I spent the past weekend glued to CNN watching the horrific aftermath of a horrific situation. A situation that hit all too close to home for me. We all have heard of the terrible, terrible tragedy that occurred in Newton, CT. My heart breaks for the victims, the survivors, the families. For the first time in my life the words "I cannot imagine" are true. I cannot imagine. I cannot let myself begin to imagine the horror of it all.
Why? Why did this happen? Why did 20 precious children have to loose their lives? 6 amazing adults? I, along with everyone else wanted an answer right away- why did this happen? What can we do to prevent something like this in the future from happening? We need action now!
After a few days have passed I realize there really isn't an answer. At least not a good one. The truth is there is NO explanation for this event. If there was an "explanation" it would not be enough. There will never be an "explanation" that would make anyone stop and say "Oh! So that is why he gunned down 20 six and seven year olds- it all makes sense now!" <-----That will never happen.
So I am left when the question of "What can we do to prevent something like this from happening?" I really do not know the answer to this. I don't think we can ban guns completely. Putting stricter guidelines on gun ownership won't cut it either as all the guns used in this terrible crime were obtained and owned legally. I'm sure there are SO many options on this front but let's be honest...if someone has it in their head to commit this crazy act they will find the means.
What is that last statement? "if someone has it in their head" Could this be the best place to start?
I come back to not knowing. There is not an explanation and there is not a remedy. All I know is right now 20 babies are gone forever, 6 adults have been taken from their family. The only thing I can do is pray. Pray for the victims, survivors and families. Pray for my own daughter and hope she does not find out about this tragedy and start to ask questions. "Mommy, am I safe at school?" So many words I would want to tell her to comfort her, "Of course you are safe".... "That could never happen here at your school" but I can't speak those words to her because I know I will be lying. So I pray she never asks and I pray for her safety. Once again I don't have the answers.
When I was younger my mom and I decided at one point to begin purchasing "keepsake" type Christmas books to read, save and pass through our family. While we have TONS of Christmas books I think we ended up with only two "keepsake" types- you know...cloth cover, nice little case to keep it in. Out of those two Baxter (my new sweet little beagle at the age of 16) ate one. The book itself is still intact but that beautiful leather-like cover was destroyed....It just adds to it's charm. (and makes me wonder where is Baxter? Not the first time a dog has disappeared from 2005 Deepbrook...)
Moving on- the remaining book is "The Gift of the Magi". This book always depressed me when I read it growing up. I recall reading it over and over again looking for something I was missing in this book. There has to be a hidden message... I read it to Georgia the other night thinking maybe I will *get* it now that I am older and wiser. I still had no answers for myself. Better yet- no answers for my 5 year old. Fabulous.
In the version we have Della and Jim are 14 and 16. Their parents died the year before due to the harsh winter. They live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe Della cleans houses occasionally and Jim works in a bank but is so freaking stressed out he is looking WAY older than his 16 years. Depressed yet?
Della gets it in her head that she HAS to buy a present for Jim...Just has to! BUT she only has $1.87 even though she has save all year long. ONE DOLLAR AND EIGHTY SEVEN CENTS!!! I mean she can't buy a gift worthy of Jim for $1.87- what to do???
Glad you asked- Della has a prized possession- Her beautiful red hair which is admired by all and similar to Rapunzel's...except red. So she runs to the salon, chops her hair off and gets 20 bucks for it to buy Jim's present. (I really hate this book.)
She ends up buying Jim a platinum chain for his pocket watch, which is HIS prized possession. Passed through generation after generation. (anyone else wondering where you could get a platinum pocket watch chain in NYC for $20....so I'm not the only one?) yay! Christmas is solved- she shaved her head and bought Jim a present. Awesome.
Alas, there is a problem...when they exchange gifts they realize they BOTH gave up their most PRIZED possessions to buy the other a gift! Della no longer has the gorgeous mop of hair to hold the amazing and expensive hair combs Jim bought her. Meanwhile Jim, poor lad, sold his FAMILY HEIRLOOM to buy Della some freaking hair combs. Yep, that's right...he no longer has a use for that platinum watch chain....
Then you get some bit about how they are the wisest along with a comparison to the Kings who brought gifts to baby Jesus. Ummm....okay- I'm totally lost. Plus still irritated at this entire scenario. Is Jim a moron? Della's hair will grow back eventually but that watch is gone forever. It was the ONLY thing he had of his father's!
Unfortunately this is a question I don't even have an answer to! This SHOULD be easy- right? There are a million things a 5 year old little girl would love to have- just take a peek at the toy catalog I handed her and you will see just about everything pictured in those glossy pages has been circled by Miss Georgia herself. Honestly I'm still waiting to figure out that ONE special gift. If you recall, last year it was all about a "Barbie Case" that took me until the week before Christmas to decipher.
So we have a little conversation the other day:
Me: "Georgia what do you really want for Christmas?"
Georgia: "Mom, I circled everything I want in the book..."
Me: "Okay, but is there something really special you would like Santa to bring you?"
Georgia: "Umm yes!"
Me: "Great, what is it?"
Georgia: "A real snow pit for inside that we can set up and go into anytime we want to play in it!!!"
She is really making this easy for me this year...
Me: "um, Okay...anything else you would like?"
Georgia: "Yes, the red Mercedes car"
Yep, that came out of her mouth. Fabulous Georgia. Just Fabulous.
My dad has taken on this grandparent name as his own out of respect for the man that raised him. Georgia calls my dad Grandaddy, but he isn't the real Grandaddy. The real Grandaddy is slowly slipping away from us tonight.
The "real" Grandaddy married my grandmother after a man I never met left her with 3 children and never looked back. My dad was the youngest of the group at just 2 years old. Grandaddy and Nanhee went to high school together and the story is he always had a thing for her. He married her and spent the rest of his life supporting her three children, working multiple jobs at times and loving all of us SO much.
Every year since I can remember I have received a birthday and Christmas card from Nanhee and Grandaddy on my birthday and ever since Georgia has been around she has received the same. I always thought Nanhee sent these cards. A couple of years ago Nanhee was diagnosed with dementia. It got to the point that Grandaddy could no longer care for her at home so arrangements were made and she now lives in a full time care facility....yet every year I still receive these cards. Nanhee knows who I am from memory, but in person she has no idea. She is slowly loosing precious memories every day.
I never put it together until this year when my birthday card came on schedule this year just like the past 26 years. I guess last year I thought he just took the cards up to the facility and had her sign them. I went to visit this year and realized Nanhee could not write or sign her name if she wanted to. The hand writing on the cards hasn't changed. It is the same scrawly cursive writing I've read my entire life. Nanhee never sent the cards. Grandaddy has sent every single card to everyone every year. He has signed their names and made sure the card arrived on time.
This speaks volumes about the man who is loosing his life tonight. He gives me hope and has set an example for me that I doubt he will ever fully know.
In the words of a child...I guess you never see more truth?
Since Georgia was sick last week (did I ever post she was diagnosed with strep? ugh.) We were out of work/school for 2 days. Then I had to return to the work force and she tagged along since the dr. said she could not return back to school until Monday.
My dad has a restaurant he goes to daily- The Dinner Bell. I think it was built in the 1950's and hasn't changed a bit since. Imagine going to a cafeteria in the 1950's and you have The Dinner Bell complete with ash trays screwed into the walls and high chairs/ booster seats I thought had been confiscated long ago. Lots of pleather, exposed brick and Fox News plays non stop on the TV in the center. If you are lucky (and there early) you get the table right in front of the TV. Those seats go fast so be prepared if you arrive around 11:30 you will be in a booth craning your neck for a view of the TV....
I used to HATE The Dinner Bell. I would gripe about going, I thought the food was disgusting and BEGGED to go to Luby's instead. My dad began to have the company Christmas parties there and I really had to put my foot down. It was just unacceptable. When he got married The Dinner Bell even made his wedding cake. (Of course they have a bakery right next to the pawn shop...)
Since I've worked for him the past 2 1/2 years I hate to say I have come to like (dare I say love?) The Dinner Bell. I honestly cannot believe it myself. Now Luby's seems disgusting while The Dinner Bell appears to cook with fresh ingredients and less "processed stuff". My dad and I go every day and most days I am patiently waiting for him to come down and ask "You want to go get something to eat?" "Umm YES it's like 11:15 why did you take so long? We'll never get a seat in front of the Fox News Tube now!!!"
Occasionally he fakes me out and takes me some weird place without telling me first. I don't know about you but I am what I like to call a "taste bud person". If I think I'm about to go eat pizza and then you take me to eat sushi I am not going to be pleasantly surprised. I prep my stomach for what it's about to consume. If a wrench is thrown in the plans unexpectedly I'm not necessarily excited about it. So it's pretty irritating when I'm expecting my Dinner Bell "usual" and we end up at the new greek restaurant down the street. FYI- Dad if you are reading this please give me a heads up that you aren't, in fact, just taking another weird short cut but that we aren't going to be dining at the dinner bell that day. Thanks.
Back to The Dinner Bell...my college friends who were with me during a unique finding of a buffet Luby's located in San Marcos (Oh yes, imagine the possibilities, BUFFET LUBY'S and yes the possibility of finding 30 pounds on my waist) know my love of cafeteria foods. You bypass the meats and go straight for the vegatables. By vegetables I mean mac and cheese, mashed potatoes with cream gravy, green beans (you have to have some semblance of healthy in this carb explosion) and a dinner roll. So I used to get that for lunch. I just couldn't continue- I knew the end result from college and I knew I had to show some self restraint. So now they make my order specifically for me. Yep- they KNOW us there.
Salad with Tuna Salad on half and 1/2 boiled egg. I order an extra 2 whole boiled eggs on the side. And there you have lunch. It's crave worthy, plus it doesn't include carbs so win-win.
So the main story of this post goes back to Georgia, not my love of this weird, disgusting cafeteria. Georgia and I arrive at the office and my dad (Grandaddy) comes down.
Georgia- "Grandaddy!! Guess what? I get to go to lunch with you today to my FAVORITE place"
Dad- "Oh yeah where is that?"
Georgia- "The dinner bell, they make my favorite Mac and Cheese!"
I'm silently cursing myself for ever bringing her to this establishment while begrudgingly admitting I actually love it too...
Later on at lunch...
Georgia- "Grandaddy- your full right?"
Dad- "Yes I am, how can you tell"
(He is obviously expecting and answer such as; your plate is empty, you stopped eating, etc.)
Georgia- "You're big fat belly!"
hahahahahaha- you should have seen my dad's face!
So he sucks in his "big fat belly" and asks her:
Dad- "What about now?"
Georgia- "Oh, NOW you look hungry!"
Georgia made her way to the pediatrician's office courtesy of her chauffeur today, moi. She has strep AND a virus. Sheets, pillows and all "soft" surfaces are in the washer right now while everything else has been lysol'd. I'm still breathing in the lysol and I completed the task about an hour ago so I'm sure my lungs have been cleared out in the process.
Quick update on Kindergarten for the big school girl. All is going well, she loves her teacher and her teacher loves her (of course). She does seem to have a strange fascination with glue... Last Friday she came home and told me she had to sit out of recess because she "cut the glue bottle". Ummm what? Why would you do that Georgia? She explained to me the glue bottle did not cut open, but she cut it with her scissors because Riley told her to. Riley actually performed a little count down of sorts while Georgia snapped the scissors down on the glue bottle. We had a nice little chat about how we are in charge of our own actions and no one can MAKE us do anything. Then moved on...
Tuesday night (prior to the sickness) Georgia had dance class. When I picked her up she said:
Georgia- "Mom, you know you aren't suppose to smell the glue or the top of it."
Me- "Yes Georgia, I know, you aren't suppose to do that"
Georgia- "Well, I just sniffed it."
Once I finished laughing hysterically I was able to tell her not to do this again.
I'm sure, if you've been around long enough, you have seen videos of Georgia "performing" for me for years. It started long ago when she would watch the Disney movies, memorize the songs and dances and perform them at night.
As seen here:
Well she never stopped. This is what we did last Saturday night before bedtime.... I think this was performance number four or five of the evening. I think it's hilarious how she runs out and hugs Winston and I before beginning her song. hahaha!
Kinda long but pretty funny. Okay since I'm her mom I'm probably the only one that thinks this is hilarious...but you have to say when she goes into the bit about "How do you spell Outer Space?" That's pretty funny!
Here's a quick transcript in case you got lost in 5 year old crazy singing, at least to the best of my deciphering ability.
"Introducing Georgia, and here she is Georgia Clare Bedre
(oh hey Georgia, alright, go sing your heart out)
Someday, you are never gonna forget about this, this, this.
I am this and this is the deal.
The deal of the night.
We are coming closer to Houston, Texas, Houston, Texas.
Everything for you.
Cause we’re going closer to Houston, Texas, oh, oh , oh
lalalala, oh, oh, oh.
We’re givin back
We’re coming back from to New York to Texas
(back to Texas)
To, what did you say-ay? Yeah, yeah.
Why did you say so?
I’m coming back with you to New York cause I love you.
My mother, my mother, my mother, my father.
May 24th what do you say, May hundred twenty
What was it about?
Lalalala, your never, your never gonna find the diamond
castle, never, ever.
What if I don’t make it to outer space?
(Make it to outer space)
What, how do you spell outer space?
Say the words
(Say the words)
T L L E LL what’s our number ? One.
What’s your number? One. My darlin’, my darlin’.
Little Miss Georgia is sick today so we are hanging out at the house watching re-run after re-run of what else? Power Rangers.
Unfortunately I did not wake her up and find out she had a fever until I was fully dressed and ready for work otherwise we would both probably be back in bed right now.
I thought this was strange- driving around yesterday my radio read "Clare" all day long. It never changed. It is suppose to tell you the song/artist or station you are on. Weird because Georgia's middle name is "Clare" and spelled that exact way since she is named after my grandfather "Clarence" I did not spell it the traditional way. Hmm wonder what this is a sign of....
Grandaddy and Emmy were able to exchange the dress they bought for Georgia's birthday and she scored one that fits! She wouldn't take it off for about 24 hours.
Dinner @ Benihana
Playing Dress up
Birthday Party @ Chuck E Cheese or Crack for Kids with bright lights and tickets!!!
Over Stimulation at it's best...I guess that does = a sleepy child so win/win?
Georgia & BFF Hallie
Day at the Zoo... Georgia decided it was "Dress Fancy Like Nancy" day and dressed herself
She posed at every single possible picture taking point. I promised I did not ask her to stand by the following statues. I actually tried to persuade her to keep moving....
Busting out the long sleeves for the 84 degree weather.
(It was low 70's when we left for school that morning in my defense)
We have been running around like crazy people since our return from our trip. Settling back into our school routine, work routine, exercise routine. I'm tired!
Monday I decided it would be fun to walk to school to pick Georgia up. The school really is not far at all but it's been SO hot. I was deluding myself into thinking the weather had cooled off....it hadn't. Georgia was pumped about walking home and our walk joined by her classmate that lives in our neighborhood which was fun! I LOVE having her go to a school where all of her classmates are basically in our neighborhood. 7 of our neighbors all have children that attend her elementary. On the way home we stopped and let the girls play on the playground for a little bit, but seriously- it's hot.
On Tuesday Georgia and I ran to the mall to add to her fall wardrobe. Can I just say the way the way children's clothes are sold in these months of the year irritates me SO much? The stores come out with their "fall" lines in August and EVERYTHING is long sleeves. So our choices are to either keep Georgia dressed in summer clothes or scour the stores to find something appropriate for Fall that is somewhat cool. Unfortunately the weather won't be cool here until Halloween so Georgia is hanging out in her summer clothes, but it doesn't keep us from prepping for the cooler weather we still have a month to wait for!
While we were there Georgia took me to the American Girl Doll store for my first time and it really is amazing. I wanted to buy everything, or just move into the store, not sure which one. I'm such a sucker for the matching doll/ girl outfits. I kept my strength and we did not buy anything, but that doesn't mean I'm not going back to break the bank for Christmas...
Wednesday Georgia had soccer practice and I went to dinner.
Thursday my mom came over and took us out to eat at Benihana's. This was Georgia's first time to go to a restaurant where they cook the food on your table. She loved it! Better yet- she ate everything. I was (still am) in shock! She ate the soup, the fried rice, SHRIMP?!?!, chicken, noodles...pretty much everything they put in front of her. I think we may just have to dine there a little bit more often just so she will clean her plate! Since my mom's birthday was this month we celebrated while we were there and Georgia told everyone it was her grandma's birthday!
Our weekend plans include ballet/tap/jazz practice tonight, soccer game tomorrow and a birthday party for one of Georgia's new classmates in the afternoon! It's opening weekend of Dewberry Farm and I'd love to try to make it out there on Sunday, but we may just opt for a trip to the zoo instead..
With one very excited Kindergartener who tells everyone we meet "I'm five and I'm in Kindergarten!" I think I'm concluding I am officially "grown up". That and the fact I have a sticker on my car that says "RCE" (initials for Georgia's school- LAME, yet I love it, but seriously I feel kinda silly)...... also- for the first time ever my car hit empty last evening and instead of driving it until I was terrified of running out of gas or waiting until this morning and having a mad rush, as per usual, to fill up my car on the way to work- guess what? I stopped and filled it up last night. Brilliant. Really- I thanked myself a million times and patted myself on the back for that one this morning as I sailed into work- on a a FULL tank of gas. Who does that? Grown ups. That's right.
Meanwhile- remember how I wanted to have the house decorated for fall when Georgia stated school? I went ahead with my plans even though it was August 14th or something like that. The problem is my Halloween stuff and my Fall stuff kinda all go together in one big decorating theme scheme. So I just went with it because I was being lazy and didn't want to have to pull the boxes out again in 3 weeks or so. We even made pumpkin bread muffins and snicker doodle cookies in the shapes of owls the other night (FYI Snicker doodle cookies actually have NOTHING to do with snickers as the name may trick you into believing they are actually just sugar cookies that you roll around in cinnamon and sugar then bake, still delish but not as exciting as you would think.). I've pulled out the "creamy pumpkin" and "pumpkin spice latte" candles and I'm pretty much in heaven every evening as I breathe in the fall scents. That is until Georgia's friends from next door come over and question me as to "Why do you have a pumpkin doormat out with a jack-o-lantern on it?" Why? Because I want to! Because in 2 more days it will be September!
Whatever- you'll be jealous when we spread out the fake spider webs all over the place- I am at least saving that for the last week in September.
Oh yeah- just 2 more days until it's Pumpkin Spice Latte season- not that I've been counting down or anything.....
The third day of school- have you been doing this all of your life? Yesterday (on the second day of school) you wanted me to just drop you off. Ummm...no- I still needed to walk you in, but I told you today we could go through the parent drop off line- they will stop letting Mommies and Daddies walk their children in any day now anyway. So this morning you were excited- I probably asked you a million times if you were SURE you wanted me to drop you off.
"Yes Mommy, I'm sure"
"But Georgia, are you really sure? Like completely positive because I can still walk you in..."
"I can do it Mommy, just drop me off"
"Okay, do you remember how to get to your classroom? Can you get there on your own?"
"Can you give me directions?" (hahaha)
"Yes- you walk in, take a right, then take another right into the Kindergarten building and your class is on the left"
"Got it! Right, Right then Left"
"That's right- and remember you can ask anyone for help if you get lost just tell them who your teacher is and that you are in Kindergarten"
"And you remember the directions?"
"Are you sure you don't want me to walk you in?"
"No, just drop me off"
"You're sure because I can still walk you in today but pretty soon they won't let me do it at all"
"You can just drop me off"
At this point we are pulling into the circle drive for drop off
"Really, Georgia, you can still change your mind, I'll park and just walk you in"
"No Mommy, just drop me off" (and stop being so neurotic)
I pulled up to the two teacher aides and the 5th graders helpers that assist the kids getting out of the car. I leaned back and unbuckled you and handed you your back pack and lunch kit and you tumbled out of the car. The 5th grader tried to help you but you said "I've got it!" and the teacher aide came up to check your backpack tag (it has your classroom number and teacher on it) she tried to help you put your back pack on but you wanted to do everything yourself. I wish I had video of all of this- the look on your face was SO proud! She asked if you needed help getting to your classroom and you told her you knew and without skipping a beat (or putting your backpack on) you walked off with your arms full of your backpack and lunch kit like you owned the place to your classroom. I don't think I've ever seen you look so proud- or have had a prouder moment of you. The aide turned to the 5th grader and asked him to follow you to make sure you got where you were suppose to be. I had to pull out at this point and it took everything in me to not park my car and run inside to catch a glimpse of you walking into class and making sure you arrived okay.
I'm so glad I am your Mommy- you are the most special girl in the entire world. I hope you always know that.
When Georgia first started Mother's Day Out I found the most precious little outfit for her ever at Janie and Jack. Georgia's "thing" was always poodles and they had the most adorable outfit ever for her 1st day of school.
Before I found her real first day of school outfit I was looking around at what might be the perfect thing and found Janie and Jack was re-doing their poodle line from 3 years ago! Could it be anymore perfect?
So here you go~ Georgia on her 1st day of school ever going to Mother's Day out at 2 years old and Today- her 2nd day of Kindergarten at 5 years old!
(I think we can also appreciate the camera upgrade since that first picture...weird seeing it side by side, I always thought that was a great camera!)
Today is your first day of Kindergarten. Wow! Seriously- how did this happen? I honestly feel like I just held you in my arms yesterday- almost like the weight of your little body snuggled up in the crook of my arm is still there. You are such a fun, smart, funny, entertaining and caring little girl- I know you will do well in school. In prepping you for this day I asked myself "Have I done enough in the past 5 years to make sure she is ready?" I can assure you the answer is "yes". I have not one little worry about you- you speak your mind yet you are polite. You ask for what you want and you are not afraid to tell someone what you need. You make friends fast and I have a feeling you will be helping the other kids who maybe feel a little lonely today.
I can't help but think of the very first time I dropped you off at Mother's Day out when you were two years old. It ripped my heart out to do it, but I did. I'm so glad I did now. (Even though I broke the rules and picked you up after only 2.5 hours every day you went...and you only went twice a week). When I dropped you off that day we both cried. I actually couldn't even make it to the bathroom of the church or even to my car. I began to sob right there outside of your classroom door.
When I dropped you off for preschool when you were three years old we still had a rough time (and not just on the first day)- this was probably the biggest transition period of both of our lives. For three years it had been you and I together almost constantly and now you were going to "school" and I was going back to work. I missed you so much but you blossomed into a courageous and amazing child. You were very shy back then and would bury your head in my chest when new people came around. There were times when you did not warm up to people at all, but you went to school and you made LOTS of friends and you were surrounded by teachers and staff that loved you so much- just like Mommy. They held you when I couldn't and they helped you when I wasn't there. Just to let you know- part of me still wishes every day that I would have been able to stay with you the past two years.
Little by little you become "Little Miss Social"- you would talk to people in the elevator on the way down to the car in the mornings and greet the Valet as they helped us load up- you didn't hide behind my legs anymore or bury yourself in me. You were (and still are) a charmer.
Then I saw you today- boy do you have some confidence!! You are not scared of going to school at all! You walked right in, said "Hello" to your teacher, found your friend Hallie and gave her a great big hug. It was almost like Mommy wasn't even there! ha! I gave you a quick hug and told you how proud I was of you and you said "I know, I love you Mommy, see you later" I saved face this time until I got to the car to break down. ;)
I guess I just want you to know I love you forever. I'm SO proud of you.
Things haven't worked out the way I imagined but life continually
proves to me that they are working out better than I could have planned.
You having the opportunity to go to preschool these past two years has
given you something I don't think you would have received by staying at
home with Mom- even though we did some really cool stuff together, I was
always around. I really think you being able to be out on your own,
making decisions for yourself without me watching helped you right along
to be in the place you are now. You are so well adjusted it makes my
Today as I cried on my way to work it wasn't fearful tears of "What will
happen?", they were happy tears, thinking "We did it!". I know you are
going to be better than "okay". You are and always will be nothing short
of amazing. I am so very proud of you today as I have been every day of your life.
"Meet the Teacher" day last Friday
She found her desk!
Good Morning Sunshines! Yes, you too fake Winston in the corner...
Her bags are packed and ready to go....
Still trying to wake up....
Now we are happy!
For our next feature, the "I love Kindergarten dance" choreographed and performed on the spot by Georgia Clare!