Saturday, January 14, 2006

A ballerina in the making

Today I took Boogie to her first ballet lesson. After we took her to see the Nutcracker at the Performing Arts Center this Christmas, she's continued to talk about ballerinas, especially Clara from the Nutcracker, and she practices putting up her arms and standing with one leg behind her.

So this morning, I dressed her in the required uniform: pink leotard, pink tights, pink ballet slippers, hair in a bun. She looked so pretty, and so much like a ballerina.

Of course there still was a bit of the Boogie-girl I know and love.

I took her to the ballet academy and watched through the window as the dance instructor move through the series of plies and pirouettes and other ballet moves that I don't know the names of. I never took ballet when I was younger, although I've always loved to watch them. Boogie was the only one who actually listened to the instructor, instead of trying to hang on the bars, or run around the room. While she's not quite ready for a dance recital, she had so much fun.

I do have to say, though, that there's nothing like going to a ballet academy to make you feel bad about yourself. Over the past year, I've lost the weight I'd gained with Dak, and then some, so that I could finally fit back into my pre-baby size 6. Of course, in a land where a size 0-2 is the norm, I'm still not considered thin, but I felt pretty good about myself.

Until today. Looking at the adult dancers with their lithe arms, and perfectly toned bodies, I felt thankful that I had on my peacoat to hide my body. There was just such an elegance about these girls, that made me feel like a clumsy oaf. Maybe if I practice the moves that Boogie is going to learn, I can gain some of the delicate nature that belongs to these ballerinas.

When I was younger, probably a freshman in high school, I told my dad I wanted to be a ballerina. Nevermind that I'd never taken a class. I just thought it would be such an amazing thing to do. He looked at me and said, "You're too big to be a ballerina." I don't think he meant to hurt my feelings. He's right, I definitely don't have the body to be a professional dancer. But it was something that always stuck with me. That made me always feel self-conscious about my weight, even when others might have considered me to be small.

Over the years, I've come to grips that just because I'm too big to be a ballerina doesn't mean I'm too big to be other things. And while I'll never be that lithe, graceful being, I know that my body has done some other amazing things, like give birth to the two most beautiful, smart, funny, healthy babies in the world.

I'll have to remember that when I see these girls again next week!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

It's all about me(me)

Since I'm not inspired to talk about something fun or interesting that's happened to me, I thought I'd steal from Whoorl (who took it from someone else, who took it from someone else, and I'll tell two friends, and they'll tell to friends, and so on, and so one ... come'on don't you remember those Breck commercials with Heather Locklear?). Anyway, I digress. Would I be me if I didn't?

[A is for age:]
36. I hate even numbers so I'm glad that this year I'll be 37.

[B is for booze of choice:]
B is for beer. I've never been one of those girls who choose frilly drinks (maybe because I'm not a frilly girl). In my day, I could hang with the guys, but since I've aged and had two kids, I can't drink like I used to. But I love a good microbrewed beer, not too dark, but not light enought to be water. Sam Adams or Harp are two of my favorites.

[C is for career:]
Right now, I do public relations and some marketing. Mainly communications stuff like newsletters, brochures, etc. I'm about to embark on a change by applying to law school. I've had several jobs (definitely not careers) in my lifetime: from selling beef over the phone (yes, I said beef), to doing telephone customer service for Time magazines (those football phones are not worth the price you pay for Sports Illustrated,) to coding applications for government contract jobs (the most boring job in the world!).

[D is for your dog's name:]
I don't have a dog now, but my favorite dog in the world was one I had from 1st-8th grade. Her name was Augie and she was a German Shepherd/Huskie mix. She was the smartest dog ever and I was devastated when she died. I cried so hard I made my dad cry (he was the one who had to tell me). I've always wanted another dog like her.

[E is for essential items you use everyday:]
Lip balm, toothpaste, my contact lenses, deodorant, eyebrow pencil (I have the most sparse eyebrows imaginable), hand lotion, e-mail.

[F is for favorite song(s) at the moment:]
Wow, that's hard. I don't really have a favorite because I love all kinds of music: from rock to country to classical to pop. My new favorite is Anna Nalick.

[G is for favorite games:]
I love games. We got so many over Christmas: Boogle, Trivial Pursuit-Pop Culture edition, I Love the 80s, Yatzee. I also love Scrabble. We discovered Cranium a few months ago which is fun too.

[H is for hometown:]
I don't really have one. My dad was in the Air Force so we moved around a lot. I was born in Beaufort, S.C. (my dad was in the Marines then). Then we moved to Florida (where my sister was born), then N.C. We moved to Germany when I was 3 and stayed there until we moved to New Mexico when I 6. We moved to Arizona when I was 12, and then back to Germany when I was 14 (with a brief stint in Tennessee until my dad could get us a house in Germany). We moved to upstate NY when I was a senior in high school (yeah, that sucked). Then my dad retired in Florida, where I stayed until I got engaged to my husband and moved out here to Southern California. I must say of all the times I've moved, moving to California was my biggest culture shock, and the hardest to adjust to.

[I is for instruments you play:]
When I was in 5th grade, I played the viola in our school orchestra. I also played in the all-area orchestra which consisted of all schools in our town. In 6th grade, I played French horn, and also played in the all-area band. I took guitar lessons, but can't remember a cord. I can pick my way around a piano, but am definitely not a classical pianist. I'd love to learn to play the cello.

[J is for jam or jelly you like:]
I hate all kinds of jam or jelly. Bleh.

[K is for kids:]
Two: a 3 1/2-year-old girl, and a nearly 14-month-old boy.

[L is for last kiss:]
This morning with my husband as he headed off for work, and a kiss on the cheek for my kids as I dropped them off.

[M is for most admired trait:]
Sense of humor. I love when someone can make me laugh out loud.

N is for name of your crush:]
In addition to my husband, I've always had a crush on Johnny Depp. Ever since the 21 Jump Street days. George Clooney seems like so much fun (I liked him even back when he was on Facts of Life). And even though he's old now, there's something about Robert deNiro that I find fascinating.

[O is for overnight hospital stays:]
Two for my kids (two c-sections cause quite a lengthy hospital stay). Once when I was 5 when I had my tonsils out.

[P is for phobias:]
I hate dolls. Especially the porcelain-faced ones. Their eyes are always so scary. And clowns (shudder). Sometimes the darkness creeps me out, especially after watching a scary movie. Hot fruit and bread (like pies, or cobblers).

[Q is for quotes you like:]
Life is too short to be taken seriously. (I have no idea who said it).

[R is for biggest regret:]
Not doing better in school. I was too busy having fun. I never developed good study habits in high school. It was boring for me. I skipped school all the time and still made As. College was a rude awakening, and I wish I'd done better.

[S is for sweets of your choice:]
Brownies. Cheesecake. Homemade chocolate chip cookies.

[T is for time you wake up:]
5:30 a.m. That's enough time to get myself ready, get the kids ready, drop them off at two locations, and get to work by 8 a.m.

[U is for underwear:]
Yes, I wear them.

[V is for vegetables you love:]
My favorites are red peppers. But I pretty much like all vegetables except beets, olives (are those vegetables?), turnips, and radishes.

[W is for worst habit:]
Eating fast food. I just can't resist McDonald's fries!

[X is for x-rays you've had:]
In addition to the ones for my teeth, the only one I've had was when I hurt my back and found out that I had a compression fracture.

[Y is for yummy food you make:]
Chicken enchiladas, lasagna, tortilla soup, chili.

[Z is for zodiac sign:]
Aries. Yes, I'm fiery and stubborn when I get angry.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

You can see, but can you hear?

Last week, I went to see my eye doctor for my annual checkup and to order new contacts. I've been wearing contacts for nearly 20 years, and glasses for almost a decade longer, so these exams are pretty routine for me.

At least they're supposed to me. Typically, I have my exam, if the optometrist chooses to give me a new type of lens, I get a temporary pair, they order my contacts, I go in for a follow up and pick up my new lenses. It's not rocket science.

I was supposed to go in tomorrow for my follow up and to pick up my new contacts. But I got a message on my machine the other night that they had to reschedule. So I called today to reschedule.

Optometrist's Office: Hi, can you hold?
Me: Yes
Optometrist's Office: (after several minutes) Can I help you?
Me: Yes, my name is Boogie's Mom and I received a call saying that I you needed to reschedule my follow-up appointment with Dr. X.
Optometrist's Office: OK, what's your last name?
Me: Mom.
Optometrist's Office: OK, and you had scheduled an appointment because you were having problems with your vision?
Me: No, it was just a follow up. I had my exam, and I was supposed to come in and pick up my contacts and have the doctor check the ones he gave me.
Optometrist's Office: So you've already picked up your contacts?
Me: No, I was supposed to pick them up tomorrow during my follow-up.
Optometrist's Office: OK. Hold on. (after several minutes). I don't see that you have contacts here. You said you got a call that they had come in?
Me: No, I got a call to reschedule the appointment.
Optometrist's Office: But your contacts aren't here.
Me: OK, I just need to know when I can come in.
Optometrist's Office: Well, typically we don't order the contacts until after your follow up. Didn't they tell you that?
Me: No. They just said I needed to come back in a week for my follow up and contacts. They chose tomorrow. I didn't pick the day.
Optometrist's Office: OK, can you come in at lunch time next Tuesday?
Me: That's kind of hard because I work a half-hour away. What about Monday? Are you guys open?
Optometrist's Office: We're open but we're booked. You know, everyone is off work, so they're coming in that day.
Me: Yeah, I know. That's why I suggested it. Do you have anything after 4, like when this appointment was?
Optometrist's Office: Well, the next appointment I have at that time is on February 9. Can you make it then?
Me: That's like a month away. Can't you just squeeze me in somewhere, since you guys are the ones rescheduling? I mean, it will take all of five minutes to check my eyes and give me my contacts.
Optometrist's Office: I'm going to have to get permission to do that. I'll call you back.

I've been going to this same place for five years. I know this girl is new, but just give me my damn contacts and let me get on with my life!