Sunday, April 12, 2015

On Not Going to the Pascha Service Last Night

Unlike most of my Orthodox Christian compatriots, I am awake today, on Orthodox Easter, at 6:30 in the morning. I blame the 5:30-Bird--darn him-- who sits on our carport directly outside my window and repeats one note over and over every morning at 5:30. Today he was late, so I slept in to 6:09, ensuring that I will be sleep deprived to my usual level today. I won't complain, though, as the majority people of the Orthodox Christian persuasion had church from 11:00pm to 2:00am, and most of them stayed to break the fast with an exuberant party afterward that sometimes lasts long into the morning. They would have slept deeply through the 5:30-Bird. Today they will be tired but exultant, and I will make excuses as to why I didn't take my family to the biggest (is it the biggest?)(seems like the biggest) feast of the year.

Maybe it's because I'm not a night person, but in the best of times I don't like going to midnight services. I understand the concept, celebrate the first instant you possibly can, and... I don't like it. Before I had kids I would go and each and every year wonder why we are still subjecting ourselves having church at ungodly hours? Round about the second hour of standing and swooning, yawning and nodding off, tired and out of it in the middle of the night, I get loopy. I start singing along with the choir in my best opera voice, complete with gestures. I play with my candle, drip wax on my hand in interesting patterns, and feel jealous of kids sacked out on pews. I understand our Church is cranky about making changes and isn't actually very democratic, but I wish we could vote to make the Pascha service some other time. It doesn't have to be a vote to (Gasp!) change things, even, but a poll. A poll so I don't feel like the only one who isn't ecstatic to be awake and trying to function after 10:00pm. Who would one appeal to about this? How essential to everything we hold dear is it to do a beautiful, glorious church service, for hours, in the middle of the night? Or do I just accept that it's part of our Orthodox tradition, the loopy-ness and afterwards exhausted joy that everyone carries is part of the dizzying, out-of-the-ordinary, second-, third-, and fourth-wind inspiring jubilation of the day?

So, last night we planned to go. Calvin had overtime that ended late but he would meet us at church. My girls were set on going--especially because they get their own little candle throughout most of the service and I promised them rice crispy treats afterwards. We were set, all systems go. Except not really, because I kept having to do one-more-thing to get ready for all the festivities, and by the time I went to get the girls ready for bed it was already 9pm. By then it seemed a shame to have to struggle to get them to bed just to struggle to wake them up less than two hours later, groggy and grumpy, and so I told them they could stay up. Oh Happy Day! They were so excited and jazzed, this was going to be great, staying up late and going out into the dark of night and having their own candle and basically being excused from all frowned-on behavior in church because they're kids and it's the middle of the night. It quickly became apparent that staying up wasn't really that great, after all.

At about 10:25, when we were getting ready to leave and no one could function, I surrendered and swept my girls into bed. That's it, too bad for us, maybe next year, we are not risking the unknown of over-over-tiredness with three small people who cause me stress to manage in the best of times. I will know to plan ahead better next year, put my kids to bed better and earlier, and let them get a "nap" in before going. They will be a year older, slightly more cognitively developed, slightly more able to function next year. Or, there's always the very real possibility that we won't go next year, either. And I'm okay with that.


An Aside: There are plenty of Orthodox people who only attend church on Christmas and Easter, we're just doing the opposite.



Thursday, March 5, 2015

More Recent!

Elsa hair. Like many things with Annea, this started out as a good idea. She loves Frozen, and Elsa, and long hair, and initially loved the hat. She gets outrageously frustrated when things aren't exactly right--this doesn't fit her well--(sound like any other kid you know!?) and we have resorted to hiding the Elsa hat because it makes for tears and gnashing of teeth all around.


Ikea TROFAST DURKABDA put to new uses.

Sky Park slide-static-electricity wonders.

Adessa's first science project.


Roller skating at a friends' birthday. So much torquey fun.



The girls holding hands. Where or why is irrelevant.

Annea in pigtails! We've also gotten a ponytail.

A fun day at Wilder Ranch.


In the end, it started pouring rain. I left the girls huddled here under the big tree and ran up to the Wilder parking lot to get the car for us. They were commanded not to move, to stay together and dry. It took four minutes tops for me to get the car, but I worried about CPS, child abandonment, if I were to get struck by lightening or sudden amnesia and leave them there. I was right to worry. An alleged brown spider crawled onto the backpack, and the girls scattered. They were mostly dry, and I did find all of them. Success!

How Can It Be March? Christmas Fun. In March.

I see I need to put Christmas on the blog. Girls, your record for posterity as interpreted by your mom is going to have some holes in it. Here's Christmas:
Our family picture this year, a selfie.
After tree-picking refreshments.
So happy about the traditional hot chocolate.


Decorating the tree.

Decorating the Gingerbread House. And sucking frosting right out of the tube, if you're Annea.

Posing for Christmas Cards.

Vasona Tree Lights, never gets old for these girls.

Visiting Grandma Edna's grave on Christmas Eve, the third anniversary of her death.
Visiting Eema, too. We brought them each an ornament.
Adessa braved the neighborhood-fire-truck-Santa on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Breakfast with Daddy. We had a lovely Christmas morning, and then he was off to work as usual.
Opening presents. The long awaited moment did not disappoint.



Our fancy Christmas dinner a few days late, since Calvin worked on Christmas.


Grandpa's Wedding

Grandpa found a new love, Nelda, and they got married on December 21st. The girls got to be junior bridesmaids and had a moment of glory walking down the aisle. Their job ended there, where they plunked down in the front row. Unfortunately, Adessa noticed at the rehearsal that a junior bridesmaid is not as important as flower girl. We tried to make it a learning moment about being thankful. Tried. On the day of the wedding, though, all dressed up, she felt better about the whole deal.

Annea didn't actually make it down the aisle, or through the wedding, as her dress was itchy. I made all the girls try on their dresses and wear them around for 15 minutes when we first got them, with the tights and shoes to make sure everything was copacetic. I didn't want them to muss the whitest white fabric, so once they all seemed comfortable, we took them off for safekeeping.

Well! On the day of the wedding, after wearing her dress for about 16 minutes, Annea found an itch. I stuffed tissue all around the spots I thought might be bothering her, and kept hiking her tights up as high as they would go to protect her skin. We made it through the pictures. She started really squawking right before their big walk down the aisle, so I just held her on my lap in the front. Nothing could be adjusted the right way, so I unzipped her and held the dress off her. At one point she was basically wearing only tights in the front row of Grandpa's wedding. Yikes. She was sad and blue, and since the rehearsal the night before had taken FOREVER, I thought I'd scurry home and fix her dress in plenty of time. I striped her down, raced home in the car, dragged her into the house, fed her a cheese stick, and glued a ribbon around the waistline where the tule encroached, and slapped the less-itchy dress back on her. Yikes. And got back to the wedding right after it ended. I heard it was wonderful. :)

Practicing at the Rehearsal.
Oregon cousins at the rehearsal dinner!!
Annea's favorite cousin, Josh. She stuck to him like glue over the whole weekend of fun, and he was so sweet with her.
Eliana dressed for Grandpa's wedding.
Annea getting made up by our crack beauty team.
Adessa and the princess pose.
With the cousins, our beauticians and hairstylists extraordinaire.
The beauties have left the building.
Walking up to the Mt. Hermon Auditorium.(Adessa! Put your arm down!!)
Pre-wedding pictures with cousins.
Daddy and his girls.
Delight as Grandpa released his pigeons before the ceremony.



We got to take Calvin's brother, Ralph, to the airport in SF, and so... we made a day of it. Calvin worked, but his sister and her family came, too, and we had a great time. They all helped me so much with the girls, it was a big trip for us.
The crew in San Francisco.
Adessa and Alcatraz.
On the Pier 39 carousel.