Week in My Life 2013: Monday

It’s that time of year again! The time in which the lovely Melissa at Adventuroo and MomComm delivers a torturous yet rewarding weekly meme all about capturing one week in my family’s life.

It’s intimidating and exhausting but looking back each year at how our family worked at that moment. At the things we did, the places we went, the things we ate, what we said, what we looked like. It’s priceless.

So without further ado (and already late at that) here’s Monday…

Adventuroo WIML mon 13

 

Over the weekend we drove to Canada for our cousin Kifah’s wedding (more on that and tons of pictures next week), so we arrived home at around 10pm on Sunday night. Since they had been in the car for about six hours and took late naps, we battled the kids to get them to bed. Izzie finally passed out around 11:30 and Cedella around midnight.

Needless to say we were all exhausted on Monday morning and had done no prep for the next morning. And being a Monday morning it was a school morning. ::forehead slap::

So when I rumbled awake at 8:15 I was in a panic. No one else was awake. And there was only 45 minutes until school started. NOT a great start to the day.

I jostled Cedella out of bed and she picked out some clothes, surprisingly without much issue.

But by the time it came to brushing hair and teeth and washing her hands…melt. down.

In the midst of fighting with her to wash her hands she woke up Izzie who was hysterical with her need for Mama Milk.

No time for that I put Iz in bed with Michael and rushed Ella downstairs to have breakfast. And it was already 8:45.

Yea. That’s not enough time for a picky, distracted eater to eat.

Suddenly I felt a million times sorry to my own mom for all the times she dealt with me being up late on school mornings. And for not being prepared. And for fighting with her about what to wear. And for never eating breakfast.

I made a cup of coffee for the road. Poured a glass of juice in a sippy and a bag of cheerios for Ella. Threw some semi-healthy food into her lunch box and attempted to get out of the house.

Only it was pouring rain.

And someone wouldn’t put on her rain boots.

Cause why on earth wear rain boots when it’s raining?

So pink ballet flats were agreed upon. In which she promptly fell down and got her leggings and socks all wet.

We quickly changed her pants and I picked her up and swept her into the car.

It was 9:01. It takes 15 minutes to get there on a good day. Sigh. We were late. But Ella was happy to be back at school.

After such a crazy morning it was time for a little yummy breakfast. So I grabbed Dunkin Donuts and headed home. We ate sammys and donuts and drank copious amounts of coffee. Well, I drank coffee. Izzie slammed a donut then had some Mama Milk and all was right in the world.

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Izzie got a chance to watch some Sesame Street while I checked emails, Facebook and edited some photos from the weekend. As usual, Kira is never far away from a child that may be eating. She’s the best vacuum dog ever.

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After Sesame Street we got in the car to go pick up this little beauty from my friend Meghan who was kind enough to order for me. I’ve been stalking Scottish-made Oscha wraps for a while. And now it is mine!! ::maniacal laugh::

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And then we headed to the complete opposite side of town to pick up Cedella from school. I tried in vain to keep Isora awake so she could actually play at Play for a change. But of course, even screaming ‘Signing Time’ songs at the top of my lungs, was not enough to keep my over exhausted kid awake. So I put her in the mei tai and headed in to grab Cedella. Could her little sleepy face be any cuter?

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I was pleasantly surprised to see my girls Cindy and Laura and their little ones there playing. And Cindy was kind enough to let me hold her sweet baby boy Atlee for a while. He made my ovaries a bit achey, not gonna lie, I need a baby boy in my home.

While I chatted with the ladies, Izzie woke up and played a bit. It was getting close to 1 and I finally got both girls to the lobby and eventually got both of their shoes on and finally got them both out to the car. And as we drove into downtown East Lansing Ella insisted on going to visit her Daddy at work. So we stopped in for lunch.

Yep. A picnic in a liquor store. Nothing like it!

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Don’t you wish you had beer cases for climbing blocks?

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Once we wrangled them into the car Cedella fell asleep on the ride home. So I popped her into her bed. Izzie was wide awake. So I popped her in my Romeo. Yea, that’s the name of this wrap. Romeo. Isn’t he dreamy?

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Even got some kisses from my little lady before she finally fell asleep.

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Nearly three hours later (I know! Three hour nap?! Oh shit.) Cedella woke up and she was surly. Izzie woke up as soon as she heard her sister whining.

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While the girls played and watched some ‘Jake and the Neverland Pirates’ I cleaned up this mess from unpacking the car the night before…

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On the menu? Butternut squash soup and smoked sausage. Can you say fall is here?

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World’s Cutest Kitchen Helpers…

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Izzie even snagged Daddy into her favorite past time. Checking out all the pictures on the fridge. She loves seeing all the faces and saying everyone’s names. It makes Michael nuts, but he does it every time, cause he knows she loves it so.

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Since it had been a long and kind of stressful day we decided a cocktail was in order…Caramel Apple Cider. Ummmm. Yum.

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Finally, and a little late to accommodate for late naps, it was bedtime. We got the girls in jammies, got clothes ready for tomorrow morning, picked out and read four books (one for each year of their ages).

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And that’s when the proverbial wheels came off the train. Cedella was simply not tired. And in my exhaustion I didn’t even remember to get out the melatonin pills. There was a lot of shouting and arguing and punishment and overall it was just a disaster. Everytime I nearly got Isora to sleep Cedella would shout and wake her up.

She actually ended up telling Michael to “go away, I don’t want you in my room” and “I don’t like you Daddy” and “leave me alone”. It was awful. Poor Michael. He was just trying in vain to keep her in her bed and trying to be calm and maintain some order. My heart broke for him hearing those things coming out of her mouth.

After explaining to her that she hurt her Dad’s feelings and that I couldn’t stay awake any more I left her in her room and went to bed. It was 11:30. And guess who squeezed her way onto my bed about five mintues later? Um, yea. No real rest for the weary, right?

Be sure to keep a look out every day this week for more Week in My Life fun!! And check out Adventuroo’s link-up for more WIML goodness.

Why I Love Roots

Not the band, though they are a personal fav of mine (ask me about the time I sang backup for them). I’m talking about the classic 1970’s miniseries Roots: The Saga of an American Family. Starring a young LeVar “Gordy” Burton, John “Mr. Evans” Amos, Robert “Mr. Brady” Reed and Louis Gossett Jr. Cicely Tyson. Ben Vereen. Lloyd Bridges. Burl Ives. Leslie Uggams. Richard Roundtree. Todd Bridges. Maya Angelou. And OJ Simpson for crying out loud. Pretty much every black actor with a SAG card in 1977.

I remember watching Roots when I was a kid. One of those things my Dad insisted we sit through to learn about our ancestors. Somehow my sister doesn’t remember this. Maybe he saved this special brand of what I’m sure amounted to torture at the time, just for me.

Then in middle school and high school we would watch the whole Middle Passage sequence during obligatory February Black History Month units. Though I don’t ever remembering having seen the whole thing, at once, in context. Then there was college. I minored in Africana studies and watched several different parts of Roots for research. But again. Never all together. Never the whole thing.

It was getting to be the middle of February and it dawned on me. It’s Black History Month. Since being out of college and the library it seems like it just fell off my radar. There’s no special programming on TV. (Wait, to be fair, there’s not really any black programming on TV as it is. Oprah. Tyler Perry’s shows. That’s it. But I digress.) There were no black history playdates or craft days in my Mom’s group. No trips to the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

I felt guilty. I felt like I missed such an important opportunity to celebrate my heritage and to teach my daughter about hers. So I self-assigned a large undertaking. Watching Roots. In it’s entirety before the end of the month. And I’m just about done. I know, it’s March already. But I don’t have nearly enough time for marathon TV watching that I used to.

And you know what? It was fantastic. It captured our country for eight straight days and spawned two sequel miniseries for a reason. It is engaging and imaginative and heartbreaking and moving. Sure, maybe it’s a bit hard to get over the production value, it was the 70’s and made for TV, so it doesn’t look too pretty on an HDTV. But modern aesthetics aside there are so many pure and important moments to experience and some incredibly difficult ones as well.

At the heart of the story of both the best-selling novel and the miniseries is the idea of recapturing and passing down our family stories, our collective past. From one generation to the next they pass down the legendary story of Kunta Kinte, the Mandinka warrior and proud African that was the first of his family in America. Each generation passes his dreams and aspirations to be free to the next. Each passes the pride and hope that one day their children’s lives will be better off then their own.

Cedella is 1/4 Black, 1/4 Lebanese and 1/2 White (German, French & English), though she is truly and completely American in her multi-ethnicity. Though she’s still too young to appreciate the breadth and scope of Roots, what she can begin learning now is this, the stories of her people.

She should know her great great grandfather Elam Sims that was a black soldier in World War I, who enlisted even though blacks were still second-class citizens and relegated to menial labor duties with the Army.

She should know about her ancestors tending to the centuries old olive trees in Lebanon only to have their trees and land taken from them by Israel during the war.

She should know about her 7th great grandfather that served in the Revolutionary War, not only because that makes her eligible to be in the DAR, but because ironically his parents left Germany to flee the violence ravaging their nation.

These are all stories I have learned in researching our family tree on Ancestry.com. An obsession passed down to me from my maternal grandmother Rose and my great aunt Billie. But it’s not the research and facts that have sucked me in. It’s the stories.

And so as our new tradition and to honor the struggles and triumphs of all of our ancestors, not only will I take the reigns as the family genealogist, but I will tell her these stories. Like the story of her stubborn great great aunt Garnet refusing to wash the dishes for three years because her husband insulted her.

The story of her 4th great grandmother who was born into slavery but died a property owner.

How both of her grandfathers were the first in their families to have not only college degrees, but Master’s.

This new tradition may come in the form of bedtime stories but they will be an integral part of the fabric of Monk’s character as she grows. Because these people, these ancestors, what they did, who they were, make us who we are now. That’s what Roots teaches us.

And my new tradition? Watching Roots, in its entirety, every February. And when my kids are old enough, this will be required watching for them too.