This Day...
is pretty important. Just look what's on my calendar.

We've been married 14 years. Is 14 years supposed to feel like a milestone? It doesn't--because being married to David is not something you measure in challenges or hardship or perseverance. As Shakespeare wrote, "A woman would run through fire and water for such a kind heart." His heart is so kind. 14 years doesn't even scratch the surface.


Things I Learned On My Vacation

Family time is fabulous. Being together 24/7 really is a treat. No responsibilities for David. No chores for me. No school for the kids. Just together. Loved it.

Family time sometimes brings out the worst in us. There was one time at the Peter Pan ride when I questioned our sanity. There was another time one of our kids was in such a funk they threatened to run away. I wish I could tell you that announcement devastated me. It didn't. (I think it's important that you know our family is not perfect, we are not all cute photos and smiles. We screw up. We bug each other. But we're in it together, whether we like it or not.)

I cherished every single moment I had with Carver. I don't know if we'll ever do a Disney trip again, but if we do, he'll be older and won't want to spend the entire day with us. He'll probably run off by himself and meet up with us at different times during the day. I know that time is coming, so I savored each and every minute we were together. There was one day he held my hand. Quite possibly for the last time. When else will we be somewhere--at his age--where he will feel comfortable enough to reach up and hold my hand?

I was relieved Carver was still 11 and not 15 or 18. Why? Boobs. Boobs everywhere. Spring break and teenage girls = boobs. Plus add in all the older women who were still trying to dress like they're 18. Yeesh. A note to other mothers of girls: make your daughters dress discreetly. It did NOT help that toward the end of the week there was a National Cheerleading Competition in Anaheim and there were mobs of ditsy girls with (you guessed it) boobs. I can't speak for David, but I've seen enough boobs to last a lifetime.

My kids must have gills. They swam every day. For hours. They swam even when it was late at night and they were exhausted. They couldn't resist it. And David and I couldn't help but give in.

Flying home was a little easier than flying out to CA. I bet if I flew once a week I wouldn't mind flying at all. It's the years in between each flight that do me in. And I don't mind take-offs or landings. I hate turbulence. Hate them. White-knuckle all the way. We returned home late, late, late on Saturday, and all day on Sunday I felt like I had a horrible hangover... which given all the drugs I took I pretty much did have a hangover.

I forget that we get stared at. A lot. I forget that our family looks different to others. I'm used to getting second looks and getting noticed when we go out as a family, but at a place like Disneyland we turn heads all day long. We also get the "pity" look. The "oh, they couldn't have any children of their own so they had to adopt" look. Or the "oh, how sweet... they adopted a bunch of black children." Their assumptions are wrong, but when you're fighting the crowds to ride Buzz Lightyear for the 8 millionth time you don't have time to explain your family or even glare back in a "leave us alone" look.

We are not the only family that looks like us. I saw at least 6 other families that were carbon copies of ours. Seeing that melted my heart. Absolutely melted my heart.

(*Because Blogger is out to make my life miserable, it is not letting me upload photos right now. You're secretely relieved that you don't have to look at any more of our vacation pictures, aren't you?)


Today we went to the beach and saw dolphins. (That might just be the best sentence I've ever written.)


Having A Ball

*David earns his worth by sitting with the kids in the Shamu "splash zone."


Before A Trip

This is me as I'm packing for a trip in which flying on a plane is a necessity:
"Did I pack my pills? Underwear, toothbrush. Did I pack my pills? Shorts, lotion. Did I pack my pills? Pills? Pills?

And of course I did, but I become obsessive-compulsive about it. So my children may or may not have anything to wear, but by golly I'll have my pills.

I didn't used to be this way. Help me feel better about my weakness. Please share your phobias!
Here's How It All Went Down

*zinabu is, as usual, talking in this photo.

It took them long enough, but in the end they chose David to be the principal. He went through an unbelievable amount of interviews. Hours and hours worth. With the students. With the parents. With the staff. With the executives of the district. With human resources. With the superintendent. It almost makes your head hurt. The school district we live in was actually hiring principals for two different high schools, but David applied only for the school he currently works at. He didn't want to be a principal. He wanted to be a principal at the school he loves and is already invested in. So when he finished his final interview with the superintendent and associate superintendent (last Wednesday), they told him they'd have a decision made by Friday (8 days ago). Thursday came and went. Friday came and went. The weekend came and went. We were frantic because we assumed the worst: they offered the job to another candidate and would give David the bad news when it was all final. Monday came and went. Tuesday... and we were having heart palpitations and were becoming increasingly angry. Did they not know what they were putting our family through? Didn't they know we were in a giant information void. And then the word got out that the superintendent didn't like any of the candidates that had applied for the other high school and they were going to re post that position and start all over. David freaked. Was the same true for his school? And then, finally, he got a phone call. Could he meet with the superintendent one more time? We truly and honestly believed that the superintendent was going to tell him to apply for the other school. We assumed that David would get a pat on the back and "be encouraged" to keep trying. So David went into that meeting hoping for the best but expecting the worst. The superintendent asked David a few more questions, and then told David that he knew all along he wanted to offer him the job of principal at his school. The job was his. David was the best candidate. David was phenomenal. He was utterly impressed and confident in David. It just took longer to let David know because of all the work they were doing with the position at the other high school.

It was a great day!

Although we would have loved to have known all this last week, we're thrilled that the decision has been made, the school board voted and approved David last night, and it is now public knowledge. Thanks so much, everyone, for your comments, emails, thoughts, and prayers. Not knowing our future was rough. Not knowing if David would suffer a blowing disappointment was rougher. And the thought of the person I love most in this world not getting what he so desperately wanted and was made for was hard to even fathom.

Just to add some drama to our otherwise boring week (ha!) Zinabu came down with a wicked stomach flu yesterday. The second time in two weeks. It was bad. My poor, poor baby. All I can do is hope that it was an isolated case and no one else comes down with it before we leave for California in 48 hours. Also, there is a huge blizzard coming, and we're trying to decide if we get to a hotel by the airport the night before our flight--just in case.

We lead such quiet lives.


Because the job David applied for is a public position, I can give you all the glorious details on Thursday. After it is made public.



If I knew anything, I would have told you by now. David is being much more of a grown-up about this than moi. And I think I know who invented the flame-thrower. A woman whose husband was waiting for a call about a job. Surely she used it to burn down the office of the lazy bum who should have called her husband after 5 days.


Still waiting...

Neither one of us slept last night.

The longer it takes the more likely the news is not good.

We're going crazy.


How cute is this picture? Lily had just turned 4. She looks so tiny! This was our trip to Disneyland 4 years ago. And we drove. Do you know there is nothing (and I am not exaggerating) between where we live and Los Angeles? We drove through 2 days of desert. We've been saving a long time for this next trip so that we could fly, and Zinabu is fairly happy that he finally gets to go to California, see the Pacific Ocean, run in the sand, go to Disneyland, etc. You know me and flying, right? I won't bore you with my phobias, but rest assured I am stocked up on drugs so that I can get on the plane in 8 days. I told the kids, "Flying makes me sleepy so I may not be able to talk much on the plane." That's just a nice way of saying, "Mommy will be flying high in more ways than you can imagine."

We expect to hear something about David's job today or tomorrow. We will both be happy when this is over. The interview process has been grueling. He's exhausted from the process, and I'm exhausted from everything. Thanks for all your sweet support. I'll post as soon as I know something.


As of Today:

David has his FINAL interview.

10 more days till we leave for California.

I am excruciatingly tired of winter.

Zinabu is growing teeth like a shark. His permanent teeth are growing in behind his baby teeth. Baby teeth are not falling out and this just means more gigantic orthodontist bills for David and me.

I need to do our taxes but will probably put it off another week.

I need to start running again. I am woefully out of shape.

How about you?


Letters of Recommendation

Our world (or should I say, David's world) has been a whirlwind of resumes, letters of recommendation, and interviews. The principal of his school is retiring and he is applying for the position. Not that I'm biased at all, but I think he'd be perfect for the job. A great leader, super intelligent, loves teenagers, and solid believer in public education. He has made it to the final round of interviews and will meet with the superintendent sometime this week. We'd love to hear one way or another if he got the job by the end of this week, but that may be wishful thinking on our part. It could take another week before a decision is made. And if he doesn't get the job, I can tell you with all honesty that he will be content as the Assistant Principal and will still love what he does.

But those letters of recommendation... David deserves every one of them and I am so proud of him. But let me just say that if you're in a career or applying for a job and you get the chance to gather letters where people go on and on about how great you are, consider yourself blessed. There's nothing like that for parenting. In fact, most of the feedback I get is in the way of whining when I say "No" or tears when I tell them we won't buy a giraffe. Parenting does not come with accolades, pats on the back, praise, or recognition. People do not sit down and write letters about your skills, your management, your successes, and your triumphs. Most days parents are lucky to feel like they're on the ball, let alone hear about it.

But all that changed last night. Did you see? Did you watch her? Sandra Bullock won best actress for The Blind Side. And who did she dedicate her Oscar to? "...The moms that take care of the babies and the children no matter where they come from. Those moms and parents never get thanked."

Well. I can't ask for more than that. I love her.


If I didn't own a camera, I sometimes wouldn't believe it myself.

A note Lily wrote to Zinabu. Apparently, there are lots of animals in danger.


Keeping It Real

I admit. There are times when I think, "I'm a good mom." It's rare, but it happens. Like the fact that I make my kids read and I've instilled in them the love of a good story. The thrill of turning the page. The desire to sneak books into bed and use a flashlight to get five more minutes. I was a literature major in college and my career is to get paid to read. I love all things books and print. (True fact: I love reading the dictionary.) So seeing Carver not getting ready for school but trying to finish his current novel just about puts me over the moon with pride.

Harder to admit is the times I am a real jerk. And it happens. For example, I was at the hoity-toity gourmet grocery store for their sale on eggplant and there was a young mom there. She had her perfect two-year old in the cart. He was chewing on organic broccoli. She was dressed just way too adorable for grocery shopping. She had cute shoes and fancy earrings. I had scuffed flats and bleach-stained jeans. It was hard not to compare myself to her. And then, as I was bagging my eggplant, another person approached the cute mom and asked her, "Where do you get your hair cut? It's so beautiful."


So I went to pay for my eggplant and the line was long and after a few minutes there was a terrible high-pitched wail from somewhere in the middle of the store. It continued for a few minutes, increasing in octaves. "Gee," I thought. "Someone sure is throwing a fit." The wailing got louder and who should round the corner? Cute mom with broccoli-eating kid. And what was my response? "HA!" I actually took pleasure in her child's tantrum.

Therefore, I am a jerk.


This and That
I am beginning to feel really sorry for myself. Not only is it possible to get the same stomach flu twice (oh yes it is--living proof right here) but my 6 year old has eyelashes to die for. What 6 year old boy needs eyelashes as thick and long as Zinabu's? Can I somehow harvest them? Pluck them out in his sleep? What a waste of beautiful eye fringe.

The dog gets to spend his days lounging in the sun and making mopey eyes at me. I've decided that's what I want to be when I grow up. A dog. A dog who gets to sleep in sun patches and make mopey eyes at people.

Meanwhile, February is over and gone and my Acts of Kindness trickled down to a pathetic drip. There was no kindness to be found while leaning over a toilet, losing 24 hours worth of dietary sustenance. Or the next day. Or the next. But other than the horrible digestive parasite, I enjoyed challenging myself to being more "aware" of being kind. For example, there were three separate occasions where I found myself grabbing runaway grocery carts in the parking lot and pushing them to the place where you're supposed to leave your carts. I can only imagine how annoying it must be for the cart person to go out to the parking lot on any given day and find that their job is 6,000 times more difficult because all the shoppers are too dang lazy to put their carts away. Another kind act I performed was going through the drive-thru at Starbucks and paying for the person behind me. That was the most fun. Just randomly making someone's day. Try it sometime. You'll like it.

I was hoping to have a new challenge for the month of March, but until I get my body back to "food in, food stays in" I'm not setting the bar too high.