Parenthood en pointe

"Fifth position everyone!"

I look over at Abby who is clearly NOT in fifth position. I want to rush over to her and fix her feet before her ballet instructor can point out to Abby her mistake but I don't, hoping that she'll figure it out on her own.

It's "watch day" for parents at Abby's ballet lesson. Abby, who has been taking ballet lessons for a couple of years now, is the epitome of focus and concentration. Unfortunately that doesn't stop her from making mistakes, some that she quickly fixes and others that don't register.

Every other girl in the class is making as many mistakes as Abby. But I'm only focused on my daughter, watching her dance around the studio with a smile on face as she learns. My face lights up when she gets it as they practice for their recital this summer. As she makes a mistake my brows furrow in my own concentration as I will the steps to come easier to her.

Why I am so focused on this, on her mistakes, I don't know. The practical side of my brain says that Abby is six years old, still a baby in her own right (though she would disagree) and that she's having fun so who cares anyway? The fate of the world does not rest on the performance of a handful of kindergarteners at a ballet recital. But I want her to excel in everything she does. All parents want that for their children. Whether or not that ultimately happens won't matter. I love her unconditionally, even if her tendu sometimes looks more like fondue.


I want a little Spring in my step

I had visions of warmer weather as I stepped into a local retailer today. Gone are the constant reminders of winter from the racks. Need a coat? Check the clearance aisle. The bathing suits and bikinis have been rolled out in anticipation and the sandals are on colorful display.
And, ah... the shoes!
The first pair to really catch my eye were these. Meow! And then I saw these... purr! These I thought were cute and quirky but I'm not to sure about a color called Celery Green. I'm just saying. Finally, these are just girly enough to make me feel about five years younger. Oh, and of course, I'll need something for Spring showers...these just might do.
Old Man Winter... you need to hurry on! My toes are getting antsy!


I'll get to the point.... eventually.

I left work nearly 2 1/2 hours early tonight. That's unheard of! In order for that to have happened every single airplane had to have landed on time or early. And ohmigawd, they did! Again, unheard of! (Ok, so one problem was eliminated when I canceled a flight, but who's counting?)

So what's a girl to do? It's a Saturday night, the evening's still young... Go home, check email,
blog a bit and go to sleep, naturally. But.

The whole point behind this entry, the reason I opened up a New Post anyway is that I was giddy as a school girl as I left work. To have left so early in the evening was somewhat liberating (and, pathetic, as I further reflect on my giddiness). Anyway, I promptly jumped into my car, sped away and turned on some music.

Blasted it, in fact. What did I blast? What song(s) bolstered my (pathetic) energy for leaving work early?

End It On This (No Doubt)
"...And if I could turn back
The pages of time
I'd rewrite your point of view"

Swiftly followed by Tragic Kingdom (again, No Doubt).
"Once was a magical place
Over time it was lost..."

And so my question to you:
What do you blast in the car when you're being out-of-your-mind silly?



Maybe I'm too quick to make judgments about people.

While driving home from the gym today a gal in a Prius turned left into the intersection that I was waiting to cross and I noticed that she was smoking a cigarette.

This gave me pause. This pause gave me a moment to rapidly piece together some broken logic.

Hybrid car = environmentally conscious = green = save the planet = down with global warming = ...smoker? Erm, hello...? Am I missing something? Isn't smoking in a hybrid sort of hypocritical? (Note: I am not an environmental activist of any sort past the usual "recycle your bits" sort of thing)

Right or wrong, that was my thought process.

Maybe she's in the Prius to save a few bucks on gas and isn't environmentally conscious at all. Maybe.

Ok, now that that's off my chest, please excuse the double cheeseburger I ate before going to the gym.


Comfort food for a chilly day

I've discovered a comfort food that is not only delicious but healthy as well. Who knew it was possible? Serve this up with some crispy sourdough bread and cuddle into a blanket. *drools* I wish I could claim credit for this soup but alas, 'tis not to be. This gorgeous recipe was found at epicurious.com.

Black Bean Soup with Cumin and Jalapeno

Makes 4 servings.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeño chile with seeds, divided
2 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, undrained
1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth

Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped green onions
Crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Mix in cumin and 1 teaspoon jalapeño. Add beans, tomatoes with juice, and broth; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer 3 cups of soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer soup until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon jalapeño, if desired.

Ladle soup into bowls. Pass cilantro, green onions, and feta cheese separately.


I'm lucky they don't charge interest

As an adult (ok, stop snickering) I no longer carry cash on me like I did in years past. We're becoming a cashless society and I'm following suit (which annoys the nonconformist in me). The only time I seem to need cash is when I need to buy a bottle of water at work or at the gym.
Remember that part about me not carrying cash?
Guess who has cash and change pouring out of their little ears?
If you guess my little buglettes then you would be spot on. Where do they get their bits? In birthday cards and as Christmas gifts. Abby, who recently had her 6th birthday, is still swimming in 5's and 10's. She's got more dead presidents on her nightstand than I have had in my wallet in the last month.
I'd like to go on record as saying that it's rather humiliating to ask my 6 year old if I can borrow a couple of bucks till the end of the week.


Nothing says "Back to school" like sheep brains

Why I'm penning this (typing this?!) right now instead of working on home work I don't quite know. OK, I do know; it's a little something called procrastination, but I'll keep this brief in the interest of my Anatomy & Physiology grade and your Sunday stomach.

I sat for nearly 4 hours yesterday in a lab at school reviewing anatomical positions, parts of the body, quadrants of the body, rates of diffusion, filtration and osmosis, and leaning in as close as humanly possible while keeping my body as far away as possible from sliced up sheep brains to determine if cuts were frontal, oblique, transverse or sagittal. What a great way to begin a Saturday morning!

My next lab isn't until February 2nd (that's why it lasts four whole hours) but all of my lecture bits and homework bits are dealt with online.

Welcome to technology, baby.


I (heart) YouTube

My family and I have been recently giggling at this commercial. This is actually the first time I've seen the actual TV commercial; I usually hear it on the radio.
P Diddy look out!

I'm back to school starting on Saturday (a 4 hour A & P lab!) so it may take me a few days to come around and visit. I hope everyone's doing great!!


Surviving my sister's visit

There is a 12 year difference in age between myself and my baby sister. I left the nest when Caralyn was five years old and didn't have much interaction with her over the course of the next dozen or so years. I left my half sister in the parental care of those who both indulged and smothered her. As a result, my sister does not have a single life skill from which to build a foundation on for her own independence. At 22, Caralyn can't make a simple decision on her own.

I considered recounting some of our conversations here for you but I've decided to spare you the gory details. The condensed version (really and truly!) goes something like this: Caralyn can't make a decision about (enter a multitude of reasons here) and asks Elizabeth for help in making up her mind. Elizabeth "indulges" Caralyn initially, feeling much like the big, older, experienced sister that she is and rationalizes the decision making process for her, outlining positives and negatives, etc., effectively giving Caralyn the tools to make the decision on her own. Caralyn can't/won't/doesn't make a decision about (anything) until a grueling amount of time has passed. Elizabeth becomes frustrated with Caralyn and refuses to aide her in the decision making process, effectively forcing Caralyn to make decisions for herself. Caralyn begrudgingly makes decisions for herself but again only after a grueling amount of time has passed and then makes a litany of excuses to Elizabeth when the aforementioned decision goes bad (think "not reading directions on a can of soup and eating condensed New England Clam Chowder without adding milk") instead of just saying to herself, "Gee, that was a mistake." Caralyn doesn't own her mistakes. She pawns them off on others.

That’s not to say that there isn’t room for blame elsewhere. That distinction rests squarely on her parent’s shoulders for not allowing Caralyn to make decisions regarding her own life. I mean seriously, she’s 22! You’d think she could make a simple decision on her own but she can’t, admitting to a sales clerk at a local eatery, “Other people usually order for me.”

Caralyn left for California yesterday. Hopefully she’s returning home with a taste of her own independence. Hopefully she’ll get off her fanny and take control of her life back. Hopefully she’s going to discover something more pertinent in her life than constantly retouching her makeup, changing her outfits because “this doesn’t go with that” or “my shirt doesn’t match my jacket”. Hopefully she’ll reconsider what’s most important in her life right now, eschewing note taking while reading “How to Catch and Keep a Man!” for “Controlling Your Diabetes”.