Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanks Part 3

I had a dream last night that BZ had to go fight Iraqis with a group of fellow musicians. It was very upsetting thinking of how he might fare guitar vs. gun. It was a very upsetting dream, as absurd as it seems as I explain it. I did wake up thankful that BZ did not really have to go to battle this morning, that would be bad and he would probably be killed and that would not be acceptable.

I am also thankful that although Aiden woke up in puke this morning (again) he didn't get it all over me or the bed. For this I am very thankful. And, I am super thankful that he is now, end of day, not lethargic and sad and puky. This is good.

I am thankful to have a job, even as ridiculous and lame as it sometimes becomes. I'd be more thankful if they sent next year's contract before Christmas eve.

I am thankful to have a roof over my head. I'd be even more thankful if I could afford to turn up the heat a wee bit higher. Ah, details.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanks Part 2

I was out all day today for work, and all evening. My ears are ringing. I need sleep but...have a responsibility to my readers. All three of you, you know who you are. OK so maybe there are more than three...five?

OK, so its almost a week later and I missed writing on Thanksgiving day. That's because I was trying to enjoy every moment rather than writing about the moment.

Thanks Part 2: My parents came for Thanksgiving. We had a great visit. It made me miss them even more. Max was sad to see them go. He said he wanted them to stay for 7 more days because "Papa is so funny and Nanny gives me lots of stuff."

Kim came for Thanksgiving as well. We had a great visit. It reminded me of the importance of friendship. And pumpkin pie.

And since I missed out on writing in any detail of Thanksgiving, I will leave you with a final, "last man standing" image of our Thanksgiving Feast:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanks Part 1

I'm beginning to feel thanks...a few days early. Who are these crazy kids? Where did they come from? I know, I know, I am their mother, I know WHERE they came from but really, how lucky am I to know such wacky, fun beings?

This may not seem like such a big deal to non-parents but I just find it amazing that these tiny people are actual...people...with their own humor, thinking, imagination, love, anger and dangerous ideas.

Okay. This is Thanks Part 1. I'm sure there will be more.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My shiny car

Today I was in a car accident. It was very frightening. I am okay, the car is okay, but I was really freaked. It was like a hit and run on the freeway. I say "like" since it wasn't like plowing down a pedestrian, it was "bumping" into another car and taking off. A large pickup truck and cargo van were slamming down the freeway and came to a slow down...but didn't, slammed into each other, one spun out, the other spun into me. They both adjusted and then sped off. I was sure they had destroyed the side of my car but I was wrong. When I finally pulled over and stopped shaking, I got out, checked...nothing. The side mirror was pushed in, but not broken.

On my way home, I stopped at an overpriced car wash and got the works. They vacuumed, cleaned windows, hand washed the car. They threatened me with car freshener but I declined. My car now sparkles. I am proud of my big old minivan for protecting me.

I have been debating whether or not to trade it in for a smaller, more environmentally responsible vehicle. Forget it. I am alive. I would have been mush in a small vehicle. Oh, and on a GM note, I used OnStar to get help filing a report. They connected me immediately to CHP, who then dispatched an officer to the scene. The OnStar lady offered to stay on the line while I waited in case I was still freaked and needed company. How cool is that? I declined but was very thankful.

So yes, the following day I traded in my faithful Venture for an Uplander (Chevy minivan speak). This new one has side airbags for the back seats, where the kids sit. There is also more of a front than my other van, a lot safer. New. Pretty (for a minivan). I know, its not a Prius, but I am alive thanks to my giant, gas guzzling vehicle. And we recycle and have twirly light bulbs, alright?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The politics of kindergarten

Max goes to Kindergarten next year.

The enrollment period begins in December, less than a month away. What's the big deal,you may say (only if you don't live in Oakland), its just kindergarten, what's the rush?

In Oakland, there is a lottery system in choosing your school. There are only so many openings per school, per class year, and based on where you live, there are sometimes no openings at all for the incoming year.

For those of you who know that I live in a great school district, you might wonder what crack I've been smoking to even worry about this. So here's the thing:

We do live in a well scoring district, Montclair, and, even by lottery, should probably get in. But is it the best school for Max? There are 20+ kids per class. There are split classes at each grade level (K-1, 1-2, 2-3). It feels very large. On the plus side, the teachers seem cool and experienced, the principal seems great, the PTA/parents are unbelievably involved. I just felt depressed at the end of the tour, it seemed really big...

Today we toured Thornhill Elementary, up the hill from Montclair (addressed above). We loved it. We really loved it. Same size, same basic curriculum, as a base. Very different, cozier feel. No split classes, More extra stuff aimed developmentally, really neat teachers, much more organized parent organization. Tons of computers. Really pretty setting, very cool field trips. It just felt better. This is one of those schools that pretty much only accepts neighbor kids, those in the district. We are a block or two out of that district. Crap. This school felt like how a school should feel.

After Thanksgiving, we tour Chabot elementary and I am still trying to set up a visit to Canyon. Canyon, isn't in our district but they do take 1 or 2 kids from their Kindergarten waiting list each year. That list currently has 50 kids on it. The school is tiny, beautiful and seems exactly right. Oh well.

Perhaps in the scheme of things, it will all be fine no matter what. I just want Max, and then Aiden, to LOVE school. To absolutely love learning as I did. I want a school that really sees and knows each of my children and addresses their needs and what drives them.

Perhaps, parent involvement at the school is what will make the difference. My sister is completely and crazily involved with her kids' schools and it makes a huge difference. She knows what they are getting and when they are not getting what they need. And then she does whatever it takes to get the job done-no child left behind in her household.

Thank goodness for Bernice and Joe's Playschool. The kids are happy there and are being prepared through play and caring teachers for the next step. And what a big step.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Aiden is 2

Yesterday, Aiden turned 2 and today we get to celebrate. Birthdays sure are fun.
Aiden is near impossible to photograph unless under lock down or taken by surprise, so, if he looks a wee bit blurry, well, that's cause he is ALWAYS moving.

Since I am the family photographer, I am usually taking the pics rather than posing on the other side. I have been asking (and asking) to have some pictures taken of me with the kids from time to time so they will have a few images of me...their mother, to share with their kids. After some very agressive begging last night, I got this:

More pictures to come....probably not with me in them.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


So I'm a bit nervous about being an officiant. Max tells me I will be fine if I practice. He's right, as usual. So its time to begin the research. Its time to ask the couple what they would like.

The weddings that most appeal to me are the ones that "feel" like the couple. I loved our wedding for that reason. It got a bit weird toward the end when the rabbi pushed our heads down suddenly for some last minute prayer in Hebrew (translation anyone?) but mostly, it really felt like us. It had our sense of humor, our values, our own vows, more also included our family and friends.

That's what I want for my friends. I went to the library to pick up this book on planning weddings. The librarian smiled and asked who was getting married. I told him I was helping my friends out by marrying them but he didn't understand. When I explained further, he was still confused until I told him about the online reverend thing and that pretty much anyone can be part of the church of the web.

He forgave our overdue books and I saved a bit over $10. It pays to be a reverend.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A good day

OK. For all my bitching, I ended up having a pretty good day. My throat hurts and I am exhausted but, we still had a good day.

We went to Redwood Bowl off of Skyline with Jessie and Will and had a fun time. Just being out in those trees. Getting to bitch with a friend about life, work, relationships, parenthood...great.

We got home and luckily, Aiden was out cold for 2+ hours. Max let me semi-nap on the couch while he messed with my Iphone.

I think a very fair exchange.

Runny noses

How long should a runny nose last? OK. So in a toddler it can last for years. In my toddler it has lasted for over a year but at least no more ear infections. How about in an adult? I have had this annoying cold for almost a week. My throat hurts, my nose runs (great in a meeting), and I am not quite sick enough to not work, or to not get up when the kids get up.

Example: 5am Saturday morning, Aiden wakes up. So....that means...I get up. Even though I've been up most of the night with my little naggy cold, I must get up since BZ has to work today. I think that is why he gets to continue to sleep. On other days, the excuse is that Max kept him up all night. This is the ongoing battle. Who got less sleep, who gets to sleep in...The answer is always BZ for some reason until I become a nightmare and then, I win.

So this is where my friend the TV comes in. Jojo's Circus, Playhouse Disney, whatever. I let them get their brains sucked out for an hour or so as I sip old tasteless tea, and come up with a plan for the day. I love me a good Saturday.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Miscellaneous meanderings

One more view of Halloween. Here we are with our beautiful friend and neighbor, Dana. Hard to tell in her, uh, witch (?) costume.

Interestingly, there were many more dogs dressed as bees this year than last time we wore these crazy outfits.

OK. Halloween is over. In Target, all the Halloween stuff is 50% off and the Christmas stuff is already being displayed, ack!

Just when I am ready to buy a giant laughing Santa for the front of the house, I remember...we are also Jewish, and need to find a giant Rabbi or Hannakah Harry as well. Ah, so much to do.

We have a bit of time though, and need first to focus on Aiden's 2nd birthday on November 9th. In sad news, our baby and maternity clothing has been rejected by three different consignment shops. Gosh, is our taste that bad? They even rejected the cute French stuff. Bastards.

In sadder news, Lucy Kaplansky is performing tonight and I won't be there since Kim is busy playing around in the Middle East. I don't want to go alone. Crap. I love her so and want to have her baby. Really, she is so good. OK, so I don't necessarily want to have her baby and that would be impossible but I am feeling whiny about the whole thing. Now I must go to a 4 yr olds pizza party. Woohoo, Friday night!