didn't want to mess it up. I'm not ashamed to admit it. In order to keep my heavenly perfection, I would sleep on the couch. But I couldn't let the couch stay rumpled. I would even fluff the couch cushions in the morning too. Everything had its proper place and everything had to be in its perfect position. The other day I was at a friend's house. Her bed was made. I mentioned that fact. She said she makes it every day. I sighed. I remembered those days. I told her yes, but she's single. I am living life........

A.M. - I'm sure we can all guess what this is. Yes, this would be After Mike. After Mike, things just don't stay the way you used to have them. Now don't get me wrong, there are great things to A.M. living but keeping that bed made every day and keeping those couch cushions in place do not seem to be up on that list. I'm an OCD-type of person. That would be obsessive-compulsive in case you were wondering. I need to have everything in its proper place at all times. I like things to look neat and orderly and perfect. I don't like mess or clutter.

So it actually works out quite well for us that we have a LoveSac. One of those giant beanbag-like chairs. It's not meant to be perfect. It's meant for jumping and lounging and sleeping and well, just having fun. It's a perfect blend of both B.M. and A.M. lifestyles. Well, almost. It doesn't look pretty in any room and doesn't really fit nicely anywhere that we try to put it but it's just so comfortable and always every person's favorite place to go. Even Charlie's. Besides, it's so comfy, there have been a few nights that I've convinced Mike tha we should sleep on it. A few more of those and I can keep making the bed to perfection.