Saturday, June 21, 2008

Where have we been?

It's been busy around here. I have mostly figured I didn't have much to report beyond the day-to-day stuff that nobody really wants to read about. "Oh wow, you really vacuumed?! Tell me more!" I'm loving being busy, but I haven't quite got the hang of it yet so disorganization is very much in evidence. I'll see what I can do in terms of an interesting update here...

First, of course, we have to talk about Father's Day. Elise made a fantastic gift and card for Andy at school. An "executive" version of the bead toys she loves so much. It was a great morning. She also painted a rock and a picture for him with her sitter, and that's what they're looking at here. The pink box is the giant pile of donuts she and I went out to get. Note the fairy princess dress she's wearing, because you have to be fancy for Father's Day.

I've started volunteering with a couple of different cat rescue organizations. Some of this is to teach Elise about caring for others, and some of it is to teach me the same thing. I think I've mentioned before that I really want us to have something to do together that we enjoy and that benefits the community in some way. Elise thinks she actually is a cat, so cat rescue works pretty well.

Anyway, the organization for which I attended orientation this past week is Maine Coon Adoptions. I'd been a little worried at first because it really seemed like the founder and president of this organization was a little overbearing, but after spending more time with her I think she's highly organized and very professional. I'm going to like working with this group.

Next, we've been getting together with friends a bit more often, which is good for everyone. Last Wednesday, we went to a cooking class with our friends Rista and Danielle. The kids made pretzels! Aren't our girls adorable?

The school was cute and the program well-designed. Like many good ideas, it was sabotaged by the attending parents. I expect a certain amount of chaos when I head for kid-friendly locations. Life is chaotic, little humans exemplify that, and I generally just filter out the white noise and get on with the fun. The parents at this class, though...

(Rant alert!) This was a class in which the parents were supposed to be sitting in the back in case help should be needed. I'll bet the teachers and students wouldn't have minded if the one with the screaming, unhappy toddler stepped outside for 5 minutes. I felt for the moms because I know well the desire to just take one stinkin' minute for myself to talk to my friends. But hysterically screaming children in the middle of a class (especially one with lots of stainless steel surfaces off of which sound can bounce) might merit some attention. The thing that left me stunned and annoyed was that the moms were talking so loudly that their children couldn't hear their teachers. Given that this was in a break from all of the screaming, I thought it was pretty dense of these women to keep on yacking at the top of their lungs.

Unfortunately, I think this kind of behavior is here to stay, at least in this neck of the woods. The neighborhood is full of people for whom class fees are insignificant, and their financial independence seems to have warped their sense of community. For cool kid places like this cooking school to stay in business, they're going to need to adapt to the special needs of the community. Primarily, they need to have clear policies about noise from class visitors. This needs to be clear, and the teachers need to be empowered to gently remind loudmouths to be quiet with the expectation of compliance. Long term, they need something to soak up the ambient noise. I should write to them instead of all of you, yes? (Rant over)

The real fun and joy of the week has been having family in town. It was Geetha's graduation from Stanford, and we had all of "The Ls" around and about. Elise has been looking forward to seeing Aunt Linda again since January. ("Mom, is it June yet? When will it be June?") We had the great treat of having Jaya stay with us, and she even started Elise down the path to musical literacy. What a great crowd on a happy day!

With all of the family around, we took the opportunity to head for Monterey. Elise was convinced that she'd have a great day if she was "fancy" so she had to wear her fairy princess dress to the aquarium. She doesn't know it yet, but that exhibit she's playing with has her pretending to catch krill, a lot like some of the whales she might get to see "live and in person" on the Bay of Fundy.

You'd never know it to look at her here, but she had her first experience with carsickness on this day. Along about Castroville she piped up with, "Mommy, my tummy doesn't feel so good." I looked back and the poor kid was green. Not so attractive with the pink and purple princess dress. We stopped and had a little walk, she perked up, we headed on down the road. After we got out of the car in Monterey, she daintily missed her dress, let me clean her up and she was off again.
So, that's our busy, dizzy, happy week. Stay tuned for more excitement!


Peter said...

Manny Coon adoptions? He seems like such an unsavory character. (The above link is probably not appropriate for children, or those sensitive to potty mouths.)

Anyway, congrats to Andy on his fine Father's Day haul. Likewise, congrats to Elise on her trip to the aquarium, her princess dress, making pretzels, and her overcoming car sickness. (whew!)

Sounds like a fun week. I'm more than a bit jealous of all that summer California sun right at the moment.

Anonymous said...

From my point of view it was a great, exciting and fun week. Thanks for putting up with all of us.