Saturday, March 31, 2012

Happy 50th!


Defensive manure : the poop you make in your pants when you have to swerve to save yourself from a bad driver.  

Hoppy Easter

Friday, March 30, 2012

Making Plans

We're being told that the odds are better that I'll become a Saint than actually winning the Mega Millions lottery tonight.  I don't think "they" know how I could NEVER be a Saint, so the odds of the lottery win are actually in my favor.

Regardless of the minuscule chances of winning, it's been a fun 24 hours thinking about what we would do with the money.  After a quick search online at premier homes for sale it became clear that we'd "need" to build a custom home to meet our selfish wants.  A soundproof media room for the kids (Jason & the man friends) and a craft room for me.  I'm envisioning white built-in cabinets to store my gift wrapping stuff, a solid surface island for all the macaroni crafts Lucy and I will be making and a place for my sewing machine to live where it can be at the ready (maybe on a table that pulls out from the wall so it can be tucked away for clean lines in the room (like an appliance garage).  Our needs are simple and we're probably thinking really small, but we're simple people.

Then the next dilemma is built the house big enough so the grandparents can move in and live with us, or build tiny in-law cabins on the "compound" so they can be close when they want, but we can still carry on with Naked Tuesdays like normal.  I'm guessing, once they come to grips with the fact that Naked Tuesday is a reality that they'll opt for their own private space.  If Naked Tuesdays isn't happening now, it will happen after the option of all those people living with us is a possibility.

As for charity work, do we start your own foundation or set aside money and dole it out to the charities we're already supporting?  It would be really fun to write some big checks to the charities we're supporting now.  I'm sure the Domestic Violence Prevention group that my classmates started last year would be super excited for a whopper donation, because they are over the moon for everything over $100.   There would certainly have to be a plan as I'm sure the requests for help from genuinely needy souls would be coming at you, and I'm not good at "no".

The other thing about being wildly rich would be the creative theme parties we could throw.  Right now I'm thinking that a "Hunger Games" themed party would be a hoot.  Maybe the guests wouldn't have to actually kill each other, but physical challenges in the woods would be great fun to watch.  I guess it all depends on who we invite over.  That boy from high school who broke my heart, he should be wary of an invitation to a "high school reunion" at my place.

Over breakfast this morning, Jason said that we'd have to extend our upcoming Maui vacation and fly the grandparents and Lucy over to join us (that includes you too Mom... chill out.) but I am so ready for a solo (Jason and I) vacation that the first thing out of my mouth was -"they can come, but AFTER we get a week to ourselves!"  That's when I got the "chill out" look from my beloved.

It would be a "big ask" to ask the grandparents to endure the five hour flight with the Lucy, but we'd put them in first class to ease their discomfort.  After a cocktail or two Lucy is very compliant.  I bet the flight attendants would be all "judgey" about feeding cocktails to the one year old - whatever.

Until tomorrow morning these plans are a fun distraction.  In the meantime, today is the day the sheets get washed and unless I'm super confident of our win and the arrival tomorrow morning of Fabritzo, our new houseboy, I'll have to do it myself.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Boy wouldn't life be easier if we didn't have to deal with other peoples feelings?  I suppose the trade off for the complicated situations are the moments of peace and utter happiness that comes with loving yourself and those around you.

I was secretly pleased when I joined Jason's family only to discover that there was familial unrest and long seeded angst over issues that occurred during the childhoods of some of the cousins.  Not pleased in that I was taking joy in their inability to get along or cope as adults, but comfort in the fact that similar situations in my own family aren't as unique as I thought they were.

Since our wedding, when an unrelated crisis occurred and things came to a head, two members of the immediate cousins have stepped out of the family under the idea that it's easier not to deal with anyone else.  Having never really had the opportunity to know these folks as warm, loving people the loss is mostly the hurt my most important person has experienced.  I don't mean to suggest that he's ever sat down and wept over this situation, but I can tell that the withdrawal of friendship and the harsh things said about other members of the family are hurtful.  

For me, it is a lost opportunity to welcome the entire family into my life.   You may not believe it based upon what I share here, but I'm pretty guarded about my feelings.  (I get that from my dad.)  Now, with the inclusion of Jason and Lucy in my world I'm extremely guarded about their feelings as well.  Should the "family rift" be healed and everyone starts coming to family events again, it will be a long time before (if ever) I warm up an open myself or openly welcome these folks into our inner sphere.

I state all this because a similar situation is occurring on my side of the family and I'm considering drawing a line in the sand.  The decision is a lot more difficult because I know these folks and have grown up with them in my life.

Without getting into the gory details, one of the sisters is mad at my mom and has decided to cut off communication.  I suppose this is fine, if at the age of 60, you decide it is easier to step out of family events rather than deal with the offending sister.  However, it should be no surprise that doing that means you're opting out of all events where said sister is present.   I mean, if you're mad at me and don't want to see me, don't be shocked that Jason isn't popping by to say hi and have a glass of wine from time to time.  We are a team.  Similarly, as much as I have fond memories of time spent with this aunt and uncle, my heart lies with my parents.

Unfortunately, during Lucy's birthday weekend my failure to invite my aunt and uncle to Lucy's 1st birthday festivities became known to them in a way that was unintentionally, but none the less hurtful and my uncle called to ask about it.  I tried to cover (lie) to deflect, but as the conversation went on I fessed up that since I hadn't seen or heard from them since June, when they came to a picnic at my parents house and but didn't speak a single word to my mom, and then didn't respond to a genuine invitation to come to our home for a visit, that I thought I was following the party line and was leaving them alone per their own desires.   The phone call was uncomfortable and compounded by the fact that we had house guests who could hear my side of the conversation and were thankfully too polite to inquire.

So, here's the part that raises my blood pressure.  While my uncle was on the phone asking about what was going on and why they weren't invited, my aunt was in her car driving over to my parents house.  In the heat of her anger, she assumed that my mom was preventing me from having a relationship with her.  Her choice of names for my mother was (to be polite) unacceptable and the fact that she had to be told emphatically to get out of the house is troubling.  Be hurt, be angry, but don't forget yourself and lose control.  I live in a peaceful world, a peaceful house with people who are loving.  Sure, there are frustrations, but we do not scream and call each other names that rhyme with "sticking finch".    I don't want Lucy exposed to that within the comfort of her own family and I don't want her to think it is ever acceptable to refer to anyone in the family in those terms.  You can disagree, and even dislike members of your family, but disrespecting them in their own home is ... trashy.   Furthermore, the idea that at the age of 43, that my mom has any power whatsoever to prohibit me from having a relationship with anyone I want is preposterous.  It's laughable, I think Jason snorted milk through his nose at the idea that I could be "controlled".   I took it as a compliment that I'm a confident, self-assured woman and not a bull-headed, moose who does what I want regardless of rational thought.  Don't correct me, I like the way I'm looking at it.

My uncle asked me to reach out to my aunt to apologize for the invitation oversight and maybe suggest times we could get together (in neutral territory.)  I agreed, but that was before I knew about the drama at my parents house.  I've been mulling over a response and it isn't very "come visit!" or "let's meet for dinner".   They are 100% entitled to not like or spend time with anyone they like, but the same is true for me.  Furthermore, just as I'm not inclined to expose Lucy to the nuttiness that are the "angry cousins" I'm not inclined to give her lots of time with people who openly express anger towards her Grandmother.  (And by lots, you know I mean none....)

Life is too short to be spent being angry with each other, but if that's the path you're on, I can't stop you, but I can keep your angry energy out of my home.  Tragedy and sadness will come regardless of what I do, but our daily life can be peaceful and happy, so that when we're touched by the hard things in life we have a solid foundation to rely on.  (Is that too Zen for you?)

Anyway, I'm thinking if I respond to my aunt that an open letter to all the sisters is in order.  There's a lot of re-interpretation that happens among themselves and I'd rather be an open book than open for paraphrasing.

We'll see.  My next step is to write a letter, share it with my sane partner and then decide what to do.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Problem Solved

It looks like some lady named Vicki from somewhere Pennsylvania won my HGTV dream house.  I want to hate her for walking away with my fantasy vacation home, but after watching the video of her winning I can't.  She cried the good cry and still managed to be funny.  Her husband even dissed HGTV a bit when he said they watch the channel every night to put them to sleep (ha ha... I do that with CSI.)

Good for her.  I hope the dilemma of how to sleep more than 6 people in that 5,000 square foot house isn't too much of a burden.

I guess we're destined for the next dream house.

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Winner
the winner of my house

Sleep and other traumas

Did I mention that I had a baby? I think I did. So far, things are going well. She's learning to eat with utensils or truth be told hold the spoon while feeding herself with the other hand. She's working on walking - she'll happily tootle through the house behind the mobile music 'thing' that is on wheels. She can't turn yet, so when walls happen she's simply stuck. This walking thing is a two person operation at this point. I think the more practice we get with the walker the sooner she'll let that thing go and just motor on her own. She doesn't get to move to the next class until she's walking, but she's READY to transition. She gets to visit that class during the day and doesn't seem to have the separation anxiety about leaving the infant room teachers that some of the other kids have shown.
Surprisingly, Miss Lucy was in a good mood after 'school' and played for quite a while. She hasn't been enjoying the bathtub lately, so Jason and I (foolishly) experimented with a mama & me shower. Not he and I, Lucy and I. It was a colossal FAILURE. Girlfriend screamed and cried the entire time. No amount of snuggles or reassurance worked and after a traumatic hair washing and body scrub I handed a drippy, screaming child to her dad who was waiting with a big fluffy towel. The screaming stopped immediately and all seemed right again in the world. Thankfully, by the time I finished up, and dried my hair (a necessary activity - I promise you.) she had disassociated the shower from me and was happy to see me.
> I don't really know why the bathtub is no longer fun, I thought it was related to a diaper rash, but that is nicely gone but she still doesn't want to sit and play like she use to. I'm sure it's simply a phase, and eventually she'll figure out that the longer she plays in the tub the later bedtime is. Last night she did get some post 'bath' playtime and in spite of the bad night sleep the night before made it until 6:30 pm before I spotted an eye rub and we zipped upstairs. It's cute how her sleepy cues are so subtle, and I almost question if we're putting her to bed too early. However, last night there was nary a peep from the nursery until 6:30 this morning. She's a terrible napper, but an excellent sleeper (most of the time.) Now, maybe she made sounds and I was too dead tired to hear it, but I don't think so. My mama hearing is pretty awesome.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

flight delay

How sad, I was able to jump on the noon flight home from San Jose today and was even upgraded to first class. I made arrangements to pick up the peanut from day care early and was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the inbound plane. I sent a text to Jason about the 6 minute delay and then the announcement came...the defroster on the pilot side is not working and the replacement part has to be flown in from Seattle. It's on the inbound plane, that is due to arrive at 3:00. They swear its and easy fix once they have the part. We'll see. So much for picking Lucy up at day care, but i should be home before she goes to bed. Fingers crossed on that front. Either way, its still better than being on the 6:50 flight that arrives at 9:30pm.

I've already eaten lunch, so now here I sit in the squishy Southwest Airlines recliners mooching power from an airline I choose not to use. There is no flight out of this gate for a couple hours so I feel safe that I'm not taking a recliner from an actual customer.

The shopping options here at San Jose Mineta International Airport are sad. There are 9 Hudson stores (for overpriced water, nuts and San Jose t-shirts) and one "Life is Good" store. I did manage to find a cute summer sleeper for whatsherface, but that's about it. The food options here are far better than in San Francisco, but again... I already ate so it doesn't matter. There is a wine bar, but it's only 1:00 and I'm trying to keep up with my work mail, so boozing it up isn't an option.

I think I can share that we (Lucy's wonderful father and I) are headed to Maui next month and I'm very excited. Leaving Lucy with Grandma & Grandpa is a blessing but I do know we will miss the heck out of her. We certainly don't plan on dumping her at G&G's every year, but it's a nice option every now and then.

I spent some time online looking at adventures in Maui for the baby free set and found a luau that looks amazing. I found some spas that offer outdoor side by side massages for couples, but honestly if I was going to spend $500 in an afternoon I want it to last more than an hour. Snorkling sounds great and reasonably priced, but I want to wait to book it until we get there. I don't want to snorkle if there's tsunami debris in the water. I'm not worried about radiation or anything like that, but it is expected and they can't say how much or what type of stuff there will be. Better to risk the 10% early booking discount than forfeit the fee for opting not to go. Plus, it's not garbage, it's the remainder of peoples lives, their houses and their stuff...that feels personal.

well, I guess that's about it. If you need me< I'm at gate 22.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Judge Much!?

I'm cruising Facebook while I eat dinner tonight (on the road) and am reading the Chinookville group for a usually sweet look into the little area I grew up in. Normally posts are folks looking to buy, sell, or trade goods and services. Tonight I spotted a question "Does anyone know where to rent a space for a baby shower and how far ahead to book?"

As I read through the replies it became clear that the gal posing the question is the soon to be mama (which is a slight breach of social rules) and that she wants to wait until AFTER graduation. Um...her graduation.

Teen pregnancy isn't a scandal, or unfortunately unusual, but I hope to not be a Grammy when Lucy is seventeen. But, if she does come home with a bun in the oven you can bet your bippy she won't be planning her OWN baby shower.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

birthday girl

Lucy & Grandma Georgia

Lost in San Francisco

  I wasn't really lost, I took some "lost time" during one of the lesser sessions at the conference I'm at yesterday.

I took off on foot to Chinatown and enjoyed the sights and sounds of that neighborhood as it came to life.   Shops were being opened and the local bakeries were filled with folks enjoying a morning meal.  As I wandered around (hopeful that I wouldn't have to re-trace my steps) it was fun to see this neighborhood without throngs of tourists.  I got pulled into a couple shops that had wonderful and colorful 'things' to buy, freshwater pearls, silk outfits, scarves, jade trinkets were presented similarly in each storefront.   In spite of signs exclaiming "70% off"  or "Everything Must Go" the prices seemed consistent between the stores.  Bargains in Chinatown are not to be found, so I decided to only buy the things I thought were priced fairly and that I really wanted.  It ended up being a small list, a purple silk outfit for Lucy and a cute "Chinese" looking magnet for my bulletin board.

Once done in that neighborhood I wandered towards the main shopping district downtown.  I found a few treasures that seemed worthy to get.  My criteria for acquisition included the "do I want to carry it" test. 

I found a nice place to sit and enjoy lunch and in spite of the $17 tab for my sandwich, it had to be sent back to the kitchen due to a significant disagreement about what "medium" meant in relation to the doneness of the meat. 

I decided to continue on foot back to the hotel.  I was only nine blocks away.  However, in San Francisco six of those nine were straight up hill.  I took my time and enjoyed the warm but windy walk.  My 'former fat girl' trick to a hilly walk is to cross periodically stop and cross the street to take a few steps at a non-incline.  I know it means that the walk takes longer, but it works for me. 

My face was quite pink and I was breathing rapidly when I got back to the hotel, but my walk was great and I feel like I experienced a nice slice of San Francisco. 

The night before we were at the waterfront and had an event at the aquarium.  I zipped into the Hard Rock Cafe and picked up a treat for my guy.  It's a good thing too, because as I was packing my treasures from my day out it was clear that everything was for Lucy or me, but not for Jason.  Sorry honey, maybe I'll find something at the HMS Host store at the airport.

Monday, March 05, 2012

1st birthday party recap

The house filled with relatives and not one fight broke out.  Wait, these were mostly Jason's side of the family, where there have been fights but the 'difficult' topics have been moved to the side and those who can't not bring it up have stopped coming around.  Translation:  they are just as screwed up as every other family, but we're living in a peaceful era these days.

Lucy's Denver grandparents flew in Wednesday and immediately started the process of getting familiar with the ever changing child.  My mom arrived Thursday and it didn't take too long for Lucy to be comfortable with the "strangers" who had moved into our house.   I wonder at what age she starts having memories of these people who love her so very much.  It doesn't take her long to relax and play but (vainly so) it is pleasing how much she still runs to mama when she can.    As long as I stay out of her line of sight she's happy.  With multiple grandparents in the house I can get stuff done.  By stuff I mean, hanging party decorations. 

Thursday was Lucy's actual birthday and to celebrate she had an appointment with Dr. Robin, our pediatrician.  The appointment went well, we got the ok to feed her anything we want (peanut butter, fish…) with safety in mind.  It will be a while before she is given a handful of peanuts or other choking hazards.   Lucy cried during the weigh in (but what girl doesn't) but then recovered until the dreaded peak into her ears and mouth.  We calmed her again but there were the shots… poor little peanut.  The only "upside" to the shots is that she screams so much that we get a good look at her teeth.  (a small consolation.)

Lucy was kind enough to be happy during a lunch out and then took a lengthy nap.  We let her open a gift and gave her a slice of birthday cake. We figured that doing it on her actual birthday with a small audience would be less stressful than the major event Saturday with 26 of her closest friends and family looking on.  Oh, we did that too, but it was a lot less fun for her.

Friday, after a morning of play we dumped the one year old at "school" and we went to John Howie Steak House for lunch.  We also ran some errands to prepare for the big event the next day.  Jason and his dad made spaghetti sauce for 26 and in doing so cleared our spice cupboard.   If you need us next weekend we'll be downtown at Penzy's purchasing oregano, fennel and basil.  

Saturday we finished cleaning the house (which means taking all those little things that live on the counters and hiding them in places where they will never be found again) and prepared for the onset of the party guests.  Our first guest arrived at noon and the last person left around seven.  These are great people who break up into loud and happy groups.   We pulled together lunch while keeping Lucy happy and visiting with our guests.   It takes a village to feed a village.  Even with the sauce made ahead and warming in a huge crock pot finishing the pasta, the bread and whipping up a massive Caesar salad was coordinated effort.  (Huge thanks to Jas' mom who handwashed and tore  the lettuce) and made me look like the hero when I whipped up a fresh salad in no time flat.

We fed the people,  and then opened gifts.  Lucy enjoyed opening the boxes, but probably would have been happy to stop after the first box was opened.  There was a rather large influx of toys into her world Saturday.  We're in discussions about how to limit the overwhelming nature of 20 new toys.  Some items may be 'set aside' for a bit and I think we'll weed out some of the stuff that isn't as popular.   We'll see, there is still a hope that our entire main floor does not become a 100% dedicated kid space.

The birthday cake plan at the party didn't go as well as I had envisioned.  She cried when we plopped her down,  she calmed enough to endure being serenaded and I was careful to keep the cake with the candle out of reach… well, not careful enough.  Her little hand was reaching towards the lit candle and I blew it out as fast as I could, but she grabbed the hot smoking wick and burned her little thumb.   Bad Mama!  No permanent damage was done, but I feel terrible.

Once the public display portion of the party was over, Lucy was happy again.  Clearly this party was more about our survival of the first year vs. a party for Lucy.  Next year we will keep it to a dull roar, perhaps a present from mommy and daddy and dinner. 

Sunday we finished reclaiming the house and I had to get ready to leave.  I left on a 5:00pm flight to San Francisco.  Thankfully, Jason's mom is hanging out at our house until Wednesday.  While Lucy comes down off the disruption of her schedule it will be handy for Jason to have some help.  This morning that meant that she was able to take a long long nap before going to school.    Hopefully tonight, when she's back in her own room and back on a 'schedule' that she'll sleep better tonight.

We're superbly blessed with a happy child who is bright, no health issues and she brightens our world every day.   I loved Lucy at day one, but at year one I'm excited about her personality, her humor and the life she has ahead of her.