Sunday, October 26, 2008

Magic Kingdom

Yesterday our little family went to Disneyland. We were accompanied most of the day by my mom, my sister Tracy, and her friends Brent and Brian. It was Asher's first time at the "happiest place on Earth," and I guess it was Brent's and Brian's first time too. I think the brothers had a good time, but I'm not so sure about Asher.

Asher was really an angel all day. He did not cry or throw fits, and he didn't react negatively to any of the rides. However, he wasn't smiling and laughing either. He was wide-eyed and a little zoned out most of the time. He was pretty tired by the end of the day, although he did somehow sneak in a little nap in the early afternoon. He fell asleep in my arms (very quickly... like he had narcolepsy) while we were waiting in line for the Haunted Mansion. This made my right arm feel like it was going to fall off. Dan and my mom also took turns holding him, which was really nice because I was able to keep my arm attached to my body. He slept until we were out of the "stretching room."

As a group we went on Pirates of the Caribbean (one of my favorites), ate at the Blue Bayou (something I've always wanted to do), and visited the Haunted Mansion. Then we split up so that the older kids could have fun while my mom, Dan and I tried to figure out what would be fun for Asher. We went on the Winnie the Pooh ride, he seemed a little disturbed. We flew on Dumbo, he was a stone. We did the tea cups, he looked down the whole time. We rode on the Roger Rabbit car ride (WORST AND LONGEST LINE EVER) and he didn't crack a smile. The only time he cared about anything was in Minnie's house in Toontown. He loved her computer and her dishwasher because he could press buttons and turn knobs and things would happen. He could have stayed there for hours, but it was a small house and there were a lot of kids going through. We also went through Mickey's house, and Asher liked Mickey's piano (he wanted to stay and dance) but we pushed onward through the house and waited in a lame long line to meet Mickey (which was my cursed idea, actually). Asher did not seem to care about Mickey Mouse or think that anything was out of the ordinary at all. He acted like he sees people dressed as giant rodents every day. But afterward as soon as we were alone in the empty hall of Mickey's house on our way out, Asher started smiling and dancing and having a great time. Go figure.

In conclusion, I think 15 months might be a bit too young for a child to enjoy that first Disneyland experience. I'm not super surprised by this information, but heck, we had free tickets that were about to expire and "free" is always the best price to pay when you are not sure something is going to work out. I'm glad we went, but I must admit I was a little disappointed that Asher didn't have a tiny bit more fun. I hope we didn't give him any material for new nightmares or a learning disability or anything.

He'll enjoy it more next year. And when we go again, it certainly won't be on a Saturday. 

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trash Talk

My husband doesn't like to take out the trash. He will do it if I ask him to, but it is not his favorite chore. Something about his hands feeling dirty even after he washes them. 

I don't mind taking out the trash. It is fast and easy and it makes a big difference in my piece of mind (not to mention the smell of the room if we are talking diapers or things that should be in a compost pile). So, I usually do this chore. No problem. Except for lately...

Our landlords (being the thoughtful people that they are) built a little enclosed area where the trash and recycle cans live. It has a little gate that closes up so you can't see what is inside and there is ivy growing all around and on top of the enclosure. It is nice to be able to hide our unsightly cans. There are only two problems with this arrangement.

Number one, I am the sole person in charge of bringing the cans out to the street for trash day. We live in a triplex, but our neighbors are two single ladies and I think Dan just volunteered us to do all the trash work when it came time for us to figure out a schedule. This way we don't have to keep track of who's turn it is. It is always my turn. The problem with this is that if I forget, the trash may overflow until I remember to bring it out the next week. The other ladies never complain, and they don't create a lot of trash, so that problem is usually fine. 

The Number two problem actually just started becoming a problem. The ivy is starting to get a little overgrown, and the top of the short little shed is starting to sag, and there are creepy crawlies EVERYWHERE. I may be able to deal with the germs on a garbage bag, but I do not want to be bitten by anything. I have stopped taking the trash out at night because I can't see very well and there is always something rustling in the ivy. Rats? Birds? I don't care, I don't want any creature to touch me. In the day it isn't that fun either. Yesterday there was a huge spider (like fist sized) right in front of the gate. I'm sure that is a great place to catch flies, but it freaked me out. I asked our landlord to tell the gardener to cut the ivy down, but I don't know if he will remember to do that. I would talk to the gardener directly, but I don't know how much English he understands. He is super nice, but he seems to have a hard enough time when I am just trying to say hello. I'd ask Dan to talk to him in Spanish, but Dan is not home when the gardener is here.

To make a short story long, I no longer like taking out the trash.  

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How are YOU?

I was checking out at the grocery store last night and the older man behind the counter asked me how I was three times, obviously distracted. He was not smiling, so I asked him how he was doing.

The floodgates opened.

I hardly understood half of what he said, but I caught a few phrases: "...if he has a problem...", "I'll take a lie detector test..." , "my lawyer!" I think he was upset at an accusation made by a coworker. I tried to be as positive and understanding as I could as I swiped my card and signed my name, but I think he just needed to let off some steam. Maybe I should have asked him to smile, but he might have turned against me. 

What happened to good old-fashioned customer service? 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Auf Wiedersehen

The following is my "stream of conciousness" about Project Runway:

The only way to watch Project Runway is in X1.5.
Actually, I wish our PlayStation had a speed between that and 10X. 10X is too fast. I play it normal speed for the runway shows, of course. I'm netflixing the 2nd season and I just watched 6 episodes. SIX. I don't like the "reality show" drama, but I do like seeing the creations people make. I don't know if I can really call myself a designer, but I definitely have a lot of interest in what they do. I don't think I could ever go on Project Runway. Only 10% of it looks fun. The fashion industry looks like the opposite of fun to me, unless you are a perfect-looking-size-2-6-foot-tall-19-year-old-glamazon model. In which case the only part that would not be fun to me is the immodesty (and that is a big deal, don't get me wrong). They get to wear designer duds, have professionals do their hair and make-up, be young and beautiful... and all they have to do is "walk". People make this chore sound very hard, but I was in a fashion show once (granted it was a maternity show for charity when I wasn't pregnant) and I picked it up pretty quickly. Walking sassy in high heels is NOT law, engineering, or rocket science. 

Jamie Out!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Newest Dream and Gross Milk

Two nights ago I dreamed that I had a scheduled c-section for a new baby. In my dream I decided not to get a c-section and I waited to go into labor. It was a good thing I waited, because they miscalculated my due date and they would have taken the baby out at 7 1/2 months. Anyway, I had the baby a few weeks later and it was a girl. She looked a lot like my niece Tallia. (Two l's, right Amy?) So now I've had "the dream." The second baby dream. Please don't read too much into this, since I am still trying to lose more weight. 

To quote my friend John, "And now for something completely different." 
I had a very full day today and Asher fell asleep in the car at about 3:00pm. We didn't have any more milk at home. I needed to go grocery shopping, but my poor boy was asleep so I settled for visiting a drive-thru McDonald's (yes we have a few in Santa Barbara) and ordering two milks. When it came time for me to use the said beverages, I discovered that one of the milk "jugs" (that is what they call them-- seriously) was more than a week past it's expiration date. I opened it up and sniffed once. Yep, totally gross. At the time I was just glad that I thought to order two and that one of them was totally fine.
Later as I drove Dan home from work I gave voice to the combating forces within me. On the one hand I was totally exhausted and I just wanted to go to sleep immediately. On the other hand I really thought I should go back to that McDonald's and tell them that they sold me some gross old milk for the good of future milk-consuming MickeyD's customers. I did neither of those things. Instead I said "Where's Amy when you need her?" and went about my business. Dan called the McDonald's customer service hot line and he told them our story. They are sending us coupons for sandwiches, which is totally unnecessary but quite nice. Three cheers for Dan! My hero again. (He then went on to leave me with Asher for the next couple hours, but he was serving with the missionaries, so he still earns a gold star.)   

Monday, October 13, 2008

Small and Stupid Things

This morning Dan and I were playing with Asher. I think Asher tried to throw something at my head and I moved my neck a small degree to avoid the tough love he was trying to dish out. Well, I guess I must have moved it very quickly and just the wrong way, because I immediately entered a world of pain. I felt like I had been in a car accident and had really bad whiplash. Believe me, it hurt. Fourteen hours later I'm still only able to move my neck a small degree without stiffness, soreness and intense discomfort. 

All day I tried to take it easy, and for dinner I kept it simple. I boiled carrots and Brussels sprouts in some chicken stock and put pre-made frozen Trader Joe's mini-tacos in the oven. When I went to get the cooked tacos out of the oven, I somehow managed to touch the upper part of my lower left arm to the cooking sheet for less than a second. Boy did that sting! I ran it under water and put some aloe vera on it, but it is a few hours later I have two angry looking pink burn marks on my skin. 

I feel dumb sharing this because the things that I did to get myself hurt are so silly and preventable. And they are certainly not impressive, like stories about rock climbing or saving people from certain destruction. I guess I just want to record these events because a) this is a blog and that's what blogs are for, and b) because I shouldn't take anything for granted. I feel pretty terrible right now and I can't do anything without discomfort, but there are a few things that I know: I know that I will get better, I know that there are a lot of people that have it much worse than me, and I know that my life can and will be changed every moment I'm alive. I could get into an accident (like my mom thought Dan and I had done on the way to the temple Saturday), I could get sick, etc. etc. My life is pretty good right now and I should never allow myself to think otherwise. Carpe Diem. (Unless you can't move, in which case, do the best you can.)    

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Longest Half Hour of My Life

This morning Asher managed to lock himself into his room. He immediately started crying, and I began frantically trying everything I could think of to open the door. I looked for the key and I tried every key on the rack downstairs. I tried picking the lock with a pin, a bobby pin and a few other things. I looked to see if I could take the door or the knob off somehow, no dice. Somewhere in there I called Dan and he said he would come home to try. In the mean time I tried a card in the door, I tried to pry the knob off, I went through the bathroom window to try to get in through the window in his room. The card wouldn't budge, the knob stayed put, the window was locked tight. 

Meanwhile Asher was just crying away. I tried to get him to wiggle the knob to unlock the door, but he just sat with his little fingers reaching under the door. He was getting snottier and sadder. When Dan got home I told him to try a ladder from another window. I started singing him songs from under the door, and he stopped crying when I got to "I am a Child of God". Dan came back to report that the ladder we had was too short. He began trying the card in the door-crack trick, but he employed the power of a wrench or something to get a better grip on the card. Asher left the door and started playing elsewhere in his room, and about a minute later Dan somehow had popped the lock open. (That trick from the movies does work!) Dan was my hero two days in a row, and boy am I lucky to have a husband like him. 

Asher just acted like nothing had happened. Go figure.   


Lately I have been regretting the fact that I'm not Amish. Ok, maybe I don't want to be Amish exactly, but I have a strong desire to start up some community somewhere and invite people who have the same beliefs as I do and the same desire to tune out the loud world and focus on the simple things. 

I strongly dislike politics. I dislike watching the nation's moral values spiraling downward, picking up speed as they go. I don't want to have any responsibility to stand up and fight in a battle that seems impossible to win. I don't want to agrue with people about what is wrong and what is right. I just want to hang out with people who know the truth and don't want to fight about it. I have always shyed away from disputes. 

Who's with me? I feel like I could do any amount of work to make this happen. I think I could farm and milk cows or something, and I'll sew all of our clothes. I could run the town theater. We will only do shows that are virtuous and we will never perform on Sundays. I'll run a library, teach music, run a school for any kids... whatever it takes. But I think I need at least a few more people to start my little heavenly town. A doctor and dentist would be nice, and probably a carpenter and builder of some sort. We will be strong and happy and productive. We won't waste our time on the computer. We won't ever have to turn on the news, and we can be blissfully unaware of the sky falling all around us.  

Monday, October 6, 2008

Embarrassing Moment

Whenever someone asks for my "most embarrassing moment" I can never think of anything. I am either blissfully (and perhaps sadly) unaware of moments that should be embarrassing to me, or I shut them out of my working memory. Just so I'll have an answer when asked at parties or for tags, I'm going to catalog the one I had today.

I am choreographing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious for a show at Goleta Valley Junior High. When I got to the school today in a frenzy (I had locked my keys in the car... long story where my husband and my mom are the heroes {smooch!}) I had completely forgotten that there was going to be a substitute teacher. No sweat, he is a guy I know. I've worked with him on many occasions and he has seen me act a few times. So, right after class starts he sort of introduces me to the kids (which is unnecessary because this is my third time here) by telling them how we know each other. He then says "Jamie is a really great actress, I've seen her perform, she's really good. And she is also really sexy." Yes, that is what he said. I was BEET RED. I thanked him for his complements and then headed QUICKLY into the theater. Luckily I think most of the kids were talking to each other so they didn't hear him. They know how to respect subs. 

Oh, PS one of the MANY reasons why this was SO embarrassing was that I was wearing shapeless over sized clothes, no make-up, and had my white un-shaven legs peeking out of my yoga pants. Yeah, baby. Sexy.  

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Strange Dreams

Fact: I have strange dreams. I always have and I think I always will. My strangest dream was probably a few years ago when I dreamed I was a black man living in Africa and hiding from the authorities in my own attic. I remember I had a wife and kids and I had on a white suit. Does this mean anything? I don't know. 

My most normal dreams are recurring dreams. You know, I'm going slow and everything else is fast, I'm being chased with a loved one, I'm flying, I'm in some maze. When I was little, my dreams used to open with the MGM lion and sometimes close with "To be continued..."

Lately I have been dreaming about creatures. Two or three nights ago I dreamed about a bunch of spiders that congregated in the corner of a house I was in. They were normal sized, but they had jewels on their bodies. All different colors and sizes. One of them tried to make a web from my finger to the wall.

Last night I dreamt I was in a car going fast and there were different sized skunks ALL OVER the place. Some were roadkill, some were moving around. I remember one being as big as the car. 

Again, I don't know what these dreams mean. I'm just letting you into the more bizarre corners of my head.