Mama Sayz (03/07)

BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS!

Mrs. Smith is still employed.

Where do these rumors get started? Anyway, here’s an extra, extra-long edition of “Mama Sayz,” and she’s gone a little crazy with the pictures. She loves the pictures. But it’s all good:

I’m never at a loss for words BUT this week’s edition has been one of the toughest things to do. I have so many things that I want to say but I couldn’t figure out how to get it jump-started. So when I came in to work this morning (oh, by the way I hope this comment put to rest the rumors that I have QUIT my job) and my co-worker, Mrs. Lazy Bones herself a.k.a. Lucy, yelled out, “Hey, where’s that ‘Mama Sayz,’ you kook!” I turned around and screamed back to her, “I don’t know how to get it started – UGHHHH!” (J-MART NOTE: Writer’s block is a … problem) She said, “YOU? You’re never at a loss for words… That’s a first!” Then ta-da! “Mama Sayz” has been saved once again… Now let’s catch up, and boy, do we have a lot to cover!

tiff and syd

If I remember correctly, our last meeting stated the Malone family was heading to town and it did. It is always fun to visit with the folks from back east and this was no different. From what I could see Monica enjoyed her birthday in the Little Apple and was very excited to see Lil’ Mike play in the “Big Monday” game against Texas, even if it didn’t quite turn out the way we wanted. Tiffany was even more thrilled to spend time with her twin, Sydney (Mr. Malone’s stepdaughter) and didn’t want to leave her sideCalvin and fam because she knew Sydney would eventually head back to her life outside of Manhattan, Kan. Ms. Tiff had a double dose of visitors because Daddy’s brother, Uncle Brian, was also in town and he spoiled her ROTTEN! She could do no wrong in his eyes and I’ll tell it like I tell her… She’s the strongest little four-year-old in the world because she can lift two full-grown men (Daddy included) with her itty, bitty pinky finger!

south dakota stand up

Before the game I met lots of fans while waiting in line and there were two little boys who came all the way from South Dakota, if I remember correctly who recognized me (imagine that). They asked if they could take a picture with me because I am “Lil’ Mike’s Mom.” I agreed but only if I could take a picture with them because they were such great fans, and they agreed as well. I hope they get a chance to read this and find a way to contact with me.

If anyone saw me at the Texas game taking pictures with two cameras like I was aBruce crazed woman, that’s because Bruce from the basketball office insisted that I take pics for him and I had to use his camera and not mine… He can be VERY demanding at times and I normally put up such a fuss when it comes to him, but what he doesn’t know is I enjoy arguing with him so that I could get on his nerves. I think it works, too. It was pretty interesting to see the MIKE ON THE STICKS all over the arena and, of mike on a stickcourse, I had to play the “guess who’s behind this mask” game with Tiffany, which gets sort of ridiculous seeing as how there aren’t many kids her height who would tap me on the shoulder saying, “Mommy, guess who’s behind this mask…” But, as usual, I name everybody under the sun except her until she pops from behind the mask yelling, “Surprise! I tricked you!” Yeah, right!

While I was speaking to one of the ESPN reporters, I had a surprise visit from my “Cookie Fairy” complete with the recipe. She should be happy to see that the “Cookie Monster” a.k.a. Mr. Beasley, found the stash and didn’t want to share!

cookie monster

Remember a month or so ago when I told everyone how Malik said I “need to meet his needs?” Well, every time I go to take a picture of him he always seems to be stuffing something in his mouth, and when he doesn’t want to share his goodies with his little sister, he goes and finds an empty seat anywhere he can in Bramlage just to avoid her begging. He then appears out of nowhere a half later… Now that’s funny! By the way, he’s 10 years old today so HAPPY BIRTHDAY, big boy! Hope your needs are still being met, sweetie! LOL!

malik needs

If you like Italian food, you’ll love this restaurant in downtown Manhattan called Della Voce. (J-MART NOTE: And now she’s conducting restaurant reviews – amazing) The atmosphere in this place is simply amazing. It was large enough to accommodate a della vocebusiness dinner, yet small enough to have an intimate dinner for two. You could have a drink at the bar while watching the plasma TV or simply relax in the lounge area and absorb the ambience of this special little place. And the owner and waitresses were so polite and elegant that I even thought twice about leaving a few kids behind hoping that some of it would rub off on them. This place was nice, so go check it out!

birds-eye.JPG

I went to the “PHOG” and to be honest I didn’t expect our seats to be the greatest but really now… DID THEY HAVE TO PUT US ON THE ROOF? I took picture of the view we had from our actual seats and outside of the seating arrangements (and the outcome of the game, of course) the whole “Lawrence experience” wasn’t too bad at all. I had the mom, dad and fatimahonor of meeting the famous parents of J-Mart and they were so down to earth and fun to hang out with… I think I’m going to adopt them! LOL! A good friend from the D.C. area told me about this cute little restaurant on Mass. Ave called Ingredient and it was everything he said it would be. Now I have a reason to visit Lawrence on my drive to and from Kansas City. There were various Wildcat and even Jayhawk fans (imagine that) from all walks of life who were just walking down the crowded streets of Lawrence, sitting in a low-key restaurant or observing the museum associated with Allen Fieldhouse who just randomly came up to me and said how much they have enjoyed watching Lil’ Mike play this year, wishing him well in whatever decisions he makes regarding his future. How they knew who I am is a mystery to me… Maybe it had something to do with how F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S I looked sporting my beautiful Wildcat purple – MEOW! (I crack myself up!) Overall, it was a nice experience.

tiff is strong

Sunday was supposed to be my day of rest. I snuck out of the house alone to do my errands and somehow I was stuck with Miss Tiffany after meeting she and Calvin for breakfast at IHOP. I figure, what the heck? How much could she really slow me down, right? Well, that was the original thought until we got to Target and she wanted to try on every shoe that was on her eye level, which wasn’t a real problem. The problem came when we got to the register and she announced that she only had one of her shoes that she had come into the store with. I backtracked through every department that we had been in and could not find that shoe ANYWHERE! There was even an announcement made twice to the employees to check their areas for the small shoe and still there was nothing. Just before given up and tossing the one shoe she had in the trash on the way out the door I decided to go back to the shoe department and get on my hands and knees which brought me down to Tiffany’s eye level. While crawling, I searched the boxes sitting on the shelves, one by one, and there it was! I found it! Someone had come by and stuffed her used Adidas in the box with another shoe, which was the same color just to get it out of the way… Smart!

mike, DK, and Jake

On Monday, Lil’ Mike, Darren and Jacob went to Malik’s school to help celebrate Dr. Seuss’s 104th birthday. One of Malik’s classmates read “Green Eggs and Ham” as Darren held the book while the others looked on. Afterwards they went to the gym to shoot a few baskets to help the fifth-grade class collect data for a math project.

DK, jake and mike shoot

Oh, let me see how many people can remember this — back in one of the earlier editions of “Mama Sayz,” I made a comment about me having to share friends with my sister, Mona. I’m not sure if I mentioned that I have only had very few friends (before moving here, of course) that did not come by way of Mona. Well, my good friend, Damaris, and her kids, Max (14) and Grace (11), came out to see me. It was soooo much fun hanging out with her and the kids. Of course, I had to take them to the GTM store to pick up some game attire and we had lunch at B.W.W (of course) and toured Bramlage. They were very excited. The next time I see her, I’ll do all of the driving…and I’ll just leave it at that.

mike with … and grace

Senior night at Bramlage was really touching. Clent and Stephanie were engaged, and it was one of the sweetest moments ever! Congrats guys! All of the fans saluted David, stew signsBlake, and James. It was very emotional. As the game started, I observed the numerous signs about Lil’ Mike returning for another year and there were countless people coming over to say how much they have enjoyed watching Lil’ Mike this year. I would like to say to everyone, “Thanks for having him!” When the announcement was made that Lil’ Mike had broken the Big 12 double-double record, it was at that very moment that I glanced up and saw him running towards the opposite end of the court and for the first time I really felt how surreal this has been. In a quick 30 seconds, the journey of how he arrived at that very moment suddenly flashed before my eyes and I sort of smiled to myself and thought, “WOW, he’s really special.”

cooper

At the end of the game there were numerous fans who were waiting on the players to come out for autographs and I met the most adorable little girl named Cooper who didn’t want anything but to give me a hand-made card she’d made for Lil’ Mike. I want you to know it put a smile on his face when I told him about you and handed him the card.

FROM: steve dave
WHEN: Feb. 24, 2008

Excellent photos, really good work.

SD,
Thanks, this sure is a lot of work but it’s so much fun! I’m glad you are enjoying the photos.

FROM: thekstater
WHEN: Feb. 25, 2008

Mom, how did mike get so good? How often did he practice? How many hours a day? Did you send him to camps when he was little, or did he just play on his own for hours? Did he have coaches?

Thanks,
TheKstater

Lil’ Mike was a late bloomer. He really didn’t get started with organized basketball until his early teens, and that includes going to camps. Once he got into it, he started making small goals for himself. The more accomplished he became, he more goals he set. He’s very dedicated to his game and the number of hours that he spent practicing is uncountable. Even though he never played his father in a game of basketball and he never witnessed his father play a game, I want to believe that he got his talent naturally from his dad. His dad is 6-foot-6 and when he was Lil’ Mike’s age he weighed approximately 225 pounds, and he was very, very good. His coaches are the same coaches of the D.C. Assault organization. I hope that was helpful.

FROM: MommaKat
WHEN: Feb. 25, 2008

Mama,
What do you think it would take to keep Lil’ Mike at KSU for another year? Do you think that the possibility of attaining a national title would do it?

MommaKat,
We really don’t talk about Lil’ Mike leaving KSU. When the time comes for us to have a conversation, we will consider all options and make that decision as a family.

FROM: OlatheCat
WHEN: Feb. 25, 2008

Just one question this week, Mama. What size shoe does Mike wear? Inquiring minds want to know!

Olathe,
Let me tell you a funny story. When Lil’ Mike was about 13 years old, he told me that his shoes were too small and that his feet hurt. It was at that time that he started growing like a weed, so naturally I believed him. Since I was a single mom, I only bought shoes for the kids out of necessity and not just because they wanted the newest shoe that hit the stores — and Michael knew this. Since I had just recently bought him a pair of shoes not long before he started complaining, I knew that Foot Locker didn’t have anything bigger than what he had on his feet, which was a size 14 at the time. I turned to the Internet and found that Eastbay had large-size shoes so I ordered him the next size up. It seemed like every month he was complaining, so I kept ordering them bigger and bigger. It got to the point where I was ordering two pairs at a time in the next size — then the next size after that so that I could be prepared for the next complaint. The largest size that I ordered was a size 22. After he joined the D.C. Assault program, they had his feet measured properly (I was using a ruler because the foot measures in the store were way too small) and that’s when I found out Michael was only complaining because he knew that was the only way he would get a new pair of shoes. He didn’t care about how big they were just as long as they were new… With all of that being said, he only wears a size 18 to walk around in and size 19 to play in.

FROM: 3DCat
WHEN: Feb. 28, 2008

Mama,
I hope you found the recipe in the bottom on the bag. If you missed it, just let me know. Your stories and pictures are great fun. We dearly appreciate you.

Jennifer,
I did find the recipe and I thank you so much. As you can see from the pictures, the Cookie Monster found the cookies!

FROM: ssf
WHEN: Feb. 29, 2008

We miss you on the bulletin boards. You posted fairly frequently on the Charlotte boards and then on the KSU boards and now almost nothing. Did the athletic department tell you to stop or did you just get annoyed and bored with it?

First, let me say that NO ONE TELLS ME WHAT TO DO OR NOT DO! I am not annoyed with the boards, either. I still surf them periodically. I just observe as a guest 99% of the time because I don’t have time to interact with the posters properly, and I don’t want to come off as being rude if I don’t reply to someone. If I sign on as myself, it usually is during a slow traffic time. Besides, I have five kids, a full-time job, this blog, a list of household chores (J-MART NOTE: I appreciate that “K-Stated” comes before the household chores), a cat, a dog, and a partridge in a pear tree! With all of this and trying to fit in Wildcats basketball (including travel) and a teen-aged daughter who’s taking on a new sport (track), I could probably start posting on the message boards again if I give up two of the five hours of sleep I get each night… Tough call, huh?

FROM: beasFan
WHEN: March 1, 2008

I am a big KSU fan and was disappointed to see them lose again. But anyways, I noticed that Mike has a lot of tattoos. I was just wondering, how many does he have and what do they represent or symbolize?

Lil’ Mike’s tattoos symbolize family. Even though there are a lot, none of them are disrespectful in any way.

FROM: Tim Archer
WHEN: March 5, 2008

Fatima,
It has been great reading your blog and speaking with you and your family this year. I will be cheering on the cats from home the rest of the way. Thank Michael for all the time he has given the fans this year and being so gracious with autographs. He didn’t come out after the Colorado game but I’m sure there were just too many fans to be able to sign everything. I hope to see you and your family next year at the games and if not I certainly will follow Lil’ Mike’s career wherever he goes. He is certainly a special talent.

Check your email, Tim.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, this concludes this week’s edition. I have created an e-mail address dedicated to “Mama Sayz.” By no means do I want to stop the interaction in the comment section here. However, if it’s something that you would like to share with me and not with the rest of the world, you could contact me that way. After checking with the “higher-ups,” I will post the address in next week’s edition with all of the conditions of using it as well, O.K.?

Next stop: Iowa State. All aboard!