Disneyland Family 5K -2014

Disneyland Family 5K -2014

Friday, August 28, 2009

In Defense of my living room

It's a Friday evening and we've just put Brooklyn down to bed. Dinner is cleaned up and the dishes in the dishwasher and I sit in the quiet of my living room, feet up on the coffee table, a nice glass of Pinot Grigio by my side. The quiet hum of the washing machine behind the laundry room door is broken up by the occasional snap of the jeans in the dryer against the side. The light is dim, only one lamp lit against the encroaching evening. My brown "micro-suede" sofa is comforting, even if it is the "L" shape that I swore to Rob we would never own.

I like my family room. It has a comfortable, lived-in feel to it. Some of you might remember a few years ago when someone commented on my house and called it "Main Street Disneyland, covered in dust." (Those of you who know me well might smile at that statement, as it conjurs up thoughts of my smiling Tiggers everywhere.) At the time the statement was made, I had just finished a major kitchen remodel. (And by "major," I mean that everything was ripped out to the walls and it was completely redone. In fact, I had only moved the dishes and other "furnishings" of the kitchen back in the day before this person saw my home and made the comment. So I would have to say that the "dust" part was at least partially correct. At that time, I also hadn't found a cleaning person that I liked. I had gone through several, but had to let them each go in their own turn, for various reasons. I was in flux and the "soul" of my home was bared to anyone who dared to enter. This person entered and instead of seeing the family that lived there and the toys of a baby scattered around, this person saw dust and Mickey Mouse.
Every once in awhile, I stop to take stock of my surroundings and sometimes wonder if I have the house of an adult. My in-laws certainly have an "adult" house, with their crystal chandelier over the dining room table, the very large, flat screen television and the lack of any evidence of children, but for Brooklyn's play room. Their entryway and living room are decorated in a sophisticated, modern style. Anyone walking into the home would immediately know that adults live there.
My entryway is guarded by several wooden mooses and a bear. Tokens from family trips to Tahoe, one proudly proclaims "go away," while the bear holds a sign that says "I'm not a bear." The sofa table by the wall holds a chess set from a trip to Mexico in granite, a replica of Dodger stadium that lights up and several family photos. The piano in the living room holds Precious Moments figures with Tigger and Pooh and a model of the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. Someone walking into this room might wonder at the decorating taste of the people within.
As I walked down the stairs tonight after putting Brooklyn to bed, I was drawn to the wall in the dining room that is covered with family pictures. A picture of Brooklyn at 3 months takes the center and immediately draws your attention. Many people notice it as soon as they walk in the house. (The wall is also visible as soon as you walk in the door.) I study the pictures, taking in Brooklyn's 1st, 2nd and 3rd birthday photos and the family pictures that went with them, watching us grow. I can't help but wonder how that "person" came into my house and missed this wall, but somehow latched on to the dust and the Disney. Maybe that person was looking for chinks in my armour?
But I digress... as I sink deeper into my couch, I am comfortable with my home. It's a good size, it's right for us. I am lucky and I love what I have. Of course I'd like to put in new carpet. Of course I would like to finally paint the walls one of the sample colors that have been splashed up for at least a year (don't ask.) But at the end of the day, I'm o.k. with a little dust and I'm definitely o.k. with the Disney - the Tiggers and the Mickey (which Brooklyn loves, of course).
I don't know if I have the home of an "adult." But I do believe that I have the home of a family, one that is lived in and full of love, and I'm o.k. with that, even if it is covered in dust.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dream a little Dream

I dream alot. I'm not sure why, but that's just what happens. Maybe it's because there is way too much going on in my head, or maybe it's because there's not enough going on in real life (yeah, right.) I remember most of my dreams when I wake up, but they usually drift away by lunchtime and I only then remember dreaming, but not what it was about. There are a few exceptions, dreams that I remember in great detail, and recurring dreams. For awhile, I was seeing a therapist (yes, she confirmed that I was, in fact, crazy, but that's beside the point), who asked me to write down my dreams. She gave me some insight into them and I've even googled a few of them to see what's up. (Seriously, who dreams about having to go to the bathroom?!?)

One of my recurring dream themes is school. I have several different variations of this dream - in some of them I am back at my high school in Jefferson, and at some I'm in college, or in a school I've never seen before. Almost all of the time, I am either late for class and can't find the right room, or I am in the right room but don't have my book. Sometimes it is finals time and I realize that I haven't been to class the entire semester, haven't read a page in the book and have to take the test. Alot of times, I wander the halls, trying to find my locker, knowing that it is around there somewhere. Usually, my sister Trix manages to find her way into the dream, hanging out in the hall. (This might be because I was slightly traumatized by her in high school. She was only a year older, but had an inch or two and probably 20 pounds on me. Just ask the boys - she was intimidating!) I usually wake up before I have to take the test, or before I find the classroom or the book or my locker. I generally wake up feeling frustrated and tired, having "wandered" the entire time I was sleeping.

Of course, a few nights ago, I had a new twist on this old dream. I was going to school, and when I got there, they had "re-done" the school. As I looked down the hall where my locker used to be (across from Mrs. Bragga's math classroom, down the hall from the gym), there was produce. (WHAT?!). I asked a friend what had happened and she said that the lockers were moved. I immediately got worried because my books and my stuff had been in my locker. Where did it go? Where were my things? Where the heck was my locker? I'm not sure how, but in my dream, I managed to find the locker. The remainder of the dream (cut short by the morning alarm) was spent hanging out by our lockers, which also seemed to be the aisles of our local Ralph's supermarket. The meat department was at the end of one aisle of lockers and the cereal just was down the way. I have no idea- trust me.

My therapist had suggested that this recurrning dream about school might have something to do with a feeling that I needed to get something done, or feeling like there was something I hadn't completely. (Ya think? I've got a scrap room full of 1/2 done projects.) So I'm not sure what this new variation meant. If nothing else, I wouldnt' have to look for my lunch, it was probably right there in the salad bar a few aisles over.

Another slight variation of the school dream, is the sports dream. I find myself back in high school or college, trying out for the volleyball or basketball team again. These dreams also have variations - sometimes I am worried that I won't make the team, sometimes I realize that the season is half over and I haven't been to practice, alot of times, we are headed to a game and I don't have my uniform. Last night was yet another twist on this, basketball team again. This time Anita was there (point guard from high school) and we -along with the rest of the team, that sported some of my college teammates- were going through some kind of training. At one point, we went into a side gym and there were groups of girls of all ages - almost like a basketball came- running around. As we went through the training course, we had to jump up and grab onto a bar, and pull our legs up, sort of a gymnastic move, to test our upper body strength. (It's a dream, it's not supposed to make sense!) Everyone in front of me did the move, dropped onto the mats on the floor and then moved on. For some reason, when I got up to the bar, it turned into a swing and I was suddenly swinging across the gym, almost like a trapeze. Very weird.

I don't have any insight into what that one meant, other than that I sometimes feel like things are completely out of my control (I was swinging farther and farther out and couldn't figure out how to stop). As for going through try-outs again, who knows. Maybe it's because I long for the days of being in shape, but don't miss 3-a-days in August heat. oy.

I'll stop boring you now with these random dreams. I suppose I should go to work now?

Memories and Pictures - the follow up

I haven't checked this blog in awhile and I had to laugh that the last post was about my efforts to put pictures from the last Europe trip into some kind of order. I lamented my failure to take notes last time, kicking myself for not writing something to remember what the pictures were of. I swore I would try to do it better this time.

Well, "this time" has come and gone. We are back from Europe, our wallets lighter, our bones wearier and our laundry baskets full. I spent days combing through the bags of souvenirs, printing out pages with names of friends and family on them, in order to sort the goodies for each. My living room floor is now covered with half-packed boxes waiting to find their way to Ohio and Pennsylvania. We ordered wine and Ouzo which has found its way here from Greece and Florence and now waits for me to figure out how to get it to other states. I spent a week doing laundry, washing and folding and putting it all away. We took a pile of shirts and skirts and suits to the dry cleaner and await its return.

And then there are the memories. The pictures, the thoughts, the words. I took notes on a scrap of paper on the ship, after we spent a day in Rome with a tour guide. I was trying to soak up his stories, to be able to remember every little detail of what he said. I even did it while looking at the pictures, putting the numbers of each picture with the note. I have yet to go back and make sense of my notes, but I will.

I am proud to say that I made a point to take a picture of Rob or Brooklyn, or both, or have someone take a picture of all of us (or let Rob touch my camera and take a picture of me and B) in every place we stopped. Brooklyn has quite the album to show her friends, pictures of her in front of the Eiffel Tower, the L'Arc de Triomphe, the Parthenon, Big Ben, the Tower Bridge... an the list goes on. I sat down one night and spent a few hours going through the pictures to print hers for her, and still only got to Florence.

I averaged about 250 pictures a day, depending on where we were. More in Paris, less in Barcelona. But I got them. These days, I'm spending minutes and hours uploading them all to Snapfish, where I will then comb through them to decide what to print. At this point, I think I need to print them all and then sort them when they are in-hand. Much easier than looking at a one inch square "thumbnail," I think.

Did I do better this time? That remains to be seen. I'm still trying to clean up the "mess" from the last trip, having run out of room in the albums I bought and only just yesterday discovering the new manufacturer of those albums in order to order another. (Thanks to my scrapbooking friends who shared the info!) I think I did a better job of taking more pictures of us, and not so many of places or things (our trip to the Vatican aside.) Then again, people get frustrated when you ask them to pose alot, so I found myself taking 1 or 2 pics of the people and 10 or 12 of the place, and it'll all come together in the books. I hope.

I am still working on the story. I started to type it out, using my notes from the trip (I took little index cards with me and tried to write at the end of each day - I made it to about Florence, or maybe Naples or Monte Carlo.) There were certainly memorable moments to capture, such as how a piece of Mom and Dad's luggage went to Boston instead of Paris, or how the hotel we were booked into in Paris had a flood and no air conditioning and had to move us to a different hotel (which ended up being on the Champs E'lysee.) There were Brooklyn's escapades on the ship- her tantrums, her nap at the dinner table, and her dancing with her daddy in her formal gown. There were the drinks on the ship at 5 or 6 pm, complete with a plate of nachos, watching whatever city we happened to be in drift away in the waning sunlight. I must capture those memories soon, before they too fade. So what am I doing sitting here, typing this?

O.k., back to reality and my notes. I promise myself that I'm going to get the notes of the trip down... soon. And if I don't, maybe I'll borrow Phil's. He was a little better about it than I was, and rumor has it that he has 2 or 3 pages of notes. Then again, they had a bit of a different trip than we did, theirs not being completely ruled by the presence of a little princess. So we'll see. In the meantime, I've got to go order the pictures, since I already ordered the albums.