This is MY Year

February 29, 2008

It seems like every other day another friend announces her pregnancy.  Well, that’s an exageration, but what’s not an exageration is that a good fraction of my friends are, indeed, pregnant.  (Congratulations to Jamie whose husband just broke the news.)  I’m so happy for them.  I’m so excited in anticipation of the little peanuts’ arrivals, so excited for more playfriends.  I love watching the older siblings learn about the babies’ impending arrivals.  I love watching my friend get bigger and bigger.  (Not in the mean way!  I think pregnancy is very beautiful.)

What makes me happiest of all, however, is knowing this year I am not getting pregnant.  I am completely happy to watch all my friends’ families expand, and joy increase.  As I watch them waddle along in discomfort and tell me how tired they are all I can hear is a ticker-tape parade in my mind chanting “I’m not getting pregnant this year!”  Woo Hoo! 

Right now I can hardly handle the two I’ve got — this morning’s soundtrack was the two of them screaming all.  morning.  long.  I really want our household to get more organized.  I really want to clean up some of our finances.  I really want to spend more one-on-one time with my children.  I am not ready for another.  I’m so happy for all of you.  I’m so much more happier for me. 

Now all I need to do is make sure that I’m not gaining any of those nasty sympathy pounds.  I’m supposed to LOSE weight this year and so far I’m not off to a great start.

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

February 24, 2008

I think I may have lost the war. 

Of course I blame his cousin* — isn’t it always easy to blame the cousins for importing things into your own -perfect- child’s life?  His cousin is older, and obsessed with Darth Vader.  Finally, after Little Red’s birthday, we let him watch Star Wars (the original first one, which is pretty tame I must say.)  We cautiously explained to him all the characters, defining them as “good guys” and “bad guys”.  He’s no dummy, it didn’t take him any time at all to realize his cousin’s idol was a “bad guy”.  Thus courting the dark side began.

Since then it’s been nothing but good guys and bad guys.  He wants to be a bad guy for Halloween.  Boy Blue is a bad guy.  I am a bad guy.  Darth Vader is a good guy.  I thought we had made some major strides this week, when he affirmed that Darth Vader was a bad guy but he was a good guy, and later when he announced, unprompted (but following our trip to the Big D), “pirates are bad guys and they have sharp swords.”

Today in church he announced to his class that Jesus was a bad guy. 

Wouldn’t you know it?  The only thing those three year olds heard and remembered from the lesson was his comment.  I have several more parents to contact and to whom I should apologize in advance lest they think the delinquency of their children is somehow their own doing.

*** I actually really love his cousin.  He’s a great kid, and his parents are really on the ball.


It’s Official

February 24, 2008

If you recall, last summer I was called to be the primary 2nd councilor.  With the shuffling of boundaries and leadership I was temporarily without a calling, although I spent my free agent time in primary anyway.

The first Sunday after the changes I dropped off Little Red when the pres, Linda, grabbed me by the arm and in a tone of slight desperation said, “don’t leave.”  I didn’t.  I conducted the music for opening exercises, did music time with the nursery, and added crowd control and moral support for the final hour.  The next week I subbed for the Sunbeam class.

This week it’s official and my calling is . . . primary 2nd councilor.  🙂  Same calling, but completely different responsibilities.  The biggest difference is that we are retaking control of the scouting, now that we have the numbers to warrant it.  Being a unit commissioner for Cub Scouts was a scary concept.  I mean, I had been a Brownie and a Girl Guide (although I don’t think I saw the second to completion) and I knew the history of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, but I didn’t feel qualified in any way to do what was suddenly requested.  On Saturday I started my New Leader Essentials Training and I feel much less scared.  (I now know whom to contact with all my questions.  That’s all I need, right?)

I’m so excited!  Scouting is such a beneficial program, and as my husband is an Eagle Scout I’m especially motivated to involve our boys in the program when it is time.  This current responsibility for me will not only benefit the boys in the program now, but better prepare me for when it’s time for my own boys to join.  Hooray!


Dulac is a Perfect Place

February 22, 2008

Wednesday we played hookey.  Paul and I both took the day off work so that we could enjoy a day at Disneyland as a family — so I guess if we made the plans in advance and informed our employers/clients, then it’s not really hookey.  (The SoCal Select passes don’t work on weekends or major holidays, and I’m not a big fan of crowds anyway.  Besides, there’s something about weekends that are much more like work and a lot less like holiday.  What we wanted was a holiday.)  We have instituted a new family tradition of “Family Day.” We’re going to do something like this every year.

My SIL and her two kids joined up with us and we spent a perfect day in the magic kingdom.  When we finally decided to stop playing and eat it was quite late.  A balloon man came to our table and offered to make Little Red whatever he desired.  As my baby is finally discovering the dark side of things, he lit up at the offer of a sword (not surprising giving how many pirates he had seen that day.)  The man made him not only a sword, but a belt holster and a very elaborate pirate hat.  It was very entertaining and it made Little Red feel very special.  I was just pleased to find out that the balloon makers are paid by the park and only accept tips from the guests.

Boy Blue was less entertained.  He sat in his chair and banged on the table.  A really bad feeling washed over me, and suddenly I looked up to see our pizza flipped over and on the ground.  I didn’t think his arms were long enough to knock it, I think possibly he just hit the table hard enough that the pie bounced off the tray.  Regardless, I was grateful we each had some pizza on our trays so that we wouldn’t hungry, and without saying a word I got up, cleaned up the mess, and returned to my seat.  When I’m really mad, I’m really quiet.  I was very quiet.  I was ready to finish what was on our plates, pay the bill, and get on the road to Glendale.

Within no time (and not because we called any attention to ourselves) our waiter was picking up the pieces of our broken meal while the manager asked Paul was kind of pizza it had been (unrecognizable at this point.)  He assured us we’d have a new one in 4-5 minutes (they cook in a wood-burning oven at 600-700 degrees.)  I was shocked.  It wasn’t a mistake on their part and they owed us nothing.  They didn’t need to do that, but they did, without a second thought, and both stayed very near us and checked up on us often to make sure our dinner there was a positive experience.  They truly went above and beyond.  SO Disney.

Sing with me “Dulac is, Dulac is, Dulac is a per-fect place!”

oh, I mean Disneyland.


Music Therapy

February 20, 2008

Now that I’m older, I don’t have the stereo playing constantly, but when I was a teen I didn’t feel I could function without the music.  The boy I tutor also likes having the music playing while he does his homework.  (Although to illustrate the difference in technology between us, I studied to mix tapes and the few cds I owned or was borrowing from a friend.  Daniel’s musical selections come from youtube.com.)

I find some of his selections amusing: the Eagles, the Beatles, and Pachelbel’s Canon in D, in addition to modern ballads and piano covers of anime theme songs.  Some of the music I enjoy myself, the “rocked out” versions of Canon are amusing, and I’ve always had a spot for the Beatles.  Some of the music is painful, like the anime stuff.  Composed by dilettantes it’s repetitive without being minimalist, has no form or structure, and often doesn’t even end on the tonic.  I’m the fuddy-duddy complaining that the teen’s music is assaulting my cochlea, except that he prefers the quiet, mellow stuff and I’d rather rock!

Last night was the worst assault to date, as he insisted on finishing his geometry to the theme from Titanic.  As he prefers piano covers to the original recordings this is not meant as a bash on Celine Dion (although I was glad to have dodged the bullet there, too) but rather a reaction to the associations I have to that particular piece.

I love how music can evoke such wonderful memories and feelings I can’t put to words.  I love how music can take me back to another time and for a few brief moments I feel fearless, strong, and unstoppable.  I hate how music can evoke such painful memories and feelings I don’t want to recall.  I hate how music can take me back to another time and for many more lingering moments I feel trapped, weak, and filled with regret.

Last night I was swamped with memories of the boy who stalked me and the boy whose heart I crushed.

Purge purge purge with the Foo Fighters.  Purge with Alice in Chains.  Sing along with the Flaming Lips and feast on Cake and Cracker.  The last half hour of tutoring before I could hop into the car and play my music was a marathon of endurance.  I couldn’t wait to rid myself of the pain.  I couldn’t wait to purge.


Dating Again After All This Time…

February 19, 2008

It was our first date in two years, and only our fourth date since becoming parents — yikes!  We had to do something quickly or we would have slipped from happily married to dysfunctional.  If anything, I’m sure we could have kept the “fun” in dysfunctional, I still think I’d rather stay happily married.  I digress…

Paul’s parents have sent us some money for a romantic dinner.  Last year we used it for a membership to the Aquarium.  This year we decided to actually go out to dinner.  We went to McCormick and Schmick’s.  Yum!  Paul had some Santa Barbara swordfish and I had some South African Black Ruff.  It was so nice to be out without wrestling with children’s menus, sippy cups, and crayons.  We were a little embarassed, though, when we realized that it had been two years since we’d been on a date.

TWO YEARS!

I’d like to add to my new year’s resolutions that Paul and I take at least one more date just us this year.  We love the boys and we love taking them with us, but we need time just us.


Renting Rant

February 11, 2008

(I’m sorry in advance for the whining.)

Are people idiots?  Seriously.

In our 9-unit complex we’ve had the following problems in the past year+:

* someone dumped two bags of cement down the drain wherein lies the pump to keep the garage from flooding

* someone had been feeding the local cats to ensure our pet problem

* someone (probably the philantropist who had been feeding the cats) tied open the humane trap so the cats could get in, eat, and leave while our landlords paid rent on a glorified feeder

* someone broke the lock to tamper -several times- with the timed lights in the garage

* someone keeps inviting their friends to park in the garage in such a way that it makes it virtually impossible for me to get in or out

* now that the cats are no longer using the lavender beds in front of my door as a litter box (most of them are up for adoption at the Pasadena Humane Society — they’re cute, please take them home!) my neighbours are using it as an ash tray.

Blurg.