Birthday begins at sundown

Tomorrow is my birthday but I was presented with quite a treat upon my return home this evening…

Larry and Walker decided to inform the neighborhood (and passersby) that I am now part of what my HR friend calls “the protected class.” This broad gesture was the pinnacle of an already wonderful day — on my desk I found beautiful flowers from a friend’s garden and one of my staff orchestrated a surprise party complete with chocolate cake topped with STAR WARS action figures and sparkly pink candles (I was sent home with more cake which was even better tonight)!

Tomorrow I’m taking the day off and I plan on dropping off Walker, going to the gym, visiting my chiropractor and spending the rest of the day watching movies on OnDemand. I may even take a nap.

As long as I get lots of hugs from certain little and big boys, it will be a perfect day.

HE DID IT

Larry was very excited about the LOST finale and in preparation, bought Walker his very own Dharma shirt.
Larry was very excited about the LOST finale and in preparation, bought Walker his very own Dharma shirt.

As I’ve previously mentioned, Walker is now talking a lot more. About two weeks ago he started with “HELP ME” which was often said in a raspy, breathy voice as he was straining to do something (like push the exercise ball through the open baby gate or pick up something heavy). It is reminiscent of the delivery of the very same line in the old version of the THE FLY (for anyone with knowledge of B-level 1950 Sci Fi movies).

He’s started re-purposing some of his oldies but goodies… He still loves to say “I DID it!” when completing some task — whether it’s something major like jumping off the ottoman on to the floor without falling or something minor like sitting in the chair). But this phrase has been expanded to include other pronouns. It started when Walker was eating and was particularly grumpy. Walker is a bit possessive of his belongings and food falls squarely in the “MINE!” category so when Larry reached over and stole something off his plate, Walker got mad and started to cry. I asked him what was wrong. He stopped crying, pointed a finger accusingly at Larry and declared “He DID it!”

Since we’re on the topic of eating, Walker has found a new favorite food item. KETCHUP. Initially he liked it with hot dogs but he’s concluded it’s a condiment that goes with many, many yummy morsels. If I don’t include it on his plate, he walks over to the fridge, demands I open it and points to the bottle until he gets a dab on his plate. As we watch him eat we’re a bit stunned at the combinations he seems to enjoy. Our personal favs are the fruit/ketchup combinations such as watermelon-ketchup and strawberry-ketchup.

At least he’s eating.

I have to provide a bit of an update on the exercise front. I’ve faithfully continued my trips to the gym and I’m running 3 miles a few times a week. I went for a “complementary” personal training session which consisted of a very beefy man measuring my heart rate (apparently it’s very, very good), my flexibility (above average) and my body fat (also above average — oops). He then tried to sell me on personal training time. Ah, yes. Of course. I was particularly amused when he asked me how much time I’m able to commit to the gym. “35 minutes,” I reply. He’s a bit stunned. “Um, you can’t make it an hour?” “Well, remember that 2 year old we discussed (and you said running after him didn’t count as exercise)? Yeah, well, I’ve got 35 minutes to go to the gym and I consider that pretty good.” He clearly doesn’t have kids.

But I digress from my original point. I’m continuing to visit the gym and I’m feeling really good and my clothes fit better. (I’m sure they’d fit even better if I didn’t come home and have a glass of wine or two plus a handful of Hershey’s Miniatures each night…) But going to the gym is a lot of work. Yes, the exercise is hard. But there is other work to support this effort that requires more than expected energy and attention. There the extra laundry with all the sweaty clothes and the gym towels. And there’s the shopping. Yes, the shopping. I have to get some new shoes and exercise clothes and well, I have to get some more “unmentionables” because I’m too tired when I’m packing my bag to sort through my drawers to find underwear and socks that don’t have holes or played out elastic. So there you go. The gym impacts my life in ways I had never imagined…

On a parting note, I must say that I have watched the “Space Bag” commercials on television for quite a long time and I always thought they were a bit silly. But one morning, must have been around 6am or so, I saw the commercial while watching Barney and it occurred to me I had a few tubs of maternity and baby clothes a that were taking up a lot of room. So, during my sabbatical I decided to buy the Space Bags at Costco and give them a try. I’m a convert. These things have saved me significant storage space and I know the clothes will stay clean if I happen to dump a bunch of mud on them (you have to see the commercial to fully appreciate that last statement).

So perhaps next I’ll try the Sham WOW!

Mother’s Day 2009

This was the best Mother’s Day ever. OK, granted, I’ve only had one other one for comparison but really, this one was pretty spectacular. We made it a long weekend. Larry and I dropped off the Little Man, packed up the car for a weekend at Sea Ranch and headed off to a 10:30 showing of the new STAR TREK movie. (Turns out we crashed a corporate event at the 10:30 showing — a company full of geeks playing hooky — priceless.) We picked up a sleepy Walker who presented me with his Mother’s Day present from Day Care — he made me a cupcake (all the kids helped), a fabulous plate, and a very nice Mommy certificate. On the way up to Pop Pop’s house, we needed to get out and stretch our legs so we stopped off at Fort Ross, a former Russian/Eskimo/Indian trading outpost. Walker practiced running and going up and down stairs all by himself.

The rest of the weekend was just as fantastic. Walker played outside, ate really well, slept like a log, and his verbal skills exploded! He loved getting Tickle Buzzies from Pop Pop (before falling asleep, Walker gave me one), playing on the exercise equipment, and dragging his fire engine around the meadow.

I won’t make anyone cry with this year’s posting like I did with last year’s tribute to my mother. This year, I thought I’d list a few of things that make me happy that I’m a mom:

  • When Walker calls me “momma” but especially when he calls me “mommy” (he tried it out for a few days last week)
  • Big huge hugs with tiny little arms
  • Snuggling with Walker on the couch
  • Sleeping cheek to cheek with his arms around my neck
  • Hearing him giggle
  • Watching him blow bubbles
  • Hearing him use a new word for the first time (today he said “beeeEECH”
  • Watching him draw pictures
  • Singing songs with him (our new duet is “Itsy Bitsy Spider where he says “spiDER” the first time but sings “Barney” and “Elmo” the rest of the song)
  • Interactive bedtime stories — he yells “spOOOOON” or “I’m not NITE NITE” in his new favorite books
  • Hearing an unsolicited “Ank Oooo” (which is the polite boy saying “thank you” unprompted)
  • Holding hands
  • Playing Ring Around the Rosie
  • Hearing “Hi Momma” (with the wonderful clapping and yelling in delight that follow)
  • Watching him sleep
  • Kisses, snotty and otherwise

So essentially, anything and everything about Walker makes me happy to be a Mom. He makes my world a better place. It’s sappy and I suspect a sentiment shared by each and every Mommy out there, but there it is. He thrills, excites, exhausts, and fills me with love.

Happy Mother’s Day to every mom out there — especially to those women to loved and shaped me — Mommy, Janie, Shirley and Mommo.

One great vacation

Walker discovers balloons at his friend Lucass first birthday. It didnt really occur to us that Walker hadnt spent much (or any) time with these wonderful things. He didnt really want to share once he figured out how fun they were.
Walker discovers balloons at his friend Lucas’s first birthday. It didn’t really occur to us that Walker hadn’t spent much (or any) time with these wonderful things. He didn’t really want to share once he figured out how fun they were.

I sit here drinking some wine, looking over work email, and pondering my return to Adobe.

I had one great vacation — not because I went somewhere exotic or did something unique or fascinating. I had a great vacation because it did what vacations are supposed to do — rejuvenate and relax you. The last three weeks were filled with a balance of working for Adobe and AiT/Planet Lar, completing things for the household, and doing things just for me. The result is a significantly smaller TO DO list, a more functional computer, a new blog, a trimmer me, and a tidier home and finances.

I must begin by saying I love being a mommy and I wouldn’t change anything in the world. However, I must say, the last few weeks have reintroduced me to the feeling of TRUE ACCOMPLISHMENT. Let me explain. I’m the Girl of 100 Lists (the Go Go’s song is my theme) and my lists are written with a small box to the left of each item. (A former boss gave me no end of grief about this format for my multi-page lists.) Each time I complete a task, I take a moment as I make a solid, confident check in the box. For a particularly significant item, time stops for just an instant, as if to honor the effort it took.

All parents will understand that a small human puts a crimp in life as you knew it. My 100 lists became 1000 lists over the last two years and every weekend I’d get stressed because more boxes were created than were checked on my lists. As I thought about my sabbatical, I considered packing up the family and using our miles to go somewhere fantastic. But the more I considered these scenarios, the more stressed I felt. Then a friend said something about her “staycation” and the more I thought about what that meant for me, the more comfortable I felt. So, Staycation it was. And it was great. I’m relaxed and I suspect our home appraisal will be higher.

Some Staycation highlights:

  • Run/walk each day making it up to running 2.75miles at a stretch and watching the full FIREFLY series in the process. Oh, my pants fit better and I joined a gym near work so I, my family and co-workers continue to reap the benefits of my exercise regimine. (And I mean my stress reduction, not my better-fitting clothing.)
  • Lunches, errands, and a movie with my honey
  • Creating a home office, cleaning the guest room, taking stuff to the safe deposit box that should have been there a year ago, balancing all the finances, and meeting with the insurance agent
  • Digging through and eliminating two years of crap on the table in the living room so it’s recognizable (and usable) as a table
  • Weeding in the front and back and planting a few nice things that should do well in our sandy and windy backyard.
  • Shopping
  • Going to the Genius Bar to have them fix a the small problem with my email — oh yeah, years of emails DISAPPEARED when Adobe upgraded my system software… but they’re back now
  • Migrating my blog to www.mimzilla.com (Were you paying attention? This will be addressed later)

This has been one of the best vacations ever. And why? Because I rediscovered the euphoric feeling of efficient TO DO list completion. And because life doesn’t stop when you’re on vacation. Things still happen like your dryer breaks, PG&E must inspect your solar installation (we’ve made more than 100 kilowatts than we’ve used), your fence breaks in two places in a wind storm, you and everyone in the family get a horrible cold, and you need your electric service replaced to your house. Had I been somewhere exotic, I’d have to try to deal with most of these things upon my return. However, with my fantastic staycation, I had the time to deal with it AND do a bit of exercise.

Adobe has a shut down in June and I’m already planning a day-by-day TO DO list.

WE’RE MOVING

You may have noticed that one of the highlights was that I’ve moved the blog. Yes, this is the final posting here. All future postings will be at www.mimzilla.com. It’s time we move to a more permanent URL. Please update your bookmarks. For those of you subscribed to RSS and emails, I’m really, really hoping you won’t have an interruption in entertaining posts.

Walker update

No post is complete without some Walker news. Our little guy is using more functional words. “I’m hungry” and “Want go home,” “Drink,” and “Move” have been added to other important words like ball, Barney, Elmo, Hop, Tweet (the bird, not a 140-character online post), YeeHaaa, Whee, Oh My, Boy oh boy, and Um.

Walker went a whole week without being sick! But alas, he’s got a runny nose again. Today, we were preparing to visit our friends Adrienne and Jim and Larry grabbed Walker’s hand to put his shoes on. “Did you put lotion on his hands?” he asks.

“No, that’s snot,” says Mommy absentmindedly.

“Mmmmm, creamy,” was Larry’s reply.