Wednesday, June 30, 2010

6/30/2010 Packing

Getting ready for our trip tomorrow!

I'm excited but also dreading the astounding logistical hassle of airports and luggage and airplanes and flying and renting and loading a car and navigation and taking care of 3 kids through all of that. I'll feel a lot better when we're there.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

6/29/2010 Incommunicado

I do not hold my hand to my ear to talk on phones, ever. I haven't for years. Not home phones, cell phones, or work phones. I have a cordless headset at home, a headset at work, and an earpiece for my cellphone in my car. The whole crooking-your-neck-thing -- not me, no way, no how.

This is the major reason I don't carry a cell phone -- with a close second being that rarely have pockets that fit a phone, and even if I did, I don't want a phone in them. But even if I did find a way to physically carry the phone, I wouldn't want to talk on it by holding it to my ear. I'm not going to carry a headset around with me, no one does that unless they truly are on the phone all day and have a Bluetooth parked on them all day.

I talk on my cell phone a lot -- exclusively in the car, and exclusively while driving. Say what you will about that, but I challenge any talking-while-driving foe to demonstrate how my talking to my mother, while looking around at everything around me, is in any way more dangerous or distracting than having my three children in the back of the car. I'm here to tell you: the boys fighting right behind me, me looking at them in the mirror, twisting around to take something, reaching back to smack someone, turning around to issue an order one last time, Katrina shrieking... Joe Simitian, where are you when you really need to outlaw dangerous distracted driving conditions? It's downright peaceful and safe when I'm chatting happily away with my mother with no one else in the car. The only thing I've ever done is miss an exit, once or twice, and we've all done that for any variety of reasons.

But all of this is possible only through the good graces of an inexpensive, yet difficult-to-find piece of equipment: the cellphone earpiece. Not a bluetooth -- been there done that, don't need the batteries, hassle, or boot time. Just a plain old wire that leads to an earpiece and a microphone, thank you. And those are remarkably hard to find.

Today I went to 5 stores, two of which were AT&T stores which is what my phone is. Nada. I got the last one of only one kind of earpiece at Best Buy, then went to Radio Shack to validate. They had a little more selection, but weirder quality, and I liked the Best Buy one better.

Why are these so hard to find?! I guess everyone crooks their necks in their phones or holds them up with their hands. Blah. But at least I did find one, just in time for our upcoming trip (!!) (!!) (!!!!), so I'm back on the air.

My new headset means I'll meet the legal standard for driving while talking, but with the kids in the back, I sure as heck will fall far, far below actual safety standards.


Monday, June 28, 2010

6/28/2010 Lunch?!

I was talking with the boys over dinner about lunch, of all things. I explained to Julian that next year, he'll have lunch at school, not at the CDC. So, for instance, he won't be able to have things heated up at lunch.

"Sure he can Mom," Gabriel said. "You heat up our lunch at work, then drive to school, and drop off our heated lunches at 11:50 in the school office, they call the teacher and we go get our hot lunch."

Huh? "Are you out of your mind?" I asked him. Drive to school during my lunch hour?!

"Sure Mom. Lots of kids get hot lunch brought by their parents to the office."

I couldn't believe it. As soon as he said " 11:50," I knew he was serious. He was able to name 4 kids in his class who routinely went to the office to pick up a hot lunch that their parents brought for them to school.

I was stunned. Really, making a second trip to school just to bring lunch (not a forgotten lunch, but hot lunch from home). Just how far have things come?! Good grief!

Swim lesson night tonight. I gave the kids a quick dinner, and got all three to their lesson in plenty of time. All three were the first in their class to arrive, getting 3-4 minutes of private lesson time. I can safely say I am in the tiny minority of parents who manage 3 kids by myself to swim lesson -- and also in a minority whose kids are in the pool exactly on time. Not that we always pull this off, but occasionally my practice shows.

I'm not usually smitten by cute little girl things, but for some reason, Katrina in in her two-piece, goggles and ponytails is so unbelievably cute.

And it works, she gets the handsome dudes.

I sure wish swim lessons didn't spend so much time with back-floating. This just isn't something that's done much in competitive, or even recreational, swimming.

Julian sure has fun with the playtime at the end of the lesson though. Hard to tell on the video, but he has a HUGE smile and can't quit giggling!

But, sorry, no hot lunch.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

6/27/2010 The Window

One of countless remodeling mistakes we made was forgetting to order a window in the stairwell with obscured glass. It faces our neighbors' bedroom, it's not a nice view, and neither we nor our neighbors want to see each other through this window.

But, there are ways around this, such as a film that you apply after the fact. I'd gone to Lowe's and bought a kit, set up the project in the stairwell garden window, and then....nothing. Partly since it required coordination with Dave, partly because I thought it needed a day when the sun wasn't beating down on the window, and partly because it was just a huge pain in the ass, it just hadn't happened.

All the materials were waiting patiently on the shelf in the stairwell, ready for the project to be executed -- for well over a year.

But this was the weekend. I was tired of this project weighing on me every time I went up and down the stairs. I started it yesterday, ran out of film and had to go back to Lowe's for more. I took just Julian with me, transforming a draining errand into a delightful outing together, and he became my helper.

Finally, our neighbors don't have to see us walking up or down our stairs from their house. Not clearly, anyway.

I added some to the top panes of the kitchen window too. I wish I didn't have to do that, but I really am tired of seeing their curtains and the nasty 70s-pattern in the stucco.

So much else didn't happen today. I psyched myself up for a swim this morning, but was foiled by a swim meet occupying the pool. I just couldn't get over that -- it's rare I can't get myself motivated to go running, but, darnit, I was in the mood to swim! I have so much preparing and checking to do for our trip next week (did I fix that luggage carrier, will the big suitcase's broken zipper hold for one more trip, where IS that carseat carrier etc), but none of that happened either.

But at least I can walk up my stairs without the pressure of that project.