Friday, September 29, 2006

Someday My Prince Will Come

My mom and I took the girls to Costco the other morning. It's always fun to go anywhere with the kiddos, but especially to places where we will inevitably come across a Disney character on a book cover or a box of diapers, because it's fun to watch Bethany's reaction. If she sees Pooh or Buzz Lightyear, she points and excitedly announces their presence. If she sees any of the Disney Princesses, her eyes get very wide and she leans out of the shopping cart, calling out each of their names. And if she sees The Little Mermaid, she practically hyperventilates.

Ariel is by far her favorite of the Disney princesses. We have multiple Ariel dolls, I am the human jukebox for Ariel songs, and I have been known to fashion a rather impressive play-dough Ariel. We think it's adorable that she's so enamored with The Little Mermaid, and has been for months now. As she gets older, however, and as we become more familiar with the Doctrines of Disney, Matthew and I have come to realize that Ariel may not be such a stellar role model for our daughter.

Ariel deals with a myriad of issues, most significantly a self-centered mindset with little concern for others and a general lack of discernment. But we have to be somewhat understanding. After all, she is living in a single-parent home (as are all Disney Princesses) with a father who has an anger problem. To add to her predisposition to selfishness, she is the youngest in a long line of markedly uglier sisters and is unquestionably her father's favorite child. From this dysfunctional family setting, several themes arise that flew right by me as a kid, but now as a mom raise some major eyebrow.

First of all, the main statement the movie makes is to follow your heart- even if it means directly disobeying your father and signing away your life to a massively overweight power-hungry octopus-woman. Second thing I never noticed: By the time the movie ends with newly-wed Ariel floating off into the sunset on her wedding ship, the average watcher who hasn't seen the film 36 times has most likely forgotten that Ariel clearly stated her age earlier on in the movie... she is a mere sixteen years old. Her daddy of course gives this marriage his blessing and in fact makes it possible by magically giving her legs, but what can we expect from a father who passes off his parental responsibilities to a crab.

If I had nothing else to do, I would probably have a lot of fun making sequels to these fairytale movies. The post-honeymoon tension is already building in my mind... Prince Eric and Ariel go out to dinner, and Eric orders the flounder.... Eric wants to watch the big game at his favorite sports bar, but they card Ariel at the door.... King Triton wants the pair home for the holidays, but Eric can't breathe underwater. Probably didn't have time to think through these kinds of details during their 3-day courtship.

Admittedly, I am going a little overboard (yuk yuk) for the sake of what I call humor. Matthew and I are not going to burn all the Little Mermaid paraphernalia and boycott Disney, but we will need to be mindful of what our daughters are taking in. In reality, we will probably end up drawing a number of lessons from the Disney princesses and will find ample teaching opportunities in them as Bethany gets older. After all, there is some truth in every lie. Like the princesses, we are all born longing for something more; something greater than ourselves. There is in fact a grand Prince to fall madly in love with. And, best of all, there most certainly is a happily ever after.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Under Where?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that most everyone has back-up underwear. I don't mean a spare set of underwear that is carried around on one's person in the event of a bladder malfunction. The underwear I'm referring to are those 3 or 4 pairs that you own but rarely wear. They are an unfortunate few that you didn't intentionally buy as back-ups, but over time eventually fell out of the rotation. It may be that they don't quite fit you right, or they make you feel fat, or they have a propensity towards wedgies, but for one reason or another they have slowly and surely worked their way to the back of the drawer to mingle with the Christmas socks. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I will have you know that I have spent the entire week wearing back-up underwear. As I type this, I can almost feel my readers squirming in empathetic discomfort. I appreciate the sentiment. Why, you may ask, would someone subject themselves to such a tortuous state of existence? Perhaps for one day, possibly two, when the laundry has gotten out of hand, a pair of back-ups will be worn. But an entire week? Allow me to explain.

We stepped off of the cruise ship in Vancouver last Saturday morning. Royal Carribean had an elaborate luggage system in place including color-coded tags, ours being Orange 11. We were instructed to attach the tags to our bags, place our luggage outside our stateroom doors, and Royal Caribbean would take over from there. You already know where this is going. The morning we were to depart, we were all sitting around waiting for our luggage color and number to be announced so we could proceed down the gangway. After several hours and a rainbow of other colors, Orange 11 was finally called. Matthew and I cheered audibly as onlookers smiled with a combination of amusement and envy, and we headed off to the bus that would take us to Seattle where we would catch our flight home. There were two buses, actually, both full of Seattle-bound cruisers, and as we boarded the buses we all shared the same concern. The luggage on the sidewalk by the bus was not Orange 11 luggage, but Orange 10. Not to worry, assured the cruise representatives. It's all part of the system. Your luggage will be on the other bus. So off we went on the 3 hour drive to Sea-Tac airport. The other bus had a head start on us and, upon arrival, we pulled up to see its passengers standing around with arms folder and brows furrowed, anxious to get into our luggage compartments. Understandable, we thought to ourselves. After all, we must have their luggage, and they must have ours. But neither of these statements proved to be true.

It was utter chaos for about 15 minutes. The only thing worse than a mob of angry people is a mob of angry rich people, and that is indeed what we were caught up in. Matthew and I, being neither rich nor angry, tried to be as understanding as possible with the terrified Royal Caribbean representatives. We filled out some paperwork and waited around for what we should do. After much yelling and phone calls it was announced that our luggage was still in Vancouver. To add insult to injury, due to some kind of protocol, they refused to send our luggage on a bus without passengers. The only option was to ship our luggage out to us the following Monday, giving it an ETA of 4 to 5 days. With renewed rage, the mink mob descended upon the RC reps once again, breathing out fiery threats and vows of retaliation. Matthew and I picked up our carry-ons and quietly slipped out of the fray and into the terminal, knowing that coming home to Phoenix we would not be much missing our sweat pants and overcoats.

I am, however, missing my underwear. I do the laundry every two days to keep the fragile cycle going. I suppose I could have just gone to Target and bought more, but throughout this underwear crisis my bench has really come up big. I don't think I'll be returning any of them to the starting line-up, but I have to hand it to them. They're getting the job done.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Reluctant Early Riser

I woke up this morning when it was still dark outside because some nut was out there mowing their lawn. This is double-irritating because 1) I lost an hour’s sleep and 2) It only served as a reminder of the jungle we are currently growing in our backyard. I think it’s been literally 3 months since Matthew’s been out there mowing, although last week he did go after the front lawn with a weed-whacker and gave it a bad haircut to buy more time with the HOA. But in the backyard, the lawn is seriously out of control. I hesitate to take Bethany out back to play because if she wanders into the grasslands, we may never see her again.

So the Lawnmower Man woke me up and now I can’t go back to sleep because there are a million things swirling around in my head. All wonderful things, but things nonetheless. Most prevalent is a contract I received yesterday from a publisher that I will possibly be working with on a song-by-song basis. They sent the agreement for me to look over and sign, calling it “a standard document that simply outlines our understanding”. Let me tell you, there wasn’t much “simple” going on over here, and even less “understanding”. Here’s an excerpt:

AND WHEREAS Purchaser has agreed to purchase and Seller has agreed to sell 50% (fifty percent) of Seller’s undivided right, title and interest (whether existing, contingent, expectant or otherwise to the full extent thereof) in and to the Compositions, and copyrights thereto and by this reference made a part hereof, and the assets more particularly described below (the “Copyright(s)”) for the consideration and upon the terms and conditions hereinafter contained;

I’m working through it paragraph by paragraph, and with the help of lawyer-dad, will hopefully have it decoded by the end of the day, signed and notarized by the aforementioned lawyer, thereof. Hitherto. Forsyth.

On top of that, I’m thinking through the planning necessary to leave the kids for our 5-year anniversary trip. We disembark on Saturday. That’s right- “disembark”. We’re going on an Alaskan Cruise. Some savings, a contribution from a wonderful person, little Harper’s tax refund, and we’re on our way! We always held an Alaskan cruise out there as a 10-year or maybe 15-year anniversary, but as we thought about it we realized that we could get hit by a bus or Christ could come back or Canada could take over Alaska before we ever got to go. So we’re going now. Very logical reasoning, if you ask me. Seriously, though- you have to live life. You can’t just wait around or make grand plans for the future. Carpe Diem! Carpe Cruise! Carpe Buffet!

Other than those two big fish, the rest is just the plankton of the day floating around in my head. I have to run sound for Women’s Ministries this morning, I have to hit the post office to ship out a box of Archie Comics I sold on eBay, and there are still a bunch of loose ends to tie up before we go. So, as long as I can successfully navigate the legalese and no crocodiles emerge from the Outback out back, this should be a pretty good day.

Monday, September 04, 2006

You Might Be a Mommy

1) If you've ever done a load of legos in the washing machine...

2) If you've ever enjoyed an oatmeal-facial unintentionally...

3) If you find yourself singing the theme song to "Dora the Explorer" in the shower...

4) If there is more food on the floor than in the refrigerator...

5) If you've ever looked into the cost of installing a GPS system on a sippy cup...

6) If your purse is too large to qualify as carry-on baggage...

7) If you've ever contracted a sore throat from talking like Elmo for too long...

8) If you've ever used your vacuum cleaner directly on a human being...

9) If you've ever excused yourself from a social setting by saying "I have to go to the potty..."

10) If you've ever been overwhelmed by God's goodness in the blessing of kids...

You might be a Mommy! (Or a Daddy, I suppose... except for the purse one. :)