Saturday, January 12, 2013

1/12/14 The Playdate

Falling behind again here, but that's a good thing when you're too busy and having too much fun to write.

Saturday we had an all-day playdate Lance and Laura. Once again, I think I had more fun than the kids did. We cooked, yakked, had wine, discovered similarities, compared differences, talked about cats and work and dancing and all sorts of silly grownup stuff.

Laura likes to cook, so we had a yummy dinner -- grilled flank steak, greek salad, lemon-garlic green beans, bruscetta, homemade parmesan/basil crisps. OK OK, so it included the requisite mac'n'cheese for kids, but at least we grownups got to have something ... well, grownup!

Best of all, the kids had a great time together too!


Friday, January 11, 2013

1/11/13 Hard Work

I think I've worked harder this week than I have in my entire 15-month tenure at my "new" job -- holy cow!

Partly, I was off last week (though did a lot of work remotely), and partly, my most competent and highly trusted coworker was out of the office this week, so casual questions got directed to me. Normally I have at most one, maybe two, customer engagements in a single week -- this week it was five. That included two trips to Emeryville (a suburb of Berkeley and a total traffic nightmare) and pretty much consumed the whole day. Sound like a pain? I loved it.

A salesman at my company asked me how I felt about the pressure, and to my surprise, I answered honestly, "I like it!" I do work better under pressure. And I really like to feel like the work I do matters. I'm not curing cancer or alleviating world hunger or anything, but it is nice to see customers smile and nod and appear enlightened about something we -- and I -- can offer. The trust and faith people give me in my current job is wonderful -- a huge responsibility to be sure, but really a fantastic difference from my prior jobs.

As much fun as I'm having in the grownup world, I'm also very happy to have my kid-world back too today. Errr....what kid-world? They don't care about me -- just the cats!!

Incredibly, all these paws belong to just one animal. Pink pads are the giveaway to Mr. Tough Guy, Doodle.

Katrina invested a lot of time tonight to draw out reticent Mommy Meow-Stache -- with success! This kitty follows me around nonstop when there are no kids around, but she's definitely a one-person-at-a-time animal.

Meantime, uber-relaxed Zorro (who has picked up the nickname "Dude" which has morphed into "Doodle") was just hangin' out on the top bunk with the boys. Gabriel carries him up there, and then he just hangs for hours. This cat can take anything.

A nice juxtaposition of "grownup" and "kid" world -- happy customers, happy cats, happy kids. Just what I need to make me happy!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

1/10/12 yummm.....

In the old days, cat food was just about going to the grocery store and picking up whatever was there. Nowdays, there's a huge gourmet selection and the accompanying skepticism about PetSmart and Safeway.

So what's a new kitty-mommy to do? I tried Trader Joe's tonight...and found pretty much what I found with the expensive stuff: one cat likes it, another one, eh.

At least my attempt attracted attention...'re cats! Just eat it already!!

Well, turns out, they did. Maybe TJ's is OK after all.


(p.s. despite my hard-core blustering, truth is, I really do want my dear life-saving soul-saving heart-rescue companions and friends to enjoy I'm so glad they did.)

1/9/13 Dress-up

Over 6 years ago, the Title Nine catalog saved me. I was unexpectedly pregnant, feeling horrible, and daunted by the prospect of another baby. But a photo of one of their real-life "models" sitting on a surfboard with an adorable toddler standing on the end of it, made me think, "this could be OK." I almost wrote to Title Nine at the time to tell them how that photo inspired me, and how someday I'd want to be a "real-life" Title Nine model myself!

Fast-forward one wonderful little girl's 6 years old, and she likes to wear dresses. Me....not so much. Like, never.

But somehow, a friend and I got chatting about dresses, and what better source than the Title Nine catalog. Photos like this so work for those of us who can't bear to be restricted by fashion.

I actually want to wear this dress when I look at this picture (hoodie notwithstanding, I don't like those...nor 3/4-length or bell sleeves, too low-cut, wrap-style, V-neck, or empire waistlines -- not that I'm picky or anything). just like some years ago when I saw the woman sitting on the surfboard with the toddler, I thought it might be OK to be her.

I'll reserve judgement until I actually see one of these dresses on my friend, who wears dresses very well....but you know, right now my life is all about making changes, re-evaluating, exploring, finding new sides. Who knows, that might even include wearing a dress once in a while. Between this favorite catalog, my friend, my daughter, and my inspiring mother, that should be enough critical mass to consider it!

But what about shoes....


Tuesday, January 08, 2013

1/8/13 Me and G, June 2012

A friend just posted this photo she took last summer -- every photo of me with a kid is a huge treat for me -- and someday, perhaps for them too! Thank you, Lisa!

June 9, 2012, Rio Del Mar beach, Santa Cruz CA. Mom and 10yo Gabriel

Sure wish I hadn't lost that hat about a month later!


1/8/13 The pink dress

A lovely, shiny, colorful, pretty dress from Bonne Maman!

For the record, I had nothing to do with this "outfit" -- not that my own are much better. This photo barely even shows the bright-light-blue Christmas socks -- the final proof of how relaxed I am about fashion choices! Katrina was insistent, clear and focused on her clothes today, picking them last night with no indecision, and carrying through with unwavering clarity this morning. I wouldn't dream of trying to steer her toward a choice that might, oh, I don't know, matched.

Picking battles around her brothers' behavior and rudeness on the other hand.....ugh. I've really had it with their ignoring and defying instructions, rudeness, arguing with basic rules, ignoring consequences...I had a big blowout with both of them tonight, stood my ground and it turned ugly, but it needed to. I really am DONE with being talked to rudely, with condescension and lack of respect -- from everyone in my life. At work, I'm treated with courtesy and respect and kindness, even when there are challenges to my opinions or suggestions. I've HAD it with all else. How did I tolerate anything less for so long?

But right now, let's admire Katrina's wherewithall to dress herself how she feels like it -- I'm all for that!


Monday, January 07, 2013

1/7/13 If you could be an animal....

I forget who came up with this question, but it sounds like a Katrina-ism: "If you weren't a human, what animal would you want to be?"

This led to a fun discussion about what animals have it best, and hence which we'd want to be. Katrina wanted to be a tiger, Gabriel a cat, and Julian, believe it or not, a raven of all things -- so he could fly free.

I don't know, I think I'd want to be an animal that leads the most leisurely life, with little food stress or risk from predators. Honestly the closest I can think of to that is a domesticated cow....other than that being-led-to-slaughter thing at the end, they seem to have it about perfect. No cow ever had mounds of laundry or cleaning facing them!


Sunday, January 06, 2013

1/6/13 home again!

Made it home, no problem for once! About the most peaceful drive I've ever had. Unprecedented. The kids were mostly focused on seeing the cats again. I'm not so sure the feeling was returned!

Does reality have to re-insert itself? I was so enjoying the heavenly world of the mountains!