Monday, July 9, 2012

The Great Outdoors

This week I've let my son eat as many hot dogs as he wanted.  Given that we've been to three barbeques in five days, that is not an insignificant number. Yes, they are filled with salt, nitrates and all sorts of other yummy good/badness, but it's still food!  Food and my boy aren't usually good friends after 4 pm.  He's buds with breakfast and definitely snacks, but late afternoon food just seems to piss him off.   And don't even mention dinner!  He HATES dinner now!  Who knows why they broke up, but I think it makes me saddest of all.  I'm sucking up like crazy to all food, trying to will it to make my son fall in love again.  So hooray for hot dogs.  I'll take it.

We spent the weekend up in heaven, aka Lake Tahoe.  My lungs feel cleaner but my car is waaaaay dirtier.  I learned how to ride a bike with no hands.  Taught myself and all.  Not a bad party trick, though the whole time my husband was screaming at me that I was going to fall.  He has no faith in my grace.  Rightfully so.

The wee one enjoyed the hiking, the biking and the boating. But, by far, his favorite part was sneaking into a nearby hotel swimming pool.  Shhh.  My husband, who was so scared of me riding a bike without holding on for ten seconds at a time, taught our toddles how to use a noodle to prop himself up and kick across the pool.  All in the time in took me to go to the bar and back.  Color me impressed. 

Today I learned officially what it means to be the mama of a little boy.  As we were driving home we started smelling a terrible smell.  A smell that weaved around the car and captured even the innocents in its fog.  Not wanting to smell the shite any longer, we pulled over to change the offending diaper.  I asked the boy for the tenth time if he pooped and still denial city.  Just as I was about to pick him up from the carseat, he burst out laughing and said "faaaht, faaaht.  Toto faaaht."  Toto would be Tony, our dog sitting in the back who apparently had one too many duck treats.  Clearly,  I need to prepare myself now for the booger humor. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

California I'm Coming Home

Last weekend I realized once again that connections are out there waiting to be made in the least likely of places.   It turns out that the father of a friend went to high school in a town neighboring mine in the middle of nowhere, NY.  We were both fairly stunned to discover this some 3,200 miles away in Berkeley, CA.  No less than three of my friends turned to me in unison to say, "I thought you were from New York City."  Well, no.  I used to live in NYC before moving here (and before moving to Los Angeles before that).  The straight truth is that I'm a hick.  Tire swing and broke down car in the front yard and all.

It took a long time for me to embrace my country mouse roots.  Only after living in Manhattan for a few years did I come to truly appreciate the beauty of the "country."  Having the opportunity to slow down and get down in the dirt became a wonderful respite when I started feeling the city's mania in my bones.  I always knew it was time for me to go upstate when I found myself wanting to push people down the subway stairs just so that I could get to work faster. A few days in the mountains was like hitting the reset button.

Now, although technically within the bounds of San Francisco, I find myself living a relatively small town life.  This truly is the littlest big city.   Ours is a particularly residential, family-friendly part of the City that suffocated me for at least the first year of my residency.  After living in the East Village, I couldn't understand where all the people went at sundown.  I was far more terrified to walk around my block with my dog at 9 pm than I was stumbling home drunk on Second Avenue at 3 am.  While I've come to enjoy and respect the quiet, I do still stare wistfully out the window in our living room, looking for "action," as my husband teases.  There is no action, other than the occasional fender bender or screaming child (often mine).  Thankfully, downtown and it's various sights, sounds and naked homeless people are just a short ride away.

As much as I fake complain about it to my husband (if anyone wants a lesson in fake complaining, I'm quite the master), I love that I see no less than three or four friends on any one of my many daily outings with my tiny boss.  We know our neighbors, our dry cleaners, our favorite farmer's marketers.  It's so cute, it's a little nauseating. Nearly five years later and I'm finally starting to see why people love San Francisco.  It's nice living.  Now, where do I find it on the East Coast?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nine extra floors

When I was in high school, I gave my mother a VHS copy of "When Harry Met Sally," along with a box of Mallomars.  Two of her favorite things in the world.  Two of mine as well.  My mom, sister and I watched that movie or bits of that movie whenever we needed a good laugh or a good cry.   Easily hundreds of times.  I will often think of a line from that film and laugh out loud at the memory, of the movie and the companionship with my mom and sister.  How sad it is that when you're older and really appreciate your family members, you hardly spend much time with them.  Tomorrow night when my husband goes out and I'm "babysitting," I already know how I'll pass the time.  Spending a few hours in a world curated by Nora Ephron is indeed a privilege.  Her words will be missed.

A few other privileges I happened to enjoy this week:

Watching the 12-year-old girls and their mamas singing along to Maroon 5 when I happened to catch five minutes of the "Today" show this morning.  Not the biggest fan of the band, but how sweet to see such unabashed bonding.

My son stopping to smell each flower and hug each doggie that we pass on our walks.  I usually rush him along to get where we're going.  Finally, yesterday, I stopped to wonder why I didn't let him revel in it a bit longer.  His calendar will be filled soon enough.  Perhaps I should start paying more attention to all the lessons he's teaching me rather than stressing about the opposite.

Dinner with old friends last night and seeing one experience true bliss as she cuddled with her three-week-old daughter.  Living across the country from where I grew up and spent most of my adult life, I consider myself beyond lucky to have three close friends from college within a twenty minute radius of my house.  Maybe forty with traffic.  Chatting with them always feels like coming home.

Night out on the town with great friends tonight. Let out of the cage two nights in a row!  We're going to rage at this (punk) rock opera.  Let's hope my husband doesn't fall asleep-he doesn't have the best theater track record.

Fytk.  At dinner the other night my friends yelled at me for watching so many epis of FNL in a row.  Literally, they were screaming that I need to savor each episode as it will be over all too soon.  All three of them had wistful looks in their eyes and one said that she was jealous I was watching it for the first time.  Hah.  Perhaps I need to start limiting my time with Tim Riggins.

Thinking about my brother's wedding in the fall and dancing the night away with family and his old friends.  The little mister and I are already working on our moves.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gratitude with a side of bacon

I woke up at 6:05 this morning.  I was cranky and completely bleary-eyed.  And, I am pretty sure I woke up my son and my husband as I walked out the front door.  None of that mattered the minute I walked through the church doors.  Spending two hours helping serve breakfast to those who need it most was really what I needed most.  The world shifts a little when you step away from your life, run around refilling milk/water/coffee pitchers, stuff your back pockets with sugar packets to hand out every third minute and smile as wide as you can all before 9 am.  Plus, all the free coffee you can drink.  Not a bad way to start the day.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Travel by numbers

Days spent in Mexico: 5

Pounds of avocados eaten: hundreds (fine, dozens)

Red lights/stop signs missed: at least 7

Amount of money paid to cop in sleazy shakedown: $50

Mosquito bite tally: hundreds (fine, dozens)

Trips to the doctor to get ear wax out of my ear caused by q-tip use:1

Number of q-tips used after doctor made me promise never to use them again: 3

Times I felt jealous of the three couples we met who left their kid(s) at home:  263

Hours of FNL watched in a row solo upon return: 5

Requests my husband has made to get burritos in the last 48 hours: 3

Friday, June 15, 2012

At Least There's Guacamole

I used to be a good packer.  I actually liked packing, especially the requisite pre-packing shopping excursions.  I was so careful I hardly ever needed to visit a store at my destination, save for the occasional bathroom-related emergency.  In Greece, I was so insanely constipated that I didn't poop for 6 days.  6 days!  Can you imagine?  Of course, when I did finally go, it was in a toilet that wasn't flushing properly and I ran out of the restaurant screaming at my friends that "we had to leave. NOW!"  Whatever.  It was worth it-Greece is gorgeous.

Now, I have become a terrible packer.  Not so much for myself, but for the little.   I can't seem to handle the extra pressure.  We pretty much have to go shopping every time we get somewhere because I've forgotten to bring a sippy cup, diapers, wipes, pajamas, snacks-you name it, I've forgotten it.  Right now we are on a quick getaway to Mexico and I'm lamenting my idiocy at forgetting truly the most. important. thing. ever.  The lullaby toy.  We've used this to get our son snoozing ever since my brilliant friend Paige gave it to us as a baby welcoming gift at 8 days old.  I forgot it once before, in Atlanta, but then we were able to run to the local Target to grab another one.  Now we have the pretty one specifically for travel.  Fat lot of good Violet does when she's sitting in the closet at home.

The first night and day were rough.  My voice does not lend itself to lullabies.  Campy, loud Old McDonald, Wheels on the Bus, that's my wheelhouse.  But soothing I am not.  I was trying to sing the mister to sleep and I swear he started covering his ears.  We've since worked it out by basically pushing the crib into the closet.  What?  The door is cracked a bit.  This kid is part vampire-he needs darkness when he sleeps. Any ray of sunlight in the room and he's up and ready to party.  I know those stupid blackout shades I put in the nursery would come back to haunt me. 

Thankfully, he's the only bebe at this resort, so everyone else thinks it's hilarious and cute when he shouts or runs around the pool without his diaper while I'm trying to change him.  His new favorite word is "pee pee" and I can't tell if it's the act, the result or the weapon he's talking about or all three at once.  Time to be more careful with my word choices.  No doubt my son will be the one cursing at his preschool.

Hatsa luego!

Monday, June 11, 2012


I know I'm like 9,000 years late to the party, but the mister and I have just started watching Friday Night Lights from the get go.  I've seen a bunch of epis here and there (mostly on planes-I love me some marathon TV en flight) and I wanted to start from the beginning.  Seeing as it's summer, there's nothing on other than HBO/SHO on Sunday nights (TRUE BLOOD!!!) and I just realized I can watch it fo' free through Xfinity Streampix, now's the perfect time to start a 76-hour project.

I missed most fad television shows (Mad Men, Lost, Arrested Development, Freaks and Geeks, The Wire, etc.)  I know!  Clearly, I live under a rock. I did read 50 Shades of Grey about six months ago, before all the cool kids were doing it. 

Is it bad that I'm now already fearing my son's sporting days? 

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose.