Thursday, March 27, 2008

If only I could taste the chocolate bunny!

Our Easter weekend was busy and exhausting. The Palmers spent Friday lazing around the house and romping through the dog park with the dogs. Charlie even attempted to take a swim with the dogs and ended up knee-deep in pond water. Fortunately, he was not bothered by his squishy shoes and wet socks. I can’t wait to take him swimming this summer! I know he’ll love splashing around the pool and the ocean (in June).

Saturday was spent at cousin Taylor’s extravagant birthday party at Build-A-Bear at the Collierville mall. There were 15 kids there and all got to build their own bear! They had a blast, but if this is what kid birthday parties are supposed to be like, Charlie will have to start working now in order to fund his own in the future. I mean, what happened to birthday cake and pin the tale on the donkey? He really did enjoy it, though. He selected a tiger striped cat to stuff and dress. And he has barely let it out of his set (let alone his grasp) since Saturday. He hugs Kitty. He kisses Kitty. He cuddles with Kitty. He even let Kitty take a nap with Charlie’s very own blanket (a.k.a. Bette). He is in love with Kitty. If you were to come over to our house tonight, he just might let you pet Kitty. He will certainly show you Kitty with pride. It even meows. I recently found out that his other cousin, Morgan, Taylor’s sister, will also be having a Build-A-Bear party in April. Woohoo! Charlie will be having his party in May. At my house. With a cake and that’s it. If I’m feeling creative, I might come up with a few games for the handful of kids that will be present.

I spent most of the day at Taylor’s party picking Charlie up, carrying him around, putting him down, and then doing it all over again. By the end of the party, I was exhausted. I suspected that most of the fatigue was due to the growing baby in my belly, but when I got home, I fell asleep within seconds of sitting on the sofa. I rarely take naps. I woke up feeling worse than when I put my head down. I knew it right then that a nasty cold was coming on. (While I’m extremely bummed about the cold and the fatigue, this is SO much better than the way I have been feeling up until last weekend. My days have been spent battling nausea and feeling just completely disgusting since about week 7 of this pregnancy. I’ll take a cold any day over this!)

Sunday morning, I woke feeling pretty lousy with a stuffy nose, sore throat, and watery eyes. I spent much of the day as a blob on the sofa until it was time to go to Nana’s for Easter dinner. We had a nice time. The kids played with their new singing bunnies (complements of Nana) that hopped along to the tune, Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail. We had a lovely dinner and it was fun visiting with everyone. The few hours of festivities totally wore me out, though, and I spent the evening in bed. So much for stuffing myself on all that chocolate I put in Charlie’s Easter basket.

Since Sunday, my cold has gone through various stages: major congestion with lots of nose blowing, severe coughing and sneezing, a moment of thinking I was getting better to today. On Tuesday, I tried to eat a chocolate Easter treat and could not taste anything. What a waste. Today, I feel a little better and most of the symptoms have eased but I have no voice. I tried to call someone on the phone this morning and when I spoke, nothing but crackled sounds came out of my mouth. Maybe this is a sign that I should just leave for the day. Nah…

I am hoping to be fully recovered by the time I wake up in the morning. I will be attending a dinner/bachelorette party tomorrow and I want to be able to taste the expensive food I plan to eat. And since I’m pregnant (and won’t be drinking wine) I plan to eat a lot! I’d also like to wish Carrie (the bride) well with a voice that actually has a voice.

(Note: I have been lazy, lazy, lazy about moving photos off of the camera to the computer, so pictures of Charlie gorging himself with chocolate will follow someday.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Herenton to step down July 31

The news just reported this morning that Herenton ordered the closing of five libraries and four community centers in Memphis. This is the kind of news that makes me happy to see him leave office. Hopefully, our replacement will have the needs of Memphis and its citizens in mind when making decisions like this in the future.

FrankenBaby Part II

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Last night, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Charlie was still running around the house at full speed with no indication that he would be going to bed any time soon. It’s spring break and I think just one day of doing something outside the routine made his wiring go a little berserk. He spent the day at his Nana’s house playing in the yard, riding in a wagon, eating who knows what, and getting completely spoiled. When I brought him home, I thought that he would surely be exhausted from his exciting day and settle down. But no. He was exactly the opposite. He was wired and into everything. For dinner, soup and crackers went flying across the kitchen with most of it landing on Roxy’s back leaving her bewildered about how to get that illegal snack into her mouth. The rest of the evening was spent chasing the dogs around the house, climbing on the furniture, illegally pushing buttons on the television, and giggling at absolutely nothing.

When the Professor got home from teaching his night class, it was almost 9:00. He immediately relieved me of Charlie duty and I plopped my exhausted pregnant body on the couch and put my feet up. I had grand plans of watching something horribly mindless on television and going to bed early. Charlie saw to it that my plans did not get accomplished. Trying to watch TV and relax was impossible because the kid was marching around the house, banging toys on hard surfaces, singing, and climbing. It was terribly cute, but I couldn’t get over how late it was and how exhausted and in need of peace I was.

At approximately 9:20, it all fell a part. Charlie, in yet another attempt to climb on the sofa, did what I have feared for the past 4 months since he has been walking. He hoisted himself up on the sofa (with a little boost from me) and tried to pull himself up even farther. In the split second that my hand was not holding him steady under his tush, he lost his center of gravity and did a back flip off the sofa, smacking his head on the edge of the coffee table with an enormous “SMACK!” and fell swiftly to the ground. He screamed in fear and pain. I scooped him up and held him in my arms trying to calm him. Then, as I always do when he bumps his head, I pulled back his hair to take a look, expecting to find a big red bump. Instead, I found a wide, deep gash on his forehead. It was big. And it was bleeding. Of course, I freaked.

The Professor did what he could to calm both me and Charlie. Once soothed, we wiped the blood from his face and sealed the wound with a band-aid. We decided we definitely needed to go to the ER. The cut was no minor flesh wound but a deep and wide gash. He definitely needed stitches. By 10:00 we were in the car on our way to Baptist East. Charlie was fine but sleepy. Of course, we noticed that the parking lot was full when we got there, meaning that the place would be packed. When we took our seats to wait the several hours we anticipated waiting, Charlie was in a fine mood. I think he enjoyed looking at the population of an ER waiting room on a Monday night. Fortunately, we didn’t have to witness anything too gross or scary. Most people just looked like they felt terrible. In fact, Charlie was the only person I saw with blood. Incredible!

After waiting about 30 minutes, they called us to triage. The triage nurses were in LOVE with Charlie. Their perky personalities even made it possible to take his temperature – rectally. Now that’s something he’s never experienced before! I was amazed at how calm he was.

Next, they took us to the pediatric ER section. Thank the stars for the pediatric ER!!! Because of that, we got a fast forward pass to treatment. They took us to our room which was equipped with fancy animal wall paper, a television airing Noggin, and a wonderful nurse with stickers and the perkiest personality of all. She was great because she did everything in her power to distract Charlie and keep him from freaking out. The doctor soon came in and took a look, measured the wound and took some of his vitals. They then put on numbing liquid and a headband to keep it in place. He looked like a little gangster with that thing on. They took him for a skull X-ray just to be sure, and then stitched him up. That was the hard part. They had to wrap him in a sheet like a burrito. Now, in his younger days, my boy loved the swaddle wrap. But last night, not so much. A tech came in to hold his head steady, the nurse practitioner prepared to stitch his wound, perky nurse showed him Elmo slides through a slide view, and the Professor and I cheered him on. It was a packed house. During the stitching process, he was terribly unhappy, but after it was all over, he was fine. The only way you can tell that anything happened is the big band-aid on his head.

My poor baby’s beautiful perfect faced has been maimed, and I am probably to blame. I was sitting right there on the couch next to him when it happened, after all. I’m hoping the scar will be minimal. But, he wouldn’t be his father’s son if he didn’t have battle scars to give his face, um, character. I guess this experience might toughen him up a little to the pressures of life. At least that’s what I’m telling myself to make it a little better. Pictures to follow...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Peas and Carrots, Sqash and Corn

My recent obsession stems from the book I am currently reading, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. The book chronicles the year that she and her family live on a farm and strictly adhere to local foods and foods grown in their own garden. Throughout the book, there are brief reports (provided by her husband, Stephen Kopp) about the agricultural industry in the U.S. and how our country is basically doing it all wrong. A review at states, “The typical food in an American supermarket has traveled considerably farther than some people do in a year of vacations. Consider the impact of those miles on fuel consumption, or the effect that chemical preservatives and industrial processing have on our health, not to mention what this long haul paradigm does to local economies and to our grasp of what food really costs, what food is.” Another important factor is the actual taste of food. Kingsolver reminds us of what a tomato should taste like. She also points out the most Americans have never eaten asparagus at its prime, which for Kingsolver is an almost spiritual act.

I am certainly on the bandwagon with this one and am taking it upon myself to find news ways to buy food for my family. Ideally, I would join a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and supplement with items from my own (non-existent) garden. Ideally, I would love to have a garden, but I don’t have the time to commit to it. Sadly, I think that is part of the point. In the United States today, we have so little time and such high expectations for our immediate needs that we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, if you will. I remember my grandmother’s garden during my childhood. She always had something freshly plucked from her garden to give us when we came over for a visit – green beans, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.) And it was always delightful. I remember going to the Scott Street Market as a kid to supplement our veggies with purple hull peas, plums, and other delectable fruits. I think these experiences gave me a love for vegetables that I otherwise might not know (genetics also play a part, I am sure). That market is long gone but fortunately, other markets have recently popped up all over the area: the Agricenter Famers Market, the Memphis Farmers Market, and the Botanic Garden Farmers Market (opening in April).

I seriously am considering joining a CSA. It’s really not any more expensive than shopping for produce at your local supermarket. I found one in Coldwater, MS called Ohana Farms (only 48 miles from Memphis) and am awaiting information about delivery. Precisely, I am waiting to see if they will 1) deliver to Memphis and 2) if the delivery fee makes it too expensive for me. I like the idea of eating locally and especially knowing where my food comes from. Lately, the Professor and I have been making monthly excursions to Costco to purchase freezable items like meat and fish. More and more, I am disturbed by the mystery about where our food comes from and how it is being produced. I am definitely NOT a vegetarian, but I shudder to think about the chicken that I put on our plates and how the poor bird might have (and probably was) once cooped up neck to neck in a 6-tiered steel cage being fed corn and antibiotics. By the way, I just read the chapter on chickens and turkeys in Kingsolver’s book.

The Professor is not necessarily on board with this new venture of mine. While he’s for the concept, I don’t think he’s so keen on the inconvenience (and the potential added expense). I, however, am all for doing a little more in terms of responsibility, environmentalism, and let’s face it, better tasting food.