Monday, August 30, 2010

Music Monday #10 ~ Mix-tapes

Gotta love 'em.

I grew up making and receiving them.
Traded them with friends, made them for crushes and recorded my own personal mixes in order to hang onto some memory.
But the most treasured ones were the ones given to you by your serious significant other.
Creating them took much time and contemplation.
Every song had to hold special meaning to your relationship.
And receiving that home-made mix of tunes was more important than a hundred store-bought "things".

Cassette tapes may have made way for discs, but they still serve the same purpose of being able to bottle a portion of your feelings and hand them over to someone else in a neat little compartment.
That's how it was for me anyway.

Well, that's still how it is actually.

From time to time, Terry and I still make each other mix discs.
I love how it always takes us back to the beginning times of our relationship.
I was 19 years old when I fell in love with him.
And as I told my daughter not long ago, no matter how old Terry and I get, in my mind he will always be 23 and I will always be 19.

Anyway, today I wanted to share with you a couple of the songs that I included on the last mix that I gave him.
In a month and 3 days we will celebrate 6 years of marriage, but we will also celebrate 16 years of devoted friendship.
Because before he was my husband, before he was my boyfriend...he was my dearest friend.
And none of this would be in existence without that friendship.

Songs to my love...

(Both of these videos were created by HiiCactus and are unrelated to the original artists...but aren't they the sweetest things you've ever seen?)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Music Monday #9 ~ Cecilia

Today is her first day of junior high.
My little girl is no longer a little girl.

So I thought I would devote my post on this momentous day to her.
Well, to her name actually.

Obviously I am a fan of music in general.
You may be thinking, "who isn't?", but that's where you would be mistaken.
There are different types of musical tastes in this world.
And I'm not talking about genres...rap, country, rock, etc.
I'm talking about being either a casual music fan, a hardcore music fan, or worse yet...a-musical...that is, a life void of music.
I have only ever known of one person to whom the last description applied, but after a few months' exposure to me and my incessantly singing friends, she came around.
I think she had just never been awakened to what music could do for a person.

Anyway, the casual music fan is one of those that will tell you that they "like pretty much all kinds of music", yet can't pinpoint any specifics on favorites or aspects of their liking.

Then there's the hardcore fans.
They KNOW what they like and they KNOW what they don't like.
They can list some of their all-time favorite musicians at a moment's notice and will also list their favorite songs by those artists.
They have either seen their favs in concert or dream of the opportunity (especially if their favs are long gone).

And what point am I trying to make?
I am and always have been...a hardcore music fan.

So when I was a 22 year old pregnant with my first child, I was dead-set on giving her a musical name.
Mostly that meant that she was going to be named after a song.

Actually, "she" was supposed to be a "he" and was going to be named Jonas.
As in "My Name is Jonas"...the Weezer song.

But she had other plans for us all by turning out to be a girl.
Fortunately I had prepared names for either gender.

I still remember where I was when I heard this song....

Driving home from work one day, that song came on the radio.
I had already at some point been enlightened to the meaning of the song.
Many think it is about an actual girl, but "Cecilia" is actually a reference to the patron saint of music, St. Cecilia.
He is singing about his struggle with musical "writer's block" and the frustration of the elusive musical inspiration.
Then "jubilation, she loves me again"...the inspiration flows finally.

So the moment I heard that song that day, I knew that was it.
I hoped it would hold some meaning in her life...that she would embody my love of music somehow.
Well, she loves music, for sure.
But I'm thinking that if there is a patron saint of talking, she should have been given that name instead.

And her middle name?
Oh, I mean names.
2 middle names.
Couldn't narrow it down.

Cecilia Regina Claire

Claire was my mom's suggestion.
And since I was most obsessed with the Latin language at the time, I really loved that it had the Latin meaning of "bright".

Regina (the "g" pronounced like the "g" in good) is Latin for "queen".
But guess what?
It's also a song.
One of my favorite songs.
Sung by The Sugarcubes...Bjork's band before she went solo.
Huge Bjork fan here.

Bjork sang a few songs with female names as the title.
Cecilia could have been Charlene or Regina or Isobel or...well, you get the picture.

Here is the song "Regina" by The Sugarcubes:

So here's to my talkative, musical, bundle of joy.
My junior high pre-teen.
And here's to hoping that she will one day grow to live up to the potential of her hugely important name...or at least not grow tired of telling people that they are pronouncing her Regina wrong. =)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Music Monday #8 ~ Happy Birthday Dad!

Since my dad's birthday this year has fallen on "Music Monday", I thought it fitting to share some of the songs that I grew up listening to with my dad. 
I have many fond memories of sitting in front of the record player listening to music with him. 
I most definitely got my love and appreciation of music from my father.
I always thought it funny when he would hear a song on the radio and could tell me exactly what year it came out and what was going on in his life at the time.
But now I find myself doing the same thing.

Anyway, I picked out a few songs/artists that I particularly attach to my dad for various reasons.

The first is one of our all-time favorite musicians...Glenn Miller.
I was fortunate enough to be raised on Big Band music.
Though it was even before my dad's time, he too had an appreciation for the classics as do I now.
My exposure to Big Band also helped me relate more to my grandparents, as I usually knew and loved many of the songs that they had grown up with.
My dad and I both loved this particular song...especially the section featuring "The Ink Spots".

Another fond memory I have of time with my dad is the many hours he spent pushing me on the swing at my grandparent's house.
He would push me for what seemed like forever while I sang songs at the top of my lungs.
What songs?
Whatever came to mind usually, but I tended to pick the next two songs more often.
Both of my parents can be so silly at times and I inherited my share of that trait.
And they both loved silly songs.
One of the songs that my dad liked was "Tie Me Kangaroo Down".
We would listen to the 45 over and over again.
Well, just for him, since he also is a Beatles fan like me, I found this funny version of the song that Rolf Harris recorded with the Beatles. 

And if you are unfortunate enough to have never heard the original, here is the link:

One of the other songs that I would sing while on the swing was this one.
Such a fun song and not many lyrics to memorize.
This performance on The Ed Sullivan Show is great.
(apologies that the sound doesn't quite match the video...not my doing!)

Janis Joplin.
My dad loved her when he was growing up.
I inherited that love.
He likes to pretend that the late sixties/early seventies never happened to him, but I have evidence to the contrary...

I think this was an attempt at a band photo at some point.
My dad is the on the bottom right crouching down.
He was the bass player in a band for a few years.
He even played for a couple of years after I was born.
He gave it all up for me.
It was time for him to "grow up"...or at least that's what I was told.

Anyway, back to Janis...yeah, we are both fans.
I found this cool performance she did in Stockholm of one of my favorite songs.
She was genius.

So as you can see, my dad was a big part of developing my love and taste in music.
Mostly he helped me keep a musically open mind.
So his gift to me is now my gift to him.

Thank you dad for everything.
I hope I get to share many, many more birthdays with you!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ear fluid update? Need opinions!

I just wanted to throw a quick question out there for anyone who may read this (whether I know you or not!) and have been through this before.
Backstory in case you haven't read the past few posts...
My 2 yr old has had fluid behind his eardrums and we are set to have tubes put in on the 27th.
But the doctor gave us some Nasonex spray to hopefully help the ears drain on their own.
He will check them again on the 23rd to see if the spray has helped.

We started the Nasonex on August 5th and yesterday (5 days later) I noticed that Jude's voice was hoarse.
It got worse as the day went on. Otherwise he seemed fine. No runny nose or anything.
I started wondering if maybe his ears were draining into his throat, causing the irritation.
Then last night he woke up repeatedly crying. You could tell that something was draining, as he kept swallowing and coughing occasionally.

So here's my question...has anyone ever had this issue and been prescribed a nose spray to help?
And if the ears did drain on their own, do my son's "symptoms" sound similar to your experience?

I'm keeping an eye on him because both of my kids are prone to sinus issues and I really don't want him to get sick on top of the ear problems.
I guess I'm just praying that the ears ARE draining and that this means he won't have to have least not at this time.

Thanks for any and all comments and opinions!

Take care,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Music Monday #7 ~ Reggae....really?

Yes, really...well, kind of.

But this isn't the dope-smoking, Rastafarian, Bob Marley stuff.
Not that there isn't a time or place for Marley.
He was the master.

But there is a new development in reggae that seems to be pulling in some types of people that otherwise wouldn't give this genre a chance.
Like me.

Neither of these artists are particularly "new", both have released more than one album.
But both are now among my top ten artists.

Vampire Weekend

Yes, they have a weird name.
But even weirder is the fact that though they sound reggae-ish, they are actually more influenced by African rhythms...and get this, classical American music.
Interesting blend, huh?

Makes for some amazing indie pop sounds though.
Today I'm sharing songs from their first album because as of now, it's my favorite of the two they have put out.

Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
(I wasn't able to embed the official video here, but the song's here anyway)

(Fun song, funny little video...and they use a portion of it on PBS Kids!)

The Kids Don't Stand A Chance/Oxford Comma
(Obviously not the album versions of these two songs, but I do love this impromptu "concert" for one. It also shows off the singer's brilliant voice.)


Now this is Reggae.
But not your weird uncle's Reggae.
This is Hasidic Jew New Yorker Reggae.
Yeah, and you thought Vampire Weekend was odd.

But don't count this one out.
Though I'm obviously not Jewish, I tend to find my own interpretation of his songs, which are, by the way, immersed in Jewish themes.
He sings about God.
The Old Testament God, but God nonetheless.

Though the acceptance of Jesus Christ divides us, I can still find use in his songs because I always feel myself praying and praising every time I sing along.

And it's good stuff.

(He speaks of and quotes King David's psalms in this one.)

King Without a Crown
(Not the album version, but a performance at Stubb's in Austin, TX. I prefer this one to the original. This, so far, is his biggest hit...Top 40 even. If it helped even one person discover God, great. If they found Jesus at the same time...all the better.)

So next time someone offers you a taste of a genre of music that you might not usually be interested in, go on and take a chance.
Music is always evolving and you just never know what might happen when you try new things.
Take care and have a beautiful week!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Doctor visit update...

Just wanted to update those that are interested in how our doctor appointments went yesterday.

My appointment went well enough. The doctor (who was very nice, by the way) put me back on the thyroid medication and will be checking up on how it's going in a month.
Since I was there for a complete physical, she also had my full bloodwork done.
I hate having my blood drawn these days.
It's not that I'm scared of needles or anything, and the pain isn't usually too bad. It's really more about the frustration of the tech not being able to find a good vein and then get that vein to flow well enough.
I have 3 more holes in me today than I did yesterday morning.
Even though I always warn the techs that it's very hard to get blood from my arms, they almost always try anyway...and always fail.
Then they go into my hand and they don't always have the "butterfly" needles needed for that, so sometime they just have to use a small straight needle which is even more tricky.
Well it was cold in the dr.'s office and then again in the lab waiting room, so by the time she tried to get blood out of my hand, my veins weren't warm enough to get the blood flowing the left hand failed.
So she had to get a heat pack to warm my right hand and was finally able to get the blood going.
But having the full blood screen done plus my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) meant filling 5 vials.
But I'm less bruised today than I expected to be and I'm just grateful that she didn't try to put the needle in the TOP of my forearm like the last one did...moron.
So anyway, I guess I'll have more information to share on my health once we get the blood results back.

As far as Jude's appointment...well first off, I have to say that Dr. Albright's office and staff were excellent and the only trouble we had was with another child in the waiting room wanting Jude's toy.
Let me rephrase that...the child wanted the toy (identical to the toy lawn mower he has at home) that Jude has already claimed as his own, even though he wasn't actually playing with it at the time that the other child tried to use it.
Anyway, he had his hearing test first and behaved really well.
But his test didn't come out as good as we had hoped.
He tested at the low end of normal.
That means that as of right now, with the fluid still behind his eardrums, he is having mild hearing having water in your ears after the shower the doctor said.
And speaking of the doctor, he was so nice and was thorough and wonderful with Jude.
He said that the fluid behind Jude's eardrums isn't pus.
But leaving it there brings a higher chance of more ear infections and of course the limited hearing.
He told us that the fluid in the ears normally drains out through the nasal cavities.
So he gave us some Nasonex spray to hopefully help the fluid drain.
We go back on the 23rd to see if the spray has helped and if not, then surgery to put in tubes on the 27th.
Like Dr. Albright said, "We'll plan for the worst and hope for the best".
 I do hope Jude's ears clear up on their own.
I hate to think of having to put my 2 yr old through the process of going under general anesthesia.
Not to mention having to deprive him of any liquids or food until surgery.
That boy wakes up asking for milk!
So let's please keep praying for the best possible outcome with this.
I'm not overly worried, I just want to avoid having to put Jude through something like this at an age when I can't really explain to him what's going on.

Thanks for taking the time to read.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life update... is what it is.
And right now, it's summer.
I am SO not a fan of summer.
Don't like heat, don't like mosquitos...and during this time of the year in Texas, there is plenty of both.
But we have gotten out and enjoyed the summer when we can.

Jude loves being outside and Cecilia...well, not so much, but she enjoys the time she gets to spend with us while she is outside. Honestly, she'd rather spend her time inside reading or drawing.

She has had a rather uneventful summer this year, but it has gone by quickly. She is also looking forward to her big step into 6th grade. We have already bought all of her school supplies, but now have the daunting and almost financially impossible task of buying her some new school clothes and shoes. Wish these kids didn't grow out of their clothing so fast!
She has also transitioned her future career dreams from being a rockstar into being an artist of some sort.
She definitely has the skills. Gets it from both sides. Her paternal great-grandfather was a commercial artist and her paw-paw is a draftsman. Her father also had amazing drawing skills.

She told me this morning that she is nervous mostly about P.E. in the 6th grade because they told them that they wouldn't be playing games so much like they did in elementary school, that they would instead be playing sports. She is not sporty. She knows very little about how to play most sports. Energy she has...sports saavy, not really.
But I assured her that she will pick it all up pretty quickly as she does everything else and not to worry.

Jude, well he's a typical little 2 year old. Learning new things every day, sentences ever-expanding and stubborn like nobody's business.
He loves to play with his Hotwheels (has 3 in hand at all times) and has enjoyed our many trips to the library this summer. He is amazingly good with books, even with the regular paper pages. I don't have to worry too much about him destroying the library books we check out. His favorite book this summer has been Pumpkin Town! Or, Nothing Is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins by Katie McKy. After the initial time we checked it out, we tried to get it again, but it has been out since June. I finally put in a request for it and now we plan on keeping it for at least a month by renewing it at return time.
His 2 year checkup in June went well except for the fact that he had fluid (not infected) in his left ear. He had also had fluid and an infection when we went to see the dr. in March.
Not knowing if the fluid had just stuck around all that time (this can cause hearing delays...and eventual infection), she told me this time to just watch for any ear-tugging or discomfort.
Well it finally came, just as I was reaching my breaking point on wondering if the fluid was still there...he got sick. The fever came and off to the dr. we went. He had ear infections. The dr. told me to go ahead and schedule him an appt. with an ENT to see what was going on. So that is the first thing on the agenda for tomorrow. We have to drive down to the medical center and see the ENT. They will do a hearing test and then he will see the dr. I do hope they tell me that he won't need tubes, but at least summer is almost over and we won't have the swimming/water in the ears problem to avoid so much.

As far as his growth, it is finally leveling out some, still a bit on the tall side, but weight is average...and as usual, a BIG head. More room for that big brain the dr. says. ;-)

Terry has been doing well. Been working hard to keep us out of the poor house. He and I have also been trying hard to watch our food portions. We're both doing pretty good with it, but he has been exercisely regularly and though the scale isn't showing a huge decrease, you can tell he has gained muscle mass and slimmed down considerably. I'm very proud of him. Just wish I had the energy to exercise as well.

Which brings us to what's up with me...I'm off to my first visit with my new primary care physician tomorrow afternoon. I'm having a complete physical done. Um, don't think I've had that done since I was in grade school. I'm also having her get me back on the thyroid medication that my gynocologist had prescribed back when I was having the menorrhagia problem. I do hope the medicine helps with many of the problems I've been having, including fatigue, concentration problems and hair loss. So Thursday will be our doctor day, for which Terry will be taking off to help me out. If you don't mind saying a little prayer that all comes out well in the end, I would appreciate it.

 So summer is coming to an end and we have all enjoyed the family time we have gotten to spend together.

Hope you all have had and continue to have a wonderful summer!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Music Monday #6 ~ Star Wars fans only need apply

Star Wars

Long time fan here.
An Ewok was the reason I now know that there is no Santa.
(sorry mom for snooping and finding that "From Santa" gift long before Christmas when I was 8 yrs old)

Anyway, I didn't have a lot of time to research look for videos on youtube for this post, so I thought I would share this awesome song with those of you who haven't seen it yet (and I know many have since this video has almost 10 MILLION views).

The song was originally created by Moosebutter who are kind of a parody/comedy singing troupe.
But this skinny kid named Corey Vidal came along and decided that he was going to recreate the original video.
Now the original contains four people singing four parts, but Corey "sung" (as in lip-synced) all four parts separately and put them together so that he looks like one of four identical quadruplets singing the song at the same time.
The music? Well, it was compiled from multiple songs...all by John Williams, the man who composed the scores for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, etc.
The lyrics, created by Moosebutter, combined with John Williams' genius, makes for an amazing song...and funny to boot. You have to watch it a few times to pick up on the small nuances that give light to the Star Wars characters (listen especially close for Luke's funny).
I loved this song enough to acquire the mp3 and put it on my ipod. Now Cecilia and I can belt it out in the car whenever we like. Good times.

Here is Corey Vidal's recreation of the Moosebutter song:

And if you're one of those types who likes to remain true to originals, here is the Moosebutter version:

I don't know about you, but I think Corey is much easier on the eyes than the Moosebutter guys...but I have to give credit where it's due and this group did an awesome job with this.

Have an amazing week and may the force be with you. =)