Thursday, July 24, 2008

Everything else

So since we returned from our trip to Rochester, things have thankfully slowed down.  I have spent the past couple months getting ready for someone or another's birthday, going to graduations, packing for or unpacking from trips and generally being busy all the time.  Now I've had a couple-week lull, and it has been sweet.  I found the time to finally get my hair cut short, something I've been contemplating (agonizing over) for months.  I have some of the frizziest, most wildly curly hair ever, and on some days it would just flat-out refuse to behave so I'd pull it back in a ponytail and at least look moderately presentable.  I was worried my hair might try to form a 'fro on humid days if I cut it short, and I was frightened to contemplate what I would do on bad hair days with my limited styling skills and my ponytail option out of the question.  However I was pretty sure that sporting a ponytail almost every day is a sure sign that you need to do something new with your hair, so I got it cut and I love it!  Somehow it seems my hair likes being short, and I can just wash it , run a comb through it and let it air dry and it looks just fine all day.  If I had done that with my hair longer, I would have looked like I had a poufy, curly rat's nest on my head.

However there is one thing I'm not happy about, and that is once my hair was cut it was brought to my attention (by Will) that I have a single grey hair on the top of my head.  This is alarming because I don't like to dye my hair (too much work to keep up with it...although I will probably give in once I get greyer)  and I would like to have long hair at least once before I go too grey for it to look good long, so as much as I like my short hair now, I need to get growing.  I know going for long hair right in the middle of my procreative years will probably only result in me looking disheveled and having tiny fistfuls of hair yanked out on a regular basis, but I am running out of time!  I think if I get it trimmed and shaped every couple months I can keep it looking good while it's growing out.

I debuted my new hair to my friends on Friday, which happened to be my "birthday observed", which is what we called the day Will and I set aside to celebrate my birthday in lieu of trying to celebrate it while traveling.  Will arranged for everyone to go to Frederick Cellars (Maryland's only urban winery) for a tasting, followed by a yummy dinner at Quynn's Attic (one of my favorite restaurants) and then lattes and drinks at Cafe Nola (one of my favorite bars which also happens to be my favorite coffee shop).  Will got a big group together, and it was fun to see some of my out of town friends.  Right in the middle of the evening, we met our realtor right in the middle of downtown Frederick (literally on a street corner) and signed all the documentation for a contract on our land!  The buyers were anxious to get the contract in writing, so instead of waiting until the next morning, our realtor chased us down while we were out so we could sign everything.  I am trying not to get TOO excited because we had a contract on the land in June that fell through, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this one works out.  So with any luck, by September 15th we will have officially sold it (and we can break open the bottle of champagne that is patiently waiting in the fridge downstairs).  Then we can start designing and building our new house!  Exciting stuff.

Even MORE exciting, is that one of the gifts my sweet husband got me for my birthday is an introductory flight lesson!!!!!!!  I'm going to fly an airplane!  And more than that, once I've flown an airplane I am going to take flying lessons so I can get my pilot's license!!!!!!  I've often been known to wonder aloud "Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to fly your own plane?", to which my poor, often airsick husband's reply was usually "Not really".  But all the same, he has started me down the road to being able to do just that, and I am ridiculously excited!  I have to sit down and figure out when a good time to start would be, so that I can get in all the flight time I need in order to earn my license, but for now I'm still just reeling at the thought :-)  

And last before I close, I'll mention that I'm starting to learn Spanish.  I used my birthday money to buy the whole Learning Spanish like Crazy set, (it looks ghetto, but it's supposed to be even better than Rosetta Stone) and I am now eagerly awaiting its arrival.  I took French in high school, mostly because I liked the idea, but now I'm realizing how much more useful it would be to know Spanish.  I've been to several Spanish-speaking countries, and I plan to go to more in the future, plus there are more and more Spanish speakers in Frederick.  Also, if I decide not to go back to work after my kidlets are in school, I could always go the volunteering route and I think Spanish would be helpful for that too.

The main reason though is that I think I am missing using my brain.  Not to the point where I would rather work than stay home playing snuggle bunnies with Emily (that's our game where we wrap up in a soft blanket on the couch and wrestle) but to the point where I'd like to take on a learning project of some sort.  I love languages, I think if I lived forever I would make it my goal to learn every language in the world, so this makes sense.  And I was shocked the other day to realize the new vet at the practice where we take our dogs is about my age (oh yeah, I am now giving Mingus Benadryl twice a day, eyedrops twice a day, ear ointment once a day, skin wash once a day and ear wash every other day...this freakin' dog is only 6 and already a huge pain in the butt.  I can't wait until he's 15).  The point being, if I had stayed in school this whole time instead of the whole getting married, working, reproducing route I took, I could be a doctor by now.  I am immensely glad that I took the route I did, and there's no way I have what it takes to be a doctor, but it's still shocking to realize I am just about old enough to have completed med school.  And I have a grey hair.  Did I mention that?

When you order Learning Spanish like Crazy, they send you the 50-CD set in the mail, but right away they let you download a couple lessons to get you started, one of which is "Insultos vulgares".  So I'm old enough to be a doctor and have grey hair, but learning to say things in Spanish that I shudder to say in English still sends me into fits of giggles, and the thought of learning to fly makes me dance around like Emily upon receiving her morning banana.  They say you're only as old as you feel, and I hope they're right!


Rochester, again

Our trip to Rochester ended up going much better than expected, as most things do. The morning of departure found us frantically checking airline websites, calling the pediatrician, calling Will's mom, and googling "flying with a sick baby". Emily had been showing signs of a cold in the days leading up to our trip, and the morning of she emerged from the crib extremely congested and miserable. We were very worried about how the pressure changes would affect her while all stuffed up, but the pediatrician told us to just give her Benadryl, and Grandpa's health was not in so precarious a state that being exposed to a germy toddler would endanger his life, so off we went. I never wanted to be one of those moms who drugs their kids for flights, but I'll admit with the pediatrician's ok and a legitimate reason, I was pretty happy about the possibility of Emily sleeping through the flight.

When the time came to board, I sent Will on to get the carseat strapped in and stow what luggage he could carry and I waited by the gate, figuring that the less time spent aboard the plane, the better. I made our plans known to the agent at the gate, and Will did the same with the stewards/stewardesses on the plane. Even so, a stewardess came running up to the gate and said "Your husband is waiting for you on the plane". "Duh" was my thought. "You'd better board now, we're about to close the doors". When I got on the plane, Will said the steward had loudly pointed and Will and remarked "Well everyone's on board except we're waiting for HIS wife and kid". Thanks for the advance notice guys. It wasn't like I was just standing inches from the gate waiting for the final boarding call or anything.

The flight was quick and easy, although I discovered that despite the shortness of limb, a child in a carseat can easily kick the seat in front of him or her, and does so with reckless abandon unless the child's mother spends the entire flight desperately distracting said child or holding down their legs. I am a bit of a psycho about making sure Emily's ears pop on ascent and descent, so she got all-you-can-drink apple juice during the flight, and I was only irritated a LITTLE bit about the fact that it was not organic, as we were limited to whatever was available after security.

One of the things that made the trip easier (in my'd get a different response if you asked Will) was the Sit 'n' Stroll 5 in 1 carseat/stroller that I purchased before our trip.  Emily had fallen asleep the minute we hit the ground, and we were able to get her out of the airplane seat, deploy the wheels, roll her down the airplane aisle, through the airport, and to the car rental desk without waking her.  That is amazing to me!  And now we can use it as a backup carseat, although the way it straps into the car is a bit annoying.

We more or less enjoyed our stay in Rochester.  Since we had Emily with us, we spent more time at the hotel than we usually do.  We tried out the pool and Will and I agreed that the last time we actually stayed IN our hotel long enough to swim in the pool was quite awhile ago.  We ended up with a jacuzzi suite (not as impressive as it sounds) and Emily quite enjoyed mounting the one step up to the jacuzzi and throwing food into it.  

It was nice to see Will's mom's side of the family, especially the cousins that are around our age, although I felt badly for not being able to help out much due to being responsible for a toddler while in a decidedly non-childproofed house.  There also wasn't nearly enough Sara-friendly alcohol to be had...when Will and I went to the liquor store he bought quite a bit of beer (there are tons of microbreweries in upstate NY and I think Will felt it was his duty to sample them all) and I bought another local specialty, icewine.  This showed little forethought though, because icewine is good for sipping after dinner, but a very poor choice for drinking throughout the day at a family get-together.  So while everyone else was enjoying their beers, I was drinking extremely diluted and spaced-out spritzers so that I didn't get sick from drinking too much sweet wine.  A little buzz would have been very welcome while dealing with extensive picture-taking by people who seem to think 14-month-olds enjoy sitting still for long periods of time.

The best part of the weekend though was watching Will's grandparents renew their vows.  His grandfather had a stroke and several other medical issues last year, and while in the hospital they had to cut off his wedding ring.  Being very religious people, he felt that even though they had the ring re-made, he didn't want to wear it until it was blessed by a minister again.  So on the occasion of their 60th anniversary, their minister blessed the ring and they exchanged vows again under a big old tree in their backyard, surrounded by their 4 children, 8 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild and various spouses and significant others.  The whole trip turned out to be more enjoyable than I thought it would be, but I am very glad I was there to see that because wow!  60 years together and every member of your family there.  That was definitely worth celebrating.