Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Freak Accident

Weekends have not been kind to me the last couple of weeks.

The weekend before last, I (unknowingly) ran over a piece of metal in my car and had to get the tire patched. Translation: I realized my tire was making the universal “I’m losing air” sound about a mile from home, pulled over and checked it, drove home at about 2 miles an hour, and ran into the house yelling up the stairs for Sweet Dub to come down. It then became his responsibility to fix the tire. You know, I consider myself a feminist, but this is one instance where I am happy to play the helpless damsel in distress because I just don’t want to deal with it.

So, this past weekend. Sweet Dub is lying on the couch, sick as a dog. Cily is asleep. Viva is…hmm, I’m not sure what she’s doing. She may be out in the back yard trying to find the latest cat who has decided we belong to him.

I am upstairs, having decided that our house is a Den of Filth and that I am going to clean from the top down. I start with the bathroom. I have already scrubbed the toilet and the tub. I am in the tub with my jeans rolled up, scrubbing the glass shower doors. I slide one of the glass panels over to get to the other one better, and all of a sudden there is a big crash. I am no longer holding the door, because the door is no longer there. I am standing ankle deep in bare feet in chunks of glass. Beads of blood are already starting to form on my arms. I realize if I move I am going to really hurt myself. I scream for Sweet Dub, who is already awake and moving because he heard the crash. He and Viva run upstairs. He and I both yell at Viva to stay out of the room because the glass has shattered all over the floor as well as the tub. It is in the toilet. It is in my hair. It is in the rolled-up cuffs of my jeans, and in the hood of my sweatshirt. Part of the shower door is still swinging a bit from the frame of the shower. Viva is whimpering. Cily sleeps through the whole thing.

Sweet Dub walks carefully into the room in sneakers and lifts me out of the tub. When I put my feet down, I cut myself – which I think was inevitable because tiny slivers of glass are clinging to my feet. I stand out in the hallway right outside the bathroom and carefully pull off my clothes, which we throw into a bucket. I have a couple of really deep gashes in my hands, on the outer parts of my thumbs, below the knuckle, and my left wrist is slashed up. I also have many smaller scratches all over my hands and feet. I wrap my hands in an old T-shirt and apply pressure. It could have been worse. What if Viva had been in the shower? I don’t think she would have had the presence of mind not to move, so she would have been cut up much worse.

Our landlord’s father is the one who put the shower in. It’s supposed to be a floating glass door, i.e. it doesn’t have a frame around the sides or bottom, only at the top. So when it jumped the track a millimeter, it hit the tub and with no frame to protect it, fell to pieces. At least, that’s what we think happened.

I don’t want to replace it. A tension rod and a shower curtain, and I’m all good.

On Sunday, Sweet Dub said to me, “Can we just make a pact? Can we go one weekend where you’re not screaming ‘HON-EAAY!!!’ with the latest disaster up or down the stairs?”

I’d like that. I really would.

Physical Fitness

Hey, so the 100 push-up challenge! I started yesterday. I did my pre-challenge test on Saturday morning and discovered I could do 22 modified (on my knees) pushups. I decided to do the modified ones first and once I reach 100 of those, I’ll re-do the challenge but this time do standard pushups. I’ll be doing my pushups on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

So, Day One, Monday: 25 pushups.

FYI: I am also doing yoga on the Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule, and doing cardio workouts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Sunday is my day of rest. Rrrarrh! (I feel very Howard Dean, even typing that.)

Stay tuned. I’m going to be a lean machine. For those who are also doing the challenge: how has it been for you? How do you feel? I’m honestly kind of surprised that I can already see progress. But that’s good for me, because too often I get discouraged if I don’t feel I’m moving forward, even though I’ve just started. That’s me, part of the Instant Gratification Generation. Ooh, look, something shiny!*

Edited to add: once again, I’ve started something without fully researching what I’m supposed to be doing. I just went onto the website to log my pushups and I realized I’m supposed to be doing SETS. Duh. So I’m starting on Week 3 and tomorrow I’ll be doing several sets of pushups. Holy crap. I’ll let you know how that goes and if I’m still as enthusiastic about the program.

* I said that to Viva the other day as a joke, and she whipped her head around and said, “Where?” Then I felt like kind of an ass. Good parenting skills!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good Concept, Not So Great Execution

So I blew off a little bit of steam yesterday. I was at work and I was a little pissed off and I didn't have a whole lot of time, so I have no idea whether yesterday's post was even remotely coherent. And what's more, I'm not all that worried about it.

You may have noticed (or not! and it matters not a whit whether you have or not) that I have been on a Grace in Small Things hiatus. Not because I don’t want to appreciate all the small wonderful things in my life. They are there, and participating in GIST was a great exercise to recognize that. But it’s hard to come up with things that are wonderful and great besides my kids and my husband every day (say what you want about my personal limitations), and then that becomes kind of hackneyed and predictable. “Hey, she’s happily married and she loves her kids and she’s saying it AGAIN!” Snore.

I think my default setting is a little snarky, with a side of riled up. And I think that having a space where I can blog about these things lets me blow off steam, which allows me to be better – better at my spousing and parenting and job thing. So mixing the Grace in Small Things in with this blog space was not the best move for me.* It may work for other people.

Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean I’ll be pissed off here all the time. Just that the GIST thing seemed to be messing with the Blah Blah vibe.

At any rate, you know what's a good idea when you're pissed off about something? It's a good idea to channel your fury into something positive. Hence and therefore:

I'm joining Nerd Girl in the 100-pushup challenge! (How's that for a segue?) And I have to say, I'm going to try my damnedest to do it. My problem is that I start off these things with all the best intentions, and then life happens and my good intentions kind of run off the rails. While this is very vexing to me, it might be quite entertaining to you, and you know me, I'm all about the entertainment. (That's me, I'm a giver.)

Do you want to try it? What's the harm? Come on in!

* I’m moving it back over to GIST where it belongs. You are welcome to visit it there.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Sometimes I think life is too stressful and we’re all too angry and we all need to just breathe and link arms and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. And then I come across a rant like this, on Bitch, PhD. (I’ll stop for a second so you can go read it, if you want. By the way, my favorite part of it is this, in regard to the AIG bonuses: “This tearing the doors off the barn and then running around trying to figure out how to Teach a Lesson to the cow that wandered into the kitchen is stupid bullshit, unworthy of anyone over the age of three. Put some goddamn fucking doors on the goddamn barn. That one cow isn't any different than any of the others, if you were a cow you wouldn't be either, and even if you shoot it in the head your kitchen is still going to be a mess and a different cow is going to wander in tomorrow.”)

I read a rant like this, and I think, no, you know what? NO. America, we have every damn right to be angry. Yeah, I’m tired of being pissed off at things, but the world is not all lollipops and rainbows. There’s a reason I’m pissed off. And as someone I’m too lazy to look up and cite properly once said, “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.”

I’m pissed off and I’m sleep deprived, and I have no time to tie my own shoes. If I get my kid off to school each day with her hair oiled and combed and her teeth brushed and her face clean, I consider that a victory every damn day. I’m here to say I’m tired, man, and I’m not going to sugar coat it. I get up every day and do what I’m supposed to do, and nobody throws me a parade or gives me my own reality show for doing so. The economy is essentially flushing itself down the toilet and scaring me for the future of my children and yours, and I get up every morning and plow ahead anyway – that is the real story. Me and all of you like me, who don’t expect to get something for nothing, who don’t hang your hopes on some bullshit system – you get up and you grumble a little bit and you try to raise your kids the best way you know how. You try to be the best person you can be. You think about your parents, your grandparents, about people you know who have faced some of the worst horrors imaginable and come out – not whole, exactly, but with a kind of fractured intactness, and they function in the world, and they interact with people like you, and they think you are some crybaby fussypots for thinking these times are bad.

The sun rises. I get up. I have a job, I have a home, I have food. My kids are healthy and thriving. My bed is very comfortable. My husband calls upstairs to me that he’s leaving and it’s late.

I get up. The news is blaring, and the news ain’t good. I wipe bums, I pack lunchboxes, I put on lipstick. I drive through Los Angeles, explaining to my oldest the nuances of 6-year-old behavior on the playground. I kiss her as I drop her off. I almost get sideswiped by a black Escalade. I drop off the baby. I stop at the door and go back to kiss her again. I drive off. Passing the Metro station, I see an old woman with a shock of white hair and a white beard stumping around painfully, slowly pushing an overstuffed collapsible grocery carrier. I watch passersby avoid her. At work, I find out that requests to our internal emergency fund (for families who need immediate financial assistance due to eviction or job loss or relocation due to family violence) are up 75% over this time last year. At the same time, funding – from government sources and from private donors - is down.

You think, “What small thing can I do to make a difference?”

You get up.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lunch Limbo

“Mom, I want to have school lunch.”

Oh, dear God. Well, I think we have fallen into a bit of a rut as far as packing a lunch from home. I admit it. Since the baby’s birth, I’ve started packing stuff I never would have sent to school with Viva before. I’ve actually broken down and bought – oh, the shame – junk food (Cheetos, I’m looking at you). And not just junk food, but individually packaged junk food, so not only am I potentially ruining my child’s health, but I’m simultaneously destroying the planet! All by my onesies!

Ah, my old friend, Guilt. When did you get back in town?

Okay, in all fairness, here’s what Viva went to school with this morning: tuna salad with multigrain crackers, strawberries, seedless red grapes, a “100 calorie” package of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies, and watered-down lemonade. (Regular readers may recall that Viva is not a big fan of the sandwich. I was pleased to discover recently that she loves a sandwich on a bagel, so that became a once-a-week staple until I learned that she was taking my lovingly constructed sandwiches apart and eating each component separately. Apparently this also meant she was throwing away the lettuce on the sandwich rather than eating it. Ugh.)

Her lunch generally consists of a “main course” with some kind of protein (can be anything from a turkey sandwich on a bagel to mac & cheese in a Thermos), one or two servings of fresh fruit (pretty much any fruit) or vegetables (edamame beans, baby carrots), a side of crackers or chips, and some kind of treat (this can be anything from a granola bar to Trader Joe’s yogurt to the occasional bag of cookies). And a drink. I don’t do juice boxes, so I fill up a reusable container with drinks from home – either water or watered-down juice. This covers two snack breaks and lunch during her school day.

When I asked Viva why she wanted school lunch, she said, “It just looks so good!” However, we have tried school lunch before, and aside from it being more expensive, there were often items that Viva simply didn’t like, and she’d come home hungry. Also, school lunch doesn’t include snacks, so I had to pack a lunchbox every day anyway.

I’ve been looking up lunch ideas online and found some good suggestions to get me out of my rut at lunchopolis and ilunchbox. Let’s face it – I’m never going to send Viva off with the gorgeous lunches you might see at Vegan Lunch Box. But I’ve got to think if I mix it up a bit more, she might back off on going back on the lunch plan at school…for the moment.

What about you? Do you have any fairly easy, fairly healthy lunchbox suggestions? Throw ‘em my way! I’m open!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Joy of Not Cooking

This week, suddenly and unexpectedly, I have completely lost interest in cooking.

You know, I think I had a fairly good run there. I'm one of those who sits down on Sunday and maps out meals for the week, and then draws up a grocery list based on that, and then pretty much follows the meal plan with a little improv here and there. But I've just had it. I just want to come home and spend some time with the kids. This evening when I came home with Cily, Sweet Dub was mid-workout in the living room. Viva was upstairs, having finished her homework, and she proudly showed me her MVP ribbon from football clinic at school. I changed my clothes and folded laundry while sitting on the floor in my bedroom next to Cily on her activity mat. Viva plopped down with us and began playing an elaborate game of cars, planes and dinosaurs, which I provided some of the voices for. It was -- dare I say it? -- relaxing.

Sweet Dub came upstairs and asked what we should do for dinner. I realized I would be fine eating some fruit and a bagel sandwich, so that's what Viva and I had for dinner. Dub had leftover tortellini. All was well and the world did not fall off its axis. I could get used to this. The End.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lucky Thirteen.

Appreciating, on this thirteenth day of appreciating what I should appreciate:

1. I finally, after MONTHS of not, got my hair cut and colored on Saturday. I feel like a new woman!

2. New red shoes. HOT!

3. A quiet day at the office. I finished drafting my cover article, including sidebars and suggesting which photos to use.

4. Really good news from Sweet Dub's job. Apparently they appreciate him almost (ALMOST) as much as I do.

5. Jon Stewart taking on Jim Cramer. One love, Jon. One love.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day Twelve. And a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

Here are some small things for which I am grateful:

1. It’s Friday.

2. It’s cool and clear today, and because I am in Los Angeles, that means it’s 63 degrees. I never have to dig my car out of the snow before I go to work. As a Bostonian by birth, I know that is truly a blessing.

3. The Blah Blahs are officially planning a vacation. Destination as yet unknown (planning has just barely begun).

4. I gave a progress report on my foster care project in a meeting today. It was very well-received – staff are excited about all the possibilities of this new program. I am too. Maybe my enthusiasm rubbed off. But my boss and boss’ boss are particularly pleased.

5. I went to the Farmer’s Market at lunch today. There are few things more scrumptious than a fresh strawberry.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day Eleven. Cheesy and soulful.

Grace in...oh, you know.

1. Brie cheese.

2. And Camembert, too.

3. And focaccia.

4. Soul sides. Because I go to the site and scroll around and inevitably yelp and yip with excitement. I hadn’t been in a while, I admit, and today I was reading back a few posts and YIP! “I LOVE DAVID RUFFIN!” Yeah, it’s like that. Really great artists you may have totally forgotten about. Old soul music is just like home to me. I can’t explain it any other way.*

5. Being told that the EVP where I work (who is a published novelist, and completely anal about language) has been praising my writing talents hither and yon. Wow.

* Ooh! Dionne Warwick! Now there’s an O.D. (Original Diva) for ya. And look at her picture. She looked FABulous.

A Lovely Bouquet

One of my co-worker friends is getting married next year and she just asked me if Viva could be her flower girl. Given that the only lengthy conversation they’ve had was about tae kwon do, after which they practiced air kicks, she knew what a risky proposition this might be.

“Will she even wear a dress?” she asked.

“You know, that really is an issue. I’ll have to ask her about it and get back to you,” I said, and then sympathetically, “You might want to keep looking and have Viva as a backup. But I’ll see what she says.”

Can a flower girl wear track pants and a “My school is cool” T-shirt? That seems to be Viva’s default outfit these days. We’ll see.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day Ten. Belatedly.

Grace in small things:

1. Cily’s been healthy for a few days.

2. Had a great meeting with a VP at work – we brainstormed about a new creative arts program we want to offer to foster kids. He really knows his stuff and is excited we’re trying to do this, and was happy I asked his opinion. I was happy because he really knows his stuff and is excited we’re trying to do this, so he gave me a lot of great ideas. Now I just have to write them up and hammer out a budget. Sweet!

3. Talking with some work friends about massages and pampering yourself and discovered one of our work friends has never been to a spa. (She is only 27, so I’ll cut her a little slack.) The rest of us (there were three of us, late-30s and age 40-moi) were taken aback and insisted she learn how to pamper herself. I then went online and sent her the link to this. You look, too. It’ll relax you just to look at it. Once when I went there I had such a good time talking with my masseuse that she gave me an extra half-hour and then comped the entire massage. And she wouldn’t take a tip! Ah, good times.

4. Vietnamese take-out for dinner. No dishes to wash. Pho sho!

5. Sick, but I can still do push-ups. In sets of ten! Rrrraarrrh!

Banging My Head Against the Wall

Update on the day care situation:

The director of the center did not read my email. She heard from Cily’s caregiver that I had emailed her, so she called and left a message saying she would rather just speak with me in person.

When we spoke, she had the nerve to argue with me. Incredibly, she seemed to think that if Cily wasn’t crying, there was no reason to think she might be hungry. “We feed on demand,” she said.

“I understand that,” I said. “But if a child goes five hours without eating anything, wouldn’t you just offer her something?”

“Well, she wasn’t crying,” she said.

“No, sometimes she doesn’t,” I said. “But—“

“Well, usually she lets us know if she’s hungry,” she interrupted. “Believe me.”

“What I would like to see happen is EVEN IF SHE IS NOT CRYING, offer her a bottle every three hours,” I said. “If she isn’t hungry, she won’t eat it. But she should never go five hours without being fed.”

“Okay, we’ll do that,” she said. “But you know usually a baby will cry to tell you they’re hungry.”

Deep breath. “Okay, L. – let me tell you what I am trying to do here. I am trying to avoid having my husband come down here. He is not happy. You do not want him to come down here. Can we just agree that from now on you will check to see if she wants to eat every three hours or so?”

Agreed. Jesus Lord, give me strength.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day Nine and Feelin’…Meh.

1. Yesterday I was asked to work on some creative projects at work. Today that translated into me writing the cover story for our company newsletter, along with a couple of other articles. That is so much with the coolness!

2. Good and yet not so good: I’ve been watching my money carefully and I was wondering why I had more money in my account than expected – but not enough to really pursue it. Today I was changing purses and I discovered a bill in my purse that I thought I had mailed two weeks ago. Oh, so that’s why I have an extra $779 in my account! Yeah, I’m really tired. It made me laugh at myself.

3. Piggybacking on my husband’s issues with his clothes: I spent ten minutes trying to figure out what to wear this morning. Finding pants that fit, with tops that are warm but not too warm, and coordinating shoes, has become something of a challenge. Where is the grace in this, you ask? Wait for it, wait for it…well, it’s forced me to put together different items in ways I wouldn’t before. Today a random person at work stopped me to compliment me on my outfit. Somehow I made it work. Tune in tomorrow!

4. A friend at work gave me a free tamale this morning. It was yummy. (I see a theme developing here…there’s a lot of free food at work.)

5. Forgot to mention: this weekend Viva was imitating Edna Mode from The Incredibles, with perfect intonation:

“You are ELASTIGIRL! (disgustedly) My GOD, (mimes smacking someone repeatedly) pull - yourself - together!” Hey, she comes by it honestly.

The Gods Must be Laughing

Lately Sweet Dub has been complaining about his clothes and how he hates them all and needs new stuff, but he never seems to find time to shop. I found out that Macy’s was having a one-day only men’s private sale today and I decided to go downtown on my lunch hour to the Macy’s at 7th and Figueroa. I have never been to this particular Macy’s but it is the closest one to work geographically. As I was walking down to my car, this thought flashed through my mind: “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Foreshadowing much? So here is a conversation I had about 45 minutes later as I was walking back into the building and ran into a smartly-dressed male colleague:

LBB: I just drove downtown to Macy’s.

SDMC: Oh, I’m on my way to Macy’s right now.

LBB: For the men’s secret sale? Did you know they’re closed?

SDMC: The one at 7th and Fig?

LBB: Yeah.

SDMC: Yeah, they had to close that one because of the sucky economy. Why didn’t you go to the other Macy’s?

LBB: What other Macy’s?*

SDMC: There’s another Macy’s one block away, at 7th and Flower.**

LBB: Are you kidding me?? Why would they have two Macy’s so close together?

SDMC: One of them used to be a Robinson’s-May. But that’s why they closed the one at 7th and Figueroa, it was just duplicate business.

LBB: So you‘re going downtown right now? I wish I’d known.

SDMC: No, I’m going to the Beverly Center.

LBB: Wow. Have a nice two hour lunch, slacker.

SDMC: Shut up. Bye.

* Again, the “not being an LA native” thing works against me. Dammit!

** I've since heard that this Macy's sucks.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Day Eight. Vinyasa Blah Blah.

1. Relieved to read “Renting still beats buying.” Sweet Dub and I have an ongoing conversation about this since we’re not convinced that a 30-year-mortgage is something we should be struggling to obtain.

2. Today is workout day and I’m actually looking forward to it! I think today might be a yoga day.

3. I discovered this new (to me) singer through the magic of NPR and today I created a Pandora station with similar-sounding artists.

4. My boss called me in to her office today and shut the door. Yikes. No, it turns out people where I work are actually fighting over me and approached her to ask if I could work on a project. She is reluctant to let me do it, but agreed I could work with this other department on one creative project a month. (Backstory: I worked with them on occasional projects as a favor until they hired someone new. Now it turns out they like my writing better. Nice!) I am more than happy to get a break from my routine to do something fun.

5. Despite (or maybe because of) the dire economic news, Sweet Dub and I have been talking about taking a REAL vacation this year. “I’ve been working for twelve years and I’ve only ever taken one real vacation,” Sweet Dub says. You know what? Yeah, life is short. Let’s hit the road!

This Parenting Thing

Have you noticed, you who have children, that this parenting thing is um, kind of non-stop? As Exhibit A, I give you this:

Dear [name redacted],

I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter. I spoke with [AM childcare person] this morning, and wanted to follow up with an email. When I picked Cily up at around 5:00 on Friday, her chart indicated that she had not eaten anything since 12:10. You may remember I asked you about it, and you said perhaps she was fed and no one recorded it. When I dropped her off that morning, I left her with three 4 oz. bottles. One was completely full when I picked her up – consistent with her not having been fed.

Cily does not always cry when she is hungry. I noticed she was sucking on her fingers loudly in the car on the way home. When I fed her, she drained the bottle (4 oz.) and wanted more. I then changed her and noticed her diaper was really heavy.

Looking back at the chart, it looks like she was asleep from 12-ish until 3:30 or so. In the time between her waking up and my arrival, she did not have her diaper changed and was not fed. This is the second time since January (when Cily started at [daycare]) that I have arrived to discover Cily hasn’t been fed for several hours. This is absolutely not acceptable.

Cily should get a diaper change within five (at most ten) minutes of waking up, and should be fed every three hours if possible. She shouldn’t go five hours without eating anything, even if she is not crying. If this is not feasible, please let me know.

It’s difficult to leave my child in someone else’s care. It’s really upsetting to be paying a premium for care and feel she is not being attended to.

Yours truly,
Lisa Blah Blah

I think it speaks for itself. Will let you know what response I get at pickup today.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

GIST – Day Seven. Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!

1. I can not tell you how much I am enjoying Big Love this season. The plot twists are ingenious and completely believable. Only two more episodes until the season finale! Criminy! (When is Weeds coming back?)

2. Cily laughs now! I nuzzle her under her chin with my nose and she chuckles and chuckles irrepressibly. If you heard it I think your heart would swell up and burst out of your chest. So yeah, maybe you should stay away.

3. Called my sister and although we chatted for only a few minutes, I automatically felt better when I was talking to her. This is not to say I was feeling bad when I called her, or that we talked about anything particularly noteworthy. I think it is just a sensory thing, hearing her voice.

4. Weeded through Cily’s clothes and put a whole bunch of outgrown outfits in a bag to give away. Pay it forward.

5. Viva put together a rather complicated paper bag puppet show version of American Idol, with a frog, lion, elephant and cow squaring off. She told me she disqualified the elephant because it was a girl. I gave her a pretty stern (for me) lecture about how it’s not right to treat someone differently just because they’re a girl, which she rolled her eyes about. And then for the rest of the day I had “Suffragette City” playing in my head. I know, but that is just how my brain works.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

GIST – Day Six. The Weekend Edition.

1. Took Cily for her 4-month checkup and all is well. “What a perfectly shaped head!” her doctor exclaimed. Yes, she is a perfect child. I have the photos to prove it and maybe I’ll post them someday.

2. At the doctor’s office, as we were leaving, we ran into a new mom who gushed fountains over Cily. Her stroller was completely covered and I asked if I could peek in. OH. My. GOD. Her baby boy was only 5 days old. How teeny and sweet and red! It made me all melty.

3. Thai veggie fried rice and fried tofu for lunch. Completely satisfying.

4. Had a “sleepover” with Viva in my room Saturday night. At one point woke up with my big old girl all draped over my right side. She is still a little girl – sometimes I forget that because Cily is so tiny in comparison.

5. We booked a venue for Viva’s birthday party next month. It will be a bowling party with eight other kids. Cute because they have these bumpers that go up so kids can’t roll gutter balls. While I am not crazy about bowling shoes, I do so love the sound the pins make when the ball hits ‘em.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Day Five. Blue skies. And God.

Again with the Grace in Small Things. At least it's making me write every day. If you don't know what on earth I'm talking about, mosey on over here.

1. Mini oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe’s. I mentioned that I’ve been working out, right?

2. An impromptu rooftop lunch with a friend at work. We work a couple of miles from downtown Los Angeles, and the sky is clear and blue after the rains yesterday. The downtown skyline looks amazing from the roof.

3. The dad of Viva's classmate emailed me for professional advice. I am always taken aback when someone considers me an expert in my field – and then I realize I’ve been doing this for nearly 15 years (WHAT?!). Kind of nice that people seek me out.

4. It’s Casual Friday and I am wearing my comfiest jeans! (No, not the ones with the hole in the knee.) To dress it up a little bit since I am at work, I’m wearing a cashmere sweater with a seersucker blazer thrown over that. Ahhh….

5. Bowled over by Viva asking us last night at dinner to take her to church. This led to an interesting and thoughtful discussion at the table about what church to go to. We are Methodists but rarely go to our church. We do talk quite a bit about spiritual matters and I think Viva’s spiritual education is going to kick a bit more into high gear this year. I am pleased about this, because it forces me to sit and really think about what I believe and what I want to pass on to her.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A Fraction of What I Have to Say

So many things to blog about, so little time:

Cily is much better, just about at 95% I'd say. We have battled the Croup and won!

Viva is having issues with school. As in, not being challenged by the curriculum. I hate to say it, but I can only imagine this would be worse if she were in public school. At least with private school you have some leverage, as in "we are paying you folks a lot of money to educate our kid - let's figure out what we can do to keep her motivated, shall we?"* Last night we were reading a chapter book before bed - alternating reading pages aloud to each other. Whenever Viva would come to an unfamiliar word, she would pause, work it out carefully and then move on with the rest of the sentence. This was both exciting, since she's suddenly at warp speed with the reading, and at the same time, not really odd to me. I know she is very bright, and it's reminiscent of how I was at her age, so it seems pretty normal. Then I was looking at the book today and found it's listed as Grade 7 and up. No wonder she's bored with kindergarten...

Sweet Dub and I are both working out pretty regularly these days. He is on this kick to lose weight (!! if you knew him you would laugh, but I think he only wants to lose ten pounds) and get in shape for the spring, which is on its way faster than ever since we live in Los Angeles. I am trying to lose my baby pooch and generally firm up all over. I feel pretty good, and I'm enjoying making my work friends laugh with my overexaggerated-for-comic-effect hip-hop abs moves. "Everybody dance y'all!"

If I were to talk to you on the phone right now I would rattle on like this for about twenty minutes straight and tell you I have to go but I have so much more to tell you and then I'd apologize profusely but hang up. That's just how I roll. Always leave 'em wanting more. Thank you and good night!

* Why is it as taxpayers we don't feel entitled to demand the same level of service? Am I not now paying twice for education? I sure as hells am.

Day Four. Thursday Thoughts on Grace.

1. Reason #567 to love my husband: he's been making sure I get uninterrupted time to work out in the evening.

2. 3:30am and I should be asleep, but I have Cily, wide awake next to me on the bed, skootching as close to me as possible so that when I open my eyes, her giant brown eyes are staring into mine, and she gurgles, and smiles, and grabs my face with her chubby little hand and squeezes my cheek, and I just have to learn to accept the sleep deprivation.

3. Reading Hope for the Flowers (which Amazon lists as for Grade 7 and up) with Viva, and realizing she’s really reading – we are alternating reading pages aloud, and she really gets it. When she gets to an unfamiliar word she pauses and she sounds it out and keeps going, and it is like she suddenly hit warp speed with the reading. She is awesome. She is Five, Hear Her Roar.

4. Making my work friends laugh hysterically as I show them my hip hop moves from this workout DVD.

5. Loving this.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Day Three. Sweet, Spanish, Sweaters.

1. Finding inexpensive art for Viva’s bedroom on Etsy.

2. Remembering my umbrella (it was pouring this morning)!

3. Vitamin water (it’s like crack for me)

4. Managing a Spanglish conversation with the parking lot attendant at work - not as hard as I'd thought, and he seemed so pleased.

5. Wearing my favorite comfy green, gold and chocolate sweater.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Day Two. Smiles and starfish.

1. Joy in my two girls every day – watching them cuddle and smile into each other’s eyes this morning. It is beautiful to watch my 5-year-old falling in love with her new baby sister.

2. Rediscovering how good it feels to work out – and rededicating myself to taking care of my body.

3. Being unexpectedly captivated by the new salt water fish tank in the lobby at work. There is a huge (maybe 6 inches across) horned brown and orange starfish on the side of the tank. I’ve never seen anything like it. It is strangely beautiful.

4. Giant bag of hand-me-down baby clothes from a co-worker’s granddaughter, three months older than my little one. A nice surprise, and so thoughtful.

5. The always-in-the-background support of my sweetie pie husband. Appreciated so much more than I can say.