May 30, 2008

Half Thoughts...

Coupla things I've been stewing over this week--

Using the word "sugar" to describe affection bothers me. Like "Hey baby, gimme some sugar," and the like. "Pour Some Sugar on Me," "Sugar Sugar," "Lips Like Sugar" the Archies, but I don't like the expression. In this instance, I guess I am just too literal to appreciate the symbolism. It makes me think of sugar bowls, with sugar spoons in them...specifically the one we had when I was growing up. I think it was green. Oh, and we'd go to a restaurant and I'd get impatient waiting for my food so I'd eat sugar straight from a packet (what on earth was my mom thinking), and it'd be this grainy little pile of sugar in my mouth. Good times. But hugs and kisses aren't grainy. So yeah, I'm not big on the metaphor....

...I've stepped up the sleep training this week. His Highness hates to go to sleep. He fights it most every time by screaming and crying in protest. Which I think is fantastic, because he rarely screams like that unless he's tired, so while he thinks he's convincing me that he should stay awake, he's really telling me that I'm doing the right thing by making him go to sleep.

I'm not an advocate of uniform sleep training for all kiddos...sleep is a very individual thing, in my opinion, and there are many variables to consider when forming one's household sleep patterns. In fact, I avoided any sort of sleep training with His Highness for quite some time, until I knew I was ready to put forth the effort required, and confident in my ability to read his cues and know what he needed. And frankly, we were fairly comfortable with his sleep patterns until recently.

But lately, he's been waking up earlier & earlier in the morning and insisting that it's time to nurse and then get up...except that he's been screaming, which as I said above, tells me that he's still tired. I'd been hemming & hawing on what to do, wondering if I should just get up early with him, but finally I'd had it up to here with getting up at ungodly hours and decided to put the smack down. The rule is that he must stay in bed at least until 6 am, so now if he wakes up before then (even a little bit, and especially if he's crying) I make him go back to sleep. And guess what? After a tantrum at 5, he's been sleeping past 7. Tra la, tra la!

Same thing with naptime. We had a loose drink-read-sleep routine but I tightened it up. We have a drink, then read 2-3 books, and then it's time to sleep. He was screaming regardless, so I figured if I made the routine short & simple at least I'd get through the screaming faster. So we've been doing that the past few days, and guess what? Today we had our drink and read our books, and he tried to leave the room as usual, but I put him back in bed and said "It's time to go to sleep," and did my little half-rocking thing, and he lay there quietly while he drifted off. A prouder mom you will not find.

All that said, you'll either be pleased or horrified to know that for us, "cry it out" means crying it out right next to Mommy. He still starts out on his own at bedtime but when he wakes around 2am, instead of bringing him in with us, I go to his room so that the Cat Daddy has at least some chance of sleeping thru the tantrums. We're moving in the direction of mostly-not-co-sleeping, but I'm not willing to quit cold turkey. So there.

Obviously, we've got plenty left to accomplish in the sleeping department; not the least of which is making the non-screaming a habit. I got some fantastic tips from Mrs. Roots that I'll be trying in the coming days & weeks to streamline everything, but this is good progress for 3 days' work. It motivates me to stick with the program, and we all know that when mommy (and daddy) is consistent, it makes things better for everyone.

Chalk another one up for mommy...

May 27, 2008

Fairly Obvious Signs That I'm a Nerd, Cont'd...

This is fabulous--

For further proof of my nerd status, click here. Or here.

Not to mention the hypoteneuse...

May 26, 2008

Curse You, MySpace & Facebook...

It's interesting to me the overall process with starting something new and online. It could be the same way with most anything in life, but the online stuff is where I've noticed it the most. No wait, I changed my mind--I also notice this when we start out in a new place. And it's the easiest to explain; even better.

I arrive to a new place awash in a slew of emotions. A part of me is totally freaked out by all the newness and not knowing anyone, or where anything is, but another part of me is a little bit excited and anticipates several months down the road by which time I'll know where things are (eg Target), and hopefully will have made a friend or two.

My personality is such, though, that I don't like to rush out and glom onto everyone I meet, running up & saying "Hey, I'm new, will you be my friend!?" Not that there's anything wrong with that; it's just not me.

But over time and for one reason or another we do start to meet people, and before I know it we have a full calendar, and I'm telling the Cat Daddy things like, "I just really need to be home this evening and not do anything."

So within the past several months I have joined the rest of humanity and gotten sucked into both MySpace and Facebook. Mostly I blame Mrs. Bee. She has had a MySpace account for a couple years now, I think, and was having such fun getting in contact with old friends, and would always talk about how kick-a$$ her updated page was, and all, and eventually I succumbed and made my own. But by that time she also had Facebook, as did another friend of ours, and they would sit and debate the merits of both, so I did Facebook too. I got them both all set up, fully prepared for them to sit in oblivion, save those few friends in my more immediate circles who(m?) I already knew had pages.

Which was the case for a fact up until probably a month or so ago. I've been slowly accumulating a friend here & there, but all of a sudden some switch has been flipped, and I have about a billion friends between the two. I'm awash in popularity, I tell you. So much so that I decided I really need to post a few pics on my pages, so people can see my lovely little family. So now that's about fifteenth on my list of things to be done. The "problem," if you can call it such, is that I only log on once or twice per week, so it may be a while. But whatever.

The really trippy thing is the many of my previous lives from where people are popping up. Between schools and churches alone I have, like, 7 different lives, and I feel so far removed from most of them that it's strange to go back in my mind. I can't possibly be the only person who feels this way; I'm sure most everyone relates somehow. But still--it messes with my head. Especially when it comes to times I don't remember as my favorite (middle school, anyone?) and I have to take a moment and focus on the present, and say "I'm not there anymore. I'm not that person anymore." Hmmm, this can only get harder to explain. Moving on...

If I had more time they would probably be more of a time-suck. But as I've been prioritizing the have-to's, they are not far up on the list. They're on the list, just not very high.

Speaking of which, I'm supposed to be working on the budget (and doing my back exercises, among other things), so I'm just gonna go now...

May 21, 2008

Linky Love...

I've reworked my blogroll a bit over there on the right. Folks I Frequent are people; Fantastic Finds are places. More or less. OK not really, but sort of. In a way.

BTW, the link to 15 Minute Lunch is not the front page of the blog--instead it goes to a specific post , which is quite possibly one of the most hilarious blog posts ever...

May 20, 2008

While Paying Bills... dawned on me that the lady who played Sharona on Monk is the same one who played Evelyn in A League of Their Own. The one who cried when Tom Hanks's character yelled at her, resulting in the famous line "There's no crying in baseball!"

I looked it up on IMDB, and Wikipedia, and sure enough...

A Penny Saved...

Well, here's another entry for the Grossest So Far--

Last Friday the three of us (His Highness, the Cat Daddy, and I) were playing in the living room. Mostly the Cat Daddy and I were watching His Highness run around, blabbering his ongoing monologue and occasionally showing us a toy he picked up. Well, one of the things he found was a penny, and what else do you do with a penny but immediately put it in your mouth and start taunting your parents?

The Cat Daddy commenced with his usual "Hey!" and said he thought I should go remove the penny right away, posthaste. I, knowing His Highness's propensity for playing chase, pretended like I wasn't coming after him at all, and wandered over to do a mouth sweep. As soon as I put my finger to his mouth, however, he clenched his teeth so I couldn't get in there. I whined and fussed until he finally opened up, and then found...nothing. The penny was gone. I looked first on the floor surrounding us, then at him, and he looked at me with a beastly little grin, and I said, "Well, he's just swallowed his first coin."

I have a theory about new dads. Daddies are thought of as the tough ones because they roughhouse and get all rowdy with the kiddos, but I think they worry more. Or maybe they just worry differently, I dunno. This is all to say that I was pretty sure swallowing a coin, especially a small one, was no big deal, but the Cat Daddy insisted I check with Dr. Sears just to make sure. Which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and I agreed that we both would feel better, so I did. Lo & behold, there was a special blurb dedicated solely to swallowed objects, which said that the penny should pass right on thru within 1-3 days, and we didn't need to call the doctor unless His Highness experienced excessive drooling, abdominal pain, or an inability to swallow.

What was the Cat Daddy's response? "Oh good, I feel better," or "That's a relief," perhaps? No. The first thing out of his mouth was "You are checking his poop for the penny. I'm not changing a poopy diaper until it's out."

Poop doesn't really freak me out. Don't get me wrong, it's gross. Especially since His Highness eats regular old grown-up food now, resulting in regular old grown-up poop. But as Ms. Debbie at daycare would say, "It's just poop." So it didn't sound like too big a deal to check for the penny. I thought about the most effective and least invasive methods for the task. My best idea was to use a fork and tap thru the poop feeling for a metal-on-metal touch, but I kept forgetting to grab a fork for diaper changes and ended up using the low tech method of poking my finger (covered with a wipe) randomly in the poop, followed by an even more thorough than normal hand washing. I must admit that it grossed me out some. The things mommies do for their kids...

In the end, it took the full three days and then some, but this morning the penny finally appeared. I didn't even have to dig--an edge of it was visible enough that I knew exactly what it was. I sang, "Yay, the penny is out!" His Highness didn't bat an eye.

Now I'm a pretty frugal person. I like to save, and I love a bargain. And I have some crunchy tendencies in the way of being a good steward of natural resources and all. But not this time. I left the penny right where it was, and it will sit in the landfill along with the disposable diaper for eons to come. I just couldn't do it...

May 13, 2008

Neither Is Falling Off An Egg Beater!

This one's for the Cat Daddy--one of his favorites as a kid...

May 11, 2008

The Good and Bad of Mothers Day...

Well, it's settled. We cannot live in Lompoc for the long term. This will become clear as the story unfolds...

The Good:

This morning I ran another 5k. It was held at La Purisima Mission Historic Park. The last two 5k's I've done I've finished in just over 28 avoid unnecessary anxiety reactions, my philosophy is to look at the race as just another run and not worry about time, pacing, or placing. I did have the unexpected surprise of finishing second in my age group in the cross country run I did just over a month ago, but really that's because there were very few people in my age group to begin with.

Well, the Cat Daddy was egging me on, and dared me to run today's race for time. There were no awards, so my only competitor was myself. I thought hey, why not. The worst that could happen is I would go out too fast and then finish way slow. So I took the challenge for a time trial. I guessed I would finish sometime in the 26's. I was pretty sure it would be faster than the cross country run, since being a cross country course and all it was more rigorous than others.

Well, long story short, today's course was slightly shorter than a full 5k--the race director told us it was 2.8 miles instead of 3.1. So I went out and kept a slightly-faster-than-comfortable-but-not-overdoing-it pace up until the final quarter mile when I swung the arms and barreled into the finish with a final time of 21 minutes 14 seconds. The Cat Daddy said he was shocked to see me coming in so early (yes, shocked), but I think I was still even more surprised. So I crunched the numbers and it came out to a 7.6 minute mile, and extrapolating out for a full 5k I estimated it would take 23.5 minutes. Dunno if today was a fluke, or if pushing His Highness in the jogger during the week makes me faster overall, but either way I'm pleased as punch. And so tired...

The Bad:

The bad started out very good. After the race we went out to do errands and pick up a coupla geocaches. Lunch, Target, blah blah blah. The caches were hidden outside a nearby park, in some grassland hills. Or hilly grasslands, or something. As we set out we found another family going after the same two, so that was kind of fun. We gave them a head start so they could find the first one and rehide it before we got there. Given my encounter earlier in the week, the Cat Daddy thought it would be fun to taunt me by calling out "snake" randomly. Yeah, no fun. We had a little talk over that one. The cache was not a hard find though--a fairly-well camouflaged container, but sticking out of the ground next to a bush, so you couldn't mistake it for much of anything else. The Cat Daddy unearthed it while I tended to His Highness, then I bent down to sign the log, surrounded by a breeze and the sounds of nature. I hadn't thought much about the squeaking I was hearing, until the Cat Daddy said "Ooooh, Skerrib, come here and look in this bush" (what, oh what was I thinking). He almost had a gentle tone about him though, so I thought maybe he'd found a nest of furry little babies or something. No. What he found was a gopher snake lunching on a mouse. The squeaking...its death song. I didn't actually see the mouse. All I saw was a small part of the snake...just enough that I knew I was looking at the middle of a snake. Before I signed the geo-log. For heaven's sake...I signed the log in record time, didn't bother to switch out or really even look at any trinkets, got myself and His Highness (safely buckled in the jogger) out of the brush, and tried to think of bouncing around on soft pink gumdrops or something equally non-snakelike. This got me to thinking about the times in my life where I've likely been within mere feet of a snake, completely unaware. [shudder]

Now I know that gopher snakes are harmless to humans. And this was possibly the best time to be near the snake. It didn't know we were there, and having just eaten it wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. I understand nature, the circle of life, and all of that. I'm fully aware that civilization provides only a superficial sense of safety. Go back a hundred fifty years or so and we'd likely encounter snakes and other wildlife on a regular basis. God made a very good world, but not a safe world, etc. Snakes are simply one of those things that produces a visceral anxiety in me. I've gotten less panicky about it in recent years, but they still do and probably always will give me the heeby-jeebies.

The Cat Daddy thinks this is something in me to be cured. While I agree it would be nice to just get over it, I seriously think it would require professional and experienced help, and I'm not in a place to desire or put the effort into it.

By the time we got our stuff together to go find the second cache, the other family was also just getting ready to go for it, so we decided to go together. It turned out to be a fairly strenuous hike down one grassland hill and up onto the next, and then another hundred meters or so to the cache itself. We let the kids find it, so that was fun. Then we talked a bit before the Cat Daddy and I (and His Highness) started back across the grass toward the trail. About halfway there--halfway to the trail, not to the car--wouldn't you know, there was another dang gopher snake. I was headed for it, but since I was being ultra-vigilant I saw it in plenty of time to back up & divert. This one had its head in the ground (the Cat Daddy surmised that it, too, was working on lunch. And he was all-too-amused by the whole thing, in my opinion), and its markings were actually quite beautiful. But creepy. Didn't help me feel better. When I thought about it, it was way too similar to my occasional snake dreams. Where I'm walking along minding my own business, and oh look there's a snake. [shudder]

So we hiked back to the car. And went home.

TWO. TWO, I say! In one day!

In other locations, I might be able to simply stay away from where the snakes live, but here in Lompoc we are amongst the wilderness. One cannot go very far before being off pavement, among farm fields, or on a dirt trail.

Sad. So sad...

May 10, 2008

Clean Up This Mess...

Things I learned from the Dining Out (and adjacent happenings):

I think I was raised to believe that formal events were a bigger deal than they are. This was apparent to me as I compared my two shopping experiences. Shopping with my two friends was a pragmatic sort of deal. They are as fond of a bargain as I, so our modus operandi was to hit the sale racks first and systematically try on anything that looked like it would come close to fitting (or be altered to fit), then go from there with the shoes and such. Mom has a more right-brained approach--she is big on finding "the" dress, and gushing over the accessories and peripheral details ("It's not a ball, Mom. That's in the fall."). Having had the comfort of the practical experience, I was able to let Mom talk about princesses without feeling pressured. And then, as it turned out, when I found The Dress I knew more or less right away (I had to hem & haw a bit, but deep down I knew I was going to buy the dress), which pleased Mom.

It dawned on me that shopping for a dress is not as out of the ordinary as I previously had thought. First off, it's prom season so there were teenage girls prancing and giggling all over the place. Seriously man, they were giddy. And while I don't often go to formal events, apparently there are plenty of formal events out there to be had. Moreso, some ladies like to shop for good deals on dresses so they have them just in case an event pops up. This always makes me think of "My Three Sons," when Tina and her bridesmaids were all freaking out over their dresses for the wedding. The freaking out maybe doesn't happen all that much, but the buying the dresses does imitate real life. Who'da thunk.

Oh, AND getting one's hair 'done' is not all that strange either, it turns out. Even in these modern times, plenty of people pay to get their hair styled, and the hair stylists think this is perfectly normal. I don't know what I was afraid of, but when I was getting my hair done (and cut, while I was at it) there were at least two other ladies who got updo's. My stylist didn't bat an eye when I showed her the picture I liked in the wedding hair book.

As for the event itself, same thing. We came, we ate, we goofed off, we left. In fancy clothes...

What A Mess...

Well, there it is--The Dress. And notice the Cat Daddy in his smashing tux, known as the Mess Dress. He thought I might like to wear a navy dress, but I think the "apple" shade provides a lovely contrast, yes? I don't know what's up with my posture in that pic--I could've sworn I was standing up straight. Our yard is at an odd slope, so we'll just call it that. Or I'll say I was going for a Greek goddess pose. Even better.

The purpose of this one is to prove that I did make my toes all pretty, and that I did, in fact, wear heels. This is significant because I don't do heels. But I did for the dining out. Also important is the lack of nylons (something bothers me about pantyhose--both the item and the word). Mom was adamant that nylons must be worn to a (semi) formal event, but I was equally adamant that I wasn't doing it. So I didn't. I also like that you can see a little more of my hair in this one. I had it done, as I am more of the wash-comb-leave it type of person and wouldn't know how to go about making my curls cascade as they did.

So there you have it. The event itself was nice. Something interesting about the military--they have a tradition for everything. Printed in the program itself was the etiquette of the mess:

The following is a list of rules under which the mess will be conducted. They are designed to conform to tradition and promote levity. Violators of these rules are subject to the wrath and mischievousness of Mister and Madam Vice. All assigned penalties will be carried out before the members.

•Thou shalt arrive 10 minutes before the appointed hour for the call to order.
•Thou shalt make every effort to meet all guests.
•Thou shalt move to the mess when thee hears the chimes and remain standing until seated by the President.
•Thou shalt not bring cocktails or lighted smoking material into the mess.
•Thou shalt not leave the mess whilst the mess is convened. Military protocol overrides all calls of nature.
•Thou shalt participate in all toasts unless thyself or thy group is honored with a toast.
•Thou shalt ensure thy glass is always charged when toasting.
•Thou shalt not open the schoolhouse (talk shop) doors.
•Thou shalt always use proper toasting procedures.
•Thou shalt be painfully regarded if thy clip-on bow tie rides at an obvious list. Thou shalt be forgiven, however, if thee also ride at a comparable list.
•Thou shalt consume thy meal in a manner becoming of gentle persons.
•Thou shalt not laugh at ridiculously funny comments unless the President first shows approval by laughing.
•Thou shalt express thy approval by tapping thy spoon on the table. Clapping of thy hands will not be tolerated.
•Thou shalt not question the decision of the President (no quibbling).
•When the mess adjourns, thou shalt rise and wait for the President and guests to leave. Thou shalt enjoy thyself to the fullest.

I learned that this event was about four times larger than normal, so it was virtually impossible to actually enforce the rules. And Mister and Madam Vice didn't dole out any mischief, except to the President (the group's commander). During dinner I used my spoon to scoop the gravy out of my potatoes, so it got taken with my plate and I was left with nothing to bang on the table for the rest of the evening.

Throughout the evening, any time an individual squadron was mentioned, that squadron would give their chant. The President and the Vices exchanged witty remarks...most of them scripted. An interesting combination of silliness and solemnity.

I can take or leave all the pomp and such, but my favorite part was talking with people we've met here. The two ladies I shopped with were there (Mrs. Fashion was quite pleased with my dress choice), and we met another lady and all got along famously. So well in fact that the four of us kept the husbands waiting at the very end while we put each other's numbers in our cell phones. Always a nice thing, to hit it off with people.

The guest speaker had recently returned from deployment and had some interesting stories to share, but we were not able to stay for the dancing, as the program ran over and we had to pick up His Highness. The local girl scouts were a couple buildings over--they provided childcare as a community service project, and did a great job. The Cat Daddy said when he went in to pick him up, His Highness was sleeping on a couch, with several of the girls sitting around him, admiring his cuteness. Of course they were!

I liked this event because it taught me a lot. Sadly, His Highness is sticking his nose in my eye, so my list of things learned will have to wait...

May 9, 2008

Um, No, That's Actually Not the Case At All...

Sometimes the Cat Daddy makes assumptions about certain aspects of me that have no basis in any reality whatsoever.

CD: "Hey are you borrowing these Kipper DVD's from the neighbors?"

Me: "Yep. And look, I also borrowed Fraggle Rock."

We didn't have cable growing up, so I thought it would be fun to see what I missed when it originally ran.

CD: "But you hate Fraggle Rock."

Me: "I've never even seen Fraggle Rock."

CD: "Oh."

Somewhere, in the Cat Daddy's imagination, I seek to actively despise anything toward which he feels any sort of affinity, preference, or iota of positive thought. Though to be fair, somewhere in my imagination the same is true of him.

But seriously, if we're watching the DVD and he says something like "See, and you thought Fraggle Rock sucked," I might have to scream...

May 8, 2008

Riverview Trauma...

Today His Highness and I drove to a local park instead of jogging around the neighborhood and vicinity. There was a geocache I wanted to pick up near the banks of the Santa Ynez River. And there is a park alongside the Santa Ynez River, appropriately named River Park, through which to access the cache. So I thought it would be fun to jog along the multi-purpose path and pick up the cache somewhere in there. I also thought it would be fun to bring Zoe along to assuage some of my dog-mom guilt, what with catering to His Highness all the time. Great plan.

The path around the park was not connected to the multi-purpose path I had seen on the other side of the river, but I figured eh, whatever. Still a path, still a bit o' jogging, good to go.

The upside to this path was that it ran right alongside the massive laurel field next to the park. So many beautiful colors of bloomin' laurels. I snapped a few pics, which I will try to post sometime soon. Probably once I figure out if I can somehow remove the grains that became lodged in the camera's lens mechanism when it fell in the (dry,sandy) river bed, or if it's completely hosed.

So we continued along our way, rounding the corner back toward the front portion of the park, when Zoe very nearly stepped on a snake. And not a slender little garter snake. This guy was the width of a garden hose, and probably 3 feet long, and was sunning itself in the middle of the trail.

Did I mention I have an irrational fear of snakes?

To my great credit, I abruptly pulled backward on the jogger, and the leash, saying "Back, back, back, everybody," and took stock of the situation in an outwardly-calm manner. To the snake's great credit, it didn't move a bit. I wondered, in fact, if it was dead, but it didn't have a dead look about it. So we went around in back of it, where I noted there were no rattles. Good. A short distance later a lady & her dog walked my way and I said, "Just so you know, back up the trail a bit, there's a--"

"Gopher snake? Yes it's been there for days."

"Is that what it is, a gopher snake? They're not harmful, right?"

Turns out, they're not. She asked about its head, which was definitely not diamond-shaped, and the markings, which were somewhat, but not exactly, like those of a diamondback. So most likely it was a gopher snake.

Based on my elevated heart rate and the amount of adrenaline coursing through my body, and the fact that there was no way I was going to keep going and look for more gopher snakes, I decided that the half-mile walk was very-nearly as good as a three mile run for the day. The only problem was that I had not yet gone after the cache, and I was wondering, from the corner of my eye, if every branch or twig was moving a little.

I'm a dork for geocaching, though. There was much anxiety, and double-checking branches and paths and such for movement and long, thin, curvy things. But I got it. After we were all back in the car, on our way out of the park, I drove by The Spot and saw that the snake was no longer there. So it was most definitely not a dead snake.

On the one hand I'm proud of myself for handling the situation in a non-panicking sort of way. On the other it scared the be-jeebers out of me, and I'm probably doomed to a week of snake dreams.

Thanks for nothing, gopher snake...

May 7, 2008

Today's Totally Random Video...

Don't ask; I just do as the muses say--

You're welcome...

May 5, 2008

Alright. Alright. Alright...

Oh man, such an interesting conversation over the weekend...

We were browsing in Barnes & Noble. We'd been walking around various parts of Santa Barbara for a while, so we decided to put His Highness on the baby leash so he could get out of the stroller & walk around some.

So we're standing there, His Highness & the Cat Daddy on one side of the aisle, myself on the other, and Random Guy came up and commenced to staring me down. Severely.

Now something to note is that I kept a light, yet firm tone throughout the exchange. So much so that I was quite proud of myself. The other thing to note is that Random Guy was in a wheelchair. This is important only because, wanting to be compassionate but not patronizing, I wondered if I was in the way. So I gave an acknowledgement and somehow conveyed "Is there something I can help you with," which I'm not sure if I implied or said outright. Either way, I made eye contact, and Random Guy knew he had my attention.

Random Guy: "What are you doing to your kid?"

Myself: "I'm sorry?"

Random Guy: [crickets]

Me: "Oh, you mean the leash?" (No PC terms for us. May as well call a leash a leash.)

RG: "Yeah what do you think you're doing?"

Me: "Well, he doesn't like to stay cooped up in the stroller all the time, so this lets him walk around without getting away from us." (Meanwhile I'm thinking, oh my goodness, I really hope I'm not saying anything incredibly insensitive to this guy. But my concern was short-lived.)

RG: "Well, I really think he should be in the stroller."

Me: "Well, I appreciate your input," [I didn't really, but that's what came out on such short notice] "but he was in the stroller for a while, and now we're allowing him to run around & get some exercise, and a little later we'll probably put him back in the stroller." Followed by an authoritative nod, not unlike a mama bear.

RG: Another steely stare, and then "Alright."

Me: "Alright."

RG: "Alright."

Me: "Alright."

Then I turned back to my book, because I'd had enough. Random Guy moved on and as he moved away I shot an exasperated look at the Cat Daddy. Not a mad-at-the-Cat-Daddy look, but a what's-up-with-this-Random-Guy look. He said I should've said something like "are you jealous." Yep, the Cat Daddy is a pillar of compassion and sensitivity to those different than himself...

PS--In a moment of clarity, the Cat Daddy did agree that we have no idea the perspective that Random Guy was protesting from, so better to keep our response along the lines of "this is what we've made the decision to do."

May 4, 2008

Cinco de Mayo Snippets...

OK, so it's not quite Cinco de Mayo, but close enough...

...On Friday the Cat Daddy graduated from the first of his two training classes, and earned the title of Top Graduate. Number 1 out of about 50! He got a snazzy glass plaque-thingy, and high praise from his peers. His Highness and I went to the ceremony, but due to his increasing energy and volume levels we spent much of the time outside running around. We did make it back in time to see the Cat Daddy get his award, and to eat a bit of cake, so all was not lost. Tomorrow the Cat Daddy starts training #2, which will take us through to mid-August and the move to WY...

...The big Dining Out is this week. Pics of The Dress and The Green Purse to follow...

...My dad has a calendar in his office with pretty ladies (clothed, thank you) and guns. The calendar was by a firearms manufacturer who was handing them out as a freebie. Bingo--calendar for the office. It made me laugh that they brought in the pretty ladies to pose seductively with guns the same way they do with car mags and car shows. It also made me laugh that my dad has something up that is such a guy thing. I know, I know--my dad is a guy. But still. Ladies and firearms; there have got to be all sorts of inappropriate puns to be had there, so I'll stop...

...Too tired to think of anything else. Tomorrow's chore day, so I best go hit the hay. Ole!

Edit 05/05--note to self: His Highness tends to eat better when I set out his food and then pretend to ignore him.

Church Hunting--The Third...

Did I mention I hate church hunting?

Last week I was in Phoenix for a family reunion (among other things), so I took the opportunity to attend what I still consider our home church, even though we haven't lived there in almost 7 years (!). I tried to think of how I could describe precisely what I love about the place, but I couldn't come up with words. Sorry. In more general terms, I love that they are all about grace, and healing, and love. And I love that every time I visit they tell me how cool I am (come on, who wouldn't love that?). And I think the crux of it all is that ODF was where I more or less grew up, spiritually speaking. So in that way it will probably always be home. Unless they go completely berserk and try to make me handle snakes or drink the Kool-Aid; then I'll turn and walk right out the door.

I wasn't playing on the music team that day, so I didn't have to leave the house at the crack of dawn. Showed up for second service and then stayed for a third hour class--a group I used to belong to, except back in the day they met on a weeknight and now they meet Sunday mornings which I think works out great. Nothing you'd think of as out of the ordinary, but at the same time all I dreamed and more. Saw lots of people I know, did a lot of hugging and repeating the sentence "We live in California now, but only until August, when we move to Wyoming." It was actually kind of fun to watch people's reactions to that one. The vast majority countered with an underwhelmed "Wow. Wyoming." One lady almost swooned, however, saying "I love Wyoming!" and told me how she'd always wanted to go there, and actually got to go to Laramie some time back. So I told her anytime she wants to go back she can stay with us in Cheyenne. The other person was the worship pastor, who had known Minot was on our short list. Having lived in Minot for a time when he was younger, he was as excited to hear it was "not Minot" as we had been. Always good to have someone who understands firsthand!

I think if I try to describe things any further I'll come off sounding like some sort of crazed groupie. Which is kind of weird when one is talking about a church, but I guess when it comes to our home church I am a bit of a crazed groupie. So I'll just leave that one right there...

Which brings us to this week. Today was local church number three--one of several Calvary Chapels in our area. I know of Calvary Chapels, but I had never been to one. Though prior to our time here I had also never been to a Foursquare or Nazarene church, so it is a series of firsts for me as far as denominations go. This is less remarkable than it sounds, since we gravitate toward places that are less demonstrative in their denominationalism (that is a word. I looked it up). We pick up on general nuances, but there aren't the drastic differences one would encounter at some of the more denominationally hardcore places.

Hmmm, what can I say...friendly, incredibly well-meaning and sincere people. Some of them pretty hip, even. Kind of awkward as far as everything else goes. It was a small-ish place, which doesn't mean much, since our last church was small and was completely not awkward. The music was an unplugged set, which I normally really enjoy. The pastor wore a Hawaiian shirt. The Cat Daddy said "What's with everyone wearing Hawaiian shirts?" and I said "We live in California. They do that here. They do that in Arizona too, by the way." Then the message. I'm going to tread lightly here. From a purely technical standpoint, it was a maze of rabbit trails. Kind of hard to follow. That's all I can say about it, because a few minutes into it the Cat Daddy leaned over and whispered "98...99...100..." I whispered "What are you counting?" and he said "The number of times the pastor turns 45 degrees right or left." The pastor was leaning on the lectern with one elbow, and sure enough every few seconds he would turn to the other side and shift his weight to the other elbow. Leave it to the Cat Daddy to find such a fascinating distraction.

As usual, His Highness had a wonderful time in the nursery. When we went to pick him up he was sitting in a toy boat, muching on a Saltine. He gave us a cursory greeting, but found it necessary to finish his cracker before coming over for the usual hugs and such. So he really enjoyed himself.

So that was that I guess. I dunno, the theme songs at the Nazarene church are sounding better all the time...