Sunday, August 22, 2010

Idle Hands

After a year and a half of sending out resumes and exhausting the first two tiers of unemployment it's understandable why I've been feeling quite useless. I cried during a Toyota commercial once because some bubbly lady said "My Toyota is just like me. I'm dependable and a hard worker." Open ye floodgates. 'I want to be dependable again. Sob, sob.' I can hear my loving friends' and family's (high-pitched) voices of encouragement, "But you're taking care of your daughter. Now that's a full-time job." I smile, sincerely appreciating the support. Sigh. It is, I have to agree, but lately I just don't think that doing laundry and figuring out a new menu to keep Shorty interested in dinner is really intellectually stimulating.

Currently, I'm jealous of a friend's project: her newly-acquired old house, a diamond in the rough begging for her to polish it back to its charming glory. I hang on to her every word and picture every improvement she describes. This charming bungalow is at least 60 years old and in the diverse, culturally-interesting part of town. Having been let go from an 11-year stint in architecture, I launched into a barrage of unsolicited ideas. I'll definitely do pro bono now. God, I hope I didn't scare her off. Needless to say, I was craving to do something creative. I offered to find a reupholsterer, planned a trip to the fabric store with her, and started to decorate a virtual cottage in my head.

In my quest for information for her I stumbled into Here, in a Julie-and-Julia-inspired moment the author, after being laid off and watching the flick, decided she would create a once-a-day challenge. In her case, instead of cooking through Julia Child's classic cooking tome, she creates a dress for a buck a day for 365 days. It was so good that by the time I saw all the dresses I just felt dejected that I didn't think of it first. Never mind that I didn't know how to sew either. (Digging deeper into the depression hole.) So I stumble into where people post their failed craft projects. Now, that was more my speed. It was hilarious and it was company for the craft-miserable indeed. However, it did not satiate my hankering for a creative outlet so I kept decorating the 'cottage in my head,' which will not come to fruition in the near (or far) future with the real estate market as it is.

Desperate, I took to looking for a dollhouse to paint and decorate and furnish. 'Shorty would love it,' I tried to convince myself. Then I shot my own idea down. Too big; the square footage it will take up in my little house will just annoy the hell out of me. So, I started looking for birdhouses.

Somebody give me a house, any house, to paint and decorate. Otherwise, keep those scissors away from me or I'll start altering the drapes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Anatomy 101

Last week we piled into a rental that had enough buttons to keep three kids busy on a 6 hour trip to San Diego. In the van (which my daughter insists on calling "the bang") were my husband and I, his parents, our two year old daughter, a nine-year old niece, and a five-year old nephew. The van was also packed to the hilt with enough sugary snacks to keep everyone wired throughout the whole trip and drinks that guaranteed more stops than we wanted. This was my daughter's first trip to a theme park, but more importantly, the first road trip, and with cousins. She was ecstatic to say the least.

Although their ages ranged greatly, body parts and bodily functions were somehow very, very funny. Everyone took turns passing gas to shock, to entertain, to gross out. The kids took to pretending they cut one and claimed every single one with pride, even my two-year old calling, "Ooops, I farted."

We spilled out of the van into a small room with two double beds so privacy was limited to the one bathroom. My underwear spilled out onto the bed eventually when packing a day bag for the beach, for Sea World and wherever we were going. In the commotion, I noticed that Shorty was unusually quiet. She had run away to a corner and was putting on my bra quite expertly. I asked her "What do you have on?" "A bra!" she exploded happily. Days prior she had watched me put them on and asked me what they were. "I want one," she said. I told her you don't have boobies yet, to which she replied with delight, "I-want-boobeeeees!"

So goes the interest for body parts. The lessons kept coming as her five-year old cousin B was kicked out of the one bathroom as the grown-ups (needing more privacy) had to use the toilet. In the process, his towel fell to the floor and he streaked the room with a grin stretched ear to ear. Shorty squealed and focused on his midsection. You couldn't tear her away with the jaws of life if you tried. No matter what direction B turned, there she was, pointing, jumping and squealing. "Oooh, look," she said giggling at her cousin. She then ran to me and pulled me by my hand. "Mom, wanna see? Wanna see? B's got a horn."