Ah, the mantra of the working world; TGIF! I'm relieved to arrive at this happy day. I essentially doubled my activity and workload this week and it shows in my bloodshot eyes. Although, that could be the glass of wine I downed as soon as I got home. I have the night off, since Small Person left for her weekly overnight visit with the grandparents. Thank you, Baba!

Sadly, I'll most likely spend the remainder of my Friday night off finishing homework, catching up on email and reading, then going to bed early. Tomorrow is for laundry and various housekeeping chores, then hopefully a grocery trip squeezed in there somewhere. Sunday we're off to a birthday party for Her Tinyness, for which her excellent parents rented a bouncy. Oh, joy! Oh, exhaustion unrelieved! I often pack Small Person's pajamas when we go visiting for a busy day like that. I'm thinking of bringing my own this time, as well. I'm looking forward to a real day off... oh, sometime within the next decade, perhaps.

That's what I get for re-joining the ranks of the responsibly employed, I suppose.


work makes me tired

The first day of work went well. I did a variety of tasks that are familiar and anticipated, but not boring, and got along well with my boss. It looks like a good situation. I probably won't talk much about it here, though; partly paranoia, I guess, but I'd rather save this blog for fun stuff, anyway.

I am very tired today, though. That might also have to do with the assorted activities that keep piling up. My homework, research, and interviews for assignments, Small Person's bottomless kindergarten paperwork, and the other necessaries of house and garden just don't stop lately. It's all fun and interesting stuff, or at least useful, so I don't begrudge it. Okay, maybe just a little bit when I've had to repeat a request three times in a morning, every morning before school. How much longer will she need my help getting dressed?!

In other news, this Friday is picture day! I know the readership (all three of you) can't wait to see Small Person's first school portrait. Duly noted; I'll be ordering the ginormous extra huge photo package that includes some random junk with dozens of wallet-sized prints. Sorry, the 8x10 ones are saved for the grandmothers.


things that go bump

Remember that little self-congratulatory post a few days ago about how great my balance is? Of course, today I fell flat on my face; a nice comeuppance.

We went to pick up trash around Small Person's school today, and I guess an hour of stooping, bending, squatting, all to pull tiny brittle bits of deteriorating plastic out of the landscaping really got to me. It was a double-whammy of a stumbling trip. I caught myself on the edge of the pavement only to hit the parking curb and go down. Fortunately, I was able to fall safely, I was wearing gloves and jeans and didn't scrape my face. Have to keep that money-maker lookin' good! I did end up with a goose egg on my shin and a severely bruised ego. The other adults in the area politely pretended not to see as my Young Fellow scooped me up and dusted me off. We had a good laugh at my expense and went back to picking up the shocking number of discarded cigarette butts.

I start my new job tomorrow! I'd better have a medicinal glass of wine before bed to make sure I feel okay tomorrow.


Summer is officially over

I just had to dash out to rescue the clothes on the line from our first rain. Yay for the free water for the garden! Boo for running the dryer and the heater and the lights all day. I know, Kath, I'm a spoiled Californian who gets way more than my fair share of sunshine. Really, I love the rain and the weather changes. Now I'm off to hunt up my boots and umbrella. And, more importantly, those belonging to Small Person.


this is for Tara

Tonight we had puffy pancakes for dinner. My sister and I used to make them all the time for breakfast when I was younger. It's a simple egg, milk, and flour recipe; a quick, hot breakfast even for a lazy teenager. I haven't made them in a long time, though, because they are not very practical for the weekend family breakfast. They take a whole cast iron pan on stove top and in oven, and for some reason I can never get the assembly line logistics right. Waffles are usually my go-to Sunday morning meal.

Tonight, however, I felt confident. One, two, three, melted butter on the stove and rotated into the oven. There was a little bit of eating in shifts, but yumminess made up for timing. Sadly, the puffy part always deflates when they are removed from the oven. Happily, it leaves some nice gullies for syrup to flow into. Add some bacon, and you've got a fabulous breakfast, er... dinner.

great news!

I finally figured out what my long-torso-wide-hips-short-legs physique is perfect for. All those standing balance yoga poses!

I've been enjoying a twice-weekly class for a month now, and this is the first feel-good thing I've noticed about it. I mean, we all know starting a new exercise regimen can be frustrating, even painful. Especially so in my case, when I'm asked to do push-ups. I always feel excellent after class, though, thanks to the final relaxation and breathing exercises. It's a class of mainly beginners, which definitely makes me fell better about my lack of flexibility and strength; many are in the same boat as I am regarding the push-ups.

But... but! I love the balance poses! Maybe that low center of gravity (see above re: short legs) really does help, or maybe it's the wide, Hobbit-like feet. Or, maybe my powers of concentration really are that good. Ha! Whatever it is, I do get a nice feeling of accomplishment when I can ever   so   slooowly   ease out of those weird stretch-squat-turn-on-one-foot standing poses instead of wobbling and hopping about. Then, of course we move on to something involving upper body strength and I'm gasping again. Curse you, plank pose!


working mother

I got a job! I had the interview yesterday, my glowing references were checked (thanks, guys!) and the position confirmed pretty quickly. Now everyone can breathe a sigh of relief.

I lucked out and nabbed exactly what I was looking for; part-time, fits my exact schedule, small company, small office, reasonable pay, my skill set plus new things to learn, and enough variety to not bore me to tears every day. My boss seems pleasant and interesting and I'm feeling very enthusiastic.

The only drawback is that I'll have to give up my volunteer time in Small Person's classroom. I might be able to rearrange after this semester, but for now we'll just continue with our extracurricular home projects. It's the same old dilemma: work vs. momming. I don't like conflict, though, so I'll make an end run around this one and try some different strategies. With part-time school and part-time work, I really can't complain that much.

Since I start on Monday, does this give me an excuse to do some weekend shopping?


hair today

I've been doing this no-shampoo-shampoo experiment that seems to be pretty popular around the internets lately. Google it, you'll find lots of different ideas and recipes. The one I chose to try is a baking soda scrub followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse. Rinsed in between, of course, unless you'd like first grade science experiment volcano in your shower every day. Both are are diluted to a ratio of about one tablespoon to one cup of water. After three weeks of using it, I am impressed.

My hair is naturally oily, one might even say greasy, and I don't like to wash it every day. I find that if I rinse it in the shower without washing, it tends to look even more like an oilslick, so it's either no shower, or wash all the time. I don't like to shampoo all the time because I feel the shampoo overdries my hair and makes the oil return with a vengeance. I have pretty long hair, and I don't really style it (no blow-drying, no product) unless I have an event to attend, or just need to get the stuff offthebackofmyneckinthisheatrightnow, dammit! Anyway, thus far the experiment has been a success. My hair is more regulated, less extreme, more manageable, and definitely shinier, thanks to that vinegar. I'm still fiddling around with how many washings per week and tweaking the measurements a little bit, but I'm very pleased with the results so far.

Of course, probably the best highlight to this kookiness is the cheap factor; no more pricey shampoo. You remember the dad from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" with the Windex? I sing the praises of baking soda and vinegar. They can do anything!


sick in the head

As expected, starting a new school routine has infected us with germy germs. We have the sniffles and, even worse, the whiny-I-don't-feel-goods. It did happen earlier than I thought, considering we're still enduring 100 degree days and just barely entering September. Oh well, I guess it's better to get that immune system geared up sooner rather than later. We're keeping the fluid intake up and watching a lot of Spongebob Squarepants, as the Small Person has trouble resting at all unless she's painfully ill. I couldn't even keep her out of the pool today. She likes to reassure me when I ask how she feels: "well... don't worry, I can still go to school." I'll remind her of this quote when she gets to high school.


back to school, part II

Tonight was Back to School Night at Small Person's school. I've been curiously anticipating this event since I first looked at the school calendar. I'm interested in learning more about the school, teacher, curriculum, activities, etc. and didn't really know how to jump in and ask until parents were invited to do so. I'm a wuss when it comes to this kind of situation, as I believe I've already established. New people, new situations; not my forte. I expressed elsewhere my tendency to assume I'm the weirdo parent in the room and get defensively judgmental.

Well, I was pleased and soothed by Small Person's teacher. She is experienced with and devoted to kindergartners in general and seems to have a good sense of the abilities and needs of this class in particular. I didn't get a good feel for the other parents, but I'm hoping to over time. I signed up to spend one morning a week helping out in the classroom, which I am super excited about. This is one benefit to unemployment: lots of time to volunteer!

As for the curriculum, while the school is definitely concerned with state standards, it doesn't seem to be in a freaky "test scores, and only test scores!" kind of way. Small Person's teacher let us know what the kids will learn and the milestones they will reach, but also that there is no homework, they have free play time, they will get messy, they will have fun. Kindergarten is the place for kids to learn to love school, in her opinion, so that's what she hopes to help them do. Of course, since I will be in the classroom once a week, I can keep spying to reassure myself.


I'm growing my own food!

Apparently I'm writing a gardening blog, since I'm always excited about it lately. Here are the latest baby pictures:
Little kale, collards, and mustard greens under our elaborate shade protection.
Mini watermelons!
Button squash, with bonus aphids. I'm having trouble staying on top of both of these.
Cherry tomatoes sprouting like crazy. I'm planning to make some slow-roasted tomatoes when they all ripen at once.
Finally, the world's smallest eggplant. So cute!