Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So. Happy Thoughts

Thank you all for your nice comments on my last post. I am doing better. I am still sad and angry, but I think that is OK. It is a sad time, and there are things about what has happened that make me angry. Whether I am sadder than is reasonable or angrier than is healthy, I do not know. I'll sort that out after the holidays. As I said in the last post, I need to find my happiness now, so that I don't ruin the holidays for my kids. So I started this post almost as soon as I finished my last one. I have no real coherent theme in mind, just a collection of things that are making me smile right now:

1. Petunia and Pumpkin love singing Jingle Bells. Except Petunia sings "Twinkle Bells." It is as cute as it sounds.

2. We're driving to the Phoenix area for Christmas. We've decided to break up the drive and stay the night in Yuma, mostly because Pumpkin is too old/big to sleep well in her car seat, and the border patrol checkpoint* spotlights are super bright and wake her up just when she's finally fallen asleep, and then she's awake for hours once we arrive.... ANYWAY. We're stopping in Yuma, and just spent ages trying to ascertain which Yuma hotels with "suites" have actual suites, with a door between the bedroom and the living room. We found one and booked it- but not before discovering that every Yuma hotel is only photographed at twilight. This, for some reason, started to really crack us up after about the third hotel.

3. Petunia has started asking me to tell her a story as part of her bedtime routine. Based on my experience with Pumpkin, I suspect this will get old fairly soon. But right now, I love it. The story I tell her is about a little girl who can't sleep, and the wonderful dreams she has once her Mommy finally gets her to sleep. It is still a bit rough around the edges, but I like how it is shaping up.

4. Pumpkin's class is going to sing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on Friday, and we're invited. They'll be singing in Spanish, of course. She is practicing a lot. It is charming, if not particularly musically pleasing.

5. I had my performance review last week and it was really good. Better than I expected, even. That was nice.

6. The story about the Abner Ravenwood's journal arriving at the University of Chicago addressed to Henry Walton Jones, Jr. I love everything about this story- the fact that someone made the journal, the fact that it ended up at the U of C (my alma mater!) and the fact that they used social media to figure out where it belonged.

7. Petunia's reaction to being asked to go potty before we leave day care these days. She pouts and says she doesn't want to go potty ever again- like she's offended she has to bother with going potty at all. I have to agree. It is a fairly serious design flaw.

8. The fact that Pumpkin's after care teachers report that she is a good friend who is kind and considerate of the other kids. One time, she even shared her sweatshirt with another little girl who had forgotten hers and was cold.

9. The way Petunia says "Mommy, I yub you." (Yub = love.) She also gives great kisses and hugs.

What's making you smile right now?


*I'm sure this will confuse some of my international readers- and maybe even some American readers who haven't been to the border states recently. No, we don't cross the border to drive from San Diego to Phoenix. But there are checkpoints on the major highways, because... well, just because. Sorry, I just can't try to explain another one of our peculiar American policy failures. It will take me out of the happy place I'm trying to go to. You'll just have to Google it.


  1. Anonymous5:35 AM

    This American reader is used to border stops going from NV to CA, but not leaving CA. I assume Arizona is worried about something bigger than the white-fly these days? I guess I will have to google...

    1. It isn't the states. It is ICE, looking for undocumented immigrants and drugs. There are usually at least two checkpoints on the drive between San Diego and Phoenix. There is no state checkpoint going from CA to AZ, but there is sometimes one coming back in, if there are concerns about fruit flies or other pests.

    2. Anonymous10:44 AM

      I always thought it was funny having our car inspected for contraband oranges! But very important to farmers in the central valley.

  2. My kids came home from school the other day singing Jingle Bells. I love it when they suddenly drop knowledge on me I didn't know they had. The 2 y.o. is so unbelievably cute when he sings; it always takes us live 15 minutes to figure out what it is, but when we do, we laugh and laugh (in a good way). He also makes this little smacking noise when he kisses. God it's cute. I love little kids.

    You know what makes me smile these days? Homemade marshmallows. They are awesome, especially in hot chocolate (preferably laced with some kind of liquor).

    1. hot chocolate (preferably laced with some kind of liquor)


      He also makes this little smacking noise when he kisses. God it's cute. I love little kids.

      Same here. I didn't much care for kids until I had my first (I was scared of them, to be honest), and then I started paying attention to all the awesomeness that they bring. Now I am completely in love with all kids everywhere, no matter whose they are. Pure unadulterated essence of cute!

    2. Anonymous10:20 AM

      I find there's a two year window around each kid in which I like other people's kids. I'm not scared of them, I just generally don't care for them much. Usually I think of them as wet and sticky (but right now I don't... right now kids from newborn to ~age 8 are adorbs). Most of my life I can only handle being with other people's kids if I'm teaching them something (I taught a lot of math so I could get a window seat on SWA).

  3. It is true that having to go potty is a serious design flaw. But given that I usually feel better afterwards, I'm a little mystified on why my 3-year-old is occasionally so mad about going (when, it becomes apparent, he really did have to go).

    1. because 3yos get mad about everything?! We find that the distraction of counting backwards from 10 twice is usually enough to get her to sit there long enough... but still, the drama.

    2. Pumpkin got defiant and just purposely had accidents. Petunia pouts... but then goes. Except she has this thing where she likes to sit on her bed and pee. Very annoying. I have no idea what to do about it. Probably just wait until she's not 3 anymore.

  4. Anonymous10:54 AM

    Three of my colleagues are engaged (not to each other) as of this Monday. :)

  5. Thanks for the sharing the Indiana Jones story! That is so cool!

  6. Alexicographer7:37 PM

    I tried to comment on your last post, and then I ... couldn't (I have, however, contacted every one of my federal elected officials. State, next).

    Here's to happy thoughts. We went pottery painting over the weekend, and picked the (fired) results up yesterday; DS is SO excited about the "sailboat" he decided to paint for himself (the only piece he "can" have out now as the others are "surprises" for others' Christmas gifts), he now has it next to him in bed as he sleeps (I am cautiously hopefully it is sturdy enough to endure this).

    1. No worries about not commenting on the last post. I think a lot of people are not feeling like commenting on these sorts of posts. My two have low comments for the number of page views.

      I love, love, love the story about your son and his sailboat. That is awesome. Kids really are awesome.

  7. Alexicographer7:11 AM

    Thanks. It's hard (the last post), but of course you know that.

    This story ends fine (I'm at a point where I feel the need to give away the punchline before I start) but the sailboat got dropped en route to the kitchen this morning (because, obviously, it needed to come to the kitchen to join us for breakfast) and remains unscathed, thank goodness.

  8. paola5:40 AM

    A bit late to the party, but am loving my 8 year old's rendition of Gangnam Style. He has the moves down pat and is convinced he knows the words too. My daughter, similarly, is impressing me with her version of jake Bugg's '2 Fingers'. She holds up her fingers like a V for victory rather than the traditional English 'up yours', which I find terribly cute.


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