Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Zeke Wins

On Sunday, we decided to have hot cocoa for dessert. Each boy was told that he needed to eat some chicken and some peas during dinner if he wanted dessert.

Victor complied. He likes chicken and peas.

Zeke ate the chicken, but complained that his peas had sauce on them, and were therefore inedible.

I encouraged him to eat his peas anyway. He ate two forkfuls, thus earning his dessert.

He then promptly vomited up his entire dinner into his lap.

He wasn't sick. It was just too gross for him to eat. I was disgusted/baffled. Jeremy said he used to do the same thing as a kid when food was too gross to eat.

So Zeke won. He vomited his food and got his cocoa anyway because it didn't seem fair to withhold it for involuntary vomiting.

And now I know vomit at the table is a real possibility if Zeke thinks food is gross.

Point to Zeke. Zeke wins.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Week 2 Challenge

Last week's wild card challenge in my new year's challenge was to reconnect with someone via phone or in-person visit for 15 minutes a day.

I didn't do it.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 4 of Creativity

Thursday was day 4 of creativity. I decided that my creative efforts that day would be channeled into my dance class.

Specifically, I would try to be more creative and less inhibited in my expressions, arms, movement, etc. If our teacher said to "pose," I would think of a pose instead of asking her to just assign one to me (which is my usual practice; what is more embarrassing than producing a pose of one's own?).

Lucky for me, there was no "pose" in class that night. But I did make an effort to be more creative and artistic. That was fun, but the real highlight of the class was finally getting a tricky piece of the choreography we've been working on for a couple of weeks. It's fast, and the hardest bit has to fit in one and a half counts. And now I can do it!

The other big even of the class was the departure of the last of the three novice tappers who joined our class in September. Every year, new people join our class. And every year, they all drop out after Thanksgiving.

This year, one person made it until the first class after Christmas--a new record! But she quit and now our class is back to me and my two friends. I'm pleased, because now our teacher doesn't have to split her time between us and the beginners. We can just get on with the fun stuff!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Days 3, 5, and 6 of Creativity

To be creative on Wednesday and Friday I spent time working on my columns for Nauvoo Times.

Writing a weekly column is more time consuming than I had expected. I usually spend lots of time thinking about it, and lots of time writing it on Monday and Tuesday. This week, I put in more writing time on Thursday and Friday, and I hope it will make for a not-so-late night next Monday and Tuesday.

Some questions are easier to answer than others. The column about tardy thank-you notes flew out of my brain in half an hour. The column about a husband who watches too much TV took months of writing, re-writing, re-thinking, and adjusting.

Jeremy is my sounding board/editor. When a column is reasonably far along, I read it to him, and then ask what I have missed. He is very helpful. The process helps me identify assumptions I have made that need to be explained or defended instead of assumed.

Sometimes, I consult people with expertise or experience in the topic of my column. I might need to verify points of Church procedure, for example, or talk to a parent of teenagers.

Most of the columns so far have been questions from family and friends. Thank you to my question-askers! The column would be very boring if I had to make up imaginary problems on which to offer advice. It would also be pointless to give advice to imaginary people.

Excitingly, I have started getting questions from readers I don't know. It gives me a little thrill to see a Nauvoo Times Submission Form email in my inbox.

It can take a long time for a question to go from asked to answered. If you have sent me a question, I am working on it!

Please send more questions! Be sure to include plenty of detail. I will disguise the details, if you wish.

Finally, on Day 6 of Creativity, I wrote this blog post.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 2 of Creativity

For my creativity point yesterday, I spend a good deal of time at the piano. Since I had to accompany the choir last night, and I needed to learn the piece, it was multitasking at its best: work that is fun.

Victor is learning about Mozart in school right now. Mozart is my favorite composer to play on the piano, so I played a little for him. And I let him listen to the overture to The Marriage of Figaro at the table. It was a little peppy for dinner, but very enjoyable.

He is also learning about the various families of instruments. So about two weeks ago, at his request, I got out my french horn to play for him and Zeke.

I hadn't played it in years. The valves were sluggish. I have no chops. But my fingers remembered the scales, and I felt like a piece of my soul had been returned to me. That might sound dramatic, but I spent a LOT of time with that horn in my high school and college years, and I loved playing it, especially when I transitioned from band to orchestra in college.

Music--piano, horn, singing--went missing from my life during law school and law practice, but it started to pick up again after Victor was born. I had to re-learn piano after chemo and its accompanying neuropathy. But now I play for enjoyment, and I play for the choir sometimes, and I accompany soloists at church.

My playing is even improving! I get less nervous, and I can learn pieces faster. I still don't play as well as I used to, but what I do play is enjoyable and useful.

I would like to play in an orchestra again, but the only one I know of is at a local church, and they perform every Sunday morning. That's a no go. But maybe I'll find something once Zeke is in school.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Creativity Challenge

I am participating in a 12-week new-year challenge. I get points for doing a variety of healthful things, including a weekly wild card.

This week's wild card is to spend 30 minutes a day doing something creative.


It's not that I'm an un-creative person. I like to create order, for example. And I like to transform dirty, wrinkled clothes into clean, unwrinkled clothes. But I don't think that's what the challenge has in mind.

I like doing crafts twice a year at Relief Society and annually after Thanksgiving. It's fun to use my hands to make things when someone else has assembled the materials and the mess is not in my house.

Also, I like music. I think practicing the piano is creative.

Cooking can be creative. I got my creative point today by making a new recipe for dinner. To emphasize the creativity factor, I altered two ingredients.

And writing my advice column is creative, as is blogging.

But creativity, to me, is something that comes after the work is done. And somehow, the work never seems done.