under the wire

Squeaking this entry in so that I still have the potential to have posted 4 out of 5 days this week.

Quickly, now, the top 5 reasons I've had a hard time coming up with worthwhile posts this week:

  1. The roommate experiment has begun. And I'll just leave it at that.
  2. I've been scouring Craigslist and local mommy-type websites for possible fill-ins for Daycare-gate. So far I've tried our local TotDrop (meh. Nothing wrong with it, it just didn't give me that warm, cozy, this-is-it feeling that I was hoping for.) and today I did a meet-and-greet interview thingy at a in-home daycare that is pretty similar to the TotDrop concept (meaning: she takes 'em on a drop-in basis and charges by the hour). Again, meh. I was beyond excited when I talked to her on the phone to set the whole thing up, but something just didn't click today. We're going to give it a try next Tuesday on the off chance that my less than fabulous reaction had something to do with this cold that decided to kick my butt last night.
  3. I hab a cowb. Or something like that. Whatever it is, it moved into my sinuses last night and unpacked as if it means to stay. Today it took a little day trip into my throat and as I type it's making plans to explore the yet-unstuffed regions known as my ears. Colds suck. Colds when you're the concierge of entertainment for an almost three-year-old make you realize exactly what your parents were trying to tell you when they told you that one day you would regret whatever it was that you had just done. And by that I mean anything remotely leading to the possibility of having sex.
  4. I've also been scouring the WWW for snack ideas to post with my latest WeSchool theme. Call me picky, but I was kinda hoping for something a little more creative than "take a square piece of food, turn it so that two of its points are at the top and bottom, add something vaguely string-like to the bottom and loudly proclaim that it is a kite cookie / sandwich." Anyone? Anyone?
  5. We've been preparing for our 11-month walk through of the house. I know. I almost choked when she called to set up the appointment and realized that I couldn't argue with her that we hadn't actually been here for 11 months yet. We have. Shortest, yet longest year of my life to date, I think. And so there were hairline cracks in the stucco to note, sagging hinges to point out, and various and sundry other details to go over so that we can get 'em fixed while they're still under warrenty so someone else has to figure out who exactly you call to take care of something like that. Yes, we could probably take care of most of it ourselves, but that would require a trip to Home Depot, and that, my friends, is a trip I'd just rather not take.

Back tomorrow, hopefully, with a better post and maybe even some pictures for Lora. That is, if I can figure out what the crap the boy did to the camera to lock the lens in the "open, but not seeing anything" position. I'm betting on "no". Any recommendations on what to look for in a new camera?


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at wit's end

I think I mentioned that our daycare lady angel of mercy was put on bedrest a few weeks back. Just as a precaution... her last baby was premature, so they aren't taking any chances this time around. Time-For-Mommy Tuesdays, alas, are no more. The first couple of weeks I traded child-care days with a friend whose little boy went to the same daycare; last week she had found another, more permanent solution, so it was just LG and me.

Me and LG.

All day.

Every day.

Every minute.

Do you know how many minutes there are in a week?

Let's just leave it at this: For life as we know it to continue, pleasantly, around here, some changes are going to have to be made. That being said, I'm kind of at a loss for what that means. So I'm turning to you, "you" being defined as "anyone who has ever spent more than 10,080 consecutive minutes in a caregiver capacity with a child in the 2-3 yr age range". What do you do? Might I add that you look good doing it, whatever it is?

How does your day look? Do you know from one minute to the next where you're headed and exactly how much time you'll need to get there and what supplies you'll need to have to get whatever it is that you're doing done? Or are you a go with the flow kinda person, letting the whims of nature and the spontaneity of the weather pull you along from this to that? Or maybe somewhere in the middle -- someone who makes plans with the best of intentions but isn't really all that distraught if "this" becomes "that"? When you are with your child, is your focus solely on your child? Do you schedule in time for yourself? Does that come first or last or wherever it fits in? Is that time sacred or interrupt-able? Do you practice "benign neglect" or are you more inclined towards the idea of plenty of early exposure to all the opportunities and possibility available? Do you play with your kid at the park or do you keep your distance or are you a jack-in-the-box, up-down-up-down-up-down-up?

Most importantly, what is that one thing that makes it all worth your while to get up and face it all over again the next day? What is your secret?

I know (hope?) there isn't a one-size-fits-all kind of solution -- every child, every parent / caregiver is different. I don't expect to adopt your plan in it's entirety. I do intend to steal as many ideas from you as I can, stuff them away in a little file marked "this might work", and pull them out when my brain simply won't engage anymore. Fair warning.


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oh my

Just a little something to get your Monday off to a good start, courtesy of BG's father. :)

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!


And from the "Way Back Files" the real thing as only LG can deliver:




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pictures! pictures! pictures!

No, not from the festivities. We went over that. Here, instead, for your viewing pleasure, I present to you

Mr. Smith Helps with the Laundry:


When I suggested that his underwear could hang on the other side of the dresser? He gave me a look of the purest disdain. In what universe could that possibly be appropriate? The greatest artist are always so misunderstood. Then he reached for the camera and took this shot

Chaussette dans le Profil :

Captivating, yet vaguely obscene.

Even better than sock portraiture, though, is the bliss of having gone from this:
to this:
Ta-Da!!! I have a backyard!

With grass!

And a firepit!

And a new walk-way up to the front door!

Where they added a new patio!


I've only ever had a crush on two blondes in my whole entire life. The first, Stacey, was a lifeguard at the city pool where we took swimming lessons summer after summer. It was so worth the 45 minute ride on the school bus with that hot green vinyl stuck to the back of your legs just to watch him shake the water droplets from his straight-to-Utah-by-way-of-California surfer do. Of course, the regularity with which he had to shake said droplets from his hair might very well be the reason that I didn't actually learn to swim until I was 25. The second? Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly K-E-L-L-Y* who's rippling biceps wielded the mallet that put all these pavers in place and created my little piece of heaven. Sorry, no pictures of that...


*If you got that reference without clicking through, then you're either older than you've been pretending to be, or you have been spending entirely too much time watching Nick-at-Night. Heh. Me, too!


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miss me?

**newly edited to add in missing links!!!**

Yesterday was spent getting ready for this, followed by the first ever West Coast edition of the Spaghetti Club (name changed to protect those that don't wish to be affiliated with this website the innocent). It all went off without a hitch -- no blood drawn, no fires set, and as far as I know, everyone got at least one bite to eat while the sauce was still warm. No pictures, of course, but that's probably just as well since I haven't actually announced to everyone in the 'hood that I have this little (eight) blog(s) and that at any given minute their interactions with (or without) me are subject to being posted on the WWW. Pictures of other peoples kids, cute or no, bring up the question of whether or not it's necessary to get permission prior to posting (answer: probably. I don't want the responsibility of outing anyone in the Witness Protection Program, 4th of July parade pictures notwithstanding.), which invariably leads to some sort of explanation involving the words "Well, there are a fair number of my online friends who choose to not use their real names. No, no, I've never actually met her in person. Well, yes, I suppose "she" could actually live in a small cabin in the woods in Montana..."Ellipses marks the uncomfortable silence that signals the beginning of everyone gathering up their things and making excuses to leave. Never to return again.

Ahem. So no pictures, but (we?)I had a great time. Here's the deal, though. 3 hours of entertaining (split evenly between the activities and the eating) = 2 days worth of preparation. I'm hopeful that the prep time will go down now that I kind of have an idea of what to expect (more of that, less of that, that wasn't even touched...), but damn! I'm exhausted!

This is shaping up to be a 4 cup (of coffee) morning. And none of that half-caff crap, either. I'm pulling out the good beans, baby.


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science

Exploration: Reversible Change

Inquiry: "Mommy, I no know where da salt goed."

Hypothesis: This could be bad.

Discovery:

Conclusion: Irreversible change. Grab the vacuum.


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blah

There's a simple reason that I haven't been good about posting on a daily basis in the past: My life is not interesting enough to post about on a daily basis. Take, for example, this weekend. Two whole days with all three of us at home and it can all be summed up in less than 5 minutes.

Saturday:
BG ran (16 miles. Because his brain is made out of froot-loops).
Did some grocery shopping.
Straightened up the house / threw some stuff on the grill before some of BG's co-workers got here to watch football (USC vs Ohio State... snore...)
Pretended to watch football.
Went out for a (short) run. (2.25 miles. Because it was only 8:00 and it didn't make sense to go to bed yet, but I didn't want to do dishes, either.)
Went to bed.

Sunday:
9.5 mile run for me.
Showered, lunched, and passed out on the couch.
Woke up, did some chores.
Watched some crap TV.
Went to bed.
Yawn.

I feel like I should at least have an opinion on something or a cute quip to share.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Nope. I got nothing.

Were it not for the boy, I'd pull the covers back up over my head and wait for Tuesday. He, unfortunately, seems to think that's an invitation to play "hide-n-seek" which involves not so much the hiding nor the seeking, but lots and lots of jumping on the covered up parts and then tickling (read: gouging and poking) any parts that become exposed as a result of said jumping. Good times.

Mondays suck.


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thru good times and bad

It's shaping up to be one of those days already.




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faced

Back in July my friend sent me a link / invitation to join Facebook. So I set up a basic profile and left it at that. Other than the four or five people who have send friend requests based on the fact (I assume) that we have the same last name (BG's last name... and I can count on two hands the number of people I actually know with his last name), it's been quiet over there. So quiet I couldn't remember if I already had an account when my sister sent me a similar link/invitation to join. Then, yesterday, out of the clear blue I got a friend request from someone who actually knew me way back when. Which totally got me thinking about way back when and all the people I've lost contact with. And that led to thoughts about one particular set of friends and then one particular event and eventually to one particular person. Who, it turns out, also has a Facebook profile.

There's a fair amount of background surrounding that particular person and I've started no less than 17 drafts covering all the details. Maybe someday I'll have coaxed my memories into readable form and actually post it. But for this post, a summary will do: I had a mad crush on him for two years (read: an eternity in high school). Our friendship was generally an easy one, but wanting more than friendship led me to act like an idiot more than once, culminating in The Prom Incident, the aftermath of which was as close to social hell as I ever care to get. People got hurt, blame was cast, and, at least in my memory, I was the pariah of the the final two (three?) weeks of school. My family moved that summer, but he and I stayed in touch through letters and the occasional card. For how long, I'm not sure.

I came across a notebook filled with letters and notes and other high-school paraphernalia while at my parents house this summer. Amongst the back-and-forth notes, birthday cards, and badly posed pictures, I found his final letter to me; a letter filled with hurt, disappointment, anger, and confusion.

I have revisited The Prom Incident many times over the years -- it is, undoubtedly, the chapter of my life of which I am most ashamed. Usually, though, all the uncomfortable feelings can be assuaged with a carefully timed piece of chocolate (read: hormonal much?). There are those times when Uncle Hershey doesn't do the trick, though, and I carefully go over each and every detail, examining where I was wrong and where I was wronged. My own little pity party, attendance:1. A party that ends somewhere around 2am with the sweeping decision to get up the next morning, find all those people involved, make amends, and spend the rest of our days holding hands around the campfire singing Kumbaya. That determination generally stays strong through a couple of Google-ing attempts, occasionally right through lunch time. But by mid afternoon I've convinced myself that I've fallen victim to hormones/poor sleep/poor diet/the cross eyed look that the checker at the grocery store gave me yesterday morning and that what I really need to do is get over myself already and get the floors scrubbed. It was high school for crissake. Everyone is stupid in high school and everyone else has probably already moved on. And then I'm good for the next 26-27 days or so.

And then I found this letter and it all came flooding back to me again. Only this time my memories didn't end with the school year or the relief I felt when my parents announced we were moving so I wouldn't have to look at all those people after summer break and wonder how many of them were still whispering behind their hands. Narcissistic much? You betcha. Aren't most 17-year-olds? No, this time the credits didn't roll until after I had received a most heart-felt missive from him, responded, and then received this, his final letter to me.

Rereading his letter, I cringed. The real shame of that chapter of my life was not the self-serving acts of a teenage girl, but rather that I so easily dismissed a friendship over a set of values that I wasn't yet mature enough to truly claim as my own. Values that, as I aged and (hopefully) matured, I discovered weren't my own. Rereading his letter, I wept. Quietly, inwardly I mourned. The senseless loss.

Returning home, I started my quest to find him anew. Not knowing what I would say if I ever found him, but determined to do what I could to, well, I wasn't sure what. Apologize at the very least. And now, quite by coincidence, I've got a viable way to contact him. Viable, but maybe not practical. A friend request seems premature -- real or imagined in my mind only, there are still broken fences to mend before I could easily suggest that we reminisce. Does Facebook have an "I'm sorry I was such an immature, hate-spouting, judgemental, closed minded, unsupportive, uninformed, homophobic bitch back when you most needed the love and support of your friends" nudge? 'Cause that'd be a step in the right direction.


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oh, and did i tell you

that BG got pulled over the other day? While running?

Apparently local law enforcement's got time on their hands running on the shoulder of the road is a no-no 'round here. Who knew?


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settling

A few weeks back, Dr. R introduced me to the concept of "good enough parenting". Striving to be the "perfect" parent, he suggested, is nothing more than an exercise in futility. There is no such thing and the pursuit of which only leads to guilt, guilt, guilt, and more guilt. Topped off with an extra large scoop of stress and a little guilt cherry on top. Instead, he proposed, work to be good enough.

Sounds easy enough. Should be no problem to back off on the expectations, right? Just dial 'em down a notch. Relax a little. Take off the pressure. Good enough is good enough. Simple concept.

Except that it's not. Reconciling myself to being "good" when I could be "better"; to being "enough" when I could be "more" has become my newest obsession. Which, I'm fairly certain, is not at all what the good Dr. intended.

My childhood was filled with lessons about striving for more. Giving my all. "Anything worth doing is worth doing right." Nature or nurture, I took those admonitions to heart and somewhere along the line became a creature given to extremes. I'm "freezing" or "roasting"; never just cool or warm. I think, speak, and write in ALL CAPS WITH EXCLAMATION POINTS AT THE END OF EVERY SENTENCE!!! My initial impression is either blackest black or whitest white.

This notion of settling is not settling well. I keep reminding myself that this is a journey towards balance. Towards the middle. Towards harmony. Towards peace. "Everything in moderation," my grandfather was fond of admonishing us. Of course, he always tagged on "...especially moderation." What the crap is a girl suppose to walk away from that with?


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negotiation

"Come on, son, you need to get your shoes on."
"Um, inna minnit."
"No, let's do it now. Then you're ready to go out and play when C gets here."
"Um. No, not today. I haffa wait til mine friend comes home."
"C's already on his way. Let's get your shoes on before he gets here."
"I don't fink so. I haffa wait til mine udder friend comes a mine house. C comes a mine house, den I pway outside."
"But you need your shoes on before you play outside."
"Um. Wats dat, Mommy?"
"That's your shoe, Boog."
"Dat's mine shoe, Mommy. No mine sandal."
"Yep. We're going to wear shoes today. It's too cool for your sandals this morning. Let's get your shoes on so you're all ready to play when C gets here."
"Um. I don't want to. I haffa wait til mine friend come a our house."
"Well, C will be here in just a minute. Here we go. Shoes on now."
"Um. Lemme fink."
"Okay. While you're thinking, put your feet over here."
...(putting shoes on feet)...
"Tie mine shoes, Mommy. Tie mine shoes and den I getta jelly bean."
"Okay, Boog, I'm tying... what? Who said anything about jelly beans?"
"Sigh. I haffa wait til mine friend come a mine house. Den I getta jelly bean. Okay, Mommy?"
"Whatever. I'm giving jelly beans to a two year old before breakfast for the honor of tying his shoes."


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for richard

...who pointed out the irony in me posting about not being around to post for a week when it's not unusual for me to go 3 weeks without a new post. And because Dr. R has become rather insistent that I give my over-worked sense of responsibility a rest and take a little time to do something I want to do on a more regular basis. It's funny (pitiful funny, not "ha-ha" funny) how easy it is to get caught up in the have-to's and lose sight of that part of life that makes all those have-to's worth doing. But that's a post for another day. For now the plan is to try to rearrange my morning routine so that it includes some me time. Or, more accurately, me talking writing about me LG the family something. Probably some meaningless drivel, but hey, that way you know it's authentic!

So here's the rundown of the weekend:

Saturday marked the kibillionth annual extravaganza that is Family Day for the Evil Empire. We got up with God and drove to Tiburon to catch a ferry over to Angel Island. At exactly too late to turn around and go back o'clock, I remembered that we didn't have the camera. Again. So no photographic proof of this adventure. But you weren't expecting pictures, were you. Anyways, LG lurved the ferry ride watching the jelly-fish looking at the sailboats watching the little flappy-things on the top of the smoke-stack thingies and asking "Mommy, what that noisy?" over and over and over and over. A good friend sent this to me shortly after LG started developing a personality.



At the time I thought it was funny. Hilarious, even. Now I realize that it was a warning.

Anyways... So we ferried over to the island, then caught a tram from one side of the island to the other. After a thorough inspection of the nuts and bolts of our seat (aka a tram ride), we joined a zillion of our closest friends for a day of face-painting, balloon art, volley-ball, soccer, hula-hooping, playing in the sand / water before the sand castle competition, and stuffing our faces. The weather was perfect, the company was awesome, and LG fell asleep almost as soon as we got him buckled into his seat for the ride home. All-in-all, a fabulous day.

Sunday was pay-for-the-sins-of-excess-from-the-day-before-day, beginning with the ultra-fabulous get up before God to go for a 9.5 mile run. Because once upon a time someone slipped a stupid pill into my drink and then suggested that I could run a half marathon. And no one around me cared enough to point out the obvious (namely: I hate running) complications with such a plan. Want to know what it looks like when the three of us hit the running trail? Imagine a strong, lithe gazelle gracefully covering the distance between watering holes out in the unspoiled African grasslands. Pushing a jogging stroller, but strong and fluid, nonetheless. Now picture something like this trying to keep up.



And that would be me following BG and LG. On a good day. Which Sunday was not. Think a lot more sweat and a fair amount of swearing. Note to self: Run day is not a good day to skip the coffee. My run time(2 hours, 7 minutes) Ess-You-See-Kay, sucked, but I got the mileage in. And I burnt off 1387 calories. So woo-hoo, go me. Show of hands: who thinks I need to investigate a different work-out activity once this race is over?

We followed up the fun of the morning by driving down to help a co-worker of BG's load all her furniture into a big truck (read: BG helped. I "watched" LG. And tried to remember how to breathe sans asthmatic wheezing sounds.). After lunch, we drove home to get hell the optional suite ready to receive said furniture. Yep, we're embarking on the roommate journey. And Dr. R has already given me the look, so any negative comments / assvice about my mental state being in no way, shape, or form ready to take on the added stress of having another woman live in my home are unnecessary, thankyouverymuch. We'll deal. It'll be good mental strength training.

Ta-da! That was our weekend. How was yours?


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