Friday, August 12, 2005

A tribute to my husband

After my rant in yesterday's post about the frustrating nature of my husband's indecisiveness, I just had to say that he is the best man ever.

This morning, the alarm didn't go off. We've been having problems with it for the past few days, but luckily I've just happened to wake up early enough for it not to be a problem. This morning, at 7 a.m., my husband woke me up. I had 30 minutes to rush to get ready to leave.

As I was getting my shoes on, Boogie woke up. I heard my husband cutting something up in the kitchen and thought he was making her breakfast (oatmeal with apples or something of the sort). When I went into the kitchen, I saw that he had been cutting up nectarines for me. He had put them in a bowl with some vanilla yogurt. I had just planned on not eating this morning because I didn't have time to make anything, and he so thoughtfully made me breakfast, knowing I was late. What a wonderful way to start the day.

And I have to give him such great credit for watching the kids this summer. This was supposed to be his vacation after a hard year of teaching last year, but he hasn't been able to rest one bit. Even though Boogie goes to pre-school two days a week, Dak is progressing far faster than a baby should and is into everything. I swear he's going to be walking in a few weeks. Boogie was barely crawling at this stage.

And Boogie has such an attitude with him that is so frustrating. No matter how much he does for her, she just doesn't appreciate it. I know she's still a toddler (as she says, "I'm still little ... it was a mistake"), but she's also very smart, so it's hard not to hold her accountable for what she does. So his days are filled with trying to keep Dak safe by not letting him crawl into the fireplace, not letting him climb into the baker's rack, not letting him get stuck under the dining room table, or the dresser in the bedroom. And they're also filled with trying to stop Boogie from throwing a tantrum because he brushed her hair too hard, or didn't pick the right outfit, or because she can't watch her favorite movie for the 15th time.

He feels bad because he can't enjoy his time with them like he should, but I know that even though they don't express it, they love being around him. He's a terrific father, and they're so lucky they have someone who has tea-parties in the backyard during the day, who takes them to the park to swing as high as they can on the swings, who pretends to be the wicked queen to Boogie's Snow White, and who takes them on "magic carpet" rides through the house on a giant pillow.

Honey, if you're reading, just know that your work has not gone unnoticed. You are amazing, and years from now when Boogie is dancing with you on her wedding day, she's going to realize that her new husband will have alot to live up to. And Dak, when he's graduating as valedictorian and giving his speech, he'll thank his idol, his dad, for making him into the man he has become. (Damn, I'm getting teary just thinking about it!)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Indecisive

I just had the best dinner ever ... a piece of string cheese and a carb-smart chocolate-covered ice cream bar. Yeah, that's what dreams are made of.

The reason I had this pitiful excuse for a dinner is because we went to IKEA after work today to get a new desk for the office and didn't get home until 8:30, at which time little Dak was screaming for a bottle, and Boogie needed help getting ready for bed. By 9 o'clock, I was exhausted and starving, but unwilling to cook or order anything big that would sit in a lump in my stomach.

I still don't know why we got home so late, and I know I owe my children an apology for making them wait for so long in the store while my husband and I tried to figure out what we're doing.

I don't know what our problem is. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm the research queen. I'll research the hell out of anything. Want to know what the population of Irvine, Calif. is? I know. Want to know the origin of a word? I can tell you. Want to know where to get the best price for a particular living room set? I'll find it for you.

So my plan was to go to IKEA and get the desk that I've had mapped out for a month. But something happens to all of my organizational skills when I go shopping with my husband.

Me: So this is the one we're going to get, but with these end pieces, OK?
My Husband: This looks awfully big (even though he's seen the picture before). Did you measure the room?
Me: Yes, it will fit. We're not going to have this piece, which will make it a little smaller.
MH: But it's going to come way out in the room.
Me: What do you mean? It's going to run across this wall and this wall.
MH: I'm not getting what you mean. What wall?
Me: Picture yourself in the office. This side will run along one wall into the corner and this side will run along the all under the window.
MH: Oh, that's how you wanted it?
Me: Yes, is that not how you wanted it?
MH: No, I wanted it to run along one wall and then have an open side in the room.
Me: Oh, well, I guess that would work. This configuration will still work. So we'll do it that way?
MH: I don't know ... is that what you want?
Me: It doesn't matter. Whatever you want.

And the conversation continues. I don't get it. We're two fairly smart, college-educated people who can't even make a simple decision. While you may think it's normal to do this on a big purchase, we do it on little things. A typical outting to Sam's results in :

Me: Do you want to get more strawberries?
MH: I don't know, do you want strawberries?
Me: They sound good, but I don't know if we'll eat them all.
MH: It doesn't matter to me. Whatever youwant.

Uugghh. What takes a normal couple 15 minutes to do, it takes us an hour. When I'm by myself, I get stuff done. I'm organized, I get what I need to get, and I'm outta there.

So at IKEA, we ended up getting the same exact thing I was going to get when I first got there, only it took us an hour and a half to get it and get out of there. I love my husband dearly, but I think I've determined that I just cannot go shopping with him anymore ... although a few dinners like tonight, and I'd definitely lose more weight. So I may want to reconsider. (I have lost 8 pounds on this South Beach Diet thing, so I'm feeling pretty good.) But right now, I'm soooo hungry. I guess I'll just go to bed instead.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The memory of an elephant

My husband says that I have the memory of an elephant. It's both a blessing and a curse for him. A blessing because I remember where he put his keys, or his mother's birthday. A curse because I remember every conversation, disagreement or time that he annoyed me, and will bring it up at random, inopportune times.

But I think my daughter has me beat. She remembers which book is which, based on the color of the spine. She knows the words to songs that even I don't know. She'll remember some little boy at the park, who barely registered in my mind.

Not convinced? Here's another instance to make you believe me. On Friday, we went to the local Mexican food restaurant for dinner. After we ordered, she asked me to read her a story from this big Disney book that she brought. It was Mary Poppins. I started to read, but got interrupted halfway through when the dinner arrived. We put the book aside, and I forgot all about it (I said I have a good memory ... I never said that I don't forget things ... that seems to be happening more and more now that I have two kids running around ... well, one running and one desperately trying to learn to walk so that he can run alongside her) ... But I digress.

Tonight I tucked her into bed, we said our prayers and I read her two short stories. Then I left her to read on her own while I ate dinner. Just before I sat down, she came out and asked if when I finished dinner could I read her one more story (I typically do). I said yes. "Can you read me Mary Poppins? Because we didn't get to finish it when we were at that restaurant."

She's only three years old. How can she remember that already? I can't imagine what she's going to be like when she's older. It's already starting to haunt me. I can't just say some empty promise when I'm at the store trying to avoid a tantrum, because she remembers. I can't change my mind after I've told her she can do something because she remembers. I just hope she always remembers how amazing I think she is, and how very much I love her.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Shag, Marry, or Push Off a Cliff

This morning at breakfast, my husband and I were talking about Em's favorite game. I was explaining the nuances of Shag, Marry or Push Off a Cliff. I told him that sometimes you gave a choice of three of the hottest celebrities. Sometimes you gave three hideous choices, like the girls and I at work have done about the quirky characters that we work with.

Me: Let me give you an example. Sela Ward, Marissa Tomei, or ...
My Husband: That lady from Blind Justice?
Me: Sure. Which would you choose for each category?
MH (after thinking quite a while): I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd have to push Sela Ward off a cliff.

This surprised me because he's liked her for a long time. This Blind Justice woman must be amazing. I never really watched the show, and now that it's canceled, I have nothing to worry about!

MH: OK, here's one. Jacky Chan, Chris Tucker or Ice Cube.
Me: Well, I guess I'd have to marry Ice cube ...
MH (nodding): That's a good choice!
Me: ... and I'd shag Chris Tucker and push Jacky Chan off a cliff.
MH: But he's Jacky Chan ... he'd probably just do some backflips and bounce back up the cliff.

This is why I love this man. He thinks of all the hidden loopholes of this totally made-up game.

Me: OK, Kathy Bates, Judy Dench or Carol Burnett.
MH: I'd marry Carol Burnett ... Let's see ... hmm ... Judy Dench is so old!

I think he eventually chose to push her off the cliff, but to be honest I just don't know. I was too busy struggling with whether I'd shag Ted Koppel or Fat Joe. I just loved the fact that he didn't think our game was childish or "girly." He played along, trying to out-do me in the gross-out categories. I think his biggest surprise was when I said I'd marry Ryan Seacrest, but only because he could help me shop for cool clothes.

It was a nice diversion from our project-filled weekend. We finally installed all the cabinets in the office and they look awesome. Not much help from me, but I did my part keeping the two kids from wandering into the office, trying to keep a teething Dak happy, and answering Boogie's question for the millionth time: What does reason mean?