Thursday, March 27, 2008

My secret wish

A while back my friend Jenny posted about her secret desire to be a princess, coveting the ability to "break into song at any moment of the day" while "hundreds of tiny animals heed her call. They clean the house with her as she sings along."

Then Deborah responded that "Princess life is too high profile---scratchy dresses, smiling all the time, the need to have perfect hair." She prefered the Fairy Godmother gig. "Fairy godmothers show up, fix the problem, and then they go home and change back into their sweats. All the glory, no long term commitment."

But I've decided they're both wrong. Hi-diddlee-dee, the wicked witch for me. Princess life is too passive. All that waiting around for Prince Charming to show up, worrying about high heels and curfews. And Fairy Godmothers? What glory? Design the dress, enchant the pumpkin, bake the cake, warn her that princes aren't all they're cracked up to be. And does the princess ever listen? Sure she says she's grateful, but we all know what she's thinking. "What a frump. Once those pumpkin keys are in my hand, I'm outta here."

Now the wicked witch, on the other hand, there's a woman who knows where she's going. Don't let those petty obstacles slow you down--blast them out of your way. Stride forward, confident in your abilities, knowing exactly what you want. Think of Maleficent--rhymes with "magnificent" not "malevolent"--by the way. Simple tailored wardrobe (who doesn't look good in black), a few trusted associates (none of those hangers-on hoping for cushy palace jobs once the prince shows up), and historic living accommodations. What's not to like?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hopping down the bunny trail

Happy Easter! We celebrated in some old and new ways:

  • Dyed eggs we got from the neighbor's chickens
  • Hunted for eggs in the backyard. Ran out of candy to fill the eggs with and resorted to goldfish crackers and spare change
  • Held the indoor jelly bean hunt
  • Bought a bonafide Easter Dress for Charlotte, complete with hand-crocheted socks from a friend in the ward. Gotta get them before she has her own granddaughter to sew for.

8th anniversary

On March 18, Tyler and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary. This year we enjoyed a lunch date at P.F. Chang's and a family celebration that night, eating strawberry shortcake, toasting everyone with the unbreakable goblets, and watching our wedding videos, which the kids had never seen. In fact, Tyler and I hadn't seen them either.

When we got married, hiring a videographer in addition to the standard photographer was not the norm, like it is today. Most of my siblings and friends who married after I did have beautiful, professional videos of their day. Their DVDs are glamorous, full of slow motion, artistic shots. There is no corny dialogue, no "Say something to the bride and groom" while the cornered relative quickly stammers "Never go to bed angry" while edging out of the shot. If I were getting married today, I'm sure I would opt for the standard video tribute. But after watching our wedding videos--homemade, goofy, and hopelessly amateur--I wouldn't trade them for anything because they celebrate not just Tyler and I, but everyone who surrounded us on that memorable day.

Our volunteer videographers--and bless them, since it never occured to me to ask anyone, and no one in my family owned a video camera--were Tyler's sister Caroline and his crazy Uncle Jerry. Every family needs a crazy Uncle Jerry. The best part about Jerry's filming is how little Tyler and I are in it. Frankly, four shots of me is about as much as I can take, although I must admit I am ridiculously proud of how great I looked in that size 10 (how could I have possibly thought I was fat?!). Jerry captured fantastic footage of Tyler's aunts and uncles clowning together. He crossed the family divide and interviewed my relatives and assorted guests, none of whom he knew, and all of whom are more than a little startled at being enthusiastically accosted by a strange Wyoming cowboy brandishing a camera. He talked to my mother's friends who served the food and cleaned up, my old bishop, and assorted other people I loved and don't get to see much anymore.

Caroline's film felt more like an inside family joke. Tyler's siblings good naturedly parade in those outdated bridesmaids dresses and tuxes, teasing each other and us. My niece Victoria, an infant at the time, got more screen time than the bride and groom, and deservedly, too. She pulled off three fabulous outfits to my two. Caroline filmed Jerry filming her, while the two of them laugh at each other. Her footage lets me feel like a guest at my own wedding--a lot more fun than the receiving line.

So here's to our wedding "reality show." When Tyler and I got married after almost three years of dating, we both knew every member of the other's extended family. In fact MY grandmother kept asking Tyler if he was sure he wanted to go through with it. I love all of them. Thanks for eight years of fun memories and a lot more to come.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tooth Fairy visit #1

Carden lost his first tooth last Sunday, March 9. I interviewed him about his experience. Disclaimer: All exclamation points, in both specific locations and quantity, are at Carden's insistence.

What did it feel like to have a wiggly, loose tooth?

Strange. I didn't like to eat crunchy stuff because it hurt my tooth!

Were you nervous or excited about your first tooth falling out?

Excited about the tooth fairy. I thought she'd bring a video game or a Wii.

Tell us about how it actually fell out.

My tongue pushed it and played with it too much and it threw it out. I was in bed when I felt it come out. I rushed to tell Mom!!! "My tooth fell out," I told her. We put it in an envelope and I put it under mom's pillow [we were having family slumber parties in mom's bed since Tyler was out of town].

What did the tooth fairy bring you?

A book called "School Mouse" and $2. I'm going to buy some things!

Were you happy with what the tooth fairy brought you?

Yes I was! I'm ready for my last question.

Do you have any more loose teeth?

Yes, the one next to it. I want the tooth fairy to bring me a book called "All the Birds in the Whole Wide World" like the "Sibley Guide to Birds" but it has more birds. I can eat crunchy stuff now. Even if I chew apples, it doesn't even hurt. Well, I'm all done with questions. Bye-bye.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Back in action

My computer has been partially reassembled but is not quite back to normal. New hard drive, but one bad memory stick, so its innards are still strewn about the desk. Now it's the fun of restoring all my software, discovering that for some inexplicable reason (three days with tech support has convinced me that everything related to computers is inexplicable) all my 2008 photos weren't in the backup. Good thing it's only March, I guess. Can you download your own photos off your own blog?

As I look at this sorry bit of machinery, I feel somewhat betrayed. I'm reluctant to get attached again, for fear my heart--and assorted files--will be trashed again. Why me? I was kind to you. I gave you a new surge protector, labeled all your cables, defragmented your disk.

So on to happier subjects, like the inch of snow that's covering my valiantly growing daffodils and tulips. A friend just posted pictures on her blog of her feet, newly pedicured and sporting spring sandals.

Somebody remind me why we left California.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Carden turns six!

The big six! Carden was so excited about his birthday, and he good-naturedly accepted my quashing his party plans with the new rule of a friend party every other year. Lucky for me he's also still at the age where a little goes a long way. Carden woke us up on his big day to announce that, "I'm six now. I'm wiser." Apparently he'd really taken to heart the lyrics from the Primary birthday song, "One year older and wiser too / Happy birthday to you."

We made a collage of birthday balloons on his bedroom wall, each balloon labeled with one of his endearing traits. He ate pancakes with sprinkles for breakfast and then I took the kids to Kangaroo Zoo, a big warehouse filled with inflatable bouncy houses. Happy Meals for lunch, and one very happy, very sweaty kid went off to kindergarten to be the star of the day and distribute Rice Krispie treats to his peers.

We had dinner at the Mayan Adventure restaurant, which was a new experience for all of us. Imagine Disneyland meets El Torito. The dining areas are built around a 30-foot indoor waterfall with Mayan cliff divers performing their skills while you eat. Carden went down for a closer watch and got drenched. Charlotte was mesmerized, and Seth was a little intimidated by the whole spectacle.

Four days later we are still eating the enormous Costco chocolate cake. I have to say I love my children for thinking that Costco chocolate cake is the pinnacle of birthday success. I spent hours last year making a handcrafted extravaganza (by my standards), and was SO happy not to have to do it again. When asked to describe his newfound status, our hero stated, "It feels like a different life. I love being six. It feels happy!"

There you have it. Wishing us all a different life that feels happy.

"Ding, dong, the desktop's dead"

You may have noticed the last few posts have been devoid of accompanying photos. Our six-month-old (!) computer has died, and after spending 142 minutes on the phone with Mr. Tech Support Saturday afternoon they are sending me a new hard drive which I will get to personally install, while Mr. Tech Support "talks me through it." Joy. I'm not sure previous experience at changing light bulbs qualifies me to reassemble a hard drive. Naturally, this happens the week that Tyler is in Japan. Thankfully Tyler has a spare computer or two--or three or four--down in his office so I'm not totally cut off from civilization. Sure hope that last backup worked.