Saturday, February 23, 2013

Samantha

I can't get rid of her. I want to. But something, something I can't put my finger on, is telling me that she needs to stay. I've relegated her, Kit, Marisol and three more of their friends to high shelving in the garage. Where they will live until I have grandchildren most likely.

Like many of you, we went through the American Girl doll stage. We've been to two American Girl stores and had lunch at one of them. We went to the doll hair salon at one of them. We've got beds and clothes and hair accessories and videos and books. And matching doll / child outfits. We've got the Bitty Baby twins and a photo of our twins holding their twins. All matchy matchy.

Am I alone in this phenomena -- the inability to purge our household of these dolls that my children stopped playing with a few years ago?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Life now.

I'm really enjoying my new consulting gig, aka the gig I did not expect to take.

The pros are many, the cons are few:

I like the (generally) peaceful pre-school mornings at home with the girls. Even when I drive the high school carpool I still have time to come home, eat breakfast with the youngest Pinks, and take them to school. The mornings are less frenetic than our evenings of dinner / homework / bathing /  dance / lacrosse / tutoring.

I have time to think at work. In a tech sales enablement role there is a lot of pressure to process information and act upon it quickly. With internal communications I have time to think about the end user and what messages will resonate best with them.

My team is good. I work closely with two smart women and a common goal of doing the best we can for our client. Our client is a nice guy, too, as is the team he manages. If there are passive aggressive people at my client they are hiding from me, at least thus far.

As for dislikes, my collection of work-at-home wear is collecting dust. My poor Lucy and Lulu Lemon pants just sit in my closet neatly folded. I saw an adorable super-lightweight down jacket at Uniqlo in the city yesterday and passed on it knowing it would rarely be worn in my present situation. (Tip: the flagship SF store does not carry children's clothing. Bummer.) I miss my husband and working at the partners' desk we share in our home office. I miss the diversity of people and restaurants in Mountain View and easily seeing my South Bay friends.

But mostly I am happy for a new mental challenge and being able to help provide for our family.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The second time around.

Thing 1 and I saw Wicked last weekend. It was her Hanukkah present. She enjoyed it. Who wouldn't? I enjoyed it the second time around, too, and noticed far more than I did the first time, with Eldest Daughter and some friends during its second run here. The costumes were beautiful. The remaining questions I had about the storyline were answered. It didn't seem as long. And of course I now know all the music.

Over the holidays we watched Chicago with the kids. I caught a lot more that time, too, including the fact that 10-year-olds shouldn't watch something so risque. Oops.

It's not often I see or read something twice. I'm glad I revisited Wicked, though, especially since the largest part of my enjoyment this time around was watching Thing 1's face as she discovered how the Tin Man became the Tin Man, and was awed by the live orchestra, the mechanical dragon, the hidden ladies room without a line and the ritual of pre-ordered intermission snacks.

 Eldest Daughter turned 15 this month. We stopped doing parties the year of her BatM but my mother-in-law took her to tea at The Palace. Eldest Daughter expressed appropriate admiration of The Garden Court's incredible but not over-the-top opulent beauty, including its stained glass dome. For reference, the Garden Court was the hotel's original carriage entrance in 1875. In 1909, after a three year renovation following The Earthquake, it was turned into a restaurant. It's been many years since I've spent any time there -- I think my last extended visit to the Garden Court was for the 50th birthday party I threw for my mother. (Scary since I'm faaaar closer to 50 than she is now.) This picture freaks me out a bit.  Eldest Daughter is so much more poised and worldly than I was at 15. I was pure trouble at that age.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Special Ski Trip

There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

I read that on a blog and it's stayed with me. Last Monday was one of those days it rang true. It was a cold, crisp day at Tahoe. Windless but absolutely positively winter. There were few people on our mountain and I skied run after run after run without lift lines or many people in sight. I practiced my carved, parallel turns. I skied down things too steep to do defensively. 

Best of all was the company -- my dad and brother.

My dad's done a great job of recovering from his heart surgery last summer and my brother and I took full advantage of his health to attack the mountain on this weekday. It was one of the best days I'd had on the mountain in a really long time.

The picture above is my dad, brother and Thing 2, who skied with us the day before. I dragged them to the Ritz Carlton at Northstar for lunch after Thing 2's ski race. Yes, she won. My favorite part of this picture is my dad's smile. It's the "What more could I want?!" smile.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Monterey

The skies were blue. The fog burned off long before we woke up. The temps were in the 70s. It was an uncharacteristically beautiful winter weekend in Monterey.

Thing 1 and I were in Monterey for a dance convention. It looked like the perfect recipe for a girly, fun, memorable three days.

And then Thing 1 got sick, really sick, and we spent Friday night in the Emergency Room at CHOMP. The more sleep deprived you are, the funnier the acronym is. CHOMP. Chomp. chomp. Community Hospital Of Monterey Peninsula.

Our murse, John, was a jovial, rotund figure. Skilled too. The MD, a, preppy blonde mother of mother of three sons under the age of six, had no patience for a 10-year-old who'd been up 16 hours by the time we arrived in the ER. Fortunately John did.

Saturday we spent mostly sleeping. And on Sunday Thing 1 danced a bit and we headed home. With the Monterey sun still shining.