Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Job & No Regrets

I'm reading Jack, Ramona the Pest, our heads close over the book, I give him a head but once in a while, because he loves it. I'm giving Alexis back her juice box and pulling Hailey's toys out of the toilet, wishing I hadn't answered the phone. I'm juggling baby Tucker, giggling and flirting like he does, and dance and sing numbers 1-20 with Owen in Japanese.

"So what do you do Cori?"
"I'm a full time nanny, I love it."
"OMG I can't stand kids, that's why I have dogs."
"I completely know how you feel Meg, but there's a trick to it."

This week while reading to Jack I had a thought, perhaps a pang of guilt. Instead of cuddled with Jack on the couch, I could be sitting infront of 30 Jacks, reading this same book, opening up this little world to them and pouring out my love and enthusiasm on them. I am so good with my children. I work closely with their parents to make them the best, most intelligent and well behaved children we can. Am I wasting myself, not lending my skill to the masses?

Back to my conversation with Meg. The reason why most intelligent adults don't enjoy children is because most children are pieces of shit. Many are not little vessels to be filled with endless potential. Most are abnoxious because that's what their parents are. I don't have hope in every child... for most I feel dread. So when I went to college to be a teacher, I believed each pack of children who passed through my class would leave it better, with my drive and passion. But that's not what a teacher does. Even if that's what they set out to do, fresh out of their sterile college universe, they soon learn that's not their intended function. They don't even have to be particularly intelligent, just obedient and good at relaying the chosen curriculum. What a happy life.

I remember being 11 and knowing my teacher was working for her paycheck. She was numb to us. So many teachers I've met now, from the salon, from life... are the same, and I haven't met one that I've liked yet. There's much to say, but this is about me not them.

I explained to my new friend that the trick was selecting the children with potential, which is what I did. They accept discipline and are extremely smart. If they were with me in a classroom, I would have to play to the dumb masses, and their exellence would be lost. I'm not against public education, it's necessary to create strong children that can accept what is good and correct and reject what is not, to respect authority, even if the authority is wrong... etc... but only good parents (or parental figures) can create an amazing child... or some latent genetics. It was a great conversation, and I was glad to be able to give her hope in children.

I love my job. If it wasn't for my desire to have children of my own, I'd do this forever. I love the freedom I have to do what I know is absolutely right. I love watching my kids grow and respond positively to both my teaching and discipline. I love they know that I am engaged in their world. I love that I go home, everyday without fail, full of pride in my day's work, though tired and perhaps snot and spaghetti spattered. I love that I don't have to go home to drink away the stress of the day or to make myself forget how much less my life is than what I had been expecting.

I love living a life without compromise... I love having it all.

Friday, January 18, 2008

"Our house, in the middle of our street" Photo Blog!!!!

Well, it's official. Eric and I took another step into grown-updom and bought a house. Instead of just posting pictures, I decided to do a photo blog so I can not only talk about what the house currently is, but what it will be!

Anyhow, on to the basics. The house was on the market for only 16 days, it was listed at 530,000 and we got it for 510,000 with a 15,000 credit so... 495,000. A great deal for the area. Scott Craig was our realtor and if you are planning on buying a house anytime soon, use him, he honestly treated us like family. Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, approx 1600 sqft. It is about 50 years old, only one family has ever lived in it, and everything is pretty a 1950 original.

This is our street and our house. I am really struggling with this tree. It is so big and old, so I feel like we should keep it, but I have always wanted a willow in my front yard, so we will see. We are going to paint the house a warm sandy color, with white trim. It'll look great with the cute country style windows that are going in, hopefully sometime this month. I also want to put in another brick pillar opposite the existing one. I have a thing for symmetry.

If you would like to join the "Please Save The Mailbox" campaign, please let me know. Eric and Tyler have both expressed feelings of hate towards this adorable mailbox... but I love it. I have a feeling I'm going to loose this one though. This is our front door. It, like every other door, inside and out, will be replaced. I'm thinking white. And next we have the entry room closet. I love that there is a mirror on it... but it scares me when I come down the hallway as I mistake myself for an intruder.

Ok so if you walk in the front door, turn right, and then right again, you will see the kitchen. Other than the master bathroom add on, the kitchen will be receiving the most work. I have picked out a sandy colored stone floor (not unlike the color of the current vinyl floor), Maple cabinets with a cherry mocha glaze (which sounds delish, huh) and we are still undecided on the counter tops, but we are thinking an earth tone granite. The wall to the left will be ripped out and an 7 ft bar will replace it with internally lit glass cabinets above. Where the oven is we will have a stainless steel fridge (sorry green appliances, you gotta go). To the immediate right, there will be a built in desk, and bookshelf for my cookbooks, a little bill paying area. There will be no informal dining area like there is now. The sink will be pushed down the the far right corner (corner sinks are cool), and in the center of the back wall there will be a free standing stainless steel stove/oven. Microwave will be cleverly hidden in the lower cabinets with a sliding cabinet door. Cabinets everywhere. Recessed lighting. Wall color undecided, leaning towards dark red though.

So when the bar is put in, where the stove, fridge is, you will be looking into the dining room (pictured below). So looking at this picture down here, that wall to the right will be gone. New window is going in (to the left) and where you see the fish tank, there will be French doors leading to the patio. This house is basically being built as the perfect place for parties. The back wall here will have a buffet/bar. Granite, with a little sink in it (to easily rinse shakers and shot glasses). It's where all the alcohol will be. There will be cabinets matching those in the kitchen, all internally lit to show off the pretty bottles of liquor. Aged iron chandelier will replace the current light and we'll have a round, cherry wood table. Under all this carpet (including the living room and bedrooms), there is hardwood floors, which will be refinished and stained a light honey color.

If you turn around, you are standing in the livingroom, or great room as we don't have, or want, separate living/family room areas. Please take a moment to admire the paneling on the far wall. I know, it's beautiful right? If you said yes, you are no longer my friend. All walls will be a light sandy tanish color, but I think that the wall with the fireplace will be red. New gas fireplace is going in, and we will be building it out for so that the mantel has more depth. Huge mirror will most likely be over the mantel. You can see the beginning of the sliding glass door to the right, that will be a big window, and cherry book shelves will flank the TV all the way to the back left corner... break... and continue at the back right corner and to the window... I think it'll be a great contrast and good flow, as where there are bookshelves/cabinets there will be light walls, where there isn't there will be a red wall, and then continue with light walls. We also bought a beautiful ceiling for the center of this room. Aged iron and cherry wood. I am also gonna get a huge square red ottoman, to set off the neutral couches. There is a good chance that sconces matching the ceiling fan will find themselves on either side of the fireplace.

Head left. Down this hall is guest/future kids bathroom and three bredrooms. The bathroom is a great size, but a hideous salmon color. Even the tub. Everything will be ripped out except the toilet. Colors all pretty similar to the kitchen, same flooring, granite counter, painted, not tiled walls. Shower will be a stone-like tile with a built in place for shower stuff. I am also demanding vessel sinks in both bathrooms, which has been a dream of mine forever. That is also pictured below. Faucet will be traditional though... in oil rubbed bronze.

Bedrooms are a good size, looks small in pic, they all three look just like this one so I just posted the one picture. Two will be for kids and one will be an office... but for now we'll have an office, and guest bedrooms. We haven't set up our master bedroom yet so for now we are crashing here. White ceiling fans going in all... new windows, wood floors, same tannish walls. I would love to have a bay window in the office, but we will see.

So we are at one end of the house, now to the other. Down the hallway, into the kitchen, and then off the kitchen is the master bedroom. Very far from the kids so we can't hear them... and they can't hear us ;). This room needs a lot of work. Cream Berber carpet... wall color undecided but the paneling will be going... asap. Two very large windows or a bay window with a window seat will replace the tiny window. To the left you can see a sunroom. Then (next pic) a very small bathroom. The plan is to rip out the door/wall there and actually connect the two to make a very large master bath. Big tub, separate standing shower, double vanity. I am trying to think about how I can work a walk-in closet. This will be the last project, as it will be the biggest. It is hard to tell in the 3rd pic, but the heater in the bathroom actually causes the whole thing to glow red... it's creepy.

Going out that door and turning around you will be in the yard looking at where the future bathroom will be. We will be building out to where that pole is. That'll be all windows... should be nice. Make a 180 and you'll see the little greenhouse. While this is cute, we have better plans for this space. A gazebo, outdoor bar, and hot tub... The right side of the yard will basically be patio, accessible from the dining room French doors or the master bathroom. Left side will be lawn. The current patio, planter boxes, pond, and much of the rocks will be gone. I can appreciate all the landscaping, but it is a very Asian style and I want my yard to have more of a secret garden feel. I will incorporate the rocks, but I would like the yard to be more level, with the far left corner to have a vine covered, small gated garden. That sliding glass door will be a big window. Big tree is staying, others are going.

Last but not least, this is where the bunnies will live. Looks pretty drab right now, but it will be a fully enclosed area with cages lining the right wall.

Thank you for stopping by and seeing our new house. Eric and I are so in love with it, and we hope that it will enable us to throw lots of wonderful parties for our friends (weekly LOST parties begin THIS MONTH... with Rock Band opening :) ) And I want to thank everyone who helped us move! Heidi bird, Jon, Ben, Katie, and Tyler. You guys kick ass and this would have seriously sucked without you. Oh an thaaaank you Heidi for my beautiful house warming gift... it is almost as pretty as you are :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Stream of Unconsciousness

"How old are you? Blue turtle."
"How old are you? Go fish. And who thought up blue turtle?"
"Six. I don't know... You have a lot of jobs."
"Yeah, I do. Red crab?"
"You should be tired. Go fish."
"I'm not. Cool, a pair."

I always loved stream of consciousness exercises in jr. high Language Arts class. I loved what magic my mind made when it met paper. I still do. Except... now it seems my mind has been silenced by another, stronger current. A stream of unconsciousness.

I used to keep a dream journal, I swore my dreams helped me guide my waking life. I'd read them over and over and marinate in them, hoping never to forget them.

The first dreams I wanted to forget were after my ex left me. Nightly, he came back and left, in a million different ways. Maybe my mind was trying to work out a way to let go that felt right. An end to the story that worked.

Then they were of love again, but even these were unsettling. My dream man held my hand at the movies and kissed my ear, but in real life we were strictly plutonic and watched by everyone. Then one night he really held my hand at the movies and, much to my delight, kissed my ear and gone were the dreams and on to a new stream.

Do you know where the term "anal retentive" to refer to a controlling person came from? Freud. I learned that when I was studying to be a pre-school teacher. During the stage of early-child development where children are beginning to potty train, some children have such a strong need for control they can't "let go" and well, clench up...

I always think about this when I think of my friendships. No matter how bad they get, I can't let go. I'm not going to psycho-analyze this point, we have another matter to address. But this has been something I have struggled with, and this year I think I let go of a lot of friendships that brought me a lot more pain and anxiety than good. Some of these ended years ago, but in my head, I just now let them end. I had finally pushed them from my consciousness and into the black. No more revisions to conversations and theories on some's ever puzzling behavior, no more hows and whys. Just black.

But as I blocked the currents they burst through other, unguardable avenues.

"Why do you drink that so much? Pink seahorse"
"Cause I'm tired. Go fish."
"Thought you weren't"
"I am, I just don't know any different anymore. I don't sleep good. Yellow starfish."

Every night, when I fall asleep, usually late, someone else is always on time. I never know who it will be, there's one that visits a little more than others, but the table is always set for a dull dinner party in which I know every course by heart. I serve myself up, limb by limb, just as I've done a million times before... in both reality and dream.

It's embarrassing really, that this still bothers me, that it's still, after months, many months, happening. But I don't know what else I can do. It's in my head and I can't change my dreams right? Right?