30 December 2007
What makes her super fun is that she's an orthodox Jew. God bless her, I respect her faith and the sacrifices she makes for it - many people in her neighborhood are also Jewish, there's a Yeshiva down the street, a Hebrew day school, the kosher cafe and deli, and of course the neighborhood synagogue all within walking distance since you can't drive on the Sabbath. She wears a wig and reminded Jim today that she couldn't hug him (I got one, though). However, she is still the consummate Jewish Grandmother. She's sweet the one second and then chastising Jim the next for not coming to see her more often to buy me things, and he got quite a guilt trip when she found out he never bought me a present when I gave birth. She'll talk your ear off and wanted to hear all about Natalie, what we've been up to since getting married, yadda yadda yadda - she was so glad to hear I could work from home so I could look after the baby. A friend who used her for an engagement ring was once sent home with chicken soup from her freezer when he came to pick the ring up with a serious head cold.
Anyway, after two years of not fitting, I am FINALLY getting my engagement and wedding rings resized. My little finger went from a 5.5 to a 7! Yikes! No wonder I couldn't even come close to shoving them on any more. And I won't get into why it's taken 2+ years to get them resized - let's just say it has to do with Jim being a shit and wanting me to lose weight first. So...they will be done in about a week and we'll have to bring Natalie with us to pick them up so our jeweler can squeeze her cheeks and maybe cut Jim a deal on a belated push present.
27 December 2007
Here's what I've been up to the past week:
- wondering how many calories I burned wrangling a toddler through an airport and a three hour flight where she didn't sleep a wink
- being surprised that I only felt slightly queasy upon landing instead of my usual plane-sick self
- having a car to use at our leisure for the course of the week and not having to rent one as originally planned
- having a car seat to use all week, too
- watching Natalie be one of the kids with her big cousins (ages 6, 9, and 10)
- getting to dish with my awesome sister-in-law about how our mother-in-law drives us nuts
- laughing at the central Texas dog psychiatry clinic
- praying I never have to move to Texas
- deciding that if we end up moving there, I could handle living in Austin proper, but that's it
- getting a free massage from my sister-in-law's neighbor who is in training
- feeling like a limp noodle after said massage
- enjoying sunshine and warm air in the middle of december
- hating having to go to Sear's to have family pictures taken
- actually liking how good some of them came out
- getting to go on a date with my husband
- having awesome food on said date
- watching carolers decked out in Victorian-esque outfits run down the street as they were late for their entrance at the production of "A Christmas Carol" at the wee little community theatre next door to the restaurant where we were eating.
- wondering how on earth a tire RENTAL shop works
- watching Natalie try out a trampoline for the first time
- loving on those three wonderful cousins
- laughing during a family kareoke dance party
- cooking with my sisters-in-law for the big Christmas Eve family dinner
- wondering how we ended up doing all the cooking when mother-in-law was so insistant on being the hostess for this meal
- fuming at how controling my mother-in-law is
- going to the bathroom sans toddler for FIVE DAYS STRAIGHT
- cleaning up puke on Christmas Eve
- waking up to homemade sticky buns in the oven on Christmas morning
- watching the cousins get more joy out of giving than getting
- having a baby who is so loved by her family and spoiled by them
- packing a box of toddler loot to ship home as it didn't fit in our luggage
- flying home with a sick toddler
- praying the puke didn't make another apperance on the plane
- thanking God the puke waited till we got in the car at the airport
- coming home to a house watched over by a good friend and neighbor who not only collected our mail but left us a plate of fresh, home-made Christmas cookies (and she's Jewish!) for our arrival
And there you have it, our trip in a nutshell. Natalie is still under the weather, we think something she ate really did a number on her and since it was the end of the trip, she was just so worn out by all the fun of being with her cousins she couldn't get over it. I think the combination of being so behind on sleep (the cousins kept her energy levels at 11 all week) with being sick has inhibited her ability to get over this bug. She did eat some bland oatmeal for dinner last night which stayed down. We'll see how today goes. Our big plans include a showing of sesame street between naps. Crazy, eh?
26 December 2007
19 December 2007
16 December 2007
We had the children's christmas service at church tonight. I'm kind of disappointed, as those of us with kids in the younger than 5 demographic got a letter telling us about the music and the participation etc and how wonderful it would be. Well, it was more reverant that joyous I felt. Not that the true meaning and story behind the holiday isn't sacred and worthy of being revered, but when you call it a children's service and encourage those with toddlers to bring them, I expected more bells! tamborines! carols! hand clapping! noise! funk! The music was beautiful, but other than Natalie imitating the conductors, she was more into flirting with the elderly couple behind us who no doubt were egging her on. Oh well. The natvity play that the elementary aged kids did was priceless and Natalie did have fun at the little punch and cookies reception afterwards, where she found some of her other toddler friends and they ran around together like the wild toddlers they are.
One thing our pastor said as he gave the meditation on Psalm 8 - I should say one thing I remember as I found my mind wandering to my mile long to-do list of everything we need to get or get done before we hit the skies on thursday - was how small we are in the grand scheme of things. He described it as that feeling you get laying out in the middle of a field, far from the city, at night and watching stars. I used to work at a summer camp and my other coworkers and I would do this all the time. It brought chills to me, as those were some of the best times. We would go out late at night (oh, this camp was in the middle of NOWHERE with farms on all sides of the property) and lay on this hillside. Sometimes deer would come sauntering right by us without a second glance. The stars were so bright and the sky so dark you could see the milky way like it was close enough to reach out and touch. I don't know what this means that this memory really got to me, but I think I'd like to find a field while we're in Texas (shouldn't be hard...) and go sit in it. Maybe not at night, but just To Be. Alone. Doesn't that sound peaceful? I think I need a bit of that in all the current craziness.
14 December 2007
So many thoughts, so many half started posts, but this is all I've got for now...We leave for holiday travel in 6 and a half days. I'm excited and terrified. Oy.
10 December 2007
Your vocabulary continues to grow in leaps and bounds, some of your new words are idea, good, nice, and arabesque (your auntie Anne taught you that one). You've started to use thank you (or 'tee-too') with regularity, so combined with 'pees', you've got a lovely politeness going on. You've also started to combine words, so it's 'petzels pees' or 'papa nice' or 'nanee night-night.' We're just waiting for you to wake up one morning speaking in paragraphs.
05 December 2007
Our apartment only had street parking, and our street was the main route to a hospital. The good is that it always got plowed right away. The bad is that when a plow pushes one big stripe down the middle of a semi-major road in 12 inches of snow, your car is then burried in at least 3-4 feet of the stuff and requires a few hours to dig out. So hard was this work that people (myself included) got protective of their parking spaces that they had spent so much sweat creating. When you left to go to the groccery, you'd pull up into the street, get out, take a lawn chair out of your trunk and place it in the nook you had dug your car out of along the curb. Then the whole time you were out getting milk and toilet paper in preparation for the next snow fall, you prayed the cops hadn't come by and tossed all the lawn chairs on your street to the sidewalk.
It was a small college, and living off campus wasn't like being a part of a big party or something like friends of mine experienced at larger universities. Our apartment was the 2nd floor of a row house on a residential street with only a couple other similar apartments of college students on it. Everyone else was families or older people. This made snow shoveling nights almost magical (pardon the cheesiness). Everyone would be out there, from our French Carribbean neighbors to the Menonite couple with their 6 adopted kids across the street. Everything was quiet in that way that only exists after a snow storm. People stopped to chat, even help others out after they had finished their own walkways and cars. It was the type of night that made you want to whip up a big pot of hot chocolate and invite everyone in for an impromptu party.
Sadly, I'm tired, have been in my jammies since 4pm, and it's so wicked cold out I can't muster the same excitement for going out and shoveling. Again, I can always use the girl card and make one of the boys do it in the morning.
04 December 2007
Somehow, I've gotten sentimental about saying goodbye to my old car. I got it over winter break my last year of college. It took me to my best friend's wedding and was where I bawled my eyes out afterwards because I knew our friendship would never be the same (he was a guy...even weirder I had a dream about this wedding the other night). It gave me a bit of freedom I never had before - I could go 100% off the dining hall since I no longer had to worry about bumming rides to the groccery or having to pay at the expensive place that was walking distance. I also no longer had an excuse not to workout on cold, rainy, snowy days - I could drive to the gym all the way across campus instead of having to brave the elements for the 20 min walk.
This is the car that moved me from my parents house to my own place down in DC, that I did wedding planning errands in, that brought Natalie home from the hospital. It had visited friends and gone on vacation to Vermont, New York, Jersey, Virginia Beach, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I smooched boys other than Jim in this car. Even though the tape deck hadn't worked for a few years, I still had a collection of mix tapes in there, many of them from ex-boyfriends. So many memories, so many changes. I just didn't think I'd be so sentimental about such a clunker of a car.