Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Scene: In the car, stuck in traffic. On the way to a weekly summer day camp. Crowded House is playing on the car stereo via iPod. Mom is singing along. Daughter, in booster seat in back, is writing in a spiral notebook. Suddenly looks up and poses a question.

Daughter: Did you kiss Daddy goodbye this morning?
Mom: (Turning down stereo). What, Honey?
Daughter: Did you give Daddy a kiss goodbye today?
Mom: Yes. Why?
Daughter: (Nonchalantly going back to writing in the notebook). I didn't see you.
Mom: Well, we did.
Daughter: (Pause) Do you kiss each other in the bed?
Mom: What? Yes.
Daughter: (Mumbles something inaudible.)
Mom: Did you just say "Horrible"?
Daughter: No! I said coooool.

And, scene.

Friday, August 06, 2010

The After-School Care Conundrum

Any of you readers without school-age children may want to go ahead and close your browser, because I assure you, this post will bore you to tears.

When we decided to move The Geej to public school for the first grade, the spectre of what to do with the vexing hours between roughly 2:30 and 5:30 loomed large. The school offers several after-school program options--one, on campus put on by the YMCA, and the others, off campus at other facilities. So of course, I have drug my heels in touring these facilities and making a decision until today.

Option #1
Looked good on the outside and from the website, but almost as soon as I entered the front doors, I wanted to bolt. It was unorganized, appeared to be understaffed (and the staff that were there were just sort of standing around watching the kids, not engaging at all), and OMG it was utter fucking chaos. My tour guide didn't know the answers to half of the questions I was asking, and the whole place just reminded me of "Lord of the Flies". There were about 100 kiddos just going nuts all over the place. Seriously. I kept looking for the kid holding the conch. When I finally got the helloutta there, I had a horrible sick feeling, like I'd been kicked in the gut. I was terrified that the next tour would yield the same results, and then we'd be screwed.

Option #2
Also looked good on the outside and from the website. And when I walked in, it was totally serene. Hell, they even had classical music playing. During the tour, the director answered all of my questions and even asked me some! About my child!! Their after-school program is about 1/4 the size of the program at Option #1, which was way, WAY too big, in my opinion. And they offer an orientation and tour and bus pick-up run through for the new kiddos (none of which were offered by Option #1). So yeah... I'm going to be taking The Geej by there next week to check it out and see what she thinks, but I'm feeling pretty good about Option #2. I mean, as good as you CAN feel about other people having to take care of your kids while you earn a living. Sigh.

BTW, I attended an after-school program that I dearly loved when I was The Geej's age. And then I became a latch-key kid, which is fodder for a whole 'nother post.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Friends. Where do I even begin?

1. A week from tomorrow, my team and I will be giving a presentation to The Powers That Be that will try to a) justify our existence thus far and b) ensure our existence moving forward. Everytime I think about this, I want to vomit. When I think of how hard we've worked and how much we've gone through over the past few years, I am utterly offended by this task. However, I'm also insanely* hopeful about the fact that someone is (finally) asking us what we think and what we want to be doing. My team has been simply amazing in terms of their enthusiasm and creativity in the face of this latest challenge. I am very, very proud. But I'm also a total stressball. I just want to grab the leadership of my company by their non-existent lapels and shake some goddamned sense into them.
*By "insanely" I mean literally, I'm not right in the head.

2. As you know, The Geej's 6th b-day was last Friday. That night, Dah, BH and I took her out to dinner (with pumpkin pie for dessert, her choice!) and then we came home and opened presents. I gave her the Birthday Book I'd made with the "We're Going to San Diego" story in it. And although it took a while to sink in, she finally "got it" and got super excited. Now we're--literally--counting down the days to the trip on a calendar.

Yep. That's my girl. And that's the shirt Dah bought for her. Sigh.

And these are the shoes Dah bought for her. Sigh, again.

2.The big "Geej Turns Six" fiesta was also last weekend, and OMG it was fun, but it wore me out and cost way more money than it should've. It was perfect weather for a water-slide party--sunny and 100 degrees. There were a lot of munchkins who showed for the party, but not TOO many, which was good. It was also nice combo of her school friends (and their parents) mixing with her other friends (who are basically my friends' kids). The bottom line is that she had a blast.
Goody bags. Which, from this day forward, are deemed illegal and rude for hosts to provide.
So sayeth Karla May.

Waterslide Madness!!

3. Geej started her theatre camp this week, and I was nervous about it. New location. New teachers. New friends. But so far, she's really been enjoying it. This week, they've been making a movie (totally doing all of the story creation, sets, props, costumes themselves), and tomorrow is The Big Screening. Next week, the "theme" is songwriting/performance. So next Friday (right after the Big Presentation mentioned in item #1 above), I'll be attending THAT performance. Keeps life in balance, I suppose.

4. The Summer/Fall of Concert Attendance (which includes Louis C.K., Pavement, The Pixies, Levon Helm/Ray Lamontagne, Aziz Ansari, etc.) began last night with a trip to see Crowded House. I cannot tell you how much it meant for me to see them and how much I needed them last night. Neil Finn is one of my all-time favorite songwriters. His lyrics, compositions and harmonies can bring me to tears in a heartbeat. Plus, his vocals are always right in my range, so he's a blast to sing along with. Last night, they were at Stubb's and (thanks to the simultaneous Bob Dylan show going on at The  Backyard) it wasn't uncomfortably packed (which is good on a steamy, August night). Plus, with an older crowd (like Crowded House brings out) most people were there to actually LISTEN to the music. It was easy to get up front, leave to go get a beer, and get right back up front.

My boyfriend, Neil Finn.

There were more than a few magical musical moments during the show (especially when Neil's very talented son, Liam, came out and joined him on several songs).I found myself beaming throughout the night.

5. I am not a huge "Reality T.V" fan. I mean, I can watch nd laugh along with the best of them, but rarely do I get, like, emotionally invested in a t.v. show. But y'all? "So You Think You Can Dance" has totally KILLED me this season. I'm not even sure why I started watching. Maybe it was my friend Jaye assuring me that I would love it, but whoever reality t.v. crack dealer it was who gave me my first dose, I was hooked after episode one. And now we're down to the last three and I don't know if I can even handle it.

See what happened to me while watching this week's performance episode?! It's NOT pretty, people!

(BTW, BH makes ruthless fun of me--as he should--for being such a weeping freakazoid about this show. And it was HIS idea to photograph me "emoting". Bastard.)

6. Back to The Geej. Here's what a clueless dork I am: I totally forgot that you have to actually register your child for school when s/he is beginning studies at a new institution. Forgot!! Aren't I an awesome mom? Thankfully, a much smarter and "with it" friend of mine who has her child in public school reminded me of this fact in the nick of time. Registration is next Wednesday, and I just got clued in about my need to register the Geej this past Tuesday. I hope AISD will accept a Russian birth certificate. What a DUMBASS!! Plus, I've got to get her after-school care situation figured out. I've got tours with two potential after-care providers tomorrow morning. Oh, have I mentioned how busy/stressed I am at work?

7. And public first grade starts at 7:45am in the morning?! WTF?! This is going to take some major adjustments for our household. I mean, the good thing, is that I'll be getting to work way earlier and will (almost) be guaranteed a parking place. But the bad thing is that I'm going to be even more grumpy than usual. So, yay.

7. As I mentioned in my previous post, we're (accidentally) growing effing watermelons in our backyard.
It started out with a seed packet that The Geej brought home after a trip to Home Depot. Then, with all of the rain we've been blessed with this summer, it turned into The Vine That Ate Our Yard. In fact, BH had to cut it back substantially, aborting several watermelon fetuses in the process, prior to The Geej's b-day extravaganza--a fact she was pretty pissed off about. But we've got about three of these suckers left and I, for one, can not wait to chow down on them once they're ripe.

8. I am praying for a calm, uneventful, productive weekend ahead. I'm also hoping to catch up on some damn sleep. We'll see how that all goes.