9/19/08

I Was That Mom

On Wednesday, I hi jacked a shopping cart from Bed Bath & Beyond and wheeled my children from here to next Tuesday in the Madonna Shopping plaza in a desperate attempt to find cheap/cute bedding for the guest room. Four hours later I arrived home, disgruntled and frustrated with some puce colored throw pillows and a $70 clearance duvet for the Queen bed in chocolate brown. Not thrilled with either purchase, I dragged my bags into the guest room and unwrapped it. The F&%^ing Duvet was a TWIN! After four hours of shopping I settled on the wrong size bedding???!!!!!!! Auugghh.
So, it's Friday and I dropped Shelby off at preschool so I could drive down to Marshall's for a second attempt at acquiring decent bedding for the guest room (with a decent price tag, no doubt). Instead, I bought four Halloween princess costumes. FOUR. Why four? Because they were all so stinkin cute and so stinkin cheap I couldn't decide on one for Shelby so I thought I'd just let her pick. Crazy mom. That's me.
Then Ana started wailing her nap time alarm so I scooted out of there before things got really ugly. Then things got REALLY ugly while strapping her into her carseat. Then she couldn't stop pointing and "AUUUUUGgghhhhhhIIIINNnnnnnnnggggggeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEE!" at her empty bottle in the car. So I drove across the parking lot to Wal-Mart. (Yeah, the environmentalist drove her gas powered vehicle across the parking lot and parked it again. Then I drove through a fast food drive thru but I'm getting ahead of myself, now.) Where I unstrapped her (again) and speed walked to the baby formula aisle to the wailing tunes of Baby-Ana-I'm-Pissed-Song. Strangely enough, unlike a fancy department store or the movies, not one customer glared at me and my red-faced wailing child. No one gave me a dirty look. No one made eye contact. It was like we were invisible. Wal-Mart. Guess they get a lot of that in there.
By the time we reached the parking lot I was sure Ana had burst a blood vessel she was screaming so loud. I wrestled her back into her carseat and fell into the driver's seat. SH&%!!! I have a bottle. I have formula. I have NO WATER!!! This is where the fast food drive-thru park comes in. End of story. End of head-ache.
When we got home Ana was asleep and the bottle....the bottle was full.

9/17/08

Displaced

I've been living a distant memory for the past three days. The girls and I migrated over to Paso Robles (my former stomping grounds) to stay in a little house in the country. We tootled around town, popped in on daddy at work (frequently), and lounged in Target more than our fair share of time.
After two rambunctious evenings spent in warm summer moonlight, drinking wine and cavorting about the countryside, I awoke on our last day feeling uncomfortable. The novelty of our arrival had long since worn off and I surveyed the expansive view of rolling hills and fruit laden vineyards with discontent. Most people would kill for this view, what is wrong with me?
I missed my home. I missed the smell of the ocean in the morning. I missed the newspaper in my driveway. I missed my coffee mugs and my silverware. I missed my closet and my sofa.
I realized how much I love my house. It's location, the color of the walls in my bedroom.
So we headed home with smiles on our faces (even when we disappeared into the fog bank).
The comfort of home is irreplaceable. And apparently, home is the beach for me right now.

9/14/08

The Unexpected Moments

When I met John in college, he was winning surf contests in San Diego and managing a surf shop between college classes. He not only inspired me to want to surf, but he encouraged and coached me to improve. I bought my first surfboard when I was 21. He would grin as we paddled out together. He would guide me to a suitable wave and chant, "Paddle, paddle, paddle" as I struggled to propel myself forward. Moments like these repeated themselves for a good 5 years. I never got good, but I got comfortable in any surf condition.
Then, life changed. I got pregnant. My surfboard gathered dust. I breastfed, I adapted to life as a mom. John drove to the beach with other friends, leaving me and baby behind. We moved to the beach so he could surf more often. My surfboard migrated from one dark corner of our old garage to another dark corner of our new garage. I got pregnant again. I breastfed. My surfboard got dustier.
Then, miraculously, John ordered a new longboard for me. With the expectation of a new board, I renewed my interest in surfing. I dusted off my old board and made an occasional foray into the surf on our quiet stretch of beach. The juggle of children, towels, sand shovels, snacks and coolers was enough to make a girl want a donkey and a Cabana Boy. Add to this chaos a 9 foot longboard and wetsuit and you can figure on arriving on the beach in time for a nap and much needed massage. Forget further physical exercise.
At Shelby's preschool, I had the good fortune of meeting a bona fide Surfing Momma. Almost immediately, my competitive side barrelled into play. I wanted to be an even better surfer. I wanted to make time to surf. I wanted to be good.
I had new goals, new hurdles (that didn't include behavior charts and potty training). I told John one night, "I want to be a better surfer." I also mentioned guitar lessons and fluent Italian. Why not dream big!?
A few days passed before my girlfriends and I schlepped all our gear, all our kids, and all our surfboards down to the beach to make a day of it. We had a blast catching rollers on the inside! It reminded me how much I enjoy the ocean. It reminded me that moms can be kids, too.

The unexpected moment came yesterday when John and his buddy headed out for a morning surf session. Knowing that John had taken a much needed day off from work, I reveled in the fact that daddy was home for an entire day! YAY! So, I happily busied myself at home with the kids while John walked down to the beach. The girls and I planned out our "Daddy Day" while cleaning up breakfast dishes. We packed up the stroller for a run on the beach and headed out. We met John and friend at the end of the street.
"You should be out there, G, it's a perfect day for long boarding!" John smiled (smiling is much easier on his day off).
I surveyed the factors: sunshine, warm weather, sparkly ocean and manageable waves, OH YEAH, AND A THIRD ADULT TO WATCH THE KIDS!!!!!!!!!
"Okay! Let's do it!" I said.
We raced back to the house and grabbed the rest of my gear (which seemed lighter and easier to carry when shared between myself and two other men).
John and I paddled out together. Definitely an unexpected moment.
We sat in the water and watched the kids tootle around on the sand with our friend, J.
He coached me into a wave. "You got it, G." I paddled in rhythm to his chanting ("Paddle. Paddle. Paddle.") I stood up. I dropped in. I turned. I was riding a wave!!!!
Repeat above story 10 times.
More unexpected moments.
Today was the best date I've had with John in 10 years. AND I SURFED!!!
Totally unplanned.
Totally unexpected.
Totally awesome.