Moving

January 30, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Oh January.  January was almost as fun as December.  It started out with a move from our lemon tree in Culver to the beach.  It also started out with a stomach bug and the first real El Nino storm of the year.

Have you watched Jessica Jones on Netflix?  It’s based on a Marvel Comic, characters include an alcoholic PI who has superstrength and can lift cars and jump over buildings, a villain who can control minds and goes around making people kill each other in gruesome ways, and a man with indestructible skin.

In Season One there is a scene in which the villain decides he wants to move into a two-bedroom suburban house, so he goes and tells the owner to move out within 24 hours (which, of course, the owner does, because mind control).  And 24 hours later the villain moves into the huge, newly vacant house.

Over the past week I kept thinking about that scene when he walks into the empty, perfectly clean house.  It is the most unrealistic scene in the entire series.

Moving always sucks.  Moving with a two year old and an infant, in torrential rain, when everyone is puking and having serious GI problems is…yeah.  It took us over a week to clean everything out and get everything in.  And almost a month to recover.

It wasn’t pretty, but we made it.  And our new place, though tiny, is 5 blocks from the beach and pretty fantastic.

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Welcome home.

Holidaze

January 7, 2016 § 1 Comment

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December was a rough month.  Paul worked nights and HH started sleep walking.  Easy E decided around 2am every morning that he liked sleeping in our bed more than his own.  It was a really fun time for everyone.

Christmas day, his night float rotation finally complete, Paul started 2 weeks of vacation.  YES.   That night two zombies left their reports with some very generous in-laws and boarded a red-eye flight to Managua to attend the wedding of a dear old friend on the 27th.  We couldn’t WAIT to get on the plane to sleep.  It was going to be great.

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We were in the very last row.  I was in the middle.  Neither of us slept.

It had been nearly 10 years since I had last been to Nicaragua, when I spent four months living in Managua. We arrived even more zonked out than when we’d boarded the plane.  I couldn’t think of anything except passing out on the three hour drive to our final destination, San Juan del Sur.

But as soon as we got off the plane, it hit me.  The smell.  Pretty sure it’s burning trash mixed with diesel, but to me it smells…exciting.  Like old memories.  Managua.  And I felt a little tingle.  Something in the back of my foggy, sleep-deprived mind started to wake up.

The groom had organized our ride from the airport.  As soon as we got out of customs, we found a driver holding a sign with our name on it.  His name was Delvis.  Like Elvis with a D.

As we drove from the airport, past the families of 4 riding one bike down the busy highway, the emaciated feral dogs that somehow don’t get run over, the pulperias, the back neighborhoods down crooked streets with the pink and yellow and orange houses, identical to the one where I stayed so many years ago, I suddenly, inexplicably, felt…stimulated.  Alive.  If still not completely awake.

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We spent the whole ride to San Juan catching up with the bride and groom and, upon arriving, immediately hopped on a catamaran with the wedding party.  Which included a Nicaraguan pop star.   Suddenly there was rum to drink and potential celebrities to befriend.  Sleep became secondary.

We took the boat along the coast to a secluded beach with no road access and beautiful white sands.  While drifting on my back in the turquoise water I saw a woman who worked on the boat swimming some sort of container up onto the beach.

“First aid kit?”
“No, cooler.  I don’t even think we have a First Aid kit on board.  Maybe some band-aids?”

Nicaragua.  I love you.

The rest of the weekend continued in the same vein.

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We stayed in ridiculous homes overlooking the ocean, partied with some of our best friends, relived memories, and had a wonderful, memorable, sleepless, extravagant, glorious time.  And when we boarded the flight home 2 days later, I looked at my phone:

6 pictures.

Because our visit was so short, I had kind of intentionally put my phone away.  I felt too tired to try to deal with trying to capture every moment, I just wanted to enjoy. But really, 6?  And three of them are of Paul cleaning a pool.  None with the bride and groom.  None with our friends that now live in Costa Rica.  None of the ceremony or the blinking, gaudy, quintessentially nica nativity scene with a REAL WATERFALL that graced the alter.  None of Paul and I together wearing fancy clothes (which hasn’t happened in at least a year).  None of the city.  None of the beach.

But I did capture this blurry gem.

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So, there’s that.  Hopefully we’ll be back for more soon.

Crafts

December 23, 2015 § 1 Comment

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I don’t do crafts.  But a few weeks before Christmas I decided I was going to.   Because that’s what good parents do during the holidays.  Paul was working nights, so I was flying solo on this.

Wednesday: On a trip to Target (duh) I decide baking cookies will be the perfect thing to get in the holiday spirit.  I like baking, and I’m good at it.  Sometimes.

Friday: After two days of the ingredients sitting on the counter, I decide to skip including my two year old in the dough-making process.  It’s not like this is a life skill she HAS to learn.  I make the dough on my own so it’s ready when she gets home from preschool.  She comes home from school in meltdown mode.  I make the executive decision to delay cookie making.

Monday: 3/4 of the dough still sitting in fridge.  The other 1/4 I ate over the weekend.

Wednesday:  A week later.  This is the day we will bake! HH has been having night terrors and sleep-walking when she goes to bed after 7:15 (fun), so we rush through dinner and have just enough time to get the dough out, roll it, cookie cutter some shapes (which she is way less into than I thought she would be), and throw them in the oven.  No time to decorate.  No time to admire the finished product.  I put the cookies in a tupperware after she goes to bed, keep frosting ingredients in the fridge.

Friday: Half of the cookies are gone because I ate them.  Sans-frosting.

Sunday: Facetime with Nana and Opa.  When I suggest HH show them the cookies she baked, she accidentally breaks an arm off of a star of Bethlehem.  I tell her it’s OK to eat it.  She looks at me confused, then suddenly the realization creeps across her face…these are edible! And not only can she eat the piece that broke off, she can eat the whole cookie.  And she does so.  From then on, every time she walks into the kitchen: “Cookie?”

Monday: Now that there are only 5 week-old cookies left in the tupperware, time to decorate!  I get out all the decorating icings and frostings.  HH smears green frosting on half of one cookie and goes, “I eat it now.”  I explain that no, decorating cookies is SO FUN, we can eat them when they’re decorated, and don’t gingerbread men look better with a face? and they taste better with frosting anyway.  “NO!  NO FROSTING!!  I EAT THE COOKIES NOW!”

So I take them away.  Tears.  Screams. Faux seizures. Drama.

The cream cheese I got to make special frosting is still sitting in the fridge.

Holiday crafts are the best.

G-E-N-I-U-S

November 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

THE SCENE: DINNER TABLE – LAST NIGHT – END OF DINNER

HH: MILK! I WANT MILK!
Me: That isn’t how you ask, you can be nicer.
Paul: Should we give her milk or maybe some I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M?
Me: I really don’t think she needs–
HH: NO, MOMMY!  I WANT ICE CREAM!

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Paul: How does she know that????
Me: I have no idea.
Paul: She is so smart!!!  HH, how do you spell ice cream?
HH: (confidently) One, two.

Back for the Holidays

November 11, 2015 § 1 Comment

…and we’re back, by popular demand.

The past few months have been this:

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HH: Ariel’s eyes are BLUE!
Me: They are! What color are Mom’s eyes?
HH: Uuuuh…red!!
Me: Red?!??!  No…
HH: Oh…umm…pink?

I’ve also been spending an offensive amount of time in Target shopping for Desitin.

For these reasons, not only has putting a sentence together become a serious struggle, I have I felt as though I am lacking decent content (as opposed to before, when this forum only covered important, pressing issues).

But due to an aggressive campaign by this blog’s devoted followers (my sister) and their insistence that my content is NEVER boring, THAT ENDS TODAY!

So today we’ll be talking about…my most recent trip to Target.

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Now that it’s officially hat weather (56 degrees at 4:45am), it’s time to talk about the holidays.

For the past 32 years a nutcracker named Mr. Teeth has adorned the hearth at my parent’s house during the holidays.  Back in Mr. Teeth’s day, he probably looked like every other nutcracker:

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Today, Mr. Teeth has no feet, no hair, one eye, and if you touch him the wrong way his arms fall off.  We love him all the same.

So imagine my delight when yesterday at Target, while in search of frozen peas, I came across a huge display of nutcrackers.

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(This is Target’s MO…you go looking for peas and somehow end up in the nutcracker aisle.  It’s incredibly effective.)

Nutcrackers of all different shapes and colors and species and genders and professions.  So I decided to let HH pick out her own Mr. Teeth.

In addition to a girl nutcracker wearing a “beautiful dress” that resembles Elsa (go figure) but has a lever that opens up a hole in her chest à la Alien as opposed to her mouth, guess which one she chose:

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Mr. Pink Sparkle 2015 Nutcracker, complete with beard, staff, and soldier’s helmet. Breaking down gender norms, one Christmas decoration at a time.

This guy will have a home on our hearth for many years to come.

Up Next

September 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

Fox survey

Fox survey

…and six weeks later I am finally beginning to emerge from the newborn fog.  Not that this was anything like last time.   I honestly feel like I can’t compare the two.  Not having a.) a baby that is underweight, b.) to breastfeed, and c.) to recover from childbirth have all been game-changers.  Major, major game changers.   But then again, in addition to the newborn, we also have this:

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Either way, new experience.

But a few things haven’t changed.  Like..lack of sleep.  Realizing at 4pm that you’re still in the same puke-covered shirt you meant to change at a 8am.  And my sudden, unprovoked, inexplicable desire, as I sit on the couch in said shirt, to sign up for a marathon.

Notice how I didn’t say RUN another marathon.  Because I clearly don’t think about what actually running 26 miles will feel like at any point during this process.

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But I did it.  I signed up for another race.  The Catalina Marathon.

Some fun facts about the Catalina Island Marathon:

  • It’s on Catalina Island (yes!)
  • It’s almost entirely on trails (yes!)
  • It has over 4,000 feet gain in elevation (…yes?)

Catalina Island Marathon Course Meas

Some other fun facts about the Catalina Marathon:

  • My sister will be running it with me!
  • I used to work there

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Back in the day when I was when I was young, tan, used disposable cameras, and had no idea that a breast pump was an actual thing, my sister and I worked together as counselors at a camp on the island.  Life basically looked like this:

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…plus skin diving and teaching kids about shovelnose guitarfish.  Which is a real animal.

Obviously it was awesome.

Now, over a decade later, we are dragging our old, busted selves back in an attempt to re-live those magical, youthful, carefree moments by running this:

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The best laid plans of mice and men…

We tried to recruit some old friends to run with us, but no one bit (weird).

But for reals, I am very excited about this.  I considered downgrading to the half when no one else would join, but in the end decided if I’m ever going to run another marathon it was going to be this one.  Yes, it will be hilly.  And hard. But it will be beautiful, and challenging, and full of memories, and I’ll be running in a place I love with my favorite running partner.  What more could you ask for.

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On Exercise

September 22, 2015 § 1 Comment

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