Saturday, October 28, 2006

That's Amore!

I walked out of the bathroom this morning to be greeted by Trey mooning me.

"Ummm, Trey, that is NOT ok. Where did you learn that?"


Right, your two year old sister showed you how to bend over, expose your white hiney and shake it at people. "No, who showed you how to do that?"


"Where did you see that?? Leah didn't show it to you and you didn't just make it up. Who showed you?"

"I dunno."

He'd make a great Prisoner of War. He never tells me where he learned his anti-ok behavior.

On an ironic note, Ashton Kutcher was on Leno last night sharing pictures of his white hiney which was mooning the different monuments in D.C. That's just un-American.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Life's a Beach

My grandpa taught high school art for one of the craziest cities in San Bernardino County. Back when my mom went there, some of the girls in gangs would hide razor blades in their bouffant hairdos. Ok, so most cities in San Berdue are crazy. Heat and wind and dirt will do that to a person. What does this have to do with the price of cheese in China*? Not a darn thing. Only to say that each year, my grandpa and his crazy teacher friends would gather every October to camp at this little known state beach on the southern tip of Orange County. Tradition. For decades. All the kids of the teachers would go, and then the boyfriends and girlfriends would attend. Soon, the grandbabies (that would be me) became a part of the tradition. I remember meeting up with another one of the grandkids and we'd raid the campers of the other's grandparent to see what kind of good junk food they had stashed. We'd ride bikes along the paths when it was dark, only a glow stick to light the way. We'd made that awful trek down the 45 degree pathway to the beach. Ok, so maybe it wasn't really 45 degrees but close. My grandpa (remember, art teacher) would always, always sculpt a naked mermaid in the sand. The teachers would gather in the fun and there would be turtles, whales and other sea creatures all made out of mounds of sand on the beaches of San Clemente. We'd come back up that hill, gather around the camp fire and eat and eat and eat. Steak and potatoes, every year. We'd hop around to each other's sites to see what was for dinner and come together as a group for dessert. Every October. And then things started happening. One by one the men and women passed away. My grandma was one of the first at only 61. The grandbabies grew up and moved away. Other teachers retired and moved. Things weren't the same. My grandpa remarried and his new wife, unlike my grandma who would go out to the lake to fish, while wearing a bikini in her fifties, is verrrry prudish. The Amish have pictures of her above their fireplaces. No sun. It's bad for the skin. No beach water. It will mess up my hair. No bike riding. She mostly stayed in the camper with her obnoxious dog. It wasn't fun anymore. Everyone missed the old days. The tradition went on pause indefinitely.

My mom and I have tried to create a new tradition for the first week in October, but someONE always seems to be gone, or just getting home during that time. And frankly, I cannot handle all the details and the kids without him here so we haven't quite made it. This year, however, grandpa made it back to San Clemente. There were no other teachers. Just him and his wife (sans dog...she went to doggy purgatory) and the motorhome. There were no nude sandsculptures (she would disapprove). We did all walk down to the beach, which has been made much easier to travel. She took my kids to dip their feet in the water. Amazing. We had steak and ate and ate and ate. We sat around the campfire. We didn't have anyone to share dessert with, we didn't ride bikes by glowstick, but we still had fun and my kids had a blast.

Here's the beginning of the journey down to the beach:

Trey walking down the path most traveled

This is looking up north towards Dana Point

The prissy new wife with my kids

Leah's shadow and foot prints

YAY! I did it! I survived the walk back up!

No doubt, getting life lessons, be true or false, from great-grandpa

Although I wish that things were the same as they were when I was a kid, I'm glad we still get to go, and that my kids are participating in something that three other generations of the family have as well.

*Yes, I know it should be 'tea' but how interesting is that?

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Today is our last soccer game of the season. I'm hoping that Trey will actually play. Afterwards, we're headed to Legoland to celebrate his birthday. You'd think that since this place is less than fifteen minutes from my house, we'd have been there millions of times.

Yeah. Um, this will be #1. Man, I haven't done the roller coaster thing since I've had kids. What if I'm ruined!?? I know that some moms can't do rides anymore and that, would just be tragic.

We're having our typical Santa Ana's right now so it should be nice and hot. And dry. And windy. Woohoo!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Whoa Whoa Whoa...Feelings

How I'm currently feeling:

What I need to be feeling:

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Never Say Never

As I've said in previous posts, it's been a challenging year. Nothing too major, like a death or tax evasion, but lots of inconveniences, most costing money, have happened within a six month period. Oh, my car accident, yeah, that was pretty major. I keep asking "why". What's the purpose? Why is this happening? What am I being prepared for? Do I even want what's coming if these things are to make me stronger for the future?

As in most churches, our pastor occasionally talks about money. Let's face it: church is a business too, albeit a non-profit business. It takes $10,000+ per month just for the utilities at our church. Back in January, we were told that we could test God. Test God on money. This is the one subject where we get the go-ahead and it's encouraged. Our pastor is always eager to share the crazy, good things that happen to him because of his faithfulness. He talks about the mailbox game. Now, before I get into this, let me just say that this does NOT happen to me, or really anyone else I know. He and his family will give their tithe, or 10% of their gross income to the church and inevitably, a check will show up in the mail that week for some weird amount. Or, he'll receive some high-dollar gift like Lasik, or a free trip somewhere. Yeah, that never happened to us. Well, we decided to test God. We gave and gave and gave some more. We gave our tithe and extra to the building fund. We gave until we were out of money. No big checks in the mail. No trips to Tahiti. No BriteSmile coupons. We waited. And waited. Still waited some more. Last week, it was time for the talk again. As I'm listening to him talk about all of the wonderful things that have been bestowed upon his family, I'm trying to not be cynical about the fact that we gave until we were dry, with little blessings here and there, but a lot of strife (i.e. the truck being broken into,

compromise of my husband's identity due to the whole VA theft thing, bees,

deployment, things breaking left and right) and then he says something that hits me. If you plant a seed today, don't expect to see your fruit tomorrow. It takes time. If you tithe this weekend, and don't see the benefits tomorrow, don't be discouraged. Wait six months, and see what God does.

Six months ago, we gave all we had.

Things I used to say:
I will never let my tv be a babysitter for my kids.
I will never be a working mom.
I will never eat asparagus.
I will never drive a Ford.

Wednesday afternoon, a guy I work with asked about Bill's truck. When Bill went to Iraq for the first time, I bought him a little welcome home present. A simple, white 1994 Toyota Pickup. It had some perks, but nothing too major. Hey, you survive a war, you deserve your own wheels. No more one-car-family thing. Why was this guy asking about the truck? He surely didn't need to borrow it, he had his own.

"Would you be interested in another car?"
"I don't have money for another car."
"No, not to buy, to trade."
"What are you talking about?"
"There's an anonymous donor who wants to give you a car and in exchange, you'd donate Bill's truck to a young Marine who just returned from Iraq."

This is where I stand, with a stupid look on my face, trying to process everything that he's saying.
"Ok, so what you're saying, is that I trade Bill's truck for another car?"
"Yes, and SUV."
"An SUV??" Remember, my beloved SUV was killed in an unfortunate accident last December. "A truck for an SUV?"
"Yes, it's a 2003 Lincoln Navigator."
This is where he scoops me up off the floor. For two days, I walked around wondering why. Why me? Why us? What did we do to deserve this? There are so many other people who need a car. A Lincoln Navigator? Holy Cannoli. Who NEEDS that much car? We're a humble little family with practical cars, not a huge Navigator.

I ask that if this is to be, that the doors will be open. If not, for them to be audibly shut.

I was under the impression that there would be a little key exchange, badda bing, badda boom, off we go. No.

Ceremony. In Los Angeles. Hundreds of people involved. Umm...

Saturday morning, I'm up at 5:30am to be in L.A. by 10. There's an entire car show, raffle, dunk tank, activities for the kids and everything is to benefit Camp Pendleton Marines. This does not happen in San Diego. Cities without military presence are always so supportive of the military. I was humbled by their generosity. The Chaplain (a personal friend, and the guy who helped this all come to fruition) spoke and told a little bit about me. There was a color guard.

The car was driven up in front of everyone. The situation was explained: an anonymous donor (who introduced himself to me) wanted to donate a car to a young military family. I had been chosen to receive this gift. The wows in the crowd rushed over me. I was brought up and the Chaplain let everyone know about our previous car, how Trey would have been killed had he been with me,

that Bill is deployed for the third time in as many years.

Things like this never happen to me.

Never say never.

Ok, and yes, I realize it's not a Navigator. Somewhere the lines were crossed. Can't complain. It's an '03 Ford Expedition, fully loaded. Thanks God, for your many blessings.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Yeah, I'm rethinking this whole thing

I grew up in a 'cat family'. We had three when I entered the world. One was posessed by Satan so he was given away to a family friend and then promptly run over by a car. It was a better place after he was taken away. The other two lived until I was in my late teens. That's what I was used to: cats. The inconveniences and all. I felt as though the benefits outweighed the drawbacks. When we had to put them to sleep I tried to convince my mom to let us get two new ones. Start over. This time, I wanted to see them in the beginning stages, all cute and hyper.




Fastforward a few years and I'm married and we are DINK (dual income no, we should have been rich) and guess what I want? Furry babies. We moved too much at the time to get anything living, including a plant. Three moves in one year, across country twice? Yes, that's too many. We came back to California and lived in Orange County for two years. I got a plant. I kept it alive. That in itself is a miracle. We moved back down to San Diego. My friend's dad got a kitten. Oh man, I loved that kitten (who now, is also posessed by Satan). I wanted one. She had litter mates just waiting to be adopted. I pleaded my case with my husband. I made a good argument. We went to see the others. I fell in love. The one I wanted was spoken for. I picked out my second choice. A tiny tuxedo male. Ugh. My heart. I wanted to take him home NOW. We needed to go shopping. Cats need things! Litter box, food bowls, angora shawl for the cold California nights. We went back to look at him again. There was one other kitten, unclaimed. She was the runt. Her ribs were visible through her fur. She was mangy. She was ugly. I wanted her. It took a little more convincing this time. "But they'll have each other while we're not home! They need a playmate!" He caved. We brought them home. They were covered in fleas. We got them cleaned up, fattened up and now they're seven.

I'm ready to disown them.

We taught them early to not use the furniture for a scratching post. They learned quickly. And then learned to wait for the people to go to bed and then do whatever they pleased and so I have $2000 worth of furniture in one room and $1000 in the other, ruined.

We had no problems getting them to use their box. They had an accident or two when they were babies, nothing else. Now I have a dining room covered in baking soda and needing to be steam cleaned every day. This, is recent.

I have a vet who requires no children to attend the appointments. I need to be sure they are not sick and then when that is determined, I will beat them (not really, don't send PETA my way) until they go back in their perfectly clean box.

We have fleas. For the third time in their seven years. My INDOOR cats have fleas and now have given them to the house. I've never had to advantage more than once. It's been twice and tons of chemicals on the carpets and nothing is working. I'm going to have to bring out the big guns and by some bombs.

We didn't have fleas or litter box problems when I had help (i.e. my husband was home). My baby looks like an abused, neglected chicken pox case (my actual baby, not the dang cat) due to her sever allergic reaction to the bites. My dining room is odiferous. I have no time for my regular to-do things (and yes, blogging is on that list!).

It's a good thing those felines are cute and loved by my kids. Otherwise, this would be Bill's perfect opportunity to convince me to send them off to kitty boot camp.

Sunday, October 01, 2006