23 May 2010

How to Prolong Bedtime

Zoe has become the master of prolonging bedtime. If you're looking for tips, here are some of her favorites:

  • When you are told to go up to bed be sure to leave something crucial behind like your beloved stuffed animal Eeeyore thus necessitating a return trip downstairs for retrieval.
  • Sit on the toilet without actually going until a parent comes upstairs.
  • Use much more shampoo than is necessary thus necessitating lots and lots of rinsing.
  • Spend at least 5 minutes brushing your hair and staring in the mirror while making crazy faces. Longer if parent is not watching.
  • Agonize over what pajamas to wear.
  • Agonize over what clothes to wear tomorrow.
  • Agonize over what book to read.
  • Develop sudden case of OCD in regards to specific placement of stuffed animals, blankets or pillows on the bed.
  • Suddenly remember that you have not kissed other parent good night.
  • Ask a lot of questions about random things.
  • Tell a story about how someone hurt your feelings that day.
  • Ask to be tucked in.
  • Ask for a back rub.
  • Ask for a drink.
  • Ask for a hug.
  • Ask for a kiss.
  • Say you suddenly don't feel well. Your stomach, head, or knee hurts. Be sure to vary the source of the pain.
She regularly employs 3 to 5 of these techniques on any given night.

19 May 2010

The More Things Change, The More They Change

Funny how change can be both wonderful and terrifying, isn't it? And why is it that change seems to beget change?

Feels like life is in a constant state of flux these days and I find myself struggling just a bit to keep up. Here's a sampling of some of the change that's happening:

  • My boss, the best boss I ever had, recently left his post for greener pastures. I am pleased for him, but I do wish he hadn't deserted me.
  • One of my closest friends is moving back to England all of a sudden and really soon. I am pleased for her, but selfishly I really want her to stay here.
  • Another of my closest friends just recently told me she's pregnant. I am thrilled for her, especially because I know she has wanted another baby. However, her first daughter is close in age to Zoe, our husbands are very good friends and we were always a perfect matched set. I know we'll still have lots of fun together, but the matched set idea is out the window. Yes, this is incredibly small and selfish. (Are you sensing a theme?)
Times like these always remind me of a book of short stories that I was given as a gift when I graduated college, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley. Honestly, I don't remember that much about the stories except that I liked them, but the title has always stuck with me because that's almost always what big changes feel like to me.

I'm going to roll with it and I think almost all the changes underway will lead to good things and happiness, but right now I am a tad overwhelmed.

17 May 2010

How to Have a Great Weekend Away

Step 1:
Invite yourself to a good friend's house where you like visiting. Make sure that friend's house is full of things you really like (like books and comfy chairs and chocolate cake and wine). It also helps if that friend lives in a town called Paradise.

Step 2:
Get another good friend to join you for the weekend so you don't have to make the journey alone. If you're really clever, you'll even get that friend to do all the driving while you do a somewhat poor job of navigating while singing along to their CDs.

Step 3:
Arrange for Mother Nature to provide some unusual weather and therefore affording you with dramatic lighting on cityscape views and streaks of lightning crossing the sky.

Step 4:
Arrive and immediately be presented with a glass of wine followed by a delicious home made dinner. A dinner that you didn't have to shop for or prepare at a table already set. Eat, drink, talk, eat cake, talk. Be amazed by such a wonderful meal.

Step 5:
Enthusiastically sample the local delicacies -- especially if those delicacies include sticky buns and coffee cake. Eat and talk.

Step 6:
Buy a few pounds of chocolate at the local chocolate shop.

Step 7:
Wander through little shops then drink tea and eat crumpets and scones from lovely floral china.

Step 8:
Open a bottle of prosecco and horn in on hosts' tradition of picking winners for the Preakness. All pile onto a bed and root for your horse (always pick the favorite) with lots of shouting and cheering. When your horse wins, feel like you've actually won, even though no actual bets were placed.

Step 9:
Get gussied up in dresses for dinner at the local pub and take photos in the yard like you're going to the junior prom.

Step 10:
Bring and excellent bodyguard to dinner at the pub. Eat, drink, be merry, talk, and get Blizzards from Dairy Queen on the way home just to make sure you are good and full.

Step 11:
Fall into bed and sleep like a log. Wake up an loll about in the morning while hosts are busy getting ready to attend to their responsibilities. Finally clean up and go out for a diner breakfast.

Step 12:
Pack up all your stuff and goodies acquired along the way. Reluctantly say good-bye to incredibly generous and fun hosts.

Step 13:
Sing along to every song on Madonna's Immaculate Collection CD to pass the time while stuck in traffic.

Step 14:
Arrive home to big hugs from Zoe.

11 May 2010

ZoesMom's Bear

If you've been reading this blog for awhile or you've been in Zoe's room, you know how much she loves stuffed animals. I think we have just about one of every kind of animal ever made in stuffed animal form -- including a duck-billed platypus, a porcupine, and a salmon. Therefore I am sure it comes as no surprise to learn that one of her favorite stores is Build-a-Bear. I have lost count of how many bears, dogs, etc. that we have now "built," but it is surely enough for a small army.

For those of you that don't know the Build-a-Bear business model, it is really all about the clothes and other accessories. The bears and whatnot are relatively inexpensive, but they get you with the other stuff. It is brilliant really. Luckily for me, Zoe has never cared for the clothes or the accessories so supporting her habit has been relatively inexpensive. Not worse than something like Pokemon cards. But I digress.

This year for Mother's Day I received from Zoe my very own Build-a-Bear! She had Rob take her to the mall, she brought her own money, and she "built" this bear for me. Because it is something that she loves so much, I love it too. It is part of the mother's curse to love these kinds of presents, but it is a burden I am willing to bear. (Ha. Get it? Bear.)

So, ladies and gentleman, I now introduce you to my new bear friend Justice. She even wears a t-shirt that says "Happy Mother's Day" to commemorate the occasion.

Yes, I got some beautiful flowers and some delicious shower gel and lotion from my wonderful husband, but this is my favorite gift.