Thursday, December 28, 2006

H and G*

Hello, my dear wonderful blog friends. You may have noticed that it's been extremely sparse around here since sometime in August. I could blame that on a busy fall--and yes, it has been busy--but that is not the whole truth. The whole truth is that I'm in a bit of a rut with the blog, and I think maybe it has run its course. These last few months, it has felt--dare I say it?--a bit of a relief not to blog every event in my life. Not to experience something and immediately start thinking about how to work it into a post, but instead, just experience it. And I find I am not eager to get back to that place where writing about the experience is almost as important as the experience itself.

Also. I am feeling very uneasy about the things that I have laid out here, in particular the things I have said about Isaac and his intensely sensitive health issues. I need to be more cognizant of him as the person he will become, and I don't want him to find this stuff--or worse, for his friends and enemies to find it--right when we are in the midst of the dreaded teen years. I need to take all those things down. Banish them forever to a locked diary hidden under the mattress, which is where they belonged in the first place.

Lastly. The best, and most unexpected part of blogging has been meeting all of you. I consider many of you friends--good ones!-- and, for a mostly unsociable person, the blog has been a wonderful place for me to meet like-minded people. I will miss that the most, I think. However, you--you wonderful, smart, supportive people--are also part of the problem, albeit through no fault of your own. You see, I can't keep up with it all. I can't read every blog by every person who comments on my site and still take care of my family. There just isn't time. My personality dictates that I visit everyone who leaves a comment here, and also, that I feel guilty whenever I don't have time to leave a comment. This means I have a lot of guilt, a lot of the time, when it comes to the blog. There are just too many of you, writing good stuff.

So. I am not shutting down the blog completely. I will take down the Isaac posts and any others that I think are too raw. But I'll leave the rest up. I'm thinking I'll still post kid stuff over at the family blog, just so I can keep a record of all their cuteness for posterity. Maybe I'll post some of that here, too, but I'm not sure. That's mostly boring stuff for you guys anyway, so what's the point? I do reserve the right to post things here if the mood strikes me--you never know when Lance will start pissing me off again, after all. And maybe in a few months I'll be aching to jump back into blog water. But for the foreseeable future, I'm done.

I thank you, from the bottom of my very humble and faulty heart. You have meant worlds to me these past almost two years.

Oh--I still plan to read your blogs from time to time, so I know how you all are doing. I may lurk more than comment, but I know I'll comment from time to time. And you can always reach me via email.

* From Sleepless in Seattle, remember?

Friday, December 22, 2006

And to all a good night

Well, I haven't been around much these last few months, but I still wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy last day of Hannakuh and otherwise delightful holiday season. See you all in 2007!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Random Christmas Thoughts, 2006

Vivian loves the Santa Claus song. Whenever we get to the part that goes: He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake", she chimes in: "HE SEES ME WHEN I'M POOPING!

Both kids loved the claymation Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer show. They call it "the abominable" and Vivian's pronunciation of this is hilarious. They refuse to watch anything else except Frosty, despite the fact that I've Tivo's ALL the other Christmas shows (including the best one, the one with the Heat Miser).

How I know my kids have been spending time with my in-laws: Isaac says, "We're going to church to sing because we are celebrating the baby Jesus".

Way back in November, when we were still in Delaware, I started in with the Santa Claus threat. You know how it goes: "You better be good, or Santa Claus won't bring you any toys". One of the first times I brought it out occurred when Isaac snatched a fairy wand from Vivian and threw it into the fireplace. Ever since then, whenever the subject of naughty or nice comes up, Vivian is sure to chime in with: "Santa doesn't like it because Isaac three my magical wand in the fireplace". Still, a month later, she hasn't forgotten. I just hope Santa has!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Few things

First of all, let me say this: I am still missing all of you. I haven't had much a chance to get caught up on my blog reading---this being December and all. in fact, I haven't been on the computer at all in days. How does anyone have time to blog in December? I feel especially guilty since I was whining just a little while ago about how some folks stopped commenting and then here I go, not commenting on anyone's blog, in ages. Oops. I hope you are all doing well, and know that I plan to spend all of January blogging, in order to catch up.

Moving on.
Teh cuteness (in the form of school picture):

School photo

(Though I do wonder about the background)

AND, this is what our house looks like:

This photo was taken a week or so ago; it actually looks even cooler now. I'm so excited!

Finally, a question, for the stay-at-home-moms among you: How do you react to comments made by others that question what you do all day? You know, when people say things like "well, since the kids are in school I guess you can just take a nap". I find myself incredibly pissed off, but also embarrassed to admit the annoyance.

On the one hand, of course it's annoying: how incredibly condescending for anyone to presume that taking care of children is easy, or that you must be bored since you don't have a "job". Way to de-value the work of childcare, and insult the choice of the mother at the same time! It makes me automatically defensive, and I feel like yanking out a list of my daily chores and waving it around in the air.

On the other hand, now that both kids are in school 4 mornings a week, I do have some nice time to myself. Granted, with all that's been going on this fall, I haven't been able to take full advantage, but in January I expect to be able to go to the gym whenever I want, make a dentist appointment for the first time in a few (cough, four, cough) years and watch Regis and Kelly Lee to my heart's content.

So maybe I should just be grateful and proud that people have to ask me how I spend my time, instead of getting annoyed. What do you think?

And that's it, folks. That is the sum total of what I have to offer you today, and probably for the next several days.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


This is our Christmas card photo.



Because this is what my mother-in-law said: "What were you thinking? Vivian's legs are spread all apart for everyone to see! I can't believe that is the picture you chose."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Here comes Santa Claus

This year, most of our Christmas decorations are in storage. The apartment is too small for a regular size tree. The door is metal, so you can't hang a wreath.

You should know this about me: I'm a sucker for Christmas. I love it--the songs, the smells, the smiles. So it's a little bit of a bummer to have to fore go most of the decorations this year. I did keep a few items out of the POD: we got all the carolers my mother-in-law has given us (6 in total) out, along with the lighted reindeer. Lance brought home a bunch of the small poinsettias. I bought some festive holiday candles and we hung jingle bells on the inside handle of our front door.

Yesterday, I went to home depot and bought a 3 foot, living Christmas tree. Then I bought some mini-lights and ornaments, and last night, we had our tree-trimming event. No, nothing like last year: the fondue pot is in storage, and I think that tradition will be fine to wait one more year. But I set up a crudites platter and put on the Christmas music, dimmed the lights, and helped the kids hang the teeny tiny balls on our teeny tiny tree.

It was fun.

Then, because trimming a 3 foot tree with 15 ornaments takes about 5 minutes, we decided to go see Santa. Remember our cranky Santa? On the purple sofa? Sadly, when we got to the mall, it was apparent that cranky Santa had been put out to pasture. The new Santa is jolly as can be, decked out in red and green stockings and a snowman shirt. Even the purple sofa has been replaced with a more appropriate red one. No curt directions from Santa this year about where the kids should sit. Instead he laughed (Ho! Ho! Ho!), asked what the kids wanted for Christmas, encouraged them to be good, and was just about the best Santa you could ask for. My kids, for some reason, have never been afraid to sit on Santa's lap, and this year they were especially excited to lay their list of needs on the jolly old man.



Still, I kind of miss the old Santa. Fortunately, other L.A. parents are not aware the the cranky Santa has been replaced, so we still had no line. And that's worth a lot, in my book.

After Santa we headed across the street to dinner, and had an inexpensive, enjoyable meal, all four of us. Now, that is a holiday miracle, for sure.

Hey Everybody!

Heidi got engaged!! Hooray!

Friday, December 01, 2006

About a boy

While we were home, three different people commented to me about Isaac's good-nature.* I'm not sure how to put words to this without bragging, but it's true, he's a very happy kid. Vivian is, too--but there is something about Isaac--his smile, the light in his eyes, the way he is thrilled by so many simple things ("Look, mom! A truck!!!" "Oh my gosh, I saw a cow!") that just lights up a room.

I love this about him. It's been his nature since the day he was born. As an infant, he never cried. As a baby, he laughed or smiled at everyone. Even as a toddler--and he was such a difficult toddler--he didn't cry that much. He would get frustrated and burst into tears when he couldn't figure something out, yes, but he was still happy most of the time. Actually, what made him so difficult was his joie de vivre. Unbelievably curious while simultaneously confident that nothing bad would ever happen to him, he dove head first into everything he saw: the knife drawer, the speaker wires, the unstable bookshelf, etc. etc.

Now a pre-schooler, he still has that same spark. This is a kid who insists, "I really like Dr. L, Mom. He's a really good doctor," even when the last few times he has seen that particular man, there has been significant pain involved. He routinely says things like "I am soooo happy at you, Mommy. You are the best Mommy in the world. " And all I have to do is mention one of his friends--Tate or Riley; Heidi or Uncle Del--and he squeals with delight. The other day, when we come home from school, there was a pile of laundry on the floor. "Mommy!" he shouted. "Did we get new sheets?? Did you buy me new sheets? I am so lucky!!"

I know that pre-schoolers are a happy bunch (and why wouldn't they be?), but with Isaac it's more than that. You'll have to trust me on that, though here's some photographic proof for you:
striped isaac smiling 3 orig DSC00038 DSC06790

There's another side to this exuberance, though. Isaac is so easily excited and thrilled that I think sometimes other children are turned off. He is frequently left out of games at the playground--sometimes by circumstance: the other kids are older, or girls who don't want to play with a boy, or siblings that have their own games. Sometimes I think he is too eager, and this leaves him vulnerable. Other kids can take advantage of him easily--he has no pretence, and assumes no one else does either. So if a friend asks him for his toy, he will give it up happily, and then become bewildered when that friend won't give it back.

Of course I would never change this about him, or coach him to play it cool--after all, his attitude is one of my favorite things about him, and a quality that should be valued and appreciated--but I do still worry. And it breaks my heart just a little bit to hear him say "Those big kids won't play with me, Mommy."

I know that as he gets older, he will lose some of this simple excitement for life. God knows you can't survive the teenage years without a good amount of angst. But I hope that this basic nature of his, this incredible joy to be here, on earth, stays with him to some degree. Speaking as his mother, I can tell you that his smile is infectious, and that this world could surely use a lot more Isaacs.

God, I love that kid.

(Here is what really frightens me: that the health issues he will face as an adolescent will beat him down and change him into an unhappy person.)

*Sometimes it takes an unbiased stranger to point out things you just take for granted, no?