Monday, February 14, 2011

Shout Outs and Beat Downs in Title Town

I have no business being awake right now. I got a whopping three and a half hours sleep last night, and I've been up for over eighteen hours. This is a direct consequence and a major drawback of having a teen and a toddler at the same time. Last night was up until midnight-thirty helping Siobhan with her first AP English essay, and this morning Amari decided to wake up at the ungodly  hour of 3:45 when a power outage sent Carrie into a mini-panic about how she was going to wake up without an alarm clock. The power came on fifteen minutes later, but by then none of us needed an alarm.

Before I get into anything in particular, I'd like to give a few "shout outs" (I think that's what they're called) to friends and followers and fellow writers, parents, and creators.

1. A very hearty round of cyber applause to my dear friend Susan Williams who is one of the best mom's I know and the former Thursday co-parent to Amari B. Her boys, Aiden and Liam, taught Amari to crawl and inspired her to smile every time she saw them. Susan and Lucas recently moved to Santa Rosa where Lucas works as a mechanic and Susan has somehow managed to find time amidst full-time parenting to create her own business: Cloud 9 Bath and Body. Prior to launching her website and blog, Susan used us and other friends as her appreciated and fresh-scented guinea pigs. I smell really good every day thanks to her. Check her out at:

You won't regret it.

2. My new/old friend Chandeen, who recently started her own interior decorating, crafts, gardening, and peanut butter and honey blog. Our families have known each other for years and our paths crossed almost fourteen years ago when I went out to India for a few months to get away from myself. Chandeen is a gifted (and prolific) writer and super creative. As the Beastie Boys might say, "She's crafty." Have a read - you won't be disappointed. And your house might really appreciate you.

3. Renee Cashmere's Breeder Cow. I know I've said this before, but it's worth another mention since I'm appreciating those who inspire me. She a fellow parent, a former Pirate (Sir Francis Drake HS), and one my early high school crushes. Little did I know she had writing skills to go with her arsenal of being really nice and cute. She's a wonderful writer if your into that perfect balance of humor, emotion, and honesty thing. :)

4. Okay. Last one. This one goes out to Debbie Wassen, secretary at the schools  I was working at until last September. I've known Debbie for years, since my subbing days in the early 2000's. I spent months with her in Independent Study one year, and I felt like I made a good friend in the community. When Amari arrived and I began writing this blog, Debbie was always the first one to let me know she'd read it. She would giggle about something I'd experienced and tell me stories about her daughter and her grandchildren. Debbie - thank you for reading and encouraging and just being the wonderful person you are.

Okay - on to this whole parenting deal. Eventually life just becomes a series of stories that we recount and recap in hopes of preserving their memory right? In this spirit, I will share two experiences I had last week.

Beat Down on Franklin Road

As you may know, Hunter Calvert is both Amari's closest friend and her greatest adversary. Every morning after I drop Carrie and Siobhan at the high school, I meet up with Jim to get some socialization - both for the kids and for us. Visits are unpredictable - often contingent upon sleep levels, teething pain, or just plain surly, boyish behavior. Hunter has escalated from taking to hitting to hair pulling, mixing in the occasional aggressive surprise hugs to remain endearing to his peers.

Initially, Amari only reacted with tears, and Jim with increasing embarrassment. With time, however, Amari learned to defend herself, hitting Hunter when he would take things and sometimes even giving him a preemptive whapp in anticipation of his thievery. Sometimes the whapp's would be doled out to Hunter's face, leaving him stunned but rarely responsive. Funny how when she does it I call it boundary setting and I'm totally okay with it. I think Jim is, too, grateful that Amari has become a Karma Warrior.

 I also call her whining emotional expression.

Last Tuesday at our house was one of the rougher mornings we've had. Both kids were in moods and neither was playing nice. At one point, a hungry Amari grabbed a jar of baby food off the table to bring to her dad. A simultaneously hungry Hunter attempted to intercept her delivery by taking the jar away from her. No sooner had his hand reached towards hers than Amari stopped, turned directly towards him, and popped him square on the forehead with the full jar of food. Hunter gave his usual stunned look, only this time the pain receptors fired a little harder, tears followed quickly, and the visit ended rather abruptly. Jim admitted later, that he was relieved it was finally Amari's that put an end to a play date.

I still call it boundary setting.

Next story.

Title Town, USA

That's right, the San Francisco Giants World Series trophy is making its way across northern California, and on Wednesday it passed through our humble town for approximately two hours. Earlier in the week, I'd developed some intention of going, thinking it would be nice to have a picture of Amari with the trophy, but come six o'clock on the evening of a challenging day, I changed my mind. Apparently, over a thousand people visited the trophy, some waiting outside the building it was being viewed in for over eight hours. Festivities included singing and chanting and other stuff that sounded pretty much like a tailgate party with a trophy.

Since Amari won't remember whether she was at that event, I decided to create my own memory of how I took her all the way to the airport to get a photo with the trophy and Giants closer, Fear the Beard Wilson.

Go Giants...


  1. Thanks for the shout out! I'm beginning to think that a simple peanut butter and honey sandwich is not normal :P (I didn't even mention that I like to add a little butter on my PB&H).

  2. Yeah, I second that! Thanks a bunch! I'll be talking to you soon (or at least e-mailing) and your blog posts are awesome. I had to do a little catch up with reading them (you know, busy), but I enjoyed it very much.