Thursday, January 31, 2008

Darn it!

I'm sitting at the airport right now after just visiting Colorado.  I need to vent.

I hated it.  I absolutely hated it.  I hated the house we're leasing.  I hated the schools for my kids.  I hated getting stuck in a snowstorm driving over two hours to go nine miles.  I hated it.  I'm so scared right now.

I loved seeing my friends who hosted my (extremely late) arrival.  But that was where the love ended.

What the heck are we going to do?  I want to go home.  I want to go home, to San Diego.  :(

My husband is going to freak out.  I'm freaking out.  

More later.  Just needed to get this out.

Monday, January 28, 2008

If You Decide to ... (Part II)

This is an older post of mine, but I thought I'd post it again for the relevance of my life at the moment.  

Here's a sneak-peak of our upcoming stomping grounds.  The pages, indeed, are turning.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fortune Teller?

My Mom got these shirts for the kids when they were teeny tiny.  We wore them, to be polite, but *never* did I think they would be sending us a message from the future!!!  

Tatum's shirt (hilarious picture) as "Future Ski Bunny" and Chase's shirt "Future Ski Dude" is really happening.  We're going into escrow here in San Diego, and moving to those Rocky Mountains.  It's all happening so fast now ...

Here we go!  

P.S.  My kids have never even seen snow.  Never.  We're all in for a rude awakening.  Snow man anyone?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Random Thought of the Day

Having matching fingernails and toenails is like having a matching bra and underwear.

It doesn't take much effort to put it together, and it feels girlie and feminine.  Why don't I do it more often?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Let's Talk (More) About Strangers

I never thought I'd be blogging about a Berenstain Bears book, but here goes.  This one is worth it.

In my earlier post, Father Etiquette, I posed the questionHow can we teach our children to be apprehensive of strangers, but not make every man out to be a pervert, or "bad guy?"  

Although I want my children to use extreme caution, I want to be careful not to scare my children mercilessly about the threats lurking everywhere.  Sometimes when topics are difficult, I find children's literature to be a perfect introduction.  

This Berenstain Bears Book (Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers) is well-written and addresses several issues (strangers, tattle-tales, family rules, private parts, and secrets).  When Sister Bear gets introduced to the idea that strangers can be dangerous, she begins to have nightmares.  The topic must be discussed in a way so as not to scare her, but to make it a serious reality.  This book nailed it for me.  You can check out some other parents' reviews too on Amazon.

A good line from the book:  "You can't always tell from the outside which are 'bad apples.'"  [A bumpy, strange-shaped apple was good on the inside, and a good-looking apple was wormy on the inside.]

The last page even posts the family rules for the cubs.  Yes, I know it's a fictional family, but it's very well-done.  I'm thrilled to have a forum to discuss this topic with my three-year olds in an age-appropriate way.

Winners and Losers

I know the Chargers lost, but I just love these pictures of three little winners.  Thanks "Gran" for making Tatum & Chase's cute uniforms.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Father Etiquette?

Being a Dad on a playground, or a Man anywhere near children has become a more tricky path to negotiate.  There are challenges that I hadn't considered that a Dad and not a Mom may face.  Recently, my husband and I were at the park with our kids.  A girl of about 4 or 5 took a tumble from a structure, and lay in the sand making a small whine.  This girl, who was only a couple of feet from my husband, continued to wimper until I came over to help her.  It was a small fall, the tot was more stunned than hurt, so we searched for her mother who was already on her way.

My first reaction was to be annoyed and miffed at my husband.  After all, this little girl fell and he merely looked to *me* to help.  So when I asked my husband why he didn't bend down, pick her up, check that she was okay, I remembered a recent article I had read in the Wall Street Journal [Writer's Note:  I *wish* I could say I read such things on a regular basis, however I only happened upon it at the gym with nothing "better" to read.]  My husband's answer mirrored the thoughts of the article exactly. 

[I'm paraphrasing ... this was a few weeks ago.]

Him:  I'm a Dude.  I don't want to touch a little girl and look like some pervert.

Me:  (Hmmm...)  I guess I hadn't thought of that.

Him:  I knew you were right there.  The Mom wouldn't look at you funny if you picked her up.  If she were really hurt, and you weren't here, I would have helped.  But I have to be careful, especially around little girls.

Man, how crazy is that?  A Dad at the park with his kids has to be careful around the other kids, just because he's a man.  Not me.  Not a Mom.  I never would have thought of that.

This WSJ article spoke to that.  A man reported having a "hands-up" approach like a cornered robber when he is near children in a grocery store, mall, or other setting with little ones.  He went on to say that although it *is* true that men prey on our children much more than women, that we must be careful not to exclude women from "stranger danger" conversations.  He added that women, in fact, actually outnumber men statistically in harm committed against a child (presumably because there are more female caregivers).  

The incident at the park, coupled with the article got me thinking.  How can we teach our children to be apprehensive of strangers, but not make every man out to be a pervert, or "bad guy?"  

Any ideas?

Friday, January 18, 2008

There were two in there!

This is kind of corny.  I was just trying it out.  I bet this could be done really well nowadays if the photos all had the same background, positioning, etc.  

Anyways, maybe my Mom is the only one who actually would *enjoy* seeing this.  :)  For the rest of you ... sorry.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's A Small World After All

We went to Disneyland this week to escape the realtor caravan.  We've only been once before and "It's A Small World" was closed.  This time, we raced there first, and fortunately it was open.  
What a treat that ride is.  And what a fantastic message to our little (and big people) it conveys.  Going through each world seeing different ethnicities and cultures on sweet little singing dolls (albeit cliche) somehow gets me teary-eyed.  

It kind of reminds me of John Lennon's "Imagine."  For those of you who need a reminder (sorry in advance, it *will* get stuck in your head...)

Written by: Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
It's a world of laughter 
A world of tears 
It's a world of hopes 
And a world of fears 
There's so much that we share 
That it's time we're aware 
It's a small world after all 

There is just one moon 
And one golden sun 
And a smile means 
Friendship to ev'ryone 
Though the mountains divide 
And the oceans are wide 
It's a small world after all.

How true is that?  So simple.  So beautiful.  The ride serves as a reminder that children of the world will always seek global peace.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pre-School Cliques

Mean girls.  What's a Mom to do?  I didn't actually see the movie, but I did see a pre-school version of it at the park today.  

New girls arrived at the park after about an hour of mostly boys running and sliding.  Tatum loves playing with the "big girls" (you know, 4 and 5 year olds).  When the new crew of girls came, Tatum asked me if she could play with them.  I told her to go ask them (presuming anyone would just leap at the chance to play with my adorable, brilliant little darling).

Tatum:  (shuffles some confident steps up to the new girls playing in the sand) Can I play with you? (smile)
Big Girls:  No we're sisters and you're not a sister.

Tatum:  I'm a sister, and Chase is my brother.

Big Girls:  You're not our sister.  

Tatum:  But, can I play with you?

Big Girls:  (big sigh...)  We said, you're not a sister.

Tatum turns and walks back to me.  Maybe only a Mom could see her shoulders slump a little bit..."Mommy they don't want to play with me."  I cringe inside, and up the ante on my sand castle making.

...a few minutes later...a new crew of girls arrive.  These girls appear out-going and friendly.  

Tatum asks to play with this crew.  Again, I watch in horror.

Tatum:  Can I play with you?

Big Girls:  No, we're on a play date and you're not.

What is it with these little cliques?  Already?

So my little angel had her heart broken on the playground twice.  

Now I know that everyone shouldn't be expected to share their sister, or they play date buddy... but come on.  It's the attitude that surprises me.  And as much as I wanted to intervene, nudge the big girls' parents so that they may apologize and insist their kids be friendly with everyone, I know that reality is that kids don't always share.  Kids don't always get along.  And maybe those kids really were sisters, or playdate buddies, but... snotty attitude in a pre-schooler is scary.

I think it hurt me more than it hurt her, but damn it's hard to watch.  

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cast Your Vote


If you're like me and are still undecided on the upcoming elections, try this quiz!  A program through Minnesota Public Radio designed a quiz to help you become familiar with the candidates and the issues.  It's fast and gives you a clear picture of who matches up with your thinking.

Awesome tool!  

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

How Did That Sign Get in Our Yard?

For those of you keeping track, it's official.  The house is on the market.  

The idea started as a tiny seed (don't they all?), and suddenly it's really happening.  I can't say it has been an easy decision.  After much re-evaluating, and yes even soul-searching, we've decided to leave this place we love for a new adventure.  Seeing the sign go up today was surreal.  

I can't point to one specific reason for the move.  Sure San Diego is expensive, but it's not just that.  Sure there are a few too many teenagers driving Hummers and BMW's around here, but it's not that either.  Maybe it's the need for a change of pace.  Maybe we're bored.   Maybe it's because there's no NHL here.  Maybe it's that our kids are still young and it feels like an opportunity to introduce them to a new journey.  Maybe it's just one of those things in your soul that you can't quite describe, but that just feels like the thing to do.  I've found that this is how I work, and somehow I've managed to marry someone who has a little bit of that floating around inside him too.  We're shaking things up!  

It's impossible to measure the intensity of the things we will most miss.  We have an amazing network of friends here, friends who our children (we thought) were destined to grow up with, friends where we have long-since given up the polite niceties of a new friendship.  We can lounge on their couch, help ourself to the fridge, and let the kids run amok without apology.  That will be hard to replace.

And family.  Man, I can't even start.  Let's just say this will be excruciating for me.  Me, a person who has run from relationships and jets into the arms of independence.  I will miss my Mom the most.  I didn't always let on that I needed her, but I do.  

So, we'll see how the housing market goes, and start there.

Here's the good news...we get a new winter wardrobe.  I hear it can get cold in Colorado!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Opera Anyone?

Wanna cry a little with me?  Good tears, I mean.  Watch this!

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Suri Cut

This one is for you, Brien.

After nearly 3 hours at the Salon, my favorite hairdresser in the world gave me a very famous haircut.

Look familiar? You may have seen the likes of it on famous A-listers TomKat and Suri Cruise.

Now with just a little coaching in Scientology, I'm thinking I could just invite myself on a Cruise family outing and I'd fit right in. :) Thanks Brien!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Christmas Glimpse

Tatum cooking her brother in their new kitchen

Checking out new toys at Nana and Pop's house

Tatum feeding her baby in the new high chair

She's going to need these for the big move.

Chase obsessed with his GeoTrax

Like mother like daughter... say cheese!

Cold at "Palace Park"

Chasey Bear

Thank you to all of our family and friends who celebrated with us.  We cherish your love and friendships.  Happy New Year!