I think I need glasses...hence the layout changes I spontaneously made late last night when everyone else in the sane world was sleeping. Over analyzing your blog layout is like over analyzing your brow line: the more time you spend in there working on it, the worse its gonna look when you're finished.
As promised, here are a few shots of an (almost) sort of tidy version of my main living space and a glimpse of my kitchen. Oh wait, first I'll give you a "before version".
The built in cabinet/wall on the left is a part of the tomb that contained the old kitchen. It completely enclosed one fourth of the square living area making the entire space (both kitchen and remaining 3/4 living and dining area) dark and awkward.
In this picture you can see the hideous old stovepipe where a giant platform held the big blue cast-iron wood stove. Also, I must point out the attractive wood siding.
And now, AFTER: Drum roll.....Okay, wait, before you actually see these pictures I must call to your attention the time span that passed. This room was completely overhauled over the course of 14 MONTHS! The bulk of which I spent pregnant and hunched over our bathtub cleaning dishes while the kitchen sink and counters were backordered! HOLY HELL. We stripped everything out of this square room and rebuilt it except for the ceiling. For those of you construction minded readers, this meant new drywall, new wood floors, new windows and doors, new wiring, new kitchen cabinets, counters, appliances, new fireplace-you get the idea. UGH! Now that you can fully appreciate how much living hell we went through to get to his point, here it is in "After Mode":
I have developed some bizarre anti-social quirks since moving to this one horse town.
Yesterday, I blatantly ignored the friendly surfer mom who locked eyes with me in the check out line at the supermarket. We actually made direct eye contact, smiled, and then I turned my back on her. It was a subliminal message, "You look like a nice person who I've crossed paths with on countless occasions at the beach, in the library, on the street and I should have introduced myself years ago. It's nothing personal, I just don't really want to meet you and your darling children because it negates my whole purpose in moving to this town."
When we moved here I flaunted, I reveled and rolled around in our anonymity. The mystery of a new ride through life in an unfamiliar town was thrilling. Two years later, the thrill is gone and my ride keeps taking familiar turns through ever more anticipated tunnels. And still, I find myself performing ridiculous antisocial rituals in public. I'm developing my social character around town so people can point and whisper behind my back, "Psst, that's the self absorbed mom who thinks she's invisible."
My greatest fear is walking into a public space and knowing every person. Is that totally weird? I would prefer to live the reality of being naked in a public place than be fully clothed in a town full of acquaintances.
Take for example the library. I recognize half the families there and I make a point to ignore them. (Did I say that out loud?) There's the athletic woman and her two surfer boys who drives the mini cooper down my street three times a day(no doubt a neighbor). There's the lioness of a Grandma who brings her wild girlcub to the last half of story hour. There's the tall drink of a blond in holy soled boots with her intensely shy son. There's the hippie mom with the great haircut. The list goes on and on. So maybe I do know everyone in town, by description, not name. And so I am defying the inevitable 6 degree rule of separation. I am the flawed link. World association ends here. I refuse to introduce myself in a last ditch attempt to remain anonymous. My hermit gene prevails.
I'm gripping a bottle of Tylenol in one hand and a strong cup of Joe in the other. I'm placing my hope in caffeine and pain killers that my day improves, because it can't get any worse than my night. Who ever said teething was limited to toddlers? I do believe my entire household is teething and I have the puffiness to prove it.
Sometime between really really late and way too early, I awoke from my bed to see what was the matter-AGAIN. Ana was standing up in her crib crying-AGAIN. And just as I arrived to her bedside I heard Shelby grumble from across the darkened room, "It's too loud in here! I never get ANY sleep!" Case in point, a family who sleeps together, teethes together.
It's a little unnerving to pile your small children into a seatbeltless cab and go careening around the packed city streets of San Francisco at Mach Speed. As a mother, I take the utmost care in chauffering my children around the streets of our village with every safety strap, harness and latch system known to man in place. What on earth compells me, more than once, to carelessly toss my >40lb. precious little daughters into the backseat of some half-crazed taxi driver whose only claim to professionalism is an orange slip of paper reading "Taxi License" and an over sized walkie talkie?
Riding in a taxi is an out of body experience. Who ever heard of a taxi accident? I'm quite sure these wild eyed, cigarette smoking well paid individuals care as much for their passengers as I do for my children. Why wouldn't they for a whopping $10.75 fare and a $3 tip?
I propose we start a new line of Toddler Taxis, with 5-point harness seat belts and DVD players in every seat.
5 days, 4 nights in San Francisco with two kids can be done. Although my husband was with us in spirit, his job obligated him to disappear every few hours for a meeting or a seminar. It was like dating Superman. We drove over to Berkeley one morning to explore a museum and meet a friend and suddenly, the phone rang, he jumped into a cab and we watched him disappear into the traffic. I held a pile of his clothes in my lap.
The girls and I wandered through the Fisherman's Wharf Aquarium alone. We rode the cable cars to Union Square as a family but when we returned to our hotel he was gone again.
And let me tell ya, I'm no super star single mother. I led our family car down a one way street-going the wrong way in busy Friday traffic. While finishing my beer at dinner I watched my youngest pull a wood high chair over on herself, landing noggin first on marble tile. Ouch. The crowded restaurant turned to gawk at my stellar parenting when the "slower than molasses waitress" arrived with our bill full of double charges and mistaken meals. Sorry restaurant crowd, me and my siren are gonna be here awhile.
I encouraged my 4 year old to give money to homeless people painted silver and when they waved her over for a picture I pushed her in their direction. She's looking unnerved and suddenly freezes in an uncomfortably folded position on the sidewalk. And instead of observing her angst, I give it one more attempt to whisk her into the arms of two large, silver and dirt covered bums. What is wrong with me?
I promised Shelby she could order a "big dessert" every day. This idiotic decree was granted the day before our departure to hurry her bedtime so John and I could finish packing. I'm quite sure we'll be spending our savings at the dentist next month.
Best Experiences (with kids) While in San Francisco:
Cable Cars, Taxis and Electric Trolleys-apparently money can buy you love.
Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park-AWESOME, except for the weekend ridiculousness of shoulder to shoulder crowds
Aquarium of the Bay at Fisherman's Wharf-20,000 fish and totally quiet on a Wednesday
Rainforest Cafe-I'll eat a shoe so long as my kids are totally entertained and happy through an entire meal.
H&M in Union Square-because every child's dream is to have a happy, fashionably dressed mom, right?!
Honor Bars and Hotel Cafes-I think we ate once or twice a day here and though the food was less than par, the location and convenience was just right for my brood. And they both served alcohol. Amen.
Starbucks on every corner-I know "The Evil Empire" must parish but Farmers Brothers medium roast can't hold a candle to a Starbuck's Latte. There was one located a block from our hotel in every direction, thank god for sanity served in a large paper cup.