Friday, November 30, 2007

Love




***This post is dedicated to Natalie because it seems like something that belongs on her blog***

I Love:

Rain. I love big crazy rainstorms that make the sky gray and the street the same shade so you can't tell where one begins and the other ends. I love how it makes everything crazy for a little while. I love the way it sounds and the way it smells (but not after it gets all wormy-smelling).

Emails from my husband. What did marriage do before these little instant notes from the one a person loves?

Citrus season. Is there anything more enjoyable than peeling an orange and smelling the oils squirt out of the skin all over your hands and biting into each juicy bite?

Clementines. Just as wonderful as oranges but easier to peel and smaller pieces--perfect little snack for smiling kids.

ipods and the connectors to my van. I can't even remember the last time I listened to the radio. I get all the music I love commercial free and free from recording company marketing (IE the songs they make you listen to over and over again just so they can sell their music).

Christmas music, specifically MY Christmas music. I have carefully crafted over the years the perfect collection of Christmas music. It includes classic songs sung by the original masters, obscure songs lost over the decades, chorale music, religious music, music that I'm sure is from Charles Dickens' era, a small smattering of silly kids songs sung by the original musicians, A Charlie Brown Christmas (if you don't have this album, you are totally missing an important part of Christmas), and of course really fun party Rock and Roll Christmas music. But most importantly, nothing cheesy (ok, there is a cheesy song called Baby's First Christmas, but we've laughed at it for so long that now it's a holiday classic).

The way my toddler yells "MA!" out of the blue when she wants my attention. She doesn't say "ma" and then graduate to yelling, she starts out yelling and it makes me laugh every time.

My sweet happy 5 year old (especially when he is sweet and happy).

Feeling good and being healthy. You just don't know how great that is until you feel awful and sick.

Snowglobes. Ever since I was a little girl I could look inside and imagine I was in that little world with the snow falling all around me.

Getting Christmas cards. I think this is a wonderful tradition, especially since nobody seems to write letters anymore.

Pajamas. I love opening up a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve and smelling the smell of torn paper and new fabric and then putting them on--there is something great about new matching pajamas. And just as wonderful is kids in new pajamas on Christmas morning going crazy over their Christmas presents.

Christmas movies, the great old ones and the occasional great new ones.

When my cat naps. That's when I love him the most.

The Nutcracker Ballet, we see this every year and it always magical. This will be our first year to see it in Phoenix, I can't wait!

Really good expensive restaurants that take a long time to eat there and require a reservation.

Holiday traditions. We take the best of Jon's and the best of mine and do them all.

Chocolate in cereal. I don't know who started this tradition, but it is a fabulous start to my day.

Christmas cookies and Christmas treats.

Advent calendars. When I was little I would stress about my brothers eating the chocolates of the days that hadn't happened yet.

Christmas decorations. My house feels so cozy with them up all around.

Christmas in my own home with my cute little family.

Of course there are many more things and people that I love, but these are just a few that I am loving especially today.

Heart image from:
http://www.annerpino.com/2003/heart.jpg

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Goldfish hit man



Since my son has entered kindergarten, I have formulated several complaints about his school all of which are about the way they choose to raise money for the school. The ones I will not discuss in this post have to do with my kids being marketed to (hey if you buy dinner at Chick-fil-a on this day .00000001% of the sales will go to our school, so beg and plead with your parents, because if you don't go, you will be uncool and fail all of your classes) and believe me, I could write forever on that subject.

Instead, today I thought I'd focus on the carnival they decided to have to raise money. What's wrong with a carnival you ask? Nothing! Except for the goldfish ball toss put on by the Kindergarten classes which I naively thought Gabe would not win. But for some reason they decided to make it really easy and before I knew it, they were dumping our new goldfish into a plastic bag filled with water and thrusting it in our hands with a baggy full of fish food. Don't they make fake fish anymore? Or what about a bag of Swedish fish? Well, anyway there I was with a blissfully happy 5 year old and a new pet. Reassured by my friend's story of her son's goldfish of last year who only lived for two days, I decided to go along with the charade.

So we came home and because we didn't have a fish bowl, we found a Tupperware to put him in. I then prepared myself and my son for the inevitable fact that his goldfish would not last very long. The next morning, I went down and expected to see a little goldfish floating at the top waiting to be flushed, but alas, there he was swimming happily. It has now been 11 days and each morning I look at the fish and he is still swimming happily. So now we have decided that it is time to fish or cut bait if you will pardon the expression. The only option I could think of at the time was to upgrade "Jr.'s" (my son named him) habitat and purchase a proper fishbowl for him. As I began to look online, I realised that Jr.'s makeshift tank had become absolutely disgusting in a matter of days and as I am not fond of cleaning anything, I decided that if I was going to get a tank I was going to get one with a filter so I wouldn't have to clean it. I found a few all in one 2-5 gallon fish tank kits for about 50 dollars each when I stumbled upon a goldfish care guide that informed me that A) Goldfish can live for 50 years and are very "hardy," and B) They require 29 gallon tanks at the minimum for ONE goldfish. So after a good laugh, I convinced myself that I must have been given a gold colored fish of a different species because there was no way I was spending 700$ on a 29 GALLON TANK for this stupid fish. Then I made the mistake of asking for my husband's opinion which was very typical male "Just flush him." "Honey, I can't just kill the fish" was my very female answer. "He's not going to die" My husband insisted. So then I had to dispel my Husband's lovely vision of Jr. sliding down the sewer pipe and landing in the sewer only to become the teenage mutant ninja goldfish. He then gave me the worst answer of all which was "I don't care, do whatever you want to do." Well, now it was too late I had permanently fixed on my shoulders an angel and a devil just like in old cartoons. If I flushed the fish, the devil would say, all my troubles would be taken care of and I wouldn't be out 50 or more bucks. But, the Angel would interrupt, you'd have to answer to your son which would either be lying or telling him that you killed his fish, and what about the value of life? But come on! I tried to reason with the Angel, who knows how long this could go on? Years? Decades? And theoretically, I'd be neglecting him without the proper size fish tank anyway which would eventually kill him right? So here I am, stuck between two roads unable to move in either direction. Does anyone know where I could find a goldfish hit man? I'm sure my cat would take the job, although the fish has been in an open container on the kitchen counter for a while now, and the cat has not even noticed him.

Next time I think I will just save us all the trouble by refusing the fish in the first place and deal with the subsequent crying and whining. Oh what we parents do to avoid said crying and whining!!

Seriously though, if anyone has any ideas, please let me know!

Friday, November 02, 2007

My Eulogy

I've been thinking a lot about this for some time, and more just recently. You might think that's a bit morbid, but let me explain:

Right now I am in the deep throws of the worst morning sickness I have ever experienced (and I have been pregnant 5 times) during which I have to admit, I have complained. I have complained to my husband, my friends, my parents and anyone else who unwisely asked how I was feeling. Now, most of the time it was with a certain degree of humor, but I never did lie and say I was "fine." This has lead me to conclude that I would be a similar cancer patient if I were to ever get cancer. I'm not sure if It's just me, but it seems like of every person that either survives cancer or dies from it it is said that he or she was never heard complaining (I have been to the funeral of at least one person who died of cancer where this was said). At first I wanted to know, "Who are these people that wouldn't complain of radiation treatment?" And then, after concluding that it just isn't possible, I wondered if the person making this outrageous claim is really just an acquaintance and really the family (particualrly the spouse) is thinking "Yeah right, you should have been there when I was around!" Because I can imagine someone concealing the details of the way they feel from a friend or neighbor, but try as I might, I cannot conceive of a person that would not complain-- not even once-- while going through cancer or chemo.

I have also been reading a biography of Rose Marie Reid that was written by her daughter. This particular biography has been a bit hard to swallow because it goes on and on about how perfect and angelic Rose was. Even worse than that is the portrayal of Rose's parents in which a statement about her father says that "If he had one fault it would be his trusting nature." HELLO! That's not a fault, that's a virtue. When did we start confusing bad qualities with good ones? And I really resent the implication that he was so perfect that his only fault really wasn't a fault at all... puke. To me, this is a sign of poor writing. Sugar coated fluff does not a good book make.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the overwhelming temptation to show the deceased in their best light, but sometimes this just confuses the rest of us. It also makes me wonder what is said at the funerals of the people more prone to wickedness. What do they say for instance, at the funeral of a man who beat his wife and cheated on her, and then stole her money? He was a passionate opportunist?

This all makes me wonder what will be said in my eulogy, because I don't think I would recognize a version of me that only included my strengths (I'm not even sure what that would be).

I guess ultimately I like to hear that people are like me, they try their best to be good, but do not achieve perfection, they are tempted as anyone is, and make mistakes-- and when they were sick, they complained.