Thursday, May 28, 2009
We're In!
We finally heard back on whether Harry was assigned a spot at our neighborhood school. He was!

There were a few days when I wore myself out thinking of what would happen if he didn't get a seat. There was the "I will appeal the decision to no end and perhaps write a large check to the PTA" line of thinking. There was the "That's it! We're moving!" line of thinking, as well as the ever popular "I will beg the principal to intervene on my behalf and write a large check to the PTA." I knew I was becoming delirious when I wondered how large the check would have to be to get my name above the library door? Or if they'd name a new science lab after us?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
This blog has been neglected lately. I know this because I sit down to write a post and can't think of a single thing. Then I start writing for the sake of writing something and I realize that no one wants to read about whatever lame thing happened recently. And thus I have spared you the gory details of my hangnail. You're welcome!

Instead I will just say things have just been plodding along. I've had work, which is good. Plus it was extended for two weeks so that's even better. The State of New York is annoyed that I can't come to their resume writing workshop. But the nice ladies in Albany keep telling me it's OK to skip it if I have work. Apparently, the government prefers to take your money in the form of taxes rather than just give it to you while you watch Oprah and catch up on your "stories" send resumes out and look for work.

We spent the Memorial Day weekend camping and enjoyed three solid days of swimming, hiking, s'mores, beer, fishing and taking the kids for ice cream every night. I honestly don't know if could have taken another minute of FUN. The kids were exhausted at the end of every day, but not so much that they couldn't wake us at the crack of dawn each morning for more FUN, or s'mores. Or both.

A Boy And His Marshmallows
I will leave you with the following photo, taken on our hike at Bushkill Falls in Pennsylvania. As we were walking near the base of the main falls, there was a little overlook on the opposite side and very few people were there. I wandered over with my camera to try and get a wider shot of the falls but this is what I saw when I turned around.
This picture doesn't do it justice. I loved how it was just gorgeous but went mostly ignored by the other hikers because they were too focused on the larger falls. I was able to stare at it peacefully, with almost no one else around me, until I was called by the kids to come have more FUN, this time in the souvenier shop.

Sunday, May 17, 2009
So John, How Does It Feel to Turn 40?

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Friday, May 15, 2009
We are anxiously waiting to hear whether or not Harry has a spot in the pre-k class at our neighborhood school.

Because of the mini-baby boom New York is experiencing, he is not guaranteed a spot just because we've applied. There are roughly 8000 kids (or 4,000+ parents) vying for 77 seats. OK, I exaggerate on how many are vying for the seats but you know, that's how it feels. Suddenly I can see how parents can become obsessive over getting their kids into pre-school. It's a fine line between hoping for the best and doing everything you possibly can make it happen. So far, I've managed to stay on the hoping-for-the-best side of the line.

We had to submit an application to the Department of Education indicating which school we were planning on sending our son, along with two "safety schools" nearby, and by nearby I mean "close enough to walk to but not so close that it wouldn't be a big ol' pain in the tukkus to get to when you have a child in a whole other school."

We are relying nepotism, geography and luck. Harry already has a sibling in the school and we are zoned for this particular school and this gives him a slim margin of preference. Here's hoping the luck of the Irish is with us because there will probably be a lottery for the seats once they whittle the choices down.

Monday, May 11, 2009
Harry is at that age when just because he thinks things should go a certain way they automatically do. And if they don't, he likes to insist, relentlessly, until you either give in or get through to him that it just isn't happening. Like when I was trying to buy a box of tampons yesterday and he insisted he "must! have! THIS! Thomas! Video!" and I explained that he already has too many videos so no, no video today. And he just kept insisting and insisting and insisting and considering I'm buying tampons my tolerance for this was non-existant and then he decided to just up and leave.

Part of me (a tiny part) wanted to just let him walk right out and if he got lost or scared it'd serve him right but the other, much larger part of me believed there was a pedophile on the other side of those supersensistive doors at the drug store so I had to yell across the other three lines "STOP RIGHT THERE!" But he didn't, he kept right on walking (in a pair of mismatched crocs), while yelling over his shoulder "I'M GOING TO FIND MY FATHER!"

Like this tactic was ever going work. Pffft.

I left everything, including my purse, on the counter while I raced out to make sure my only son actually met up with his father (who was waiting outside but I wasn't sure exactly where), then saw an older man trying to walk into the store tell Harry "no little boy, you have to listen to your mommy and go back inside." To which Harry replied "GET OUT OF MY WAY!" as he raced past him. I went back in to finish my transaction, grateful I didn't have to pull him back into the store screaming and for the 60 seconds it gave me to catch my breath.

He wailed the whole way home because when you're four, crying that you will not be in a time out for the four block walk home is just another way of trying to make something happen (or, in this case, not happen) through insistance. And screaming. Good lord, that kid can be relentless.

After the time out, we talked about how how we have to have patience, elusive as always, and also how dangerous it is to leave your grownup, that he could get lost or hurt or taken. When it seemed to be getting through to him I said "Now, what would you do if a strange, scary man saw you outside the store and asked you to help him find his lost puppy? What would you say then?"

"I'd say 'OK!' "

Then it way my turn to be relentlessly insistant....

Saturday, May 9, 2009
Back to the Salt Mines
It has been raining for over a week. There have been a few breaks of sun but mainly lots of clouds and drizzly, Seattle-like rain. It's been a bit of a mood-killer and I'd like my hair to stop frizzing. Yesterday morning right before I left for work, the sun broke through for a few minutes and I happened to look out into the backyard and good lord is it ever green. A bright, healthy, verdant green. The kind of color that screams "Spring!"

And speaking of work...."So what's it like to be back?" This is a question I am asked again and again by my past and current co-workers at the ex-job. The other question they ask me: "Is it weird to be back?"

The best way to describe it is like this: have your spouse leave you, then have your ex call you up a year later and ask you to come on a vacation with his/her family. While you are vacationing, have your ex's family tell you over and over that it is so nice to have you around again, that leaving you was wrong and that they missed you terribly at Christmas. Then watch them argue over politics and religion and realize not much has changed. They're still lovably wacky and dysfunctional.
Yeah, it's kinda like that.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Because It's Never Too Early to Plan for Summer
Yesterday I celebrated Cinco de Mayo by having tacos at a Mexican bodega on the far West Side of Manhattan. It's a grocery store in the front but has a window all the way in the back where two women cook authentic tacos, Mexican sandwiches and quesadillas.

Yesterday I washed three pork tacos down with a Boing! Mango drink, which I decided would be awesome in some summer cocktails.

Here's what I love about the internet: think something up, search for it and voila! it is there waiting for you to discover it. I now have a virtual library of mango cocktail recipes at my fingertips. And I use the word library, because I think these recipes will require hands-on research drink-in-hand research.

And then a co-worker mentioned a drink she had in Mexico city called a michelada, which is beer with lime juice in a salt-rimmed glass and this, too, will require further inquiry in my summer studies. All in the name of science, of course.

Monday, May 4, 2009
More from the Back Yard
This is Whitey. He is not the cat responsible for the Blue Jay massacre last week but he is one of the strays that roam the yards in my neighborhood. And when I say "stray", I mean a cat with no permanent address, with not one, but two neighbors who feed him. One of those neighbors even makes regular vet appointments for him and he is the picture of health. And obviously content.
(Oh, and the Blue Jay? It lived! I saw it yesterday with a single tail feather left and a scrape along the side if it's throat. I like to think that bird is showing off that scrape to the other birds. "Ya see this? That's from when I escaped the jaws of death!"