A New Era

March 27, 2008

After so many dark nights and cloudy days, two nights ago the clouds parted, the heavens were revealed, and choruses of angels rang out on the world.  I’ve said before that Boy Blue hasn’t had a good sleep since we went to Canada.  (That was seven and a half months ago if you were stuck on the math.)  The thing is, before that he was only four months old, so while he was a better sleeper before than after, he was still up a couple of times a night.

The past month has been especially horrendous, his night patterns have been more grueling than when he was a newborn.  I have completely derailed my getting healthy weight loss strategy because sheer survival has led me to the foods I know I should not binge.  (Curses to those wonderful people at Reese’s and Cadbury’s.)  My brain has been as foggy as when I was pregnant.  Most days have been a war of attrition.  And most of all I worried that my not-quite-one-year-old was sleeping less in a day than his three year old brother.

This week, every night as I put him to bed, going to sleep later and later each night (Saturday he didn’t wind down until 11pm!  I was napping on the couch waiting for him to get sleepy,) I started each night with a small glimmer of hope/faith/comfort that things were going to turn around.  I just knew that things would get better soon.  Not just that desperate “things have to get better because they can’t get worse” hope, but a true spark of faith that things would truly get better soon.

Two nights ago he went down at 10:30, and awoke again at 11:30.  I was geared up for another long night, but our next waking was not until 7 am.  The clouds parted, the heavens opened, and legions of angels sang with the morning songbirds.

He did wake up shrieking, but I was just so happy to have slept through the night for the first time in … years?

Last night he went down at 9:30, not waking until 7.  This morning he woke up happily, and I got him when I heard him shaking his crib and starting to talk. 

The clouds parted, the heavens opened, and every celestial being cried out “HALLELUJAH!” 

Tomorrow the little man turns one, and I have so much hope for this coming year.



March 21, 2008

Whenever I get really sick of hemorrhaging all our money on rent and gas out here, I move us across the country.  With the help of realtor.com and careerbuilder.com (and google maps, of course!) I choose different areas and pretend for a couple of days that we are moving there.

I have had three such fantasies in the past week.

1.  Going back to VA:  in this fantasy I have no only chosen the area, but figured out employment, and short- and long-term goals.  I knew how I could supplement our income (I even knew the pay scale for my husband’s job.)  I already know the community and had weighed the pros and cons of the different schools (I even know many of the teachers still in the area.)  I had everything all figured out.

2.  Giving Vegas a second chance: regardless of how much I hated Las Vegas last year, it occurred to me that it isn’t a bad place to live, as long as you can handle the heat.  (I’m not sure I can, but stay with me.)  As Vegas was one of the over-built areas during the boom, it has now replaced Detroit as the highest foreclosure rate in the country.  We could buy a three bedroom, three bathroom house, built in 2005, on the same street as my brother-in-law and his wife.  They’re having a baby next month, and I think it would be good for the cousins to be friends.  (And I really like Nancee.)  In this scenario I don’t have the job figured out yet, but my computer time has been very sketchy lately.  As for the heat, well my brand-new house will have a/c, of course, and we’ll get our exercise indoors.  Not ideal, but nothing is perfect.  The trick is finding ways to make anything work.

3.  Stay here:  My brother-in-law out here is looking at the possibility of moving up to Los Angeles, if his firm gets bought-out.  In this scenario we would be able to keep our employment, friends, resources.  The only change would be that Mark buys a nice place in La Canada, and to help him with his mortgage, we would rent out his back house. 

Other fantasies I have entertained this year include Detroit, Kansas City, and north of Seattle.  A girl can dream, right?

Girls’ Day at the Getty

March 10, 2008

When Mary Ann first told me, back in December, that what she wanted to do for her birthday was to take Grace and me to the Getty Villa and to lunch, I didn’t really know what to think.  She said she figured that Grace and I looked like the most fun people in the ward and she wanted to get to know us better.  I was shocked.  I could see why she wanted to get to know Grace better — the woman is a superstar — but I was just that crazy presidency member that got on her when she didn’t have a sub for her class.

By the time the big day came along (last Saturday) I knew she was genuine in her desires and I was really excited at a girls’ day out.  (Well, Boy Blue and little Hugh came in tow, but Little Red and our respective husbands did not.)  I drove, as I had the only vehicle big enough to fit three adults and two car seats, and the traffic was easy once we got off the 110.

And it was a perfect day in Malibu.  Sky bled into the water and softly licked the sand in a steady surf.  The weather was warm without being hot.  People lazily started their weekends.  The beach was calm. 

The Getty Villa was beautiful.  I loved all of it, but I especially loved the Peristyles.

Outer PeristyleInner Peristyle

In the Outer Peristyle (first photo) I love how you can see the ocean beyond the pool from the fountain.  The sky, the ocean, and the pool were all the same colour.  In the Inner Peristyle (second photo) I was taken by the perfectly framed mosaic across the gardens, through the atrium, and on the opposite side of the East Garden.

But really, it was all gorgeous.  It was all wonderful.

When we were done we went to Little Tokyo for some Korean BBQ (as our original plan, sushi, got canned when Grace reminded us that she couldn’t have sushi as she is pregnant.)  By the time we got there it was after 2pm, so they were not busy.  The wait staff oohed and aahed over Hugh (my boy was slowing waking from a nap and giving some pretty strong “stay back” vibes.)  They even took him for a walk, and when he came back he was proudly carrying a horrid yellow stuffed bunny.  (With one glance I knew Grace was planning on dumping the thing in the DI bin when she got home.)  I was nervous when he was gone, and Grace too, although she kept reminding herself that this was “very Asian” behaviour;  she would know, having lived in Japan for several years.  Mary Ann, too, reminded me that this was “very Asian”, and I guess she would know, too, being Filippino.  But even she got up and checked on him, and hinted to the ladies that we’d like to be able to see him.

The food was amazing.  Boy Blue wasn’t interested in the Kim Chee or the chicken, but he had a great time with the chopsticks and straws.  When we went across the plaza for some mochi he perked up, and would have eaten my entire mango mochi ball if I had let him.  Skip the nutrition and go straight for dessert?  Yes, this boy is definitely my progeny.

After spending such a pristine day in Malibu, coming home to chew my air was so disappointing.  But even the very poor air quality was not enough to ruin my day.  I’m going back, hopefully this summer to catch a Shakespearean play in the open theatre.

He Sucks His Green Thumb

March 9, 2008

On Friday night we went out to Home Depot to buy a potted plant for a friend.  She was taking me and another girl out to the Getty and lunch in celebration of her birthday.  I had offered to drive, but I also wanted to give her a gift.  With my limited budget I calculated that a plant would be the least likely to look cheap.  And anyone who wanted to go to the Getty Villa would probably appreciate plants in addition to archetecture and antiquities.

I had in mind some tulips, with our gorgeous spring weather on my face, but when I saw the arranged succulent collections I knew that was the right choice; Mary-Ann works all the time, she needs a plant she can ignore.  When we got home Little Red was completely in love with the plant.  I reminded him that it was not for us, but for Mary-Ann and he had a complete melt-down.

He neared epic tantrum proportions over a cactus, even after we promised him that tomorrow he could go buy his own.  I’m not sure how we got him to bed that night, but the next morning when he saw it in the bag with a bow he started up again.  “You can go to Home Depot on your Daddy Adventure and choose your own,”  I offered.

“I want this one.”

“They have bigger ones.”

“I want this one.”

“And they have ones with different plants and different rocks.”

“I want this one.”

Finally I got smart.  “And they have ones that look just like this.” 

With a gulp he executed his patended stop-cry. 

When I returned from my adventure and caught up on what they had done on their adventure I saw that he had, indeed, bought the same thing.  Only his had a bigger rock.  Sounds like a win-win to me.


March 5, 2008

I’m not in a funk, but I’m not in a groove.  I’m not out of sync, but I’m not really in sync, either.  I’m just … floating I guess.  I have all sorts of thoughts trapeezing through my mind, somtimes I catch them before they fly away, but when I convert them to words it’s all disjointed.

I tried to open up to a friend this week, explaining something about which I struggle, and I ended up offending her.  I tried to blog some really deep feelings this weekend, but it was a rhetorical post and I forgot to make it private before I posted, so then I had to pull it after my friends had commented — it’s not you, it’s me, I was documenting my thoughts for my journal; I didn’t mean to share them publicly. 

In some ways I’m really pleased with myself, I’ve had more consecutive days in a row of leaving for work with the kitchen clean than I can remember (this morning I even cleaned out and wiped down the fridge!)  It’s like something clicked and suddenly the housework is easier. 

But I’m really in a fog in a lot of other aspects of my life.  I’m trying to find where I fit in.  I’m trying to find a nitche for my brain.  I’m trying to anticipate the next step in our family’s future.  I’m trying to keep up with the ever-evolving emotional and educational needs of my boys.  I’m trying to understand that my baby is learning to walk.  I can read an entire book aloud to the boys without even realizing what I’ve read, because my mind is off elsewhere.

Can I have it both ways?  Can I keep what’s going right and still turn around what isn’t?  hmmmm.  Turning off the computer again might help.  It often does.