We had a very low-key midweek anniversary dinner at the Northridge Macaroni Grill, allowing us to get home in time to watch the first hour of "American Idol" (Don't tell me how the second hour went -- we'll try to catch that tonight before we see the results show).
There's nothing like being married with children, is there? (Thanks to all who sent us good wishes!)
Today, we're back to normal. I spent the early morning pushing Megan into the shower, out of the bathroom, out of the door so we could get to school, late once again. (Only 10 minutes late this morning; the aftermath of the time change is getting better). We're really lucky that her teacher is always the last one on the yard; we arrived at the gate just as she was leading the class to their room.
I am dreading the mornings next year. It's nice that the middle school is only one block away -- but their school day starts 20 minutes earlier. It's not going to be pretty.
I had to stay at school today to run off and distribute our PTA newsletter, which I edit. Actually, as I cannot function without my latte, I first went to Starbucks to get one for me and another for our PTA president, who, along with her best friend (and the unit's treasurer), helps me do this task each month. Actually, J&J do most of the work. I just kind of bitch and moan about whatever is on my mind. So I feel that plying them with sugary caffeinated drinks is required each month -- otherwise, they might decide to just let me sink or swim all by myself. And I'm not much of a swimmer.
You know the saying, "You can't choose your family?" Well, the same is true of your PTA. For better or for worse, once your child gets settled into a school, you are going to be stuck with the parents of the other kids there. And while I've become very close to several of the other parents here (and like most of the others) -- there are times when they all make me CRAZY. Hence, the bitching and moaning.
So I was surprised when one of these ladies told me they were actually going to MISS me next year when I'm gone. "I'm not even talking about all the work you do here," she said. "We're going to miss being with you."
Aww. That was nice.
But I can guarantee you that's not a universal sentiment.
As we worked, the subject of the PTA's state convention came up. California is a large state; each year they alternate between a site in SoCal and the state capital in Sacramento. This is a Sacramento year, which means there weren't a lot of members volunteering to attend. So I did. As my parents and sister and her family all live up there, it's kind of a treat for me to go and be able to visit with them (on PTA's dime). I had registered over a month ago, but wasn't sure whether they were going to handle the rest of the arrangements or if they wanted me to do it.
In the past, the local PTA district held on to a room block and assigned them to our attendees, but this year, the state organization has everyone doing it on their own online. It's too bad I didn't know that when I first registered to attend, because when I tried to reserve a room today, I discovered that -- two months out -- all of PTA's rooms at the group rate were GONE.
Having worked as a meeting and convention planner in my pre-mom life (with lots of Sacramento events under my belt), I KNEW better than to wait to book the room. I started checking the host hotels to see what they had at rack rate. Nothing at the Sheraton... but I could get a room at the Hyatt for $300 a night, as long as I prepaid in full. I could see that our PTA officers were not pleased at this -- we have a budget for members to attend (it's sort of a mandatory expense) -- but it's hard to explain to the rank and file membership why you have delegates spending this kind of money on a hotel room.
I checked out the Embassy Suites, which is farther away (not really a hotel I'd care to walk from, especially after dark) and they not only had availability, but it was $80 a night less AND you could reserve and cancel without penalty. So I booked a room there. In the end, it's not a bad idea, as there will be one other mom attending and with an all-suites hotel, if one of us wants to retire early, the other one can stay up later.
We finished the PTA business at 10 and I was off to see about getting my camera repaired. I'm having a hard time with electronics this week -- remember how my husband fried his computer on Friday and I lost my garage door remote on Sunday? Well, my beloved point and shoot camera also died over the weekend. I took it to a camera shop and got the news I pretty much expected: It would cost as much to repair it as it would to buy a new one. If there is such a thing as a rule of three's for electronics, then I hope this is it. I don't want any more stuff breaking for a while!
I had no idea how much I'd come to rely on that little camera until I didn't have it any longer. It's actually driving me a bit nuts to be unable to whip it out and take a quick snap at whatever strikes my fancy.
I went straight to Costco (was planning to go anyway -- really) to see what they had. The nicest one in my budget was one similar to this model. (The one at Costco only had a 10x zoom and from this photo, I think it's smaller. It also cost less than what's quoted here.)
I think I'll spend the rest of the afternoon surfing the web to see if that is the one I want or if there's another that would be better. (If you have any suggestions, send 'em on!)