Tuesday, June 29, 2010

San Fransisco, Baseball.

San Fransisco was amazing. I hadn't been there for years. I found myself loving the busyness, the variety of people, the sound of the trolley cars ringing and rattling on their tracks. The air was warm and humid but got cool when the wind would come.
We walked everywhere. It was a mile and a half to the stadium. We went to two Giant games. the first one was in the middle of the day and the sun was so hot I felt like a chocolate bar melting on pavement. The game literally felt like a half hour long because I think I was so hot my brain was frying. I finally got a snow cone and sucked on that until we were getting up and leaving. They lost.
The night game felt it's normal three hour length. It was cool, but definitely not cold like I thought it was going to be. We sat up high, looking down on the players like toys on the field. There was two guys in front of us, drunk, loud and funny. There was a girl with them as well but by the fifth inning after she came stumbling up the stairs, she sat down in her seat with her head between her knees and stayed that way the entire rest of the game. I worried she had died. The boys would occasionally place a sympathetic hand on her back and then return to their loud cheering and barking, fists in the air, their voices deep, loud, full of testosterone and completely hoarse. They were determined to get all 40, 000 of us behind them in their cheers. They were so entertaining and definitely made the game for me. They reminded me of some boys I grew up with and their goofy familiarity made me feel warm.
The seagulls circled overhead, coming out in droves in the seven inning, their white bellies illuminated by the bright stadium lights. We saw a glob of poo land on the back of a man down in the third row. I put my blanket over my head.
The sellers circled the game, their neon green shirts standing out amongst all the black and orange. They were Mexican, Asian, black, and European. Each one had a unique voice and accent when he would call out his goods.
Hot churrrr-ooos! Hot churrr-ooos! (the Mexican).
Freeesh Lemon-ade! Freeesh Lemon-ade! (the Asian).
Hot Choc-o-lot! Hot Choc-o-lot! (the European).
The black boy was also selling hot chocoate, but you could barely hear him. He would just hold up the cup and look up at us.
They whole game had a very ethnic feel to it, ironically, as it supposedly is an all-American type game. Most of the music the players picked to play before they would bat was very non-American, very Zumba. Reminded me of Samba a bit. Made you want to get up and move your hips. I guess you still have the National Anthem, but as a whole the game had a very foreign element to me that I wasn't expecting and enjoyed very much.
I looked around and saw all these people just loving being there. And it was alright. But I decided that baseball is like camping: you have to grow up with it to love it. You have to have memories to make the present meaningful and worth the money, worth the pain in your butt sitting in that hard green chair for three hours. I just don't think I will ever love baseball. Understand it, yes. Sit through a game or two, sure. Actually feel something for it? I cannot imagine it, but I kinda hope it will happen someday.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I think the Dawn is Fast Approaching.

I took Ethan to Wild Waters yesterday. It was so....relaxing. For the first time since Ethan was pulled from you-know-where by those large, mid wife's hands, I had the tinniest glimpse of hope that life might return to a somewhat normal state, that I might not completely lose my mind before the children are eighteen and far, far away.
The reason being, of course, that it was so relaxing, was that Noah was at a sitters and Ethan is four now: self reliant, independent, even, mature. Like he didn't have a meltdown because we skipped his nap and I didn't have to be by his side the whole time making sure he he didn't slip under the water and drown.
It felt wrong it was so good. To make it even better, I was sitting by a single dad with a three month old and a two and a half year old (I know he just wanted to kill himself) and to the right of him was a single mom with three kids, five, three, and two or so ( I'm pretty sure she was suicidal too). I mean, these little family units were CRAZY. Diapers and poo and bottles and kicking and screaming and losing kids and I was just lying there, on my lounge chair, lounging for goshsakes, something I have not done since, like I said, Ethan was ripped out of me.
It was a beautiful moment, full of hope for the future, if we can just make it till Noah is four without, like I said, completely going insane.
So, there I was, lounging, (I just love writing that, I could write it over and over all day), staring and comparing at every one's quasi naked bodies. Most of these mothers had tattoos. I saw all sorts of them, angels' wings on the upper back, the all too famous butterfly right above the bootie, Winnie the Poo right above the front bikini line (little creepy, although the mom looked normal enough), pretty little vines; but not one of them stuck out to me as something I thought was so beautiful and unique and mysterious and wonderful that I would want it. It was just ink. And it actually was hard to find a mama without one.
After our lovely day at the pool Ethan and I headed over to the Legends, a place even more dangerous than Ross, and went shopping for Dad's day. And mom maybe might have picked up a couple of things for herself too but I am not sure.
We ended the the day with gummy peach rings, my favorite candy, even above gummy bears. Ethan was sleeping by the time we got to the sitters, and I felt as strong and confident and not crazy as a tiger. Usually I am more of a meerkat type, but maybe the dawn is about to break.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Six Miles.

Six miles!
I started out only going to go three and a half but when I got to the crucial corner, I was feeling pretty good and decided to be crazy and not turn towards home, but instead keep going farther and farther away.
And you all were right, I did not die, it really wasn't even that bad.
The worst of it was probably around five miles. There's this stretch of Stead Blvd. that looks like you are running to Texas. It's so long and hot and desserty. Plus, there's these huge semi trucks filling the air with stinky exhaust. Anyway, there's the stop light, way way way up there, so small it looks like tiny Christmas lights, and it's at this point where I told myself, now is not the time to look toward the lights, (because they just seemed forever and a day away and looking at them made me want to stop right then and there and catch the bus) no, I told myself, now is the time to look at your feet, put one in front of the other, and think happy thoughts, like making out with Joey.
And that's what I did and I eventually made it to the stop light, which is were I turned right to go the rest of the way home.
It was on this stretch that I picked up a stray. The way she bounced along with her big foxy tail and her perky ears reminded me of my Border Collie growing up, Rodeo. I had to keep her out of the street, at least. She followed me for a while, would stop to sniff, and then pretty soon I'd hear the titititit of her paws on the concrete sidewalk as she caught up to me. Trying to keep her out of the street was enough to keep my mind off running. Well, that, and imagining how the scene would unfold if a car were to hit her right before my very eyes. With my little encouragements, (Com'on girl, let's go") she followed me all the way home. In fact, by the time I got home, I was using endearing nicknames for her, like BooBoo. I saw she had a collar on, so I thought I'd call her owners as soon as we were home.
Alas, no tag.
Joey about had a cow.
In fact, he almost tuned into a cow, or a bull, with all that steam coming out of his ears.
I told him we were different, that's why this crap happens. He turned around and walked into the bedroom.
She was gone after a couple of hours and thanks be to God (for the sake of my covenant marriage) she did not dig up the grass or poop in some inappropriate place.
My running six miles, my overcoming this horrible fear, just dissipated in all the dog fiasco. I hardly got to stretch for gosh sakes, let alone celebrate.
I feel pretty good today. And with the dog gone, and me and Joey able to laugh and giggle with each other over the whole thing, I think I am on my way. Thirteen and a half miles (or.2, or whatever it is) here I come.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The (Stinky Poopy) Marina.

Decided to play hooky and ditch church this morning, spend some "I want to" time with my boys instead of us always shuffling around to "have to's". Just thinking about it exhausts me.
I wanted to try an idea that sparked in my head a couple of days ago: me running, pushing the jogging stroller with Noah, and Ethan riding his bike beside us. I knew in theory it worked but in real life?
But today was as good as any day to give it a whirl. First, though, packing. Packing to go anywhere with young children is like moving across the United States, or even to another country. You basically have to have everything you have in your house in some sort of bag or basket or chest. It's ridiculously exhausting and usually will keep me from doing anything fun because the thought of having to get all their crap together is enough to make me want nap time, now. Not to mention unpacking after the whole escapade is done. But anyway, today, we packed. Bike, helmet, sunscreen (mine and the boys), towels, toys, ice chest, sandwiches, bars, ice water (mine and Ethan's), diaper bag, diapers, formula, bottle, baby food, spoon. Stroller. Extra clothes.
There's more, but I will spare you.
Finally we all got in the car (I could barely see out the back windshield) but we couldn't leave because there was a big Mor Furniture for Less truck blocking my driveway. It's a good thing it was a huge truck or I probably would have reversed right into it.
I was feeling a little feisty by this point and lucky for the truck driver he was walking out of my neighbor's house to move his big rig or things might have been ugly.
Everything was going super. Then we parked the car and Ethan got out of his car seat.
Not two seconds after his darling four year old feet hit the pavement and he started complaining about not wanting to ride his bike, that he couldn't, that he wanted to run the two miles instead.
This is what is maddening about being a mother to little people: they change their minds, and they are completely unpredictable, always.
Last time we were at the Marina, Ethan rode the whole two miles without so much as a squeak of complaint. That's why I had this maddening idea to begin with.
Desperate, I told him to just try, that if he didn't like it we'd stop (And do what? I didn't know. That's the thing the four year olds. You just have to be one thought, one suggestion, ahead of them. you make it up as you go.)
He whined and screamed for a while, and then pretty soon he was quiet and pedaling and we were off! We got into a rhythm, Ethan keeping up, Noah quiet, I thought, This was so worth it!
After our run we loaded everything we could into the stroller and I walked the boys what might as well have been a hundred miles down to the beach, where we were welcomed with a huge sign that read:
(This was not exactly word for word).
But me, hot, feisty, baby on hip and tired, told Ethan to go jump in. I set up our towels and waited for the Marina Patrol to come and get me; I didn't care. I am a woman who almost has a tattoo for gosh sakes.
We didn't last long, or should I say Noah didn't last long, so fifteen minutes later we packed everything back up in the stroller and started the hundred mile climb back to the car, Ethan whining and complaining and falling all over his bike like he was dying and Noah screaming his head off like I had just stolen him.
This is when I thought, This is so NOT worth it!
We got home and somehow all made it into our separate beds. I laid in mine hot and sweaty, the sheets rough on my dirty, newly tanned skin.
My body was so tired I felt like the bed was swallowing me up. I fell asleep listening for the sounds of the boys waking up: the mummerings from the crib, and the light sound of barefeet in the hall; the sounds that rule and run my life, the sounds that make me whole.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Writing Subjects.

I thought I had a couple of minutes here before the bombs drop (aka my children awake from their precious slumbers) but alas, little Santa Clause began his morning grumblings before I could even get the dang computer turned on. Not a a big deal though. All he needs is a warm bottle of formula (disgusting!) and he's good for about twenty minutes.
I went in there to give it to him and he looked just horrible. I didn't bother putting him in jammies last night because he was so sleepy, so his onesie was all crusted at the collar from last night's dinner and his hair looked like an old man's--thin and wispy and sticking out in crazy ways. I wanted to ask him, "Gosh, what happened to you last night?"
He grabbed his bottle from my hands like he's been suffering from some horrible disease for years and mixed inside the formula is the cure, finally! Then he gulped it with his eyes closed. I just stood there watching him, raising my eyebrows.
Changing the subject, I was going to write about something on here but then second guessed that because my children are the only safe thing to write about, the poor darlings, and even that may backfire on me in the next twenty years.
Joey is running in the Odyssey. I think this is his third time, the stud. As always with these races I am a tinge jealous. I have this fear of running more than five miles. Like the first step after five miles my knees will go out and my lungs will collapse and I will die.
I want to get over this, so I really want to train for a half marathon this summer. Well, to get over that and also to drop five pounds in my butt and the surrounding areas.
I want to run one in Santa Cruz, on the West Cliff (I think that's what it's called), and then to celebrate after the run go get my dang tattoo done ( and then I swear I will stop talking about it).
The problem is that race isn't until April. I'll figure something out.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Birthday dinner.

I went out to dinner last night for my birthday with Joey. I really try hard to to not write about him on here but it's so hard because he is everywhere in my life, like the sky. I could write an entire, endless book on him.
We went to Cadillac Ranch at the Legends. Usually I am a big fan of this place. It's always slow, so the customer service is great, and the food has always been delicious and hot. Not so much this time. The waiter kept telling Joey he had certain beers on tap and then he would come back and say they were out; then magically he brought one out saying, "I know you really wanted this one so I went next store and got it for you..." which would have been fine except I heard him give the same spiel to the couple sitting behind us. Little fishy, dontcha think?
Speaking of fish, I got a salmon cesar salad that tasted like it was doused in salt five or six times. It made my cheeks come in, that's how salty this thing was. I still feel bloated.
I sort of made some comment about the beers and the whole thing being a little weird and Joey just closed his eyes and shook his head and said he didn't care, aka, don't say anything to the waiter.
I took the hint and shut up about the beers and didn't even mention my salty, cheek-drying salmon.
The wine was still superb. It helped smooth everything over anyway.
Afterwards we went to the Gap. I saw a cute bather on clearance but they ended up not having my size. Shux! But not really. I don't need any of this crap and not having my size is an easy way to put it back. I ended up with a comfortable pair of shoes, low platforms that look like you'd wear them on a ship.
Joey got a shirt, and I picked up some socks for Ethan(he has to have expensive socks, he's boycotted Walmart cheapos) and also a cute plaid hat. I have to be strategic when I give him clothes, like I don't care one bit if he likes them or not, otherwise he will say he doesn't want them. Like with this hat: it's sooooooooo darn cute. But when I got home I calmly took it into his room and hung it on his hat rack like it was a lame hand-me-down.
"What's that?"
"Oh, a hat."
"Who got it for me?"
"I did."
"Is it a conductor's hat?"
"Sort of." (I turn to go).
"Can I wear it?"
After the Gap Joey was ready to go. (Hello? There are like five hundred stores here, it's my birthday, and it's seven thirty. Are we serious?)
Well, he was. He was concernced about Noah screaming. We started for for the car and then I got brave and told him I wanted to go to one more store. That it wouldn't take long, I just wanted to look at rings, I've been wanting a big fun ring, like a flower. Sometimes you just gotta stand up for yourself and say what you want.
He gave in and we headed over to Forever21. Before we went in I gave him the option of staying outside, that I didn't know if he'd really want to go in there, but he walked in with me anyway.
We walked over to the jewelery and he tried on some lacy hats and big sunglasses. I looked through the bins of rings, but they were bigger than big, these suckers were HUGE. Like they should have been a Grandmother's pin, not a ring.
I had pretty much given up when I grabbed a little (compared to the rest) oval ring. It was silver and petite and really beautiful. It looked like a small oval mirror, only the inside was the inside of a shell. It didn't have a tag on it and I couldn't find any others like it.
Look at this one, Joey, look at this. Isn't it pretty?
He said we had to go. I reminded him it was my birthday and when was the last time we got to go shopping together? He couldn't remember. I found a cute wallet and decided I was done.
I took my little treasures up to the counter and told the lady the ring didn't have a tag on it and without a second glance she said it wasn't one of their rings and and I could have it.
Have it! I mean, even if it was one of theirs it would have cost like three fifty, but still! This thing is sooo beautiful and I just love it! It makes me less sad for all the amazing rings I've lost. It makes up for them.
On the way back to the car Joey and I teased and laughed with each other. He commented on my shopping sprees over the last couple of months, and I gently reminded him of his CD player he put in his truck for his birthday.
We are even steven.
And I love you Joey.