Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

He keeps turning up… November 30, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — bonniep @ 10:45 am

G has a beard. And C has taken to calling him "scratchy". As in:

"Daddy is not my favorite. He is scratchy. You are squishy. You are my favorite." [Hmmm…better to be scratchy or squishy?]

Or: "Daddy is scratchy. You have a chin."

Or, after Monday night when traffic prevented me from putting C to bed: "I looked around for Mommy but she wasn’t there. I was alone in my room with some scratchy guy."

That’s right. G, who fixes C breakfast most days, is a stay at home dad on Mondays and Fridays, and volunteers at her preschool on Friday mornings, is referred to by C as "that scratchy guy".


Expectations November 29, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — bonniep @ 9:22 pm

So much of being satisfied is all about expectations. When I left work on Monday, I knew that the weather was bad (snowing) and had heard that highways were backing up. Leaving at 6:00 pm, I expected to be home a bit late–maybe around 7 pm. My expectations were way off. I guess the cities had not expected the weather and traffic either, or they may have had salt or sand trucks at the ready. Luckily, I was able to adjust my expectations and just go with the flow. The very slow moving flow that is. I was forced to abandon the car due to extremely icy conditions about 1/2 mile from our house. G was quite surprised to see me approaching home…on foot…after 11 pm!

I see another event in the near future where I am already starting to get unrealistic expectations. G is headed back to Boston for six days in December. So I am starting to plan a bunch of fun activities to do with C. We have a set of papier mache ornaments to decorate and…tickets to a matinee of the Nutcracker. My vision of this event involves a beautifully dressed and behaved three year old who sits quietly and in awe for a two hour dance performance. This might be…bordering on the insane.

But I am doing all I can to bring the plan to fruition. I am gearing C up for it–we bought a Nutcracker pop-up book and CD over the weekend and the book is now her "favorite". We have had a few discussions about it and she seems excited…although most of the talks end with "I won’t have to get on stage?" So clearly her expectations are not fully in line with reality either. The fact that she wouldn’t leave the preschool building on Monday to see the visiting firemen does not bode well.

But here’s hoping it all goes smashingly, and if it isn’t one for the history books here’s hoping I can downgrade my expectations and make the experience as good as possible–and not be disappointed if we have to leave early.


Please excuse my cute stories November 17, 2006

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 9:37 am

C is old enough that we can have complete conversations. She has quite a little imagination in there. This morning she made a diamond shape with her fingers to show me and I showed her how to make a circle. Then she put one forefinger and thumb tip together flat and put the other hand’s forefinger and thumb around those. "And what’s this Mommy?" "I don’t know, what is it?"

"A duck eating french food."

Oh. Of course. How did I miss that one. From there, she moved to talking about tissues. "Do you don’t want to be a tissue mommy?" "Umm….no?" [having trouble parsing that one]. "Oh" "What do you want to be C?" "A monkey. Maybe Grammy or Grampy will want to be a tissue for Halloween." I guess she is planning well in advance. "Well, what would a tissue costume be?"

"It would look kind of like a ghost, but it would be a tissue." Good so far…then she continued, "And it would be furry. And it would be purple."


Netflix recommendations? November 10, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — bonniep @ 11:53 am

We don’t have cable or Tivo. We don’t watch network TV. But…we (G and I) do watch 2-3 movies a week from Netflix. For a while now, I have been in charge of the queue, as G seemingly can’t remember the password. I did give him the password once, and he put a bunch of extremely boring documentaries on the list (e.g., Teddy Roosevelt: An American Lion: Disc 2), so I have just been bumping those down over and over.

But, I have a reputation for getting weird movies. For a while every movie I picked seemed to have suicide in it, then we went through a genocide period. Transsexuals, abuse, incest, etc. If they aren’t weird, they are at least depressing. We did watch all of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Six Feet Under on DVD, but at least the latter was also kind of weird and depressing.

Sometimes the movies take a bit too much effort to watch. Now, I am not a Ya Ya Sisterhood chick flick type. But it would still be nice to mix in some (non dark) comedies every now and again.

Right now at home we have The Murder of Emmett Till (documentary about killing of young black boy during the civil rights movement), Oldboy (foreign, rated R for torture, description starts: "With no clue how he came to be imprisoned, drugged and tortured for 15 years — and no one to hold accountable for his suffering…"), and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

You can see that help might be in order. Anyone have any lighthearted movie suggestions?  


Happy Things November 7, 2006

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 5:16 pm
  1. Really good foam on a cappuccino
  2. Snuggling with C as she falls asleep for her nap…hearing her breathing slow down and feeling her go all limp and cozy.
  3. Junior Mints
  4. Whole grains–steel cut oats, super chewy bread. Yum.
  5. Not noticing the hill on my run until I am already at the top.
  6. Honeycrisp apples. I can’t recall having these before this year–wow!
  7. Surprises in the mail–new magazines, scrapping supplies, photo orders, netflix movies.
  8. Looking at the gallery and newsletter at Poppy Ink. The owner there is amazing. See, scrapping is cool!
  9. Hearing C’s door open after she is supposed to be in bed. Coming upstairs and finding her wandering around. "I am looking for my daddy." For some reason the "my daddy" part just touches me…and not just because that means I get to go back downstairs and he has to go up and put her back to bed 🙂
  10. Listening to old This American Life episodes online. Love this show. It is on at an inconvenient time here and somehow I just realized a month or two ago that I can listen online–free! Keeping up with current episodes, and listened to 2006, 2005, and about half of 2004 so far.

(Note: this list is not necessarily in order)

Still very optimistic about elections today and thinking positive thoughts.  


Free Time November 2, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — bonniep @ 6:01 pm

About 18 months ago, when we were still living in Somerville, G came home one day and said "I don’t know if I should tell you this, but I found a paper crafting store that I think you would really like."

I haven’t had the courage to ask him if he regrets telling me.

I went to that store and took a scrapbooking class and have been scrapbooking like crazy since then. In our new house I have a whole dedicated area, complete with a scrap desk that G and his dad made. I have always been a little bit crafty–rubber stamping, sewing, and even knitting as a kid, beading and silversmithing classes in high school and college (even sold jewelry at some craft shows around then), an enormous scarf that remains unfinished from grad school, and periodic bursts of hand made invitations since then. Scrapbooking is by far my favorite though.

Scrapbooking has a reputation for being, ahem, lame. But I find it a chance to play with paper, and color, and fun little things. To document cute pictures of C and write down stories that I want to remember. It has been the impetus for learning more about photography and improving my skills.

Tomorrow and Saturday, I will be attending my first scrapbooking convention right here in Bellevue. I am taking classes and even going out to dinner on Saturday with a bunch of people I met online through a scrapbooking message board. I saw the final list of dinner attendees today, and I must say I am a bit intimidated–this is all a group of people who want to be published, but while I am firmly in the "want to be" most of the other seem to be in the "regularly" published category. Will have to maintain calm!

Anyway, I hate the process of scanning and stitching layouts, but I do try to post some on a few different online galleries. You can see some of my work/obsession at Two Peas in a Bucket.