April 26, 2005
Things I’m Good At, Part I
1. managing money

2. spelling

3. loading the dishwasher properly (behold the master)

4. making sure the kids take vitamins and get enough sleep (it really helps)

5. the Jumble (newspaper game)

6. coming up with something clever to say AFTER it’s too late (like, that evening or a week later)

7. making soup (I should do it more often)

8. reading Green Eggs and Ham with emotion

9. wearing sunscreen everyday on my face and neck

10. making people feel comfortable and welcome

April 19, 2005
Things I am Bad At*, Part I
*Does that sound grammatically incorrect, or what?

1. wrapping presents

2. caring about gardening

3. letting people “get” to me

4. crafty things

5. returning erroneous purchases to stores in a timely manner (what a pain)

6. removing laundry stains (could they possibly have the kids wear smocks at preschool??)

7. remembering to say “extra hot” when ordering coffee drinks

8. telling the people I love that I love them

9. getting J.(age 6) to eat a breakfast other than Eggo waffles

10. opening wine (someone else always does it so I probably just need practice)

April 13, 2005
Maybe Another Time
The coast was clear, or so I thought. The girls were playing in another room—the door closed, with adults forbidden to participate in their little veterinary clinic (picture stuffed animals wrapped in tissue bandages everywhere). I had completed all but two chores on my to-do list for the day. I just sat down on our comfy leather couch with a hot mug of Cinnamon Apple Spice tea* and Vogue magazine.

*Imagine my extreme self-pride at having tea instead of a bowl of Cheez-its. Yes, it’s a strange kind of madness to scarf junk food while perusing fashion magazines and catalogs, but that’s my normal approach. So this is progress.

Of course, before taking even ONE sip of tea, the girls pour out from their bat cave and make their way downstairs. What is this radar they have? Mommy is on the phone, or mommy is reading something, or mommy just found a moment of silence…let’s go to her!

So now we are all sitting together watching a Sponge Bob Squarepants video that I picked up at the library today. Though not new to most people, we only recently discovered this program. There is a particular genius to a show that can make both kids and grownups laugh out loud (although at different jokes). Or maybe I’m just twisted. That could be it.

April 08, 2005
Who Knew? (That Math Could Be Cute, and Other Things)
Kindergarten isn’t what it used to be. J. is learning to read, count money and work at the school’s computer lab. Here’s part of yesterday’s class assignment about subtraction:

See, if you have five balloons and two pop, then you have three left! I have to smile as J. shows me her work—it’s so adorable. I don’t remember feeling that way about math homework before.

In other school news, J. received a red ticket today. That’s what you get from the teacher if, as J. explains it, “You’re really, really, really good.” What did she do today, I asked her, knowing there’s usually something “special” you have do to get a ticket. J. explained that no on else would sit with Jake, the class “bad boy,” except her. She said she didn’t want him to be alone at the reading area. So she’s got a good heart, which makes me as proud as seeing her academic progress.

On the preschool front, S. had an actual, not-cancelled field trip today. We went to the local library, a place she’s very familiar with—but we got a backroom tour. Who knew all those cubicles and offices were back there behind the checkout desk? I guess there are other things that librarians do behind the scenes. After a 30 minute story-time just for her class, we headed back to the school for snack time (yogurt, goldfish crackers and juice).

Later, after school pickups and a quick lunch, we were off to S.’s ballet class. While the three and four year old girls flutter around in the studio, the parents chat in the waiting room. Today I talked to a dad wearing a U.C.S.B. (University of California, Santa Barbara) sweatshirt, my alma mater. We exchanged stories about how we both met our spouses there. It turns out that there is a whole contingency of U.C.S.B. grads in our town; his two-block street alone has 5 grads and he’s met others at the gym and around town. (This is a bit unusual because we live in a in smallish town in northern California, and the school is in southern California). Anyway, time for an impromptu alumni party, I think.

April 01, 2005
Happiness is...
…a good cup of Teeccino (herbal coffee) this morning, made just right

…a clean house

…the thump of a package being delivered on the front porch, then opening it to find a blue Kenneth Cole Reaction shoe box containing some new sandals to wear today

…finding a great to read, especially one that makes me want to write: Billy Collins’ Sailing Alone Around the Room

…warm sunshine, perfect weather

…taking the girls to see daddy at the office and having pizza for lunch at Zachary’s in Berkeley (winner of 70 awards including Best Pizza in the San Francisco Bay Area)

…a brand new month, a fresh start

…K. remembering tooth fairy duties that I forgot to attend to last night (I had the money out on the counter but I fell asleep reading)

…realizing that I completed 9 of 10 goals set for first quarter 2005 (and that setting quarterly goals instead of monthly or annual ones works well for me)

…a manicure/pedicure appointment tomorrow

: ...reaching the one-year mark of blogging and deciding to keep going, even though I told myself I could quit if I wanted to