Sunday, November 27, 2005

On the banks of the Nile

Urgh. I am not feeling well at all today. Since I'm mostly immobile, G and I have been doing the activities in her Usborne Egyptian kit -- we strung a scarab necklace and built a 1/2,000 scale model of the Great Pyramid at Giza, and then she made herself a construction-paper copy of a headdress in the Usborne Beginners Egyptians book and pretended to be Ma'at, goddess of truth. (That last one wasn't part of the kit, but you can be sure that when G does anything, there will always be dress-up involved.) Now she's watching an Egyptian-themed episode of The Backyardigans and I'm contemplating getting up and helping Pete with the chores. What a way to end a long weekend.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday that holds a lot of appeal for me in general, since I don't eat turkey and would rather be strung up by my thumbs than watch football, but this year it was pretty nice. We spent Black Friday shopping with my mother, who wanted to get us Christmas presents now because she won't see us again until January, and the next day I was at the stores again, first with G and then with P and his brother. You might think I would have managed to take care of some of my own Christmas shopping during all that, but you'd be wrong: I've only bought one gift (a book for G's cousin), and that was before Thanksgiving. I am going to be a ballistic stress missile in a couple of weeks if I don't get on the ball.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Fashion forward

The older I get, the more complicated clothes shopping becomes. Ten years ago, my main question when shopping was Have they got it in a size 2? Now it's more like Will I look like a total tool in it? I'm certainly not ready for high-waisted jeans and appliquéd vests yet, but I don't think I can pull off velvet blazers and tartan schoolgirl miniskirts, either, never mind pants with a two-inch rise. I really, really don't want to end up like a former boss of mine, who was in her mid-fifties and wore nothing but inappropriately youthful low-cut tops and tiny skirts. She had skin like beef jerky from four decades of tanning, and every time she stood by my desk, with her weathered cleavage right there in my face, I vowed that when my time came to stop dressing like an 18-year-old, I would know it and give in gracefully.

On top of the style problem, there's the delicate issue of bulge control. I wear a size 6 and am in decent shape, but post-baby, I was left with an abdominal bulge that's still with me almost seven years later. (Sounds like a biblical punishment: And for seven years shalt thou suffer the pains of the abdominal bulge; yea, and the next generation shall point at it and snicker and say, "Mom, your tummy is jiggly!") It's not even really a solid bulge -- it's more like a pouch, probably from having my stomach muscles sliced and stapled back together. The right clothes hold it in; the wrong clothes let it glob around or spill over my waistband in an alarming manner. Unfortunately, there are a lot of the wrong clothes out there.

Despite all these challenges, I am managing to find clothes to buy with my birthday money and gift cards. I've bought a pair of (non-mom) jeans, a corduroy skirt, two sweaters and a jacket so far, and I've still got about $125 left to spend. Yay! I was practically in rags before, and now I think I may actually get through the winter in some sort of style. Always a good thing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

School and not-school

I went to the first parent/teacher conference of the year today. G is reading at a mid/late second-grade level, which I had already ascertained from reading with her, and writing very well, although her actual penmanship could use some work. She's doing well in all her other subjects too. Her teacher thinks she has a "broad mind," is "very imaginative" and has "an amazing variety of interests," and that it's clear we've put a lot of effort into enriching her environment and giving her a good foundation for learning. On the social front, he says she's very gregarious and makes a deliberate effort to include the kids who tend to stay on the fringes of a group, often calling "Come on, [name], we're all going to do this! You come too!" Of course, the downside of being gregarious is talking too much, and he did comment on that, too: he said she tends to talk to her friends when they're supposed to be working, and she likes to go off on random tangents during class discussions. (No one's ever going to change that about G; random is just the way her mind works, and I kind of like it that way.) All in all, I thought it was a good report.

Later in the evening, we took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Disneyland. It was fairly crowded for a Tuesday night, but no one seemed to be going on rides, because they all had five- to ten-minute wait times. We went on the Haunted Mansion to see the holiday décor (G kept complaining that she was scared during the ride, but changed her tune and said it was cool as soon as we got out), went in a couple of shops to find a sweatshirt for P, then took the train to Tomorrowland. We saw one end of the Parade of Dreams on our way out, but we've seen the entire parade before, so we weren't missing anything. We got home around 7, and G and I took turns reading from a Magic Treehouse book before lights-out. She doesn't have school tomorrow, but I won't get to spend the day with her because I have to go to work. Stupid work. It spoils all my fun.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


G and her friend had makeovers at Club Libby Lu this morning. The place is a bit hard on adult eyes -- just imagine what would happen if someone detonated a pink paint bomb in a small space and then tossed a metric ton of glitter in for good measure -- but I can totally see why little girls go crazy for it. G got the Glam Rock style and her friend got the Tween Idol, and they both looked absolutely adorable afterward. They were so impressed with their own beauty that they kept asking "How do I look?" during lunch just to hear each other say "You look awesome!" Hee. Anyway, they had a great time, and I'm very glad my friend suggested going.

In other news, my birthday was last week, and I am now 34. It's alarming to think that when my mother was the age I am now, I was 13. I don't feel old enough to have a teenager -- I hardly feel old enough to have an almost-seven-year-old. On the other hand, my almost-seven-year-old wants glam rock makeovers and has a crush on a boy in her class, so I suppose it's not all that different from having a teenager, except without the scary hormones. She's looking forward to being a teenager much more than I ever did. I thought being a child was an immense indignity and hated every minute of it, but I wanted to skip the whole teen thing and go straight to being 35. Of course, now I wonder what the hell I was thinking!

Speaking of birthdays, it's nearly time to start planning G's again. We've kicked around a few ideas over the course of the year, but now the moment of truth is approaching and we need to make a decision. So far she's suggested an Ancient Greek theme (might be hard to pull off, since I doubt this age group is big on baklava and dolmas) and a magic theme (would be great if we had space to have a magician do a show, but I don't think we do). I'm trying to sell her on something we can do at an outside venue, like bowling or ice skating. The only place I won't go is Chuck E. Cheese.