We’re SO LA Now!

July 30, 2010

Wednesday night, after exchanging my boys for Stacey, and we headed over the hill, skipping the freeway, into Hollywood. It’s becoming routine for us, that her husband watches the boys and that she and I go out to Paul’s show, but as it was now summer the sun was setting (instead of set) as we went over Outpost. We saw the most amazing view of the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Observatory and everything was golden in the setting sun. It was truly stunning. If I wasn’t driving up a windy road, and I had my camera, I would have taken a picture that wouldn’t have done it justice anyway. At the same time we got a clear view of the city below, and amazingly the whole scene was without the brown cloud. Even more miraculously, our drive was seasoned with several very courteous drivers.

Paul’s show was a lot of fun. Several of our friends/family showed up, and some of his workmates, too. I felt a little like I was playing hookey to skip out on a Wednesday night, hang out with my friends, watch a comedy show, and keep the boys up to obscene hours, but it was fun. Everything just went so smoothly, perfectly, wonderfully, fun-ly.

After we said our congratulations to Paul and the rest of his classmates, met the owner of ACME, Dan, who was a very genuine person, said our good-byes to all the friends who’d come from all around, and admired the red Ferrarri parked in front of the theatre, we headed back to the car when Paul sent me a text.

“I made Bravo company!!!”

Without taking the Improv class, which we thought to be the next step, he was invited into one of ACME’s regularly performing groups! This means that on Mondays he participates in a pitch session and on Saturdays they perform the best sketches. What a great honour! We’re so excited! But of course, for me it’s still sinking in that my husband is part of a comedy troupe.



July 28, 2010

It’s amazing.

Paul got home at a normal time last night and it didn’t bother me at all that all he could talk about was the car he’s going to buy (yes! BUY!) on Thursday.  It’s all he’s talked about for weeks and finally yesterday it wasn’t driving me crazy.  Don’t ask about the car, more on that after the fact.  The point is, I was able to do my visit with Rachel sans children.  We got Stewie’s Shave Ice, walked laps around the Americana and miraculously spent an hour doing only those two things with absolutely no interruptions.

This following a great first lesson and chat session with some old friends.

It’s not that when I need a break I want to go spend three hours at a spa.  I don’t even need 20 quiet minutes to meditate (although that would be bliss.)  All I ask is for a break from “he took my toy!” “I want a banana!” “why can’t I?” and my “please stop sucking your thumb” “why don’t you try to use the toilet?” “please go to sleep.”  An hour or two of calm conversation with grown ups and I suddenly feel like myself again.

Riding that happy train I loaded up the boys and went to conduct my very first presidency meeting.  The boys played well and mostly left us alone, and when Paul got out of his meeting early he switched cars with me and took the boys home.  My dream team, for their part, is dreamy, and we finished our whole meeting in 1 hour and 20 minutes which is altogether not bad for how many things we had to cover.

I think the sky is even more blue and clear today.

Wherein I rethink prose

July 27, 2010

I’ve been in need of a break for days. Each day I’ve been stumbling through in survival mode, trying to make the most of things, but just getting the bare minimum done. I’ve had no patience for the incessant repetition of questions, for the complete lack of disregard for me as a living person instead of a piece of furniture, and for the absense of tranquility. All of this I know to be aggravated by my own ability to show up to “work” ready. In short, I haven’t brought my “A-game” and they have been eating me alive. But instead of fixing things I’ve been allowing it to make me feel worse.

Finally, last night, after 10pm when they were finally asleep, I chose to take a couple of minutes out of my own precious sleep to read. I had tried before bedtime. I turned on Star Wars for them, let them eat supper on the couch, and tried to find a few minutes to gather myself. What I wanted were two little couch potatoes. But what I got was two lively little boys, acting out the scenes, wrestling, and jumping all over the place to the soundtrack of Star Wars. I was frustrated: why couldn’t they just sit there and watch tv? (That’s all I want to do…)

As I read through the pages I had selected to read last night I happened to be in the middle of a brain development passage that explained exactly why so much movement is so important for children and how modern children are simply not getting enough of it.

OKAY! I get it. I did a terrible thing by WANTING them to be little couch potatoes. I know what I did was wrong. (But where does it talk about the sanity of the mother who hasn’t had a break in who knows how long and just can’t be asked one more question or be expected to do one more thing and just needs a few minutes of peace before the next catastrophe?) But why is it that the few pages of text I read in a day that isn’t part of a picture book has to be a major chastisement of my parenting decisions in the previous couple of hours?

Maybe non-fiction isn’t my favourite type of prose after all. Loosing myself in some trite story would have been much easier on my conscience.

It Is Late

July 26, 2010

Dear Children,

please go to sleep. My brain does not turn on until yours are peacefully sawing logs. Until I know that I will not be interrupted at uneven intervals of 1 to 10 minutes, I can’t focus on anything. I don’t really want to spend my night playing Bubble Spinner but I’m not capable of doing anything productive. I can hear you playing. I am so happy that you two are best friends. There is nothing better in the world. But please, please, please go to sleep and resume your play in the morning. This whole staying up late and getting up early is killing me and I have so many big projects going on. Not to mention that as your mother, chef, and maid, I’ve got a lot of practical things on my plate, too.

I love you, very very much.
But I have promises to keep
and miles to go before I ssszzzzzzzzzzzzz

(Kodaly, I think I need to reschedule our date for tomorrow.)

All Is Well

July 25, 2010

I was stunned at the request that I had always somehow known was coming, and teased with things like “don’t you people know I play the piano? I’ve been here for six years and not one music calling yet.” and “you know I make a really good secretary.” I wasn’t trying to back out, I was just trying to lighten the mood because this is big.

The spiritual welfare of 40 children? That’s a whole lot bigger than just taking the attendance and sending out some emails. It’s a whole lot bigger than providing the music or counselling someone else.

I was overcome with the impact of the responsibility of it all, but that was quickly replaced with the comfort of knowing that I was not alone. My staffing was clear to me, and with counsellors by my side I knew I could do what was required of me.

On Friday night as I was putting the boys to bed I was telling Little Red that starting on Sunday I’ll get to be with him in primary again. He wrapped his arms around my neck and said, “I love you, Mummy, you’re the best!” Again, I was nearly overcome. He’s just so sweet, they all are; what a noble stewardship. “This is big,” I told Paul. He replied that I will be great because I recognize that, and that as long as I remember that this is big, I will be just fine. He wasn’t worried, he said, because he knows me well enough to know that I’m not going to forget something important like that.

Today everything is official. While I wasn’t released from my secretarial duties (and felt bad to leave Kathy flying solo, but her husband, the bishop, had given her the head’s up and she came to give me a hug) we started fresh with primary. I have loved my year in relief society more than I’ve loved any other calling. It was so fulfilling, so enriching, and so uplifting. But by the end of church today I thought “relief so-what?” We’ll be in the swing of things in no time, and primary is so much fun.

What Was I Thinking?

July 19, 2010

Dear Internet,
my mind is all a-twizzle. A twizzle? Is that even a word? For once, I don’t quite care. There’s just simply so many more important things to think about than grammar. Well there are. Mostly. Okay, great, now I feel guilty. A-twizzle is not a word and yet that’s exactly how I feel.

Last week it hit me. As I thought about how busy we’ve made our summer, I had a little “moment.” Who schedules two playdates, plus swimming lessons 13 miles away, and still makes room for lunches and naps, all between the hours of 8 and 5? And rinse and repeat daily?

We’re having a blast, but I am exhausted. I looked to September for the comfort of a different schedule. I suddenly realized that I must find comfort in different because there will be nothing easy about the new life. I’m the PTA VP over Fundraising. And in case that isn’t going to keep me busy enough I’m going to teach music to Little Red’s class and the incoming kindergarteners on a volunteer basis.

This summer I’m trying to wrap my mind around pulling a curriculum out of thin air, translating it into a language I don’t [yet] speak, and then preparing to teach it in said foreign language.  Everytime I visualize this event I hear myself speaking in French. 

And that is just the beginning of the demands on my time this fall.  (stay tuned for the rest)  Just how crazy does a woman have to be before someone takes her away?

In other news: our air conditioner was fixed on Saturday morning.  I don’t think it’s worked this well during the whole six years we’ve lived here.  Tomorrow I’m having a home energy survery with our local power company and hoping that they can give me some tips I can actually use to keep from cooling the whole neighbourhood while I cool my home.  It’s possible I’ll develop a whole new affection for this place what with the temperature regulated.

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

July 16, 2010

Half an hour ago, as I was starting to get the little ones down for their naps, Little Red was readying himself for the same. It’s that hot. But all of a sudden he pulled out his schoolbooks and announced that he was going to work on his summer homework. Now I have every intention of starting that stuff at some point, I don’t want him to lose his Italian. But today?

So here he is getting out his books and asking me if I can look at something and I’m trying to talk him into watching some Italian children’s cartoon online.