Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 9:37 PM
Well, we're back from vacation! I was more surprised than anyone at how little I missed my kids (I mean, don't get me wrong - I did *miss* them - but I thoroughly enjoyed myself and didn't lay awake weeping into my pillow even one single night). I guess it was time to have some uninterrupted marital bliss. Perhaps we should make it a habit!
We're very, very casually plotting our next vacation to Germany. I'll, um, let you know when those plans materialize. In about 20 years.
Here's a brief rundown.
Wednesday: Drop Devlin off at preschool, cry (hopefully inconspicuously), am unceremoniously ignored by my own flesh and blood who is deeply entrenched in a real-life Cars role-playing game of some kind. Finish packing in a wild frenzy, even though I started 3 days previously. Hand reluctant/wailing Evie off to Claudia and run out front door. Wait at airport for 2 hours in glorious, deafening SILENCE. Board airplane, ride 3 hours to Seattle while doing whatever I want! Listen to iPod? Watch a movie? Read a book? Have a snack and eat it all myself? Check! Arrive, drop luggage off at charming downtown apartment, don three additional layers of clothing.
Walk the streets until midnight, at which time - shocking! - people in this city are still awake and open for business.
Thursday: Roll out of bed at 10 am, decide to confine blatantly touristy activities to one day. Eat outrageously expensive (and delicious) lunch at top of Space Needle, decline helpful restaurant employee and take pictures with own camera for free.
View really, really big dinosaur bones and play with giant water guns at Science Center. Think repeatedly, "the kids would love this!"
Eat dinner and pretend to know the first thing about soccer with Mark and Jill Wareham, David's aunt and uncle, and their kids Dana and Casey.
Friday: Roll out of bed at 10 am, walk to 15th Avenue for shopping and lunch. Stumble upon pleasantly quirky upscale toy/gay party favor shop. Purchase hard-to-find Cars diecast toys by the armful. Concoct bald-faced lie about job transfer to the area and test drive one of my beloved Minis.
Nap! Attend Transfer concert at Fremont neighborhood bar High Dive, are informed by chatty drunken New Best Friend that females with short hair are evidently considered butch and available in Seattle. Pfffft.
Saturday: Just go ahead and pencil me in for rolling out of bed at 10 am every morning, thanks. Spend bulk of pre-lunch hours learning Heidi has delivered a juicy Gavin baby and feeling exceptionally guilty that her mother can't see them until we come home. Decide not to feel guilty anymore because there are no alternatives. Make pilgrimage through heavy snowfall to visit Nordstrom in the city that begat them all. Attend Steve Nielson's wedding reception on Mercer Island (ostensibly the reason for this whole trip).
Attend midnight showing of The Big Lebowski at fabulously tacky Egyptian Theater, clad in matching shirts overnighted to us just for this event. Dude!
Sunday: Hatch plan to visit juicy Gavin baby in Portland. Drive 3 hours through perfectly wretched weather and, blissfully ignorant, track mud all through the Bartles' formerly pristine living room. Hold, snoogle, photograph, and otherwise generally smother all three small Bartle boys.
Have great pleasure of teaching Heidi to wrap Gavin, also greedily take a turn myself. Fight urge to squeal audibly.
Monday: Visit Pike Place Market (ok, so we did two touristy days). Gorge selves silly at Beecher's Handmade Cheese, also buy cookbook in moment of weakness sure to haunt our waistlines for years to come. Vow not to eat another bite until we get back to Phoenix. Walk 2 doors down to Le Panier, gorge selves silly on chocolate croissants. Yes, plural. Arrive at airport, board plane, fly home, all the while again marveling at utter lack of responsibility for small noisy uncooperative persons. Arrive at Dixons', collect ecstatic children.
Tuesday: Spend too much time hugging and reading stories to get a picture.
Well, I confess that this weekend I grew weary of trying to bully Eve's stringy straw mop into a recognizable "style"...
...so I chopped it!
The Piglet now sports this carefree, stylin' bob - tres chic, non?
Thanksgiving with my family, and a visit from my sister (I promise, we're really related!):
Thanksgiving with the Dixons, aka "Pie, Glorious Pie":
This guy is home:
Altogether a perfect Thanksgiving. Big, big news on the Hurricane Eve front to come shortly, so don't go too far...
I rode 11 miles today. On my bike. Just me, and my two legs. Took me all of Kila's album Lemonade and Buns, (and the first two songs of Hopes and Fears as well).
A month ago, my bike was sitting dusty in the garage with two flat tires, having not seen the light of day in more than four years. Now I feel powerful and awesome and pretty much like I can do anything.
I don't have a picture, but I wanted to share. In the words of the immortal Lester Burnham -
Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 10:36 PM
New and Improved Take Charge Rachel, speaking.
On Saturday I fulfilled another long-suppressed dream of mine. I bought an awesome double bike trailer off Craigslist, and me and my babies have been tooling around town all week via my very own personal horsepower. It's not quite as carefree biking with 60 pounds of marginally-cooperative kiddo behind you, and I can't use my iPod since Eve needs unrestricted whining access. She doesn't like wearing a helmet and she wants all of 85206 to know about it!
As for Dev, he had fallen asleep on the way home from the park and just wasn't quite ready to face the world again yet. ;)
I'll have another installment of the Carpe Diem saga in approximately 3-5 business days. I know you'll be waiting with bated breath.
Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, November 4, 2007 at 7:45 PM
My sister's friend Sam tagged me 2 weeks ago (unless she's got another friend called Rachel, in which case I'm sorry but I like this questionnaire so I'm doing it anyway!)
Sorry Sam - I've got to get your blog on my sidebar because otherwise I always forget to check it! My sincerest apologies, and here's the goods:
1. Three biggest fears? Losing my husband or one of my children, being "ordinary", and landscaping our backyard ourselves. I'm not really scared of much.
2. When was the last time you danced? I dance whenever I am happy! Probably the last time I danced - as in move the furniture, would be really embarrassed if someone walked in "dancing" - was a few weeks ago with my friend Gretta. It is really, really awesome to have a friend who thinks it's cool to spend an evening together dancing in my living room!
3. Do you creep on stranger's blogs? Does anyone actually say no to this one? They're lying.
4. If you could go back to be any age for a day, what age would you be and why? I wouldn't go back. So far, I feel like my life just keeps getting better and better!
5. Are you a good liar? I'm afraid so. I think I've lost my touch a little over the years, but I am a good liar.
6. Do you judge someone when you can tell they've had elective cosmetic surgery? Depends. If I'm perfectly honest, yes I do. I wouldn't have cosmetic surgery myself, but after 2 kids I have to admit I can see how a certain kind of person would want to sort of "put things back" where they used to be - and I empathize with that more than I ever thought I would!
7. If you have children, what's one thing that you always told yourself you'd never do when you had kids? If you don't have children, what's one thing you tell yourself you'll never do. I said I wouldn't let my kids wear clothing with cartoon characters on them. Then I found myself the caretaker of a 4-year-old who gets absolute sublime ecstasy out of wearing a shirt, shoes, and undies with Lightning McQueen on them. Preferably all at the same time. And I do laundry more often because he's sad when all the Cars shirts are dirty. I have no shame.
8. What's something that totally grosses you out? Speed-eating contests. Utterly revolting on every possible level.
9. Do you ever delete forwards without reading them? Never say never, but I never read forwarded emails.
10. Do you ever lie to get out of obligations? Yes I do.
11. Consider your body weight and your yearly income at their present states. Would you rather be 200 pounds heavier and $200,000 richer or stay at your present states? Present state. Hopefully someday we'll be making $200,000 more, but add 200 pounds and we would probably eat up that extra money in medical bills. No thanks.
12. When was the last time you bought a pair of shoes and what were they? The last shoes I bought were 2 pairs of clearance skimmers from Target. I'm hoping to get some new shoes for Christmas. I want more Borns! Soooooo comfy.
13. The Olympics. Take them or leave them? I will never get tired of watching Olympic gymnastics. There is still a little girl somewhere inside that thinks she's going to be a gymnast when she grows up.
14. What's your favorite accent? It's hard to pick. I love Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and Manchester/Liverpool particularly. I often affect one of these accents if I am alone in a bookstore somewhere, for example. Yes, I did just say that.
15. What's your favorite scent? I like black licorice, clove, cinnamon, sandalwood...mmmmmm...
16. Chewing gun or mints? Mints. I hate gum.
17. If you could look like any celebrity, who would it be? Jennifer Connelly. She's HOT. Plus, my husband has a crush on her so I might as well kill two birds with one stone!
18. If you had the chance of looking like said celebrity in exchange for your thumbs would you do it? No way. I'm not bad looking, and I need my thumbs!
19. Do you religiously wear sun screen? I make sure I buy moisturizer with sunscreen already in it, because otherwise I can't remember. If I'm specially going out in the sun, then I do wear it. I don't have good genes for baking in baby oil.
20. Do you generally trust people/their motives or doubt people/their motives? I trust people generally, but I have definitely learned over the years not to share too much of yourself too fast. I am an idealist though and I think I will always trust until I have a reason not to.
21. Would you describe yourself as a complicated person or is what you see what you get? I think I am very straightforward in that I don't act different around different people. I am who I am, but I think that who I am is interesting and contradictory - just like every other glorious, beautiful, complicated human being.
22. Do you watch what you eat? Absolutely, but not in a calorie-counting kind of way. I try to eat balanced, healthy, unprocessed meals...and then I eat lots of dark chocolate. Antioxidants, dontcha know!
23. Do you watch what other people eat? My kids and my husband. That's plenty to keep me busy.
24. Do you judge how other people raise their kids? Certain things - yes, I do. I don't see any reason to list specifics, but it comes down to selfishness. If you don't want to be bothered to take care of your children, then for the love of Charlie - get a goldfish!
25. Do you judge people who dress poorly? I wouldn't say I judge them, but I am very severely tempted to nominate them for What Not to Wear.
26. Do you judge people who are homely? Now there's an exercise in futility if I ever heard one!
27. Do you judge people who are overweight? No. What's the point? They already know they're overweight, and they're either working on it or they're not/ Not any of my concern either way. People with hideous perms and giant shoulder pads don't always realize the error of their ways and sometimes need straightening out, as it were, but every adult I know is acutely aware of their weight.
28. Your interest in politics: High, Medium-High, Medium, Medium-Low, Low, Obsolete? My interest is medium-high. My level of optimism that someday we'll have a president I really can get behind is very, very low. I think politics is self-selecting, and the qualities that seem to be necessary for election and the qualities which I look for in an elected official are mutually exclusive.
29. Favorite song of all time? I'm not sure I know anymore. For now I'll say Precious Things by Tori Amos.
30. Acoustic or electric? Acoustic.
31. If you were a hermit, would you shave? Depends on if I were a married hermit or a single hermit.
32. If you could shave your head without your significant other throwing a complete hissy, would you? The opinion of my significant other is not what is keeping me from shaving my head, let's put it that way. It's not his hair. I wouldn't shave it because it's only an inch long anyway and I love having red hair!
33. What was your least favorite age? 14. Not for a million dollars would I be 14 again. Nothing with a "teen" in the name, actually.
34. How many times a day do you check your email? I'm going to say at least 7.
35. Are you in a tiff with anyone right now? No, I don't like tiffs. I don't ever stay mad long enough to type "I'm in a tiff".
Loretta Moffat, Amanda Boyles, Holly Sparks, Maelynn Warren, and David Dixon
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought Id something more to say
Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
And when I come home cold and tired
Its good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spell...
- Pink Floyd -
Those of you who know me, know that I am irrationally intimidated by all things crafty. I don't sew, I don't scrapbook, I don't paint, draw, or sculpt. I don't quilt, I don't knit, I don't decoupage. I don't arrange flowers, I don't set festive holiday tables - I'm supremely overwhelmed by all of it. Once in awhile I get a harebrained notion to undertake a project of this nature, and it almost always takes at least a full year to complete, with much moaning, groaning, procrastinating, and general making of excuses along the way.
Three weeks ago we had gone to see a movie with some friends. We were really early, so we set up shop next door in As You Wish to watch my friend Gretta work on a Christmas platter. As You Wish, if you've never been there, is the kind of place that would inspire hyperventilation and a nasty rash in somebody as crafty-phobic as I have just admitted myself to be. You walk in, choose an item - be it a plate, a butter dish, a figurine, or a jewelry box - paint it as you wish (get it?), and come back in 3 days to pick it up all fired and presumably looking charming and adorable.
Gretta ordered me to grab a knicknack and get painting, since we had 2 hours and nothing else to do. I made a number of self-deprecating comments and said I'd rather save my money and have Devlin paint me something, since that was sure to look better anyway. But then I thought, why not? I stood and walked around the edge of the store, looking for something inexpensive and inconspicuous and easy.
Then I saw it.
"Paint a plate, we'll make it into a clock for an additional $5!" Looking at the sign, the words to this song occurred to me, as they often do when I see a clock. And I had my project. I finished it before the movie started - barely! - and yes, it does definitely look handmade (to put it very kindly). But it scared me and I did it anyway, and seeing it in my house has been a strangely persistent reminder to just.do.it. Whatever it is. To stop waiting for an invitation, for validation, for permission. To swallow my fear and stop making excuses and put my money where my mouth is. To reclaim "Carpe Diem" from mass-produced vinyl wall lettering and put just a little bit of the real thing back into my life.
I have to tell you, it feels really good.
Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2007 at 10:47 PM
on all these personality tests, so I guess it must be right!
|You Are An ENFP|
You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!
In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.
You often don't follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. And you do break a lot of hearts.
At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.
You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.
How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding
When other people don't get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused
Please, pretty please go take it and tell me what you get! I'm such a fantastically geeky human being and I really do find it very interesting.
Pathetic, perhaps, but true all the same. Now go take the silly quiz and give me all the gory details!
Halloween is officially "on" around our place.
The first in a week long series of parties was last night - the annual Lyn Rae Ward-ish Area Costume Carnival. It was fun but utterly exhausting for everyone involved (both kids are stone cold passed out as I speak, and if there's any justice in this world they will remain so for at least 2 more hours). Here's the short version:
Devlin - Fun!
- being a cowboy
- meeting lots of other cowboys!
- and a bonus cowgirl!! (he likes it when things "match")
- cupcakes with carrots on top (actually they were candy pumpkins, but he liked them a lot better when he thought they were carrots)
- seeing his friend Micah, dressed roughly as Lightning McQueen no less
- chips with cheese, also known as nachos
- winning an very large orange balloon
- popping said orange balloon (he's still talking about it)
Eve - Fun!
- gummi hamburgers (don't even ask, I've never seen anything so gross-looking in all my born days)
- the fishy pond (upon being informed of her nut allergies, they very kindly replaced her Reese's cup with a string of Mardi Gras beads! Ha! How did they know?)
- the cake walk - she was shockingly cooperative
- the fishy pond, a couple more times
- a costume not dependent on any kind of headgear
- lots of compliments on her hair, shoes, and general appearance
- finding her binky
- lots of strangers
- lots of noise
- party beginning at 6 pm, aka piggy bedtime
- very nearly unrecognizable Granny due to wig, makeup, and tall pointy hat
I'm thinking that Halloween with very young children is one of those things where you just take pictures and the years go by, and all you remember are the happy moments captured in the photographs. That's what I'm hoping for. Dev is old enough that he's really enjoying this year a lot, but I get the impression Eve pretty much wishes I'd just put her to bed, sans wings, and let her attack the candy pile in the morning!
One out of two ain't bad, I guess.
Guess I'm voting for Kucinich. Anyone care to join me? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
David also got Kucinich as his best match, although my results were much more dramatic. Kucinich was far and away the closest match for my political beliefs, while David basically came up as a tie between about 5 people. This got us talking.
David is a realist. Rachel is an idealist. (In other breaking news, the sun rose this morning, set this evening, and the earth goes round and round.) David will be voting for the person who most closely matches his political leanings and who he believes to have a viable shot at getting elected. I will be voting for the person with whom I most closely agree, even though he has the proverbial snowball's chance in hell.
David thinks a vote for Kucinich is a "wasted vote". I think it is my ethical duty to vote my conscience.
What about you? Have you chosen a candidate? How did you decide? Did you consider all the options, or do you select from the people you figure will make it to the general election? Do you think your vote counts?
I am grateful that I have this to think about. I'm grateful that I can hold my government to such high standards. I hope that someday people like Dennis Kucinich (and Ron Paul, and Mike Gravel, and Jim Gilmore) are able to really have a shot at getting elected even though they don't have a trillion dollars and the oil companies backing them, but I'm grateful that in the meantime they have an opportunity to speak their mind publicly. I wish more people really did avail themselves of that freedom and speak their minds. I'm hopeful that someday Americans will be spoken of in the media - and among ourselves - as individuals who can hold complex and contradictory beliefs, who cannot be divided neatly along lines of political party, gender, race, or religion. We deserve more than that. We are smarter than that.
At least, I hope we are.
It was Devlin's lucky day today.
I am blessed to have:
Truly, the sweetest little boy ever to walk the earth. He makes every day brighter.
A generous extended family who are only too happy to indulge Dev's Cars obsession via toys, apparel, and countless hours of automobile-related playtime.
A husband who shared the highlight of his year, the BMW Ultimate Drive, with Devlin completely of his own volition. Devlin was the only child in attendance and I'm pretty sure he's going to dream tonight about torque, horsepower, and a Roundel on every hubcap.
Don't let the bedbugs bite, Dev.
OK, I don't usually blog every day so I missed one. I'll just do 2 things today! I assure you it is *not* a problem, seeing as I am Not Sweating The Small Stuff this week.
It's really been going pretty well. I had a pretty significant relapse in Target yesterday but today I had a new strategy (I'm thinking of marketing it as "Ignore Randomly Screaming Baby and Go About Your Business") and it works really well! In the privacy of my own home, anyway - I don't think I'm quite ready to take it on the road yet.
Here's my two very happy thoughts for the day:
1) David's home! Evie and I picked him up from the airport and then went straight to preschool to get Dev. We spent the whole afternoon together as a family and it was beautiful. 3 sets of chopsticks for Devlin at Pei Wei, one aborted trip to IKEA, 2 very very stinky diapers...
A few months ago, my purse was stolen. My favorite purse - the one I picked out for myself for Christmas - my only gift that year. Very sad day for Rachel. Too expensive to replace without some careful planning. Apparently there was a Coach outlet near David's conference this week, and he spotted a very similar specimen on clearance. Of course, being the thoughtful guy that he is, this lovely purse now belongs to me! I personally think that's enough happy thought to cover two days, but in the spirit of the Pollyanna Challenge I've got another one.
2) Instead of spending my free time whipping myself into an unproductive frenzy imagining all the little still-not-quite-moved-back-in-all-the-way house projects I should be doing, I've decided to actually do some of them!
Stay with me, now.
I made a to-do list on the white board in the kitchen and here's one of the first things I've been able to cross off. A few years ago, my dad anesthetized a photographer, David Spindel, who was a favorite of John Lennon's and took some of the final photos of him before he was assassinated. My dad is also an exceptionally thoughtful sort of fellow, and he managed to get me a couple of personally autographed prints from this guy. They've just been waiting for a frame and the right hangin' spot. Whaddya think? I think they look freakin' fantastic myself, and "frame/hang artwork" looks much better with a big black line through it on my white board!
And that, my friends, concludes our broadcast day. Stay cool - more to come tomorrow!
OK, I'm going to let my inner Pollyanna run wild here.
I have challenged myself to blog every day this week about something positive - ONLY something positive. I really believe that what you tell yourself becomes what is, and there's been way too much mental discontent in my life lately.
I don't care if no one reads this, or comments - it's for myself - but maybe one of you will feel inspired to take a few minutes each day this week in your own life and find something small and peaceful and beautiful to be grateful for.
Today, I am blessed to be a member of a choir that meets weekly on the beautiful MCC Red Mountain campus. It's so quiet out here, the air is cleaner, and there are little critters everywhere just running around - like this little rabbit fellow. I always try to get here a couple of minutes early so I can walk slowly to my class and take advantage of the spectacular view.
Lots more good ones to come...stay tuned...I might just keep it up for longer than a week! I have lots of material. :)
So, I decided to give this whole "autumn" concept another crack today, and I was not disappointed. David and I took the kids to the zoo and it was positively lovely! I wasn't born yesterday though, and I've been burned before (so to speak). We're not out of the woods yet. But at least this morning - this one glorious, fleeting morning - was pleasant.
I'll take it.
Because the parent:child ratio was 1:1 today, we were actually able to get photographs. I haven't had to pay full price admission to the zoo in quite awhile, and egad! Caught me off guard. At least I had a coupon for the kids to get in free. We got a good couple of hours out of them before Eve melted down in high style, approximately half of which time was spent deciding which mode of transportation everyone wanted to use (available choices were sling, wagon, Dad's shoulders, and good old fashioned hoofin' it).
Basically all the rest of the time was devoted to the orangutans. They alone were worth the admission price! They act just like people, only it's cute when they have orange hairy jowls, twiggy dreadlocks, and man boobs.
There was a whole family - Grandma is 48 and the oldest living female in the world:
Dad is Mikey and was a little under the weather today, according to his caregivers who happened to be standing right behind us and gave us all the inside scoop:
And Mama Bess with Baby Kasi, who is 2:
Evidently Mikey and Bess are on the outs, so they kept a safe distance from each other. Kasi, on the other hand, is a born entertainer (if perhaps a little challenged in the hair department):
The orangutans are given T-shirts to build nests with at night. Being they are very smart little buggers, Bess saw her caregiver changing her shirt every day and began imitating the behavior:
Baby Kasi gave it a go as well but didn't meet with much success. We were all reminded of Eve trying to put on everyone else's shoes!
The porch sitters were not impressed:
Since we spent so much time observing the Monkeys, we thought it was only fair to pay a visit to the petting zoo to look for a corresponding Piglet. There were, however, no pigs to be found on the premises so we had to satisfy ourselves with riding a tractor and getting attacked by a crotchety old turkey.
Tonight we're headed off to enter David's world-famous key lime pie in the dessert competition at our ward's Elder's Quorum party. Assuming neither of our children plummet to their watery grave in the host's unfenced pool, I'll have lots more pictures to share of that.
Wish us luck!