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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kara, my laptop, has had a coffee bath, a Diet Pepsi baptism, and was, finally, tonight, given a dose of chocolate ice cream. I thought about just pouring some of my red wine on the keyboard to seal the deal, but thought better of it. She really is my perfect-match laptop especially now that she’s experienced most of my very favorite things. I’m concerned that eventually wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwe’ll see some keys start to stick beeeeeeeeeeeeecause due to her diet. It’ll beee fine I’m sssssssssure.
Zachary, our favorite little Thespian, put on another show for me the other day. (Well, OK, he performs everyday; I just share the best ones here). We brought my brother, Chris, with us to church on Saturday night, so I got to sit squished in the back between the boys. The car seats take up so much room, I think I’d be safe unseatbelted since I’m so thoroughly wedged in there, but I, of course, still buckle up for the law…and the underage witnesses.
The boys had been pushing me back and forth and saying I was “Ping Pong Mommy.” Thanks to the wedge-factor (that was wedge, not wedgIE but I’m sure there was one of those too), I only moved about an inch all together. Unfortunately this light and fun pushing game got Zach all riled up. It was dinnertime and he was definitely prone to crankiness already. What started as all fun and games turned ugly when he started whacking at me like his personal piƱata and pulling my hair just to hear me scream. After one serious tug, I yelled in pain and scolded him. The car immediately grew still – the people contents, anyway – as we all waited for the cry that would ensue.
I watched as Zach’s lip gradually grew in size, sticking out further and further (or is it farther and farther? I’m always confused on that one but typically avoid “farther” because, let’s face it: it just looks like fart-her and that’s just wrong). Right when he took his deep breath to release the floodgates, he put both hands up to his face and looked at me. In a calm and way-too-mature-voice (one that wouldn’t be out of place in a Shakespearan Play or Greek tragedy death scene) he said, “Now, I cry.” Then he covered his face with both hands, peaking out every once in a while to validate my attention to his woes. He removed his hands after a while and said, “I cry.” Not a tear dropped though.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Drama or athletics. I don’t know which Zach will do – he’s equally talented in both. But, seriously, the child is dramatic! I don’t know from WHERE he could EVER get such acting prowess. It just astounds me.
Zach, in the mornings, gets out of his little bed and stands in his room, knocking on HIS door to be let out. The second the door is opened, he groggily says, “Cereal. I want cereal.” Then he usually has a large bowl of cereal and a banana or some other fruit-form. The other day, he woke up with a hole in his stomach or something ‘cuz we just could not seem to fill him up. He’d eaten cereal, a banana, toast, and a little more cereal until finally I drew the line. “OK, all done! Time to get down and play.” He resisted but did get down. However, the second his five-going-on-fifteen-year-old brother stumbled out of his room (after sleeping in until 10am!!), Zach thought it was definitely time for Second Breakfast.
“You can have yogurt,” I told him.
“No. Cereal,” he retorted.
“Nope. You already had lots of cereal.”
“I want cereal.”
“I know you want cereal,” I said. “But all I’m offering you is yogurt.”
At this point, Zach was back up in his chair at the table a-waiting…cereal.
“Zachary, you can have yogurt or nothing.”
In the most deflated, defeated move I’ve ever seen, Zach slowly put his arm on the table and wearily rested his head. He slowly shook his head back and forth and said, “I have nofing. Nofing to eat.”
After I finished calling the Academy to tell them where to find their next Oscar winner, I reminded him one more time, “Zach, you CAN have yogurt.”
His head shot up and with steam coming forth from his various facial orifices, he cried, “NO! Cereal!”
Yeah, OK. I was done.
Realizing that anger was definitely not helping his cause, he slowly put his head back down on the table and repeated in the most melancholy of ways, “I have nofing. Nofing to eat.”
When he makes it big in Hollywood, he can have all the cereal he wants.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Woah, today is major. My Blog is 199 pages, and you know what that means. Chances are good that I’ll babble on long enough to get to 200. 200 pages of fluff, hooey and who-knows-what! Quite the accomplishment. So my Blog combined with my book manuscript and the other small projects I’ve worked on in the last couple of years, puts me at around 400 pages that I’ve cranked out. That’s a lot.
I did try to downplay the whole, “I’ve written a book” topic at my reunion this weekend. I mentioned it to a couple of people if I got the question, “so you’re JUST a mom?” Then I somewhat-defensively-but-as-casually-as-possible stated, “Well, I’m also teaching toddler music classes – I actually started my own business. Oh, and…” as if I’d totally forgotten and the knowledge JUST happened to resurface, so here’s a insignificant little aside – little Jenny-factoid for you… “I wrote a book! I know! Who knew?!” But then to downplay my accomplishment and get put in my place I, of course, get to answer the “So, are you published?” question. I said that I really didn’t want to make people look bad, so I’d be saving the “I’m a published author” statement for maybe our 20 year reunion. That gives them enough warning and time to do some impressive stuff too in the next 10 years.
I was well aware that I’d only need to mention this to a couple of people and, sure enough, by Sunday (Round Three – ding!), girls that I hadn’t really gotten a chance to talk with came up and asked, “Hey, I heard you wrote a book. Is that true?” Looks like the rumor-mill is out of practice, because back in the day, a rumor like that would’ve come back as: “Hey! Congratulations on becoming the #1 New York Time’s Bestseller.” Or “Oh, of course I’ve heard of that book…” [you’d never admit you were totally clueless] “I just happened to buy six copies from Barnes & Noble last week. I’ll send them to you for autographs if you don’t mind.” No, I don’t mind.
I will tell you right now that I will spend the next ten years, leading up to my reunion, pining for my classmates and wishing that every year was reunion year. And deep down, after my magical 10 year reunion weekend, I wish I could just have one more week to experience the bliss that was my high school experience. I’m not kidding. Nerdy? Yes. Crazy? Likely. True? Absa-posa-lutely.
I LOVE the girls in my class and felt that, for the most part, we all got along like champs. Considering that it was an all girls’ school – the expected cattiness and clique-yness (again, in my experience) was never-to-rarely a factor. It was like a big slumber party without the pajamas and sleep (but who actually sleeps at a slumber party anyway?!).
So, yes, the reunion was magical and yes, I came away nostalgic and a little sad. But I was so happy with how the weekend went. And perhaps most exciting of all, miracle of all miracles – I was smokin’ hot. I literally had possibly the best hair day of my life on Friday night (Round One – ding!) – thank the Lord! Most people would act all, yeah, I’m hot, and this is how great my hair has looked for the last ten years. But not me, the Open Book. I said things like, “I know! It’s a miracle. Of all nights! And it apparently has taken me TEN YEARS to learn HOW to handle my hair (and to find good product).” Besides, these girls knew me in high school when I took us all on a very traumatic few years of Hair-Drama; they deserved to be in on the excitement and to revel in the joyous occasion with me.
I’ve got my work cut out for me before my next reunion – becoming a published author, I should probably run a few more marathons – maybe fit in an Ultra somehow, I better get my children in all sorts of excelling-genius-broo-ha ha programs. But actually, the great thing is, I could sit on my butt for the next ten years, and my classmates would still love me (I think). Besides, it would make them look better too.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I have my ten-year high school reunion this weekend. In true Holy Names Academy fashion, this will not be just a lame ‘ol reunion. No, my friends, this is a three day extravaganza of reunion fun. Round One (ding!) commences this evening. (Do I have time to drop ten pounds? I also need to achieve some major accomplishments…hmm, nah. I’m good.) We start with a pre-funk dinner that a few of us girls planned (yes, we’re still in the same cliques; not that much has changed). Then, we head over to a bar for the “unofficial/official” Round One (ding!) Reunion. For some dorky reason, (and the fact that I just said dorky, is indeed, very dorky), it was decided that the all boys’ school – O’Dea – Class of ’98 should join in for our Bar Reunion tonight. I think that’s lame because a.) girls rule and boys drool and b.) most of us didn’t “know” (date) many of them. Whatever. They couldn’t plan their own dealy, so they had to just come and be with the ladies. Nice excuse.
Because I am the most pro-my-high-school nerd I know, I will be at ALL three events of the three-day extravaganza. Round One (ding!) as I mentioned, is tonight’s bar part-ay. Tomorrow afternoon, Round Two (ding!) is the “BBQ at the Beach (Beach not included)” event where spousal units and offspring are welcome. That’s the one where we get to parade our little genius spawn about.
I’ve been drumming all sorts of advanced equations into Matthew’s head (so far, he knows: 1 + 1. 2 + 1. And 2 + 2). He also, however, tells people that his little brother Zach is two, while holding up four fingers. We’re working on it. I may blame that on his being a preemie. I can milk that one for any little intellectual issues that may arise. Yes, good plan.

Now, Zach, is much more physically-inclined, so we’ve been working on some dance-kung fu-yoga-baseball-throwing-type-arm-thrust moves that he can use to impress the ladies. (He prefers to call this “dancing”). He – just like his brother – is ridiculously cute, so he’s got that going for him too.
As for my “Trophy Husband:” Mike has promised that I’m allowed to pick out his clothes, he actually shaved today so the scruffiness will be kept to a minimum, and my guess is that he’ll try to downplay the Computer Nerd thing just a little bit as most people just can’t understand talk about rebooting or Java-Script or even Quantum Physics if you’re feeling frisky.
Finally, Round Three (ding!) is the “official” Reunion for the Holy Names Academy Class of ’98. That’s when we get a little dressed up – just like on “School Liturgy Dress-Up” days and go to the school to act all lady-like while sitting in the parlors (that you never actually go to EVER when you’re IN school, just when you’re an alum). We make small-talk with the nuns who probably don’t actually remember any of us. And we rave about how lovely the school looks, how much they’ve done since we’ve graduated (i.e. why couldn’t WE have had the new lockers?! Etc.). I’m fairly certain that we are to put napkins across our laps, eat dainty pastries and fruit and sip coffee or tea with pinkies poised. (Actually, it won’t be like that at all, I just like to pretend). Then, the piece de resistance is the Class picture on the front steps of the school. It’s a reenactment of the picture that every Senior Class does for the yearbook and Seattle Catholic newspaper. It’s all very touching.
I AM looking forward to redeeming myself a little bit from our 5 year reunion…at which I was a walking Jenny-Disaster. At the time, I was pregnant with Matthew (and would find out five days later that I was supposedly pregnant with Abigail Madeline). While I was a very excited and probably glowy pregnant Alum, I was also a VERY chubby and excessively spacey one. I think, on that particular day, the thrill of the reunion and at seeing so many good friends combined with the hormones that were sucking brainpower out of me made for a sad combination. I really wasn’t one of those cute pregnant gals either – I just looked fat. I “showed” in my stomach…and arms…and legs…and cheeks…and probably fingers and toes too. I bet even my eyelashes were fat. I was a walking chubster who couldn’t remember the topic of conversations. One girl pointed out “Jenny! You’ve already asked her where she’s living…twice!” Yeah. It was sad.
So, I’ve been pouring over my yearbook refreshing on names and faces. I’ve studied up on current events, the political climate and have read countless thought-provoking works of literature on which I can enlighten and entertain my former classmates. I was a French major, after all, so I could even gesticulate on the works and ideologies from Montaigne and Descartes to 20th Century Existentialism and Post-Structuralism.
Actually, I just did a Wikipedia search on French Philosophy and have no stinkin’ clue how to talk about that stuff that I studied oh-so long ago. The most I know about current events is that today, I taught my first music class at the Boys & Girls Club and singing and dancing with scarves went quite well. In other news, Zach went peepee in the potty twice yesterday. And as far as philosophy – well, Matthew does say profound things like “We are God’s Legos.”
Existentialism is so overrated anyway.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Matthew the Philosopher and Spiritual Guru: out of the blue, the other day, our not-yet-5-year-old said, “We’re God’s Legos…’cuz he made us.”