a little bit more about me

My name is Beth and I accidentally have found myself living in Arizona but I'm originally from Tennessee. My education is in history and anthropology, which means that I know a little about a lot of things and can hold my own at a cocktail party in mixed company. I work in museums, doing all sorts of things ranging from researching and writing exhibits to cataloguing absolute wickety wak. I love comedy, baking, photography, my daughter, dogs, and above all else, napping.*

* 2013 edit: Oh yeah, and my new son too.

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    Saturday
    Jul122014

    How to avoid bath time antics

    Recipe for ensuring your kids smell straight-from-the-bath fresh and clean with a minimum of difficulty and effort:

    Have older child scrub your face with their bath soap during imaginary bath time. Do not rinse.

    The rest of the day any time you cuddle or hold your child, you will think "Awww. You smell SO good."

    Thursday
    Jul102014

    Let's Make Everything Harder for Parents, Shall We?

    A conversation in our house this morning:

    Me: “…so the bottom line is, yes, Dawdler Toddler can start preschool next month, & there’s still availability, we just have to decide which of the 10 preschools in the district we want her to go to.”

    My Better Half™: “why not just the one in walking distance to which we are zoned?”

    Me: “No preschool there.”

    My Better Half™: “So just send her to the closest one in our district that has a preschool.”

    Me: “oh, sure. You’d think it would be that easy. But here’s the tricky part: preschool in our district is 4 days a week…no school on Wednesdays…and you choose the morning half day, which ends at 11:20 OR the afternoon half day that ends at 3:20…”

    My Better Half™: “…can’t you just do both to get a full day that’s 8:20-3:20? Even though that's NOT A FULL DAY at anybody's work?!”

    Me: “…no, because it’s exactly the same school day, just repeated twice.”

    My Better Half™: “…so what are we supposed to do with her after the morning or before the afternoon? And ALL DAY EVERY Wednesday?”

    Me: “…that’s an even bigger question. So there’s a before/after school program for those of us who, I dunno, work and stuff? But it’s only offered at some of the 10 preschools. There is one full-day option – it’s a Montessori multi-age classroom, but that’s only at 1 of the 10 preschools… and we’d be committing to the Montessori track…which I’m not sure I’m on board with…and anyway we would have had to registered forever ago because there’s a waitlist for that.”

    My Better Half™: “…okay, so I guess we do the preschool that’s closest to us AND has one of these before/after school programs.”

    Me: “…agreed. So now we get to the next question. Of the preschools that also have the before/after school programs, which of those do we want her to go to Kindergarten at?”

    My Better Half™: “…okay, now you’re just talking crazy. She’s only 3!”

    Me: “…yeah, I know. But here’s the thing: Since our elementary school, the one in walking distance, doesn’t have a preschool, she can either go to preschool wherever we choose and then switch at kindergarten to where we’re zoned OR continue on to kindergarten wherever we send her to preschool. There’s this thing where if your elementary school doesn’t have a preschool, and as a result you send your kid to a district preschool somewhere else, you can choose to continue on at that school where she started for kindergarten & elementary – y’know, so your kid doesn’t have to make all new friends at a new school all over again. So it’s really a question of where do we want her to ultimately go to kindergarten & elementary school.”

    Both of us: <banging head on counter>

    Me: “…and there’s actually kinda significant differences in curriculum & in quality in the different district elementary schools that also have preschools so…”

    ----

    Is it absolutely bonkers that we’re talking about WHERE TO SEND OUR JUST-TURNED-3-YEAR-OLD to kindergarten?! Is this INSANE or normal these days? Hard to tell…

    Sunday
    Jun292014

    nope, not bitter at all

    Me: What time are we meeting our friends at the Children's museum? 9:00?

    My Better Half: uh, not til 11:00... 

    Me: <raising one eyebrow>

    My Better Half: I tried to get them to agree to meet around 9:00 but then they said "Why so early?!"

    Me: Their kids must sleep in.

    Me: F*ck them.

    ----

    I can at least take solace in the fact that last night the Yankees (their team) lost to the Red Sox (ours). While I drink my coffee and pray for an early nap.

    Thursday
    Jun262014

    Got Chuckle?

    Does anyone have a recipe for homemade chloroform? I ask because I'm exhausted but I can't sleep. Insomnia + exhaustion is a bad combination.

    By the way, how do I know homemade chloroform even exists? Because I still remember a story My Better Half told me about a long time ago, where a friend of his figured out how to make it and called his homemade concoction "Chuckle" because the chemical makeup was something like CHCl or something. If you know how to score some, let me know. Til then I'll be self medicating my insomnia with listening to the most boring podcasts I can find.

    Sunday
    Jun222014

    Last call

    Three weeks ago we made plans with friends to go out tonight to hang out one last time before they move. Ah, academic life. Our friends are at the mercy of the job market, so they are moving from their one-year appointments at the local university to another one-year appointment at a different university out-of-state. Anyway, we had to plan far in advance due to us having family in town and our Dawdler Toddler's third birthday, so we agreed upon Sunday June 22. We went ahead and booked a sitter. They have kids too, and they did the same. Only this morning their kids woke with fevers and vomiting. And for some bizarre reason, they're deciding that this makes for an ideal evening to cancel on us in order to hang out with their kids. Something about how dumping them on a sitter & running for the hills would be irresponsible, blah blah blah. Sheesh.

    So we - My Better Half and I - were left to our own devices as to what to do with our valuable and rare night out. We had planned a great night out on the town. Hit a couple high points, Phoenix places one really would miss out on if they had never been and seeing as this was one of their last chances, we figured we'd go one place for happy hour, another for dinner, and a third for dessert. But since it was going to be just us two, we opted for a movie instead. Rather than waste all our month's income at shi shi (sp?) restaurants we can't afford anyway while we stare at our phones, we decided on a movie we can't afford either. So cliche but since WHEN do movies cost $20?! I know, we don't get out much, clearly. The last time we got out was when My Better Half™'s parents kept the kids for a night in November. As in LAST YEAR. And we saw a movie then too but it just seemed way cheaper. Probably because we didn't pay his parents for watching the kids. And because we went to the $3 theater to watch something that had probably originally come out over the summer.

    But back to last night. After the movie, we still had an hour to kill. We could've just headed home but it was the dreaded bedtime hour. Getting Dawdler Toddler and Baby to go to bed is like trying to coax a particularly feisty raccoon into a cage. So we decided to let our well-compensated and rarely used sitter take that on for one night while we wandered into a bar to grab a snack and a beer before heading home. We were one of only 2 tables in the bar, and we ordered an appetizer and a beer and about 5 minutes after they brought us our order the server stopped by again to say "So, it's last call, so are you guys going to want another?" No, we said. Then My Better Half™ high-fived me and said "OMG! It's almost like we're normal adults again! When was the last time we were out for last call?!" Now, granted, it being a Sunday night and a small neighborhood watering hole, this bar's last call was at 9:00 p.m. But still! It really was like a brief return to being a member of adult society again for one tiny little moment. So our makeshift night out that cost us a fortune? Worth. Every. Penny.