Saturday, March 28, 2009

Oh, Cap'n, my Cap'n

At daycare last week, Rye did an art project using Cap'n Crunch cereal. He had never tried this sugary breakfast treat before and apparently it was love at first taste.

He requested to eat it at snack. They did.

And later that day, he matter-of-factly said to me: "Mommy, you need to buy some Cap'n Crunch."

So the next day, after daycare, we did.

He had it for dinner.

And then the love affair ended.

He's refused to have any of it since.

It's typical of my child. And it's also OK with me because, hey, someone's got to eat it now, right?

I think I know just the person.

And I think I know what I'm having for dinner.

(On a related Cap'n Crunch note: ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd had a cereal bracket to tie in with the NCAA basketball tourney this year. Sadly, Cap'n Crunch lost in the Final, er, Flavorful, Four to Frosted Flakes. Are you kidding me? In my book, Tony the Tiger's got nothing on Cap'n. In the end, Tony went down at the hands of Honey Nut Cheerios. You can read more about the cereal contest here.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My coffee mug

I love this mug.

The newspaper I work for does this feature called "My Five" where once a week we pick somebody from the community and ask them to bring in their five favorite objects. It can't be a picture of their child or their cat meant to represent that person or pet; it has to be an actual object that has sentimental value. Like a childhood blankie. Or state track medal. Or guitar. Or something.

I don't know what my five things would be.

But this mug would make the list. I sort of love everything about it. The colors, the design, its shape. The fact it holds just the right amount of coffee.

I found it in a thrift store in Fruita, Colorado, a year ago. The weather was perfect, I remember, and we had walked to this thrift store from our friend's house just a few blocks away.

The store is big and has lots of the usual thrift store merchandise. A back room there, I recall, has lots of kitchen stuff including an entire wall of mugs.

I loved this one right away. It was part of a pair, and I almost bought the other one, too, but Dane said he wouldn't ever use it (and didn't really like it), so I put the other one back.

That's OK. I like having just the one.

And on mornings when this one's clean, I reach for it every time.

And, yes, of course, the coffee tastes just a little bit better.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So ... this is really what it's like

Why doesn't anyone tell us, growing up, what being a grown-up is actually like?

Why not just tell us, "Kids, this is really how it's going to be." Maybe then we could prepare for the harsh realities of this world, instead of believing we can all grow up to be whatever and whoever we want, that all our dreams can come true.

I have never been a pessimist. But the older I get, especially this year of my life, the more pragmatic I seem to become.

Our dreams are just not as easily reached as all the teachers and coaches and others led me to believe. I'm not alone in feeling this way, am I?

I'm not suggesting that adults should stop encouraging kids to figure out what they want in life and strive for it; I'm simply saying they might figure out how to be a bit more helpful - and a bit more realistic - about it all.

Because while I've definitely got good - great? - things in my life now, it's not all sunshine and roses like I always thought it could be, if I just worked hard enough, got good enough grades, tried hard enough, pleased enough people. It just doesn't work that way, I'm realizing now. Because people are human. We make mistakes. We change our minds. We don't always have the answers (do we ever have the answers?).

Two of my friends were laid off last week. Another friend's husband was laid off more than a month ago. These people did nothing wrong. They deserved not an ounce the hand they were dealt. Rather, they worked hard, tried hard, showed up on time, smiled for the most part, did what they were supposed to do. Were these their dream jobs? Probably not. But they were their jobs. And it's not right for anyone to show up one day and have the rug pulled out from under them. Bad economy or not.

One of those friends has a blog. The other day, he said, this:

"Should you ever find yourself adrift in a sea of joblessness, it's important to stick with a tried and true routine to go about your daily affairs. You know, so you don't end up sitting around in your underwear all day and finishing a bag (or two!) of Doritos ...

"Anyway, you gotta get out of bed. Seriously. And you have to put pants on and pretend to be a grown-up."

That's just it. Pretend to be a grown-up. Most days, I feel like I'm just pretending to be a grown-up. Do I really know any more than I did as a kid? Maybe. Probably.

But dealing with the things grown-ups deal with - layoffs, pay cuts, mortgages, the commute, health insurance, having babies, making a marriage work, the list goes on - God. Who really wants to do all of that?

I don't really want to deal with those things. I just at my core want to be happy. I suppose the key is figuring out how to deal with those things and be happy at the same time.

It must be possible.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Baby growing

13 more weeks of baby growing to go.

It's been a weird pregnancy, one uneventful as far as the pregnancy goes but filled with personal turmoil for completely unrelated reasons.

As I near my due date, I've been thinking lately how unfocused I've been on the little girl growing inside of me. It's so different this time than when I was pregnant before. With Rye, every second of every day I was consumed with the fact I was pregnant with a capital P. Only once - when the small newsroom I was working in at the time was focused on breaking a huge story - do I remember forgetting I was pregnant. And even then, it was probably only for a few hours.

This time, though, it's been sort of an afterthought, and I don't mean that to sound as bad as it probably sounds. There's just so much else going on. Am I thrilled to be having a little girl? Absolutely. I never really thought when I pictured how my life would go that any of what's happening now would be happening. But I never thought four years ago even - when I was at about this stage of my pregnancy with Rye - that I'd ever do this whole baby-growing thing again. That I'd ever be lucky enough to get to be mommy to a little girl.

What will she be like, this girl of mine? I try to think of it, but it's almost impossible for me to imagine a child any different than the one I already have. I think about how hard it's going to be to have a baby again (God, it's terrifying really), and I second-guess my decision to have another one. But then I think maybe she'll eat better than Rye, maybe she'll sleep better, maybe we won't have any issues. Maybe she won't cry as much.

That'd be nice.

But I know - without even trying that hard - that things will be hard and that every single second will be worth it. Just like it was last time.

"This, too, shall pass," was my mantra, I think, last time, during those first six or seven months. Will I have to remind myself of that again? Probably.

Will I be OK? Yeah.

Will we all come out the other side safe and sound? I sure hope so.

I have another ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow. I'm nearly 28 weeks along. Seeing the baby again - in the midst of a long, extra-cold winter - is something to look forward to, for sure.