By Tara Zandra | May 21, 2013
I’ve been mentally and emotionally at 100% since Friday. I was so damn productive Sunday night and really felt my groove. Yesterday, I awoke and was slammed with horrid sinus pressure. My head felt like my brain was just kind of floating and bouncing inside my skull. But I was still so up and up in every other way that it was actually a pretty good day. By evening it was getting to me again. This morning it was better and I “kinda” worked out- enough to need a shower, but no where near my standard. But then it wasn’t better. And then Daisy wasn’t at her best and eventually I just kind of said “fuck it.”
Tabitha, who we often say is completely Chris’s child, has an essay to write. It’s for a class, but it’s a casual class, not something that has any type of grading system. She hemmed, she hawed. I asked her if she had any intention of even going to class this week and she asked me what I would do if I were here. So I told her I *was* her and I did exactly what she does and procrastinated until the very end until I would quickly pull something out of my arse the night before. She said, “So, you’d do it then?” Well of course I would, it was for school and my grade was on the line. I didn’t do it because I *wanted* to but because I *had* to do it. I still have no idea if she’ll actually write the darn thing, guess we find out tomorrow because we’ll be gone all day on Thursday and it’s due Friday morning.
Tabitha did work on a couple creative endeavors today. For geography she pulled out her world cookbook and made French bread.
You cannot comprehend the deliciousness of French bread freshly baked by my wonder child.
She’s got the most amazing baker’s touch. She is so confident in the kitchen when it comes to baking, But much less so when it comes to cooking. I hope her future spouse likes to cook because otherwise the two of them will be living on brownies and apparently French bread. It’ll be fantastic food, but no so much good for the health.
The other thing she’s been working on was a secret song for me on the violin. She’s told me about the surprise for a little while now but today she actually played the song. It was “Some Nights” by fun. I recognized it right away and it was very sweet of her to learn a fun. song just for me
Daisy spent the day with a stomach ache. She did a smidge of math and science but then we hit the aforementioned “fuck it” period so she rested and ate light foods for the rest of the day. She still went to dance and seems fine so who knows? Could have been faking it, though I don’t know what her goal was.
My sinus issues gave up bothering me around 1pm and then the boredom set in. With Daisy not needing me and nothing pressing on my plate I just stayed at the computer until I could channel my energy into cooking dinner (yummy stroganoff). We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
By Tara Zandra | May 20, 2013
Competition was Saturday! It was early, it was long, but it was only one day this time- all the others this season have been 2 days for us. It was a pretty good one and by that I mean, the sound system wasn’t excessively loud, the emcee didn’t talk to each kid like they were precious, and it moved along at a good pace. And it wasn’t too hot or too cold.
But we were rushed. As in I was only going to have 12 minutes to get Dee changed from ballet into tap. That’s the problem with her doing 2 duets, they are always spaced close together. You think, 12-minutes, that’s a lot! Nope, it’s 12-minutes from the moment she steps on stage for her first dance, so there goes 3-minutes, then she has to get outside to me, we race up a flight of stairs, I have to rip off her ballet shoes, carefully take off her hair piece, strip off a costume and one pair of tights, throw on a bodysuit and pin the straps, put on the skirt and pin it, get on the jacket, 2 mesh gloves, put in a hair bow, tie on her tap shoes and get her backstage.
Then we do a similar process for Tabitha who also only had 12-minutes to do her contemporary duet and then be back with a costume change for her jazz trio. I don’t really do much on that one. Pretty much just meet her in the dressing room and hand her things and take costume pieces from her as they get stripped off.
Then it was straight to awards! They are always funky labeled. In this case, the highest you could get was a Double Platinum, then a Platinum, then High Gold, and then Gold (I have yet to see someone get just a gold from any studio). Daisy’s ballet duet got a High Gold, but her tap duet not only got Double Platinum but they placed 3rd overall for the 8 and unders! Very proud of them again
Tabitha’s contemporary duet earned a Platinum and her jazz trio earned a Double Platinum and they also placed 3rd overall for their age group (12-14, I think).
We then had such a long break, we actually came home. We grabbed Del Taco on the way and enjoyed being able to relax for awhile. For me it was good because the next costume for Daisy gives me complete fits so I was happy to be able to work on it in the comfort of home. The next dance was Daisy’s jazz team and 3 of those girls (including Daisy) were going to have to do another quick change before production so their instructor checked them in early and was able to get them way moved up in performance times. They did so well. They work really well together and the dance is adorable. We then had plenty of time to get them changed and then it was the final production number which also includes Tabitha. It went pretty well, actually. This dance has little-little ones so it can be a crap shoot sometimes if they will remember everything.
Another break so we all, meaning much of our studio, went out to Coldstone. Yummy break! Then it was back for awards but they were now running a little behind so Chris put on headphones and listened to the Kings game on his ipad. Eventually we got to awards and Daisy’s jazz team earned a Double Platinum and once again placed 3rd overall for the 8 and under teams! Then production earned a Platinum and placed 5th for large teams! We were very pleased with that one.
Then we raced home to watch our Kings.
Watch them lose that is.
But they are still up 2-1 in the series and as we learned last year, you gotta believe.
Whew! That’s only Saturday! But Sunday was easy. We let the girls sleep until 9, then Chris and I went grocery shopping and to lunch. Then Chris and Daisy went on a walk/scootered to McDonald’s while Tabitha and I watched the Doctor Who finale. Then I have no idea which means everyone just did their own thing. I know I started to crochet a scarf for Daisy and after dinner I worked on lessons stuff for today and a little bit for the week. After kids were in bed Chris and I watched Mad Men. So a very pleasant Sunday which went well with the craziness of Saturday.
By Tara Zandra | May 17, 2013
We have a very long day of competition tomorrow so we decided to skip our normal Friday activities of book club and park. The girls still had dance rehearsal of course, but there was also a pizza party afterwards so Chris and I took advantage of the time and went to Rubios by ourselves. Not exactly a date, but we had a great music discussion too so I’ll take it.
This evening we got as much ready for tomorrow as possible and now three of us are sitting around doing absolutely nothing of interest. There are only so many funny things to look at on the internet.
Personal update: the anxious moments have gone done severely, the dizziness is completely gone, and the exhaustion is nearly gone. So- yay!
Right now I’m trying to overcome a fear of mine. I really dislike new situations and I also dislike putting myself in any situation where I may come off as incapable or stupid. This is strong enough that I actually had Chris attend the first day of a step aerobics class (don’t ask) with me back in college to basically hold my hand.
Anyway, there is a volunteer opportunity that is important to me. Very important. But I’m letting my fear hold me back and I don’t want it to. Chris would technically be with me, but I doubt we’d be together so that’s of no help.
I want to do it.
I need to do it.
It sucks when the only thing standing in your way is yourself. Gotta put on my big girl panties and just do it.
By Tara Zandra | May 16, 2013
Pretty good Mother’s Day this year, I must say. I had my way with a menu, my children were lovely, my husband was loving- all was well. Here’s a copy of what I made (Tabitha did do the cheesecake, which was scrumptious, and Chris and Dee did take care of the sandwiches).
Blueberry, cranberry, orange Muffins with an orange glaze
Cucumber rounds stuffed with herbed cheese
Balsamic cherry tomatoes with mozzarella
“Mortadella” and fig sandwiches with a
side of spicy, peanut spaghetti salad
Goat cheese with honey and walnuts
Manchego with warm green olives
Blackberry frozen yogurt
I was pretty pleased with how everything came out. I also made a maple balsamic reduction for the blackberry frozen yogurt, but I over reduced it and the minute it touched the frozen yogurt, it seized up making it inedible. But I learned for next time so it’s all good.
Nothing else really of interest for the week; dinner out for Chris, dance for the girls, crocheting for me, and, of course, viewing of Kings games.
By Tara Zandra | May 11, 2013
Getting my Mother’s Day menu finalized today and then some shopping of the grocery variety will take place. Usually my family leaves for the entire day and goes to my MIL’s house. I get the day to myself, clean, listen to loud music, ditz around on the computer, just whatever I want until late in the day when I join the rest of the fam for a dinner. This has worked well for many years.
This year my in-laws threw a wrench in the plan by going out of town. At first my husband was still going to take the kids out for the day but I would have felt guilty with them trying to be gone and essentially killing time. And guilty is not how I want to feel on Mother’s Day.
So I invited my mom here and planned a menu because a holiday where I’m in charge of all the food is just what I like. My mom tried to tell me not to go to any trouble, but seriously, I was practically giddy when I planned it last week. Now looking at it again today, I realize I need to scale back the menu a little- we simply won’t have room for all that food! I’ll have to figure out how much to delegate though because it’s not like my mom wants to converse with me in the kitchen the whole time. Tabitha will obviously make the cheesecake and I can do the muffins tonight and Daisy and Chris can do the fig and “mortadella” sandwiches so that takes care of some of it right there.
But of course Tabitha has a Girl Scout event today so Daisy will have to be dragged along on the shopping- that will not make her happy but it can’t be helped.
Yesterday went by in a blur, I overslept (of course) then got us to Great Books but I didn’t pack a lunch (on purpose) so I kept thinking I was forgetting something. After Great Books we left Daisy there to play and brought home a friend for Tabi, then those two watched movies the whole time, then I went to exchange children and drop my two off at dance. I got home but Chris did not go to BevMo nor did he take me with him to pick up the kids so it was all just a different kind of Friday. But it ended with the Kings winning and going on to Round 2 of the playoffs!! There was much rejoicing in our house.
And now it’s after 8 so I really must wake up the remaining sleeping people and get started on our day.
By Tara Zandra | May 9, 2013
Yesterday I was feeling good and not once did I feel the onset of an anxiety attack, but alas, I was apparently feeling too good as today has been very hard. I spent the morning feeling very anxious and trying to keep it together and now I’m spending the afternoon just wanting a nap. Such is the story of just about every day now, anxious and tired, yee-haw.
But last night a beautiful thing happened- I was alone for 2 hours. Tabi is sick this week so she’s only attending her competition classes so it worked out that I didn’t need to be at dance as Chris took care of both girls. I luxuriated in a hot shower and totally pampered myself. I ate a crap-tastically bad for me dinner and played on the computer for a little bit. I still did a load of laundry and dishes, but I mean, these things need to be done, and I don’t mind since I was able to start and finish without interruption. And it is nice not to have a chore hanging over me.
It was lovely.
Saturday the girls had a dance performance (did I mention this already?) and I managed to get a few pics to share. Honestly, I didn’t handle my camera too well and I’m a bit disappointed in the majority of the shots; I should really look into learning how to use it better so as not to waste its capabilities. The two of Daisy are both competition dances, the three of Tabitha are just from her regular classes. I will admit to totally tearing up to see her on pointe. I know it’s her second year, but she’s come so far and is so beautiful as she dances.
By Tara Zandra | May 7, 2013
There was a bit more about The Killers concert that I forgot to mention.
When we moved further back to keep my paranoia at bay, I did notice we were apparently in the 35 and over section. Good times.
But it turns out to be a good thing, because while Green Day did covers of artists like AC/DC, The Killers did “I Think We’re Alone Now” by, you know, Tiffany (and I guess The Shondells or something like that, but I’m not that old). Had we been in our previous section, I may have felt out of place being the only person belting out the lyrics.
Another comparison between Green Day and The Killers:
A few years ago when we saw Green Day we noticed Billie Joe said “Los Angeles” approximately 85-thousand times. We decided at this concert to keep count.
20. Seriously, he said LA, California, Los Angeles or some such thing 20 times. Had we made it a drinking game we would have been in a coma.
Compare that with Brandon Flowers of The Killers who said Anaheim (or a variation thereof) only 4 times.
So other than that, today is Tuesday which means, say it with me now…
I feel like shit every Tuesday and/or the universe throws shit at me on Tuesdays. Today it’s just how I feel physically. I have a monster sinus headache (again) and all the fan-tastic symptoms that go along with it. Plus, every time I turn my head it’s like a wave of dizziness passes through it. To top it off, I’m soooo sleepy for basically no reason whatsoever.
This will have to suffice though I have the weekend to talk about still- sometime tomorrow I’ll get to it.
PS Who is checking my website from France? Leave a comment and intro yourself- just because I’m curious.
By Tara Zandra | May 4, 2013
So Wednesday night was a special date night- The Killers in concert.
We saw them back in December at the KROQ Acoustic Christmas and they were so wonderful to watch. The lead singer looks like he’s enjoying himself which I’ve come to learn is something I really like in a front man. So we decided we would love to see them again and lo and behold, tickets went on sale a couple months ago.
So Wednesday night we headed down to the home of the Anaheim Ducks (pa-tooey!) and sat on a floor over ice and waited. The opening band was… interesting. Let’s just say that aside from an electric fiddle and accordion, there was a washboard. Like from a hillbilly band. Oh, and they sang a song that had something to do with chickens.
I still don’t know what it all was.
Then I decided I desperately needed a drink and my section had just gotten a little too packed for my comfort. Damn fainting spell in Feb. made me all skittish-like. I hope to eventually get over it, but in the meantime, I’m tall enough to be further back.
Just like Acoustic Christmas, they came in with the all the house lights on which is a really great way to start a show. And they were just as entertaining and I totally loved them as did Chris.
Brandon Flowers (lead singer) smiles the whole time and talks to the audience and radiates joy. He’s not even super-energetic, he’s just happy
It was a fantastic show and I count myself lucky to have been there.
Sleep came close to 2am but of course on Thursday I had plans.
Plans to spend the day at Disneyland.
In 90° weather.
Fun times on 4 hours sleep.
Except it really was. We were there with friends whose passes are expiring and they aren’t renewing them. So the older girls went off to enjoy themselves and J and I took the younger ones around California Adventure. We rode Radiator Springs Racers, then got ice cream, rode the ferris wheel, Goofy’s Sky School, played in water, hit Redwood Creek Challenge Trail and then went across to Disneyland for lunch.
Then it was off to Matterhorn and Tea Cups, then we watched the Dapper Dans on Main Street and called it a day. So much fun. I’m sad we won’t be doing it again.
Then I rushed home, crammed food down our throats and got Daisy off to dance. And then I was done.
But somehow I got through it and was able to enjoy a little TV with Tabitha and Chris before collapsing. However, I did keep us out of book club Friday morning because I knew I just wouldn’t be able to drag myself there.
We did eventually make it to park and it had its ups and downs. I did the regular dropping off the kids at dance then getting Chris for BevMo’s beer tasting before getting the kids. Then we had dinner and I think something switched in my brain and it screamed for me to go to bed already!
And I’ll talk about today later because I’m about to leave. Now I’m doing a walking relay and my shift is 11pm-2am.
Because I really like the loopy feeling of not enough sleep, apparently.
By Tara Zandra | May 1, 2013
Today starts off my month- Mother’s Day and my birthday at the end, but this time we’ve also got some concerts peppered in there so it feels like a long celebration. My actual birthday may kind of suck depending on a possible dance competition. We take birthdays very seriously around here so any possibility of me not having a good one makes me sad.
But I’ve got 30 days to get through first.
And that’s what it feels like- getting through. Enduring each day. Guess that needs to be my new motto.
Today is not much of anything right now. Tabitha is at her American Girl meeting so I have Daisy and the host’s younger daughter here at the house. My sinus headache refuses to budge so I didn’t really feel like taking them somewhere where I would have to watch them. Unfortunately they are playing in the living room and as little girls, their voices get high-pitched. I don’t want to go to my room though because I’m afraid I would fall asleep and I am kind of supposed to be the responsible adult in charge here. They aren’t being loud, at least, just any sound bothers me. I’m realizing the light is bother me too, perhaps at this point it’s less sinus and more low grade migraine (usually I’m nauseous too so not really sure).
Anyway, I hate to just whine everyday but I don’t want to not blog for fear I’ll leave it for 6 months again. So here I am.
Tonight we’re headed out, just me and Chris which is always fantastic medicine
By Tara Zandra | April 30, 2013
Weekend was pretty good for us, though there was some canceling of plans. Friday night we hit up Mad T Party which was fun, of course. The crowd was gigantic thanks to some event going on. It was getting to me after a while. But as summer crowds are coming, I either need to deal or not go and going and being annoyed with people is better than staying home and doing nothing.
Saturday we were supposed to take 5 children to the Natural History Museum, but our friends ended up having to cancel due to illness so we unexpectedly had the whole day to ourselves. Chris and I ended up doing our usual grocery and lunch run. I think the girls did a sum total of nothing.
Sunday Daisy was gone for the day at a friend’s house and then that evening Chris and I went back to T Party just because. We left the kids with my mom so it was really nice not having to worry about them and check in with them all the time. However, I trusted accuweather and that was a mistake because I froze my ass off. So, so cold. I could barely handle it but I knew we’d be leaving at 9:30 so I stuck it out. Despite the cold, it was a nice date night.
So yesterday I woke with a major sinus headache and could not find any meds in the house. I was going to go to Target but it was a really debilitating headache so it took me a long time to actually get going in the morning. I was close to not functioning at all by the time I took the meds and then though they took away some of the symptoms they did not take away nearly enough so I spent the rest of the day kind of wandering in a fog. Eventually I took a long nap which did absolutely nothing. I had dinner plans that I refused to postpone because they had already been postponed a couple times. So I went. And actually, during dinner itself I didn’t feel too bad though one of my ears was still a tad clogged. The weird thing was the waiter got on my case for “yelling” at him. So I thought maybe I did since my ears were clogged, even though I was making an effort to speak low. My friend did not think I was yelling and gave him the same weird look I did. I guess he thought he was funny? Never be a funny waiter to me, you will not get a good tip.
Anyway, dinner was good, we chatted afterwards for awhile and then as soon as I was in my car, the headache came back in full force. The end of all this is I also did not sleep. I had maybe 4 hours total last night because every time I woke, I’d be awake for a long time. Chris’s alarm goes off at 5 and I haven’t been back to sleep since. I tried many different positions but eventually had to give up that losing battle. And I still have this damn sinus headache. I have to at least be semi-present for the kids but I’m dead tired and feel really miserable.
So yeah, Tuesdays hate me for some reason.
By Tara Zandra | April 27, 2013
Not the most productive of weeks. Then I thought Daisy was getting a cold so we even cancelled 3 things we had going on only for Chris to point out to me that it was probably her allergies. He’s right. One day I’ll learn to tell the difference.
So the week was pretty much practicing violin, sitting around, dance, more sitting around, and going to park and Mad T Party.
We did have plans for today but there we cancelled (not on our end) so the girls can get some rest after their long Friday and Chris and I can get a little housework done. So, nothing interesting to report, I’m afraid.
Oh, I can tell you a little story about last night at T Party. In between then band’s sets there’s a DJ, so the crowd can change based on who’s there to dance and who’s there for the band (I’m sure many people are there for both). Just before the 4th set (so it was still DJ time) we noticed a guy we called Tex because he was a young, burly white guy with a cowboy hat and a plaid shirt with the sleeves cut off. He did the totally classic biting of his lower lip and barely moving his head to the music. As it went on he got a little more into it, but not a whole lot. I decided I absolutely had to watch him when the band came on stage because they are modeled after ’80s glam with some of the guys wearing more make-up than women and March Hare especially is pretty out there with his costume. So the band comes up and I’m not even watching my beloved Hatter- I’m just watching this guy. And his face, oh my his face. It went into a complete lip curl, brow furrow confusion and I think the letters W T F actually popped up over his head. He starts looking around really trying to figure it out. The first song is “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” by The Police, so not exactly current and Tex probably wasn’t even born when it came out. So for the whole first song he still look confused and put off and really seemed unhappy with the turn of events. The next song is “DJ Got Us Falling in Love,” not my personal favorite but Tex knew this song and he was in.
Hook; Line; And Sinker.
He was in. He put aside whatever feelings he had with his initial gut reaction and white-boy rocked out for the next few songs. His transformation was glorious to watch.
I love T Party.
By Tara Zandra | April 24, 2013
Saturday and Sunday were both competition days for my girls. Tabitha had 1 dance on Saturday which also includes Daisy and is the production number. Daisy had another dance on Saturday and was her jazz team. I don’t have a lot of pictures to share because most of them include other children, but I got this one of Daisy practicing for Witch Doctor (jazz team).
It wasn’t too early or too long of a day so that made us all happy. Especially as Sunday we had to be there at 8am. That is absurdly early to have complete hair and makeup done for two children. Have I mentioned the time consuming hairstyle? It takes long enough that I had both girls sleep in the French braid the night before and just redid the buns.
First up was Daisy’s ballet duet which she does with one of her best friends (and they are adorable together). It’s done to Music Box Dancer and they look like the ballerinas in a jewelry box. As soon as Daisy was done it was off to the dressing room! I had 14 numbers to get her changed, which is plenty, but only half of that to get back in the auditorium to see Tabitha dance her jazz trio. Made it no problem though. Then we saw Daisy do her tap duet. She and M have been tap duet partners since they were 5 and they work so darn well together. Sunday they did very well and took first in the 8 and under age division So proud of them!
This picture is Daisy in her tap duet costume and Tabitha in her jazz trio costume.
We had a pretty long break after awards and went to eat some junk food at Jack in the Box; sometimes you gotta indulge. Once we were back at the competition Tabitha had to warm up for her contemporary duet- Daisy was done for the day. T and her partner did well and received 3rd in their age group and then we were done.
We were so. so. done.
These weekends take a lot out of all of us, but totally worth all the fun my girls have.
By Tara Zandra | April 23, 2013
Last Wednesday we headed to the Discovery Science Center to see the Indiana Jones exhibit before it closed. Basically they had props from all four movies as well as archaeological finds from various digs around the world. The artifacts were accompanied by information on how to document finds, how to go about figuring out what was found and how it was used- general archaeology information. It was fairly well done, the older child spent well over an hour enjoying everything while Dee and I were out in under an hour. That is pretty much how I figured it was going to go. For the most part, Daisy was interested in the costumes from the movies, though she also enjoyed looking at the real relics as well.
The exhibit provided something like a miniature tablet with headphones which gave information and audio each step of the way through the exhibit. Tabitha loved it and put it to good use- Daisy, not so much. She still wouldn’t take one even after finding out there was a built in scavenger hunt.
She didn’t really want me taking her picture and then went all creepy Vanna White when I told her to show me the computer.
Thursday seemed like a regular day but you see, after I took the kids to dance, I left them there and it was off to see Green Day!! Oh my how I love them live! We counted and think this was our 6th time seeing them. The first was back in 1994 at Lollapallooza. The thing was, I had heard the whole of Dookie when it came out and was not impressed. Then we saw them live at Lolla and they blew me away.
The concert was amazing, of course. They didn’t play everything I would have liked, but they definitely played some of my favorites and killed it on each and every song. I think my favorite was King for a Day- the energy was palatable on that one. And then it goes into Shout so beautifully. They played my favorite off of ¡Tré!, which was Brutal Love, that one really grabbed me from the first time I heard it. Then, oh my, then they played Jesus of Suburbia of all things. All 9-and-a-half-minutes of it.
And lo, it was good.
Friday was a blur as I was so.damn.tired. But of course, duty calls! In this case, motherhood. I had to get my children to a ballet performance of Cinderella by 9am. That’s way too early for homeschoolers. I had no sleep, a raging headache, and no desire to sit through a ballet. Oh, and apparently even though it was a school performance (we went with our dance academy), some people dressed as if they were going to “the ballet” in the evening and there I was in my Green Day shirt looking hung over. I make good impressions everywhere I go.
The performance was okay, there were many annoyances, but that’s probably way more on me than anything else. And then we headed to park for a couple hours to sit in the gorgeous weather.
Eventually I took children to dance, then got husband and took him to beer tasting, and then picked up children before coming home and crashing.
Oh, but I’m not done yet.
Which I now don’t have time to get to. Tomorrow- I promise.
By Tara Zandra | April 20, 2013
Pictures and stories to come!
By Tara Zandra | April 16, 2013
If Chris came home from work tomorrow and told me his company wanted us to move across the country, I would look at it as an adventure.
If he came home and said he was now going to work 30 minutes later everyday, I would go into a tizzy.
I cannot handle small changes.
As I look at our potential dance schedule for next year, I can feel my heart pounding and my mood is getting bleaker. I’d like to point out that this happens to me every single year. You might not understand what the big deal is, but the fact is my kids take a combined 15 classes this year and next year I believe it’s 18 classes. That is what you call a scheduling nightmare (for all involved, including the studio).
Now that we’re used to eating dinner at 4pm and have a good rhythm with which of us drives which kid when, it’s all going to change. Oh, not until August, but registration is now which is why I’m thinking about it. I like Tuesday and Friday, but Wednesday not so much and I haven’t a clue how I will work Thursday since we also have violin on that day.
If I was an easy going type of person, it wouldn’t matter. But I’m not. I’m constantly operating in the danger zone level of stress.
And it is exhausting.
By Tara Zandra | April 15, 2013
Upon reflection of today’s event, I had no desire to leave my family and try and have a good time at dinner with a friend pretending everything was fine. Similarly, I chose to keep Tabitha** home from Girls Scouts. So this evening has been spent hanging out together. Tabitha and I watched Doctor Who while Chris and Daisy played a game. I’ve been crocheting, Chris and Tabi have been on their computers and Daisy has been playing Mario Kart- but she’s doing it by dressing up as Princess Daisy and created her own go kart out of cardboard and the power ups out of paper. No electronics were harmed in the making of this game.
And in the background we have the Dodgers game. A very homey evening and that’s really all I wanted.
***Thanks to Tabitha being on twitter and facebook, I can no longer shield her from tragedies in the world. I know some people don’t believe in shielding anyway, but I like to keep children innocent for as long as possible.
By Tara Zandra | April 13, 2013
Chris and I have fallen into a lovely pattern as of late. We’ve been doing the grocery shopping together and having lunch without the kids’ knowledge. Well, that’s not entirely true. They know we’re shopping and know we grab lunch somewhere, but it’s the where that they are unaware of and we want to keep it that way. If they knew, they would want to go with us and we’re enjoying our Saturday excursions alone
Our shopping includes a lot of items from the bulk bins and the pantry was getting further and further out of control with bags of nuts, rice, snacks and the like. We never knew what we had and we’d end up with multiple bags of the same things. So today I finally got around to making good on my promise to myself and got the whole thing cleaned out and organized. Here’s what I learned from the experience:
- We have no need to buy tea.
Of any kind.
- We have more Pez than a collector. Seriously. If you’re my facebook friend, you saw the pic.
- I tend to buy specialty baking items (like powdered milk, cake flour, raw sugar), use them once and then throw them into the back never to see the light of day again.
- I apparently have a sprinkles collections.
- Tootsie Rolls are the red-headed step children of candy. There was a GIANT bag of them in there from Halloween.
- Marshmallow Cream left on its side will ooze out the closed lid. It will then perfectly peel off of whatever it touches which make me think we should not be eating it.
- At some point I bought poppy seeds. I only know this because they were spilled all over a shelf, but an original container for them was never found.
It took me a couple hours but it’s so loverly organized now. Enough so that I took a pic to share. Because I’m a kitchen dork.
By Tara Zandra | April 11, 2013
Today we drove to Hesperia (yeah, that’s far) for a field trip to Cal-Earth. Even though I was there, I find it hard to explain. Basically the idea is that everyone deserves a home and they teach people how to build homes out of the earth (not dirt). They are called “super adobe” and use sandbags and barbed wire to make dome structures. Many of them are what I would call shelters as opposed to homes. But there were definitely some larger structures with rooms and even electricity and running water. At the end we got to go into an actual house made out of the earth. It’s 2000 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a 3 car garage. Totally cost of materials used to build? $100,000. The earth was free (there’s a giant pit in the back where it came from) but there was tile, doors, windows, and the electrical and plumbing. Truly impressive.
We were also taught the principles of the arch and had to build our own arches out of bricks. Amazingly, all of them stood so I guess we listened well
Oh, and the kids were encouraged to climb on everything, so you can imagine how much they loved being set loose.
Definitely an interesting concept.
The juxtaposition of the sustainable structures with the housing development in the background really struck me
This is the house that was being worked on by people who had come for the long-term apprenticeship program. One was from North Carolina, one from Italy, and I think the third was more local. They planned to return home with their new knowledge after completing the program.
Our group’s arch worked!
By Tara Zandra | April 10, 2013
I woke feeling better, though still not right. I did get up and I worked out, but my heart wasn’t in it. But a half-hearted work out is still better than nothing so I won’t dwell on it.
**See what I did there? I do it a lot. I mention a negative and then try to put a positive spin on it. I wonder why? As a child, no one would have ever accused me of being an optimist or looking on the bright side. At some point in my life that kind of changed. I’m more realist than pessimist now, and that I don’t mind. I don’t know that I ever minded being negative but I know I drove my mother batty with my attitude. Tabi has that negative trait as well, though in a different way. But she definitely tends to focus on the negative. Knowing that I have changed gives me hope with her. Oh sure, I can try and tell her to focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative, but there’s that whole “easier said than done” thing.**
But back to the topic at hand. I got my kids to where they needed to be, but the whole drive there (which sucked, and there is no way to make that positive) I could feel myself sinking again. I still don’t get it and without understanding what was causing my issues, I had no handle on how to fix me. I started thinking that all I really needed was someone to talk to. Goodness knows Chris got enough of my wallowing yesterday (as he reads this, I know he will tell me he doesn’t mind and that’s what he’s there for and thank all that is truly great, he actually means it), so I started trying to figure out who I could call. So while lately I have become very aware of how many friends I actually have (a number great than 2, who would have thought?!), I still was unsure who to unload on- especially since the best I could come up with was “I just don’t feel right.”
I had various reasons of why I did or didn’t call someone and then figured how who I wanted so I texted her- but didn’t actually send for 5-minutes because I’m not one for admitting stuff is wrong. Plus, I have friends with issues far greater than mine and I feel horrible for complaining about any aspect of my pretty damn good life. Thankfully she was available and immediately called me and we talked for almost an hour.
And like that, I felt so much better. We touched a little bit about things kind of bothering me that I knew she could relate to but also just talked. I’m not a phone person at all so this was very new for me. It was so lovely.
I still wasn’t at my best, but I was so much closer.
And the day went on. Daisy had a Brownie meeting (my heart still swells with oh-so-much pride at how well Tabitha handles these meetings-truly phenomenal), and then the girls were playing while I goofed off on Buzzfeed (my current fav. website). Eventually it was time for dance and I listened to a podcast (my first!) and then Chris arrived and we ran an errand together and then another friend arrived and we chatted for a little bit while we waited for the girls to change.
And then, I drove my car. It is amazing how much I love this car. It’s not perfect, but I do heart it so. Such a joy to drive and the weather was perfect and the music was glorious and that pretty much did it.
I feel normal.
For me anyway.
We won’t bother to define what that may actually mean.
Coming up tomorrow- no more self pity, but a field trip report!
By Tara Zandra | April 9, 2013
Often when I wake up, the first thoughts that pop into my head are what I have to get done that day. On days where we have somewhere to be, I wake up with a bit of dread. So I’m used to not being in the best mood upon the alarm going off (I’m sure anyone who goes to work agrees with me). Today I woke up on the verge of an anxiety attack- Shortness of breath, heavy feeling, nauseous, extreme worry. I never had a full on attack, but I could not make the feeling go away. I can’t even tell you why I felt that way, which made it worse.
I tried to tell myself to just get up and work out, that the physical activity would more than likely cure me. But I could not make myself get up and then I started shivering as if I had a fever. I was nauseous enough that I considered that I might actually be ill- but determined I was not. I laid in this state for 2 hours before mercifully falling asleep only to promptly have one of my beyond vivid morning dreams. Thankfully it was not a nightmare this time, but I was arguing with Chris in the dream which did not help my state of mind.
At some point I realized I had 15-minutes to pull myself together and get the kids out of bed so I did. There was no choice in the matter. But that deep anxious feeling was not to be messed with and would not go away.
The day progressed and for various reasons, I felt mostly normal by 1ish. Then 2:30 hit and I plunged right back where I was before. I still don’t know why. Life is pretty damn good right now with a minimal amount of problems- certainly nothing panic inducing.
I went through the motions for the rest of the afternoon and then took Daisy to dance. At this point I knew I could not go inside and make idle chit-chat with anyone, not even my closest friend who I knew was there. So I popped my headphones on and walked. I let fun. be my guide and put them on shuffle after deliberately starting with “Be Calm.” It then played 2 versions of “It Gets Better” and “Carry On” so I guess it was trying to tell me something.
As I walked, I tried to figure out what the hell was going on. At some point I let my mind slip deeper into this sadness. I was coming up with metaphors for what I was feeling.
And you know what?
It was all a load of crap. The very simple matter, which I had forgotten, is we choose to be happy or we choose not to be. I was making the wrong choice. Maybe I’m simply overtired. Maybe it’s residual from yesterday’s nerves. Maybe all the small annoyances in my life finally banded together. I don’t know. But I do know that I was allowing myself to wallow. I wasn’t making an effort.
I was failing me.
Do I feel great right now? No. It’s hard to shed that about to have a panic attack feeling. But I’m so much better and I know that a full night’s sleep and a good workout tomorrow will do wonders.
Even if I wake up with the exact same feeling (and I really hope I don’t), I can either choose to let it rule me or I can choose to get over it.
But it is my choice.
By Tara Zandra | April 8, 2013
Real quick post tonight because I want to go spend some time with my hubby.
Had dinner with my friend, went really well. I was nervous as hell, because, well, that’s just me. But in the end, I don’t think I made a jackass out of myself, we had great conversation, and I can’t wait to do it again.
Color me happy.
By Tara Zandra | April 7, 2013
I’m not in the best mood right now and this computer is not helping. It won’t log me into Facebook, I have to update everything RIGHT NOW and the keys are being persnickety so please forgive any weird typos I may not catch.
It’s been a fairly lovely day, not sure why I’m being annoyed so easily. Probably because I’d rather be doing something fun and instead I’m stuck doing dishes and laundry on the weekend.
I did start the day with custom omelets for everyone as a way to use up excess veggies in the crisper. That was pretty good. But the little things like Target not having what I went for, AM/PM having crappy Diet Coke, me being the only person (apparently) who can hear the dog bark to go outside- those are all sticking with me. Also, we had to postpone plans with friends because Daisy had a party to attend today and then the party got postponed which means we could have done our other plans.
Honestly, I think I’m suffering from nerves. I have a dinner date tomorrow night with a friend and I’m nervous about making a good impression- it’s a new friend. Plus, what if we don’t really have anything in common? Then the friendship stalls and it’s awkward. Hell, I feel awkward already.
Now it’s been a couple hours and I feel a bit better. Had a nice dinner chilling with Chris, took a relaxing shower, and am now enjoying the Kings game. Sometimes it doesn’t take too much for me to get over myself. Still feeling a bit nervous about tomorrow though. I’ll probably be a wreck by the afternoon. I’ll have to play lots of very loud music to keep me sane.
Here’s a picture of the cupcake I crocheted yesterday for Daisy. She loves it enough that she didn’t want me to hold it for the picture but she eventually relented- barely. The picture is makes it look creepy, but I assure you it is not.
I need to go back to telling stories- the daily stuff isn’t satisfying me right now.
By Tara Zandra | April 6, 2013
We had no plans for the day and the Kings and Dodgers were kind enough to not play at the same time so we turned it into a game day. We started with the Kings game at 1pm and had nachos for lunch. First of all, I clearly had no idea what I was doing because I was perplexed at the lack of heating directions on the jar of cheese sauce. Second of all, as Chris so eloquently put it, the “cheese” tasted like plastic. So not sure I’d call the nachos a success. But the Kings won so that’s good enough.
During the game I finished a crocheted cupcake for Daisy. Last night we were at Barnes and Noble and she saw the display of stuffed food. Let me say that Daisy has always shown an affinity for stuffed animals. Most kids like them in general, but from the time she was a baby, it was clear that stuffed animals were more than just a like for her. Now, the second thing she has a strange attachment to is food- especially food toys. So a stuffed “animal” food is pretty much the best thing in the world to her. So for her birthday I had bought her a stuffed cupcake, which she loves. So she saw the display last night and wanted more. I said no. I said she could buy them with her own money but secretly thought it would be a waste since, you know, she had one at home. This brought on angst and tears because there is a spyglass she wants at Disneyland so she kind of can’t spend her money right now. Eventually I told her I would just crochet her a damn cupcake and it wouldn’t cost her a cent. This new skill of mine is really coming in handy.
So all that to say, I crocheted a cupcake but I didn’t take a picture. Tomorrow.
In between games we had popcorn- I would have gone with peanuts except Dee doesn’t eat them. Next was watching tonight’s episode of Doctor Who. Darned if I not only liked it, but I was emotionally moved. I will not let Tabitha in on that info or I will never hear the end of it.
Next came the Dodger game and veggie dogs. During this game I finished the head of the next Doctor Who plush for Tabitha. I have to put in an order for more yarn before I can do much on it.
The Dodgers were also kind enough to win so a good fan day in the Anc Fam.
By Tara Zandra | April 5, 2013
Yesterday morning was one of those days where I just want to get in the car and go somewhere. I think the beauty of the day before inspired me despite Thursday’s looming clouds. I settled on two choices to present to the children and they both chose a small arboretum that none of us had visited previously. I took the opportunity to catch as many flowers as possible with the new camera. As you can see, I’ve clearly got down the whole in focus foreground with blurry background. Time to learn a new trick.
And then we spotted a bell from the California Real Mission Trail. It’s kind of a joke with us because of our trips north where for vast stretches of highway all we saw were the bells. So of course I had to take their pic with the bell we cannot escape.
Two days in a row- I’m on a roll!
By Tara Zandra | April 4, 2013
Have I mentioned here that I’ve started crocheting? I know I have on facebook, but seriously doubt it has been mentioned here. I started less than 2 months ago on a whim and it turns out, I really like it! Simple hobby that I can take with me, unlike scrapbooking or sewing. Of course, my bento making hobby is technically portable, but not exactly long lasting. So I’ve made this chicken family for Miss Daisy.
I shared The Doctor that I made for Tabi on facebook, but if you haven’t seen it, this is fashioned after the current Doctor (aka, Matt Smith).
Now I’m working on the tenth doctor and then I’m going to make something for me and a set of babies for Daisy. I’d also like to make Dee a hat and I have a friend who’s going to have a baby so I’d like to make a couple baby hats and diaper covers for her as well.
And I really want to get back into this hobby- blogging. I need to make a real effort as I do enjoy going back and reading past entries from time to time. And all you friends of mine who have stopped blogging for whatever reason- get back into it. If you think I’m talking about you, I am. Facebook has really killed blogging, I think.
Lastly, I’ve stalled in the losing weight mainly because I’ve stopped watching what I eat and am only working out sporadically. Yesterday I felt that mental shift where I recommitted myself so I’d like to think I’ll be back on track. I’m still holding at 18 pounds lost since last August, but I’ve got at least 22 pounds to go before I will even consider staying put. I really wish I could attend one pilates and one yoga class a week, but I can’t seem to make it work with dance and neither can I find a decent video game to use at home. I like the gaming aspect for some reason even though I don’t care about my score- but it works when DVDs never have.
So a hodge-podge entry, but it’s what I do best. I’ll be back tomorrow. Promise.
By Tara Zandra | March 25, 2013
Tomorrow I put my trust and faith in nine Justices to do the right thing.
Prop 8 never should have happened.
DOMA, at least, is from over 15 years ago. There is no excuse for Prop 8.
Why do I care? I’m heterosexual, have no immediate family members* who are homosexual and am not personally affected by the outcome. Except I am affected as a human being. As an American.
As a child I was first introduced to the idea of “gay” by the tv show Three’s Company. The male lead character had to pretend to be gay for the landlord to allow him to live with two women. Needless to say there were many jokes and the limp wrist gesture was used often to intimate that being gay equaled being effeminate.
In elementary school, us girls often walked around the playground talking and we’d hold hands because that’s a sign of affection. I distinctly remember being warned that only “lesbos” held hands. I don’t recall my reaction or whether or not I changed my habits.
I vaguely remember the big deal when Rock Hudson died of AIDS and his homosexuality was at the forefront of the news.
In high school I did not have any friends who were out. Thanks to facebook, of course, I now know that I did have at least two gay friends.
Post high school though is really where the whole idea of being homosexual isn’t any different than being hetereosexual started taking root. I worked at Disneyland for a little more than 7 years starting when I was 17. Disney is a company that attracts people from all walks of life so I had friends, male and female, who are homosexual. My friends were my friends and how they were born had no bearing on our friendship.
Now I’m not perfect. Lord knows I’ve laughed at and made jokes where gay people were the butt of the joke. And yes, totally guilty of using stereotypes to make a snap decision of whether or not someone is homosexual. There is always room for growth and the best I can do is learn from past mistakes.
Chris and I don’t always agree on everything political but on equal rights for LGBTQ, we are more than on the same page. We were both very happy when in 2004 the Mayor of San Franciso allowed city officials to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. To us both, it’s a no-brainer. Just as reading about the injustice of “colored” drinking fountains in history class made us wonder how anyone could treat other humans in such a manner, we shake our heads in disbelief that anyone could possibly care who marries who. Seriously. The only marriages that have ever affected me were my own and that of my parents.
The travesty of Prop 8 is that a law was passed that took rights away! Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness- unless you’re gay, apparently. That’s essentially what Prop 8 said. And now I rely on appointed Justices to make things right.
So why do I care?
Why wouldn’t I care?
We’re all human.
We’re all American.
Everyone deserves the same rights.
*I say my immediate family meaning our parents and siblings. I make no assumptions on my children until they say one way or the other.
By Tara Zandra | March 7, 2013
I don’t even have a good one. Guess I’m just out of habit and thoroughly stressed. I actually would love to type out all my feelings here, but they’d end up making no sense to anyone. Sometimes I wish I kept a paper journal which is the exact right place to write out all your feelings- but I’ve never been good at that.
Anyway, nothing is wrong, though we had another bout of illness- I’m just preoccupied.
By Tara Zandra | February 24, 2013
I’m getting the birthday posts up so scroll down, click on Jan. 31 on the calendar, or click here.
By Tara Zandra | February 16, 2013
Here are my “why I’m not blogging excuses” in the year of No Excuses.
Since the beginning of the year, Tabitha has had 2 colds and the flu, I have had 2 colds and a fainting spell, Chris and Daisy have each had 1 cold and a bout of food poisoning. That’s on top of the birthdays, an overnight trip, and our dance competition preparations.
First competition is this weekend and then if everyone can stay healthy, things should really calm the heck down now so I can resume normal blogging.
Oh, and go donate ten bucks to my boy, his goal is high, time is short, and you’ll get a Holiday EP out of it. Please? It’s just ten bucks (or more if you’d like) and you’ll have my forever gratitude.
By Tara Zandra | February 5, 2013
Chris didn’t hear his alarm this morning so it woke me up. It was playing “Carry On” by fun. As we know, I adore them so I took it as a sign of how good my day was going to be. Nope! What it really meant was being awakened half an hour early was as good as my day was going to get.
There is so much shit today. But here’s where I feel obligated to clarify that they aren’t big problems in the grand scheme of life. I get that, I truly do. But I so often feel that I can’t complain about anything that’s bothering me because other people have it worse off and therefore I should be able to deal with it. So I feel I can’t vent, even here because I can feel the rolling of the eyes by the readers. I have great friends, but I do feel that my problems are considered small by them and looked down on so I can’t say anything at all.
And I’m not feeling my best today, I’m dealing with a jealousy issue which is a trait I do not like in me. It’s not something I deal with on a regular basis but it’s there today and I really need to find a way to embrace that which makes someone else happy and just get past it. Plus it’s not necessarily something I’ll never have, just not something I have right now.
I know, sense isn’t really being made, it’s all vague but I truly have to get this out even if I’m the only person who knows what I’m talking about.
I’m also having other people’s pettiness crop up within a community that I am partly responsible for. I have little desire to put out a fire that I did not start.
Then there’s just a big ol’ bad thing that sucks so completely and therefore it’s clouding my judgement of everything else.