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May 2010

I bet someone's post topic will be, "Um, how about you just don't WRITE when you can't think of anything to write?" And then I'll have to be, "Hmm. Point taken."

I am trying to think of something I haven't told you before and I can't think of a single thing. Okay, well, a single BLOGGABLE thing. This is sort of bumming me out and making me think I should shut down the blog. "Sorry friends! Nothing left to say!"

On the other hand:

Via an angst-filled email exchange with Blogless Charlotte Pants and then a conversation this morning with Liz (or more like a Vomiting Of Things In My Head While Liz Listened Patiently, God Bless Her) I figured out what to do with that sad heap of words in my computer labeled NaNoWriMo. Charlotte helped me realize that I pretty much need to rewrite the entire thing (this is GOOD if not exactly HEARTENING) and while talking to (at?) Liz this morning I realized that I needed to quit drama-fying the rewrite (because DUDE there are a LOT of WORDS) and just, you know, start

So I came home this afternoon and hauled my laptop to a completely different part of the house and turned on my favorite Pandora station and closed my eyes. And then I rewrote the beginning. It's not fabulous. It's not awesome. But it's better than my other beginnings - more believable, more real, more true to who I think these characters are - and I needed that beginning to launch me into the rest. I have a hard time just jumping into a scene. I need to write them to know them, so I have to start as far back as makes sense. 

ANYWAY. BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Gosh, I really wish I could tell you something you didn't know. I don't know why I'm so stuck on this right now. I think I have it in my head that "Something You Don't Already Know!" would make a really excellent blog post at this point, in the same way that many annoying people think it makes an excellent ice breaker. (Have I told you how much I hate ice breakers? Probably.) 

*drums fingers on the table*

*sings a few bars of the Wiggles' rocket ship song: "BLAHSTing off to Mahws! ZOOMing through the stawhs! Watch the world go by in my rocket!"*

*looks around kitchen, wishes for Hershey bars*

Okay, so, this is a pointless exercise, isn't it? I sort of feel like I did this morning, when every time I tried to tell Liz about a movie or a book or something with a Name I had to sit there like I was eighty-seven years old and conjure it up from the depths of my furrowed-in-intense-concentration brow. And then I STILL couldn't think of the name! So I have an idea. I think YOU should tell me something about YOU. Oooh! Idea! Because when I got all "Like me on Facebook!" on you I saw that a bunch of you LIKED me but I didn't think I had MET you before. "Met" in this case meaning "read a comment you had written". HMMM. You Facebookers are a big bunch of LURKERS. 

But I confess. I lurk too. Which is why I think I will leave a comment on every single blog I read tomorrow. The famous and not-so-famous. (I stole this idea from Elizabeth. The running theme of this post is: I have none of my own ideas.) (Either I will leave comment after scintillating comment, or I will be too intimidated to open my feed reader at all!)

Okay people. SAY HELLO. If you happen to leave me a Post Topic you get brownie points. I will say hello BACK. It will be a grand day of Ice Breaking. But I'm going to write my other stuff now, and maybe sneak into the bag of chocolate chip cookies my mother-in-law made for her grandchildren. WHAT?


Seven quick Friday takes from a dark Thursday living room

1. I am watching, from my living room window, a lady park, get out of her car and retrieve her things from the trunk. She's wearing very tall black heels, a short skirt and a fitted jacket. Her hair is in a neat updo. And the bag she just pulled out of the trunk is a very rectangular, very shiny leather thing. Like, I might call it an attache case, if I had any idea what an attache case IS. The point being: I am wearing the jeans I've been wearing all week, a t-shirt that stinks because I never put on deodorant, stringy flat hair, no makeup and the only things I pull out of the back of my car are strollers and bags of laundry soap and clearance shorts in size 24 months from Target. 

2. My house looks just like I do. And yet, here I sit, dorking around on the internet, snooping on my neighbors. I don't know why I thought it'd be easier to keep this house clean. More rooms just means more rooms to fill with crap.

3. The FPC is graduating tomorrow. We will now have to refer to her as the PC. Well, not really. Apparently she still has to suffer through summer quarter? But for whatever reason, tomorrow is her Big Important Project, but unlike thesis papers and dissertations, you can EAT the FPC's final. She's baking and serving something like ten different items tomorrow and guess who gets to HELP eat the final once it's all graded? Unfortunately, it doesn't start till 12:30 and I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing with the kids (actually, I'm pretty sure i'm bringing them WITH me, which is SO going to suck later when I am Single Parenting on a school night, BLEAH) but I am obviously not going to pass up a menu that includes peaches and maple ice cream crepes and berry tarts and petit fours and fresh croissants... although now that I'm listing it out, it appears there might be a serious lack of chocolate. I'm SURE I'm mistaken. The FPC and I have very similar feelings on chocolate. 

4. This is the FPC's graduation present. I stole it from a Style Lush post. FPC: don't click. 

5. We finally broke up with Comcast (although we are still using their [crappy] internet) and now the TV is this giant mystery. It annoys Phillip when I say that, because it is not a mystery to HIM, here, just click this and this and then go here and then click this and BAM! TV! And I'm not saying I'm not a FAN of our new system, I'm just still figuring it out. We have the Xbox, we have the TiFaux, we have the Wii and then there's still a 'Watch TV' button that I keep pushing because I forget to push a different button... Anyway, I'm getting used to it, but so far so good. I can still watch all my shows. I watched the Good Wife finale yesterday on CBS.com because Phillip didn't set it to record on the TiFaux and I don't know how to do it myself. (YET!) I love that show. I really love that show. And tonight I have big plans for Friday Night Lights - I have two or three episodes to catch up. My big TV plan for the summer is Modern Family. I haven't seen a single episode and I'm pretty sure I can find them all online. 

6. We also, after YEARS of saying we were going to do it, gave up the landline. So far this is not as painful and annoying as I thought it would be. Maybe because people I don't want to talk to are still calling the house number. I'm not a big phone talker and I hated the idea of getting random calls on my cell, but it's not a problem. (YET!) What IS a problem is that when my phone broke (the day after we put our house on the market! convenient!) one of Phillip's classmates gave me his old Blackberry and now I have a phone that makes it verrrrry easy to send text messages. I may or may not have received a Text Message Talking To last night. Gak.

7. In the last two or three days, Jack has gone from seventy-four "accidents" a day to maybe one or two. And half the time those are my fault. I am cautiously optimistic. CAUTIOUSLY. 


Why Phillip doesn't have a blog

"I don't have anything to write about."

"Then give me a back rub."

"No, I'm sure I can think of something."

...

"No, really, what should I write about?"

"How about, How To Get Ahead In Corporate America?"

"You're kidding, right?"

"That's what I'd want to read."

"OMG."

...

"Maybe you should ask Style Lush how to dress your husband. This morning he was going to wear gray striped pants with brown shoes and a brown shirt."

"I can't believe you almost wore that to work."

"Are you really writing this stuff down? Are you going to post it?"

"Well, that's an idea for Style Lush, not for my blog."

"Oh. Well I would also like to know how to buy a used car on Craig's List. How do I know which ones are the scams and which ones are the good deals?"

"Okay, ALSO not a topic for my blog."

...

"Come on, honey. What should I write about? Want to write one together?"

"..."

...

"You can ask how many other dads out there only see their kids for an hour and a half a day."

"That's kind of a bummer. But I'll ask."

...

"Ask them if they think an iPhone app where you take a picture of a plant and it would tell you what kind of plant it is and all the information about it - like if it's poisonous if your kid just ate it, or where you can buy it - would be useful."

"Can I tell them how annoyed you were that you couldn't find the post of mine where I asked people to identify plants? Because you needed it for a school project? And I kept telling you I didn't write that post? That I did that on FLICKR? And you didn't believe me? And this all caused Marital Strife? Not to mention many irritating criticisms re: my broken archives pages?"

"No, I just want to know if they think it's a dumb idea or not."

...

"Yeah, so I still don't know what to write about."

"I've stopped caring."


Really scratching the bottom of the barrel here

This is just to say that yesterday? Jackson? Went potty. IN the potty. ALL DAY LONG. I probably shouldn't say anything, because we have yet to see how THIS day is going to go, but yesterday was a FABULOUS FANTASTIC WONDERIFIC DAY. Mommy was VERY HAPPY.

We've been lucky to have a string of visitors during these wet and sorry excuses for late May days. 

My voice is mostly back.

 I've lost all my required-to-lose pounds and am now working on some extras. I know! I will tell you how I did it: Weight Watchers and inconsistent Yoga Meltdown workouts. WOO. The low carbing thing worked great for me until I got to a particular weight, and then I realized it was going to be about how MUCH I was eating, not WHAT I was eating. Which is why I ate cake for lunch the other day and still lost weight. Luckily, I am the sort of person who is quite happy to eat things like popcorn and yogurt for lunch and then forget to eat dinner, until 9:30 when I realize I'm hungry and I make scrambled eggs. I'm not sure how you do things when you are not that sort of person. And I have to say, having to write everything down makes me MORE this kind of person, and it becomes a kind of competition in my head and I think I've said this before: a certain amount of OCD will bode well for you in a quest for weight loss. 

I'm not saying it's HEALTHY. I'm not saying you should follow my LEAD. Heavens no. If Jillian saw the cake I ate for lunch she'd fire me from her workouts, stat.

Anyway, that's what's going on around here. Bemoaning the weather. Trying not to yell. Dishing out the potty treats. Tricking friends into visiting. Occasional working out. Some Veggie watching. A bit of Blathering planning. Not enough laundry folding, but we'll get to that. I have big plans for nap time (even though there has been No Napping and I STILL don't know what to do with him) involving Josh Charles. Delicious. 

I'm at Style Lush later today hunting down cheaptastic dresses that will probably fall apart in minutes, but who cares, I just need something comfortable to wear in the backyard while my kids beat each other senseless with their plastic shovels! And I'm trying to update the Catholic blog again. Ho hum. Such is the terribly exhilarating life of a Professional Blogger Extraordinaire. 


Small victories

The last several weeks have been challenging, at best. I lost my voice over the weekend and I still don't quite have it back, and I'm pretty sure it's not strep throat or laryngitis or anything like that, I think it happened because one day last week I was YELLING and I felt this little twinge in my throat. Like a YELLING injury. That's bad, right? I think that's pretty bad. 

But over the last several weeks I've also made some useful discoveries. Such as the fact that if I DON'T insist that Jack stay in his room for nap/quiet time, he is much more likely to stay in his room than if I do. And also the fact that if he "forgets" to use the potty, not letting him wear pants has a much bigger effect than all the other things I was trying, running the gamut from Not Doing Anything to Giving Myself A Yelling Injury. No pants! Who knew?!

Then the Passo Fairy visited our house. I was anxious about this, as you know, and I made sure to talk it up big time. I was reminding Jack for WEEKS about the visitation of the Passo Fairy and steeled myself for a rotten evening the night we boxed up the pacifiers and left them on the couch. But it was a non-event. SO not a big deal. When I got him up in the morning he said, first thing, "I want to see my passos." So we went over to the couch and he saw the box and I let him open it up and WHOA there was a Kai-Lan computer game inside! Cool! That was four or five days ago? I think? And since then he's brought up his passo only two or three times. And tonight he said, "I need my blankie and passo!" and then caught himself. He giggled, all, "No, I don't have a PASSO."

God bless the Passo Fairy, you guys. I needed that win. 

This morning we visited a preschool. Yet another thing I was anxious about, AS YOU KNOW. And what a non-event THAT was. Well, not the preschool visit. The preschool visit was as awesome as a preschool visit can possibly be. The teachers were great, my kids behaved, the school is super cute. It's two minutes from my house, it's in the Affordable Range and I signed him up on the spot. Preschool Angst: over. Oh, and then this afternoon Jack asked me if we could go to school. !!! I just feel like the stars aligned on this one and I'm so grateful. 

Of course, this afternoon I returned home (from the dress alteration place, that might be a post in itself) to reports of Major Jack Misbehavior. So he was already pushing it when he ignored Nai Nai's impassioned "Do you need to go potty?!" and instead went pee right where he was standing. "Mommy," he said with a sly infuriating smile, "I went pee." 

Oh, this kid. I'm sorry, Future Jack, but I hope you know how much your mother relies on this website to power her through these little episodes. KISSES!  I marched him into the bathroom, stripped him down and refused to put pants on him. Why should I? He'll just get them dirty again! And for some reason, this is, like, the worst punishment in the universe. NO PANTS. OMG. Cue the rending of garments, gnashing of teeth.

Poor little dude. He was wailing. I sat down in his chair and let him climb into my lap and we had a long talk - I mean a looooong talk - about WHY he couldn't wear pants. Over and over and over I talked about why we stop playing our Ni Hao Kai-Lan computer game if we have to go potty, what to do, how to do it, repeat repeat repeat. It was really kind of pathetic. Lots of whimpering, lots of sniffling. When it was all over we put on Mickey Mouse underpants and went back to the playroom. All was sort of well. 

Then, when we went out to dinner, Jack asked to go potty. He was dry AND he went potty. And later, when we got home, he came running to find me, announced he had to go POTTY and then he DID. It has been weeks since we've seen such success. WEEKS.

Right now? I win. I am tired, my throat hurts, I have no idea how I'm going to entertain two kids on a rainy May day tomorrow, I have a giant list of things to do and a nagging feeling I'm forgetting something very important, but I still win. I even think I have cake in the fridge. GO ME.


What's going on today

Had FABULOUS dinner with friends. Did I mention they're going to Hawaii with us? We're bringing A CREW. I am terribly excited about this. 

Started Lost finale when it was almost over. I can't decide what I think about it. (You: Excellent, because we don't care what you think about it.) 

Went to bed WAY too late.

Woke up late. Which was nice. Except:

Preschool tour in two hours. Plenty of time, right? THEN YOU DON'T HAVE TWO CHILDREN. 

(And after the preschool tour I have to return a bunch of strange electronic boxes to Suckcast because we are OFF THE GRID, YO and take my bridesmaid dress to the alterations place and clean up the house for when my in-laws visit this afternoon and figure out why I still can't talk. Oh right. Did I mention the Raspy Voice Of Death I've had going all weekend? And the fact that I was awake from 1am to 5am Friday night on account of the Raspy Voice Of Death and obvs I need to go to Hawaii TOMORROW.)

I will report back. Kisses. 


I also did poorly in Home Ec

A Pyrex dish exploded in my oven today and that was NOT the worst part of my day! I know!

(I wrote ALL ABOUT the worst parts of my day in a different post, which I then deleted. You are welcome.)

As you know, my college degree is in See How Many English Classes I Can Take Before The School Sends Me A Cease And Desist Letter (WHICH HAPPENED). I took exactly four science classes* in four years of college. I am not PROUD of this but, well, I'm not sure I would do things differently. And this is why today's Chinese schoolchildren will soon be our overlords. 

Anyway, all that is to say: I'm sure there's a very simple explanation as to why a Pyrex dish shattered in my oven and I'm sure one of you will know as soon as I tell you what happened and you probably won't be able to contain yourself in your glee of Knowing Everything and then I will feel STUPID. So please, when you leave your THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED, YOU MORON comment, could you go light on the YOU MORON part? I'd appreciate it. 

SO. I'm into baking bread right now (and eating it, GAH) and we were going to a friend's house for dinner and I wanted to bring bread. I mixed up a batch in the morning, let it rise and was all set to bake my loaf while the kids were eating lunch. 

The recipe calls for a baking stone that you set in the oven while it's preheating. You also put a broiler pan on the other oven rack - you pour about a cup of water into the broiler pan and cook with steam. (I don't know why they want you to cook with steam. Something about a crackly crust? I AM AN ENGLISH MAJOR.) 

Well, I don't have a baking stone OR a broiler pan. I had a broiler pan that came with my oven in the old house and I THOUGHT I left it there when we moved, because it CAME with the oven and I just thought that was the proper thing to do. However! Phillip snatched the broiler pan (and other things-that-really-do-belong-to-the-house, like a window latch we never reattached, I KNOW, he is TERRIBLE) on the last night before we closed. So. We DO have a broiler pan, but it's in a plastic bag in the garage with a bunch of other junk I can't deal with. EITHER WAY. The first time I baked bread (this is not my first time! or my second!) I baked the bread on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. It worked JUST FINE. And instead of a broiler pan I used a glass casserole dish, just because it's the first thing I thought of. 

NOW. I cannot remember if I preheated the casserole dish the first several times I made bread. I think I probably did, because I follow recipes exactly, but maybe not. 

THIS time, I decided to use a SMALLER casserole dish. Again, because it was the first thing I saw when I opened that particular cupboard. And no big deal, right? I just need a container for water. So I put the cookie sheet and glass dish in the oven, set it to 450 degrees and waited twenty minutes. At the twenty minute mark I picked up the parchment paper under the loaf and plopped it down on the cookie sheet. Then I measured one cup of hot water, poured it into the glass dish and freaked the heck out when the dish immediately shattered. It popped and crunched and broke into many little pieces and I just stood there thinking, "HUH?"

Jack said, from his perch across the room, "You broke it Mommy? You broke it?"

Molly said, "Uh ohhhh. Uh ohhhh. Uh ohhhh."

It did not occur to me until later, when Phillip was asking me about it, that this might have, ah, induced injuries. Nothing like that happened. It was hardly even a huge mess, even, because I'd lined the bottom of the oven in tin foil, and so many of the pieces were big enough to pick up with tongs. 

And you KNOW I just went right on baking my bread (using a cake pan this time) because dude, all the timing for rising and preheating is sort of EXACT and I needed to bring bread for dinner! 

Later, after the oven was cool, I slipped the tin foil out of the oven, wiped it down, dug out the bits of glass in the drawer beneath, and called it good. As far as I know, everything still works. 

But HOLY HECK was that freaky. I've never seen glass do that before. I'm sure this all has something to do with temperatures and expanding and sudden changes and BLAH BLAH BLAH but whatever dudes: ENGLISH MAJOR. WHO LIKES TO EAT BREAD.

Anyway. Happy Friday, everyone. I will spend my weekend researching military schools, circuses and gypsies. 

*The four science classes I took? I can't even remember the first two. The last two were Astronomy (surprisingly, astronomy is NOT all about pretty constellations!) and Weather (one of the hardest, if not THE hardest, class I took in college, which probably says terrible things about me, maybe something like: student's horrifying lack of understanding re: temperatures, expanding masses, will one day get her into trouble when she tries to bake bread with steam.)


Loose threads

  • My foot feels better. Super huge props to Salome Ellen who assured me it was not, in fact, FOOT CANCER and that a wheelchair was probably not in my future. My mind, it goes to dark and scary places. I've been eating Advil for breakfast, lunch and dinner and trying not to put too much weight on it. Until just recently, anyway, because DEAR GOD I am going to Hawaii in less than a month and these extra Hot By Thirty pounds must disappear! So the last couple days I've been taking the kids for walks again and doing Jillian's yoga workout (recommend, esp if your feet tend to hurt with all the shred jumping, like mine do, feet issues much?) but I'm afraid to run. Which sort of sucks, because that was the first run in two months and now I'm SCARED not just LAZY and, well, we'll see how it goes. Phillip and I both have reason to go to the snooty runner store and buy expensive shoes and/or inserts, but I'd much rather spend that money on, I don't know, mai tais in Hawaii, so I can't say I'm all that motivated. 
  • All of that means my hunt for a used double jogger is on pause. Bummer. Really, it is.
  • The Passo Fairy comes tonight. Jack is anxious, Phillip is determined and I am on my second glass of wine. The Passo Fairy is bringing him the Ni Hao Kai-Lan game for the toddler computer keyboard thingie and I'm thinking that if all goes well, it will be a big fat win for ME. 1) no more pacifier 2) more "quiet time" with the computer and 3) Kai-Lan promises to expand his Chinese vocabulary which can only earn me brownie points with the in-laws. SCORE. (Right? STILL NERVOUS.)
  •  I have an appointment to visit a preschool on Monday. GAK. Who said it was the Tuesday/Thursday classes that filled up last? This gave me hope! It really did, so thank you. It also gave me a TEENY bit more confidence when calling the one preschool I selected from my haphazard internet research. The school I called hit the right point on location and price, and when I called I didn't get a lecture on waiting till May, I got a very nice lady who obviously wanted another kid to sign up. This school is just some random preschool about 15 blocks straight up from my house - no church affiliation, no cooperatives, no fancy website. The reviews I've found online make it sound awesome, so I'm hopeful. Could it really be this easy?
  • I still love my new old house. HONEST. But there are a handful of things that, if we owned the house, would have to go. I hate the paint color. I hate the carpet. Turns out I believe gas stoves and sink disposals are requirements for living in the 21st century. Those are the two things I miss the most from my old new house. And while I complained (A LOT) about the shiny wood floors in my old new house and how they were impossible to keep looking nice, at least it was possible to have them looking nice for five minutes. The new old house has ancient, scratched up, ugly linoleum floors in the kitchen and bathrooms and even when I'm down on my hands and knees scrubbing, I still can't tell if I got them clean or not. 
  • The other thing about the new old house is that I love walking to everything just as much, if not more, than I thought I would. This does not bode well for affording our next house, you guys. This morning we took advantage of sun breaks and walked to Great Clips for a quick toddler haircut, then the playground, then the fancy stores, then the grocery store for more flour as I am on a Bread Making Kick. And then we walked home. I LOVE IT. Every couple of days or so I think about the much bigger/nicer house up north - still in the city, but not in a walkable area - and feel huge amounts of relief that we chose this house instead. Here I was thinking I would choose space over location, but now I am thinking I cannot compromise on either and now we're going to have to start scraping all the change out of the fountains in the fancy shopping area to make this work. 
  • Jack is still ridiculously hard for me to deal with. I just figure everyone is tired of me whining about it. If you're not, I'm writing about a particularly difficult Jack moment, and how it plays into family and cross-cultural dynamics, at Parenting on Thursday. You're welcome.
  • And! And! There is THIS. I'm not quite sure what to do NOW - do I stick 'Like!' buttons somewhere? Post links? Spend as much time there as I do here? OMG TIME SUCK. Anyway. Now you know. Go like me or follow me or whatever it is so I don't feel like such a loser. I will send you cookies. I AM NOT ABOVE BRIBES.


Old enough to know

WELL. I just spent my evening well and truly delving into My Personal History Via Facebook and now I'm feeling all shmaltzy and drunken-toast-ish. Although I haven't drunk anything and I've never particularly cared to know what these people were doing before tonight and I am weirding my own self out. 

A few months ago I was friended by someone from high school, which I realize is a Non-Event to most of you, but as I made it pretty difficult for anyone from high school to find my profile, it was something of an Event for me. I think I've told you before that I didn't particularly like high school and high school didn't seem to like me, so I'm resistant to being Found. (I say this as if people are looking for me, which: doubtful!) I mentioned this to the girl who found me, who actually WAS my friend, and she said something to the effect of, "But you were so popular!" Oh, the LOLing I did when I read THAT! 

I think there is a difference between being Known and being Popular. I was definitely Known. I mean, it's hard to not be Known when there are 200 people in your entire school, and you happen to be one of five kids with a distinctive last name and get straight As and your teachers love you and you are involved in absolutely everything (without doing any of it particularly well) and everyone has an opinion about where you should go to college and the guidance counselor publicly dresses you down in the hallway that one time you skipped school - with your parents' PERMISSION - not because you weren't supposed to skip school but because all the other kids look up to you, and what have you done and now you have a giant red S on your chest for SKIPPER. (Perhaps I am not over that.) 

Popular, on the other hand: not so much. Show me a popular kid who stays home on Friday nights feeling anxious about the fact that she's staying home on a Friday night. And Saturday nights. And all the other nights that didn't involve a volleyball or basketball game.

I longed, oh how I longed, to LEAVE. Go somewhere else. Be someone else. I had this idea that everything would be better when I was 30. Seriously. Even in my first high school, where I was a heck of a lot more popular than I was in my second high school, I was overwhelmed with a sense of Not Belonging. And since all the grown ups (and even some of the older students, embarrassingly enough) were constantly telling me how MATURE and GROWN UP I was (BARRRRRF) it only made sense that I would Belong, somehow, when I was old. Like, 30. 

I think a lot of us must have felt this way. Even the truly popular kids. 

Our new house is close to the university. A bunch of college boys are renting a house down the street. (I know this because I got to hear their beer-fueled party antics the other night.) When I take the kids for walks I pass students. To get anywhere from my house I have to drive by the campus. I can see the dorms - MY old dorms - from our block. And Phillip is back in school, which means I've spent more time on campus this year than I have since the year when my youngest sister was still living in the dorms. I've taken my kids to all the good running-around places - the quad, the square, the fountain. And I watch college students. I look at what they're wearing, how they do their hair, how they walk, who they're talking to. I remember what it was like to be them. 

They look young. They look SO YOUNG. And suddenly I realize that I am old. Not OLD old, but old enough to know that they are young. Does that make any sense at all? I am feeling that so much this year, and I don't know if it's because I'm 30 or if it's because I'm suddenly surrounded by college students or what. My friend who talked me into all this enneagram stuff told me people shouldn't really try to type themselves until they're older (say, in their 30s) because you just don't know yourself well enough, you haven't had enough experiences. And I'm old enough now where I don't scoff at that, I don't roll my eyes at it, I NOD. Because I THINK IT'S TRUE. 

I am old enough to be older. It's... strange.

I flip through all those Facebook profiles with compassion - for them, and for myself. What a glorious and rotten time it was. How startling to know someone thought I was Popular, when really I was Miserable. How crazy to see that they are now grown ups, just like me. It's with delight and glee and profound relief that I can tell you I was right: at 30 things are better. At 30 I have, most days, found a way to Belong. And the 30-year-old in me can say, with detachment and charity and grace: it looks like they have too.


My baby went to recess

In the tried and true tradition of Jinxing Yourself On The Internet, I do believe I have to start searching for a preschool. *SLAPS FOREHEAD*

It's like Jack has grown up nineteen years in the last, I don't know, two or three months. It's WEIRD. One day he was this timid and, dare I say it? WIMPY little boy getting bossed around by all his honorary big sisters (the poor guy has a LOT of honorary big sisters) and then one day, after Honorary Big Sister #37 shoved him in the chest, he just looked at me like, "Dude, what's HER problem?" And I swear to you, just weeks earlier this kid would have burst out wailing - miserable, horrible, ear-splitting, the world-is-ending wailing - like every OTHER time Big Sister #37 shoved him. I'm sitting there waiting waiting waiting for the shrieking to begin, but it doesn't, he just moves along and finds something else to play with. I KNOW! 

He still gets pushed around by his big sisters. I mean, THAT'S WHAT THEY DO. And I should know, as I've held the Pushiest Big Sister In Universe title for the last thirty years. Ahem. But it's been weeks, maybe even months, since the last Outburst Of Exploding Hurt Feelings, something that used to be practically an hourly occurrence. It's shocking! 

He's just this BIG BOY now. I have all this BIG BOY things on my to-do list. As soon as his perpetual drippy nose disappears (and as soon as the Passo Fairy has an opportunity to get to Target to purchase the Passo Fairy Present) the Passo Fairy is going to drop by our house and make the pacifiers disappear. That is going to be huge. A momentous yet terrifying event in my parenting career. I'm dreading it, if you want to know. I LIKE sleeping.

I'm also shopping for a Big Boy Bed. I forget who asked if he's ever tried to climb out - he tried once, and landed on his head. I think that solved that problem. Jack loooves his bed and is happy hanging out with his blankie and some books for an hour, even more. But this kid needs covers and a pillow and the ability to get in and out by himself. Also, I'm super sick of changing crib sheets. 

But yes, the biggest thing is preschool. After all my Online Justificationing for not sending him (or, rather, taking my sweet sweet time to decide) it appears that he is ready, willing and a fan of standing in line. 

His aunt teaches kindergarten, and my mom wanted to bring the kids to the kindergarten Mother's Day program. So Phillip and I dropped the kids off and my mom drove them to the elementary school and I congratulated myself on a quick escape. But it turns out kindergarten was The Awesome. My mom reports that both kids stayed close to her in the beginning, but as soon as the kindergarteners started talking to Jack and playing with him, it was so long Grandma. They sat quietly through the performance and the books my sister read to the class, but then Jack was off trying out all the Centers (remember Centers?! Ah, elementary school!) and ate his lunch at a desk and WENT TO RECESS. And! Apparently he became besties with one of the kindergarten girls and when it was time to get on the bus and go home HE WANTED TO GO TOO. 

And my mother is telling me all of this, my mother whose judgment I trust on absolutely every education-related topic on earth, and she's saying, "He's READY! He'll LOVE preschool!"

GAH!

You know what this means, right? I'm going to have to pick up my phone and CALL preschools. And be the idiot who didn't sign her kid up in February like she was supposed to and gets smirked at by Preschool Principals for thinking she can just start doing this in MAY. And they're going to be SO irked when I ask them about tuition rates and then hang up on them out of shock. GAH! 

Although maybe I have built this up into a Big Thing? Maybe because I know people who've made it a Big Thing and now I am totally intimidated? And maybe there ARE people like me, who dilly dally and pretend to be Preschool Non Conformists on their blogs, but really they are just LAZY and SCARED? GOSH I HOPE SO.