Wordful Wednesday: Te Te’s Birthday Brunch

September marks the official beginning of birthday season in our family. My sister, brother and I are all born within two weeks of each other in late September and early October. And we have numerous friends and other extended family that are Libras and Virgos. So even more so than the holidays, this is the time of year for gluttony and excess, gifts and cocktails. This is our Awards season.

Sunday was my sister’s birthday, and sadly, the 10th anniversary of our father’s death. I will never ever forgive myself for not being with her on that day. The first and only birthday we’ve ever spent apart. But we have more than made up for it in the years since, and this year was no exception.

Just the two of us went out for drinks at my friend’s new spot, Imperial. (*If you live in D-town check it out, the tacos and the tequila are to die for.) We had a lot of laughs, a couple good heart to heart moments, caught up with friends and made a few more and tried a few tasty beverages.

It was cool. Just the two of us. We even managed to squeeze in a ‘Walk and Talk’ a la The West Wing. And take a really pretty picture.

We also managed to stay up way too late, talking and telling stories about Dad. WAY too late. Especially since little girls like to wake up early in the morning. The little sneaks.

So while Cedella and I went to the cemetery to pay our respects, Isora and Te Te took a birthday nap.

Then we all headed out for a family brunch at one of our favorite little restaurants, a Cuban place called Cafe Habana.

We’ve never had a bad meal there, and brunch was no exception. But the real reason for being there, spending time together as a family.

These days it’s quite rare for all of us to be together at once. And though Michael wasn’t there, the rest of us, including Tracey’s BFF (and my adopted little sister Kelly) were together.

Ella loved playing on my iPhone with Auntie Ky-la-la.

Izzie got some love from her Uncle Rob,

and Auntie Kelly.

Tracey showed us why she’s called Tracey the Cake Slayer.

My Mom and my brother. Aren’t they sweet?

Almost as sweet as this. Te Te and one of her two most favorite children in the world. (*Though couldn’t someone have done us a favor and switched those candles around. Cause if she’s 23 that makes me almost 25 and I like 25.)

Kel and Trace. BFFs. I love this picture. (*A huge thank you to Dr. Kelly for helping Tracey feel better ::wink wink::)

It was a really nice way to spend a couple hours on what would normally be a kinda sad day. Just being together, making jokes, catching up, eating way too much food, it was like medicine for my aching soul. It seems like my family is always good for just that.

Though I don’t understand why Mom’s afro is covering Ky’s face, nor what Ky is looking at, this is such a lovely family pic. Just look at my girls. Holding hands. Awwww, sisters.

Me and my sister…best friends from birth. Well…maybe not from birth, but pretty soon afterwards to be sure.

My dear sweet Tracey~

There aren’t enough adjectives to describe what you mean to me. Thank you for being born and making sure that I didn’t live my whole life as a spoiled brat and for being my very first friend. You inspire me, you crack me up and you make me cry. I love you so much darling sister. And I will ALWAYS be there on your birthday.

Love,

Your Big Sister

Happy W Wednesday everyone!! Hope this fall is finding you warm and toasty and well!!

Sorry I had to include this one. Cause it’s just too cute.

 

 

 

 

 

Wordful Wednesday: Where the Wild Things Are

Summer is beginning to ebb away but you wouldn’t know it because of the temps around here. But in an effort to check every last thing off of our summer bucket list we finally took a trip to the Detroit Zoo with Grandma and the Aunties.

Every summer when we were kids my sister and I used to go to Girl Scout day camp at the Detroit Zoo. Some years my Mom was even our camp leader. It was an awesome place to go and it seemed so incredibly large and magical and perfect to a young kid. The Zoo is one of the Detroit traditions that I couldn’t wait to share with my girls.

Some things have changed, but the feeling is still the same. For Cedella, the zoo is one great big amazingly cool place.

We started our day by taking the little train to the back of the zoo. I think this is my absolute favorite picture of me and my girls. I love how they’re looking at each other. Yay for sisters!

We all remember how scary we thought the tunnel was when we were kids. But they’ve put lights up. So NOT scary anymore.

And then we had to consult The Map. Maybe this is the one thing Monk has taken from her limited run-ins with Dora. (*Thankfully she’s not a big fan of Dora cause she thinks that Swiper’s scary and prefers Wallace & Grommit, so proud of my BBC loving baby). Or maybe this is just another trait she’s gotten from her Mama (since I’m the map-reader/navigator of the family).

Either way, she wouldn’t put the damn thing down. And kept saying “Ok guys, we have to check the map”. She’s quite the Explorer.

And the little Boogie got in on the action too. Hamming it up for the camera with her Te Te.

One of the funniest moments? Grandma forgot her hat. So she had to borrow Ella’s. Guess it’s pretty clear where my daughter gets her little mini head from. Sure didn’t get it from her Mom or Dad.

Oh yea, and did I mention, there were animals there?

Like really really close up and personal.

Some were taking their naps when we visited. This gorilla gave us quite a view…

Even though the polar bears were sleeping, the statue was not.

And the ostriches and flamingos were very active.

Grandma and Izzie took a break at the Reptile House. Apparently neither of them care for scaly creatures.

We attempted a family pic by the Rackham Fountain. But this was the best shot. Pretty realistic moment, no?

And we took a couple of baby snuggle breaks. Cause these cheeks deserve snuggle breaks.

When she wasn’t reading her map, Cedella was busy pouting or chasing after her Aunties. Or doing both simultaneously.

Me and Izzie and our Marley wrap ended up putting on a show for the whole zoo. Every time I wrapped her or unwrapped her it seemed we had an audience. And everywhere we walked people stared either in complete confusion or wanted to know all about it. I love public displays of Babywearing!! And I really love that my baby can see what I see in complete comfort.

And when she’s ready she just closes her eyes and has a comfy spot to nap in. Her sleeping face? It makes me swoon.

I was fully prepared to be in the penguin house for ages but Cedella just wasn’t digging it. Instead, she liked the bird house. When she saw the parrots and macaws like in Rio, she went bananas.

And just when I thought everything from my childhood had been erased, there it was, right at the end of the bird house. The chain link curtain. Tracey and I remembered it so vividly. Doing exactly what Ella did when she saw it. It may have been the highlight of her day.

We had such a fun day. It’s always fun being with all the Sims ladies. So fun that both girls passed out within seconds of being in their car seats.

Keeping traditions. Making memories. Giving these girls an incredible childhood. And loving every second of it.

How’d you celebrate the end of summer?

Happy WW!!

 

 

The Love of a Sister

I know I’ve said it before but I really cannot wait for Cedella to have a sister.

There’s been a lot of debate lately over gender identity and what not. This post is NOT about that.

I don’t prefer a girl in order to dress her in pink and turn her into a princess. I am happy we are having a girl because I believe in the power of sisters.

Of course if Little Nugget had been a boy we would have been very happy (who knows, maybe there’s still a surprise in there) I’d be celebrating the love of a brother. But I’m not. So don’t ask.

Some sisters come to you from your parents. Some come from an adoption or fostering situation. Some come from high school or college or grade school. Some come from your first real job. Some come from relationships (past or present) or from marriage. Some just come one day while you’re on a hike with your baby.

I have a few of those. And I couldn’t do it without them. If you’re reading this you should know who you are. And if not, I’ll tell you later ūüėČ

This is about my sister. My rock. My vault. My touchstone. My girl. My first and probably last friend. My best friend.

She swept into my little life when I was two weeks shy of two years old. She changed everything. For better or worse.

I used to torture her when she was an infant. Tip her out of her bassinet onto the floor. Hit her. Steal her bottle. Wake her when she was sleeping. I even trained our puppy to run her over when she was learning how to walk.

Nice, huh?

But we grew up together. We did everything together. We went through phases and milestones very close together. Shared and fought over Barbie dolls and friends. There was a long long time where we were hard to separate.

Though we fought like cats and dogs often, especially when we were tweens and teens, we always loved each other. We shared our secrets and our love of movies. And even though Tracey was MUCH cooler when it came to new and indie music, I’d like to think that some of my love of Beastie Boys and Led Zeppelin rubbed off on her (after the 90210 and Janet Jackson wore off).

We have always been very different. I am loud and outgoing. Tracey is way less obnoxious and reserved. I am impulsive and hasty. Tracey thinks and contemplates things before doing them. I have always been confident to a fault, she is growing into her confidence the older she gets. I’m a total optimist and Tre can tend to see the negative first. I have always loved shoes, makeup, clothes and shopping. Tracey…not so much until recently (which is really awesome for both of us – we have matching favorite cardigans bought on completely separate occasions. How weird is that? ).

And yet there are so many things we share. A love of books, cultivated by two very nerdy parents. A love of music, gifted us by our would-be musician father. A love of movies and film making, which I can’t even guess where that came from. We have a very similar sense of style, though she definitely has better taste in decor than I do. We are both quick to love, loyal to a fault, open-minded and non-judgmental, love a good home decor magazine, and feel most comfortable in a good dive bar with a stiff shot of whiskey.

Needless to say, I adore her. I could not live without her.

When I have a problem that I don’t know how to solve, she is the first one I go to. And even if it’s something she has no experience with or reference to she will talk through it with me and vice versa.

So while I’ve been having difficulties with people in my life of course I called Tracey first. Cause even though she’s never been married she understands my way of seeing love, family and relationships. That’s the beauty of having a sibling, particularly a sister. You’ve been through everything together and usually have quite similar ways of seeing the world and conflict and relationships.

While it wasn’t always the case, we don’t fight. It’s been years since we had a fight. It’s just not how our family works now. Guess going through the loss of our father together brought all of us (including my brother) a more clear understanding about what it means to be a family and what’s important.

It wasn’t always the case, but now, if we have a problem with each other we talk it through. We don’t call names, we don’t insult, we don’t talk trash. We talk about why we’re upset always remembering to respect one another. I would never ever want to hurt my sister’s feelings. It would break my heart to do so.

I want Cedella and Nugget to have that. To always have someone that gets them without explanation, without back story, without even thinking about it.

And what’s even better? Having two sisters. I can’t leave my baby sister out of this post. Though she is 17 years younger than me, more like my little girl than sister, I would do anything for her. There are so many things I credit myself for having taught her or helped her to experience for the first times. Though we didn’t grow up sharing a bathroom and clothes, she is big piece of my heart. There has never been a nasty or bad word between us. I love you Kylara. Couldn’t live without you either.

The fact that Cedella will be blessed with this life long friendship in a few short weeks means so much to me. Can’t wait to see how different and how similar they are as they grow up together. To watch the first time they play together. Their first fight. The first time they try to lie to us and get away with something. The first time they stick up for one another.

Because a sister is someone you’ve gone through everything with, the good, bad and ugly. Someone you share so many firsts with. And at the end of the day sisters are there to have your back. To protect you. To be your hype man. To tell you the truth when no one else will. To listen when you need it and to talk when you need it.¬†Sisters are friends that you never lose, cause to lose them would mean to lose a part of yourself.

I love you Tracey. Thank you for being my sister.