It's my birthday. I'm twenty-nine. I know a lot of people say that, but this time it's true. You know how I know? Because yesterday I was 28. And next year I'll be 30. Guess it's time to grow up, get married and have kids. Ha ha! Actually, I'll have a teenager at 31, so yes, major life changes are in fact on their way. Ok, let's not talk about that anymore. I'm getting scared.
In all honesty, I don't mind getting older. I look forward to the future. It's a mystery. Completely unknown. Life can change from day to day and that makes it an adventure. I love adventure.
Besides I plan to live to at least 100, so that makes me still a baby.
Let me start by saying I've been sick. I actually took the day off of work on Wednesday which is a major rarity. The kids have also been sick, so my day of rest consisted of laying on the couch with Damien smooshed up next to me and Caliana laying directly on top of me, while they watched Tom and Jerry and Bakugan Battle Brawlers.
I went back to work yesterday even though I was only about 70%. And then last night, Emily and I went with my friend Selena and her stepson to the midnight showing of New Moon. We've had tickets for awhile now and I figured no biggie, I'll sit on my butt in a theater for a little while. That's not strenuous. We knew the shows were sold out so we planned to show up at 10:00 to try and get some decent seats.
We got there at 10 and the line was wrapped around the building and the lobby was already pretty full.
I expected to see more people like me, Mom's with their tweens, but I guess I'm the only irresponsible mom letting her daughter stay out till 3 am on a school night, because the crowd was 93% college girls, and 5% gay men.
We got inside the lobby fairly quickly and it was set up with plastic "ropes" separating the lines weaving back and forth across the lobby.
There were a lot of people, but we knew they were showing it in 9 theaters, so we weren't too worried. After an hour and forty minutes of waiting in line we were 2 partitions from the front and all hell broke loose. Those at the back of the lobby broke down the barriers and rushed the front of the line, which in turn caused everyone who was everywhere else in line to do the same because "oh hell no I did not wait all this time for all of you to just rush in front of me."
The 20 year old kid working the front of the line grabbed his bull horn and screamed "GET BACK, EVERYBODY GET BACK, YOU WILL NOT SEE THIS MOVIE, DO NOT CROSS THE LINES" But the lines were gone, everyone stopped but no one backed up. Emily looked up at me and said "mom, I'm scared" The lady crammed up behind us said "it's ok, I'm scared too" They tried to order everyone back into the lines, but no was budging. Humpty Dumpty could not be put together again. Luckily for us we were on the side of the lobby where the front of the line had been and were very near the front, the tide of bloodthirsty girls at our backs. We were allowed past and the race was on. There were 3 theaters open at the moment and it was like the running of the bulls, although we maintained some semblance of dignity and just did a fast walk. We went to the farthest theater and it was fairly full. We spotted four seats together in the second row and grabbed them. Not five minutes later, there were no seats.
Emily and I took a run to the bathroom and getting back was insane. The tide was rushing against us, a hallway packed with bodies...
"there's no seats left!" "how, that's not fair!" "Did you check theater 5?" "Maybe we could sit on the stairs?"
Panicked faces, people rushing rushing everywhere and getting nowhere. I felt like I was on the Titanic and everyone was looking for an empty lifeboat. We tried to get back to our seats as quickly as possible. Selena was saving them for us, but she's pregnant so I didn't want her to have to beat anyone down.
We eventually made it back, abandoned the idea of getting popcorn and settled in for the show. Call me lame, call me easily entertained, call me a woman, I enjoyed it, and so did Em.
Getting out of the parking lot was another matter altogether. I did not enjoy that. Apparently no one has taught the teenage girls in our society about TAKING TURNS. Emily didn't mind though, she was out in no time.
We discovered it when I was 7 or 8 years old. We named it Mario Land because the large white rocks and running water reminded us of our beloved video game. And it was 1988.
My sister and I, and some of our apartment friends...only the ones deemed worthy of knowing about our magical place...would go there often. We would catch frogs and pretend we were children stranded, and once we even floated down the creek in a dog bathtub.
I remember multiple times, walking home, soaking wet and miserable. Like a soldier returning from war, half starved from being gone all day, 2 miles could have been 2000. We would talk of home and warm, dry clothes, hot food, our mothers, and we would trudge on. It was some of the best times of my childhood.
I took my younger two children there recently. There have been houses built up right next to it, so it's easily accesible by car. Which is a slap in the face to my childhood journeys, but as a parent, I also find it rather convenient.
My kids were enthralled. They found the magic immediately as only children can.
I couldn't even keep up with Damien. He was everywhere. I tried though. Because I'm a parent now. And my eyes have been opened, and I worry about who might be lurking down in the creek, I worry about drowning, I worry about poison oak, I worry. And the child in me beats the worry back with a stick, holding it hostage so my son can have a small modicum of the adventure that I did.
And Caliana. She wasn't sure what to think of this place at first. Especially after she stepped shin deep in the cold creek water.
But it didn't take long, for her ripe child imagination to take hold, and she was unstoppable. She wanted to see it all, do it all, go everywhere. She wielded a large stick as her weapon against unseen forces, and skipped her way from rock to rock, me feeling large and lame and horribly grown up following close behind.
"Take my hand mommy. Do you trust me? We have to go this way. We never leave this place again!"
And her eyes were bright with excitement and I smiled and for a moment could recapture a small bit of the adventure.
I didn't have their innocence anymore, but I could appreciate it. They didn't see the discarded beer cans or notice the small group of teenagers pass by or the smell of pot wafting through the air.
They were lost in their own world. They only saw the magic.
me: Ok, let's go take a bath and wash it, and then I'll cut it for you.
And that's what we did, and that's how it went, and I trimmed an inch or two off just like I planned. Except no, I'm lying, that's not what happened.
I did wash her hair and bring her down to the kitchen, stood her up on the chair and got out the scissors. Then I ran to grab the comb from the bathroom.
When I started to comb her hair out, a large chunk fell at my feet. My first thought was "what the hell, her hair is falling out!" then I combed again, and another piece came off in my hand. And then I realized, oh god what did she do!? What did I do!? I left the scissors for 10 seconds while I got the comb is what I did. By the time I got back they were back on the counter where I had left them, but the damage was done. (Thank you preschool for teaching my 3 year old how to use scissors) One snip at the top close to the scalp I could hide, but the ones in the back, the ones that were oh so short, *sob* and her little trim turned into a major haircut.
Here's a before of her long ponytails
And after. It's a little "Suri Cruise-ish" but it's growing on me. She's gotten a ton of compliments and she really likes that it's not getting in her food or stuck in her shirts, and it doesn't take long to brush out.
disclaimer* this actually happened a few weeks ago, but I couldn't bring myself to write about it until now
p.s. A huge thank you to all veterans, past and present
I was lying on the couch last night, vegging out and watching COPS, when my babygirl brought me her shapes and colors flashcards and asked to do them with me. I squished over and she crawled up next to me. She knows all of her colors and most of her shapes, but a few of them were a little tricky. She called the crescent a moon, and I explained to her how the one that looks like a house is called a pentagon, and the one shaped like a stop sign is an OCTagon, like OCTopus. It was getting late and she was getting tired and giggly. She started naming the colors wrong on purpose and cracking up. She was laughing, I was laughing. Who knew flashcards could be so fun.
Then we came back to the pentagon.
"Do you remember what this one is?"
"Yes, it looks like a house, but do you remember what it's called?"
"Hmmmm, a Bock-oo-gon?"
I just realized this is only funny if you have small children and actually know what a bakugan is. But Damien totally cracked up when I told him about it this morning.
Let's take a quiz, shall we? It's Tuesday morning, why the hell not? You don't want to? Come on, I'll even make it multiple choice. Hmmm? You still don't want to take it? What if I only make it one question? What's that? I've already asked you questions. Well, why don't you get all technical. That's it, no more semantics, just let me do my damn quiz already.
Here's your question:
Which of the following happened today to make my morning less than glittery sunny rosy peachy mother fucking rainbow fluffy?
A. I got in a fight with my husband B. My daughter took a BITE out of her preschool payment, which was not a check, it was a money order, like cash, but now a worthless piece of paper C. my car overheated, so I had to stop and let it cool down before adding water, that it's just going to leak back out all over the damn place D. I was late for work, causing everyone to look at me like I slaughtered their fucking cat.
What's that? All of the above? You think my morning was that rough, huh? Relationship problems, money problems, car problems AND work problems?
Since Halloween was on a Saturday this year, it actually lasted two days for us.
Friday was Halloween day 1.
The plan was to drop Emily at school a little early, then me, Patrick, and Cali would take Damien to his school and stay for his Halloween parade. Then I would take Patrick and Cali to Cali's preschool for her party and I would go to work. Everyone would have fun, everything would go great.
The actuality was like this:
We all got up and got ready, and by all I mean everyone except Caliana, because she doesn't do that. Emily's costume required that I straighten her hair, and do her makeup. After I did that, I got myself ready in my plain old boring mom clothes and then woke up the Cali monster. She protested loudly that she wanted to stay home, not go to school. "But you're not going to schooool, you're going to a party AT your school, with daddy!"
She didn't care, she wasn't happy about it.
Instead of early, we left late, dropped Damien and Patrick at Damien's school, then took Em to her school. Then back to Damien's school to "Watch the parade" which really means we stood around staring at a couple hundred kids just standing around. Since Damien's costume wasn't original in the least we couldn't even figure out which one he was most of the time.
After that we headed to Caliana's school where she refused to get out of the car and refused to get her costume on, and then complained all the way inside. Everyone was very happy to see her and some little girls were calling her over to sit by them, but she wasn't budging. She didn't want to party and that was that. We went home, and I went to work.
Kids don't always agree with our plans.
That night I picked Emily up from her friend's Halloween party. She regaled me with tales all the way home of how she won the costume contest and her and her friend won the dance contest. I looked at her in her costume with her dyed hair and eyeliner and had a mini panic attack. I had the sudden urge to rush home and dress her in a ruffled onesie and a bonnet.
Instead she let me take some pictures.
She was feeling pretty full of herself and I had to yell at her to smile already and stop being so old and teenager-ey
Her dad came over for awhile and she tortured him too. In this picture she's looking at herself in the mirror.
*sigh* It's just going to get worse, isn't it? Wait, don't tell me, I don't really want to know.
Saturday was Halloween day 2, also known as, Halloween. We started the day with a gymnastics meet. Patrick and I took Emily while the other two stayed home with Dan. It was the last meet of the season and I can safely say it wasn't her best. She did ok, but didn't top any of her scores. She was still tired from staying up late and had pulled a muscle doing the splits again and again at the dance contest.
That evening we got everyone dressed up and went to a Halloween party, carnival-ish thing. They had jumpies, games, and a cake walk, which Cali thought was the funnest game ever. Although occasionally, the numbers on the ground would slide out of place and she would have to stop and fix them, and the entire procession would be stalled behind her. It was great fun.
After that we went trick or treating.
*Cali kept asking everyone if she could come inside their house
*There was a cat that was following Cali for a little while. She yelled at it to "stop following me cat!" and Damien yelled "she's not a real mouse!"
*When we got home and the kids were counting their loot, Damien found an entire Reeses peanut butter cup candy bar in his bag, got really excited and then said "here mom, you can have it"
And now, pictures
Jerry the mouse
Watch out for Tom!!
This is Damien. Really it is, I swear. I wouldn't lie.
This stupid store bought costume sprung a leak by the end of the night.