Thursday, March 27, 2008

Week Three and Counting

I finally got the pictures from the photographer framed.

They look pretty, right? Well, they would look even better on the wall. Like this one...

But instead, they've been sitting against the wall for almost three weeks. We walk past them, the cleaning ladies dust around them, the baby is starting to talk to them.

I am going to ask my dear husband again to hang them up this weekend. If Monday comes around and they're still sitting on the ground, I am putting them under the covers on his side of the bed. See if he can ignore them then.

I've gotta get rid of these little bastards

Not the kids -- the Easter baskets. I am over it. No more candy. No more stupid plastic grass on my floor. No more arguments with Sofia about why she can't have chocolate for "dessert" after breakfast. Stupid candy holidays.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Courtney on Idol

Okay, it's not Courtney on Idol -- it's Courtney's thoughts on Idol last night...

-- The Furby (my little pet name for David Archuleta) is tiresome. If he sings one more inspirational song with a message I may have to shove a screwdriver in my ear. Tonight I actually started vacuuming in the middle of his performance. And I HATE vacuuming.

-- Kristy Lee is an evil genius. No one is going to vote her off on the night that she sings "God Bless the USA". Next week she's going to have to sing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" or the national anthem in order to stay.

-- Jason Castro is growing on me. I like his whole shtick (aside from the dreads).

-- David Cook is the most talented. He's my favorite.

-- Brooke is adorable. I want to be her friend.

-- Michael Johns is still hot.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

To My Husband: The Best Decision I Ever Made

Over the years, you know I've taken pride in the fact that I've made some really good decisions at critical points in my life. Some I knew were going to be important decisions and others I had no idea would be so monumental. Some I made with the support of friends and family, and others I made in spite of advice or logic against them.

I am sitting here with the clarity of hindsight on my side and taking stock of all those important decisions. Probably the first important decision was where to go to college. Despite my dad's best arguments, I decided against the Ivy League and went with my heart down to Durham. My years at Duke were amazing -- I'll never regret that choice. But, listening to my folks served me well when I was making the decision to study abroad. Fearful of traveling to a place where I wasn't conversant in the language, I almost went to Scotland instead of Italy. I am so happy that I took a chance and ended up in Rome for almost six months. Then, when most of my classmates were going on to New York, DC and Atlanta or heading to med school, law school, or some consulting firm, I chose California and a graduate degree suited for the entertainment industry. Again, it was the right choice.

But, Sweets, my best decisions led me to you, and us, and our life now. I still shake my head in amazement when I think about how I almost decided not to go to Manhattan Beach that night we met. Even though I didn't know what a pivotal choice that would be, I still believe that some part of my subconscious heart knew what you would become to me when you walked through Sarah and Stacy's door. How else can I explain the instant connection we felt? And to think that I was feeling almost too tired and lazy to haul myself down the 405 to meet up with you all.

And what about our first date more than two years later? According to conventional wisdom, we shouldn't have been dating at all. Weren't we supposed to be each other's rebound relationships? Logic and rational decision-making should have instructed me not to fly up to San Francisco for a night at the opera with you. But, my heart told me to do it, and I chose to take a chance. And that evening was the most magical I had ever known. Even now when I am awake and restless in the middle of the night, I replay that evening in my head (it's something I started doing years ago so that I would never forget it). That decision started a whirlwind courtship that culminated in our wedding two years later.

And here we are on our eighth wedding anniversary, many decisions later. We've made some choices that we had no idea would be so monumental: like my decision to work at that start-up (would the world really be open to another search engine with a funny name?); and others that we knew would affect the course of our life together: like the decision to stop at two children. But really, the decision of which I am most proud is the last one I made completely on my own -- and that's the choice to marry you. Happy Anniversary, Sweets. I love you.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Here are my two Easter bunnies all dressed up and ready to go to church on Easter morning. I love the sweet eyelet dresses. They look adorable, no?

It's funny -- before I had kids I never thought I would dress my children in matching outfits. Now I can't help myself! I love it when they match, and I'm going to do it for as long as they let me. They have plenty of years ahead of them in which they can dress themselves -- for now, I am in charge!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

To Sleep, Perchance to Sleep

Wow. Life just seems much more difficult when you're getting no sleep. On Wednesday afternoon, I took a Claritin (allergies in Northern Cal have been particularly bad this year) without realizing how bad the side effects would be for me. I went to bed at 9:15pm, woke up at 11:15pm, and stayed awake until almost 4am. Uggh. Then, I think I slept from about 4am 'til about 5am, and was done. And, of course the kids have no concept of Mama's sleep-deprivation. Needless to say, I was zombie-like. But, the show must go on, right? So, I schlepped S over to a birthday party on Thursday and stayed through the entire thing.

So, that night, it's no wonder that I couldn't wait to get to bed. It's also little wonder that it was that particular night when my one year old (who has been sleeping through the night since she was six months old) decided to wake up at 3:15am.. How do they know?!? How do they know to kick you when you're down? And of course, my husband who claims to be kept awake by the neighbors' barking dogs somehow slept through our own baby's cries down the hall. Interesting selective hearing. Anyway, I was naturally up with the baby for an hour, and then couldn't fall back to sleep. Thus, in the course of two nights, I managed to get myself almost a single night's sleep.

When I am sleep-deprived, I am a bitch. Let's just put that out there right now. My patience (which isn't prodigious to begin with) is almost non-existent when I am exhausted. I found myself really irritated by my three year old, which only made me feel guilty, which made me even grumpier. You can see the downward spiral this created. It's at these times that I am completely reassured about our decision not to have any more kids -- I just don't think I have the reserves of patience required to withstand another extended period of sleep-deprivation.

So, I finally managed to get some sleep this weekend in between attending another birthday party and hosting an Easter egg-dyeing party at my house for 14 children under four years old (the topic of a different post, certainly!). Now life doesn't seem as daunting, I have some more patience, and am a little less bitchy. For now.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Music to My Ears

The other day, the girls and I were eating lunch and talking while music from my Pandora radio station was playing in the background. All of a sudden, S perked up her ears, started bouncing to the music, and said, "Mama, I like this music. What's this song?" The track was Snow from the Red Hot Chili Peppers album Stadium Arcadium. She was really getting into the song and asking me who the band was and what the band members' names were. And there I was talking with my 3 1/2 year old about Anthony Kiedis!

We've been listening to a lot of kids' music lately (nothing against Andy Z or Laurie Berkner, but I've about had my fill!), and it is always a little thrilling to me when the girls notice "grown up" music. And this was RHCP! I was a big fan of the band back in the early '90s (when they were musically relevant). I saw them live at the second-ever Lollapalooza (back when it was relevant) and then again at the KROQ Weenie Roast in Los Angeles. (As an aside, it just occurred to me that I saw some amazing, even seminal, acts back then: Pearl Jam, Ice Cube, No Doubt, Foo Fighters, Garbage, The Fugees, even the KISS reunion).

It got me thinking about all the music that I haven't even begun to share with the girls. We listen to a lot of music at home, but we've really only scratched the surface. There is so much more that they have yet to discover. We've been trying to impart some of our favorites -- S recognizes some of my Springsteen, and she loves to sing John Denver, has just discovered Neil Diamond, and has fallen in love with the music of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. It's funny now that S is starting to really listen to and understand the lyrics, too. Even though Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire was the first song that she ever danced to, we don't really play it around her now. It causes her too much consternation: she keeps asking why he's playing with fire. And I've recently started listening to Amy Winehouse, but I am not going to share that with the girls yet -- the last thing I need is my preschooler singing about rehab!

I can't wait to see how their own musical tastes develop -- one of the things most fun about being a parent is to see how these little personalities with their own set of preferences take shape. I wonder if they'll like certain artists because of or in spite of our influence. Either way, it will be fun to share music with each other. And I look forward to the day when they introduce me to their music.