order in the tub

apparently we eat out far too much because my 2-year-old son is now playing waiter. or maybe i should just be happy that he has a great imagination. haven’t decided which yet.

anyway, i recently gave dutch a bath. anyone who has a toddler can probably relate to how bath time is usually more about keeping the floor dry from all of the splashing around and trying to keep the child still long enough to get some soap and a washcloth on his little body for a quick second than him actually “having a bath.” it should really be called taking a trip to the at-home waterpark instead of bathing. at least in my house anyway.

so dutch was doing his usual thing, you know, stomping around in the tub and drenching me with sudsy water, playing with his foam letters and sticking them onto the wall and drawing pictures (large circles and wiggly lines mostly) on the tiles with his bath crayons when he came up with a great idea. he grabbed the letter “A” and started to write on it. and then he said…

dutch: you wan’ fench fy? [you know, french fries…]

mama: sure, i’ll take some french fries.

dutch: [begins scribbling with his green crayon onto the letter “A”] you wan’ hot dog?

mama: uh huh, give me a hot dog too.

dutch: [more scribbling…] you wan’ apple?

mama: yes, i want three apples.

dutch: [looks confused because i said “three” but goes on to scribble anyway.] you wan’ banana?

mama: yes please, and can i have some ice cream?

dutch: oh, ice cream truck? [for some reason he thinks ice cream truck is ice cream. yeah, we’re working on that.]

mama: yes dutch, ice cream.

dutch: [more scribbling.] okay.

mama: and can i have a drink?

dutch: you wan’ drink, mama? [more scribbling.]

mama: yes. so you’re taking my order?

dutch: [about to scribble more but then he starts to look confused at the word “order” and says…] you wan’ water? okay. [starts to scribble my water order.]

just like a waiter to screw up my order.

november 26, 1983

i’ve been keeping a journal forever it seems. i have just about my entire life all mapped out in various books – my elementary years, my middle school and high school years, tales of boyfriends, the college days, mama experiences… all of it. i have formal journals, binder notebooks filled with lined paper that i hole-punched and locked up with mini padlocks, spiral notebooks… just books and books of thoughts, feelings, and life stories.

i got my very first diary when i was 10 years old and that sucka came with a key!! oh joy!! i thought it was the coolest thing ever. i could write whatever i wanted and then lock up my thoughts in my very own book.

so what the heck was mama jotting down waaaaaaaaaaay back in ’83? well, let’s take a looksy:

November 26, 1983

Dear Diary,

Today we are going to a parade. I hope we have fun. And tommorrow at about 5:00 we are going home.

so i wasn’t much of a speller and my thoughts were kinda brief, but hey, i sealed that date and marked its history forever. i had spent thanksgiving with my best friend and her family down in good ol’ sumter, south carolina and we were going to a parade. woowee!! nothing like a good ol’ thanksgiving parade.

anyway, november 2, 1983 had a far more interesting entry.

Dear Diary,

Today we are about to have music. Harold is talking. Right now Lamont is acting crazy and the teacher is getting mad. Rachel is rolling her eyes. I know she is not rolling her eyes at me because I will KICK HER BUT.

again, not much of a speller, but can’t you see why i went onto to a career in journalism? you see all that in-classroom reporting going on? and honey, can you tell that the mama is not one to mess with? oh, i was one tough cookie, baby.

what i wish you could really see (and you would if i had a scanner) is the picture i drew of me kicking rachel’s butt. there’s a foot kicking an alien/chicken looking character with a huge butt that’s supposed to be rachel and a bubble coming from her mouth that says, “ouch!” oh, it’s such funny stuff.
so what were you doing back in ’83?


it’s thanksgiving eve and everyone’s posting about what they’re thankful for. personally, i thank God everyday for the things He’s done for me and my family. just when you seem to think there’s no way, He steps right in to make a way! so thank you Jesus for keeping my family safe, healthy and mostly of sound mind.

that was the serious stuff, now onto the fun stuff. i’ve compiled a little list of things that i’m thankful for (in no particular order except for number 1, of course). so here goes, i’m thankful:

  1. for my family: my husband edell, my son dutch, my stepson j-rock, my mama, my pop, my s-mom, my grandma and the list goes on and on and on. i could chat a bit about how nutty some of my family members are, about the bits of drama that go on from time to time, but i won’t ’cause hey, it’s thanksgiving eve so i’m being nice. i love them all.
  2. that comcast has “go diego go” on demand. dutch lost his “go diego go” dvd and, geez louise, i got tired of trying to explain to that child that we couldn’t watch it because he lost it. so thank you, comcast, even though i’m paying out the booty for your expensive services. maybe i should thank myself here.
  3. that even though my check engine light is on in my car it’s not because there’s anything really wrong with my engine (i’ve had it checked twice), it’s just that the stupid light won’t go off. woohoo, no engine repairs!
  4. that my husband edellizzle has taken on the task of getting dutch dressed in the morning. this saves me loads of time. i no longer have to rush out of the door like a madwoman every morning because i’ve spent several minutes chasing dutch around trying to get his right sock on. so thank you, edellizzle! love to love ya, babes.
  5. for my great circle of girlfriends. they’re all wacky and fly and beautiful, strong women. maybe i’ll introduce you to them one day if they let me. last month i celebrated my birthday with a brunch and i invited 10 of them to come hang with me at sequioa restaurant in georgetown. i was just so happy to be among such great and oh-so-kooky chicklets. can i just mention here that they were all late? yep, every last one of them. that’s what happens when you invite 10 black women to brunch.
  6. that i’m too broke right now to be bothered with black friday. i’d really hate to have to set it off up in target the day after thanksgiving because of all of the pushing and shoving i hear that goes on during those early morning shopping trips.
  7. for bertolli frozen meals. oh, they make dinner such a snap!
  8. that during my pregnancy my feet didn’t go up an entire shoe size. (i’ve heard that happens, you know?) that means i can still wear all of my boots from three seasons ago and not have to worry about getting an entirely new shoe wardrobe.
  9. that some people actually read this blog. i mean, i’d write it anyway even if no one read the darn thing ’cause that’s just how i get down, but it’s nice to know that some people actually dig da mama, you know? so heyyyyyyyyyyyy, i see you and i appreciate you!
  10. that my pop doesn’t mind sitting in his parked car for an hour while letting dutch “drive.” it provides great bonding time for the two of them and dutch knows that he won’t get to do that at home. he asks to “drive” all of the time and i’m a bit worried that if he’s is doing this at 2 years old, what can we expect at 18? but anyhoo, thanks, pop!
  11. that vh-1 and bet often play repeats so i don’t ever have to worry about missing some of my favorite reality shows like “i love new york,” “the salt ‘n pepa show,” irv gotti’s “gotti way,” and keyshia cole’s “the way it is.” i’m addicted. it’s sad. i know.
  12. that the plants i own somehow continue to live even when i go weeks and weeks (and weeks and weeks…) without watering them.
  13. that i found this cool shoe store for kids called olly. do you know how hard it is to find cool kicks for a toddler boy? oh, they have a grand selection for girls, but a lot of places carry crap for boys. sorry, i can’t do the thomas the tank engine tennis shoes that light up. uh-uh, no way. not for my boy.
  14. that dutch is able to tell me when he’s hurt himself and he’s not just crying and crying leaving me to figure out what’s wrong. if we could only get him out of referring to himself in the third person: “mama, dutch arm hurt,” “mama, dutch hit head,” “mama, dutch knee hurt, hit onna table,” “mama, dutch fell and bust a lip.” don’t worry he only had a busted lip once, but he thinks that every time someone falls they’ve busted their lip. whenever we watch “america’s funniest home videos” it’s “mama, you see, he fell and bust a lip!!” yeah, i know, honey.
  15. that other family members are doing the cooking tomorrow. i’ll be there with glad plasticware in hand.

it’s potty time, whoa, it’s potty time!!!

saturday morning i heard those lovely words i had been longing to hear from my 2-year-old son dutch:

“mama, i wan’ go battroom…”

at first i wasn’t sure i had heard him right. you know, i thought maybe he wanted to go to the bathroom for some other reason like to brush his teeth or to wash his matchbox cars in the sink or to open bottles of lotion (or baby wash) and slather himself silly with it or to turn on the radio and dance for a while because hey, he’s that kind of kid. you just never know with a 2-year-old. so i asked:

“you wanna go potty, dutch?”

and he said, “yes!”

yes! yes! yes! woohooo!! yeah, baby, we’ll be kissing those pampers and huggies good-bye in no time!!

so although there were no actual results after this potty run, i was oh-so-happy that he at least asked because so far he hasn’t been too interested in sitting on the potty to do much of anything. sure he likes to stand on the potty (it’s also a step stool) and yes, he likes to place blocks and cars in the poop bowl of the potty, but he hasn’t shown any real interest in the thing since i bought it three or so months ago.

i came to the conclusion that he just wasn’t ready and like i’ve said before, i’m sure he’ll be out of diapers by the time he’s 15, so really, what’s there to stress about?

it was suggested recently by a friend that we show him that he can stand while he does his little number 1 business so when i came across this one particular product i just laughed for about five minutes straight. really. i laughed for about five minutes straight. it’s called the peter potty.


Continue reading it’s potty time, whoa, it’s potty time!!!

why i don’t do santa claus

i don’t do santa claus.

as a child i believed he existed for a few years, but by the time i turned about 5 i knew that he couldn’t come down my chimney to bring loads of gifts because we didn’t have a chimney. we lived in a high-rise apartment building. so was santa landing on the building, coming to my apartment by way of the elevator and then coming through the front door? and honey, clearly there was no way he was fitting his reindeer and sleigh on our balcony.

something was smelling mighty fishy about this santa claus.

then around the same time i started questioning these things in my mind my pop just flat out told me: there’s no such thing as santa claus. what was more important was to understand the real reason of celebrating Christmas, you know, the birth of Jesus Christ. something folks tend to forget about, but that’s another story.

i’m glad my pop had that talk with me because it actually cleared up a lot of confusion that i had about the santa dude anyway. i had always wondered how he fit into the whole baby Jesus story. was santa one of the wise men who brought baby Jesus gifts? the talk straightened all that out.

was i traumatized when my pop told me that santa didn’t really exist? no. i knew the toys would keep coming so it didn’t really matter who brought them. and you know, to a little girl that’s pretty much all that mattered. my pop even came up with a nickname for santa-the fat fake. isn’t that hilarious? my pop’s hilarious. okay, you might not think that’s hilarious, but i do.

i’ve told numerous people about the talk about santa my pop had with me as a child and their response is generally always along the lines of “oh, you’re father is mean…” or “what a grinch.” oh okay, my pop’s a mean grinch because he refused to lie to me. okay, i get it.

as much as i don’t give in to the whole santa thing, i think the new idea of banning santa from saying “ho ho ho” and having him say “ha ha ha” instead is just insane. in case you haven’t heard, a recruitment firm called westaff in australia supplies santas to malls and various places across the country and has recently told its santa trainees not to say “ho ho ho.” why? because “ho” is the slang term in the u.s. for prostitute. yeah, it’s ridiculous, but at the same time it is pretty funny… ha ha ha!!

okay, you’re probably not laughing at this point because you love santa, and that’s cool. but tell me the cartoon below isn’t funny…


give rice with free rice

it’s friday…

give rice…

free rice

for each word you get right on the free rice  website 10 grains of rice are donated through the united nations to help end world hunger.


so who’s paying for the rice?

“The rice is paid for by the advertisers whose names you see on the bottom of your vocabulary screen. This is regular advertising for these companies, but it is also something more. Through their advertising at FreeRice, these companies support both learning (free vocabulary for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry). We commend these companies for their participation at FreeRice.”

i’m warning you, this thing is very, very addictive. the first time i played i was up to like 3,000 some odd grains. finally i remember that since i’m at work maybe i should do some work and then i felt bad about stopping because well, the free rice thing is for such a good cause.

so play on playa, play on…

you know, you remind me of…

all throughout my life people have said, “you know, you remind me of…”

or, “did anybody ever tell you you favor…”

or, “hey, is your name lisa ’cause i had a friend named lisa in the 2nd grade and you look…”

i even had a guy (who was really popular in the dc area at the time because he played in a popular go-go band) try to hit on me and when he realized i wasn’t trying to give him any play he said, “you know, you look just like my wife.”

i really didn’t know how to respond to that one.

apparently i favor quite a few different folks. or so some seem to think.

the first time i remember someone saying that i looked like someone famous was in the 3rd grade. i was sitting on the floor (i guess it was reading time or something. i don’t really recall whyi was on the floor) and a visitor came to our classroom. she was talking to my teacher when all of a sudden her eyes locked with mine and she said, “she looks just like brooke shields!”

brooke shields?!

maybe it was because we both had thick, caterpillar-like eyebrows and long dark brown hair. that’s about all i had in common with brooke.

“a different world” first aired in 1987 and everybody, i mean, everybodytold me i looked like jasmine guy. it didn’t help that i later dated a slim, brown-skinned brother who kinda favored dwayne wayne a little bit.

in 1991 it was prom time and i told my hairdresser i wanted an up-do. after she was done she said, “ooooooooooo… you look like julia roberts in pretty woman. and everybody in the salon seemed to agree with her.

ummmmmm… she was a ho in that movie, but thanks!

at one point i stopped straightening my hair and i just went natural with it. my hair was (and still is) a mass of curly craziness. it was right around the time that mariah carey came out. you guessed it, “you look like mariah!!” i really didn’t. we both just happened to be rockin’ the same wild locks.

Continue reading you know, you remind me of…

time for din din

that’s what my mother used to say when it was dinnertime. oh, blessed days of someone else having to stress over a meal. now it’s my turn and i get to hear:

“so what’s for dinner tonight?”

by my husband, edell.

truth of the matter is our options are quite limited. not only am i not the best cook in the whole wide world, but we’re such picky eaters and really only enjoy the basics. i’m talking about the serious up basics:

chicken (fried, baked, bbq’d or broiled. but only white meat. no thighs and drumsticks for my man.), steak, spaghetti (which my husband is growing quite tired of…), chili, stir fry (with chicken or beef)… things along those lines.

oh, dinner time is sad up in our house.

i like salmon. he doesn’t. he likes black eyed peas, green peas, and lima beans. i don’t. there are a lot of things that i don’t like (like anything with a weird texture: oatmeal, yogurt, pudding, jello, cream of wheat), but mr. edell doesn’t like BREAD, people. who the heck doesn’t like bread??

and he doesn’t like ketchup either. or watermelon. or homemade macaroni and cheese. or candied yams (which i love).

neither of us drink milk.

our pickiness has trickled right on down to dutch. he basically only likes rice, fried chicken, egg noodles, french fries… and that’s about it. maybe a hot dog here and there. sometimes he’ll eat broccoli or spinach. but not often enough. oh, and eggs. he really, really likes eggs.

he has pulled me out of my sleep at 2 a.m. with a “mama, i wan’ eggs…” request.

dutch also likes to chew on bacon like it’s some kind of tobacco. he forms one huge ball of it in his mouth and then carries it around in his mouth and sucks on it. he’ll eventually spit the mass out wherever he sees fit at the time, but that’s another story for another day.

Continue reading time for din din

funny things dutch says

conversing with my 2-year-old (26 months if you wanna be real anal about it) son dutch is so much fun these days. half of the time i don’t have a clue what he’s saying because he tends to make up words as fillers to describe what he’s talking about when he doesn’t know the real words. then other times it’s so clear and crisp and dead-on.

and can i just say that my child is the bossiest little 2-year-old dictator EVER? i don’t know where he gets this stuff from. he has the craziest facial expressions to go along with all of his bossiness too.

anyway, here’s mr. “boss of nothing” (as i like to call him):

mama to daddy: [daddy had said something really silly.] hahaha… shut up, you are so silly!!

dutch: mama, don’t say ‘shut-up, daddy.’

mama: you’re so right! i’m sorry, daddy, for saying shut up.

daddy: that’s right, man, you tell her!

dutch to daddy: [with the best crooked grin ever.] shut up, daddy.

mama: dutch, you just told me not to say shut up and now you’re saying it to daddy. tell daddy you’re sorry.

dutch to mama: shut up, mama.


mama: i’m happy, dutch, are you happy?

dutch: no, i don’t want it.


dutch: mama, come here!

mama: what, dutch?

dutch: don’t say ‘what, dutch?’ say ‘yes, dutch.’

lesson here: you know, when you teach a kid something it’s important that you also follow through on your own rules ’cause you know, it kinda sucks to be corrected by a 2-year-old.


Continue reading funny things dutch says

natalie cole and my 6th grade graduation

i just heard a song on the radio this morning that whewwwwwwww… took me waaaaaaaay back. it’s a song by natalie cole and every time i hear this song it kinda makes me cringe.

the song came into my life during my 6th grade year. in fact, our entire 6th grade class had to learn this song because we were singing it at our graduation ceremony. we also had to sing “we are the world” which i guess was a more fitting song, but at that time everybody was into “we are the world” and folks probably sang it at funerals. “we are the world…we are the future…” yeah, sounds like we’re moving onto bigger and better things, eh? we were ending our elementary school years and beginning years of remembering locker combinations and dealing with the fact that we no longer have recess.

“we are the world” was kinda of an uplifting/graduate-y kinda song.

but this natalie cole ditty? it just didn’t fit. i don’t know who chose this song for us to sing or why they thought it made one ounce of sense for us to sing it. perhaps they were in love at the time, i dunno, but it sure was a dumb choice.

so here it is:

our love

you’re my morning star, shining brightly beside me

and if we keep this love, it will last through all eternity

i told you it was dumb… who’s shining brightly beside me? the boy who reeks of urine eats boogers during class? yeah, okay.

just the way we are, i love it, love it

it’s the way it should be

what way were we? pimply faced 11-year-olds?

’cause our love, will stand as tall as the trees

our love will spread as wide as the seas

our love will shine bright in the night

like the stars above… and we’ll always be together

this is why my child isn’t attending school in prince george’s county, maryland, okay?

my love is surely one thing, you can surely depend on

in times of darkness and fear, i go to you

i know you’ll keep me strong

now maybe those lines don’t seem so creepy being sung by a bunch of sixth graders if you imagine it’s a gospel song.

you’re gonna make me happy, you’re gonna make me smile

’cause our love will stand as tall as the trees

our love will be for the whole world to see

our love will change people’s wrongs to right

and we’ll never die, ’cause we’ll always have each other

always. have. each. other. 6th grade. graduation. okay.

so to whoever chose “our love” for my 6th grade graduation song, thanks. i turn off natalie cole whenever i hear/see her.