Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I've Got To Go Home Now And Wash My Arms

Finding the above photo on my camera made me exquisitely happy.

Well, The Fiery One has been full of major events as of late. First was a really really adorable Daddy-Daughter date night for Valentine's Day.

Atlanta is Chick-Fil-A Mecca. When we eat there, the employees (who are so insanely friendly sometimes they make me nervous) often bring out my food for me since my hands are full, they come check on us and refill our drinks and bring us extra sauce, give treats to the kids, and they're always hosting special events (local school spirit night, dress up like cow day, etc.). Right before Valentine's Day, they had a special Daddy-Daughter night that you had to RSVP for and everything. Els wore her sparkly shoes, Daddy put on a pink tie, and they had chicken nuggets and ice cream sundaes. She even came back with a carnation and a goodie bag. I swooned.

The Friday following her Valentine's dinner was her first mother's morning out. Look at my big girl holding her lunchbox and giving big brother a hug before heading out the door!

All of her clingy-ness and serious lung capacity had inspired several people who love and know me well to suggest I try a little one-morning-a-week playtime that did not include Mommy. As per usual, I was full of angst and hand-wringing about it, but it has been great! Her playschool is at a church a few miles away and is run by the most kind-hearted and adorable people. For example, on her first day she screamed hysterically when I left her, which was to be expected, but of course I drove away with a lump in my throat and felt like the devil. I was counting the minutes I felt I should wait before calling to check on her, trying really hard not to be one of the mothers the teachers had to discuss in hushed tones during staff meeting. Elsbeth's teachers beat me to it and texted me to let me know she was doing wonderfully, then e-mailed me a video of her playing happily. Can you believe this? I LOVE these ladies!

So now every Friday morning is Andrew/Mommy time, special hours for us to run errands and do art projects and eat lunch without interruption. He'll be starting kindergarten this fall (!), so some one-on-one time with my boy is pretty great. Last Friday we worked on Valentines and did some lovey art on the door to the porch.

And on Valentine's Day proper, we baked a really yummy strawberry cake while our sweet Nib was resting. This boy can really crack an egg! I'm thinking that by the time he's 5, Phil and I should be able to leave our breakfast order on the counter the night before and wake up to eggs and bacon sizzling on the stove.

Speaking (again) of Valentine's Day, I have to say I felt a little unromantic when Phil greeted me with a box of chocolates and a really touching card and all I had to offer in return was a hand-made creation I had worked on during my art time with Andrew. It was touching ... sort of ... in it's own special way ...

I'd like to close this post by making everyone aware of how deeply sacrificial I am as a mother. After breakfast on V-day, Andrew became very interested in the red, heart-shaped box on the counter. I decided, being that it was a holiday and all, we should each have a piece of chocolate right then (not that I wanted any chocolate at 9am ... I was making the day special for the children).

One hundred martyr points.

THEN I let Andrew pick his chocolate first. He chose a square one, which is almost always a caramel, which is my favorite. I let him keep it.

Two hundred twelve martyr points.

THEN I let him pick mine, and naturally he chose a round one. Filled with coconut. And I kept it.

Eight thousand four hundred eighty-seven martyr points.

Oh blast. Now that I've gone and told you about my selflessness, I've totally lost my reward in heaven. At this point, all I'm getting in recompense is your pity and admiration, so pile it on.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pathetic Effort To Hog The Brownie!

Back in the days of yore, I worked for a man who worked for a company that was completely obsessed with goals. Personal goals. Company goals. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Five years? Twenty minutes? And even though I was a mere administrative assistant no aspirations of going anywhere in this company (perish the thought!), I was occasionally pressed to come up with my own goals, an exercise which I loathed and detested. I'm simply not built this way. I'd stare blankly at my boss and think deeply about my lunch or slowly close my eyes and hold my breath in an attempt to pass out. I honestly can't think of a single goal I ever came up with in my years of working there other than the goal of never being an administrative assistant ever again.

But for some reason I've recently been putting together a list of things I'd like to accomplish in my life. No big goals here. No saving a species or becoming the president of anything or even getting my desk organized. Just a handful of somewhat unusual things that I've decided I'd kinda like to do one day.

1. Smoke something

I'm not exactly sure what yet, but I'll go ahead and cross anything illegal or instantly addictive off the list. Cigars are hideous, so those are out, too. Cigarettes are the obvious choice, but, well, they just smell so dang awful and I'm a little afraid I would throw up. If I go with a cigarette, though, I was thinking I could throw in one of those really awesome cigarette holders so that I would look exactly like this during the experience:

My friend Jane and I had plans a while back to smoke clove cigarettes together, and I don't know exactly what those are but apparently they would make me instantly artsy, which would be nice.

And what about a pipe? I'm pretty sure Audrey Hepburn would not approve, but I adore the smell of a pipe. And I think I'd have a shot at being at least a little more artsy at the end of the day, in a literary, C.S. Lewisian sort of way. Man, I really love the smell of a pipe. And I love Lewis. What if I became addicted? That could be a problem. Do you think Andrew would be embarrassed if I picked him up from kindergarten puffing my pipe? Would Phil mind if I pulled out the old pipe after a romantic dinner on our anniversary? So many things to consider before crossing this one off my list of life accomplishments.

2. Wear my wedding dress again

I should probably clarify that I don't want to get married again, I just want to wear the dress again. I mean, that thing was expensive! And I like it, it's pretty. I didn't get it preserved or anything, so it's just hanging in my closet, moldering away all pitiful and lonely and crazy jealous of all the ratty t-shirts surrounding it that get loads of attention.

In a wild fit of fancy, let's pretend that I could actually get into my dress at this point. What I want to do is have a girl's night out where we all wear our wedding dresses (veils optional). There should probably be more than 2 of us, just so no one assumes we're marrying each other (I live in Atlanta, I have to think about such things), but 3 or 4 would be perfect. Come on, friends, who's with me?! Let's leave our diaper bags and apple juice splattered tennis shoes behind for an evening and go out for dessert in our bridal gowns! It would be awesome. Anyone?


3. Experience nitrous oxide

Also known as laughing gas, this stuff really intrigues me. I've never been under the influence of any chemical substance (that I'm aware of) and I feel my life lacking as a result. I think alcohol so vile and disgusting a beverage that I don't think I could force myself to consume enough to get even a little giggly. I've never been put under for surgery (the only surgery I've had was for my eyes, and, as you may recall, I was nursing at the time and opted not to take the really awesome "I'm so relaxed I don't even care that you're cutting a flap in my cornea " pill they prescribed me.) My mom won't let my dad give me his crazy high-powered sleeping pills that he claims would cause me to drop like a sack of clams into my mashed potatoes and stay that way for a week. (Wouldn't that be fabulous?!) Illegal drugs still seem like a bad idea. So really, nitrous oxide is my one viable option. And I love to laugh! What could be better?

I usually hear about laughing gas being administered by a dentist. No problem! I'm actually good friends with my dentist ... he's married to one of my close friends. Hmmmm. But wait! I know another dentist! Also the husband of one of my close friends. What if this gas turns me into one of the senile old ladies I used to take care of in my days as a nurse's assistant in a nursing home? You do NOT want to know what these cute little old church-going grannies used to say to the doctors on check-up day. I am suddenly fearful of the dark, hairy subconscious that I was so eager to plumb only seconds ago. I haven't the foggiest idea why lies beneath it's murky waters.

I wonder if I could talk Dr. Robinson into slipping a trial-size nitrous tank into my toothbrush and floss gift bag?

4. Watch the entire Dallas series

I've never seen a single episode. I just know that someone named J. R. is involved and I believe is assaulted at some point with a firearm. And, for reasons mysterious to me, I can hum the entire theme song. I have just discovered that I can own the entire series for a mere $360.96 AND I'd be eligible for super saver shipping! I think for all the really really long football games I've endured for his sake, Phil owes me 168 hours of his life. And a yacht.

5. Have a stalker

I think this would give my self-esteem a nice boost.

Now I do have some very specific ideas of what I want in my stalker. First and foremost, he must be young and extremely exceptionally good looking. Something along the lines of ...

Yes. That would do nicely.

Also, I'd prefer nothing creepy. I'll cook my own pets, thank you very much. I'm looking for someone who is overcome by my stunning beauty from afar and just can't move on. He catches a glimpse of me whizzing through Kroger, clip askew in my matted, unwashed hair and his breath catches. He follows me from a respectable distance to the frozen food section and is mesmerized by my grace as I pick up the box of cereal my enraged toddler has chucked across the store. He stares in disbelief at my athleticism as I race to the bathroom pushing a 800 pound cart just in time to keep my 4-year-old from wetting his pants. At this moment, he just knows. I'm the one, his heart's only desire.

At first he just writes me letters, detailing how incredibly gorgeous I am. Then he moves on to leaving flowers and expensive gifts on my doorstep. Finally, the flowers and jewels are accompanied by tickets for two to New Zealand where he asks that we live together forever in his giant mansion.

At this point, of course, I'll have to let him down gently, informing him I am madly in love with my husband (which he has no idea that I have, because he's always out running). A tear will roll down his check, and he will walk away through the fog, forlorn.

And this completes my list of life goals! I expect each and every one of you to hold me to these and not let me give up on my dreams.