The Terrible Two's

Friday, August 15, 2008

It's Over Now! In Case You Missed it!

Well, I survived the wedding, but I have been off work for the past week with a sinus infection and strep throat. The wedding consumed my every waking moment last week and I guess I just wore myself out - not to mention that I went to work every single day and kept up with all of that stuff too. It was a very beautiful ceremony and I hope the happy couple enjoyed themselves and appreciate all of the effort I put into their big day. I am still not sure why they decided to have a vow renewal ceremony, but you know how much I like weddings, so when she called I was ready to get busy.

I had a very well scripted ceremony and reception planned, but it was very clear at Friday's rehearsal that nothing was going to go as planned. It was good practice though; and it was really good footage for WETV's Bridezilla! Don't get me wrong, Lenieka was a model bride throughout this whole process, but the rest of the wedding party and vendors is another story that I don't even have the energy to write about. But I will say that Kobi and I have some very bad kids. The three little ones nearly tore City Hall down - I am surprised they were able to open the doors on Monday. My little Max was the worse!

Anyway . . . on to the wedding . . . . .

Kobi walked Mama down the isle to her seat in the front. Kamron and Kobi Janai were to follow with roses to place in an empty seat to represent Lenieka's mother. Kobi Janai didn't make it and had a total meltdown. I wish you could see the expression on Tasha's face in the background, holding up the wall, in this picture. She said that she "quits" Kobi Janai - first the baby broke the rose stem into two pieces, then she cried about it being broken and Tasha taped it back together. Then she and Kamron argued over who would get which rose and then Kobi Janai threw a tantrum and never made it down the aisle. We could hear her upstairs as we waited to walk down into our places. She can be seen asleep in Ms. Foreman's lap in all of the pictures throughout the rest of the ceremony.

Again, I have to say that Lenieka was the model bride. She took direction and suggestions very well, which is why I didn't balk about the stuff that I didn't want to fool with. For example, cooking all of that food for the reception. The reception menu consisted of Chicken Spaghetti, Spaghetti with meat sauce, Chicken and Broccoli Rigatoni with Alfredo Sauce, Meatloaf, Green Beans, Whole Kernel Corn, Cornbread, and Punch. All was cooked after 12:30 AM on Friday night at my house. I had a headache from being up two nights in a row until 4 am and getting back up at 6am to go to work. So I took a nap and asked them to wake me at 2AM. By the time they woke me at 2am on the dot, I had a full blown migraine from not eating but two times in two days and they were done cooking. The two of them had never made any of the dishes but regular spaghetti, but they pulled it off because the food was a hit at the reception. We are still getting feedback from people who attended.
Reverend Lock, one of Kobi's long time friend's father, did an excellent job on the ceremony and was sweet as pie. The chaos didn't bother him at all - he just rolled right with it. And from what I here the chaos was not very transparent at all during the actual ceremony. I guess that's the goal of all events -just look good!
The bridesmaids - well, ask me in private and I can tell you everything, it would take me to long to do so here on this blog. But it all worked out - I was the matron of honor and the only one in some pink, her cousin was the maid of honor, and the other two bridesmaids were a long time friend who used to do Lenieka's hair, and a new friend from beauty school.

The groomsmen - all I have to say is that they took better pictures than us. They were sharp as tact's in their black tux's with latte accessories. Rodney and James Jr were the best men and Rodney looked good in his pink! James refused to wear it and that was okay - it worked out. The other two guys are long time friends of Kobi. I heard one of their wives was very concerned with who her husband was going to walk with.
The cake was gorgeous and delicious, not at all what I thought it would like like from what she described and not at all her expectation, but it was also a hit.
After the ceremony they took some shots outdoors. They really looked nice together. You can't see Kamron's tie in this picture, but it is pink and in his words to his mother, "[Mama] they accidentally put a pink tie on me!" He was not pleased with the color choice. I am not sure what's up with the Knight men and their pink phobia! I tried to tell them real men where pink and my Rodney was a shining example!
Better picture of the pink tie. They had really been active and I was just trying to corral them for a minute or two. The reason you don't see Max is because he acted a complete and total monkey before and during the ceremony and had to be kept off the stairs which was the stage for the ceremony. He fell asleep, sitting straight up in a chair, with the fork in mid air, while eating a plate of spaghetti at the reception. He spent the next few hours asleep on my office couch until it was time to leave the building.
There he is below before the ceremony began in his pink shirt. None of the kids had the right shoes. Kobi Janai and Kamron's shoes were in Wrightsville on the prison farm in Ms. Foreman's car; she couldn't gain access to them. Max's shoes were in my office one minute and gone before he got changed and dressed. They showed up Monday morning in one of my bosses in-box's that she rarely uses. Max was totally in love with her half of our office suite this weekend.

This was a real innocent moment between Kobi Janai and her mother. She is perfectly sweet when no one is looking. The sad part is that in another 6-9 months my baby girl will be in the mix with the rest of the crew. Pray for her!
The bride's bouquet. Why is it all special and highlighted here you ask? Because I made it, 4 bridesmaids bouquets, and 6 boutonnieres. First time for everything! I think I did a damn good job! Pink and white roses, blush alstromerias, various ferns and other greenery. I was the coordinator, matron of honor, personal assistant to the bride, florist, musician, and part of the catering and decorating crew. I also made and sent the invitations - late, but I did it. And I made the programs and spent 6 hours with her on choosing music for the ceremony - whole nother story. I forgot all of the heavy lifting and last minute errands. Thank God for Aryshona, who spent a couple of late nights with me and ran a lot of errands for me on Friday while I was at work.
Rodney and I looked good in our pink, but I was dog tired by the time we took this picture. I don't even think I had a chance to shower or brush my teeth that day. He on the other hand was all cool and collected and perfectly groomed - spa facial and everything. The wedding started at 3:30pm although we were there by 12:45 to take pictures we never took. I was home by 7pm, after helping to breakdown, pack up, move, and reload everything. And dropping my 82 yr old Godmother at her house. Shouts out to Shantea, Tasha, and Amanda who held it down for a sister. Without them, I would have been at City Hall until midnight again. Thanks so much, ladies!! By 7:30 PM, after unloading my SUV, Rodney's truck, and Mama's SUV, I was passed out on the couch still dressed.
Kobi and Lenieka had a really nice Mercedes, loaned to them by a friend to ride home in. I think they were supposed to go to a birthday party for one of Lenieka's cousins, but I heard Lenieka passed out when she got home too. She was a very hands on bride. Kobi Janai thought she was riding with them and would not get out of the shot.

The End - It's Ova!! So much more to tell, but not enough energy!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Max and Maddy

This morning Rodney put Maddy in Max's bed while he gathered Max's daily attire. While she was there and Max was fast asleep, she kept hitting him in his head and smiling. Of course, by the time Rodney got the camera Max realized he was not alone and turned over, but not before putting his arm around her and saying, "Hi, baby."

These are just some shots that he did take, while Maddy stood innocently by as Max stretched.

For some reason she likes his bed. This may present a problem later when she starts climbing out and roaming the halls like her brother does now.
Later as we prepared to leave the house, they laughed and played. I can't wait for her to be old enough to actually play with him. He's so rough it may present some problems, but hopefully they will continue to love each other as they do now! I know it doesn't look like it in the picture, but she was laughing and cooing while he was trying to kiss her.

Back - To - School Tea

Mama invited a few of her friends over for tea so that they could have a little time for relaxation before the school year begins - for them, not her. So when I asked her what they were having and she responded "tea and crackers," - what! You know I had to kick it into high gear! What she ended up with turned out really pretty on the table. I hope they enjoy their party.

I worked real hard on this table and Kisha was the perfect sous chef for the food. Actually she showed me a few things that I didn't know and did a few other things better than I did. There's still hope!

Now before I move on I have to make special mention of the palm tree apparel on the table. My mother has a friend from Rhode Island College that has acknowledged every special event in my life, which started with running around Hungary trying to find a gift for Mama at my birth that was not made in China. Only to discover later that it was and then sent me a personalized train for the wall of my nursery. Can you imagine the look on the shop owners face when that extremely white woman went in to order something that said "NATAKI!?!?" At any rate, although I have never seen this woman in person (or mother's other friend from college), they have both always been a part of my life. My wedding was no different - Aunt Dottie sent me this really nice, hand woven and hand painted set of glasses with matching pitcher, napkins, and napkin ring holders. In five years I have used the glasses and pitcher maybe five times, but never have I had an occasion to use the whole set. Today was perfect. The set coupled with my wedding china and other miscellaneous crystal pieces turned out fabulously! Thank you Aunt Dottie!

Pampered Chef is making it easy for me and it is motivating me. I was up till midnight last night and back up at 4:30 this morning. The fruit presentation was not perfect, but to the naked eye it was alright. Kisha had to show me how to use the melonballer - I've never been able to get that right. The new can opener is also a mystery still, but I am going to work hard at it. KWK and I cut the rest of the fruit this morning.

The cake was some box cake called "Pineapple Supreme," can't wait to find out how it tastes - it smelled different. It was inspired by my lemon creation the other day. Cream Cheese frosting. And I love those torte pans. My layers were even this time.

The pasta salad was a low calorie solution to cleaning out some of the stuff in our messy pantry that turned out to be a hit with the family. So KWK requested it again. I was very methodical about it the first time I made it and of course, had no idea what I did. Kish was there to remind me of what was in it and to help me chop all of the veggies. She cooked the pasta and put the dressing mixture on it. I tasted it and gave a few final touches before we put it in that beautiful scalloped bowl. It is one of her favorites of my dishes also.

I have to make sure that I say that Markisha was a hugely significant contributing factor to the preparation of the food because she wants me to make sure I give her some credit. She texted a picture of the cake, for which she did most of the piping, to a few of her friends. She got a wedding proposal out of it - if only they knew.

The Backyardigan's Part Two

Max and Rodney enjoyed the show. No flash photography, but they got a few pics before the show started. Rodney's exact works were, "It was awesome!" He and Max even gave me a little sampling of some of the music and choreography.

I got a chance to visit with them before the show even though I didn't go. I wish I had; I hate I missed it! Max was interested by terrified by this fountain. I think he thought I was trying to toss him in.
Rodney was the one of very few fathers that I spotted in the lobby and one of a few people of color. As the engraving on his wedding band reads: "My strong Black man." He was the only Black father I saw in the crowd. I am so glad he is interested in his children, many of them are not. Kudos, Rodney - another good reason to stay married to him! SMILE!! Side Note: Don't my boys have some gorgeous legs!?!?
Max was so excited he wouldn't stand for this picture. I really hyped him up the last few days, but I don't think he really knew how special a treat he was going to get until he got there. The Marquee
Last shot before "no flash photography." They gave all of the kids shields before the show began. We all know that Max's was destroyed before it made it to the house.
Afterwards, we all went to lunch - me, Rodney, Markisha, Max, and Maddy (3M's) at the Doubletree. Then Rodney and I went to work, the baby's went to daycare, and Markisha went to court (A whole nother story). It was a great outing and I think everyone had fun!

It's Official!

After a long career (30+ yrs) in education, "Check" KWK has retired. Yes, you heard right the "Teacher of the Year" has left the building!

For months she has been complaining and eluding to the fact, but I never believed that she would do it. I have be teasing her the whole time, and just to be honest, expect her to report to work on next Friday with the rest of her colleagues. But all of the paperwork has been filed, the proper people have been notified, the classroom is cleared out, and the first check is on the way . . .

Congratulations, Mama! Now I will start planning the retirement soiree and what a grand affair it shall be! I shall also followup with blogs about some of my most memorable experiences having a teacher for a mother - next week everyday.
P.S. And for those of you who are wondering why I inserted the photo of myself - it's not me, it's KWK in her mid 20's. We were both fine in our 20's!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Backyardigan's, LIVE!!!

Every evening when we get home Max says, "I need to watch TV." I respond, "You don't need to watch TV, but I will let you watch for a little while. What do you want to watch?" He in turn responds, "Tyrone!" Tyrone is his favorite character from the Nick Jr. show The Backyardigan's.
That's why today I am so excited that my baby is at his first live show - The Backyardigan's - A Knight's Tale. Rodney couldn't get off for the evening show and I couldn't get off for the morning show, so we decided it would be easier for Rodney to take him to the morning show. I think we are more excited than Max, but I have been pumping him up for the last few days. I hope they are having a good time. My fear is that Max will freak out from the live characters and that Rodney will respond poorly. He did get him a hat or t-shirt and a souvenir plate! I hope they take lots of pictures so I can post them later. Oh, and in case you were wondering the Backyardigan's is a cartoon with lots of singing and dancing which Max loves. But the thing I like most about it is that it encourages children to use their imagination to go on lots of adventures and it teaches a few history or science lessons while entertaining. It first caught my attention when I discovered that the characters names were Pablo, Tyrone, Uniqua, Tasha, and Austin. Does that sound like the Rainbow Coalition or what! They also end each show in the backyard where they then go into the house for a snack - Max loves that part too.

Thank you, Aunt Denise!

A few weeks ago Maddy's Aunt Denise from Atlanta, GA went to Boule in Washington DC. Maddy recieved a sweet surprise in Monday's mail. Aunt Denise sent her a delightful gift for which we are greatly appreciative and her mama is tickled pink!!! She will be sporting her onsie this Friday with her designer jeans! I will put the coloring book away until she is a little older - at least until she can hold her big head up long enough to hold a crayon! Skee Wee!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cooking Fool and Space Chimps

My poor kiddos had a slow weekend. When I wasn't doing wedding stuff, I was trying to get the house cleaned, get control of the laundry, unpack and review my new cooking stuff, and come up with creative ideas for the use of my new stuff. Max was three times as hype as he usually is. On Sunday, we let him out of the house and took him to see Space Chimps! I have been spoiled by Disney Pixar so I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the others I've seen this summer - Kungfu Panda was the bomb! Ka-dush!

I got almost everything unpacked, I got most of the laundry done, I made more cupcakes and a lemon/strawberry dessert, and a homemade pizza. KWK was out of town so it was just us Blockers about the house. Rodney enjoyed the new kitchen utensils just as much as I did and was very eager to help! He took a few shots of my process. I felt like I was doing a cooking show - I got caught up on a few episodes of Cooking For Real with Sunny Anderson and Iron Chef America too.

The finished product was beautiful and delicious.
We ate about three slices and City Hall enjoyed the rest of it!

The pizza was really ugly, but it was really good! It was hit with Max, he ate most of it.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Knight Nuptials

The day is fast approaching! Only 4 more days to the big moment when my brother and his wife recommit themselves to each other. A large portion of my weekend was spent finishing up the invitations (technicality) and going over the guest list, the final fitting, program, music, and menu.

The dress is fabulous! I don't even recognize it anymore! I think she's going to pretty. If you have any suggestions for covering tats, let me know - we have some in the neck area. My house is a wreck from all of the wedding stuff and Kisha's going back to school stuff. I've got to get it all cleaned up before the bridesmaids get there on Friday night.
A prototype of the invitation
The final invitation with a touch of pink!



As I was looking through some old pictures I found some similar shots of my little tots! Guess who?
Boy do I have some funny looking baby's!

Ummmmm, cupcakes!

While I unpacked all of the pampered chef stuff, Aryshona entertained the children. She and Max decided to make cupcakes. Below is what happens when you bake with a two year old.

Step 1: Make sure the mixer is in the off position before you plug it in.Step two: Read instructions very carefully. Aryshona is no cook, but she tries really hard.
Step 3: Pose as if it were a Food Network photo shoot as you ice the cupcakes. Food Network would not dare have a cluttered kitchen like mine.
The finished product. These chocolate goodies were sent to the daycare. A batch of larger sized treats were enjoyed by some of my City Hall co-workers. I am still trying to lose weight.