Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I love the heat and I love seniors too.

It's July first tomorrow and the heat is killing me. I sit in the recliner and my face sweats. It takes all my energy away. I am like my Grandma--anywhere I go in the car I have to have ice water with me--even with the AC.
But I love it. I would rather it be like this than January, February, March, April and even sometimes May.
I took a senior stretch class today and loved it, one for the slow, very slow, stretching, and two for the new atmosphere. Seniors are like preschoolers, only bigger and wrinklier. They are, for the most part, unabashedly outgoing. They laugh easily. They don't take themselves seriously (one lady did the entire class hooked up to her oxygen machine) and they still make jokes about sex (even the lady hooked up to the oxygen machine). I will definitely return.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Today I offered him the yummiest of yum Dannon Smoothie drinks for
breakfast, and he wanted canned peas instead. Cold. With milk on the side.
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Camping, True Stories.

There was more than one moment when I wondered if I ever wanted to go camping again, at least with the party I was with. Camping as a mother is so different than camping as a child, as a teenager,or as a couple. There seems to be no time to even recognize where you are, you are so busy trying to keep the tent from looking like a tornado just went through it, keeping a three year old entertained and from killing himself by jumping off the big rocks into the fire pit, and the dogs from whining and barfing and peeing in the tent on the beds, which by the way, are already covered in dirt, bugs and dog hair. I tried to not think about this as I crawled into my sleeping bag each night, but it was hard to ignore.
The quietness, the peacefulness that I associate with camping, only came in the evenings as the sky turned that brilliant blue, the trees dark and black against it. Joey and I would sit around the campfire once the doggies and Ethan were in bed, and take deep breaths as we watched the sky's colors fade, getting darker and darker, the trees eventually disappearing against their backdrop. Then the stars. Delightful stars, like glitter, like everything childlike, twinkling, moving slowly, and completely incomprehensible.
We'd read by the lantern out loud together, something we have not done in what seems like years. The fire would pop and crackle, it's flame memorizing and warm on my shins. Then it would start to get cold so we'd put more sticks on it and if we weren't too tired, another big log, which to me meant another thirty minutes, at least, before we'd crawl into the tent with the rest of our very demanding, yet lovable family.
By the morning, we'd all be in Joey and my's sleeping bags, which we zippered together. All the warm bodies made turning over, something I am doing countless times a night now that I am very pregnant, more than a little difficult. At first I was cautious, not wanting to break Riley's leg or smother Fiebe or wake up Ethan, but after the first night of not sleeping at all, I decided they'd move outta my big belly way if I was really hurting them. They did, sleepily and whimpering.
I'd wake up each morning feeling like a sledgehammer just whacked my back. Our sleeping pads, which are supposed to hold air, don't anymore. Ethan woke, like usual, like a beam of sunshine, where I was more like a shipwrecked survivor. He'd be begging me for Captain Crunch while I was barely getting my cold cold contacts into my smokey eyes with my dirty fingers.
The mornings were brilliant, quiet and cold. We'd make coffee with the coffee press and eat Costco muffins and fruit. The milk was especially cold on our cereal. It was delicious.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lakes Basin, 2009.

Lakes Basin has always been such a special place for me. I have secret caves and special rocks that are still there, twenty years later. It's like the ghost of me is still there, playing, brown from the dirt, oblivious to the mosquitos and scrapes accumulated along the way.

We went miniature golfing Tuesday morning. Ethan was most fascinated with an old rusty wagon they had for a decoration. He did build his confidence though--every shot was a "2"--the first original whack and then the whack that put 'er in the hole, after he picked up the ball and placed it about two centimeters away. This little mountain shot was the only one he couldn't place his ball near the whole, and he still made it.

The acoustics in the nasty toilet pit bathrooms was awesome, despite the poo smell. Every trip to go pee also included a free Ethan concert for the whole campground as Ethan filled the large, mountainous air with "O When the Saints Go Marching In". We'd hear applause as we walked back to our campsite.

Joey and Ethan collected wood together a couple of times a day. They had a lot of fun hanging out at the swimming hole together.

Our first and only hike. Riley got back to the campsite with bumps all over her face. Then she barfed, outside. I put her inside the tent to get away from the bugs. Then she barfed, inside. I checked on her a half hour later and her face looked like a boxer, or a pit bull, only fatter. Her eyes were barely there, she was so swollen. I was sure she was going to die, sure she had the plague. I begged neighbors for allergy medicine. Then, she started barking at other dogs that would go by. This dog never ever ever ever barks. So then I thought she had rabies or something.
In the morning she was pretty much fine, still just a bit swollen on the right side.
This, among other things, is why I am NEVER taking my dogs camping again.

Me and the little dude.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

San Diego, Sneak Peek.

Playing with Auntie. Yes, she is actually lifting him up with one arm. Just thinking about that makes me pull a muscle right now. What is with second pregnancies?
Daelynn, overdue and still looking fabulous.
One more time!! "Oh when the saints! Go marching in!"
Such a big world out there.
This swing was located on the back porch of one of the little cafes in Julian. We shared pie and boys got to run around and play. Thankfully it was a little chilly so for the most part we were the only ones out there, and they could be as toddler-ish as they wanted. It was a nice reprieve from all the little stores with breakables everywhere. Which by the way, little boys don't necessarily like to visit. In one store the clerk had to tell Ethan to get up off the floor. He was on all fours and grunting and snorting and making all sorts of embarrassing sounds. At this point I was thankful he wasn't pulling the little glass salt and pepper shakers off the shelves, so I let him be. His response to the lady was, "But I want to play pig!" And then we left.
Julian is a sweet little town full of tiny stores, yummy cafes and lots and lots of tough people on motorcycles. In this particular store, full of candy, syrups, and ciders, Ethan managed to dump an entire bag of jaw breakers all over the old hardwood floor. I watched in mommy shock as they bounced and rolled and clattered like marbles and everyone in the busy store did a little dance to try and keep from stepping on them. The one clerk rolled her eyes and I wanted to scream. If she ever had kids, it obviously was a lifetime ago. In fact, I doubt she ever was a child herself. But the other clerk was sweet and didn't make us pay for the busted bag, or make us feel like morons.
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Monday, June 15, 2009


The drive home went so fast. Like we were in some time of time zone. Ethan peed in his car seat without either of us noticing it, which worked out better for both of us because by the time I did notice, everything was mostly dry and the big frustrating ordeal I would have made-had I found out right when he wet his pants-was avoided. I just sort of shrugged my shoulders and said, o well. Get back in your car seat.
We did amazingly well, considering the only thing we had to keep occupied was my small book of Cd's, and extremely salty or sweet snacks, the kind that make you feel like you've doubled your weight each time you get out of the car to stretch.
Which we did three times. And this is my new favorite thing: Ethan peeing on some plant, his white tiny tush glaring in the sun. He has become a real pro, "Mommy, I will push my hips forward, OK?" and is quite proud of himself.
We got home late and it was dark and quiet and warm. Seeing Joey walk out of the garage door was like hot chocolate on a rainy day, like the sun on my shoulders when I plant flowers, like Christmas morning, like sleeping on the beach looking up at the black sky covered in starry pins, like the smell of the redwoods, only better. I felt weak when he hugged me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I haven't been able to fall asleep the last two nights. My air mattress supports my back, my butt, like I am laying on a very large empty egg carton, only softer. Ethan sleeps quietly beside me, like a big ball of warm dough that breathes, in and out.
I think about Joey mostly, what it will be like the moment I see him--a long hug, little kiss, familiar and comforting like falling into bed at night, or a stiff hello, like we don't know each other well? It seems silly to think my marriage can still have this awkward element to it, but it does at times. In one sense, it's good, reminding me Joey is an autonomous being, dynamic and always changing into a different man than the boy I married five years ago. It makes me have to pay attention, stay sensitive to change. And sometimes it makes things awkward.
I also think about my doggies and how big Fiebi's eye boogies must be because Joey doesn't bother to get rid of them.
I think about Brazil, how I felt homesick there. How I cried on the phone with my dad in those early months. And then I think about my host sister there, Aru, and I still can't believe she morreo, she died.
Joey called in the midst of all this, like being rescued from a deep dark hole, and we talked for four minutes before his cell phone died. I waited, wanting him to call me back, but when he didn't I called him. No answer. An hour later I called again, still no answer. I hoped the last message "just" saying goodnight didn't sound as desperate as I felt to talk with him, to hear his voice, just to know he was there, but I am pretty sure it did. Again, weird awkwardness.
I finally ended up on my right side, my baby making weird movements, like one of those rubber balls that shake and vibrate violently when you squeeze them. Made me think that maybe I had a little too much caffeine that afternoon. Poor kid. The last thought I remember was of how good it would feel in the morning to wake up, because that would mean I actually fell asleep, and then, it was morning.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sleep Over.

I am watching Ethan and Andrew because Simon and Deana are spending the night on the beach. Or somewhere near it anyways. We've had two mini arguments, including a couple of slugs to the face, but we seem to be doing fine now. O and one poopy undies incident. Nothing a little swish swish in the toilet couldn't take care of.
It's a beautiful day here. The best we've seen. I am hoping to at least get one more day at the beach.
I am really enjoying this time with my sisters, using all their lotions and perfumes and everything else sisters share without asking. But seriously, this time with them is precious; who knows when we will all be together again in this sort of casual way.
Last night Chuy BBQ'd salmon sprayed with lemon juice, garlic salt, and parsley. It was wonderful. We had homegrown avocados and a raw carrot on the side. It was surprisingly satisfying. We had cherries for dessert. Ethan was in one of his better moods, making us laugh. Suddenly he was dancing in his chair, the kind of dance three years olds do when they have to pee really bad, so I told him to run to the bathroom. The house was dark, but he darted in side.
Then we heard a horrible crack, and his cry filling the night's otherwise pleasant air.
Apparently he tripped on the bathroom rug, landed nose first on the side of the toilet bowl. Thankfully, no gush of blood, no teeth scattered on the floor. Just a little blood in the nose.
I put Ethan down and then stretched before falling onto the blowup mattress next Ethan, his breath heavy and loud coming from his blood clogged nose.

Friday, June 5, 2009

One Week In.

It's been a week now and I miss Joey. I can't think of anything in particular I miss-OK, except for that one thing-but mostly I just want him here. In the same room. Because that is what I have gotten use to over the past seven years.
We've done so many fun things, and then yesterday was the first day I was walking around Daelynn's house thinking, I am bored. I took Ethan on a little walk to explore the neighborhood, so green with all sorts of new, different plants I have never seen before, dark pink, purple and my favorite-red flowers that look like humongous hairy caterpillars. We commented on the palm trees and the pine trees, all growing in the same yard.
Ethan didn't last long on his own two feet, and with no one else around to take pity on the pregnant lady, I offered him my shoulders. Of course he said yes. I had brought my cell phone and clangy bundle of keys that weighs at least five pounds. I managed to hold on to my cell phone while maneuvering him up onto my shoulders, but the keys went down, hitting the sidewalk with a large crash.
I stood there a moment, looking way down there at the keys at my feet, feeling a little topsy turvy as I balanced Ethan's skinny limbs on my shoulders, one of his hands grabbing my hair, the other a death grip around my forehead, almost covering my eyes.
I didn't have any choice but to bend my knees and get those keys, so wobbly we went down, and back up, barely, all the while Ethan holding on to my hair or whatever else he could grab or pull, like my cheeks.
We found a park with swings and a slide. That's when I really started to miss Joey.
Since we may be here a while, and everyone else has lives and work to do, I somewhat desperately remembered that my YMCA membership can be used elsewhere. So we went there yesterday, and will go again today.
I am still waiting for it to be warm enough to go to the beach. Today has promise: the sun is out early, shining through the blinds hanging from the windows.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Vacation, San Diego, 2009.

The clouds have cleared, offering up the blue sky and hot sun. I love it. It's humid; opening the small window in the bathroom while taking a shower doesn't do much to keep the bathroom from fogging up.
We've been keeping busy: ceremonies, showers, receptions, museums, trains, and trolley rides. The boys are priceless, as maybe only your own blood can be. Andrew chooses me over the others to change his "poopies" and this warms my heart almost as much as if he were to fall asleep in my arms.
The car trips into downtown have been my favorite part. Ethan picking his nose while asking "Where?" to Andrew, who is literally almost coming out of his car seat in excitement over the airplanes flying over the car--"Look Ethan! WO! Look!" And then of course there is 'O When the Saints Go Marching In', sung at the top of their little bitty lungs until you feel like you have the song engraved so deep in your brain you will be singing it on your own deathbed when you can say absolutely nothing else.
We've also been preparing for little Romo, washing clothes, putting together swings and bouncers, getting the linens ready to be warmed in the oven when the time is ready. Daelynn is uncommonly not stressed out about the birth, which doesn't surprise me in the least. I am a little scared but really excited too.