Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Birthday Pixie

Lily had a fun birthday. Chris insisted she wear her Halloween costume (thanks mom!) and she had her own carrot cake (thanks Beth for the great idea!!!) she really liked the frosting. The bruise on her head and the scratch on her nose is from her biffing it on the driveway. She just loves to run. . .she's just not that good at it yet. Her favorite present was the balloon I bought her at Safeway (the kid is obsessed with balloons. I thought they didn't start begging for stuff at stores until they were 2 or 3.) and her little pumpkin bag from Grammie. Of course she loved playing with Emmie and Ethan who came over for dinner and cake.

Acura Acumen or From Paradise to Paris

This past week I have delved into the lifestlye before only known to me by Gossip Girl, The OC and other high rolling high school programs. Chris and I have been babysitting/housesitting for a family in Spreckelsville while their paretns are in Paris. Let me set the stage. . .
Spreckelsville is just south of Paia on the North Shore of Maui. It is home to the elite. It is home to the owner of Dakine, Willie Nelson, physicians and other upper crusters who love to coagulate themselves and form one giant clot of consumerism and copiousness. Walking distance from two great beaches, many Sprecks residents drive around the manicured neighborhood on their own little golf carts (oh yes, pristene golf course is adjacent as well) zooming to the beach or 'the club' and back. It is beautiful. Simply sureal.
The kids we are watching are adorable. Megan, 13 and Johnny, 5 are about as darling as they come. Megan is uber responsible and is constantly, albeit pleasantly, surprised by my ability to remember to pack Johnny's lunch or clean the kitchen. I think she had low expectations of me. Pretty funny. Johnny is hilarious. He looks all boy but that kid has a flamboyant streak as purple as Georgie's kerchief. Monday night I made pizza dough and let the kids make their own personal pizzas. Johnny was a pro dough tosser and the official pepperoni taster. When I pulled the sizzling pizzas out of the oven Johnny flicks his head up, eyes wide as the pies they beheld and yelled "BAM!" in a voice to rival any Emeril fan. It was hilarious.
I drive the kids' carpool to their fancy shmancy private school (where they learn french, recite poems, have literary circles and organic lunches) in the family Acura. I feel like Halloween has come early and I chose a pretty pathetic Teri Hatcher costume. When I pull up to the school it is classic. Lexus, Mercedes, Acura, Volvo (they must be poor), Lexus in baby blue, you get the picture. What is even more incredible to me is the women that emerge from these gilded carriages. Perfect! Tiny, tight, tan, trimmed, tucked and totally together.
I don't stress about my hair, clothes, body and style on a daily basis. I have embraced, maybe too heartily, the easy going, Hawaiian, attitude about such social pagentry. It may be safe to say I have 'let myself go' a bit. In my defense I am dealing with an entirely different head of hair than I have known my whole life pre-baby. I have been unable to walk well and thus exercise is out, and anyone who knows me or has read my only other blog entry will tell you, I love food. I will not give that up. Still, as I pull up to Carden Acadamy in my borrowed Acura MDX I can't help but feel inferior. I pull at my fly-away hair and suck in my soft stomach. I sink into the supple, leather seats and feel an emotion I thought I had buried late in the early part of my ninth grade.
It is bizarre. I normally pride myself in my non-caring. I know I am not obese, trashy or the victim of a harsh beating with any ugly stick, yet I can't shake the insecurity when I drive up for my turn with the carpool. What i really don't understand is how these women got like that. I know their schedule! I have never been in a car so much in one week. It is up to school, back from school (25 min each way) then to ballet, gymnastics, fancy schmancy open house for fancy shmancy new private high school, then soccer game (don't forget the treats) then piano lessons, young women, etc. etc. etc. Unless these women have a hair stylist in their Lexus and know a new highway-friendly form of pilates I am not getting it! When do they have the time? Where did those thighs come from? Mine obviously came from the chicken catsu and leftover pie I had for lunch but theirs have 24 Fitness chisled right into their hamstring! It is a mystery how these women maintain themselves, their car, their perfect kids, lawn, and house and find time to do yoga, travel to Paris, serve on the school board or surf. Then I remember. Oh, yeah, they hire people like me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Three Little Words

After many requests to have me start my own blog (Claudia asked me twice so that is many) here it is. This first post is dedicated to Claudia, who, I am afraid, may be its sole reader. Claudia, you challenged me with a 'tag'. I am to post ten things about myself and then challenge ten more bloggers to do the same. Unfortunately I am going to fall short from the get-go. As bloggers go, I only know you and your sisters and my husbands friend, Matt. Your sisters have been tagged and Matt would never do it. So, I will post ten things and then I will leave it at that. I hope to have future posts, but no promises (see #8 ). Claudia, this is for you and because you know most things about me I am going to leave the major and obvious and post only those obscure, petty and probably uninteresting things about myself that you may not know. And, to make up for my breaking the chain of blog tag I will up the ante a bit and end each of my ten posts with a three word sentence. There is no deep reason for my doing this. I just will.

1. I don't like fireworks. I especially don't like the dinky supermarket ones people light off in the street. They are expensive, loud, unimpressive, stinky, messy and well, that about covers it. I must make one exception, for you, Claudia. The firework display I witnessed on the banks of the river in Portland during the Rose Festival was impressive due to its sheer length. I think there was 20 minutes of nonstop blasts at the end. This exception noted, I could live forever without the reminder of real bombs being blasted in other parts and forego the July and January blares. Also, once I got ash in my eye at a large Fourth of July display. That was painful.

2. I love plain yogurt. Never used to. When I was pregnant with Lily, I craved it! I would buy two 32 oz containers at a time because I would go through it so fast. I don't eat quite as much now but I still love it. Probiotics are awesome!

3. I hate carnivals.

4. I often daydream of opening a bakery cafe. I love the idea of fresh breads and muffins, creamy soups and a quaint atmosphere. I would decorate from Anthropologie, of course, much like your digs in Green Bay. I would serve salads, sanbos, and soups with homemade breads and desserts. I realize that the dream of the food industry in idealistic. The hardwork and headache of the reality are disenchanting. But for now I have my daydream. I'll keep that.

5. Having a baby changes your life. Obviously. It changed my life in ways I never expected. I knew I would get less sleep, spend more time at home and get excited about things like patterned pacifiers and Organic baby cereal. What I didn't know is that my health and body would be changed forever. I knew I would never again be the 18 year old body that was flat in the right places and perky in the right places. I didn't know that having a baby would throw my body into some crazy medical mystery of chronic illness. If you are reading this I am sure you know that my health has been very poor since Lily was born. You may not know, however, an interesting (and much less serious) physical change that has occured in me: my hair. It is straight.

6. I don't like going to movies. I don't like the crowds or the soda that invariably is spilled on my shoe. I don't like the uncomfortable chairs with gum on the back and I don't like having to shimmy past 17 grouchy people to pee in the middle of the best part. I much prefer a video in my own home: bathroom accessible (and TV still visible from the toilet in my current home), pajama party ready, kitchen adjacent. If I do go to the theater I actually prefer to go by myself in the middle of the day. It costs less.

7. I love reading cookbooks. I love to eat. I love making food, watching it being made, going out to eat, trying new food, eating old favorites, talking about food, thinking about food, trying new recipes. I love food. Except chicken potpies. I hate those.

8. When people ask what my hobbies are I balk. I love to try new things. I never stick with it. I always start things and never finish. Some hobbies I have tried but never excelled at are: rock climbing, piano playing, song writing, scrapbooking, surfing, bird watching, sewing, embroidery, painting, running, biking, baking, singing, and many others. I am typically pretty good at something the first time I try. I am, however, unwilling to work to get really good at anything. I just quit, or proceed recreationally. Next hobby please!

9. I love mountains.

10. There are a few American Icons that annoy me. I feel almost unpatriotic and a little mean admitting this but, it is true. I appreciate their donation to the nation, even to the world, but as people they bug me. Oprah, Rachel Ray, Ty whats-his-name from Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Howie the guy who made Bobby's World that now hosts the worst game show ever, all of the Friends, and Fergie. Good people. They just bug.