Oh It’s Nice to be Moo

March 18, 2012

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Moves Like Moo

January 20, 2012

Whenever I get really down on a performance, Herbie rubs my sore muscles and reminds me to “Orbach it,” referring to a piece I read a while ago by Jerry Orbach (not only a police detective but also a long-revered Broadway song-and-dance man), in which he talks about the challenges of performing the same show over and over and never being satisfied.  He finally came to the conclusion that he should view each performance as a chance to do better than the last, and that’s the view I’ve tried to adopt as well (it applies to every new day of parenting, too).

I was watching one of Moo’s shows this morning (“Superheroes!” starring Moo as Wonder Woman), and as I watched her dance, complete with sound effects – “Whoosh! Wah-ha!” – I saw in her performance what my performance is missing: total abandon.  When Moo dances, she is completely lost in the joy of spinning and leaping, and being completely lost in the joy of dancing is what my dance is supposed to be about.  But I haven’t quite allowed myself to do that.  I can tell I’m still holding back, for many perfectly valid reasons – strained hamstring, my feet hurt, I hate dancing in character shoes, ohmygodthisdanceissoexhaustingI’mgoingtodie…

But basically, I think I just need to suck it up, let go, and dance like Moo.

Home Sweeter Home

August 25, 2011

We are here!

Top 10 Things About Our New House:

1.  No weird smell in the master bathroom.  Our old house had a tiny bathroom, which we realized had a mysterious smell after we moved in.  (We previously thought it just needed a good cleaning.)  We tested for mold – nothing.  We scrubbed and scrubbed – still I scrunched up my nose.  In five years, I never once used the master bathroom.  Instead, it became Herbie’s bathroom, and I shared a bathroom with a preschooler and a baby.  Now I share a room with my hubby (double sinks!), and Moo pretty much has her own bathroom, which means I have to check once a day to see if she has remembered to flush at all (usually no – not a pretty sight).

2.  Saying goodbye to the Cave.  Also known as our kitchen – the Cave had no natural light, and when I washed dishes, I stared at a beige wall.  Plenty of space, but that space came with ugly green countertops and cabinets that had been installed for people over six feet, so I had to stretch on my tip-toes to reach the plates or even the microwave (and I’m tall!).  The oven was also installed in the refrigerator’s spot and vice versa, leaving a lovely little chasm next to the stove, perfect for drips, drops, and suicidal noodles.  Now I have a WINDOW over the sink, looking out on two orange trees.  And if I turn around, I can see my children tackling each other in the family room, instead of trying to interpret their shrieks from the Cave.  And the TV!  I can see the TV!  I can’t wait for Christmas, so I can bake cookies and watch Elf – a dream come true!

3.  Not feeling creeped out by my neighborhood.  Cars parked in the yards.  Fat men without shirts.  Houses falling apart.  Having NO desire to go trick-or-treating in my own neighborhood.  And we were robbed a few years ago, which I realize can happen in even the nicest neighborhoods, but in our case, we kinda got the feeling that our robber could live on the next block.

4. Not feeling embarassed to invite people over.  When Moo began preschool and made a few friends, I longed to start scheduling playdates.  But I felt ashamed of our neighborhood, no matter how many times Rosalind assured me that nobody was judging us.  When we gave Rosalind a tour of the new place, she said, “Whoa, this house is so much better.”  I’m planning a back-to-school party for Moo’s new preschool class next month.

5.  High ceilings.  Now Herbie can throw Juice and Moo in the air without worrying about giving them concussions!

6.  Pool!  And a backyard that we actually use, even when it’s 108 degrees.  We neglected our old backyard, because it was barely visible from the house and never had any sort of landscape design.  Now, our family room looks over the covered patio, pool and nice, grassy landscaped yard.  Bonus:  FAKE patch of grass in the front yard!  Joke’s on you, weeds!

7.  Master bedroom.  Like the kitchen, our old bedroom was distinctly cave-like, made worse by my misguided decision to paint it dark blue (“It’ll be like the ocean!” I chirped).  So small, Herbie and I often had traffic jams just trying to walk around the bed.  Our new bedroom has a window seat, a GLORIOUSLY HUGE closet, and room for piles and piles of laundry.  It’s a nice light blue, and so far I’m resisting my deep-seated desire to paint everything teal and violet.

8.  Garage.  Hey, where does this go?  Garage.  Hey, where should we store this?  Garage.  What, it’s 115 degrees again?  Ah, the car is nice and cool in the garage.

9.  No more ugly diagonal white tile.  It never looked clean, it always looked ugly.  Now we’ve got lovely dirt-hiding tile and lush carpet, upon which Juice adores throwing himself mid-tantrum.

10.  Santa won’t have to come in the front door anymore – he can come down the chimney!

As Herbie said, It’s like this was always our house, we just didn’t live here yet.

Countdown to Chaos

August 4, 2011

The movers are coming at 7 tomorrow morning.

Both houses are complete wrecks – however, the newer one boasts much less dust.  Score one for Mama.  And the kid’s rooms are kinda  sorta adorable.  I didn’t get all the cars and trucks done in Juice’s room, but at least I finished the section behind his crib.  He’s already trying to reach his toy trucks up to the “road.”  And Moo has named all the birds in her new bird tree.  For the record – Siranna, Megan, Greely, Roxta, Kooky, Emma, Maddie, and Doc. (Emma and Doc are married.  Maddie is kinda shy.)

I am approaching HIGH-ALERT stress levels, and that stress is seeping out and infecting my children with whininess and grumpiness, and hell, who wouldn’t be grumpy with all. this. mess.

Juice is spending the night at Herbie’s parents’ house tonight so he won’t try and heft the couch into the moving truck all by himself, but Moo really wanted to be here for the big event, and I’m trying to respect her feelings and wishes during this transition.  Although I have frequently needed to remind her that Big Change does not equal an excuse to act rude.  (“But I’m not acting, Mommy!”  “Behave, then – don’t behave rudely.  Just stop whining!”)

And then, in the middle of my bubbling grumbliness, something funny will happen – Juice open-mouth kisses me, Moo presents me with a Polly Pocket trapped in a slinky, I find Juice’s missing chicken in the “bathroom stuff” box – and I remember that moving to a nicer house is a good thing, and the chaos will gradually smooth itself out.

But where…the hell…is the CHEESE GRATER?!?!?

 

A lot has happened.

We bonded with cousins:

Juice turned 1:

And enjoyed himself immensely:

Our dear friends got married, and Moo got to be a flower girl:

Moo also performed in her first “show” at Phoenix Theatre’s summer camp:

We went camping:

And this happened:

Yes, we’re moving!  Nicer house, nicer neighborhood.

So happy.

Let the packing madness commence!

My Phoenix Theatre audition is in just a few hours and I am definitely entering the nausea/fainting stage.

Luckily, I have the coolest daughter in the world.  After Moo watched me sing my songs a few times, I had an idea.  I had her sit up on the couch, I grabbed my headshot and resume, and walked into the room.

“Hello, Mrs. Director Lady!” I said.

She looked confused a second, and then her eyes flashed.  “Oh hello, yes, you’re the next girl to audition,” she said, carefully studying my headshot as I handed it to her.  “Yes, this is you,” she decided.

And so I went through my whole audition, four times, under the critical but loving eyes of my dear Moo.

I still want to crawl into a hole/faint/throw up….but not quite as much.

Let the Easter festivities commence!