Tuesday, January 31, 2012

that's me in the corner

So here is the blog post where I get all churchy on your ass.
I’m seriously conflicted right now. You have no idea. Here’s what’s up.

I was raised a Roman Catholic. My mother took us to church every Sunday, we went to religious education classes every week, I made my first communion, got confirmed, even went to private Catholic school for seventh and eighth grade. Got married in a Catholic church. The whole thing. And I believed it all up until, I don’t know, my late teens.

Then I started to doubt things, as you do. But because I have all of this Catholic guilt instilled in me, my fear of burning in hell remains strong. So I doubt, but yet I still fear. It’s all very fun, as you can imagine.

I guess at the end of the day, I believe in God. I do. Everything else, I don’t know. I really don’t. I hate the Catholic Church’s stance on so many, many social issues. I haven’t gone to church regularly since my mid-20s. I went in spurts after that – before we got married for a while, and before Jane was baptized for a bit – really, just to show my face, so they would remember me. That’s pretty jerky and hypocritical, right? I know, I know.

But I do feel like something is missing, spiritually, in my life. I do miss taking a moment and just thinking and breathing and remembering and focusing. I try to do that every day but life is so busy and hectic and I feel like I’m doing myself a disservice by not addressing this part of me that feels neglected.

Oh man, I know I’m not making any sense here. Bear with me.

Something else that has been weighing heavily on me is how we plan to raise Jane in terms of religion. I got her baptized four years ago and she has not been back to that same church since. She has only been to church two other times, actually – once for my niece’s confirmation and then this past Christmas, when she kept asking if “the show was over yet.”

And then, the other day, she wanted me to check for dinosaurs in her room. (We routinely have to check her room for dinosaurs, robots, monkeys, etc., before bedtime. Hey, you never know.) I told her there were no more dinosaurs. She asked where they were. I said they were dead. She asked where did they go. And then, because it was late and, basically, because I wanted to watch “The Daily Show,” I said that they were in dinosaur heaven. And then she said:

“What’s heaven?”

I feel like I owe this kid something. I would never in a million years force her to believe anything – you can’t make anyone believe anything, anyway – but I want her to know the fundamentals of religion, and what our family has been brought up with, both Greg’s and my own. And then she can decide. I will make it clear to her what I agree with and what I don’t, and that it’s OK to doubt, but I know there is also something very comforting about religion, especially when you are young, especially if you lose people in your life. To believe there is something else out there is a very powerful thing. And when I’ve lost that, I feel very sad.

So next Sunday, I will start to take her to church. And next fall, I will sign her up for religious classes. And we’ll see where this thing takes us.

Monday, January 30, 2012

weekend recap.

Well, I promised I would report back on the weekend, so here goes (I hope you’ve had a dose of caffeine – this is NOT an exciting post).
On Friday, Greg and I didn’t end up going to the movies – we went to dinner here instead. We had a gift certificate from our anniversary back in October. It was delicious, as always, in particular the Nutella Pie (OMG). I also got to hear about prom drama from my niece, who is a junior in high school, and who babysat Jane while we went out. Jane had a great time looking at the prom dresses in my niece’s magazine – total highlight of her night. I am doomed.
Saturday was basically an errands day – mall, Target, lunch, that sort of nonsense. We watched “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes” at night, at the recommendation of my friend and frequent-blog commenter Dwayne, and it was awful. I mean, the movie itself wasn’t awful, but I forbid myself to watch any and all animal movies, animated or not, and I have no idea why I thought this one would be OK, but basically I was sobbing at the end at poor Greg who had to listen to me go on and on about all the mistreatment of animals (specifically, apes) that happens in the world. Because all of the sudden I was an apes rights activist. A passionate one, at that.
Sunday morning I went to church. I plan on blogging about my feelings on Jane’s religious upbringing in another post – but I was raised Catholic, we got married in a very lovely Catholic church in our town, and I returned there for the first time since Jane’s baptism four years ago yesterday. It was interesting. More later.
Yesterday afternoon we went down to the boat to make sure it was doing OK in its winter home (Greg used to want to check on the boat weekly; we’re now down to once a month or so) and had lunch here. Then we went over to Essex to feed the ducks, and managed to get tangled up in the big crowds for their annual Groundhog Day Parade of Epicness. No seriously, there were tons of people out, and many of them were wearing very lifelike groundhog hats. It was slightly insane, but mostly awesome.
So that was my weekend. Nothing too exciting, pretty standard January weekend, but I’m glad we didn’t slop around the house too much, because that makes me feel like I’ve failed somehow.
One interesting thing that happened this weekend – Jane all of the sudden has a lot of questions about babies. Some things she shared with me this weekend included the fact that girl babies grow in mommies’ bellies and boy babies grown in daddies’ bellies, and also that babies make their way out by way of the mouth. So I set her straight on that, but man oh man, the questions are coming fast and furious right now, and out of nowhere! She hasn’t yet asked how the babies get in the mommies’ bellies but I can only imagine that it is coming soon.
This week features: dance class tonight for Jane, kindergarten visit on Wednesday, a show on Friday night, swimming lessons starting on Saturday, a fundraiser on Saturday night, and Superbowl on Sunday. Oh, and work.
Have a great week!

Friday, January 27, 2012

weekend update.

Can I just say, as I stare out the window at the rain, that this winter rules? I mean, of course I still battle the seasonal affective disorder plague and whatnot, but I heard on the radio this morning that a year ago today, we were digging out of yet another snowstorm that dumped yet another foot of snow on us. So, rain? Yeah, I can take it. It’s going to be in the mid-40s this weekend. For us, that’s like early spring weather. I have worn my winter coat a grand total of ONCE so far.

 (Has anyone noticed that I report on the weather forecast A LOT on this here blog? I think it’s a sign that I’ve gone and gotten incredibly boring. I’ve been toying with the idea of taking a break from the blog/twitter for a while. Do you ever get sick of yourself? I am a little sick of myself. Not sick of my life – sick of reporting my life. Because when I write it all down, I start to feel just a tiny bit like a boring, suburban mom-type person. Which I am. But I still want to allow myself my delusions of grandeur.)

 That aside, it’s time for another weekend update! Here’s what’s up for me (this is going to be incredibly short):

 Friday: This afternoon I have errands, then the weekly moms’ happy hour, then Greg and I are probably going to the movies – and I say probably because there is nothing playing that we both want to see, really, and this breaks my heart, because I simply adore going to the movies. Come on, movies! Stop sucking! If we don’t go to the movies we’ll go to dinner or something. Point is, we’re going out. And that, friends, is a very good thing.

 Saturday: Nothing planned.

 Sunday: Nothing planned.

 No seriously – look at that. Two whole days with absolutely nothing planned. I am really hoping that means we fill the days with super-fun activities instead of slopping around the house watching TV and not showering. This is my goal. I will report back on Monday to let you know what actually happens.

And what are you up to?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

things I am loving today.

I was just outside doing my exercise bidness in the spring-like weather we are having today, and I was inspired to do a quick little list of the things I am loving today:

  • 51-degree weather in January
  • Blue skies to go with that temperature
  • The fact that most of the snow has melted
  • Some good projects at work that are keeping me busy but not panic-attack-inducing busy
  • I have a babysitter on Friday night
  • Going out to dinner with some of my theater ladies tomorrow night
  • I am about to bring Jimmy to get his anal glands expressed (whoops - I think that belongs on Jimmy's list)

Are you loving anything today?

Monday, January 23, 2012

zillionth verse, same at the first

I spent the bulk of yesterday half or completely asleep. I have had this recurring sinus-headache-something head pain that mostly sidelined me yesterday. All I could do was lie down. I’ve had this on and off over the past several weeks and I think it also is trigged by changing weather patterns (today we have ice and rain) and something going on with my sinuses. I don’t know. It sucks. I am not someone who sleeps in the middle of the day. I hate wasting weekends. But there you have it. It’s still lingering this afternoon.

So between Saturday’s snow, yesterday’s blah-feeling, and my complete loathing of the dreadmill, I didn’t exercise at all this weekend. Pair that with eating like shit, and I woke up today with a new resolution, AGAIN, to revamp my exercise/eating life.

I know last month I said I was doing really well with exercise, and I haven’t been a total disaster this month – but instead of going six days a week, I am instead going three or four – and that’s not good enough, not even close.

Unless it is truly freezing out, the cold air does me tons of good. It wakes me up and gives me energy. By the time I get home around 7:15 a.m. I have a clear itinerary for the rest of the day. I feel better about myself. And, best of all, I don't have to guilt-trip myself for the rest of the damn day.

Why do I give myself excuses, then? Sure, if I really don’t feel well, that’s fine. But I SHOULD have gotten on that treadmill on Saturday while it snowed outside. I really didn’t have any reason not to, other than my complete and utter hatred of treadmilling. No excuses. No excuses. No excuses.

And my eating is no good. Again – it’s not a total disaster, but I could be doing SO much better. Once again – it’s not good enough, not even close. I’m maintaining in terms of weight, but I still have that stooopid 10 pounds to lose, and I really really want it gone, even more than I want cookies. Unless a cookie is right in front of me. Then it’s all, why, helloooo cookie. But today! Today I avoided not one, but TWO boxes of donuts at work today. That's something.

Another Monday, another resolution to do better. How’s your day?

Friday, January 20, 2012

weekend update.

So the snow came last night. And more is coming tomorrow. It’s finally winter in CT. And, really, I’m OK with some snow. But after tomorrow, I would like it to be 70 and sunny. Every day. OK? OK.

Despite the fact that the roads were slippery last night, I could not bear to go on that GD treadmill this morning – so I did my walking outside. And I maaay have pulled some strange muscle in my back from navigating the slippery roads and trying not to get hit by cars. But it’s STILL better than going on that blasted machine. (Well, until I get hit by a car, anyway.)

But it’s Friday! And I am exceptionally grateful for that. I don’t know why this week has seemed long, particularly since it’s only been a four-day work week, but that’s just how I feel, and there’s nothing you can do about it. My weekend isn’t really that thrilling, actually, so I’d really love it if you could share your plans in comments! I am already certain they are more exciting than ours.

Friday: Getting my hair cut this afternoon! Oh, it needs it so bad. Usually I just go in and get my bangs trimmed so they are out of my eyes, but this time I need the whole she-bang. Split ends are just not hot, you know? My hair is about as long as it’s ever been, maybe since high school. At some point I’ll cut the whole thing off – probably this summer. After that and assorted errands, it’s my standard Friday night happy hour – whoop, whoop ! – and then I believe the thrilling Friday night plans include us going shopping for a big-kid’s bed for Jane. It’s time to get rid of the toddler one. Ah yes – the thrilling life of suburban parents. I’m sure your envy knows no bounds.

ETA: I wrote the above paragraph before I went to get my hair cut. I am home from that now, and I am annoyed. It's a blah cut and it's expensive and I just found out my hairdresser lady is going to a different salon - locally, but still, this might be a chance to try someone new out. I've gone to her for the past 10 years. She's good and everything but maybe it's time for a change.

Saturday: The aforementioned snow will be falling for much of the day, from what I hear. Hopefully we won’t drive each other crazy from being trapped in the house. I have book club tomorrow night, where I will get to hang with my lovely friends and discuss this. (I liked it.) (Hopefully I will come up with more to say than “I liked it.”)(Because I like to pretend I have the smarts.)(Also, I've helpfully diagnosed several people I know with Asperger's, because I now consider myself an expert.) (I am not.)

Sunday: Going to see some friends in the morning, including one of Jane’s besties, and then going to go visit with my mom, who is returning this weekend from a week in Florida, during which she will have missed two snowstorms here. Jealous? Moi?

So, seriously, what are you up to?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I am a whiny bitch, winter edition.

I had one of those mornings today.

A morning where I decided I am completely over winter.

I know, I know – our winter has hardly been bad. Not much snow at all yet (although we are supposed to get a couple of inches tonight, and then six more on Saturday), and it’s been pretty mild – lots of days getting up to 40. But still.

I try to go walking in the mornings, five or six days a week. I usually do three or four miles, depending on the route. This requires me to get up before the sun, layer up like nobody’s business, and head out in weather that most people try desperately to avoid. I can handle temps 18 and above (wind chill included). I used to go out in even colder weather, but now, this is what my limit is.

This morning, it was 12. So I had to head down to the dreaded treadmill. The dreadmill, if you will. I hate that GD thing. So much. I would SO much rather be outside, even in the freezing cold – it clears my brain, I see nature and shit (not literal shit) (OK, sometimes dog shit), and watch the sun rise. I can’t say I really enjoy it, because I loathe exercise and much prefer sleep, but it’s infinitely better than marching along on that *(!&*(&!()*& treadmill. Which we are lucky to have, I know, I know.

Also, this morning, I decided I hate every single winter thing in my closet. I hate my sweaters, pants, and dog-hair-covered coat. I hate my scarves and my boots, and I really hate my gloves. I mostly hate how dry my skin is. And itchy. I hate scraping ice off my car, and surprise patches of black ice.

It’s getting lighter out. I noticed this last night. The sky wasn’t completely black by 5 p.m., which is a vast improvement from a month ago. And at 6:30 a.m., the sky was lightening up again, instead of 7:15, like a month ago. Before you know it, I will be able to get out there in my shorts and t-shirt, at a sunny 5:30 a.m., the chirping birds cheering me along the way.

Oh, I can’t wait. Sixty days ‘til spring.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

wednesday check-in

Oh, hey, blog.

So it’s been busy round these parts lately. Last weekend went off great – Jane had a fun time at my in-laws’ house, and we had a blast at the surprise party in Jersey. We even managed to get there without going over the GWB, which we somehow always end up doing, and it always sucks (cue MUCH MUCH swearing from Greg). Tappan Zee Bridge, for the win! Anyway, it was so great to hang with adults, and sleep late (EIGHT O’CLOCK OMG, THE SUN WAS UP AND EVERYTHING), and see friends we haven’t seen in a long time. And, truth be told, it's just all around much easier to socialize when all the kids are with babysitters.

My little theater reunion on Friday night was great too. But man oh man, it made me want to do another show SO BADLY. I had a theater board meeting on Monday night, and we have plans to start rehearsing a show (a straight play) in March to go up at the end of May, and then a bigger musical in the late fall. So I’m really looking forward to being involved in those, in one way or another. I am such an epic nerd, I know.

On Monday evening, I took Jane to her friend’s ballet class – it was “bring a friend” day – and she adored it. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that Jane was in another dance class at a different studio when she was 3. I took her out of the class because she just wasn’t ready – she would leave class early all of the time, she wasn’t really paying attention – I think she was just too young. SIDE NOTE: I also couldn’t stand some of the other parents there. They were super-judgmental, and it drove me nuts. I just don’t like discussing body types of four-year-olds, you know? They are just kids! Shit!

But she had so much fun at this class – managed to stay in there the whole time without coming out to see me or use the bathroom or anything! I contacted the school yesterday to register her for the rest of the year, and I was able to get her in the same class with her friend. So that will be Monday nights for us until June. I’m really glad I was able to get my shit together and do this for her, because I know she was really wanting to. Plus their rehearsal space is super new and cool – it’s part of a larger performing arts center at a university, and I love it.

What else, what else – just going back and forth with a friend to figure out our July vacation, trying to get back into exercising (I have divebombed in that area over the past week or so, and I don’t want to lapse too long), trying not to let the dark winter depress me, and keeping my eye on the spring.

 How are you this Wednesday?

PS I know I don't have a designing bone in my body, but I really wish I was at this right now.

Friday, January 13, 2012

weekend. update.

It’s the weeeekend! Yay! I am exceedingly glad it is Friday. Here’s what’s uppity up:
Friday:  After my standard weekly moms’ happy hour,  I am having the cast/crew of the show I was in in the fall over for a reunion/DVD-watching party. So excited to see everyone again, I cannot even tell you. Not as excited to watch the DVD – I cannot stand hearing myself talk. SIDE NOTE: I always buy the dvd of whatever show I’m in/direct, but I never watch it. It stresses me out too much. I just want to let the show go off into the ether, you know?
Saturday: We are road-tripping to a friend’s 40th birthday party. This has been quite the production to orchestrate this week, and features three visits from a dog-sitter, an overnight at grandma’s and grandpa’s for Jane, and another babysitter on Sunday. I mean, honest to God. We are going to be gone for, like, 26 hours or something. Why so difficult?
Sunday: Return from road trip, laundry, etc, etc.
Monday: Bonus day off for MLK Day! I have a theater board meeting Monday night, and I may take Jane to an open dance class in the afternoon.
And what are you up to?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

class of '25

So last night Greg and I went to a kindergarten registration meeting at Jane’s future elementary school. As you know (especially if we are friends on FB), I was a tiny bit freaked out about this – it’s not like I can’t handle her going off to school, of course I can – I just can’t believe we’re here already!
At this point, I’m mostly excited about it. The school seems great and the teachers seem awesome, as did the rest of the faculty that spoke at the meeting. They are BIG TIME encouragers of reading to your kid, every day, as much as possible, and as a huge reader myself, I am ALL IN.

Over the next few months, we will be returning to the school with Jane for monthly meetings/activities. This is great, because it gets the kids acclimated to the space and the teachers before they officially start in September. Of course, I had no idea that the kids and parents would be separated beginning at the next meeting, which is three weeks away….this should be interesting, to say the least. Not sure how great Jane will do going off with a teacher and a bunch of kids she doesn’t know right away, but maybe she’ll surprise me and just go with the flow. (SPOILER ALERT: She won’t surprise me. I know my kid.)

There is a part of me that is just so nervous for Jane. It seemed like a lot of parents already knew each other at the meeting, which makes me think their kids know each other too. Of course, I realized that they might know each other because they have older kids in the school too – not everyone is “one and done” like we are. I just want to make sure Jane has friends, you know? I don’t want her to be an outcast, all alone when the other kids are playing together.

In my heart, I have hope this won’t be the case. She certainly hasn’t had any trouble making friends at daycare. She has quite the posse there. I just wish they would all move on together to kindergarten – but unfortunately, that’s not the case. There is a neighbor kid down there street who will be in her grade, but not necessarily her same class. I'm such a nerd to worry about this stuff  - I know - but I can't help it.

It really feels like we were here five seconds ago. They are not lying when they say it goes by super-fast. People say that shit all the time - "enjoy it, they grow so fast, blah blah blah" but man. Truth.

PS Nothing made me do a double-take more than seeing the “Welcome Class of 2025” sign when we walked in. WTF?!?! Won’t we all be flying in spaceships by then?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

memphis lives in me

So, I was wildly tweeting yesterday about my excitement in going to see the show MEMPHIS on tour with my niece. I had seen the show on Broadway last year and absolutely loved it – it was one of those shows where I knew very little about it going in, but going out I had tears in my eyes from the sheer talent of the cast. Their voices literally brought me to tears. This does not happen often.

It happened again last night when I saw the touring version. I would see it again tonight if I could.

If you are in the NYC area, I insist you go see this show on Broadway – it currently stars Adam Pascal, who was the original Roger in RENT, which is, as you know, my ULTIMATE FAVORITE SHOW EVAH. So it’s extra special good because he’s in it, I’m sure. And if it comes to a theater near you on tour, I absolutely insist that you go.

In the meantime, check this out.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

spring in january.

So yesterday was just one of those days that we don't get here in New England. It was something like 65 degrees and sunny outside - on JANUARY 7. It was unbelievable. We took full advantage, and spent the day outside walking around a local outdoor shopping area, went to the bookstore, and just enjoyed the feeling of the sun beating on our faces when, on the same day last year, we were getting another six inches on top of the couple of feet of snow we'd already gotten. We currently have absolutely no snow anywhere. We haven't gotten anything since that bullshit 15 inches we got in October. It's amazing.

 I know it can't stay like this forever - it's at least 20 degrees cooler today - but it made me want spring soooo much. I've got my eye on the prize - and the prize is long sunny days during which I can wear my flip flops. Just a few more months....

Busy week ahead, including going to see this show on tour, Jane's kindergarten registration meeting at her elementary school (cue the sobbing) (from me), and prepping for our big trip to New Jersey next weekend for Greg's BF's 40th birthday party. SANS CHILD. Holy shit!

This sad little post is my attempt to get back into regular blogging, even if I don't have anything big to say.

Friday, January 06, 2012

weekend update.

You guys! I always do this. I do a full month of blogging, and then I rely on pictures to carry me through the next couple of weeks. Sorry I've barely posted a word here since reverb, but I hope you've enjoyed my pics from Christmas and New Year's. I thought I'd ease back into this here blogging thang with a weekend update. Here we go:

Today: Resuming my daycare moms' happy hour this afternoon, after a bit of a holiday hiatus. Very excited to hang with the ladies again. Then we're off to the mall to get Jane yet another "special treat" for yet another full week of no crying at daycare drop-off. Sometimes I forget what I share between here, Twitter and Facebook, but she was having horrendous meltdowns at daycare drop-off, and it just sucked. So the teacher suggested a sticker chart - for every good drop-off she gets a sticker, and if she goes though a whole week without puddling on the floor in in an epic pile of tears, she gets a special treat. Sure as shit, as soon as we started this, drop-offs have improved drastically. So it's off to the Disney store yet again - but oh, it's so worth it. I thought sticker charts worked for shit - but I am a true believer now!

Saturday: It's supposed to be near 50 degrees (!!!!!) tomorrow, so maybe we'll head up to UConn to see the horses, cows, etc. Nothing like a big dose of manure stank to liven up a weekend, right? Then we are going out to dinner with the in-laws for my father-in-law's birthday tomorrow night. Lobster roll, here I come....

Sunday: I believe a couple of Jane's daycare peeps (and moms) are coming over in the morning, and then going to my mother's house in the afternoon.

And what are you up to?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

auld lang syne.

So we bid adieu to 2011 and welcomed 2012 with our annual Relaxapalooza at our house on Sunday. Please enjoy these most shitty of pictures, taken in the very last moments of my camera's life. RIP, camera. You suck. But the party was fun!

Monday, January 02, 2012

belated Christmas

Please do enjoy some extremely belated photos from Christmas. Happy New Year, all!