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June 2011

Reads and Recommends: The "Thanks, Y'all!" Edition

****ETA**** It occurs to me that I did not update you on The Playdate and that right there is evidence for the Once I Write About It On The Blog The Angst Practically Stops. Sorry Twitter-askers! Okay! So! I got completely lost driving to the house, but once I found it, we all trooped into A Preschool Boy's Personal Heaven, aka The Playdate Playroom. Holy gazillion toys, Batman. The kids dorked around for a little bit, not really interacting, while the mom and I caught up. Then I realized that the boys were NEVER going to play together if Molly was still there - Jack and Molly are inseparable, and the playdate and his brother were also awkward - so after about 10 or 15 minutes I said I'd take Molly out of the equation and the mom told me to come back at noon. In other words, it went PERFECTLY. And the friend is coming to our house next week. Jack was totally fine with me leaving him, I was totally fine leaving him, and when we picked him up he was outside having a blast. I KNEW it would be fine and things would get sorted out, but you know how I like to be PREPARED. Right? Okay. WHEW.

1. Ten years out of college and I STILL love the Indigo Girls. I don't care what you say. I found the brown CD from the 1200 Curfews album (THE BEST ONE) this afternoon and put it on in the kitchen while I made dinner. Dare I say I felt 20 again? The kids didn't hate it AND it inspired me to dig my guitar out of the garage. WATCH OUT, NEIGHBORS! Me and my classical guitar are about to pick out some swoony riffs on the deck. If it ever turns into summer, that is. You're safe for now. 

2. Denene Miller contributes to the Parenting Post with me, but SHE writes about things that you might call 'important'. Her latest post is called Race Matters and you guys, I have Strong Opinions about this. You can check out my brief comment, but basically my opinion boils down to: it does matter, even if you don't want to think about it, even if you were brought up to believe that the proper thing to do is pretend it doesn't. AHEM. I don't get soapboxy too often (at least, I don't think I do?!) but I feel the soapboxiness coming on which means, ONTO THE NEXT LINK. 

3. Have you heard of Prince Alexander Leopold Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfurst? ME EITHER. Read about 1800s Washington DC, a miracle, faith healing and anti-Catholicism in this TNR book review. (I LOVE BOOK REVIEWS.) 

4. This history/profile of Trinity College was super interesting. It doesn't SOUND interesting, but it is! Or maybe I just I have a thing for feisty, progressive nuns. 

5. This is the article that my friend was telling me about that inspired my Parenting piece on giving your kids choices last week. (Was that last week?) I liked it. I like how the author cops to doing the same things I do. I prefer my parenting article writers to be nice and honest about their cluelessnesses.

6. This was kind of funny in a actually-it's-not-really-that-funny kind of way: 5 Bizarre Ways North Korea Deals With Athletic Failure. It reminds me of when Phillip and I went to China in 2004 and we REALLY wanted to watch the Olympics, but the only Olympic events on television were Chinese events and only those Chinese events in which the Chinese team won. And then they only showed the winning parts. 

7. And this is my most recent "pin" on Pinterest:

Ring

It's from the Sundance catalog. So swoony. I was so not into jewelry when I got engaged and I didn't care about engagement rings, well, until EVERYONE demanded to see my ring and I didn't have one and I started to feel The Spirit Of Lack... Phillip reset his mother's engagement diamond in a simple band, and I love it, but I mostly wear the anniversary band he gave me on the occasion of Year Three. And now I think back to my Engagement Ring Angst and laugh, sort of, because even if I'd picked out the perfect ring then, it wouldn't be the perfect ring now, and what if I want to be one of those people who wears lots of different rings on that finger? LIKE THIS ONE? Does that make me completely unsentimental? Which weirds me out a little because I'm a VERY sentimental person? 

P.S. You can get engaged without an engagement ring. IT'S TRUE. 

P.P.S. I would also wear this one:

Ring2

P.P.P.S. Okay so maybe I am into jewelry NOW. WHATEVS.


Read this, then go read that

Dear Internet,

I was freaking out, as I do, over this THING today, and I was writing a post about it all day long in my head, and then I realized I had no content for Parenting. Let us all first acknowledge the fact that I REMEMBERED I had to write something for Parenting BEFORE it was due! Slow clap! And now I must send you all over there AND BEG FOR COMMENTS because seriously, I am NERVOUS. 

Advice for the virgin playdater!

We are headed to a preschool friend's house tomorrow morning and my core conundrum is this: do we stay and hang out? Or should we just drop him off? It was unclear in the phone conversation, and it will probably be unclear tomorrow due to all the Politeness Factors. I've never dropped a kid off before, and certainly not with a mom I barely know. Not really the issue - I know her well ENOUGH. But I'll have Molly with me and I just don't know what the PROTOCOL is and ack just read the post. And leave me a comment because I NEED MORAL SUPPORT. By ten am my time. FYI. Why yes I AM giving you orders.

IN OTHER NEWS... there is no other news. Phillip's class is going better than I thought, by which I mean he doesn't come home TOO late at night. And since most of the other students are younger and cockier and babyless/spouseless, he comes home with entertaining stories about Just How Annoying Kids Are These Days. I'm enjoying that. 

I've also spent several college educations' worth of cash at Target (natch) on account of having HOUSEGUESTS this weekend. This particular houseguest happens to be someone I babysat long long ago, plus her husband AND HER BABY OMG SHE HAS A BABY and while I am dreading feeling like The Old Lady, I'm looking forward to it anyway. Plus the part where I get to spend money at Target. 

I unpacked seven more boxes today. You: You still had seven boxes to unpack?! Me: Shut up. Most of them were of the Stuff We Use Once A Year variety and/or boxes of cables and cords that I could consolidate into other boxes of anonymous cables and cords. Those are Phillip's problem. But as his "office" is also the "guest room" I need him to get cracking on that. Maybe I need to remind him that it's WELL PAST June ninth. 

The summer continues to not exist. It DID get warmer this evening and we DID head to a playground, but we were still wearing sweatshirts. I don't want to complain too much, because I sure don't want everyone else's 100 degree weather (THERE IS NO CENTRAL AC IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST) but gee whiz, it'd be NICE to play in the sprinkler before August. Just once! Plus the kids have grown out of all their long shirts and pants I REFUSE to buy more long shirts/pants because goshdarnit IT'S SUMMER WE WANT TO WEAR SHORTS.

Okay go comment on my playdate post. In the morning. It's not morning right now. It's 9pm, also known as Game of Thrones time even though that show stresses me out so much, why do I keep watching it?! I spend half the time with my hands over my eyes asking Phillip, "Is it over? Is it over?" Gah.

 


Eight

You know what really freaks me out? Like, unnerves me for days on end and keeps me up thinking scary things at night? When bloggers get divorced. I think I can name every blogger I've read who got divorced while I was reading, even though none of them are blogs I commented on or bloggers I felt I knew and some of them I don't even read anymore. 

God knows what I'll do when real friends get divorced. This has yet to happen. I honestly can't imagine it happening at ALL, really. My friends? They're so happy! They're fine! But it's statistically likely, right? Some day it will happen. And I will need therapy.

I've been extraordinarily blessed to not have to deal with divorce in my own life. As I get older and get to know more and different kinds of people, I am more and more aware of how lucky I am. I remember being a little kid and asking my dad if he and my mom would ever get divorced (did I even know what it WAS?) and his response is still so clear: "That will never happen." 

Phillip's parents are still married. My grandparents all stayed married. I have divorced relatives, but none of them are particularly close to me. Of all my parents' friends I only know of one set who got divorced, and this happened after I was far away from home so I was never around it. Every so often my mother catches word of another divorced couple and while I remember the names, I don't know them and it doesn't truly affect me. But I'm always a little freaked out whenever I hear about it. People who've been married for YEARS and YEARS and YEARS. What HAPPENED?

Will it happen to ME?

Last year (Year Seven, if we're counting, AKA The Hardest Year Of Being Married According To Most People I Talk To) was, by far, the roughest we've had. The communication was not exactly happening. I was perpetually angry with nothing to blame except Circumstances. There was so much transition. It just wasn't good. 

And then this year... with just as much transition, the same circumstances, but somehow my insistence on Not Letting Anything Go and Phillip's extreme generosity combined to make sure we were understanding each other. Maybe it just took practice. A LOT of practice. Maybe it was knowing the end was in sight. I'm not sure. I loosened up, he was quicker to see my side, and we put each other first. There is no compromise, folks. Both of you bend over backwards for the other - that's how it works. 

Anyway, I feel like I should know a thing or two by Year Eight, but I don't. Not really. I know that for us, not talking about something is pretty much the worst thing that can happen. I know that Phillip wants back rubs and I want to be told I'm doing a good job. I know we are two very different people than when we first got married, but somehow it still works. 

The one thing I've always known is that I found a guy, through no effort of my own, who commits as strongly as I do. Which is a lot. Which is more than any guy I knew before him. Which really makes me believe that one day I'll be planning our fiftieth wedding anniversary in the dining hall of the blogger retirement home. You're all invited.


Sleeping Doughgirl

I am a bad napper. When my four-year-old accidentally falls asleep in the afternoons, is rudely awoken by someone demanding he get up and eat dinner or say hello to his grandparents or some other horrific demand, and subsequently Loses His You Know What, I have sympathy. Because I TOO am a terrible napper. Naps always SOUND good, but then I wake up and I feel WORSE. 

(This is one of the reasons why I was a terminally boring friend in college. I woke up early, went to class, went to my part-time jobs, did my homework, and went to bed at eleven. I HEARD about this partying all night and sleeping all day phenomenon, but I was much too dull to try it out myself.) 

Anyway. I have been Anti-Nap as long as I can remember, until Baby Number Three. I MIGHT have napped while toting around Babies One and Two. POSSIBLY. I can't really remember. It's likely that there were naps in the first trimester, but 25ish weeks into this predicament and I STILL feel [NEARLY!] as tired as I did during the first couple weeks. This is not good. This does not bode well. Especially if I keep conking out in the afternoons and waking up a Groggy Grumpy Grouch. 

Sometimes I think my body just does things WRONG. Like caffeine. NORMAL people drink caffeine to stay awake! And help them power through the day! And it makes them feel good! You know what caffeine does to me? MAKES ME CRAZY. It's true that I had absolutely no problems with caffeine until I decided to give up coffee... and then realized I could never drink it again. HOW DEPRESSING. I used to shoot two or three cappuccinos in the afternoons, people, with no ill effect. And now? I can't even drink an 8 ounce drip at 8 in the morning without feeling CRAZY WACKO JITTERY until the day's practically over. It doesn't wake me up. I feel JUST as tired, only my body is on my speed. It is Not. Pleasant.

(My worst caffeine bender had nothing to do with coffee. The culprit was a truly enormous, thick and fudgy vegan brownie. It was ALMOST worth the day + night of shakes.)

Okay, so back to the nap... basically I was telling you all of that just so I can complain about being tired. AM SO TIRED. I napped FOREVER yesterday afternoon (and woke up feeling like crap) (and then was up until midnight reading my Swedish police procedural) (shut up) and then CERTAIN people wanted to eat BREAKFAST this morning, so I had to get up... and then I decided that today I would not nap. I would not be all Mrs. ZombieFace all evening. EXCEPT I AM ANYWAY. Oh my GOSH I am so tired. I can't wait for Phillip to show up so I can crash face first into my bed. 

I keep thinking about last year and the year before that, when nap time was EXERCISE TIME. Okay, not EVERY nap time, but you know what I mean. I would put Molly down, find Jack something to do, and I'd subject myself to Jillian for half an hour. I had arm muscles then! Shoulders! Hip and knee joints that didn't creak! I had ENERGY. I think about how I thought this was going to be the pregnancy where I exercised throughout. HA HA HA HA HA HA!

I am a soft, doughy, roly poly version of my former self. I have barely enough energy to make my kids peanut butter sandwiches at lunchtime. I do laundry when the kids run out of underpants and I wash the dishes only when someone threatens to visit me. I have lost the war on toys in the living room. My bedroom will never be free of clothes strung over moving boxes. I no longer even notice the carpet hole. I spent most of my afternoon plotting a terribly complicated 32nd birthday party, for my own self, shut up, and now I am Wildly Entertained and Truly Stymied by my groundless ambition. I cannot be serious! About the only ambition I have these days revolves around 1) when I can go to bed and 2) what I can download next on the Kindle. (Swedish police procedurals! Not bad!) 

And I am SURE you arrived at Mighty Maggie this evening expecting your usual daily dose of Humorous Insight Into The World Around Us and it appears I have failed you MIGHTILY. In fact, I am only still typing to prolong the illusion that I am Working and therefore Not Yet Ready to tend to the children turning to prunes in the bath tub. (If I can keep typing for nine more minutes, they'll be Phillip's problem! Let's shoot for that!) 

Here, I will give you a comment prompt and I expect you ALL to CHIME IN: Say you were invited to a tremendously cool murder mystery dinner party, hosted by your tremendously cool friend. There is no question you will attend, OBVS, and even less doubt that you will Get Into The Spirit Of Things and dress up, DOUBLE OBVS, but I am wondering, which theme would you prefer? 1) Pageant Queens 2) Bachelorette Party 3) Murder in a SPA?

 


Staycation weekend

Just came home from small plates and the most amazing chocolate gelato EVAH (AND I USED TO LIVE IN ITALY) with my local blogger ladies. I highly recommend getting yourself a few of these. With Carrie I can sit down and say, "I just came home from dinner at a mainland Chinese restaurant with my Cantonese father-in-law" and she will just KNOW. Liz stopped being a "blog friend" forever and ever ago. And dudes, Mona needs her own HBO show about dating guys with AARP memberships. Anyway, if you do get your blogger ladies together and you're worried that the conversation might not flow (JUST IN CASE) may I suggest picking a restaurant in the rainbow-flagged part of town on Pride Weekend? I'm sure that whatever reaction the heavily tattooed woman with her boobs hanging out of the car window hoped to incite, it wasn't a conversation about Post-Breastfeeding Body Image. 

Most of what I want to write about tonight will be on the Catholic blog. (SEGUE!) So if you're interested in that sort of thing, pop over there

Otherwise I had a pretty fabulous weekend. Phillip's parents had the kids and we did a whole lot of nothing. Well, I suppose that's not entirely true. After stuffing 3 car seats into the Mazda and not feeling QUITE convinced, we went car shopping. Where the prices convinced us that yes, 3 car seats will do. THEN we did nothing. We sat on the couch, ate too much, and started Game of Thrones. Which... oh I don't know. I do love my episodic dramas, but this one might be a bit TOO much. Also I have to cover my eyes a lot. I'll give my official opinion at the end. 

That said, 'Bridesmaids' is one of my new favorite movies. I know I know. It's the "girl" Judd Apatow movie. And aren't I supposed to like things like Downton Abbey and British mystery shows? BUT YOU GUYS. I laughed so hard. The entire theater was in tears. It's been FOREVER since I've laughed along with a movie theater. And there was just something different about it than the average boy raunchfest. It was funny even when it wasn't being gross. It didn't have to be gross to be hilarious. I loved it. Also: Jon Hamm. 'Nuff said. 

Okay. Off to pretend I am holy on the Catholic blog. 


Social media gives you popcorn brain AND a house decorating complex

I've fallen into the Pinterest rabbit hole. I can't decide if this is going to be a useful, helpful, make-my-life-brighter sort of thing, or an obsessive, covetous, make-my-life-feel-lacking sort of thing. Eh! Right now I'm just pinning things I think would look nice/neat in my Future House, you know, when I have all the furniture I want laid out in the arrangement I want, etc. etc. But I'm finding I get sucked into other people's (more talented/creative/cool people's) pinboards and then I am all WANT WANT WANT. Yikes.

I was out the other night with a friend who doesn't "do" the internet. Not for any particular reason, it just hasn't captivated her the way it has me (and you!) I continue to believe that the people who blog, and who blog for years, are the sort of people who process via writing. And if you aren't a "writer", of one type or another, blogging just isn't going to be your thing.

But then there is Twitter and Facebook and now Pinterest and probably all sorts of sites that I haven't tried yet. I am often proclaiming my undying love for Twitter and that generates the most confusion. "What's that FOR," people want to know. I respond with something like, "It's like being on an all day conference call with your best and funniest friends," and then I add, "for people who hate being on the phone." You think? Sort of? I know it's not like that for everyone. Like Phillip follows the boringest tech bloggers and my BIL uses it to call out companies with rotten customer service, but for my little group of bloggy types, we're just talking about our kids and what we're reading and our rotten mornings and how we didn't get sleep and asking questions, blah blah blah. I'm not quite sure how you PARENT without TWITTER. 

That said, I still don't get Facebook and I am sloooooowly making my peace with that. I WANTED to get Facebook. But it turns out I don't WANT everyone to know everything. And I don't want the people I went to high school with to get the same level of Sharing as my Current Friends, right? AND VICE VERSA, by the way. I know a lot of people love it and it's how they stay connected and all that, but honestly, I'm pretty good at staying connected with the people I want to stay connected to. If that makes sense. I've considered shutting down my account except 1) my mother uses it to look at pictures of my nephews and 2) the Parenting editors always talk about promoting your posts via Facebook and 3) what if I miss out on something GOOD?! Phillip and I have had EXTENSIVE CONVERSATIONS about Facebook and online personas and why I am totally comfortable sharing Intimate Information on my blog but Would Rather Die to post it (or link to my blog!) on Facebook, but I still can't explain it very well. Something about how YOU are different than either real life people (who get it all in person anyway) or Former Real Life People, who, for the most part, I'm fine relegating, forever and always, to Former. 

You real life exceptions, you know who you are. Kisses!

As for Pinterest... I'm going to get sucked in. I know it. At the very least my ideas for Christmas shopping will be drastically enhanced. 

Things That I Am Thinking About Because Of Stupid Pinterest:

  • what color to paint my decent-looking-because-I'm-pregnant fingernails
  • what to ask for when I get my hair cut on Saturday. Back to super short? Or keep this stacked bob thing I've got going on.
  • Hardwood floors
  • Built ins
  • Clothes to wear when I am back to my regular size (OH GOD I HOPE THAT HAPPENS)
  • Wedges
  • Statement necklaces
  • Retro appliances
  • Color coded bookshelves
  • Spray painting everything under the sun, even though I am a total DIY novice and have never even HELD a can of spray paint. But it doesn't seem that hard! Right?

Happy weekend.  We thought we would go car shopping until I talked to Jen who shared how she arranged HER three shorties in a Mazda 5 and now I am feeling like 1) a big fat huge idiot because why didn't I think of that? and 2) maybe it is not so imperative we buy a minivan ASAP. And you know what this means, right? More money to spend on things I find on Pinterest! 


Don't tell me not to be proud of my teeny tiny parenting successes! I've simply got to!

Oh you guys. I KEEP FORGETTING THE DAYS OF THE WEEK! How does this keep happening? All week I tell myself when I have Deadlines, and lately I'm more likely to completely forget that Thursday comes after Wednesday, than to write my Parenting post on Wednesday like a PROFESSIONAL. OMG. 

But I have a post up! It's about giving your kid choices and how that, uh, doesn't work for us. In fact, it SO doesn't work that I've gone the other way almost completely. It's a dictatorship in our house, people, and it WORKS BETTER. 

Honestly, I feel like I'm having a bunch of Parenting Epiphanies lately. It's embarrassing, because these are either completely obvious epiphanies, or epiphanies other people had YEARS ago, but I've been in a discouraging rut when it comes to routine and discipline and it's been SO AWESOME to see some success. It may be short lived, it may be a fluke, but for ONCE I'm feeling like I have some ideas to combat the Sass and the Flat Out Disobedience. 

Anyway. You may think it's all a bunch of bunk, but my balloons are unpoppable right now, folks. IS THIS WHAT CONFIDENCE FEELS LIKE?!

In other news, we're looking at yet another horribly gloomy June day and WHAT are we going to do with ourselves? I am dying for summer. I'm dying for a temperature that starts with a 7. DO YOU HEAR ME GOD? IT'S ME, MARGARET!

 


Pink shoes

One nice thing about a sunny day and your husband not having to do homework when he gets home is LEAVING HIM WITH THE CHILDREN. Of course, I'm leaving him to go for a walk with a friend, a friend who is MAYBE ninety pounds when dripping wet AND pregnant, which she happens to be, TOO BAD FOR ME. I was maybe ninety pounds in the third grade. So. The hardest part of my evening thus far was finding appropriate Walking Clothes that wouldn't automatically call me out as The Fat Friend because guys, I AM OVER BEING THE FAT FRIEND. Although, in this case, I just AM. What are we going to DO with these ninety pound girls, people? HMM? Unfortunately, in my experience, they all happen to be kind of awesome. IT'S SO UNFAIR. 

The last day of preschool was anti-climactic, which no one seemed to mind except me. There's some sort of school picnic tomorrow afternoon, but, uh, I don't wanna go. Maybe if we were still going to that school next year I'd feel differently, or want to make a bigger effort. But I don't have any reason to stand around chatting with the other preschool parents. I mean, they're nice and all and I sort of wish I'd made a bigger effort to get to know the mom of the one kid Jack talked about the most, but I'm not particularly devastated about it. Jack was talking about wanting a picnic, so we just had a picnic for lunch today. That counts, right? 

I gave the teachers their cards and then I was just standing there feeling like I should say something Meaningful or whatever (DORK) and then I was admittedly expecting THEM to say something, you know, something along the lines of, "Jackson was our FAVORITE KID BY FAR." But no, I just said it was too bad we couldn't come back next year and they said it was too bad too and Jack hugged them both and then we left. THAT'S IT! Oh my kids are going to hate me so much when they get older. But that's what happened when they picked me for a mother: overemotional, hand-wringy, Tries To Make Everything A Moment. I'M SORRY FUTURE CHILDREN. 

In other news, today was the warmest day we've had in a good long while and it STILL didn't seem warm enough to fill up the baby pool and water the dirt. I did put Molly in one of her new sundresses, though AND I did her hair. Oh, and then? THEN? We had a fight over shoes - NATURALLY - but this time, I was the one pushing the pink rhinestoned sandals and SHE was pushing the BROWN WINTER BOOTS. What is wrong with this kid? I kept saying, "But these are pink!" And she kept saying, "But I want to wear my BROWN BOOTS."

I won, if you must know. And then, because I wanted to make MOLLY'S last day of preschool special too, I read her some new books while we ate our morning treat, and then we went shoe shopping. I AM IMPOSSIBLE. But we went to ROSS, where I scored both kids pairs of flip flops and fake Crocs AND two more pairs of summery pink shoes for Miss Mollymoo. I'm pretty proud of myself, people. We have a no shoe policy in our house (sorry my side of the family) which means we're constantly dragging shoes from one place to the other. It drives me nuts. So I wanted a pair of Shoes To Wear On The Deck and Shoes To Wear In The Yard (there are no stairs on the deck, so we have to go in the house to get outside) and then Nice Shoes and Play Shoes and all that. I *think* I have solved the shoe problem. I just need to box up the winter shoes, apparently. 

Aaaand I just realized that I've been sitting here cheerfully singing along to the Pandora toddler station and there are no kids to be seen. Awesome. 


I think we're getting one day of summer tomorrow, then back to sixty-two and raining. Of course.

Oh &@$%. Here I am sitting down to write the Evening Blog Post and I just remembered that we [ME] totally spaced on the Last Day Of Preschool Teacher Present. Blast! Not that we were going to do anything Fahncy, I was just going to have Jack make cards. But Phillip is putting him to bed now... Okay, what if I get out my collection of nice, blank notecards, write my own little note and transcribe a Jackson note over breakfast? And if there's time have him draw a picture? Is that okay? I think the teacher presents get sort of ridiculous... and I, personally, would prefer a note over a Starbucks card... AFFIRM MY DECISION, INTERNET.

So Jack's last day is tomorrow and I realize this seems to be much later than everyone else's last day of preschool. My top theory is that, due to the preschool renting space from a synagogue and therefore taking off all the Jewish holidays, they make them up towards the end. Yes? 

And now we are facing a preschool-less summer and I won't lie. I'm a little intimidated. I've counted on two mornings a week of just Molly and me, which isn't always necessarily a breeze, but at least there is no FIGHTING. And there are two mornings a week where I definitely know what the plans are. You know? And now... Phillip REALLY wants to get them into swimming lessons, but I'm thinking that will be a Saturday thing because I? Am not doing swimming lessons. I am 1) pregnant 2) would rather die than be pregnant and swimsuited and 3) I don't know how to swim. Perhaps that last reason is a good one for me to GO? But no, my Biggest Fear is drowning (actually, drowning because my PLANE crashed into the OCEAN) and, well, I am an adult and I have made my peace with not knowing how to swim. But I WOULD like my kids to be a little more normal than me and yay for their dad taking the initiative. That still doesn't help me figure out my summer weeks. 

I've been perusing the local community center summer brochure and there are all manner of weird little classes to take. I might sign them up for one or two of those, here and there. I don't know. We also have a lot going ON this summer, so maybe it won't seem too empty. A friend of mine also passed on some info for a girl whose nanny job fell through at the last minute and is looking for childcare hours. I can see things working in my favor. 

One thing that is LAME and that I sort of forgot about is Phillip's class next week. In order not to kill ourselves with work, school and travel this winter, Phillip put off a single class for the summer. And he picked a class that is only one week long, but EVERY DAY all week long, with a lot of homework and group work hours afterwards. So yeah. It's one week and if I can survive a week-long business trip I can certainly survive a week-long class. BUT STILL. WAH. 

What are you doing with your preschoolers this summer? 

I had an OB appointment today. It's been... a while. I scheduled my ultrasound sort of late-ish, and then I kept putting off this appointment. I swear, every single one of these appointments has been pointless. They take five minutes. Listen to the heartbeat, then off I go. Not that I'm complaining about things being so NORMAL, HARDLY, but I wish I could SKIP all this stuff and head directly to Labor and Delivery. What would they do to me? Make me give birth in the parking lot? 

(Also, yes, totally looking Gift Horse in the Mouth, etc. etc.) 

The thing is, I adore my doctor. She is just... ADORABLE. She's cute and WAY friendly and remembers everything about me and my family and actually she's so chatty and remembery that I get sort of stuttery and weird around her, because, uh, AREN'T YOU JUST MY DOCTOR? WAIT, ARE WE FRIENDS? I need my boundaries clearly defined. Anyway, she doesn't hassle me about a single thing and when I told her that I did NOT want to see the Original Nurse Who Gasped At My Previous Pregnancy Weight Gain for a refresher on breastfeeding (OMG CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE?) she waved her hand all, "TOTALLY."

Overbearing super doctory doctors seem to be the exception rather than the norm amongst my Seattle friends, and I always feel lucky when I compare my situation to stories I read about on the internet. My experience has been that the medical professionals are a lot less interventiony (how many nouns can I turn into adjectives in this post?!) than others in other parts of the country. As you know, I am not the type to have my baby in a tub and I am a big fan of pain meds, but I prefer to be poked and prodded as little as possible, and that's the sort of doctor I have. At least, she has ALWAYS given me the choice, when available, and when I ALWAYS opt out, she never makes me feel stupid or bad. 

But I stil have to show up to [Mostly] Pointless Appointments. Alas. Of course, today I was handed my vial of Revolting Orange Drink for my NEXT appointment, so I suppose there was that. 

Today I also started to think about actually HAVING the baby. I had conveniently blocked this part out. WAH.

Well. That was pretty tangenty, wasn't it (AGAIN! WITH THE ADJECTIVES! AM ON A ROLL!) I need to be writing these NOTECARDS, people. Stop distracting me! 

 


The answer is Meatballs

What I gave my dad for Father's Day: a weekend with my misbehaving beasties. Also a copy of Downtown Abbey. 

What I gave Phillip for Father's Day: a weekend without the misbehaving beasties, a trip to Ikea, hours and hours spent putting Ikea furniture together and a back rub. Also a little tiny box that prints pictures from your phone. 

What I gave myself for Father's Day: a new kitchen table and four chairs, and an Entertainment Center of the type I thought I'd never want, but have since decided is Exactly What This Room Needed. 

I also learned how to make decisions with my husband in Ikea. I don't know about you, but Ikea is a prime breeding ground for Spousal Disagreement. I also have the pleasure of being married to the sort of person who hates being forced to make a decision. It's not that he's INCAPABLE of making decisions, he just wants to make them in his own TIME. Which is almost always about nine thousand times longer than MY own time. And if you try to push him, or even GENTLY ENCOURAGE, which is what I've spent eight years of marriage learning how to do, he gets IRRITABLE. Perhaps even TESTY. 

However! This time! He came up with a viable solution. Usually the solution is me suggesting we just scrap everything and try again later. This time Phillip said, "Let's go sit at the cafe and talk." 

OMG! 

So we did. Phillip ate a giant plate of Swedish meatballs and I ate his mashed potatoes (I am unable to control myself around mashed potatoes) and we made not one or two but something like A LOT of GROWN UP DECISIONS. It was kind of amazing, folks. I don't think we've ever explained ourselves so well, agreed so quickly or came up with a plan so easily. Apparently, the answer is Meatballs. 

The first thing we decided is that we need a car more than we need, say, a new couch. The second thing we decided was that we really DID need a kitchen table and chairs and something to house the television. Everything else will wait until we figure out the Minivan situation - there's NO way we can fit another car seat in our Mazda 5 and I am totally ready for my Swagger Wagon, people. 

That all having been cheerfully decided over meatballs and Lingonberry pop, we fairly easily picked out a table and chairs. We somewhat less easily picked out a TV stand. Phillip and I had differing requirements (OBVS). I've never like Giant Entertainment Centers or Big Armoires that look like they should be hiding monsters. We both like the low counter-type cabinets. But then I saw this Hemnes set up, with a low TV stand bookended by a big bookcase and a narrow glass cabinet, with a wall shelf bridging the two taller units. I liked the asymmetricalness, I liked the style and we have a LOT of wall space in our living room - it seemed like a good idea to attempt to fill some of it up with tall cabinets. So we bought those components too

The hardest part was choosing a finish- Phillip liked the black/brown (I thought it would look too harsh in our yellow/white room), I liked the white (Phillip thought the white looked cheap) so then we stared long and hard at the gray-brown finish. And bought it. And I was nervous about it until the entire thing was set up, and now I really like it. I think. 

So yeah, everything else is on hold, but it's nice feeling like we have designated SPACES now. I moved the old TV stand (an Expedit on its side) to the little kitchen room and filled it with the kids' art supplies and all my old paper and ribbons and glue. They know where it is and where things need to be put away and it's just nice to have that instead of "oh, it goes in that random pile in the living room corner". 

Anyway, that's how WE spent our Father's Day/mostly childless weekend. Have you ever read a blog post composed entirely of Ikea furniture. I AM SORRY. But I feel like some really good stuff came out of this weekend! My house looks better, for one thing, and MEATBALLS! Next time I need Phillip to focus and help me make a decision, I just need to find the closest dining establishment, sit him down and stuff him full of food. How is he supposed to think on an empty stomach?!