Saturday, January 30, 2010


Here's Julia's party:
Opening presents from the fam. Look at that poor tiny dog hitched to the dog sled!
Uno Spin!
She wanted the AG "get better" set so she could play triage with her dolls. Crippling injury, how fun!
Julia wanted an ice cream cake. Maisie and I made this:
Craft project at her slumber party - AG doll pillows and sleeping bags.
Jess and Emily had too much wine.
Strawberry shortcake for the friends party.
A random shot of Tate-o. He always wants to play Star Wars with the girls when they play AG.


I was wondering, am I depressed because:

a. it's rainy winter in Oregon?
b. Andy Wakefield was vilified by the dastardly UK General Medical Council?
c. there is no good produce to buy in January?
d. Tate refused to cooperate, as in sit quietly, at the past 2 school assemblies and I had to miss the girls performances?
e. my name means "dark" ("dark truth" even with my middle name)and I was born on a Wednesday ("full of woe") and thus a touch of melancholy is unavoidable?
f. all of the above.

Thank you to free radio on for giving me October Project, Susie Suh, A Fine Frenzy and Corrinne May to listen to this week. Good music makes everything better.

That and a glass of wine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"That" kid

Usually, it's my kid who is "that kid". You know, the one that you cringe when your child wants a playdate with them. Not because the child is difficult, or because their parents are wackos (well, maybe you do when it's me) but because - what the heck do you feed them? I have seen the panic in parent's eyes when Maisie is dropped at their house, having a child with allergies visit is fraught with danger. What if they accidentally eat something they should not have? What do I have that they can even eat? What about birthday parties when "that kid" is coming but can't eat the cake or the ice cream? It's stressful and complicated.

So, of all people, why am I so annoyed about the little girl Julia is inviting to her party? This little girl is on a macrobiotic diet. Or variation of that. She's vegan and cannot eat sugar or garlic. (Why garlic?) Until recently she was not even allowed to eat honey, since it came from animals. Or fruits and veggies that were out of season. Really?

I guess my problem is because the choice. This little girl's parents are choosing to limit the foods she can eat. Maisie doesn't have a choice. It's not fair. I'm obviously not a gracious, kind person for being irritated by one parent's choice for their child, I'm sure plenty of people don't support all my parenting decisions and choices. I should get over it. But still. It bothers me.

So, while I will send Julia to school with organic honey sticks instead of cupcakes on her birthday and while I will make a vegan, sugar free pizza for Julia's party and buy a vegan sugar free ice cream, I may be grumbling under my breath. But I'll try not to. Because of all people, I should know (and do) better.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tough Decisions

I've been lost in thought lately and not in the mood to write. We are facing some tough decisions and no resolution is in sight. It is pretty much all my fault. I had a brilliant idea to move to this Hippietown 2 years. Dave took a new, commission-based job. It's a better job than he had before, for a better company. We love to town we live in and the kids are happy in the better school down here. I was not going to have to work, which made me happier.

And then the full extent of the economic situation became apparent. This city has a 15% unemployment rate. The state is hovering around 11%. People aren't eating out, and Dave can't sell his customers what he expected he could when he took the job here. We got killed selling our house up in the Land Of Microsoft and can't buy a new house down here. My brilliant idea is not looking so good anymore.

So now what? I can't find a job that I can work with the hours I had in Seattle. Everything closes earlier here and the few jobs that would work are taken and in high demand by the plethora of college students who have better availability. So do I give up looking (it's been 6 months) and take a day job, possibly something in my field even!, and put my sensitive, difficult preschooler in day care? Tate "doesn't like being a little kid because he doesn't like other kids". He dropped out of Kindergarten 2 months ago. Would he adjust to daycare or get kicked out for hitting, biting and being obstinate?

Do we take the kids out of private school for a while? Taking them out for the rest of the rest of the year would pay off the car and then some. But they'd miss their friends, get behind in their lessons in the subjects I can't teach (like Spanish, flute, violin) and they'd be devastated to miss their class Spring camping trips and the class plays and assemblies.

Do I take them out of private school forever? We'd be rich then. But the kids would be in public school and loose so many classes I find vitally important: eurthymy (creative movement), handwork, Spanish, flute, stringed instruments, games, gardening, painting, form drawing, etc. And they'd start listening to Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers or something equally awful. What would public school do to Julia who is surely ADD but thriving in her small, cohesive class with a fabulously gifted teacher? And what would Maisie do to public school? She's the sort who just needs a lot. Space to escape from crowds, empathy for her stubborn refusal when she has to really try hard to learn something, a teacher who understands the serious problem cross contamination of gluten is for her.

Do we move out of this wonderful, big house and into an apartment or smaller, crappier house? Could we find some other place that we could afford that would even let us bring our 3 cats, a 100 gallon aquarium, 2 rabbit hutches and a box of pet snails?

What is more of a priority, this house we love and want to buy or the private school we love and whose community makes up 99% of our friends in this town?

I have no idea. For now, Dave is on the road trying to track down some new business and I'm scrimping, saving, cutting back, reading coupon blogs and grocery circulars, clipping coupons, googling for sales and trying to channel my thrifty Scottish ancestors for some guidance. The economy has to get better sometime, right?