Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I woke up at 4am after getting pushed to the edge of the bed numerous times by Judah, who was spread-eagled between Micheal and me. He is now officially too big to co-sleep, so this morning we had a chat about him needing to sleep in his own bed from now on.

I feel like such a tyrannical mom this week. Yesterday at the grocery store, Judah asked for a bottle of Dasani water. I gave it to him and told him to hold on to it with both hands. Since we got home from our trip, he has been going through a "spit" and "spill" stage, fascinated with the physics behind both. We had one of those shopping carts with the little Flinstone-mobile attachment and he got back in happily sipping his Dasani. I started unloading the cart when all of a sudden, I heard, "Uh oh! Mommy, Daddy, I spilled! I made a mess!" Micheal saw the whole thing and said he had deliberately turned the bottle upside down. In one of those frazzled mother moments, being embarrassed with people looking at the big puddle in the checkout lane and Judah now trying to climb out and on top of a nearby rail to swing like a monkey in sock feet because he tossed his shoes into the bottom of the Flinstone car, I hoped the earth would swallow me up. Once I retrieved the shoes and picked him up, he thought it would be super fun to pull big chunks of my hair as hard as he could. I immediately told him he was in "time out", took him to the car and moved all toys and his wowie away from his reach telling him, "No toys, no wowie because you're in time out. You cannot turn your drink upside down in the store like that because now some nice person has to clean up *your* mess." I don't think he cared about the mess part at all, but was distressed over the fact that I cut off access to his toys and pacifier. All the way home he repeated in the backseat between sobs, "No toys, no wowie? Boo hoo hoo. Whaaaa!"

So, this morning at breakfast, he spent a good five minutes spitting yogurt into his glass of milk.

I must remember to be a patient and consistent mommy and teach my otherwise extremely civilized child that it is really gross to spit and really unkind to deliberately spill things in the grocery store.

I honestly think he's mad at us for leaving him for 10 days and is acting out for that reason alone. He knows he's doing something he's not supposed to do, because he gives me that sly sidelong look when I call him on it.

Monday, March 27, 2006

In all the excitement of the big Africa trip, I forgot to post about Judah's acceptance into private school. He got accepted at the #1 school of our choice. He was also accepted at another school, but just for their three day program and waitlisted at the "hard as heck to get into" school. The fourth school still hasn't sent letters out, and we had to reply to #1 by the 24th. We turned in our contract and paid the tuition deposit and new student fee, so he is now bonafide! We are already picking out some fun summer classes that he can take there to transition in. One is butterflies & bugs...perfect for our little zoology lover.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I am home from Cape Town. I worked harder than I ever have in my life. We had a lean group managing the event and pulled 13+ hour days. I did a little of everything needed since the classes I was managing didn't take place until the latter part of the week. The first day I was an "Oscar Girl", presenting awards to people on stage in front of 1,000 people. The whole time, my mother's voice was in my head saying "shoulders back, stand up straight" as I have a tendency to slouch. Another day, I was a microphone runner in an auditorium, so I was up and down stairs for about 6 hours straight. I did squeeze in fun evenings with my husband and his colleagues. The weather in Cape Town was 70s/50s with a fresh ocean breeze us as we sat poolside drinking mind-blowingly good South African wine.

Cape Town is famous for its cuisine, particularly its seafood. The first night I dined at On the Rocks in Blouberg, a surf and turf restaurant which had a spectacular view of Table Mountain and Robben Island at sunset. Another night we dined at one of Rachael Ray's favorite restaurants, Pigalle, an amazing seafood and Portuguese supper club with a band playing everything from jazz standards to Lionel Richie. It was one of the most memorable dining experiences that I've ever had in that the service was flawless, the food delicious (click here for their menu.) Their Malva Pudding was a religious experience and I cannot stop thinking of their venison (springbok) carpaccio. The langoustines and prawns we ate were larger than our plates.

A highlight of the conference was our guest speaker, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He told stories of Apartheid South Africa and the tests used to determine race, such as the "pencil test" where if a pencil was placed in someone's hair and fell out, they were classified as "white" and if it stuck, then they were considered "coloured" (mixed). He also told us of the "pin prick test" where someone would sneak up on you and stick you with a pin and the way you shrieked would determine your race. Children who had darker skin or frizzy hair could be classified in a different ethnic group than their white families, causing the families to be split apart.

My last two days were spent touring the city and Robben Island. I have photos on Flickr.

The very best part about being on a trip is coming home. My sweet little boy was always on my mind and I was so happy to see him again. It was great to be able to hang out with him again. One of the first things he asked me was, "Mommy, you came back? You came back to me from Africa?" Here he is in his "damn, it's hard to be a gangsta" pose wearing a pink and lavender party hat and blue cammos. I just love that kid to pieces.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Letter from Judah

While I'm in Africa, Judah is spending time at his grandparents' ranch (Suga Suga & Papa). I received the sweetest e-mail from him (thanks Suga). ;-)

Subject: My First Day

Hi Mommy-

I asked Suga to write to you because my hands are just too small and I can't spell very well.

Daddy & I met Suga on Sunday. I waved bye to Daddy and we left for the ranch.

On the way home I saw cows, horses, barns and tractors. I also saw some big trucks.

When we got to Suga's we drove to the house and we found the kittens at the barn. The big yellow cat is named Butter and he let me pet him. There are five others and their names are Mocha, Hubey, Harvey, Belle Star and Bonnie. Hubey let me hold him.

Missy Girl let me pet her too and she did not bark or jump on me.

We went in the house and carried my things in. Butter came with me and I played the piano for him while Suga put up my clothes in the cabinet.

I unpacked my toys and while I was playing Papa came home. Suga packed a picnic and we left in the white "ranch truck" with the trailer and four wheelers behind us.

We packed up the four wheelers and took off for the top of the hill. When we stopped Papa put down a blanket and we had a picnic. Boy was that fun. All of the flowers are starting to bloom and they are "beautiful". A breeze was blowing and we all lay down on the blanket and took a nap.

When I woke up we jumped on the four wheelers and went looking for animals. We found a bunny with a white tail and squirrel, a really big one, going through the trees. The deer and hogs were hiding. We rode all around and I started the four wheeler and helped to drive it with Suga. I had FUN! I liked it a lot and I told Suga that.

We stopped and loaded the four wheelers and when we looked up the moon was out even with the sun shining.

We went home and I helped feed the calf, horses, dogs and cats.

I ate supper and had a bath then it was bed time. I took my wowey and I don't remember much after that.

When I woke up Papa was going to work and after breakfast, I came to work.

I told everyone you are in Africa even though I don't know where it is exactly.

I am being really, really good but I miss you and Daddy a lot. I will try and write tomorrow but I don't know if I am coming to work at the shop or not.

I love you and Daddy.

But I am ranching and I have to take my nap now so I can check the cows this afternoon.

Have a good time and bring me something back.

Love you as big as the world.