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Showing posts from September, 2012

Things I learned on jury duty

Fellow citizens, this week I did something we all dread and complain about: I served in the jury pool in my county's Superior Court. I did not get selected to a jury, but it was touch-and-go close for a while. The experience was not excruciating -- in fact, it was fairly interesting to be inside the justice system -- but I tell you what, I don't really want to do it too often.

I learned a some important things, however, from my few hours hanging around in The Pool. Take notes now because you won't be able to look at this on your smartphone when you're called to serve...nor will you be able to text or call or e-mail me. For a whole day. Because cell phones are not allowed. (I know, right? That got your attention...you're freaking out already.)

(1) The #1 most critical aspect of jury duty is parking. No joke. When you receive the summons, you'll notice the mention of parking and paying for parking at least twice on each side of the paper. Then when you call for i…

A new friend

Zippy had to accompany me to my eye exam today. Which made me quite nervous. He's not great at entertaining himself, unless it's by doing something mischievous or dangerous. He's not a bad kid, but he's curious and adventurous -- not often content to sit and play or color alone, preferring instead to climb a bookshelf or jump off beds or plan in the sink. Imagine all the implements and solutions and expensive equipment he could destroy here at the eye doctor!

But today at Dr. Steinbach's office, I was reminded of two things that I've learned with Kid Two that I didn't fully grasp with Kid One: First, it's okay to accept help when it's offered. And second, it's okay if my 2-year-old acts like a 2-year-old in public.

The half-hour we spent there went down like this:

The receptionist and assistant persuade me to leave Zippy with them in the waiting area, convincing me that they "do this all the time." It's a hard sell, because in my h…

Days like this, mama said

I know you don't really have time to read this, my fellow adventurers, because I sure as heck don't have time to write it. After all, it's September, and with September comes school and activities and obligations and all that rush-rush-rush-we're-having-fun stuff.

Consider today's schedule, for example:

5:00 am: Wake up, sort of.

5:30 am: YMCA workout; chat quickly with friend; freak out a bit when I realize I forgot flip-flops for shower; wash, dress, put on make-up, sort of.

7:30 am: Get to work, eat oatmeal, make coffee for everyone who arrives an hour or more after me.

9:30 am: Finally make it through the 52 urgent e-mails in my inbox that arrived overnight; respond to some, put off others.

10:00 to 3:45 pm: Work feverishly on my professional to-do list, without really accomplishing much besides adding more to my to-do list, and gulping down a ham sandwich at my desk between meetings.

4:30 pm: Pick up Zippy from day care; apologize (again) to his friend's m…

That time Mommy had to nip a little vodka before back-to-school night

I may have mentioned it here before, but my children can go from zero to jackass in 3.2 seconds. One moment I'm awed by their gentleness, cuddliness, and compassion; the next moment I'm horrified by their brutality, meanness, and complete disregard for the safety of their bodies.

In general, the moments between 4:00 and 6:00 pm are the most volatile with these two, when they're tired and hungry and seeking attention. Ironically, this is the brief window of time that I get to spend with my children during weekdays. And it's also the brief window of time in which homework has to be completed, piano needs to be practiced, snacks need to be doled out and eaten, and clothes have to be changed for whatever activity inevitably comes next. Of course this is also the time during which I scramble around the kitchen attempting to create some sort of meal-like substance to fill their bellies. 
Inevitably there is a meltdown of one, two, or three people in this household every day …

Hello, September! I'm so glad you've come.

August is the hardest month. I've thought for a long time that it's only me who felt this way -- that other people are out enjoying time off at the beach or the mountains, laughing with friends around the grill, iced drinks in their hands, happy children frolicking in the yard -- until I read some Tweets and Facebook posts around this essay, A Digression for August, as Summer Rots, which contains a great little summative paragraph about August:

"The month has such potential. There is the summer rental, with its bookshelf of easy literature and sandy bindings. There is the second sangria, the third spritzer, the fourth 'I’m not drunk; you’re drunk.' There is the absent boss, the out-of-town wedding, the totally free weekend that black-holes your best-laid plans, the muggy birthday BBQs for chatty Leos conceived in early winter. And yet the month is freighted with dumb seasonal regrets."

Such potential, dumb seasonal regrets. Ah, how I can relate!

August is my …