Thursday, February 26, 2009

i'll be gone for awhile

I need to stop this ...i'll be back.

My New Orleans...



New Orleans has always spoken to me. I hate to admit that I have only been there one time, long ago, before marraige, children, agoraphobia and pets. I think I had a full New Orleans experience: a tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to see the tomb of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, a ride through the Garden District to see the beautiful mansions of Ann Rice’s Vampire books, a peek at the Superdome, crawfish on a pizza tray, po’ boys and gumbo in a little place on Bourbon St.. A listen to REAL jazz musicians at Preservation Hall, an unforgettable ThanksgivIng dinner at Commanders Palace, breakfast at Brennan’s and accommodations fit for a queen at the famous Sonait House In the French Quarter. I did it once, but I did it right.

Once I was “bit by the bug’ of this one-of-a–kind city I reveled in it. I have secretly dreamed of living there. I have read everything both fiction and non-fiction that I could get my hands on about “The Big Easy”. It was always the one place I would like to go back to if I had a chance.

….and then it was 2005 and my beautiful child’s namesake-Katrina- turned the city into a nightmare….

As a daughter of South Florida I am a survivor of many hurricanes, including Andrew and Wilma. I KNOW that Hurricane Katrina didn’t destroy New Orleans.

When those levees broke, inept and criminal politicians sent a message to the poor of NOLA—

The message?
You don’t count. Go ahead and stand on bridges for days in humidity that will kill, go into the filth and danger of the Superdome and hope you will get back out alive, get on a bus and go to Houston, don’t worry about your pets and the family house that your Great-grandparents built with their own hands in the Lower Ninth Ward. And unspeakably, die on the streets of a major city in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and lay there for days until someone comes for you.

I love my country, I think the United States of America is the greatest democracy on earth and I also believe that an inept and criminal local, state and federal government committed a huge crime in the Crescent City. The United States of America should be ashamed, we all must share a part of that shame, I know I do.

But that city that grabbed my heart and never let go, did just what I expected, they refused to roll over and die, they refused to listen to those that said that the city should not be rebuilt , and they did what they do best, had a party and asked us all to join them.

Please go to the "latest news and click on the button with the house on it-heartbreaking.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lola's in the doghouse....

I am sooooo sorry!

Poor Max in his Space Dog suit

One of Jia's brighter moments, she won the pig in a raffle at the Silver Palm's Bike Rodeo

Brains, beauty and athletic ability!

Someday we will get a picture of poor, lovely Katie doing something other than homework

Wanted to show those of you who haven't seen us for a while how tall my baby girl is.

Things are looking up. What a week! Jia is feeling better, but still not close to 100% she is sleeping as I write this. Jia missed three days of school last week. We did, however, have a meeting with her new teacher Ms. Emler, her Speech Pathologist, and her ESOL Specialist (Jia's home language is designated as Mandarin Chinese, this allows her benefits, mostly on standardized tests) Mrs. Emler was so much more upbeat than those in her other school. She gave Jia very high marks for socialization and conduct, she positively praised Jia's efforts academically and let us know that Jia is trying really hard but admitted what we already knew-that Jia is academically behind her classmates and will have to repeat Kindergarten. We had already planned that, so no worries!

On the killer dog front, things got uglier. When we last left blog world Max was at the vet. It turns out that Lola did serious damage, cut muscles, lost skin and had to have 3 stitches inside and 10 stitches outside! Whew! Drew didn't even want to tell me how much it cost at the vet, and I now wish I didn't know--$600. Whoahhhhh!!!!! Max is his usual sweet self and Lola seems to have calmed down, but it was traumatic.

Anna had soccer pictures today, so I posed her and took some of my own.

We are very excited about the Academy Awards, Anna would get excited if there was an awards show for best homework assignment!

Being the glamorous, talented and beautiful women that we are, we will be giving deadly critiques of those who walk down the red carpet and then we will be crossing our fingers and our toes for every award available to go to "Slumdog Millionaire" what a wonderfully layered movie. If you haven't seen it yet, GO NOW!

(By the way, ladies in my lottery club, we are NOT Slumdog Millionaires this week, so I will see you at work on Monday) Enjoy the pics...

Say a prayer for my Mommy whose 7oth birthday would have been tomorrow....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We've had a bad day...

A very stressful day in the Parnham household. If you've been reading my blog, or talking to me live and in person, you know that little Miss Jia has been very sick. She has been down and out since last Friday. She has only been awake for around 2 hours (in bits and pieces) each day, will not speak and has those scary eyes that she had right after she had her hip surgery. The Dr. said it could last up to two weeks!!! Poor little baby, she is so miserable.

THEN, as if that wasn't enough, Anna's dog (Lola the rat terrier) attacked our little dog Max (the black poodle that we have had for years) --(please don't try to count the animal population around here, it is truly embarrassing, but I feel the need to rescue everything that lives and breaths) ANYWAY, the attack was so bad that Max was bit down to the muscle! He is spending the night at the vet with a number of stitches....

The Lord doesn't give you more than you can handle...
Tomorrow has to be better, at least it's Friday.

Say a prayer for little Jia, and Max too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Very Special Day!!

Today is Nona's Birthday. We wish we could spend it with her. Here are the birthday wishes from the girls. Jia is dreadfully sick, and has been since Saturday.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweet Little Jordyn!

Princess Jordyn

Checking out the loot

Auntie Piph

Auntie Lav

Jordyn and her Mommy

These pictures are of my beautiful little niece Jordyn at her first birthday. She is my niece Gabbi's daughter and Craig's Grandaughter. They live in Georgia and we always wish we could see them. xoxoxoxox to my Updegrove Family. I love you much, Lesa

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Much Ado About Nothing....

Jia feeds her doggies every morning

Waiting patiently for Jia to dole out the goodies

Jia's new outfit (her new school is not as picky with the dress code)

Jia wrote all of her Valentines and she is ready to take them to school tomorrow

Katie working REALLY hard on her AP Geography

Lesa's only son

This is the pose Jia wanted to take of me, but it reinforces the fact that I may need an MRI

Here is my favorite Anna Parnham quote "I have plenty to say, I just don't feel like writing it down" (this was at my suggestion that she write in a journal.) Well, I have some silly pictures, some of which Jia took, but not a whole lot to report. Here is the news: Jia's Hannah Montana Valentines are written out and ready to go, the weather is back to normal, Anna cleaned her room, and I am having an MRI on Saturday, perhaps they will confirm what most of you have known for years---I'm crazy. Anyway, here are some pictures.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Silly Anna and Katie showing off some of their layers

Picture of Mom taken by Jia

Jia's new "jacket" let's not tell her that it's a bathing suit cover up.

"I am umbillically connected to the temperate zone, It brought me life it's brought me love I never have outgrown"
-"Everybody's Got a Cousin In Miami"
Jimmy Buffet

Okay, so today WAS the cold day. When Jia and I went to school this morning it was 36 degrees Fahrenheit. That is beyond cold for South Florida. Some of you from "up north" will laugh and say this is nothing, and I will make jokes about how many layers of clothes we all wore. In reality it is devastating to Florida farmers, especially citrus growers (the juice freezes in the oranges and leaves them tasteless and ruined), in these economic hard times I say a prayer for people who make their living in this industry.

My history lesson:

I moved to Hollywood, Florida, (right outside of Miami) in 1968 solely because of the weather. My parents were from a very small town in Pennsylvania. My father's company transferred him to Puerto Rico and he made a solo flight south to check out the situation, he hated Puerto Rico but Daddy had a layover in Miami and he fell in love. This was the over the top, tacky, glamorous Miami of the 60's, live flamingos in the lobbies of the hotels, shabby art deco buildings fading into ruin and gorgeous, warm sunny beaches. He quit his job and brought his wife and two young children south to live on the beautiful beach that he always dreamed of. He never regretted this decision and fully reveled in it till the day he passed away.

So that is why 41 years later I consider myself a native Floridian, don't remember anything else. I grumble about the humidity and how my hair is always bad in the summer heat, I no longer cook myself in baby oil for hours at a time on the beach, in fact, I rarely have time to go to the beach (but the important part is--I know its there any time I want to see it) Florida is my home, it is a large part of who I am, and on days like today, not only am I a little "off" but the whole (temporarily) cold world seems a little strange.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"I don't find this stuff amusing anymore..."Paul Simon

Ok, last night I am half watching the local news and I hear "the coldest day in Florida in 25 years".


There are no winter clothes left. Jia is attending Kindergarten today in 2 sweaters, a shirt and a terry beach cover-up. The cover up is Disney Princesses so she is happy as a clam.

Now, no offense to Old Navy or people up north, but I am not a polar fleece kind of girl. But here I sit, decked out in the stuff....

Big Mistake.

TOMORROW will be the coldest day in Florida in 25 years, why did we leave those ski jackets in China??

Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you how a small town girl from Pennsylvania landed in sunny South Florida.

Ps. To our wonderful relatives in the north, please don't send us warm clothes-the moment you put things in the mail it will warm up to at least 80 degrees.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

In my humble opinion, there is no football game unless the Florida Gators are playing.