The timing couldn't have been more perfect. Our overnight guests arrived at 8:30-two hours after expected. The kids were asleep and dinner was nearly done. John and I were in bed just after midnight having had an uninterrupted adult evening sans spit up and toddler talk. Shelby woke us up at 6:30 this morning. Ugh, I'm hoping the hangover doesn't kick in after breakfast. Feeling pretty normal watching the sun rise...Need bacon. Need coffee. Need Shelby to stop repeating, "Mommy. Mommy."
Okay, I hate Valentine's Day. Well, just one part of the day. Right now. The decibal level in my house could shatter glass, my ears are ringing, the girls are screaming and the amount of sugar injected into Shelby's system has definitely impaired her ability to operate heavy machinery. After our morning Playdate and brunch with friends, I loaded the girls into the car to race to Shelby's afternoon preschool party. On the way, as Shelby literally jolted in her carseat, I concluded the rest of my day was doomed. No, not just doomed, I was F$%!ED. Her voice was so high pitched only dogs could understand her, her eyes bulged, she was literally frothing at the mouth. Why on earth was I subjecting myself to another party today? Am I F&%!ing nuts? Today's diet consisted of sugar cookies (made with sugar, filled with choco sugar chunks and then sprinkled with, you guessed it, more sugar), cupcakes so electric pink they could be seen from space, lollipops to ensure complete tooth decay, and juice WITH REFILLS! What kind of preschool teacher does that?? REFILLS? Why don't you just give them Redbull and some crack? It didn't completely hit her until we got home. At which point, she actually took flight, circled the moon, rocketed through our living room, toppled two dining chairs, broke a plate ("Opah!"), and splattered 300 books all over the kitchen floor. I have a moment to type because we are now in the withdrawal phase of our day. This began with heightened whining, then yelling, then crying and finally nonstop screaming-I joined in on the last quarter for a double whammy. If ya can't beat 'em... Our neighbors already know we're crazy. When she totally crashed I proposed a group time-out. Every girl in their respective bed for 5 minutes. Shelby's bed had animal mags and some foam sticker art, Ana's crib ws stocked with toys, and my bed miraculously produced a laptop and a cold beer!
I often heard my single friends condemn Valentine's Day each February. This statement was usually followed by the conspiracy theory that consumerism has fueled the card companies' plan to take over the world. While the romance in my life may have faded a bit, my belief in this holiday has not. And I'll have you know I do not buy cards-well, rarely. Shelby and I have spent this year painting and gluing and taping Valentine's. I have made a Valentine for John every year that I've known him. Maybe my mother is to blame for this because she infallably recognized this holiday for her kids. A little trinket, some candy, a pair of socks. Every year I awoke with giddy anticipation of the little box or frilly bag she'd leave on the kitchen counter for each of us to find after she'd left for work. I want to do that for my girls. HOLD THE F&$?!ING PHONE! IT'S 11:00 PM and I'm still hanging paper hearts and streamers in my living room. DAMN MY MOTHER for setting such flipping high standards! This Valentine needs some shut-eye. All these homemade cards are a friggin joke, all those valentines I mentioned above? Shelby and I made TEN last week together. Now, there's about 35 MORE to mass produce tonight. I'm all hopped up on candy hearts. Holy SH&$! Next year, I'm buying stock in Hallmark.
Shelby and I have developed a shared language over her years of assimilating to my world and vice versa. Some words were shortened to get the point across more easily in that phase when we repeat things over and over again..."Does Shelby want a granola bar? Do you want a'nola bar? Nola, Shelby?" John thinks this is all completely assenine and is convinced she'll graduate from college and still refer to her bedding as "Sheeps & Blankleys". I thought it might be fun to list some of her "Toddlerisms" and see if anyone else out there is fluent. Here Goes: Carder, as in, "I'll be the carder." Hornk, Wambaids, Jellyfish (the edible ones), Piggy Web, Tippies, Milks, Cycle, Body (a specific part with an unspecific name), Scariea, and the easiest one: Listick. Anyone care to take a guess? I'll post translations tomorrow.
I often wonder, upon meeting someone new, what their living room looks like. This is a far cry from my twenties when I used to spend a few seconds wondering what this person looked like having sex. Just based upon their overall look, I try to form a picture in my mind. What colors reflect them, the lighting, the floors, the smell. I suppose this may be one of my many quirks. And so I reflected on my own (half finished) living room. The reasons for the items in a room and how they make me feel. Gray green walls for calm, golden pendant lamps to warm the room, wood floors. Fireplace, wood cabinets, big windows, a colorful rug with movement. Bookshelves full of literature and children's toys. Big art. An abandoned computer (a sign that I have two kids). Clean countertops (on a good day). A kid table and chairs on it's own teal rug. A vase of flowers in vibrant colors. My living room is my sanctuary-but not at my children's expense. There's a designer, Candace Olsen, who is featured in Home Magazine. She drives me bonkers with her "family room makeovers" full of glass, light carpet, silk pillows and cold colors. She will point out the darkened cabinet with one hidden drawer for the children's toys. This is not a family room! This is Martha Stewart's "formal living space". Get real, Candace.
It was undeniably, the nicest day on the Central Coast yesterday and we weren't about to spend it sitting at home. We packed up everything but the kitchen sink and headed to the beach for a day of sun, sand, surf and lots of sunscreen. I grew up spending summer vacations in Ventura at a family beach house. I have so many fond memories of learning to body surf, chasing my sister through the "hair dunes" and building sand forts on my little brother. I hope that I can provide the same opportunity to make similar memories for my children-minus the severe sunburns, of course. And if it takes 4 trips from the car to get all of our crap out on the beach, so be it. After 5 hours of non-stop action we called it a day. Five adults, 3 surfboards, two sun tents, two hungry infants, three beached out toddlers, one cooler and a kite-it took about 7 trips to the car to load it all up again. As we said our goodbyes, Shelby's little friend, Sienna, announced, "Mommy, I have sand in my hoo haw." And then pulling her finger out of her pants, declared, "Look, it's on my finger!"
I got an eery feeling when I heard the knock on the door and looked out of the window to see a very tall womanish person fidgeting on my front porch. My hand turned the doorknob before I could stop it and there before me was a red headed beanpole, scratching her arms and wearing a half top. The husky voice explained how her grandmother was making her go around to the neighbors to raise money for her high school trip. I know I have a skewed sense of my age, but this girl's Adam's Apple told me she was well past high school. I looked up at her in disbelief and then muttered something about it not being a "good time right now". I quickly shut the door and then walked to the back door to make sure it was locked, too. I went back to attempt my nap while Ana was still sleeping but my mind kept turning over the possibilities until I had convinced myself that "it" had set up camp in my garage and was holding a weirdo convention while trying on my dirty laundry and stealing my daughter's tricycle. The phone rang. "Did she just knock on your door?" said my neighbor. I admitted I had spoken to it but couldn't make out her real purpose. "Oh, that was totally a man! I already called the cops," she said. Thank goodness for women with true instincts. Cuz I don't got 'em....OBVIOUSLY. Who the hell opens the door to a perfectly larger than life stranger while home alone with an infant? What is wrong with me? The phone rang 30 minutes later to report that she/he had been apprehended and removed from the neighborhood. Phew!