Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Crips and Bloods

Well, there was only one guess and our perpetual winner wins again! Yes, the change from the previous day were the paw prints that Fanny insisted I include on the blog banner. She has accepted that the alien gets most of the attention around here, but she refuses to be totally ignored! So, Tia Sara, here's your special kiss...



As for today's news... when I reviewed the pictures in the camera from today, I was horrified to find that Radar is already weighing that heavy question that too many boys tackle... should I join the Crips or the Bloods???

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Monday, March 30, 2009

A quick post offering up a kiss

I imagine that anyone logging onto my blog yesterday noticed some changes to the theme and background. Well, I don't know what you thought, but the feedback was NOT all positive. There was one party, who's identity I will not reveal, who registered a very serious complaint. As a result I have made one small change and the first person to point out the change from yesterday wins a very special kiss from a very special someone! A kiss from who you ask? Only tomorrow will reveal that secret!

Good luck!

On another note, Angela and Radar had a great time today... today's events included Angela getting one of Radar's very special golden showers! Oh how little boys love to do that!!! On the upside, by peeing all over Angela and himself, Radar got to wear more than one fancy outfit today (Angela was too busy to change and her shirt was yellow anyway)!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Sunday, March 29, 2009

B is for Boy

B is the subject for this Sunday... why you ask? I'll give you the same answer I plan to give Radar once he gets old enough to question my orders... “Because!”

Actually, that's not really true. What got me thinking about “b” is “boring.” Here I am on any old Sunday trying to think about something to blog about and it's all boring, boring, boring. What did we do today? We got up, I showered, Radar talked, we went to mass, I made lunch, we walked Fantango, Radar napped, I washed the car, I did laundry... snoring yet?

My point is that life is boring to blog about right now. Don't get me wrong... I'm not bored. I am so freakin' easily entertained that I think it might be impossible to bore me in my real life. As an example, I had to figure out how to take the laundry and baby upstairs. So, I put the baby in the laundry basket and carried them both upstairs, laughing the whole way up.

And Radar's favorite place to be now is sitting on my lap and I can stare at the back of his head eternally and never get bored.

So I apologize that I have to bore you today, but boring is beautiful. There are a number of family blogs I follow regularly and many of them are anything but boring. They are families struggling through heart wrenching ordeals... kids with cancer or heart problems or chromosomal anomalies and I check in regularly, hoping to read good news.

I hope that I am blessed with boring forever. I hope that the biggest problems that I ever have to blog about are pesky immigration hassles or going to the mall with a dark shirt on and only noticing the huge wet boob stain when I get in the car to leave (that was yesterday.) I hope that most of you who read my blog do so casually... “I wonder what's going on on Radar Love. I haven't checked in for a few days.” That's my hope.

Yes, B is for “boring”, but it's also for “beautiful baby boy” and for me at least, B is for “bliss!”

Oh... and since we're at the end of my post, B will also be for “bye bye!”

Bundles of bunnies,
Titi and Radar

ps – We're heading to the airport in a couple of hours to pick up my dad's wife, Angela, who will be taking very excellent care of Radar this week! Thank you Angela for playing “Who's Your Nanny This Week Radar?”

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Don't be afraid of the dark...

Don't forget that today we are celebrating Earth Hour at 8:30pm your local time. Turn off all your lights and unplug everything for one hour to raise awareness for energy conservation! We'll be flipping the main circuit from 8:30 - 9:30pm here in our little house in the Bahamas.


But I can't promise that I won't use any energy source at all... afterall, I have to take some pictures during our first Earth Hour experience!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

ps - not to worry... tomorrow the blog will perk up again in the color department!
Radar's first Earth Hour was a resounding success! Of course Radar slept through the whole hour in his battery charged swing, so it made no difference to him. But the rest of us had fun chatting by candle light (Isabella and her mom were here). And of course Mr. Weeble seems to have enjoyed himself. So, for any of you out there that also celebrated... thanks for doing your little bit and tomorrow let's do a little bit that we normally wouldn't do to conserve energy so that the world will still be in ok shape for you kids and for Radar!
Nite nite now!

Friday, March 27, 2009

A final farewell & 101 reasons to celebrate

Today was Grammy's funeral service up in Maine. My mom said that it was very well attended. I do wish I could have been there, but it was more important that Radar and I got to see her less than a month ago. I did write down a few words and my brother Javier read them at the service (that's the Science Pundit to all of you). I thought I'd share them here with a couple of pictures from one of my visits a couple of years ago.

To preface my words, I should let you know that Grammy was blind, Cynthia and Magee are my mom's cousins (Grammy's neices), Jacqui and Connie are her wonderful neighbors and here's a picture of my grandfather who died this same month 22 years ago.

My words on Grammy:

For the past 10 years I’ve gone up to visit Grammy three or four times a year and over that time we settled into a pretty regular routine. We would make a list of things to get done during my visit and cross them off as we finished each one. Clean out frig, check. Audio books, check. Cut kindling, check. One of my favorites was going through the card catalogs to pick out birthday cards, Christmas cards or friendship cards. In the evening, we would sit down in the living room and I would look through the catalog to find the cards I thought Grammy would like. Dog cards for Cynthia. Cat cards for Magee. A funny card for Jacqui. Religious cards for the shut-ins. She wouldn’t let me pick out any cards for my mom because she thought I would tell mom and ruin the surprise!

It would go something like this. “Here’s a cute one Grammy. There’s a pig taking a bubble bath in an old fashioned claw-foot tub; scrubbing his back with a brush. And on the inside it says, ‘This little piggy says you’re how old? Hogwash! Happy Birthday.’” And Grammy would say, “Oh that’s cute and it isn’t off color. Don’t you think Connie might like that?”

So I thought I’d take this last opportunity to pick out a few cards for you Grammy.

This one shows a little old lady, with her red wool winter coat and knitted beret, taking dozens of audio books to the library as a donation. The inside reads, “Even when you needed, you never forgot those who needed more. Thank you.”

And this one shows that same little old silver haired lady, now in her kitchen with orange papered walls, baking up strawberry, blueberry and rhubarb pies. The inside reads, “One of the things that made you so special was that you always remembered those small details that made us feel special – like having our favorite pie ready on every visit.”

The next one shows the little old lady seated in her green velor chair with a tearful smile on her face and an infant boy on her lap. The baby's new pudgy fingers are wrapped around her frail, wrinkled index finger. The inside says, “Holding a great-grandchild makes getting old worthwhile.” And someone has handwritten, “I'm so grateful that you waited just long enough to hold your newest; my son.”

The last one shows a handsome, elderly gentleman standing on a cloud. He's got a pretty big nose and pretty big ears. His pocket watch reads “22 years and counting.” He's holding out his arms to catch the same little old lady who is running toward him with strong legs and perfect vision. The inside reads, “It took you long enough! Welcome home!”

Enjoy your new home Grammy. I'll miss you.

On a final and much happier note... today is a perfect 101! Radar was born 101 days ago. Happy 101 day birthday my darling baby boy... You have made mommy's life so much richer and more full of love than I could have ever dreamed. I love you beyond words!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lots to say



Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Top Ten

Recently I've found myself awake in the middle of the night when I sneak downstairs and turn on the tube for a bit. My longtime friend, David Letterman, is often the one to keep me company for a while before I sneak back upstairs to try to get a few more hours before Radar starts rooster duty (cooing as dawn breaks). So, having just wrapped up work for the day, I thought an easy post might be to just make my own top ten list...

Top Ten things that make my job as a mom easy...

#10 - practice... it ain't the same, but I have had practice playing mom with Fantango (not the breastfeeding part though),

#9 & #8 - coffee & chocolate; two friends I'd given up for a while and am so glad to have back in my life!

#7 - The wisdom of chocolate

#6 - Battery charger and rechargable batteries so that I don' t have to buy batteries for Radar's swing every other day.

#5 - Electric breast pump - makes a working mom's life soooooo much easier.

#4 & #3 - A favorite toy and a favorite chupi (pacifier).

#2 - A nanny to give my baby love and care (even if my nanny changes every day until I get things sorted out with immigration).

And the #1 thing that makes my job as a mom easy.... is a Perfect Baby!!!!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - For anyone who couldn't guess, the video from a couple of days ago with the weird "wearing purple" song was a Science Pundit production!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thank you

I want to thank everyone for their kind words about my Grammy. My mom and I, and all our family really appreciate it. We're a little sad that she has passed because it's always sad to lose family. But mostly we're very grateful that she got to live such a long life... she celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary before losing my grandfather 22 years ago. She did not outlive her children. She got to meet her great grandchildren. She kept her mind to the very end. She stayed in her own home to the very end. She was 94 years old. That makes for a very blessed life that any of us would envy. So, rest in peace Grammy... we'll take it from here!

As for the rest of life, which does indeed go on, we did go to the dog show on Saturday and my mom had her first go as handler. We are convinced that the show was fixed since Fanny did not win or place. But it's all the same to her... she received an "also ran" ribbon and she believes that means she won! You try telling her different and see her reaction.

And finally, yesterday was another milestone day for Mr. Radar... and not a good one. Our little friend has his first minor ear infection (all at once say, "Awwwwwwwwwwww, poor little guy.") He's on antibiotics and the doctor suggested I start putting saline drops in his nose to clear him up a little (seems he's got a tiny bit of a cold too). But outside of that, the doctor was very happy with his growth and development. Radar talked to the doctor about his finding (things like, "baaaaahhh, ahhhhhh, uh, baaaaahhh,") and the doc was impressed by how vocal the little monkey is at this stage. So, even though we're a little knocked down by infection, it hasn't dampened the mood and we're very optimistic that Radar will be back on top of the world in no time!

Oh - and he weighs 13 lbs 2 oz! Exactly on the average line.

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Monday, March 23, 2009

Radar's trip to Grammy's



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rest in Peace Grammy

At 7:25 this morning, my Grammy slipped into the next world. A nurse stood by her side, holding her hand.

Rest in Peace Grammy

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring fever

I just wanted to give a quick update and to thank you for your e-mails and comments. Lizzie, I was ready to take you up on your offer, but I looked at a map and I think the daily commute to Kiwi land might be a bit much! Shucks! As always, I've cooled down quite a bit and I'll figure out a solution. For the next few weeks Radar will be passed from one sitter to the next until we find something more permanent, but he'll be just fine and the excitement might keep him preoccupied so that he doesn't miss Mommy as much!

By the way - yesterday I had intended to post a "happy first day of spring" post and today I wanted to post some pictures of Fanny's first dog show. But other things have taken priority, so I'm unable to be entertaining. My grandmother (who we just visited at the end of February) is in the hospital and is failing quickly. We have been calling, but between the drugs and the disorientation of being in the hospital, she is barely coherent. My mom has been on the phone with the nurses and doctors every couple of hours, and is heading up there in a couple of days.

So, spring hasn't really started off on such a good foot, but that's the way life is... there are always dips in the road and we have to just try to keep the steering wheel straight and not run off the road. That's what we're doing right now... just trying to navigate through these next few days.

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Friday, March 20, 2009

Common traits

Ok, what do I have in common with this picture?

1. Red; the hamburger is red meat and I am red with anger,
2. Raw; the hamburger is raw meat and my emotions are very raw right now,
3. Shredded; the hamburger is shredded and that's how I feel right now.

My nanny's application was declined at immigration.  I don't know why, I only know that it has been declined.  It took over 4 months to say "no".  She has been approved for two work permits before, but instead of treating it as a renewal, they made me start from scratch.  I applied before I had Radar and now, after I've already returned to work, the answer is "tough sh&%, find some other solution!  We don't care!"  

If it wasn't for this guy who paid me a visit this afternoon in the office, I honestly don't think I'd be able to keep it together.  I have no idea what to do!!

That's all for today - bad day I guess!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A new best friend

First, thank you all for following the Perry Potcake story. It was a really fun story to write and when I find an illustrator and when I get it published (even if just a self-publishing job), I'll reserve your autographed copies!

Now, I'm not sure if it's too early to start having "favorite" toys, but I don't think so. Of the many toys that we've started placing in front of Radar since he first showed an interest about 10 days ago, there is one that always gets his attention. And it can always get a smile out of Radar, even when he's in a bit of a bad mood. What is this toy you ask? I prefer to ask, "Who?"

Meet Mr. Weeble, as we're calling him (he wobbles, but doesn't fall down - for those of you who are old enough to remember).

And as a final note... no truer words were ever spoken (or written on a little person shirt)!!!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shooting Star

Well, before posting the final chapter of Perry Potcake, I thought I'd start off by wishing the Channel Swimmer a very Happy Birthday from da Auntie-doo!! Stay sober Kimberdoo and accept all doggy kisses that come your way!

Next, Radar is sleeping and it's silly to wake a sleeping baby for a picture, so no pictures of Radar today. And I've got no new Potcakes, so what to do, what to do?? As I re-read the paragraph from Perry Potcake about the shooting star, it reminded me of a picture I took back in 2006 on a beach in South Carolina. I loved the picture so much that I sent it to National Geographic's "Your Shot" contest and they selected it for the January 2007 online publication. So even though it's got nothing to do with dogs, I share my sandy shooting star as it arcs over the moon shell!


Enjoy the final chapter!!

Chapter 7
Perry Potcake & His Potluck Dinner

As I said at the very beginning of this story, everybody in Nassau knows about Perry Potcake and his famous Potluck dinner. And I certainly know all about it because I'm Princess of Potcake and I was there. In fact, it was my idea!

For after hearing the story of the Grand Gentle Voyage, I went home and cried and cried for seven whole days. I knew that the cloud that covered Perry Potcake's eye was the very same cloud that Nanny Crick had plucked from the sky for her original recipe and it allowed his wonderful imagination to infect us all. And I knew that we still needed Perry Potcake's wonderful stories.

Our world used to be a harsh and scary place, where Potcakes were not happy or brave or confident or even loved. Perry Potcake had transformed our world into a shining Kingdom filled with beauty, pride and noble Potcakes. The only one who remained in his original scruffy state was Perry Potcake himself.

And so it was that one day I called all of the Potcakes of Nassau to a meeting. With all the authority of a Princess I shouted to the crowd, “Who here does not owe his happiness and confidence to Perry Potcake?”

The crowd was silent for it was so.

Then I shouted, “And who here has done something to repay Perry Potcake for his great kindness?”

The crowd was silent for no one had.

It was then that I declared that a grand Potluck dinner would be held that very evening in honor of Perry Potcake. I also issued the order to all Potcakes to go forth and return with a great and delicious treat for Perry Potcake's Potluck dinner!

For the next hours, while all the Potcakes of Nassau went searching on every beach and in every dumpster and under every tree for great treats, I decorated the dinner table with twigs and palm leaves. I wanted it to be a truly wonderful surprise for Perry Potcake, but instead the table looked very ordinary.

As the hour neared for Perry's arrival, the other Potcakes began to arrive with their treats. First came Tripod Potcake, the Nobel Knight, but all he had found was an old beef bone, nearly chewed to bits. Then came Fur-Flea Potcake, Lord of the Fleas, but all he brought was a rusty, dented old pot. So it continued, one by one, that each Duke and Duchess, and every Lord and Lady brought only scraps and junk, and our hearts all dropped for we knew that Perry Potcake deserved so much more.

We arranged the scraps as best we could and when Perry Potcake arrived, I approached him with a tear in my eye. “Perry, you have done so very much for all of us and all we have done in return is to give you this Potluck dinner of scraps and junk.”

But Perry did not look sad and he did not look disappointed and he no longer even looked tired. Instead, he pointed up to the sky with his paw and our eyes all followed. As luck would have it, the day was just ending and the night was just beginning. As we all looked, the last sun ray of the day met with the first moon beam of the night, then disappeared in a flash!

And when we looked at the table, the twigs and palm leaves became flowing silk and brilliant flowers. The old beef bone that the Noble Knight had brought grew into the largest, juiciest, most delicious roast that had ever been tasted by any Potcake. The scraps brought by the Dukes and Duchesses were now steaming fresh fish and billowing breads. The junk brought by the Lords and Ladies transformed into gold goblets and crystal bowls. And all this happened before our very eyes.

As we all sat down to the great Potluck dinner, Perry sat at the head of the table; still scruffy and with a cloud covering his eye. Before him was the old rusty, dented pot that the Lord of the Fleas had brought. And somehow I just knew what had to be done.

So I knelt before Perry Potcake and placed the pot on top of his head. As I did, the rust grew into deep red rubies and the dirt grew into perfect pearls and the old dented aluminum turned into precious platinum. Before our very eyes at the most famous Potluck dinner in the history of Nassau, the old pot became a crown and Perry Potcake became the Great King of Potcake.

For every Kingdom needs a good King. And although magic can't work when you look, a wonderful imagination can change the whole world right before your very eyes!

That night, after all the Potcakes of Nassau had the grandest time and ate the greatest feast ever, King Perry Potcake went home to his Castle. And as he curled up to remember this perfect day, Nanny Crick waddled into the room with Papa Potcake at one side and his Princess at the other.

“All is right and as it should be now, is it not Perry?” she asked smiling.

“Indeed it is Nanny Crick. Indeed it is!”

The End!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chapter 6

In case you missed it, please check out the post from earlier today with Radar's Irish Jig!

Now for Chapter 6... only one more after this... with today's post I've included some pictures of real, genuine Bahamian Potcakes that I snapped on my way home from work today. The pictures aren't great, but hey, I was driving! Enjoy...

Chapter 6
Nanny Crick & the Grand Gentle Voyage

So it was that one by one, Perry Potcake helped us see that each of us was not a scruffy, scared, crippled or ugly Potcake, but rather a Princess or Prince, a Lord or Lady, a Noble Knight or Brave Squire.

As each new title was given, the crowd dwindled. For once a Prince or Duchess, a Potcake no longer needed to hear fancy tales of times long past. And one day, when I came to hear Perry's story, I was the only Potcake to show up. Yet Perry Potcake did not look sad or upset. If it is possible for a scruffy, cloudy eyed Potcake to smile, then I swear that is what I saw him do.

“Why do you smile Perry Potcake when no one has come to hear your story today?” I asked.

“It can't be that I never told you the story of Nanny Crick and the Grand Gentle Voyage,” he replied.

“No, you haven't told that one Perry.”

“Then come sit beside me, oh beautiful Princess of Potcake, and I shall tell you and you alone.”

So after Nanny Crick had used magic to fix all of the problems from her original recipe, everyone was very, very happy. As Nanny Crick had 10 grandchildren and there were 10 puppy Potcakes, all were quickly paired off. There was one puppy Potcake that seemed to be made especially for each of her grandchildren.

As the grandchildren grew to be adults, each took his or her Potcake when they made their own homes. And as each of the grandchildren had their own children, and each of the Potcakes had their own puppies, there was no longer any need for magic for everything was right and as it should be.

Many years had passed since the Battle at Magic Rock Mountain. Nanny Crick, Papa Potcake and his Princess lived very happily and grew old together. And finally one day came when Nanny Crick could only just get out of bed for a very short time, and Papa Potcake could only just sit up for a very short time, and his Princess could only just wag her tail for a very short time.

Nanny Crick knew that it was time to use her last bit of magic. So she called all of her 10 grandchildren and they called of their children and all of the Potcakes in all of Nassau to meet on the sand by the sea. So it was that on the most perfect day that Nassau had ever seen, the sun's brilliant rays warmed every heart and the soft sands soothed every foot and the deep blue sea calmed every worry.

And as Nanny Crick stood with her toes in the water with her two loyal and wonderful Potcakes by her side, she looked with such pleasure upon all of her 10 grandchildren and all of their children and all of the Potcakes in all of Nassau. For they held the magic that would send her and her two Potcakes on their final Grand Gentle Voyage. She asked everyone to turn around and not to look, “because magic can't work when you look,” she said.

It happened just then. Though the Sun had not yet set, the Moon rose early. And though it was not yet midnight, the North Star looked down from the highest high point in the sky. And even the gentle breeze and the shooting star stopped to look down. And then in a flash, they all disappeared. And when nobody was looking, so did Nanny Crick and her beloved Potcakes.

As Perry Potcake finished his story, I could see that he was very tired. “So you see,” he spoke softly, “there is no longer any need for stories for everything is right and as it should be. And soon it will be time for my own grand gentle voyage.”

(stay tuned for the final chapter tomorrow!)

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar