Friday, January 14, 2005

He's Definitely a Morning Person

There are morning people and there are not morning people. (Is that grammatically correct to say there are "not morning people?" Is that like a dangling participle meaning that there aren't any morning people? Anyway ...)

My husband is definitely a morning person. He gets up, and jumps in the shower, singing any random song that pops into his head. He gets out, clapping his hands and dancing around in his towel as he gets ready to start his day. When we lived in Florida, he'd call his sister so that it was the wee hours of the morning, and try to joke around with her ... she is not a morning person, so this didn't usually end well.

My daughter is not a morning person. Usually my husband will go in and turn on the light, and then leave, lest he face her wrath. She usually just turns her face into the pillow and goes back to sleep. Then the hard part comes: waking her up. This usually results in "Go away! No! Leave me alone!" Now this may be standard fare for a rude teenager, but she's only a little over 2 1/2 years old. So we have to do some gentle maneuvering: soft talking, a little tickling, anything to get her laughing and willing to stand up to get dressed. By that time, it's OK to tackle the mess that is her hair. She puts Don King to shame.

I think I'm somewhere in between. While I wouldn't say that I'm a replacement for the girl in the Exorcist, I certainly don't dance for joy when I wake up. Just give me a little quiet time until I have my shower or eat breakfast and then I'm good. This is enough time for my eyes to get less puffy and my head to clear.

I wonder what little Dak will be like. It's hard to tell when he sleeps so much. Sometimes he wakes up and is pretty content to look around and take in the world. Other times, he's upset and wants his food now! I guess time will tell.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

It's a little bit funny

I know I'm posting twice in one day, but I wanted to share some things that made me laugh the past few days. After my last post, I need to lighten the mood.

Event 1: I was cleaning up the house on Sunday and getting frustrated by all the clutter. I went into the laundry room to get something out of the cabinet and was hindered by two pair of my husband's shoes laying in the way.

"You have a shoe rack ... use it!" I muttered under my breath as I scooted the shoes out of my way. I turned around and my husband was standing in the doorway. "Did you say something?" he asked. Sticking to my new year's resolution to not be passive-aggressive, I stared him straight in the eye and said, "You have a shoe rack ... use it!" But we both had to laugh. I'd been caught red-handed. I might have to use this line again in the event I have to diffuse a tense situation.

Event 2: Yesterday, when my husband picked up Little Boogie from daycare, she greeted him by saying, "Daddy, you're a weenie!" He held in his urge to laugh and told her that wasn't a nice thing to say. She already knows that "stupid" is a bad word, so now "weenie" has been added to the list. They came home and told me what happened. I reinforced the fact that she shouldn't call people that. I also went on to explain that her aunt and grandparents have dogs that are called weenie dogs, so it's OK if she says that. So this morning as my husband was leaving for work, Little Boogie looked at him and said, "Daddy, you're a weenie dog!" She's just a little too smart for her own good!

Rain, rain, go away ...

When I first moved to Southern California 5 1/2 years ago, I used to laugh at the local media's coverage of the weather. "Storm Watch!" they'd announce in ominous tones. I'd go outside with my umbrella, expecting the monsoon-like weather that I'd become used to in my 12 years of living in Florida. But all I'd see is a slight drizzle, one that could easily be mistaken for morning fog. I don't think I used more than the slowest speed of my intermittent windshield wipers for the first few years I was here.

On a trip back to Florida, back when I traveled extensively for work, I was talking to a friend of mine about how it never rained in California. "Well, then how do they have those mudslides?" he asked. "I don't know," I replied, "but it never rains."

Well, I've since been proven wrong. This time the media has gotten it right. The past two weeks really have been a storm to watch.

Since I'm home all day now with little Dak, I've been bombarded with breaking news stories and shocking footage of the havoc that the rain has wreaked around here. We've been pretty lucky here in Orange County, at least where I am, but northern L.A. and Ventura counties have gotten it bad. Mud slides have killed people and caused destruction to many houses and roads, broken retaining walls have caused the rushing water to wash away trailers, and broken sewage lines have caused that waste to rush along with the rising rivers of rain. It's amazing to see an entire hillside just disintegrate because of rain.

All of this is sad to watch, but the stories that really get to me are the ones that defy logic, the ones where people try to tempt fate. The most tragic one to me was a story about a road that was washed out. The video footage showed what looked like a large river rushing across what used to be the road. Barricades and signs were put up on each side saying the road was closed. But that didn't stop one woman and her family (a 16-year-old and a 2-year-old) to drive around the barricades and try to cross the road. Of course, they got stuck, and the rescue workers had to come save her. Unfortunately, the 2-year-old was taken by the rushing water and died. Tragic. The scary thing is the very next day, another woman did the same thing, and the rescue workers had to come save her and her kids.

I just don't understand it. These people are not only putting their lives in danger, but the lives of the rescue workers who have to save them, and possibly the lives of others who, through no fault of their own, need saving.

Today is sunny and bright, so hopefully the worst is behind us. I just wonder what the media will call the slight drizzle that we get next.


Monday, January 10, 2005

Decisions, Decisions

Every morning, about 7 a.m., I have a decision to make. This is about the time little Dak goes back to sleep after his 6 a.m. feeding. My decision is whether to lay down next to him (I usually just lay him in our nice warm bed, since that's where he eats anyway), and get some much-needed shut-eye, or do I become productive, i.e., take a shower, clean up the dishes, make my daughter's bed, empty the trash, etc.

Some days, I choose the productive route. I love being showered and ready to go when he wakes up at 9. Of course, with the rain these past weeks, I'm not sure what being "ready to go" means. I guess if I had to go somewhere, I'd be ready. I also like getting a jump-start on getting the house organized and picked up, especially with what the whirlwind that encompasses my husband and little Boogie have left from the evening or weekend before.

But today, I chose the other route. I lay down next to him, my arm cuddled around his fleece-wrapped body, and dozed. Never mind that my husband called at 8 to wish me a good day. It was just a minor diversion (and of course a nice sentiment) from my slumber. I fell back into sleep, lulled by his little purring snores that only babies have. I awoke at 8: 45, and decided to at least get breakfast before he started his day. It's amazing that such a small body can take so much energy from a body as large as mine: feeding, diaper changes, moments filled with comments in a sing-song high-pitched voice saying "Well, hello little boy! Do you have a smile for mommy?"

I think I will take more mornings like these. The house will always be picked up, but little Dak won't stay little forever.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Writer's block

I've always wanted to be a writer. It's my ultimate dream to write a great novel, one that is passed around, dog-eared and treasured because it made an impact in someone's life. Never mind that I haven't started such a book. Never mind that my writing these days consists of company newsletters and promotional copy. I love reading other great writers for inspiration, which is why I started this blog in the first place.

So you would think that while I'm on maternity leave that I'd be writing up a storm, taking advantage of the time I don't typically have while I'm working. But have I done this? Well, judging from the very few posts as of November 1, I'd say no.

Sure I can blame it on the sleep deprivation of having a new nearly 7-week-old son whose dietary needs require that he awaken during the night every three hours or so. I can also blame it on the evenings and weekends spent with a 32-month-old daughter whose tantrums are legendary, but whose sweet times spent reading, giggling, jumping around in circles make up for it. But don't most great writers have things that fill their time, whether it be children, jobs, or other obligations?

I guess I'm just lazy. Or maybe I just don't have many opinions about the goings on in the worlds (no, I don't think that's it ... just ask my husband). So I guess the lazy thing must be true. Or to make myself sound better, maybe I'm just a procrastinator. I should have made that one of my new year's resolutions ... to write more. Just take a random topic and run with it.

So I'm going to try to do just that. Starting tomorrow.