Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just the Highlights Please

Jon has been out of town this week, and rather than go on a large rant about how horrible it has been, I thought I'd give you the Readers Digest version:

*I've been woken up by my 7 year old son at 4 am for the following reasons (all separate days):

--To be informed that his nose is runny
--To be informed that he can't find his tissue
--To ask when Dad is coming home (never mind that I've been telling him all week)

In case you were wondering, these are not acceptable reasons for a human to wake another human. Did I mention that I'm not a morning person?


*I got a little overly enthusiastic with some facial waxing strips and peeled the top layer of skin off of my face in several places and now I look like a batman super villain. (by the way, facial waxing strips are a fantastic idea, I just need to work on the execution)

*My cat (who likes to be a pain in the neck by darting into rooms or closets unnoticed) got stuck in our book and game closet for 8 hours and had to relieve himself on all three of my and Jon's grandmothers' quilts. Handmade.

*I've had the immense pleasure of watching "A Night at the Opera" for the first time. I was a little worried because it's an old movie, and I wasn't sure if the humor would still translate. It did. Take a look for yourself, if this doesn't make you laugh, you need to check your pulse:




*I've been filling my lonely evenings with Beatles Rock Band (Which is more like Beatles Karaoke when you're all alone), emails and blog posts from friends (thank you by the way), internet shopping, movie watching, and Arrested Development. I wasn't cool enough to have seen this show when it was still airing, but I'm cool enough to appreciate it now. Basically it's the funniest show ever:






*And would someone like to tell me why oh why Project Runway wasn't on this Thursday??

*My favorite punishment to administer when Jon is gone: Early bedtimes. Go ahead and say it--I'm drunk with power.

*Things to look forward to this weekend:

--Paying my bills
--Braving the Grocery store and Costco on Saturday with all three of my kids
--Picking a fight with my son so that I can send him to bed early. Just kidding. .......for now

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Drafts and Commentary part III --this time, it's personal.

Wasted Youth 02/04/09

Today I broke a cardinal rule in the book of parenting--do not allow yourself to live vicariously through your kids. This is a rule that I had always made myself aware of lest I become one of those hideous cheerleader moms that commit murder in order to get their girls on the squad.

But in spite of myself, it sneaked up on me.

Greta, my three year old, loves to dance around the house and sing. All day long she does this. She also loves dressing up and acting like a princess, so when I saw an advertisement for a fairy tale ballet class where they learn the basics of ballet as they dress in princess costumes, I assumed it was a perfect fit. The first couple of lessons went as could be expected, she was a little shy but eventually enjoyed it, and then she would come home and spend the rest of the week talking about her dance class, doing the things she learned, and begging me to go back. Happily, I thought we had found something, nevermind that I also loved Ballet when I was a girl, and nevermind that she is my only daughter, this was definitely for her. So I decided to invest a little $ in some real ballet shoes and dance clothes, and just as the perfect timing of child-rearing goes, as soon as I did that, things went south. The next week, she wasn't so eager to go (actually, she WAS eager to go--until we were about to walk through the door, then she freaked out), but I gave her a motherly push, and with the help of the teacher she went in. This week, she talked and talked about going and was very excited to go until we reached the door, and she wasn't about to give. She clung to my leg and would not go in no matter what. So, in order not to make a scene in front of the 7 other parents whose daughters had no problem going to dance class, and also in order to not make the one teacher "babysit" my daughter, I opted for her to watch until she was ready to go in. This went on until I finally conceded that she was not going in and in fact, wanted to go home. In the car, we had a little mother-to-three year old chat about her intentions with dance class where she informed me that she would like to cancel them altogether. I was very annoyed. More annoyed than I should have been. I wanted to blame my annoyance on the money issue, and even though that is a valid concern, something else was bothering me. Suddenly Greta's childhood started to play out before me in a series of classes signed up for and arguments had about attending these classes. Suddenly, I saw myself, a young girl loving ballet but hating the act of going to ballet class--arguing with my mother every. single. time. This infuriated me. All I ever wanted as a child was to be a ballerina. Or a cellist. Or a really great swimmer. Or a pianist. Or a singer. But I just didn't stick with it. Any of it. And now I am an adult with no polished talent to speak of in any of my beloved interests. How I wish I could be a young girl again with adult determination enough to become a ballerina. Why is it that the seeds of greatness must be sowed in the most fickle time of a person's life? Are there really children who go to classes without being forced? I don't want to force my daughter to do anything, but it seems as though she clearly enjoys it (at home)

--This one shocked me. I think we all have this idealized version of ourselves in our minds, we think that we'll always be calm and collected and take things in stride, we know the "right" way to act and react, and we (or at least I) think we'll act that way most of the time. So of course when we miss the mark completely, it's very shocking. I think this draft shows how difficult it is as a parent to watch your children make their own choices and not have any say in them. To think that my kids might repeat some of the mistakes I have made is a painful concept for me, but I know that they must be allowed to make their own choices and deal with their own consequences.

Oh, and occasionally, to this day Greta will mention her dance class and ask me when she can go again. I just chuckle. More and more I'm wondering what my role as a parent is, do I leave these things to my children and let them motivate themselves? Or is it my job as a parent to make up for youthful fickleness by forcing them to do things that I *think* they'll be happy about later? More and more the former looks like the path I'd like to take, but then I think--ok, where would Appollo Ohno be if his Dad didn't push him a little during his early youth? And then, is it really important for my children to be the kind of professional that must be carefully cultivated in youth? I'm not really sure that it is, but sometimes I wonder.

I definitely think that we can take one major thing away from all of this and that is that being a parent is hard--you know, without over simplifying things.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Computer Update

Well, Thanks to my familial connections (I married so well), I was able to get in touch with someone who was able to restore all of my information from my sick hard drive (and I mean sick in the traditional sense, not like oh--that hard drive is siiiick!!). So last night I had the immense pleasure of seeing all of my precious pictures and documents float magically back onto my new computer. It was a very happy moment.

So, False alarm? Actually, in my defense, the people at the Mac store made it sound as if I had no hope unless I wanted to spend thousands of dollars. I believe their exact words were "It's too damaged..."

Anyway, the bottom line is that I'm back, and I'm better than ever! One of the great things that has come out of all of this is that I have learned so much about computers that I never used to know, and now they are less intimidating.

So, anyone else feel like they're on an emotional roller coaster? No--Just me?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My New Old Computer

Despite the cheery title, this is not a happy post. A couple of days ago, when trying to wake my computer up from standby mode, I heard the "dreaded click of doom," which is essentially a horrid clicking sound that means your hard drive has died. Yeah, just that fast, and no there weren't any warning signs.

All of my pictures? Gone

All of my writing? Gone (yes-- all of it and I had about 200 pages written for my novels, and even if I never got them published, I wanted them for myself.)

All of the music I had downloaded? Gone

All of the recipes, craft tutorials, and patterns both free and not? Gone

So yes, I have my computer back with a brand new hard drive, but I like my old one better.

And by the way, do any of you have pictures of my kids? I'd love to have a copy so that I can remember what they looked like as babies (note the melodrama).

Also, did any of you happen to hack into my hard drive in it's heyday and make a copy of my novels? Now would be the time to step up.

And as a parting piece of advice, if you haven't backed up your hard drive, please do so, you don't want to feel pain like this, trust me. As a friend of mine put it: "There are two kinds of people in this world, those whose hard drives have crashed and those whose hard drives will crash." Think of your hard drive as a lightbulb, it's only a matter of time, and it happens to everyone. It's not a "Mac vs. PC" issue.