Rawlins Family

Rawlins Family

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I'm not actually going to discuss the film, so no worries you won't find any spoilers here (yet).

Rather, I'd like to discuss the event itself and all that I saw there.

We arrived at 10:10 for the 12:02 AM showing. There was a satellite truck parked out front for the local news crew that was inside shooting (side note, the news crew was filming when they saw my BIL, Eric, holding his two week old baby so they got her in the shot too!), so I knew it was going to be chaotic. I had bought our tickets in advance and I had people already waiting in line that I joined so I wasn't worried about sitting on the front row. We picked up our tix and got in line and then looked around. The place was PACKED! And they had already let one or two groups in to their respective theaters. Of course my line was the last to get entrance so we stood around waiting until at 11:15 or so. And of course you all read in the comments from my last post that I got the best seat in the entire theater. Banner day, my friends. Banner day.

Anyway, while I was standing in line and later while I was sitting in the theater, I got the chance to do something I LOVE to do. People watch. I am a hard-core, completely unabashed people watcher. If I think you're doing/wearing something interesting/silly/dumb I will stare you down. If you happen to catch me in the act I may or may not look away. Depends on my mood. After all, you're the one standing right there in the middle of Big Lots passionately making out with your boyfriend. Who said you had the right to privacy?

Being surrounded by a crowd with an average age of 15 was quite a treat. They're the most fun to watch! Here's what I learned and saw there:

1. That Girl still exists. You know the one. She's tall, thin and attractive and it's obvious that SOMEONE is spoiling her rotten. She's got the bag, the Juicy Couture sweats and the highlights. Her Tiffany's bracelet is constantly jingling as she tosses her hair back and forth. While everyone else in the theater is sitting down and chatting with the people closest to them, she only feels comfortable standing in front of her third row seat.

2. That Boy still exists. And he's placed himself right behind That girl. He's got the gelled hair, the bead necklace and the artfully faded Clapton  concert t-shirt that he bought at Hollister - he doesn't even know who Clapton is.  He's also standing up to talk to his friends. And he and That Girl keep casting sideways glances at each other but never speak. Which reminded me of how refreshing it was when I finally got the confidence (in college) to introduce myself to people without having to pass a note to a friend and make her do it for me. It got so bad with those two that I seriously wanted to just walk down there and introduce them so they could make-out and get it over with.

3. Uggs are still cool. And you can wear them with anything. I mean ANYTHING. Teensy, tiny shorts, leggings, miniskirts. But the best thing to wear them with is sloppy pajama pants/sweats. But make sure to tuck in the pants. But not tightly. Just loosely, so that your pants are billowing out over the top of the boot in a very flattering impression of a pirate. Ahoy there, matey.

4. The 80's are back. So, I was standing there staring at people when I noticed someone wearing a pair of shoes that very closely resembled the Topsider's I wore in 5th grade. But they were uglier. MUCH uglier. I literally gasped in horror, thinking this poor girl must be so wretchedly poor that she was forced to wear her father's hand-me-downs from when HE was a boy. And then I realized the girl next to her was wearing them as well. Puzzled, I started looking at all of the feet closest to me that were not clad in Uggs. And sure enough, 46% of them were wearing Topsiders. In utter confusion I turned to Abby - who is very with-it - and told her what I was seeing. And she informed me that Topsiders are back. AND she thinks they're cute. Kathleen - who is RIDICULOUSLY with-it - confirmed. I was aghast. In fact, I still am. I can totally do the moccasin thing, I love flats, Uggs I can handle. But I've seen my dad wearing Topsiders (or something close) for almost 30 years! This is one bandwagon I will NOT be jumping on.

5. The cell phone craze is out of control. I have a cell phone. My first phone came part-and-parcel with my first big-girl job. In 2002.  When I stopped working I didn't have one again until the end of 2005 when Chase had HIS first job out of school. The phone came free with the plan we chose and I had it until about a month ago when it started acting up. I switched to a hand-me-down phone that was, aside from the color, exactly the same. We don't have a landline, so my phone is just a necessity. I don't think a whole lot about it or use it for much other than actually talking on it (except today when I've been texting with Bird because Lylla is in labor). So I was appalled/amused/confused when I noticed the kids around me in line holding these fancy Sidekicks, Blackberry's, and IPhones. There was one guy in front of me who seriously was spinning his phone in his hand for an ENTIRE hour. Just spinning, spinning, spinning. And once we were sitting I looked around a everyone was texting, talking on their phones and playing games. It's nuts! I do think that phones are a nice thing to have. They make really great emergency phones that you can program a couple numbers into and that's all they do. I think these should be MANDATORY for kids under 18. Anything else is just a waste of their brain cells and a waste of money. What kid needs a $400+ phone?!?! Crazy business.

6. I wouldn't relive my teen years for a million bajillion dollars. Sure, some things would be fun. It would be fun to go back and try out for sports other than volleyball. It would be fun to do the pep rally/football games thing again. But to be a teenage girl is like being on a gameshow. A really fashionable, yet sadistic gameshow. You just never know what you're going to get. Today you might be the coolest kid in your group and all your friends like you. Tomorrow you might get to school and find out that during the nights your friends got together and decided they hate you. It's total guerilla warfare! You never know who's hiding around the corner waiting to take you out. Thankfully I was able to maneuver through my teens without too much major drama but I know some girls who weren't so lucky. And I think it's just getting worse (sorry Tay) with the introduction of stuff like Myspace and Facebook. So yeah. I would love to be 130lbs and stretch-mark-free again. But 16? No thanks.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

There's peanut butter on my carpet...

And size 2T clothes in Miles' drawers. In the piano room there are three loads of laundry waiting to be folded and my bedroom has become the final resting place of all sorts of toys, newspapers and unpaid bills. The linen closet needs to be reorganized and the bedroom closets, too. Sheets need to be changed, the front porch is covered in leaves; the ironing board has taken up permanent residence outside of the master bath. The book shelf is cluttered, the garage is still housing all of my garage sale wares and the kids rooms have been declared disaster areas; last word was that FEMA was on the way to help.

But that will all have to wait tonight. Because I have a date.

With Bellward.

12:02 AM Friday, November 21, 2008. Me + Tinseltown Cinema = BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE (almost).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

My mom said it’s time again to write you a letter and tell you all of the wonderful things that I’m hoping for. You can probably look in my file and see that in the past I have asked for things like toys, clothes and electronics. But Santa, this year I have a more meaningful gift to ask for.

You see, Santa, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen my cousins Owen, Gaby, Lydia and Taylor. At night when I’m laying in bed I try to remember what their faces look like. I close my eyes real tight and concentrate. But I always get so sad because I’m starting to forget what they look like. Oh, Santa. I just love them so much and I miss them. Every day I cry and cry and cry because I am so sad that they don’t live somewhere close, like, say, Richardson.

So when my mom said it was time to write this letter I knew exactly what I would ask for. Santa, you can give all of my toys to other little boys this year. Instead of stopping at my house, just cruise right by. Because what I want, you can’t bring in your big, red sack. Well, technically you could probably fit it in a sack but that would be tantamount to child abuse. And you’re Santa. You don’t abuse kids. Except when you put coal in stockings. That’s pretty messed up, you gotta admit.

Anyway, Santa, for Christmas I want peace, love and joy to be found at my grandparents house when my cousins Hudson, Cannon, Keaton, Bean, Taylor, Lydia, GABY, Owen, Mason, Chase and I all gather together on Christmas Eve and eat shrimp. From what I’ve heard it’s usually the biggest shindig of the year and my mom will probably let me eat candy like it’s Halloween. There will be presents, and singing and we’ll read scriptures and have tickle fights. No one will get sick and Aunt Lylla will probably do a silly skit with Taylor. And if you could go ahead and help keep the gas prices down (you can do that, right, Santa?), then no one will go broke making the trip, either. At night I’ll sleep peacefully in the large upstairs bedroom with the wood paneling that my mom claimed in September so no one better try and steal it, and never make a sound while my mom and dad spend quality time with all of the other grown-ups. They said something about playing hearts and eating Turkey Hill Tin Roof Ice Cream, which, some say, is better than Dairy Queen!

So, Santa, in closing may I just say that you’re looking rather well this year. Is that a new suit? That Mrs. Claus sure knows how to sew. And your cheeks are especially rosy, too. You don’t look a day over 196!



p.s. I promise that you if grant me this one, very small, inconsequential and easy-to-grant wish I will be your best friend forever.

p.p.s. I swear I did NOT push Sophie down and lock her in her room. That was TOTALLY Miles.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just Because

While walking at the nature preserve with my SIL, Jeni, we passed a man walking a dog. We ushered the kids over to the side of the walkway and smiled nicely and said what a pretty dog he had. After looking at our kids (three walking, one in a sling, and one in a stroller) he replied, "That's a litter of kids." And kept walking...Jeni and I just stared after him in shock. Why can't full-grown adults stick to the old adage of "if you can't say anything nice...?"

While putting the kids to bed I was snuggling in with Cam and Miles (who are currently sleeping in the same bed - that's another blog post for another time - no, actually it's a short explanation. Miles kept waking us up in the middle of the night and we decided he was lonely so we made Cam sleep in the queen bed with Miles, thus solving the problem). Miles was sleepy but Cam was in a silly mood. He looked at me with a big grin and said, "Mommy, you are good." Before I could respond he added, "...and soft and squishy and sassy."

Sophia is starting to walk! Every night Chase and I put her between us and do the time-honored tradition of passing her back and forth trying to get her to take steps to us. The last couple of nights she was taking a step or two. Tonight she took FOUR! I'm half excited and half trepidatious. Yes, walking is good and fun (and sassy and squishy?), but it just means a lot more work for me. But oh well, bring it on, sister!

'Tis the season for Christmas church outfits. I already found a cute little navy plaid dress for Miss Sophia and I'm trying to figure out what the boys will wear. But I love it all. Summer dress clothes are nice with all the pastels and bare legs and short sleeves, etc. But there's something so classy  about a dress with sleeves and a collar and tights and mary janes. And boys in long sleeves with sweater vests are SO adorable! Yay! It was finally cold enough on Sunday for me to put Sophie in one of her winter dresses. I think the effect is quite adorable.


How to be a negligent mom...(tips from a sick mommy)

  • Turn on the TV at 7 AM, leave on, uninterrupted, until 4PM
  • Open the door to the deck, lay on the floor next to the door and act like you're watching your kids
  • Serve Teddy Grahams and Goldfish as "breakfast" and "lunch"
  • Wendy's drive-thru
  • When your kids beg to go to the park continue staring at the blank wall over their left shoulder for about five minutes
  • Don't feel bad when yesterday's pajamas become today's play clothes (and tonight's pajamas)
  • Count the hours on the couch as valuable "together time" with your children. Bonus points if they were on your lap.
  • Extra bonus points for not freaking out when your kids put entire rolls of toilet paper in the toilet, or empty brand-new tissue boxes.
  • At the dinner table feel free to lay your head on the table and mumble responses to any direct question.
  • Clean dishes/underwear are for wussies.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Son of a Hershey's Bar!

It's been a long time comin'. But here it is. I'm back.

Hmmm...(tapping nails obnoxiously on keyboard)...should I just move forward or bore everyone with a detailed account of my last two weeks....Hmmmm.....

How's about we settle for a recap. And no, I'm not doing bullets because I'm bringing them back (though, you know that's what will naturally happen because of the sheer awesomeness of my blog -I'm a trend-setter, what can I say?).

  • A couple weeks ago I started doing some work from home to make some extra bucks. It's not exciting, but having more money is! Yay! So that's what's been keeping me busy.
  • Also, too, we had Chase's 10th High School Reunion on the 18th of last month. My husband, being the stud he is, was class VP. So that means he was in charge of planning the reunion. I know, technically the class president is in charge. But in our specific case the VP had to take over. I think there are people from TCHS who read this, so I will just, uh, leave it at that:) Chase was happy to help:) Seriously. I mean that. So yeah, after lots and lots and lots of work and hours creating elaborate spreadsheets to track the alumni information, the reunion was planned and under control. And we ended up having a BLAST. Luckily I've gotten to know a couple people Chase went to HS with and they're great people. So it was fun seeing them again and chatting them up. P1020890 P1020896 P1020897 P1020912
  • The arboretum and pumpkin patch were must-sees for the fall. The arboretum was a special experience because Miles needed to use the facilities, like, 85 times in the short 30 minutes we were there. Then the skies opened up and rained so much I wished I had an ark. And the arboretum is not exactly cheap. And it takes forever to get to. But these are the breaks with kids, right? P1020876P1020877 P1020924 P1020927 The pumpkin patch was a better experience even if Miles did get lost and had to be found by a PP employee. I'm getting a leash for that kid. A short one. And then my life will be one big SNL episode.
  • Also, too, the Office and 30 Rock are back on the air. That's important. I should have mentioned that first.
  • On the 28th Kathleen and Eric had their first baby and I got another gorgeous niece. You can see she has a well-accessorized mom. I've never seen a baby look that stylish in a hospital. Or outside of a hospital. It's been decided that Sophie will be the tomboy. I'm okay with that. Being stylish looks like A LOT of work.P1020976(1) P1020989 P1030014 Avree Melody came home from the hospital on Halloween, which, coincidentally, happens to be Kathleen's most favoritest holiday ever. So Avree was prepared. HOW CUTE IS THAT!?!?!?!
  • The 29th was Trunk or Treat. This is a phenomenon that will eventually sweep the country. Get ready because at some point it will be coming to the church parking lot near you. And I love trunk or treat. All my best friends and favorite people and it's SO MUCH LESS WORK walking around a parking lot. P1020980 P1020984
  • The 31st was Trick or treat. Yes, I know we already had a lot of candy from two nights ago, but we decided to go anyway. We had Natalie with us and the kids did awesome! At Trunk or treat both boys were Darth Vadar and Sophie was Yoda. On Halloween Cameron decided to put on Sophie's yoda robe (that he had been wearing for two solid days...including to the store and park) and go as a Jedi master. It was pretty convincing. Miles just had on a black outfit because he didn't want to wear a mask. I was glad when the night was over because my feet hurt and I just knew we were facing the "I WANNA EAT ALL MY CANDY RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE RIGHT NOW IMMEDIATELY" meltdown. Oh, and it happened. And it was lovely. I love my children, I love my children, I love my children.P1030005 P1030003 P1030009  P1030007
  • Cam finished up the term for preschool and I decided not to send him again until after Christmas. Mostly because he's way past the stuff they're teaching him. I ALSO decided to put Cam on the waiting list for one of our local charter schools. I'm super un-impressed with our local elementary school. If he doesn't get in right away next year I'll be homeschooling him until he does.
  • The kids all got sick. Yay.
  • Somewhere in there I snuck off to do early voting. I love voting. I stand in line watching all of the happy, elderly poll workers and dream of the day my kids are old enough to fend for themselves while I go volunteer at the polls. Little known fact: After I realized that I had little hope of becoming the next Katie Couric, and after I got over my crush on Stone Phillips (I was going to win him over with my ridiculously amazing reporting skills and we were going to bond at the company picnic - and he was going to somehow be unmarried and Mormon...so it was a lost cause from the start), I realized that my dream job was/is a campaign manager. I have a degree in Media Communications with a focus in Political Science and I was working for an up-and-coming Pittsburgh City Councilman during my senior year of college. I had planned to go work at the state capital after graduating with thoughts of law school. I was going to parlay all of this into a fabulous career as a tough-as-nails, yet sweet and endearing campaign manager...
  • (BACK TO REAL LIFE) After my washing machine kept leaking water all over the floor during the spin cycle I had to put in a call to Johnnie the plumber. After giving him an exorbitant amount of money I have clean, hydra-jetted pipes. And it took all of 20 minutes for good ole' Johnnie-boy and then he was off to rob someone else. I think it was Amy Poehler who pointed out that plumbers are going to be just fine during this recession. And she's right.
  • Finally, last night Rack-a-Bama (his official title in my house, bequeathed to him by my niece, Gaby) proved he really is the wind beneath my wings. Well, him and Chase. And Cameron and Miles and Sophia. You get my drift. I love that guy. Okay, not everything about him. But most things. Just the important stuff. AND, I thought McRage did a good job last night, too. So to prove that I'm really ready to put all of that nastiness behind us I'll be referring to him as McClassy from now on. image