31 August 2007

maybe not too soon after all

There are days like yesterday, when I lament the passage of time and mourn the fact that my baby boy is heading off to kindergarten, and then there are days like today, when I try to give my children a bath and am bombarded with screaming: one shouting in his angry voice that he does not want toys in the bathtub, along with throwing said toys and hitting me because evidently the shouting is not enough to make me understand his fury at the idea that I would try to give him something to play with, while at the same time the other is howling in exaggerated pain from the merest drops of water coming in contact with the places on his elbow and knee where he fell and scraped himself yesterday.

Today is the sort of day where I find myself wishing that life had a remote control, because this morning I would have fast-forwarded to the year 2023 in the hopes that maybe by then my children would have learned to chill out once in a while. Or even if they hadn't figured it out by then, they'd both be out of the house and screaming and whining at their friends or employers or strangers on the street, just so long as it wasn't me anymore.


30 August 2007

too soon

Last night we went to a New Families Dinner at James' new school, and it suddenly hit me that in less than a week, my son is starting kindergarten. My first baby! I mean, look at this kid: does he look ready for kindergarten??

I'm suddenly feeling old. Last night's dinner also made me realize how different things are going to be from the school experience I knew and loved at James' liberal, progressive, one might even say "hippie" nursery school. At James' nursery school, I felt like a bit of an outsider for not using cloth diapers or nursing my kids into their preschool days. At James' elementary school, I'm pretty sure I was one of a very few parents last night who was seriously irritated that the dinner consisted of pizza, chips, and Kool-Aid, which is merely made with fruit juice and not 100% juice. The nutrition nut in me was freaking out a bit, fuming that of course there's a childhood obesity epidemic when schools are feeding kids crap like this instead of modeling healthy eating habits! ...But that's a rant for another day.

Overall, though, it was nice to get to look around the school, see James' classroom, meet his teacher (even if she as young as me and talks to her students in that special, slightly higher-pitched "kid" voice), and get a feel for the place and the people. It won't be our nursery school -- we couldn't possibly ever find another school or teacher as wonderful as what we had there -- but I think it will be okay.

And does James seem excited? Who knows? Right now he is having love affairs with Pokemon and with Star Wars Legos II, so anything else naturally pales in comparison. But his school is named after a famous astronaut, which is very cool for a kid like James who loves outer space, and he did seem to enjoy the school-wide scavenger hunt they sent us on last night to let us look around the school, so I'm optimistic. Not to mention his natural friendliness, adaptability and intelligence. I think he will be fine. It's me I'm worried about.


22 August 2007

maybe my kids are hermaphrodites

I found out today that there is scientific proof that women like pink and men like blue. Apparently the most obvious explanation for these preferences is evolution! Biology! And it has nothing to do whatsoever with the way people are socialized from birth. Obviously, people buy pink things for girls and blue things for boys because we understand on a genetic level that these are the correct, biologically-determined color choices. It's nonsense to believe that the cultural association of a specific color to each gender might influence the preferences of people raised in that culture. I mean, it's not like color associations have ever been different. Men hate pink, and always have.

I think it's interesting to note that girls like pink and blue, but boys only like blue. The article, however, doesn't say anything about green or orange, which are the favorite colors of the male people in my house. I guess we can say that green is closer to blue, and orange is closer to red, which is close to pink, so one of my sons may actually be a daughter, if we're using this scientifically proven, biological indicator. I'll have to check on that and get back to you.


20 August 2007

okay, FINE.

I had no idea there would be so much demand for pirate photos. I don't even have any very good ones -- Greg and I made pretty mediocre pirates, and we are (or at least I am) incredibly unphotogenic. But you asked for it.

I feel the need to explain that in my attempt for authenticity, my hair looked like that on purpose. I figured that with all the humidity on the open sea, and lack of conditioner or anti-frizz hair products, a pirate lass would have pretty unkempt hair. Don't ask me to explain Greg, though:

And as long as I'm posting photos, I've got some from the weekend as well. We spent the weekend at a cabin in the Adirondacks with friends, and did a little dressing up there too.

Exhibit A: Heidi and friends from high school went a little crazy with a box of hats found in a closet:

Exhibit B: Greg, who forgot to bring warm clothes even though we were camping, had to rummage through the closets as well, and made do with the warmest items he found. He made quite the fashion statement:

More impressive than either of us, though, was Cooper, the chihuahua who had more clothes for the weekend than I did. Here are a couple of my favorites:

And finally, a normal photo of Greg and me (before Andrea dropped her lunch in Greg's lap) in front of Snowbird Lake, where we spent time swimming and boating and generally relaxing, when we weren't experimenting with fashion:

Oh, how I wish every weekend could involve dressing up ridiculously with old friends in beautiful remote locations, but unfortunately, we must return to real life eventually.


14 August 2007

weekend wrap-up

If I was expecting our weekend away from the kids to be restful, I must have forgotten what it's like to spend time with our friends. We spent the weekend in Alexandria Bay for a wedding, and coincidentally, it was Pirate Days in Alex Bay as well. So in addition to seeing friends we haven't seen in 4 or 5 years, celebrating the marriage of two people we love, lake and river swimming, soaking in the hot tub, crazy dancing, eating tons of delicious food, and stargazing (and spotting a few meteors) at a giant bonfire, we also had the opportunity to dress up as pirates for a night out on the town. That includes the bride and groom. There was much merriment and revelry, and perhaps a little mischief and mayhem. Unfortunately the photos of me as a pirate wench are not terribly flattering, so they will not be making an appearance on the blog.

We had a ton of fun, but I got even less sleep than I normally do and that's really saying something. At least I got to sleep through the night, though -- no midnight crying, bedwetting, falling out of bed, or little bodies crawling into our bed. I can't wait until the day when those things are not regular features of my life. Even with the lack of sleep, it was one of the better weekends I've had in a long time.


10 August 2007

obviously he wasn't writing for parents of kids like evan

Despite the whole moving business, I have, of course, managed to get in some quality reading. How else would I maintain my sanity without reading about people whose lives are worse than mine?

Seeing as I'm apparently one of the few Americans who never had to read Aldous Huxley's Brave New World in high school, I decided it was finally time to read it myself. I enjoyed it, mostly. But I have a feeling I didn't take away the exact message Huxley intended to send.

If you haven't read the book, allow me to fill you in: it takes place in a futuristic society where humans are bred and brainwashed to fulfill a particular role in society. Everything is strictly managed by the state and people are stripped of any decision-making or free thought or individuality, yet brainwashed to believe they couldn't be happier. I get the point of the book: freedom and democracy and truth are better than all-powerful government control of mindless, soulless, emotionless, brainwashed drones. Right.

But I couldn't help thinking, as I read, that some features of this society were pretty attractive when you have a child in the terrible twos. All children are raised in state-operated conditioning centers? All children are trained to be docile and submissive? In fact, parents don't exist at all? Also, free drugs whose effect simulates a long vacation from the real world?

Of course, if I didn't have the children, I wouldn't need the drugs. But this whole no-parenting idea is something I spent some serious daydreaming time on. I'm pretty sure that wasn't what I was supposed to get from the novel, but hey, parenting really changes your perception sometimes.


09 August 2007

we survived.

Well, we did it. We successfully moved. It wasn't even as bad as I expected. My mom, sister and brother-in-law were all here to help, and despite scheduling problems with the dunces at U-Haul, we managed it in an afternoon and treated ourselves to a Dinosaur BBQ feast for dinner.

That was Saturday: moving. Sunday was mostly spent in cleaning the old apartment. Monday morning Greg promptly left for a conference in California, for the entire week, so I've been in charge of the unpacking along with two monstrous children, one of whom is, as we expected, not coping terribly well with the move. (One guess who that is.) How much unpacking do you suppose I've done?

James has been great with the whole process, of course, and Evan has been work. Of course. I've heard about monsters in the bedroom at night. We've battled over the new booster seat. He ate 321534 popsicles at my frisbee game last night because that was the only way to keep him from screaming and running across the field to me. I earned the sympathy of the cable guy, who heard Evan screaming and throwing tantrums about nothing for approximately 80% of the 2 hours he was here installing our internet and phone.

Speaking of the internet and phone, for all the work that guy did over the span of two hours, I've had issues with both services. Also, our new basement smells gross. That's not really related to anything I was saying, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway as long as I'm complaining.

Anyway, to look on the bright side, Greg and I are going to a wedding with many of our college friends (and without the kids) this weekend, so there's that to save me from the endless unpacking and baby-minding.


01 August 2007

we are moving in three days

If you were to take a guess, on a scale of one to ten, with ten being as ready as it's possible to be, and one being entirely unprepared, how would you guess I'm feeling now that the move is three days away?

Hint: The answer falls somewhere in between two and four.