Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Treading Water and A Cheesy Parable

It's not that we're not doing things that I could blog about...Dinosaur-themed birthday parties! School fun fairs! It's just that it feels a little like we're treading water and blogging is not the first priority when you're treading water. Not to mention that we keep forgetting the camera. Besides, most of the time, I just want to complain. And then I think, "How can I complain when we have so much to be thankful for?" And then I just feel bad for being ungrateful.

So, I'm recycling one of those stories you get via e-mail. Usually, I don't care for these things and this one -- like most -- is a little cheesy, but the message is important for me to remember these days. (The message about priorities, not about the beer. I don't drink beer.)

* * * * * * *

Start of cheesy parable: When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the story of the mayonnaise jar and the 2 beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.' The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else---the small stuff."

If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled and said, "I'm glad you asked. The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers with a friend."

P.S. What kind of professor would this be? Philosophy? Religion? Corny??

P.P.S. Now send this to everyone you know or the economy will go to hell in a hand basket. Oops. Too late.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Explanation

I realize posting has been light lately. Seems this "work-outside-the-home," "raise two kids" thing isn't so easy. Not that I ever thought it would be. Just didn't realize it would be this challenging and on so many fronts.

I hope we'll get into a better groove and life will have some semblance of routine or normalcy soon. Until then, forgive the lack of titilating content. Did I just say "titilating?"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Solitaire-y

Brad taught Zander to play the card game Solitaire recently, except Zander plays it on my iphone, the computer, and with cards.

I didn't believe that Z really understood the game until I saw it for myself. Truth is -- not only does he understand it, but he has an eery ability to recall the cards in his "dig" pile. That is, after going through the pile once, he remembers which cards were there. And he plays different variations of the game -- klondike, baker's game, and spider solitaire.

Interestingly, he calls it solitaire-y. No matter how many times we refer to the game as "solitAIRE" he still refers back to it as solitaire-Y"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why does this photo look so strange?

Speaking of the little peanut Cassandra (per yesterday), what makes her look so odd in this photo? Don't answer that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

kuh-SAHN-druh

We've decided to go with the name "Cassandra" instead of "Cassie." Yes, yes, in this post here we said we would be calling her "Cassie" for short. But, I we changed my our minds.

I know someone -- not naming any names, but will use their initials (L & C) -- good friends of ours -- actually relatives of ours -- who changed their baby's name three or four times during the first year or so of her life.

So, for now, Cassandra please. Pronounced kuh-SAHN-druh. With the a's sounding like the "a" in "father" NOT like the "a" in "sand." That is on the beach.

And yes, I realize that by the time she is a preteen (or earlier) she'll have all sorts of modifications on her name, as did I (Jillie, Jilly, Jillian).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sayonara Maternity Leave

I'm back to the old grind....Sayonara maternity leave. (Although I have been working part days here and there for the last few weeks to ease the transition, this week is my first official week back full-time.) Well, not actually full-time -- 80% time. Thanks a lot economy.

On one hand, it is good to be back to some type of routine -- to be able to get tangible things done and feel good about doing them. On the other hand, I miss my baby. I miss her sweet smell and soft skin, her little bald head and her toothless grin. And she already has her first cold. Thanks a lot daycare.

Truth be told, Cassandra seems to be in good hands at the daycare, which is onsite at Brad's office. The center comes highly recommended among his colleagues and other parents in the area. However, although this particular center is more comfortable with breastmilk than Zander's first 'school' ever was, it is obvious to me that even the best daycares don't seem to really 'get' the breastfeeding thing. They're just more comfortable with formula. The verdict is still out though.

Apologies for the cliche-filled post. Thanks a lot momnesia.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Rainy Weekend...

...and we survived it despite (because of?) the 4.5 year old boy energy. Let's see -- we did puzzles, crafts, built marble towers, played card games, watched a number of Backyardigans episodes, made funky sandwiches, and went on a hike at nearby Great Falls Park, Virginia. (The latter was Brad's final attempt on Sunday afternoon to burn off some of Z's overflowing energy.) Did I mention his energy? Did I? Did I?

Crafts:

Puzzle of the Paris Metro (done by Brad):

Monsters made with Bloco pieces:

The Zander-made sandwich (peanut butter, jelly, banana slices, and raspberries):

Marble tower (quite uncharacteristically done by me):

The Great Falls hike:

And somewhere in there we took care of a baby too.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We all live in a yellow...school bus

One amazing piece of trivia from the principal at Tuesday's kindergarten orientation:

The Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) District has the 2nd largest bus fleet in the country -- not just compared to other public school bus fleets -- but to ALL bus fleets.

I forget which he said was first, but FCPS was followed by Greyhound. I'm not sure what seems more unbelievable -- the piece of trivia or the idea that I am even considering putting my child on one of those many buses in September.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Class of 2022

Holy smokes -- I feel like I am caught in some Lost-like web of time travel. A few flashes and all of a sudden my baby daughter is three months old (today) and my son attended a kindergarten orientation of sorts (yesterday) at his future elementary school.

The children went to the actual classrooms and parents stayed for a Q & A session with the principal. Surprisingly, Zander actually went willingly. (As mentioned before, he can be unpredictable when it comes to new situations that require separating from mom or dad.)

When the children returned to the cafeteria where the parents were waiting, they were carrying the banner in the photo above. Of course, we forgot the camera, so took this one with my phone.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Def Poetry by The Hebrew Mamita

Because if *I* were to come up with content for a new post today it would be anxiety-ridden about the downward spiraling economy (and who wants to hear me kvetch and worry especially when it's all over the news too)? I will instead rely on YouTube for content.

This clip, The Hebrew Mamita, was stumbled on via my cousin Lisa. (FYI, some not-safe-for-work language. But I guess that depends on where you work.) It's spoken word that speaks to me.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Signs that your neighbor doesn't have young children

  • When talking about seeing the deer in your yard, she says to your preschooler, "Have your dad go get his bow and arrow and take care of them;" and

  • Continues same conversation and mentions how they've personally considered keeping "Bambi" in the freezer.

Nice people though. (Just hope they do not know about -- much less read -- this blog.)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Man driving down road

Got this joke from my mom a month or so ago. Blame her.

Man driving down road.

Woman driving up same road.

They pass each other.

The woman yells out the window, PIG!

Man yells out window, BITCH!

Man rounds next curve.

Man crashes into a HUGE PIG in middle of road and dies.

Thought For the Day:
If men would just listen.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cassandra and Didily

From left to right: Cassandra (real baby) and Didily (baby doll named by Zander). For the record, Z put Didily's hand into Cassandra's hand. I thought it was 'blogworthy,' so I ran to get the camera.

"Didily" is actually a relief for us, because the entire time I was pregnant Z wanted to name the real baby "Didily." Grandma Susan and Grandpa Mickey bought Didily for Zander before Cassandra was born in an effort to help him acclimate to the new baby. Mostly, Didily and her excessivly pink accoutrements are in various rooms in the house collecting dust, but every now and then Z digs her out and changes her diaper or something.

P.S. I'm starting to realize that even when I post photos of Cassandra, it's really all about Zander, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A cow and an owl walk into a bar

Zander made up a knock-knock joke on last week. He's made them up before, but they usually, um, don't make any sense. This one did. It's no knee slapper, but here's how it went:

Knock knock
Who’s there
Moo
Moo Who?
Uh Oh! The cow and the owl are fighting!