Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kindergarten Graduation, Take One

Ben graduated from kindergarten yesterday. No one told me to bring a huge box of Klee-nex.

He and his classmates sang "Rainbow Connection." Back in the day, I thought that Kermit the Frog did a good job of tugging at the heartstrings; little did I know a group of kindergartners could perform this Sesame Street classic with such sweetness. They completed the performance with the "Make New Friends But Keep the Old."

I found myself in reflection all day yesterday after the graduation. Perhaps it was because Ben's dad whisked him away after the ceremony for a long camping trip. Ben will be away for nine days and I was already missing him. Perhaps I realized, with some trepidation, that my baby boy is growing so quickly and I'm not doing a great job of drinking in these final months of little boy innocence. I know that sharing Ben with his dad is extremely hard on me right now. I'm feeling the void of him not being here much more profoundly and deeply lately.

Thankfully, I will have another year to let myself be enveloped by the simplicity of kindergarten as Ben is repeating it next year, due to his late birthday. I am reminding myself of how lucky I am to be able to experience this grade full of goodness (less the Sistine Chapel building project!) again. And another graduation, too. In the meantime, here are some pictures from my proud morning:

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?

Rainbows are visions,
They're only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide

So we've been told and some choose to believe it
Someday we'll find it, the Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me...

Make new friends

But keep the old...
(even if the "old" defects to the "other" school!)

Congratulations, Ben! Your mommy thinks the world of you

Monday, June 8, 2009

When Two Is Easier Than One

Ben's favorite "boy friend" is Ean. Ben constantly asks me to coordinate play dates, preferably overnight, for himself and Ean.

I have to say, when Ean is around, it makes my life a lot easier. Having one child to constantly entertain can be more difficult than you could ever imagine, particularly when that one child has been spoiled rotten by endless attention from his doting mother, his fun father and his ever-present grandmother.

When Ean comes over, I'm actually able to get a few things done. Unlike the time when I'm alone with Ben and we spend hours with Hot Wheels and I try not to turn on the Cartoon Network or YouTube.

The love that Ben has for Ean is so pure and sweet, that at times, it makes me misty-eyed for the sibling he'll (most likely) never have. I dread having to take Ean home after their time together because, without fail, Ben will cry and ask over and over, "Why can't Ean live with me?"

Two weekends ago, the boys went swimming at the pool where I work:

Yesterday, we went to Pixie Woods in Stockton:

The boys played for four hours straight...

And I finally broke out my new camera!

Friday, June 5, 2009


When you are invited to a high school graduation party for the daughter of one of your close girlfriends, you can officially put yourself in the "middle age" category.

I'm off to Forever 21. No explanation needed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

9 Things A Single Girl Has To Have

Yahoo never fails to provide endless entertainment for me and last week's feature, "9 Things A Single Girl Has To Have," was no exception.

Being the proverbial single gal, I decided to add my own (realistic) spin to the writer's suggestions. Her points are in italics, mine are in bold:

What provisions do you need to successfully and joyfully navigate your single life? After a little research, I compiled these fundamental single-gal necessities:

#1: The Third-Date Outfit
The first date's a formality. The second establishes mutual attraction. And the third date is all about turning up the heat. So whether it's those saucy black boots you splurged on at Bloomies, or that curve-hugging skirt, or even that sensual spaghetti-strap top, a single girl's gotta have something that makes her feel like a million bucks for that rare but fabulous third date.

Right, and apparently you also have to spend a million bucks to make it to Date 3. Saucy black boots, a curve-hugging skirt, and a sensual spaghetti-strap top? Is it just me or is anyone else thinking Julia Roberts, circa "Pretty Woman?" Yep, I'm quite sure that if I dressed up like a call girl, I'd pretty much secure the next three dates, which WOULD be a rare occurrence, as the writer suggests, but most likely would NOT fabulous. Oh, and we don't have anything known as Bloomies in Sacramento, unless you count the references to old lady panties at my place of employment, so clearly I'm out of luck on this one.

#2: Girlfriends
We make each other laugh, soothe each other through sadness, and stick together even through the toughest breakups, makeups, and in-between times. Gotta have our girlfriends!

Preferably the type of girlfriends who won't judge you for making horrible choices, both in the selection of whom you date, along with the activities that occur on said date. 'Nuff said.

#3: Self-Confidence
Singles should always follow this simple but effective mantra: Always look like you know what you're doing and that you're having fun doing it! Single men love confident women and will follow you all the way from the produce department to frozen foods just to find a way to say hi! When they do, smile confidently and say hi back.

Note to the writer: You must not have small children otherwise you would know that no amount of confidence can erase the fact that there is a (loud and demanding) 5-year-old child nearly vel-croed to your hip as you grin your way through Trader Joe's, Starbucks and the farmer's market. And the 5-year-old is usually not doing anything endearing that would prompt a cute, single guy to stop and compliment you on your perfect child, unless boogers, poop talk, and whining are now considered attractive.

#4: A Passport
After a big breakup, I decided to take my dream Mediterranean vacation. Somewhere between exploring ancient ruins and hiking a 12-mile gorge with a cute Air Force officer, I realized my ex would have hated this trip, which made me appreciate my experience all the more. And whenever I look at my passport, I smile at the fond memories of my singlehood adventure.

Nope, the writer definitely doesn't have small children. Otherwise she would know that a passport would likely expire long before a dream Mediterranean vacation or even a cheap and fast cruise to Baja could ever take place.

#5: The Perfect Workout
Working out is no longer about logging that hour of cardio on the treadmill. It's about finding what works best for you. So get out of that gym and have some fun! Whether it's hiking, biking, Pilates, yoga, or some combination thereof, hop to it!

Point taken, thank you very much. So I happen to work, breathe, socialize and otherwise exist at the neighborhood gym where the only other singles are over the age of 80.

#6: A Financial Planner
Most of our mothers went from their father's house to the sorority house to their husband's house. Not today's single gal. Most of us make enough money to live alone, give to charity, and still go on that amazing weekend getaway with the girls. But after awhile, it's time to get smart. Start planning for the future. And that's where a financial advisor comes in. Even in these troubled times, investing in the future is a safe bet.

Does anyone else in my close circle of friends think that this point is a little ironic? Hmmmmm. In case you're wondering, I didn't make this one up. I really didn't.

#7: A Sense of Adventure
As we get older and our responsibilities grow, we often find ourselves feeling saddled with commitments like mortgage payments, family obligations, job duties. But a single gal must never lose her sense of adventure. Whether that means jumping out of a plane, buying that fire-engine red dress, or flying to Vegas for an impromptu weekend of decadence, go for it!

Why do all the examples of the above point remind me of my ex-husband? Must be the references to "fire engine" and "Vegas," two things that should have been giant red flags. Call me boring, but after that relationship, I'm ready for a sense of adventure that involves planting a new flower, finding a better route to Ben's school, or, if I'm feeling really crazy, learning how to make sushi.

#8: A Hair Stylist
Most women put a lot of stock -- and product -- in our hair. And if we're not happy, it affects how we present ourselves to the world. So if you haven't already, splurge a little and find the perfect stylist to meet your needs. You won't regret it!

Gotta concur on this point. One word: Natalie.

#9: The Right Technology
I used to live with a boyfriend who had a surround-sound system. When we broke up, I held off on buying a new TV, speakers, or any other electronic devices for a long time. My logic was: The next boyfriend will have all that. After several short-term relationships involving tech-savvy men and their toys, I eventually invested in my own system. Whether it's a home theater system, a decent computer, or just an iPod with your fave tunes, it's time to take stock of what you may be waiting for a mate to provide. And immediately provide it for yourself.

Duh...! Is this 1949 or 2009?

So there you have it. The top nine essentials for today's single gal. May you learn it, love it, and live by it. (And with that flirty self-confidence and perfectly coifed 'do, may you look good doing it, too!)
Indeed, there you have it. Shouldn't these pointers fall under the title of "9 Things A Superficial and Shallow Girl Has To Have?" I'm just saying...

What's Up With My Post?

Google has me confused. I began to edit a post, worked on it for a few minutes here and there, then finally published it today. Only, because I had begun to work on it on May 7th, the post fell way, WAY down on the blog.

I'm sure that all my single friends would be sad to miss the valuable tips in the post although most of you probably won't care about the must haves of the single gal. On second that, the happily married might appreciate a brief moment of gratitude for the institution (and security) of marriage.

So in the interest of the lovely (and single) Jessica and perhaps Ann, as well, both of whom might really relate to this post, someone tell me...why does Google bury certain posts and how do you get them to appear in the order that they are actually published?