When I got Sweet Pea's second-ever Santa picture in the mail today, it made me laugh. She looks like she's about to cry! But believe me, she WAS crying when it was being taken.
My sister told me if was going to be rough with an almost-2-year-old but I didn't quite believe her. Tia was fine on the way pictures, we even asked her if she wanted to get her picture taken with Santa and she said, "Yeah!" So after lunch and a nice long nap, we went.
But as soon as she saw this big strange guy in a bright red suit, she became Super Clingy Baby and I couldn't undo her arms and her legs from around my neck and body at the same time. She wanted nothing to do with even LOOKING at Santa, let alone sitting on his lap! So I had to sit on this tiny little stool that they use for parents of the 'problem kids' that's wedged IN BETWEEN Santa and the tree. Yes, look again, there's not much space there. So Sweet Pea is sitting on MY lap and I'm pushing her forward while she's trying to back-bend back toward me (you can see my knee). So it looks like she's kind of sitting on his lap, but not having any fun. He also couldn't look at her otherwise she would start crying! At least she wasn't screaming.
Sweet Pea is always terrorizing poor Geno, our cat. Sometimes she'll just walk up to him when he's sleeping and scream as loud as she can. Then when he "scratches" her (he doesn't have front claws), she shows us her 'hurt' hand with a look on her face like "Look what Geno did to me."
This time, Geno was sleeping on the back of the couch and Tia decided to go mess with him. At the end of the video Geno turns into a cat from The Matrix and his paw moves so fast you can barely see it hitting Sweet Pea's face. Hilarious. Unfortunately, my camera battery died before I could get her reaction, which was "Ooooooooooowwww!"
I woke up before Sweet Pea this morning and thought I could squeeze in a shower. I brought the baby monitor into the bathroom like I always do, and cranked up the volume, just in case. Less than one minute after I stepped in the shower, as my hair was getting wet (a hairwashing day too---too late to get out now) her little voice started wailing from the monitor, the red lights 'pinging' all the way up. "Shit," I sighed, and speed-showered, again. No time to stand there for a second to wake up as the water comes down. No time to think "Hmm, which shampoo should I use this time?" Shave my legs? Out of the friggin' question.
I miss the days when I could just STAND in the shower and think about my list of things to do for the day. When I could stand in my closet with a hot cup of coffee and decide what to wear. When I could actually HAVE a HOT cup of coffee. When I could sit and watch a TV show or check email without rushing or thinking, "How long til she's up?" Even at this moment, as I write this blog, the baby monitor is cranked and I can hear her breathing, rolling around, taking her nap.
I miss the extra time I used to have....to meet friends, shop, go out...that's what you give up to be a mom. But I also know I would miss Sweet Pea more, if I didn't have her on the monitor.
For her second Halloween, Tia was a ladybug (because my Babyzilla idea---to find a dinosaur/dragon costume and tape miniature skyscrapers to her legs---although very entertaining, was MUCH too involved).
While trick-or-treating at my work she met another little ladybug (Louie's daughter) and they stared at each other, touched each other's costumes, held hands and followed each other. It was so cute it was almost unbearable.
Out of everything Tia collected in her Halloween pumpkin, she thought the best things were PENCILS. Awesome.
My mom lives in the great state of Alaska. We talk by phone about once or twice a week. Right now she's on a trip to Juneau visiting my cousin and she was traveling on Election Day. This morning, I asked her if she knew who the new President was. In a disappointed voice she told me that 'that guy' probably supports abortion and illegal immigrants and that she 'doesn't know what's going to happen now' because he 'doesn't have a lot of experience.' I held my tongue about Sarah Palin.
She also told me that she prayed to God about her vote, that if God knew who the best person was, to let him win.
I voted for Barack Obama, but I wasn't a hardcore fan. I consider myself a Democrat, yes. I agree with his message and believe he will honestly try to do some good for this country. That's why I voted for him. But I have to say, when I watched his acceptance speech last night on TV, I cried. I felt like things really WERE changing at that very moment...not necessarily because we elected our country's first African Amercian president, but because so many of us---white, Republicans, others---were able to look past the color of his skin and support him because of what he represents. Isn't that what we all want? Something to HOPE for. I am not a political person AT ALL and I woke up this morning thinking, "Oh yeah, Barack Obama is the President!"
With the news that Mr. Obama won the election last night, I thought, "Wow, he's the first (half) black President." At the beginning of his speech, I thought, "I hope he says something good and not just the regular b.s." And by the end of his speech I thought, "I love this man!" and that I want to learn from his amazing, fabulous, extraordinary team of speechwriters.
Now, I'm not living in fantasy land, I know Obama has a lot of work to do and it's all uphill and that things don't change overnight, but the thought of the OPPORTUNITY to change something for the better...well that's something to feel good about in a country that has had a lot of missed opportunities.
So, I cried. But maybe it was because I was seeing other people cry. Or maybe it was because, being a minority, I have some inkling of what a night like that means to another minority group. Or maybe because it felt like a change that I couldn't explain was happening.
Ian laughed at me because I had to get a tissue, because I also well up at corny commericals and TV shows.
I felt like I needed to take Tia somewhere today, except it was foggy and cold out so we stayed inside. I asked her if she wanted to 'go to the store' and 'go out' but she said she wanted to 'stay home.'
So I just watched her take care of her baby for awhile, carry the baby carseat around, change her pretend diaper and tuck her baby in with a blankie. We 'laid down in dada's bed' and read her 'first words' book. She sat in my lap and I smelled her head and chubby cheeks.
We didn't really do anything today, but I felt like they were the most important moments ever.
I'm filling in at work and a sales person just walked into the studio wearing these fabulous boots. How much do you think they cost? (She's in sales, so they must be expensive...NO!) She was proud to tell me they were $36.99 at Target. Why is it that when we buy something expensive that looks great, we don't brag about it, but when we find something cheap that looks great, we tell everyone we run into? Awesome. I'm going to go buy them.
The new YMCA in Shoreline just opened, so I went with my sister and my 7-year-old niece to check out an afternoon Hip Hop class. On the first day of classes, outside the exercise studio, there was a man in a YMCA polo telling people that the class was canceled because they didn't have a teacher. I thought, "Hmmm...a dance class with no teacher...I'M a dance teacher...but Hip Hop isn't exactly my forte...should I tell him I teach CardioFunk?" I did, and gave him my card. A couple of days later he emailed me and asked me if I wanted to teach the class.
I was a little concerned because the description of the class on the schedule says "Your chance to try a variety of styles such as breaking, popping, locking and krumping" --- I don't even know what krumping IS! After consulting with my sister, who said, "Just do it. How hard can it be?? It's the 'Y'!" I decided to go for it.
The next week, on my first day, there were already 10 people waiting to take the class when I got there, 7 kids and 3 adults. Since I've never taught kids before, I made it up as I went along and taught a routine that I also taught in my CardioFunk class. What I learned: the steps that I think are EASY, are NOT easy for everyone! So I have to go back to BASIC basics. So much for the class description. That is such a relief!
So now I teach three classes a week, Hip Hop on Mondays and Wednesdays and CardioFunk also on Wednesdays. Now Ian says, "You're the busiest unemployed person I know."
Maybe eventually we'll all learn what 'krumping' is.
Tia is 20-months-old (I've learned that only moms count in months after one year). She'll be 2 in January. She is a typical strong-willed little toddler. She loves wearing "momma shoes" and I think she's becoming more girly, because lately when I change her out of her jammies, she only wants to "wear dress," not pants.
She can speak in 2-, sometimes 3-word sentences and her vocabulary is growing exponentially. One of my favorite little phrases: when she doesn't like what's on the radio, she says "new song, guys."
I mean, I don't work and yet, I haven't found time to do something as simple as water the plants. I have these lists I keep, in the bathroom, in my closet, next to my bed, in my purse...wherever and whenever I think of something that has to be done....call the repairman, pay the cable bill, e-mail a friend on her birthday, etc. If it's not written down, it doesn't get done. But more often lately, it's like I wake up the next day and forget to look at the lists. I forget about them and therefore, everything on them, because new lists of things to do materialize every day.
When I was working full-time I got more of the 'list-type' things done. Maybe because I had to squeeze it all into 24 hours, whereas now, 'tomorrow' is always a possibility. I feel like I am time-management-challenged, like I need a refresher course or something. Like I once knew how to juggle all this stuff, but now have become lousy at it.
Or I may just be getting old.
Notice in the picture that I'm still referring to a list in my day planner from LAST month. That's how I feel all the time.
This is where my cell phone SHOULD be, plugged into its charger, but at 10:30 last night I realized that I didn't know where my phone was. Hmmm...when was the last time I used it?...it was at the dance studio teaching CardioFunk...uh oh....sinking feeling...200 cell phone numbers lost...husband berating me for not watching valuables closer...ugh. The studio doesn't open again until tonight's classes, so I'll just have to wait to check there. But more than 19 hours without a cell phone...? Wha, wha?
Today, the feeling is one of being in a cave with no communication with the outside world, except by email. And I am with Sweet Pea. What if something happened and I needed to call 9-1-1? What if a choreography client is trying to reach me? What if my mom calls? I'm f****d, that's what.
Another good argument for a land line, Consumerman.
This is another story that happened when I was in New York. It was so incredible to me, so unbelievably unbelievable, that three simple words could turn me into a snobby West coaster, I had to share it with the person sitting next to me on the plane, and now I'm sharing it with you.
This is a cup of so-called coffee from the little stand masquerading as a real coffee stand at the Newark Airport in New Jersey. My sister and I were of course running late, yet still decided to grab a cup of coffee before boarding the flight back to Seattle. We waited in a short line and I hastily ordered a 12-ounce drip and two bagels with cream cheese. Here's what happened after that.
A moment of confusion, then the clerk says, "Did you want anything else?"
"Nope, that's it, " I say. She gives me the total and I remember thinking that was cheap. I give her my card to pay.
My sister walks up and says, "I thought you wanted coffee..?"
This time I look confused and say, "I DID order a coffee..." and look at the clerk, who shakes her head.
I say, "I ordered a 12-ounce drip."
Then she says, "What's a 'drip?'"
I am dumbfounded. Flabbergasted. Think I am in some sort of parallel universe where they've never heard of coffee. I am back in high school.*
(*Footnote: When I was in high school I was a sarcastic little bitch, I fully admit it. Some people thought it was mean, but I thought it was funny. I'm much nicer now, now that I'm all 'grown up,' but the clerk's ridiculously absurd question sent me back to 1987.)
As the voice overhead is now announcing the final boarding call for the flight to Seattle, a number of responses go through my mind, but to the plump, coffee-ignorant girl with the greasy ponytail behind the register, I choose to say in the most icy voice I can muster, "THAT'S a COFFEE."
I hear my sister sing-songily say , "You're being mean again..." but I hold up my hand as I order a 12-ounce "coffee." I walk on the plane with a "get me out of here" and proceed to drink the worst cup of coffee ever.
"What's a drip?" I hope I never hear those words uttered from another human being again.
I almost forgot to post these pictures of friends I saw while I was in NY. This is Darren. Radio peeps will recognize him as our very-much-missed former Morning Editor. He is now at ABC Radio. This is with his new girlfriend Jenni. She's a physical therapist and works on people who perform on Broadway. Darren's a little grayer but still the same fun-loving guy!
This is Bill and his 7-year-old daughter Claire. Bill used to be the Afternoon Editor. He looks great--he lost like 20 pounds! He seemed like a bear at work, but he's more like a teddy bear. He sent me out on my very first story and taught me how to "calm down and report what I see." We really miss him at work a bunch too.
This is my friend Rima and her new baby Chloe. Rima was the first person I talked to at new student orientation at the UW in 1990. We've been friends ever since.
Just back from New York from my sister's FIFTH NPC national fitness competition and after six looong years... untold hours spent choreographing her routine and mixing music, countless days of practicing after work and on weekends, working out, doing gymnastics, painting on several coats of spray tanner and destroying many a hotel towel and force-feeding herself bland steak/chicken/fish/asparagus/oatmeal every three hours and downing two gallons of water a day... my sister Rose Hendricks finally turned "Pro" in the sport of Fitness competition.
She got second place which is fine by us, since the top 2 winners receive their Pro cards. That means they will now be able to compete in shows with other Pros, where the competition is at a much higher level, Top 5 winners receive prize money, and can land lucrative contracts as spokesmodels and appear on fitness magazine covers.
But money and fame has never been the motivating factor. Many times Rose has said, "This is what I do." Fitness became part of her identity (and mine) the moment she stepped on stage to compete for the first time back in 1996 and asked me to help. And to turn Pro in this brutal sport, in which you transform your body and dedicate part of your daily life to working out, at the age of 38---when the 4th place winner was only 17---is truly amazing and is probably the #1 item on my sister's list of Things to Do in Life that she can now cross off.
All those times I said:
do it again that wasn't clean enough your push-up didn't go down all the way you didn't hold that long enough too fast too slow it needs to be bigger smile dammit
I never told you how GOOD I think you are, did I? I am so proud of you!
The most incredible, amazing, dream-come-true thing has just happened to me! My good friend Megan, who teaches dance class at Westlake Dance Center---the premiere dance studio for adult drop-in classes in Seattle---asked ME to take over her weekly CardioFunk class! Did she know that I've secretly always wanted to teach a dance class, but have been too afraid, not ready, unsure, insert-excuse-here, etc.? The owner of the studio called me to ask me and before I knew it, I heard myself saying "I'd love to!" Then, when I got off the phone, I thought, "What have I just done?" Let me explain.
Megan and I have danced at Westlake since the mid-90's. We were at pretty much the same level when we started. Then I pursued my career in radio, took fewer dance classes, and started working full-time at an all-news radio station that shall go unnamed (this too, I blame on you! haha)...meantime, Megan started teaching dance class and getting better and better. Why, oh why, didn't I choose dance over radio?! In any case, Megan, who is a white girl with red hair who could be mistaken for Sunny Jim's sister, has turned out to be the funkiest hip hop dancer and is just so GOOD. As for me, I consider myself to be a pretty good jazz dancer and decent at hip hop. But when I do hip hop, I feel like a jazz dancer trying to do hip hop. I just hope they can't tell!
So, to make sure I could handle the class I went to Megan's class last night, thinking, okay there'll be like 8 to 10 people, it should be pretty easy, and she wouldn't have asked me to take over if she didn't think I could handle it, right? There were like THIRTY people in this class! And they LOVE Megan, who's so bubbly and energetic. Do you know the size of these tennis shoes I have to fill?? And she made me dance in front, which, for the new teacher, shouldn't be a problem. But inside I was terrified! At least it was in a good way. Megan was kind enough to remind me that she chose me to take over her class because there ARE so many hip hop classes, for the 'kids' (under 21). This class is for people who want to try a little bit of hip hop, who are too scared to take a full-on hip hop class because they can be so intimidating (oh, you mean, people over 30?). And for people who want to get a good workout. Okay, so I haven't done cardio regularly since Sweet Pea was born, but it shouldn't be that tough...should it? BTW, the class last night kicked my ass!
Another thing, now I have to start keeping up on current hip hop and R&B music. I'll be one of the few KUBE listeners over 30!
So I'm scared, but excited. I start teaching CardioFunk, all by myself, every Wednesday from 6:30p to 7:30p at Westlake Dance Center in north Seattle on September 10th. I hope you'll come and support me!
This isn't exactly what the .html from my website looks like, but it might as well. See, I was asking my web guy if there's any way he could show me how to do simple updates to my own website (since it takes him quite a long time and I have to keep pestering him), and of course he said, "Sure," followed by the dreaded, "it's easy." Two hours later, he was still showing me how to "make sure you don't screw up the code when you add a picture" and how I "shouldn't touch any of this over here" but it should be "easy."
It's been two days since I tried to go to where my site is hosted, download content files, save them to my computer, edit them without screwing anything up, and upload them back to the hosting site to update my site. I am not anywhere near completing that list of tasks. And as you may have guessed, none of it is "easy."
That's why I hired a web guy! Now I need a new one.
After working full-time all week last week, Sweet Pea's sleep deficit exploded all over the house a few days ago. See, when she goes to daycare, I'm never sure if she gets a nap because she's so excited to be around other kids, and if they aren't sleeping, she doesn't want to sleep, even though she's exhausted. Only she doesn't know she's exhausted. I don't know if you've ever been forced to stay in a room with a tired toddler, but everything makes them cry. And not just weep, I mean, full-on screaming cry. Dropped your ba-ba? Cry like someone's stabbing you in the leg. Bumped your head on the table? Scream like mom's abandoning you on purpose. Can't get your shoe on your fat, little foot? The world is ending and you need to shriek as loud as possible.
I'm working full-time this week, so Sweet Pea is in daycare full-time too. I can barely get us out the door on time in the morning---AFTER I make lunch for Ian, feed Sweet Pea breakfast, pack her snack bag, coat her in 45 SPF, make sure she has her sunhat, her baby and her binkie and finally get her strapped into her carseat while she's doing little backbends and flailing her arms...then I rush home to make dinner, clean up a little and put her to bed at night. That's it. No time to attempt to do things on my list-of-things-to-do. Only time to squeeze in domestic chores: pay bills, buy groceries or do any laundry. Really, I feel like when I'm working full-time, that's all I have time for. Take care of family, work, take care of family, go to bed. How do working moms do it???
Sweet Pea's bangs were in her eyes, so I finally had to bring her in for her very first trim (sniff) earlier this week. She sat on my lap so she wouldn't be scared. I saved some of her little fallen curls.
Sun, the Korean lady who cut Sweet Pea's hair, said she was a very good girl for her first haircut.
This is Rose at the 2008 NPC Northern Classic Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in Lakewood. Since Rose's theme was 'Money,' we used songs like "Labels or Love" by Fergie, "Money" by the Flying Lizards and "Gold Digger" by Kanye West. There are 5 required moves in a Fitness routine, including a one-arm push-up, high kicks and the splits.
We had a quiet, but incredible dinner at home (after Tia went to bed).
Ian grilled steaks on the bbq and we ate out on our deck to watch the sunset.
He said he didn't want any gifts...but now I know better! See that gift on the table? That was for me! Now I'll have to get him something really good when we celebrate 'non-officially' on the weekend. BTW, he got me a TomTom GPS!
I can't believe it's already been two years that Ian and I have been married---how weird! But I didn't plan anything, didn't buy anything, or even get a card. Is that terrible? We just decided to wait til the weekend to celebrate, but still... it's today. I don't even have a picture from our wedding to go with this post. That's lame too. Boo.
I had lunch with Helen the other day. She came up to the house to see Tia, who really enjoyed trying on Helen's fabulous shoes.
She's gone back to Australia now. But that reminded me of the last time I saw her, at her house in Ballard after she jumped ship at work and went back to Australia the first time, last November. It took me awhile but I finally found those pictures!
And it dawned on me, that all of us are no longer co-workers, but we're all still friends.
When I walked in the house the other day, Ian had the ladder out so he could shut one of the upper windows. I turned around for one second, and Tia was already working on getting onto the second rung. Scary!
I found it under the third load of laundry on the bedroom floor. After three days of filling in at work full-time, my house looks like a crazed pack of garage-salers blew through, but was disappointed, and left. Ian just took Sweet Pea to daycare, so what normally looks like a whirlwind of cereal, milk splatters, toys and baby clothes on the floor anyway is compounded by three days of domestic neglect...
...piles of laundry, elusive rice grains and other dried pieces of food from last week newly discovered by my bare feet, and dirty dishes dangerously near the edges on any available space.
So I started with the laundry, but when I uncovered that Cheez-It hiding under the delicates pile, I could only stare, as if adding one more thing on my list of shit-I-have-to-pick-off-the-floor was too much to take. That goddamn Cheez-It had become my nemesis. It was saying, "You think you can clean this place? I have friends everywhere!" I had to think. I carried the hated little renegade with an armload of laundry to the washer and thought about throwing it in... but that would only backfire on my clean, innocent clothes. Then it hit me...of course, the perfect ending for a crunchy smartypants martyr like you. You think you're some kind of hero, getting free, doing the army crawl and hiding out under the dirty pile until I step on you and make a complete mess on my Chinese rug? That's what you want, but you're not going to get it. You're going to be made an example of...with a fate worse than death for a cracker.
I put the Evil Cheez-It BACK on the shelf for Sweet Pea to do with it what she will.
I'm filling in at my old job for a co-worker, but not doing a very good job, I'm afraid. The very first thing was that I started talking, but didn't turn on my mic. Nice. I did that twice. I also forgot whips and sponsor reads. Thank goodness I don't do this full-time! I had no problem making grilled cheese sandwiches, though.
The first time we took Sweet Pea to the beach was in Hawaii, before she could walk. Even then, she crawled right into the water and didn't cry when waves came over her and pushed her back. Now, she can walk right into the water in front of our house, and even though it's a lot colder than Hawaii, she's still not afraid.
In a rare moment of quiet (Sweet Pea was taking a nap and Ian was working in the yard), I actually had time to bake. I remember thinking at the grocery store "I want chocolate chip cookies, but brownies also sound good" and when I saw this premade mix for chocolate chip COOKIE BROWNIES on sale I thought God was sending me a gift (as a stay-at-home mom I've started using coupons, but that's a whole other post). So while Sweet Pea took a TWO HOUR nap (another gift) I baked, finished making dinner, turned on the TV, then sat on the couch and ate three cookie brownies. Sanity saved for one more day. Sorry the picture is blurry, I was trying to hurry while Ian was asking me "Why are you taking a picture of the brownies??"
This is my latest favorite shot of Sweet Pea--now 17-months-old! (I know, I can't believe it) She was playing with her carseat by the front door. Now that she's a toddler, she moves too dang fast so I almost never get a straight shot of her face AND a smile. Bingo.