Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Three Days In Review, Three More To Go

Dan Zanes concert Saturday. Awesome.

Hosted dinner party Sunday. Fabulous.

Mike left for Japan Monday.

Both girls come down with colds.

Got 4 hours of sleep Sunday, and five Monday.

Blood in Sadie's poop.

Visit to the vet.

Cat has colitis. Or is stressed from living with nutjob and her kids.

Either way - $150, please.

Violet stuffed a raisin in her ear Monday afternoon.

Visit to the emergency clinic.

Sorry, no room.

Visit to other emergency clinic.

Either the raisin is lodged in kid's brain, or she liiiiiiiied to me.

Good friend visited from Baltimore. I accidentally locked him out Monday night. He slept outside in the car. It was 42 degrees.

Dishwasher still full of dishes from Sunday night dinner party.

Girls haven't bathed since Friday night.

Barely got friend to the airport in time for flight home Tuesday morning.

Love that carpool lane.

Dropped girls off with equally tired and frazzled mama friend for 2 hours. Went out for coffee and Wellbutrin. Exhaled.

Plan for the next three days:

"Snow day" at preschool.

Buy some fucking mittens.

Check up on raisin situation with pediatrician.

Dose Sadie with monster pill.

Treat scratches/bites I am sure to receive.

Babysit equally tired and frazzled mama friend's kids Thursday.

Have dinner with other tired, frazzled friends Thursday night.

Flake on Thursday night dinner plans Thursday afternoon.

Pick Mike up Friday morning.

Turn 31 on Saturday.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

From The Mouths of My Babes

The girls and I just returned from a six day SoCal extravaganza. I'm happy to be home - the girls don't sleep well when we're away, and when they don't sleep, I don't sleep, since we share a room at my parents' house. And we all really missed Sadie, too - I swear, she's grown noticeably in just six days. But it's always so hard to say goodbye to our family. No visit is ever long enough. I miss them already.

We flew down to visit with my brother, Wyatt, who has just returned from his first Marine deployment (he was in Asia). It was so good to see him (and speaking of growing, guess who's seriously buff now?). We had a fun, relaxing time. I forgot to take my camera, and missed countless adorable moments with the great grandparents, the Saint Bernard puppy and the uncles, but I stored the verbal highlights of the trip here in the Simm card of my brain.

Hazel to Violet, on the flight down, really, really loudly
"Violet, sit like a lady, so everyone can't see YOUR VAGINA!"

Violet, to me, while knocking on Uncle Kyle's bedroom door, sadly:

"Unca Ky-ah, wuk. Home tsoon?" Translation: Uncle Kyle's at work. Is he coming home soon? Note: Longest sentence ever!

Hazel, to me, on the flight home, really, really loudly:

"Mama, are toots hiccups in our BUTTS?"

Violet, to no one in particular:

"'Adie, home. Mitt huh." Translation: Sadie's at home. I miss her.

Hazel, to me, about Violet's outfit:

"She looks like a happy elf waitress!" Note: An inspired description of Vi's outfit, indeed. I'll wash it and post a pic soon.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

And Sadie Makes Five.

Mike and I have been talking for a few months about getting a new family pet. We decided on a cat for a few reasons: dogs are too much work (especially if we're going to be moving this year), bunnies need more outside space than we have, and birds freak me the hell out. Ferrets, mice and hamsters are absolutely non-negotiable. But cats are low-key, independent, and quiet. Plus, Hazel's been asking for one since she could talk. While I've always been more of a dog person, Mike has always loved cats, and he did a good job of convincing me that we could give a needy kitten a good home.

Yesterday, for no real reason, we decided make it happen. We took a trip down to the pet store, without cluing the girls in to what was going on. We bought a copy of "Kittens for Dummies," and figured out what we would need to buy before bringing a kitty home. By the time we'd loaded the litter, litter box, scooper, scratching post, toys, treats and food, into the shopping basket, Hazel had pieced it all together. "Are we... are we getting a cat?!?" she gasped. She could barely contain her joy.

We hauled all the cat booty home, and Haze and I got to work making a "safe space" for our kitten-to-be in the bedroom closet. We set out the bowls and made her a bed and talked about possible names. When Violet went down for her afternoon nap, Haze and I set out for the Humane Society.

We found Sadie almost immediately. There was a fat, grey 2-year-old cat named Marshmallow that I thought was sweet. There was a to' up, 16-year-old named Piper that Hazel fell hard for. But then we spotted Sadie (then known as "Flair"). She was curled up in her little cage, with her back to us. When we went over to get a better look, she immediately started purring and rubbing against our fingers, licking us and pawing sleepily. Her paperwork said she's been there a month. We knew she wouldn't be there a day longer.

We brought Sadie home and immediately put her in her "safe room." Within an hour, she was lying on her back, basking in the love of Hazel and Violet, letting them stroker her belly, her tail, her chin. She blended in perfectly from the start, and seemed to be really happy to have a constant source of lovin'. After going through a few names, we decided that Sadie fit her well, and she didn't protest, though Hazel made it well known she, personally, preferred "Flair". (No way, kid). She slept curled up in the crook of Mike's neck and when Hazel crawled into our bed in the middle of the night, Sadie scooted over to make room.

Today, a few issues have emerged, but overall, Sadie is a joy to have around. No problems learning where the litter box is, no problems eating, no problems with the loud little girls that fawn all over her. In fact, she seems to relish the attention, and has seemingly unlimited patience. Even I, the dog person if the family, absolutely adore her.

Sadie The Kitty Lady. Welcome to the family.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Disney: Out. Miyazaki: In.

Hazel is not one for Disney movies. Dead mothers freak her out. Evil witches? Don't even go there. She loves the princess characters, and stories, but the movies she just can't handle. She loves the special qualities of each princess - Belle's bravery, Cinderella's generosity, Snow White's kindness - but she needs her T.V. time to be relaxing and mellow, not exciting and stressful.

Though Hazel's aversion to the Disney movies is a major plus for me (I freaking hate those lame movies), she's starting to feel a little left out when her friends talk about them, or want to watch them.

My solution to this Disney conundrum has been to introduce her to the magical, wonderful films of Hayao Miyazaki. His films are fantastical, mystical and good-natured. Two of our favorites are My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service. Both stories feature brave, adventurous female leads and nary a dead relative in sight. Totoro chronicles the adventures of two young sisters who overcome adversity, with the help of magical forrest creatures. Kiki tells the tale of a young witch who sets out, at 13, to find her special place in the world. Spirited Away is next in our Netflix queue. There's also Whisper of the Heart, Princess Mononoke, The Cat Returns, and many more.

Hazel loves being able to introduce these characters to her friends who haven't heard of them. As I type this, she is "flying" around on a broomstick, pretending to be Kiki. Violet is perched on the back, dutifully representing Kiki's faithful black cat, Gigi. I love that she's "delivering" the folded laundry to our bedrooms, instead of pretending to get married. Not that there's anything wrong with that... but, you know. The girls in Miyazaki's stories aren't waiting to be rescued, or yearning for their "true love" (whatever that is) - they're taking charge of their destiny! They're making their own way, on their own terms. Imagine that!

Miyazaki. Check him out. Highly recommended by the Salad Family.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Calling All Armchair Activists: Speak Out Against "Escalation" In Iraq

It's easier than ever to speak out against the war, the current administration, and the likely plan to send 20,000 more troops, including my baby brother, to Iraq. Won't you please take quick hop over to MoveOn, and sign the petitions they've created? Better yet, let me help you:

Sign a petition addressed to the Congress, against additional troops going to Iraq here.

There are anti-'escalation' rallies being organized all over country. Find one near you here.

After the voters, study group and generals all called for an end to this war, President Bush is still going ahead with his pig-headed agenda to send more troops to the middle east as early as this month. Congress can stop them, with our help. Please help.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Welcome, 2007! Please Don't Be As Weird As 2006, OK? Seriously.

Happy 2007, friends!

It's the year of the Boar, the year I will turn 31 (in just a few weeks!), and the year that we will more than likely move out of California for good. The (almost) last year of the Bush administration, the first year without Hosie. The little year that could.

I bid 2006 goodbye with less than a heavy heart. '06 was a harsh mistress, and I am more than ready to kick that bitch to the curb. She did bring us a few happy moments, though, so here, in no special order, is my "Top 10 of 2006" list.

1. Seeing Jeff Tweedy at The Fillmore. Great set, great show, great guy. Have you checked out the DVD yet? Seeing The Flaming Lips at The Greek was cool too, except for the part when I thought I was dying.

2. Turning 30. I'm so totally a grown-up now!

3. Watching Violet grow from a roly-poly baby, into a bright and sunny and slightly crazy toddler. She is such a handful... of joy.

4. Getting my new tattoo. Finally!

5. Our group vacation to Balsam Lake, WI. You know you've got friends worth hanging on to, when they change your kid's soggy morning diaper, teach you how to sail, and still want to hang with you after spending 9 straight days with you and your high-maintenance kids in a one bathroom cabin.

6. "Borat - Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Kazakhstan." My favorite movie of the year and, for a longtime Sacha Baron Cohen junkie, a proud moment as a fan. High five!

7. Seeing Hazel shed the last of her toddler skin, and stretch into a tall, strong, bonafide big kid. Amazing.

8. Getting jiggy wit' a new job. Working from home - it's the new black.

9. Seeing "Charlotte's Web" in the movie theater with Hazel - her first theater experience. Having seen the old video version, and read the book by E.B. White, Haze and I were both thrilled to see a fresh take on the one of our favorite stories. She ate two hot dogs and sat on my lap the whole time. Best Mama-Hazel date ever.

10. Another year of health and togetherness for our family and, hopefully, for yours.

And now... in with the new!