9.29.2015

Mickey's Halloween Party

Last night I got to hang out with my family and BFF and her family and spend a bunch of time at the Happiest Place on Earth. It was so much fun. We got to enjoy short lines and an amazing firework show and a super fantastic parade. Also? So much candy! I keep gazing off into outer space just so I can think about how happy I am that we got to go and do such an amazing fun thing on a random Monday night. The album is here. Here are some pictures from my phone so I can look at them some more and smile some more.
 Taking the tram from the lot to Downtown Disney
 My family
 My extended family sans MIKE
 Tutti in her first set of mouse ears because it's her first time at Disneyland
 Me & BFF rockin' some ears in the Jungle Cruise line
This photo does no justice.
 They projected villains onto the castle and flames shot up in the air and the music was so loud and the fireworks were so amazing and I swear I have chills just thinking about it. It was absolutely stunning.
Halloweentime at Disneyland is the most fun thing EVER. Seriously. Go. Now.

9.28.2015

Weekend Pics!

 Friday afternoon with Ethan.
 The kids love their big cousin.
 Seriously? Too much.
 The beautiful sky showing off.
 Christa reading with a boob out. HA!
Inside a hut in the village at the Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks.
 Super bright family selfie. It was so hot. So, so hot.
 Post pool nap. Look at those toes.
 And these toes! That daddy hurt right before Disneyland tonight. Awesome.
So basically from 7pm on Saturday night until I left for work this morning, all we did was rest. We didn't do hardly anything. It was amazing. Did I mention Disneyland tonight? It's literally all I can think about. I feel like I've been electrocuted.

9.25.2015

Hug A Vegetarian Haiku Friday

Can I just tell you
How over this heat I am
Enough already
***
No lunchtime walking
I fear dying of heat stroke
Or drowning in sweat
***
Need to exercise
Being asked if I'm preggo
Nah, just real chubby

9.23.2015

Mental Health Day

Some of you may have picked up on some stress on the old blog here. It's been a long time coming and I knew the answer to my problem was "me time" but I always feel a shit ton of guilt for actually giving into that need. On Monday I had kind of a rough day at work and the icing on the top of that cake was having to deal with Time Warner about reducing our services. Later that night, Husband spent an hour on the phone with a lovely lady from India who continually told him to unplug and plug things back in to get a modem to work. Clearly, that was not the answer so he threw up the white flag of surrender and told her to send a tech to the house on Tuesday morning.
Since I didn't want Husband to be late to work, I told him I'd call in late to work instead and walk Casey to school and handle Time Warner. By the time 8 a.m. rolled around, I decided to just call in sick because I figured I'd have to take back the equipment they changed out. Luckily for me, the tech took it all back when he left after effortlessly setting up our equipment so I ended up with a whole day to myself, sans responsibility. I had a nice leisurely breakfast, sipping coffee while I caught up on some reading. BFF sent me a picture of the baby and I told her I was playing hookie so she asked if I'd like to meet for lunch. I did. I did want to meet for lunch.
I got in the car and drove to Malibu alone with no weekend traffic to deal with. I watched the sunshine do a sparkling dance on the ocean on my right. I got to listen to Kanye West without fear of language or genre offending other passengers. I rapped right along with him and laughed at my white, suburban middle-aged, mother of two ass for being so gangster. I rested in the warmth of a beautiful day at a Starbucks table while waiting for my bestie and her new baby. We enjoyed a leisurely and delicious wet lunch at Marmalade Cafe. I held a baby because I wanted to. I changed that baby's diaper because I wanted to. Not because I had to. Most importantly, I was alone with my grown up friend without my own offspring or spouse to tend to.
The drive home was just as enjoyable as the trip down. I walked in the door and stripped down to no clothes and put myself to bed. I didn't sleep but I enjoyed silence. I got to enjoy the breeze blowing through the bedroom window. One should never underestimate the healing power of silence and solitude. When it was time, I went for the children and we spent a lot of time playing at the park and it was back to reality. Luckily for me, the reset button was pushed and I am getting closer to finding my way to Zen.
Me & Josephine, courtesy of BFF
 A selfie I sent to Husband captioned: BFF plus alone time equals this.
 Taken while driving past Pepperdine
Just before getting the kiddos. Relaxed? Yes.

9.22.2015

Parenting

I have a friend I talk to often that worries about lots of things in regards to her children, things I have never really given a second thought to. She had actually researched the pros and cons of private versus public schools at some point and I had never even thought to do something like that because the kindergarten I assumed we would just go to is down the street from our house and free. Another dad had even talked to me about scores the schools had gotten in our area and I would have never even considered doing that kind of research. When I see the lengths other parents go to for their children (Pinterest moms, I'm looking at you) I sometimes feel like I might be falling short. However, when someone else feels like they are falling short as a parent, I jump right on the pep talk train. On that note, here is what I think makes a good parent:
  1. Your child has regular meals.
  2. Your child has a home (not necessarily a house) where they can sleep safely at night.
  3. Your child has access to education.
  4. Your child is clean (as in bathed, clothes washed, toothbrush, etc.).
  5. Your child has clothing and shoes.
  6. Your child has been for regular dentist and doctor checkups.
  7. Your child gets lots of hugs and kisses and love.
  8. Your child knows structure and stability in routines and/or discipline.
Anything extra? Is just that. Extra. Your kid has tons of toys? Rad! Your kid goes to the park? Rad! Your kid gets to do fun weekend activities? Rad! Your kid has books and an iPad? Rad! Your kid has a bike and a scooter? Rad! But really? All this is just extra and you're kicking ass.
Your kid saw you and your husband fight? Let them see you make up.
You lost your temper at your kid for something they didn't do? Be a grownup and apologize.
You can't afford that toy? That's life.
I think the key here is parents are human. We're all just doing our best and we are bound to fuck up every now and then. Not that it's my way or the highway, but when my kids see me behave badly, I mostly try to explain why what I did was wrong and why they should probably not do that. I always apologize. I make sure to speak and explain and discuss HONESTLY. I think that's the best I can do and my kids seem to thrive because of it. It doesn't matter if we're talking about death or why Casey can't burp in a restaurant or why cussing is not great behavior. We are open and honest. I feel like as long as this trend continues, we're gonna be A-Okay.

9.21.2015

Road Trip Recap - San Simeon Edition

 While we were getting ready to get on the road, Christa was taking care of her baby bear on our toilet. She's a good mom.
 Pit stop on the way north to meet the tiny ponies at Quicksilver Ranch.
 Kids being goddamn adorable at Rideau Vineyard.
 Look kids, Morro Rock! Long time in the car for Tutti.
 Seeing a beach full of seals made my life.
 Dinner outdoors at Cambria Pines Lodge
 Kids stinkin' love hotels, man.
 San Simeon Pier
 Post Hearst Castle Tour. Rewarding the kids for good behavior with new "babies."
 Note to those planning that tour with children: Bring your kids in February, when they're 20. That's Husband's pearl of wisdom. This tour is NOT for children and NOT ideal when there's a heat wave.
Pit stop on the way home was made at Figueroa Mountain Brewery in Buellton. Rad spot but no food so not super ideal. Beer was delicious. Too bad it was 103 degrees outside with no air conditioning. Whoopsie!

ALL THE PICTURES! can be seen here.

9.18.2015

Haiku Friday

When the blog turns bleak
Please don't worry about me
I just try to vent
***
Leaving the bad here
Helps me clear my pretty head
To keep it held high
***
I read back and learn
Try not to repeat mistakes
Life's just a journey

9.15.2015

Words Hurt

Victim
noun
1. a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency:
a victim of an automobile accident.
2. a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency:
a victim of misplaced confidence; the victim of a swindler; a victim of an optical illusion.
3. a person or animal sacrificed or regarded as sacrificed:
war victims.
4. a living creature sacrificed in religious rites.
 
Martyr
noun
1. a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.
2. a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause:
a martyr to the cause of social justice.
3. a person who undergoes severe or constant suffering:
a martyr to severe headaches.
4. a person who seeks sympathy or attention by feigning or exaggerating pain, deprivation, etc.

Jealous 
adjective
1. feeling resentment against someone because of that person's rivalry, success, or advantages (often followed by of):
He was jealous of his rich brother.
2. feeling resentment because of another's success, advantage, etc. (often followed by of):
He was jealous of his brother's wealth.
3. characterized by or proceeding from suspicious fears or envious resentment:
a jealous rage; jealous intrigues.
4. inclined to or troubled by suspicions or fears of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims:
a jealous husband.
5. solicitous or vigilant in maintaining or guarding something:
The American people are jealous of their freedom.
6. Bible. intolerant of unfaithfulness or rivalry:
The Lord is a jealous God.

9.14.2015

Boob Walk Pics

BFF was headed up to Carpinteria to pick up Ang from the Santa Barbara Avon Walk for Breast Cancer so I sort of last minute decided to join her since Husband was at work. 
It was the right decision.
 The dynamic duo being good buddies and holding hands to cross the street. I don't want to force children into marriage but this had better happen.
 Watching the train go by. So loud!
 At Island Brewing Company where the baby girls decided to be buddies.
 Weirdos. On another note? Cheering for the boob walkers was so dang emotional. I was sobbing. Good work, women. Keep fighting the good fight.
 Super fun times playing arcade games at Rusty's where the pizza was delicious, the beers were cold and the air conditioner was running.
And perhaps the most important part of yesterday was that after the long drive home, this knucklehead and his sister both took naps simultaneously for like two solid hours. What the holy hell?! This never happens! I was so drunk from the silence in the house that I didn't even sleep, I just sat there smiling in the quiet. Amazeballs. 
I can feel the gloom of last week lifting as I type this.

9.11.2015

Haiku Friday

Oh, Nine-Eleven
Quite a tragic day indeed
It's Patriot Day
***
Reflecting, or course
But Facebook is killing me
I think we get it
***
American flags
Crying eagles and rainbows
It's tragedy porn

9.10.2015

Really?

Nothing says you are fat and out of shape and old like having to get x-rays for a limp you got after jumping on a trampoline and a bounce house for two consecutive days while celebrating your son's 5th birthday. Diagnosis? A bone spur on my heel and tendonitis. Ice, rest and stretching. Who knew you had to warm up to avoid injury whilst having childish good times? And everyone knows how easy it is to rest when you have little ones. Should be healed up in no time. 

9.09.2015

My Own Worst Enemy

You know how some people can't just leave well enough alone? I am one of those people. Despite the fact that it seems like I speak my mind quite often, I tend to let thoughts fester. I harbor resentments. Then one day the cork explodes and my rage is everywhere like a shaken up bottle of champagne, leaving unsuspecting victims soaked in my vitriol. 

Four years and three deaths. Two miscarriages.
My familial relationships have become unhealthy at best.
I've put my mother ahead of my husband and children.
I've resented my brother for decades.
My anxiety takes me over.
The smallest hiccup and I become so furious that I shake. Crying at my desk for hours this morning trying to sort things out with my sister-in-law via email.
What happened? Where and when did my train go off its rails? Lashing out at Husband who does nothing but be the best he can be for not only me but every member of this dysfunctional family. Casey telling me to be calm. Asking me why I'm frustrated. What on earth?
So I sit here. Exhausted from emotion. Wondering what's next. Feeling sad and ashamed. Contemplating repair. Trying to think happy thoughts.

9.08.2015

Weekend Pics Part 2



I guess Monday pics didn't back up but they did and now you get to see Target Star Wars extravaganza and Tutti in a tutu. You're welcome.

Scarce Weekend Pics

 Christa has become addicted to woobies. She has to have blankets and babies all the time. She cries if she doesn't have a baby with her and god forbid if we go into a store and try to leave without something if she's decided to love it. That blue kitty is a direct result of something we had to buy because we forgot the pink and purple dog in the car. She even acts like a tiny mommy to her babies and covers them in blankies and pats them. It's adorable.
 She's super into the words "mine" and "uh-oh" and making tons of face.
 "Cheese" doesn't seem to work anymore.
 It drives me crazy that Husband always has Casey on his shoulders because I think it makes Casey lazy but it sure is adorable either way.
 Missus Crazy Face
This absolutely made my day. 

This weekend was a weird one. We had a nice time visiting BFF & Company on Saturday but other than that it was not our standard holiday weekend of beer and barbecue. Gran's memorial was not very well attended so that was kind of weird and sad but I'm always grateful for the "regulars" who show up for my family for that sort of thing. My mom bought an outrageous amount of food so we have been eating and pushing leftovers like it's our job. Monday, Husband was on call so it was mostly errand running and I took the kids to the pool while he worked. Christa is fearless and Casey is getting so brave. I guess I can be grateful for the heat wave in that we are swimming lots more than any year prior.

9.04.2015

Haiku Friday

Yay! Three-Day Weekend! 
Since we installed ceiling fans
It's gotten cooler
***
Off at 4 today
We're Hawthorne bound tomorrow
Football and friend time
***
Sunday's Gran's "party"
Monday Husband is on call
Days accounted for

9.03.2015

#TBT

I'll take a page out of BFF's book and throw up an oldie but a goodie. Facebook likes to share memories with me and this was five years ago today. This is the Gran I definitely miss seated with her two children and second great-grandson. It's amazing how much has changed since this photograph. My mom is thinner and has less boob. Gran, grandpa and dad are gone. Casey's gotten two new girl cousins and a little sister since then. We are no longer in that wee apartment by the beach but in a nice big house. You blink and you miss it.