My feet are killing me. I've spent the whole day on them, and, since I usually try to spend most of my day on my butt, I'm whiny about it.

I had a three-hour shift at the library today. Often when I'm there I spend the shift checking in items, which means mostly sitting at the computer, with short trips to stack things up. Today, however, I spent most of the time in the fiction stacks shelving, then rolling back downstairs to pick up more stuff to put away. So, lots of time on my feet.

As a totally unrelated aside here, I forgot to report my first library injury! Given my clumsiness, it was only a matter of time. I smashed my little finger between a full book cart and the wall. Boo. It's fine, but still black under the nail.

Then, I went shopping today. Oh, shopping. I'm always optimistic about it, even when it is often the bane of my existence. We all have our little body complaints, plus those items that we really just won't wear, no matter how trendy or cheap. I am very overdue for a wardrobe upgrade, and I need some potential interview clothes as well, so off I went to the big boxes.

I've been able to get by in my jeans and t-shirts uniform for far longer than I thought possible, but I've determined I'm no longer able to pull it off. For one thing, I would like to eventually have a job that is in a better professional tier, so I need some clothes that don't scream "entry-level slacker." Then, there's the undeniable fact that I am no twenty-something hipster. I've given up even the fantasy of ever being a hipster, so it's time to start dressing my age. I admit, I might be watching a little too much What Not to Wear, as well.

I bravely went forth, armed with my tax refund and a conquering attitude, and came home with... not much, actually. Not for lack of trying, mind you. I was out and about for over three hours, pawing through sale racks and trying things on, but nothing seemed to work out. You know how that goes. I did make it out alive with some lovely new undergarments, so all was not in vain. And, as I am a glutton for punishment, and Small Person will be at Baba's tomorrow, I will try, try again.

With better shoes.



A small selection of photos of what we've been up to lately.

Small Person all dressed up for Hawaiian Day at school:
They have these spirit days occasionally, and we try to get into it. I don't remember having this kind of thing until junior high or high school, and then it was usually because of some "big game" or rally of some sort. I don't know how that fits into the kindergarten lexicon, but she finds it fun, so we do it. I got into it a little bit in high school, but only if my costume gave me an excuse to get out of class and head to a rally. If I got sidetracked halfway and ended up at some fast food joint for lunch, well, my bad, but the costumes were still fun.

We've been to a lot of birthday parties lately.The fresh newness of kindergarten means new friends, too, and I've come to the conclusion I must have a popular kid. To me, that means she's outgoing, pleasant to be around, and generally good fun. Yay! That also means I'd better start budgeting a little extra time and money for her social engagements. Three parties in February alone! The last one was really cool. It was at a local gymnastics facility, where the party gets to romp around the floor with an instructor. 
I lost count of the number of trampolines! The instructor gives them some rules, helps with the big equipment, and generally herds them around the camera-wielding parents in a tactful fashion.
We didn't want to leave when our time was up.

Mardi Gras: I made jambalaya in my California-girl way, and dressed Small Person in the contents of her necklace box for dinner.Last, but not least, we've been playing a lot of games lately. The cold and rainy days give us plenty of opportunity. Small Person learned some good card games from her Baba, so sometimes Go Fish is on the menu. More often lately, it's SORRY! 
This is the same set from my childhood, which actually pre-dates me by a few years. It's in pretty good shape still, though I don't think it will outlast Small Person.


diggy, the dancing queen

I love the malapropisms of a five year old. Sadly (for me, not her future communication skills), they are waning. Small Person still mis-hears a lot of things, but is far quicker to catch them nowadays and correct herself. And, she can officially read now. I know! On the first day of kindergarten, her teacher promised that they would be reading on their own by the end of the year, so she's right on target. Even though it kills me a little more every day to see her growing up so damn quickly, I am thrilled. Must indoctrinate more bookworms! Tonight she read the bedtime story (another gem by Mo Willems) while I listened and helped with oddball pronunciations. For example: would, know, going. Those ones are tricky. 


stormy weather

Makes us all crazy. Add a three-day weekend, and that's a real recipe for disaster. Fortunately, Small Person spent part of the weekend at Baba's, and we managed to fill the rest. Crafts! Games! Roller skating! I've been encouraging craft supplies as presents practically since Small Person was born, so we're pretty well stocked. This weekend we painted a "stained glass" picture to hang in her window. You know, the plastic kind with various squeeze bottles of colors to fill in the blanks? That was a hit. An even bigger hit, however was the Hama midi bead kit. Those little plastic rings that you put together on a pegboard and then iron to melt into a solid shape. Voila!
Small Person had sooo much fun with these. She made four or five before we ran out of time, and then happily played make-believe with them while I fixed dinner. Extra thanks to Maya for the present!

Then, today was the highlight of the weekend: Small Person's first roller skating. The local rink has a tiny tots open session where shoes are allowed on the rink. This means lots of parents hanging out with toddlers clinging mightily to their pants legs. Being the daredevil I am, I opted for my own skates and tried to avoid Small Person's groping hands. She made it around twice before tiring. Not too bad for a first try. I consider it a success that she fell well without owies, and I didn't fall at all. Neither of us is quite ready to try out for roller derby, though.


i heart valentines

Okay, not really. But Valentine's Day in kindergarten is the best. Everyone is required to give you a Valentine, so you get to wallow in the passion of cartoon characters and conversation hearts from all of your classmates. The crafty mama that I am, of course we had to make our Valentines. No punch-out and fill-in-the-blanks in this household! Here's what we started with:

We made salt dough, then rolled and cut out cute tiny shapes. We've never played with salt dough before, but it was a huge success. The only drawback, really, was that our cookie cutters were so tiny, we were cutting and cutting and cutting for what seemed like hours. And, we have enough cut and baked to make into next year's xmas ornaments. Anyway, once baked, they are hard and virtually indestructible. It is definitely necessary to poke the holes before baking! We then took them over to a playdate to share the painting part. This is final outcome, painted, strung, and adorned with a Valentine tag:

Twenty little crafty Valentine necklaces for the whole class! As usual, I think I was the most excited and interested in the project itself, but Small Person was very pleased to hand them around and declare that she made them. She came home with a bag of sugary treats, ubiquitous to any school occasion, it seems. Since I've already scarfed my (self-purchased) Valentine chocolates, I think hers are safe.


i told you so

That's what all my friends and relations will say (are saying!) when I tell them how much I loved my first volunteer shift at the library. I got to sort and shelve! Then sort and shelve again! And again! I'm really even nerdier than I thought. Normally, I love browsing through the stacks anyway, but this is more like browsing with a purpose. I am learning the decimal system, for real.

I had  to immediately set rules for personal acquisitions. I've decided I can only check out as many books as I bring back on a given day. That's fair, right? Friday that meant three: Wife of the Chef, a memoir; A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style, by Tim Gunn; The White Death, A History of Tuberculosis.

Next week, I get to learn the scanning and receiving system!


book it

So I kind of got a job. Sort of. Okay, not really, but let's just pretend, okay? I'm starting volunteer shifts at the public library. How cool is that? I get to push a cart around, sort, shelve, organize, tidy, and absorb the dewey decimal system osmotically. Is it wrong to be severely excited by that last part? As if that wasn't enough, they'll even reimburse my parking expenses. Woot!

I had a mini-interview and maxi-orientation on Monday, I think just to make sure I'm reasonably upstanding and don't fear alphabetizing. This is the same downtown central library I've visited and loved since my childhood, so the tour was unnecessary, but still fun. I got to visit the offices behind the "Staff Only" door and see all the inner workings. The book drop conveyer belt! The acquisitions department! The break room with actual librarians raiding the fridge!

Okay, I'll stop with the exclaiming. I'm very pleased and interested to be able to spend this time at the library, even if it is unpaid. I think the only drawback will be the alarmingly large amount of reading material I will start to bring home.