Luck, Be a Lady

May 30, 2008

It’s half an hour past my bedtime, and I haven’t showered, finished cleaning, finished packing, or even finished the laundry.  Tomorrow morning we’re hoping to beat the heat as we drive through the desert to Vegas. 

I’m really tired, and frustrated that despite my best efforts, all the men in my life are conspiring to keep me from being productive.  But most of all I’m hoping that since the situation surrounding this trip is completely different from last year’s trip, that it will be a much more pleasant experience.

My goals this trip:

* cuddle my new nephew enough that I can get to know him, but not so much that my own babies get jealous

* let Paul buy a tie from the brand-new Zadi store, as Andrew’s Ties is a tradition that stems from Italy

* go to the M&Ms store (buy a cute shirt for each boy)

* FINALLY see the Bellagio fountains

* FINALLY go swimming in a hotel pool

* don’t crash the car

* don’t get dehydrated

* don’t lose a child in the hotel

Be back late Monday!!!


Move over, Martha!

May 27, 2008

While shopping for our bbq food yesterday I noticed that a half-flat of strawberries was on sale for $6.99.  Suddenly my mind went wild.  Tara had told me just the other day how easy freezer jam is and suddenly my mind went crazy.

At the next store I bought pectin and some freezer jars, and returned to Golden Farms for the strawberries.

In the time it took me to make the bread yesterday afternoon I made 11 1/2 jars of strawberry jam, including a trip to the Glendale Ralph’s looking unsuccessfully for pectin which resulted in another trip to the Burbank Ralph’s to stand in the longest lines in history just for another package of pectin.

This morning we dined on homemade whole-wheat bread with homemade strawberry jam.  I didn’t, however, churn my own butter.

I Love My Friends

May 27, 2008

What a wonderful long-weekend! 

On Friday night, as the second installment of Freeley Fridays, Paul and I dropped the boys off with our friends and went to a movie!  For most of our marriage, a first-run theatre has always been a bit of a trek, so going to the movies was always a big deal.  In Hawaii our favourite date-night theatre was the Ko’olau Theatres in Temple Valley.  In Virginia we went to the movies in Roanoke after a day of shopping and eating at chain restaurants.  This weekend, getting the boys fed and in their pyjamas and dropped off was a big enough deal that when we got to the AMC megaplex in Burbank I slipped back several years and felt like we were on a date pre-children.  It was nice.  We saw the Indiana Jones movie.  It was, if possible, cornier than we had imagined, but highly entertaining.  I admit I was a little let-down with the plot choice.  But what I really wanted was a big, fun movie on a big screen.  I got what I wanted.  The best part was when we picked up the boys, one was asleep and the other didn’t want to leave — truly they had a good time.

Saturday evening we went down to Orange County for my nephew’s birthday party.  I always enjoy spending time with my in-laws, but spending time with their friends always makes me so grateful for mine.  Little Boy Blue was targeted all evening by another boy who jumped him every chance he could.  I spent the whole evening running defense.  The parents were completely clueless.  The other parents could be heard from the sidelines of the park, laughing about how funny it was.  Boy Blue was fine (because we were never far from him so no real damage occured) but we drove the whole way home so very happy that we have the friends we do.

And finally last night we had a bbq and game night with the families of our preschool group.  The dads got some PS3 time in before the food, Paul got to show off his amazing pork tenderloin (even I like it and I am not a carnivore), and then we all played MarioKart on the Wii.  As we left the dads were already planning our next such event.

At this moment all three boys are sleeping.  First day back to work after a long weekend is exhausting, and I think instead of cleaning up the morning’s toys I will have a little rest myself.  Trucking 40 pounds of cute up and down the stairs wears me out!

Who’s Your Daddy?

May 14, 2008

Yesterday Aiden was wearing a onesie that said “Who’s Your Daddy?” and had a picture of Darth Vader.  Little Red immediately noticed the Star Wars theme and we read all the words and talked about the picture.

“Who’s Darth Vader’s Daddy?”  he asked. 

“I’m not sure.”

“I think it’s Darth Vader.” 

“Well, sometimes boys are named after their Daddies, so that makes sense.”

Little Red thought for a minute and then asked, “Who’s Aiden’s Daddy?”

“Well, sweetie, I don’t know what his name is.”

Little Red was quiet for a while, putting all the pieces together: Janel, Aiden, the shirt.

“I think Aiden’s Daddy is Darth Vader.”

And Baby Makes Three

May 5, 2008

Today is day three of “boot camp.”  We’re all doing very well.  On Thursday Aiden drank half an ounce.  On Friday a full ounce.  Today we’re pushing an ounce and a half.  It’s a very time consuming process, but he’s shown so much growth already.  I’m very optimistic.  Yes, by the time his mother comes home for lunch (she works two blocks away!) he’s ready for a good feed, but I’m able to keep the hunger pangs at bay and help him stay his happy self.  He no longer gags with the bottle (still a little with rice cereal, but that’s pretty normal as he’s only been eating that for a week.)  I don’t know that he’ll ever have a normal latch on the bottle, but as long as he develops some sort of conveyance into his mouth, we don’t really care.

At this moment all three boys are asleep.  This doesn’t happen every day, as Boy Blue is the founding father of the Stagger Nappers, Inc.  (Today he chose to skip his morning nap and went down early for his afternoon nap so my time is definitely limited.)  At moments like these I think, “this is totally doable!  This is great!”  I still think people who deliberately have their children close together are insane, but I am starting to understand how they make it work.

I’m more glad now than ever before that our place is a townhouse.  With the bedrooms upstairs the sleeping ones are buffered from the chaos downstairs.  With only one morning of moving and pushing I was able to make room for all three beds in the boys’ room.  Preschooler, Toddler, and Infant each have their personal spaces in the bedroom.  The warped walls in the picture come from the autostitching (I was lazy and only stitched two photos together) which makes the whole thing look pretty crowded.  One of these days I may redo the photo, doing it right with a million little photos.  Or I may not.  I’m pretty busy these days.

\"And Baby Makes Three\"

The bread is done, and needs my attention.  The dishes are calling, as is the spilled milk on the carpet.  And I was hoping to pick up the morning’s toys.

Singing off…

(but isn’t it just SO GREAT that I have a computer again?!?!?!?!?)

When I’m Tired, I’m Grumpy

May 3, 2008

I’ve tried to keep my employment out of my blog for the most part.  I want to respect the privacy of my clients.  I enjoy tutoring and I feel I’ve done a good job this year of relating with Daniel.  For his part he has shown a lot of improvement.  Things have gone really smoothly, and any friction has been worked out quickly (and has been mild.)

Everything would be perfect (gas prices notwithstanding) if it were not for the ever-changing schedule.  What began as 5-6 daily became a fluctuating at-whim mess until I finally had to put my foot down last winter and request either we return to the original schedule or I raise my rates.  It was just too hard for Esme, for my family, and for me.  This spring the schedule began to shift again, and I did my best to accomodate Daniel’s desires to go to as many tennis practices as he could.  I think balance is really important.  But I tried to make it clear that it would be temporary and that when I began watching Aiden “everything would return to 5.”

Yesterday afternoon he called me at 3:45 asking when I was coming (expecting me to have been there at 3:30 so we could fit in tutoring before tennis.)  I reminded him that now that it was May things went back to 5.  “Oh, I thought that was just Thursdays.”  I politely apologized for the misunderstanding, that I didn’t realize when I told him “everything would return to 5” that he didn’t understand that everything would return to 5.  He had a game, so we had to cancel tutoring last night.  (Which, I confess, helped me out a great deal.  At the time of that call Boy Blue had still not taken his afternoon nap.  And I knew we’d have a late night with the first Phreeley Friday Pajama Party at our house.  A success, but another story.)

Laaaaaaate last night I got an email from the father, trying to get me to reconsider my Fridays, explaining why tennis is so important to Daniel, and guilting me by telling me that if Daniel has to give up tennis he’ll be very depressed.  I replied with some alternate suggestions I thought would work, and have yet to hear back from him.  I’m sure in a day or two we’ll have a solution and this will all be taken care of.

BUT IN THE MEANTIME I’m frustrated and insulted.  I realize that Daniel is an only child so it’s easy for his whims to dictate the schedule of his household.  I understand that.  I think it’s great that he has such dedicated parents.  Good for him.  Good for them.  What bothers me is that they don’t understand that I am not a part of the Daniel-centered world and that it is a lot harder for me and my galaxy to adjust on a whim.  If I made a commitment to babysit until 4:40 (at which time I have to say, “hi!  here’s your child, see you tomorrow!” and hop into the car) then I am totally unable to tutor at 3:30, no matter how valid the reason.  If I made the commitment before the tennis changes happened, then I am not in any way trying to work them over.  And if during the course of time when I did tutor early I kept reminding Daniel that it all went back to 5 in May because of my previous commitment, then obviously I’m not being unreasonable.

Am I blowing this out of proportion?  Yes.  Do I know I should be folding laundry so I can sleep instead of venting about something I know isn’t worth it?  Yes.  But do I feel invalidated?  Do I feel disrespected?  Yes.  However, I’m registering my complaints with the cosmos.  Once it’s out, it’s no longer in.  And I can move on.  I bid you all goodnight.  It is one hour past my bedtime so I am off to fold the laundry on my bed and have a shower.

***EDIT*** Monday morning he replied to my email, saying he “kind of” agreed with my suggestion that Daniel could take Fridays off tutoring in May.  (Scheduling conflicts aside, I actually have been thinking for a while that he needed an opportunity to prove how much he has grown this year.) 

🙂  This is me, very relieved.

Dude, You’re Getting a Dell!

May 3, 2008

In the middle of last month our old computer pooped out.  We’re pretty sure the RAM flizzled out but with all the work we’ve done on that thing already (and it’s less than two years old) we decided to cut our losses.  It was a very tough decision for me, because as you may have already guessed, that was NOT what I wanted to do with our tax refund.  Paul was very sweet, and went through the process slowly, allowing me time to adjust to the idea that our old computer just wasn’t doing the trick.  He sealed the deal by getting all thrifty and researched a super-amazing deal in which we got $325 off a Dell Inspiron with free shipping.

Dell, for their part, gave us a 4-year warranty (which satisfies my demand that we will not buy another computer until after we are out of debt,) a very fancy set-up, and shipped earlier than promised.  Their customer service has been fantastic.  I can finally stop worrying about how soon it will be before we have to shell out more money on the computer.

(Not having the computer has been a pretty good thing for me.  I had a lot to do to prepare for Aiden, and once we started with him I haven’t stopped moving.)

The new computer arrived yesterday, but I did nothing.  I couldn’t very well set it up when I was trying to get three boys to nap (and babysit the neighbour’s little one.)  I couldn’t very well set it up during the first installment of the Phreeley Friday Pajama Party during which time we had three 3-year olds, an almost 2-year old (with a broken leg) and a newly 1-year old (Boy Blue) in our care. 

This morning I had one hour from the time Little Red woke me up to the time we had to get moving on today’s activities.  I had hopped to catch up on my blogging, on facebook, on emails; I squandered the hour browsing photostreams and blogs trying to figure out how to splice three adjacent photos to make one.  However, now that I have a computer again, hopefully I can catch up on my all-important blogging!  (But only when I have three little boys napping.)