Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The one reason I want to see Hunger Games

I have thought Lenny Kravitz is delicious for quite a while. He's so perfect to look at. And then you add in his brooding nature, and he becomes irresistible. Is it sad that I want to see The Hunger Games just to stare at him for a few minutes?

Yes, I know it's sad.

Lenny...even if you do drink out of the faucet...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Not again! --> Sure, Whatever

In my ideal world, I see parents every few weeks for a few hours. They come over, we go over there, we meet somewhere. I really have no preference in the venue, but the "for a few hours" is the key ingredient. If it's longer than that, I tend to realize that there is truth to the saying, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

Actually the set-up with my mom works wonderful for us. She's a few miles away. She lives her life, we live our lives. I talk to her maybe once a week, we see each other every 2-3 weeks for a few hours. It's a tolerable timeframe. After 4 hours, I've hit my mom limit for a while.

I know other people have a far flexible mom limit than I do. Some people want to spend every waking minute with their mom. Good for them. I hope Julia isn't one of them though. When she's older, if we live close to each other, I will abide by the every few weeks for a few hours guideline unless it's mutually amended.

S's family is different than mine. Yes, his parents live farther away (by their choice). What I don't understand is why they live so far away when they want to spend so much time with their children. For instance, they spent late June - late July with us and S's brother (which coincided with my week off from work). Then in December they came from December 10th - January 3rd (which coincided with my two weeks off from work, and then S's sister came for a few days during that timeframe). Then on January 3rd they went to the Pacific to stay with S's sister until the end of February.

And now we find out that they're coming back from the end of May to late June.


Yes, I know they are older, they won't be around forever, they're family, and so on. I know I'm a bit a lot whiny about this, but the fact is that by the end of June they'll have stayed almost 3 MONTHS with us over the past year.

Remember that I'm a every few weeks for a few hours type of person. I'm not a every few months for a few weeks type of person. Even if you do the math and compensate for the fact that they come every 4 months, in my mind this translates to 4 hours still being my at-a-time maximum. I suppose if you force me to translate the every-3-weeks = 4 hours of visiting time, even then you only come out a visit that lasts 20 hours maximum (4 months divided by 3 weeks) x 4 hours.

This policy is for anyone that I didn't marry or didn't birth. My mom is held to the exact same standards as S's parents.

There's a work conference in San Francisco in June. I didn't want to go because, well, I prefer my own house to staying in a hotel. BUT with this news coming in today, I'm thinking that it would be so nice to go to San Francisco for a few days. Alone. I could hear myself think and not debate politics (during an election year! with staunch Republicans!).

Another option is to sell our house really quickly and buy a 400 square foot condo. "Aw, shucks, we've downsized, I'm not sure there's enough room in our new place."

I know, I'm going to hell. I swear that I will try harder to be positive; I think I give myself the same pep talk before every visit, and then I crack about 12 seconds into the visit*. When my husband tells me that his parents have changed the arrival and departure dates 3,422 times and the moment his parents arrive they start comparing us to his perfect brother and sister, I promise that this time I will take some Xanax and nod like a Stepford Wife. I'll try at least.

Maybe I'll last 13 seconds into the visit this time.

* As a side note, it's coming upon the 2 year anniversary of when my sister-in-law freaked out over the in-laws and called the cops on them, which then precipitated the collapse of brother-in-law and sister-in-law's marriage. While she certainly isn't my favorite person, I do have a bit of empathy for someone who could blow up at S's parents because it really isn't that much of a stretch to see it happening at our house (although I wouldn't call the police, I'd just gather up my stuff and go to a hotel). Then that would mean S would feel forced to choose me over his parents, but then would be resentful about choosing me, so then he would cheat on me with some chick named Amber at his work (who has 3 kids and whose husband has left her), and then I'd find out and file for divorce, and then I'd be a bitter, hoarding alcoholic. It's really not a stretch of the imagination, now is it? In order for me not to become a bitter, hoarding alcoholic, I need to be a Stepford Wife for a few months out of every year. Or something like that.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Party Debrief

You know I have to report about the party, right?

First off, I got about 20 opinions from various sources (mommy friends, blogging friends, work friends, church friends and 1 hippie), and only 1 out of 20 people (aka the hippie) said to say yes to the sleepover. Most weren't even cool with leaving a 3 year old at a stranger's house.

I told the birthday girl's mom that I'd play it by ear.

Julia and I get to the house. Julia looks at the dark brown house hidden by trees and says, "Her house looks scary." Kudos to me for not agreeing with her vocally although I wanted to echo my daughter's observation.

We go inside. The 5 year old brother greets Julia and shows her balloons. The birthday girl comes up too, and Julia hides behind my leg. They have decorated the table with Hello Kitty, and there's lots of balloons. The birthday girl's mom is still getting ready, per dad. He's blowing up balloons with one of those helium machines. A guy in his 20s comes in. He reeks like an ashtray and is on his cell phone. There's a baby on the couch with a teenage girl. The baby is kind of squished between the couch cushions and crying, but the girl is ignoring the baby and so is the dad. I want to say something or at least rescue the baby.

Mom finally appears. She can't be more than 25 years old. The baby has to be hers, and the the teenage girl has to be a sister. Right??? Baby still isn't being rescued.

We had prepped Julia about the evening, and she told me that it was okay if I left for a little bit as long as I come back to pick her up. I ask Julia if she's okay if I leave. She tells me not to leave yet, which is fine with me because there's still no other guests, just the birthday girl and her brother and Ashtray Guy and the parents. I talk with the mom for a little bit, and then the mom brings out princess stuff she got for the party. Julia gives me a kiss and tells me that she's okay now. It's 3:20pm, and none of the other guests have arrived. But she said I could go, and it would just look awkward to dawdle, wouldn't it? I very hesitantly leave and try not to think about the 3,254 possibilities this can go wrong. The mom told me that the ice cream guy is coming at 6pm. I tell her that I'll come back at 7pm, cross my fingers and leave.

My husband and I return a few minutes before 7pm. The girls are running around the upstairs. She acknowledges us, tells her dad that she wants her pillow, and runs off to continue to play. Fortunately, it looks like Ashtray Guy isn't there, a set of grandparents is there, and another mom is there. Baby is being attended to by Dad. The mood is a lot more comfortable than when I left her.

The ice cream guy is doing his thing. I have to admit it was cool to watch. As for the taste, it wasn't as great as I would have expected. Coldstone has some great ice cream. This stuff probably wasn't even as good as Baskin & Robbins.

The mom said that Julia was well-behaved. She went potty twice (sometimes Julia can be finicky about where she'll go to the bathroom, so I was worried that she'd try to hold it too long).

One of the other girls, M, was going to spend the night. "Iggy"'s mom wasn't cool with the sleepover, which was good because we could extract our 2 girls at the same time by saying, "Look, Iggy's going home too." Iggy's mom shows up, and Iggy comes up to her mother and says that she wants to sleep over. Ugh.

M's mom and I's mom start talking about birthday invitation protocol. M's mom says you don't have to invite everyone in the class to parties as long as you're discreet. I inwardly shudder. 

The birthday girl opens presents, and then Iggy's mom, my husband and I begin extraction. The girls aren't happy. Such is life. Someone screams the whole way home.

Julia's birthday is in a couple of months, and I'm already dreading party preparations.

Friday, March 16, 2012

To sleep or not to sleep, that is the question

I need some perspective and advice. Perhaps I'm looking for someone or some people to knock me upside the head and saying I'm being way too uptight, which I would actually appreciate. So if you see the other side on this, please say something.

I have a daughter, she's 3.5 years old. She's a delightful little girl, but she's scared of her own shadow. When people meet her for the first (or tenth) time, she is very reserved, and most people think she's mute unless she's had a few hours to warm up. If my husband or I is around, she tends to cling to us.

She goes to daycare full-time. She tends to talk about 4 girls - I, J, K and M - quite a bit. She's had a crush on Daniel for 2 years, but he left school, so now she has replaced Daniel with Colin.

Of their little girl group, "Iggy" tends to be the ringleader. We get to hear about what Iggy likes, that Iggy told her that she wouldn't be Julia's friend if Julia didn't do something for her, etc. Even though I'm only there for drop off in the morning, I hear the other girls talk about Iggy with similar reverence. It's irritating. So I always make a point to talk and ask about the other girls to show Julia that ALL of her friends need to be included.

On Wednesday Julia got an invitation to J's birthday party this Saturday (as in, tomorrow). It seemed like short notice. The invitation said that the party started at 3pm and was a sleepover.

1. J is turning 4 years old.
2. I've never met J's parents.
3. Who in the heck has a 20 hour party for a 4 year old?

My only response to this is, "What the heck????" 

On Wednesday night I call the number listed and leave a message wanting to know about the time of the party. Perhaps this is a pretend sleepover. Possibility, right?

On Thursday at lunch time the mother calls me back. It IS a sleepover. They're having a pizza place come and deliver little pizzas that they can hand make, she's having a liquid nitrogen ice cream place (Subzero, if you've heard of them) come do a demonstration, cake, watch movies, and then they're theoretically supposed to all sleep over. The mother wants to get each of the girls special princess jammies to wear during the party. The mother said that only 3 girls have been invited: Julia, Iggy and M. This is perhaps the best part for me because if it was 20 toddlers who were invited, I knew it would be a complete disaster but with a smaller group it would likely be more manageable.

My response was that we've never left Julia alone at a birthday party. (Am I being completely overprotective?) She's only slept 2 nights away from us, and those were both with S's parents. (Am I being completely overprotective?) I'm not sure how she would do for that long, and I worry about her freaking out. (And I worry about leaving her at a stranger's house for that long - again, am I being too overprotective?) I really want to ask, "What are you smoking to think this is a good idea?" Somehow I came up with enough self-discipline to not ask that.

The way I ended the call was I said we'd come on Saturday, but I'm not sure how Julia would do with me leaving her there, so I asked if we could play it by ear. If she was comfortable, then I'd leave her there for a bit. But since she's never slept away from us, I wasn't sure that she would do well overnight. The mother understood... (but I'm sure she thought I was an overprotective, paranoid person)

So then I asked Julia about this whole thing. First thing she asked: "Is Iggy going?" Sigh, that's a separate issue. She said she wanted to go to the party. She asked if M and K and Colin were going. I say that the party's for girls. She then tells me M and K are girls. The mother had only told me that M, Iggy and Julia were invited, so then there's the issue of K not being invited. So in theory now Julia could talk about it at school on Friday, and now K's feelings could be hurt. (UGH!) How do I backpedal with a 3 year old to tell her not to talk? I am not prepared for the start of girl drama and who is or is not invited to parties.......

Then I talk about this me leaving her at the party and the potential sleepover. In her words, "You can leave for a little bit, Mommy, but can you pick me up?"

I hate to disappoint the birthday girl because I'm an overprotective worrywart. I'm happy Julia's social circle is widening, and I want to encourage other, non-Iggy friends. But my gut is telling me to make this a short party visit. Selfishly, I don't want my whole Saturday afternoon and evening to be babysitting a group of 3- and 4- year olds at someone else's house. And if I am there, I don't want Julia to cling to me; I want her to play with her friends. But on the other hand, I'm really not cool with leaving unless she's comfortable and I don't get weird vibes from the parents.

Alas, please tell me I'm crazy.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Still here

Forgive my lack of posting, I just don't have much to say. The same people who usually annoy me are still annoying me. I've been thinking a lot. Not about anything important (you know, quantum physics or something like that). Just aimless thinking.

I've read quite a few books. I like recording the books I read on Goodreads just so that I can keep track. I think I read 6 books in the last week.

I've been trying to watch the History Channel's The Story of Us on Netflix. I think I'm too distracted when I watch it, or I get distracted by the re-enactments. For some reason, it's been more of a struggle than one might think to get through it.

My daughter said some cute things in the past week. And she cut out a picture of Taylor Swift and glued it to her hat. I really want to know what in the heck she was thinking. But, you know, she's about as great at articulating her thoughts as I am, so I'm left to ponder the "why" behind the whole Taylor Swift thing when my mind wanders.

My diet is starting to slip. The thing is, I've been starting to get back into the exercise groove. When I exercise, I get hungrier and then eat Doritos (not a "sweet"). That then negates the whole exercise thing in large part. Anyway, I've really got to get back on track and be disciplined.

I suppose that's all my random thoughts. Still here, just no cohesive thoughts.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Still waiting for that phone to ring

Do you know that saying about men who say they're going to call and then they never call?

I never really understood that saying. In my little world growing up, I interacted regularly with the vast majority of the guys I dated and/or hung out with. It's not like I was old enough to go to bars and meet random people, and this was before internet dating and even cell phones. I saw these guys in class or at work or in the dorm. It was never like "I'll call you to set up something for this weekend" was even relevant. I'd see him in class on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and have ample opportunity to make plans in person. Or see him in the dorm, often multiple times a day. If I did trade phone numbers with a guy, I either had to deal with my mother intercepting calls from him or in college it was a roommate(s) who would always be on the phone/not give me messages. It was just easier to do this stuff in person. 

If I was seeing a guy, I never really had a problem with them saying they'll call/do something/go somewhere but not following up. For the most part, they did what they said they were going to do. I just don't have a lot of patience for people who are all talk and are lax about following up. Because if you say you'll do a small thing and don't, then that seems a sign that you might not follow through on big things ("I'll pay the mortgage" --> never pay and then your credit rating is tanked). It would be a person far more tolerant than me to take a person who is known for empty promises seriously.

Now the tide has changed, and I'm starting to understand the saying more. Of course, it's not relevant in the dating context for me. I'm learning about this saying from family members.

My uncle is someone I call about a once a year. He always says that he was JUST going to call me that very second when I call him. Uh huh, sure, tell me another one. We proceed to talk for half an hour, and then before we get off the phone, he says, "I'll call you next week!" Uh huh, sure...  Of course he doesn't call the next week, or any of the next 52 weeks, and then I call him the next year. Repeat paragraph. 

Then there's S's brother. S called him last week to see if he could come visit with the boys on Sunday. He said he'd call Saturday night to let us know. We sit and wait. No call on Saturday night. No call on Sunday. Still no call as of now. His record for keeping in contact is about as good as my uncle's, so I'm not holding my breath to hear from him anytime soon.

 Meanwhile, I will take comfort in the fact that I've never had to deal with the "I'll call you but never call" types when I was dating. It would so drive me batty.