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Posts Tagged ‘pictures’

I complain on here…a lot.  Tonight I’m going to tell you all the things I love about my new house.

Why tonight? Well, as I was giving C his bath, we listened to the Raffi song “Thanks A Lot”.  Yes, I know I am siting Raffi as my writing inspiration, but you never know what spirit will move you.

So tonight I’m thankful for:

  • The stars. I can actually see them here.  At our old house in Redondo Beach, I could typically see about two stars at night.  Though Redondo is considered a “suburban” part of LA county, it is more urban than most of the places I’ve ever lived.  Ever block is crammed with houses, stores, apartments, professional buildings, etc.  Traffic (and traffic noise) is non-stop.  Thus, when sun sets, it is often brighter after dark than at dusk, thanks to the thousands upon thousands of street lights, traffic lights, security lights, neon lights.  Here in Huntington Beach, I live on the edge of nowhere.  There is literally nothing between me and the ocean except for a few old oil derricks.  When I look out my window at night, I am greeted by the blackness of the ocean’s night sky.  All that lights my view is a twinkling line of orange lights along Pacific Coast Highway.  And in return for my journey 30 miles south I am given a sky-full of stars.
  • The hawks. I am not a bird person.  At ALL.  I think birds are rather mean, spiteful creatures, who seem to have a special hatred for humans.  Not that I blame them.  We eat their kind, so it’s understandable.  But they are still mean.  And beautiful.  Mean and beautiful.  Anyways….I hate crows.  They are especially mean, just ask a friend of mine who got attacked by one while riding her bike.  Or ask my old room-mate about how we were tormented by a murder of crows that lived on the garbage bin behind our apartment during our sophomore year.  They would sit there and caw for hours.  HOURS! Redondo was no better.  For whatever reason, there are thousands of the horrible suckers in the area.  They would land on my chimney, lean into the chute and caw…loudly, driving me and my dogs slowly insane.  We have slowly been regaining our sanity, thanks in large part to the enormous hawks that patrol our beautiful backyard wetland.  They seem to hate crows as much as I do and for that, I am very thankful.

    My hero

  • My new view.

    ahhhhhh

  • The quiet.  Part of living in a city is the noise.  The constant noise! This made my poor Penny very nervous.  She takes her job as watch dog very seriously.  A loud truck? BARK! A distant siren? Bark! A couple walking their dog past our house at 11pm? BARK BARK BARK BARK! Now, I have literally 7 houses other houses on my street, sharing a wall with only one.  There is no house behind, no house to the left.  The closest street light is over half of a mile away.  Sure, people use the trail behind my house to walk their dogs, but mostly during the day, and a good 20 meters from the house.  Penny is, needless to say, relieved.  She only barks at people who come to my door (so mostly tolerant relatives and delivery men), and any trucks that rumble by.  Thus, trash days are awful, but the rest of the week is blissfully quiet.
  • The backyard. Since moving, C’s hair has gotten noticeably blonder, I’ve actually grown tanner, and my dogs have acquired bumps and scratches from joyfully racing through the rose bushes.  My poor Dodger ended up with a quarter-inch thorn stuck in his paw! But this is not what makes me thankful.  What makes me thankful is that all my children have yards and yards of space to run, frolic and play.  It’s not unusual to see one or both of my dogs squirming on their backs in the green grass or chasing each other full speed back and forth across my now expansive lawn.  And what of C? You can find him running, laughing after the dogs as they play.  Sometimes he’ll pick up one of their tennis balls, run after them, offering it (ok, trying to push it into their mouths) as he giggles.  I honestly feel that heaven may look a little like my backyard when they’re all having fun like that.

Yes, there are many, many things I do not love about my new house, but once the renovations start I’m sure you’ll get an earful about each and every one of them.

For tonight though, just assume that I am blissfully happy with my wonderful new-to-me Huntington Beach house. And I’m more than a little thankful for the beauty God put outside my window.

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And possibly the last one.

Seriously, the haircut could not have gone worse.

Here is my adorable son (treasure this picture as I don’t like to put pictures of him out on the internet):

16 month surfer boy

Notice his long shaggy hairstyle.  It’s pretty cute, but strands were dangling in his eyes while the back was beginning to resemble a mullet.  Overall, not the best look.

Today my mom and I decided C should have his first haircut.

My mom was hopeful that the process would be painless, while I was pretty sure we were in for a serious tantrum.  Guess who was right.

From the first second the stylist touched C’s hair with a comb, he began to squirm.

Squirming led to crying.  Crying led to flailing. Flailing led to full body tantrum, including head thrown back screaming in agony.

In order to just get an inch off of his hair, I literally had to pin his body to my own, holding his arms down with mine, with one hand on his head, while my mom held down his free arm. Really a lot of fun.

Even then, even with all of this adult restraint being placed on his 16 month old body, my freakishly strong son was able to occasionally free a hand to pull my hair or toss his head.

All the while he was screaming, crying out “Mooooooooommy Mooooooooommy MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMYYYYYYY!”.  When the crying and the pleading didn’t work, C’s sounds devolved into grunts and growls, low guttural sounds that were primal in nature.  The stylist at one point compared him to Linda Blaire in Exorcist (which is really what every mom wants to hear said about her child).

When at last we were done, or as done as we could be, C clung to me sobbing, drained of energy, as if he was the true Samson relieved of his long locks and rendered powerless.  I almost want to write a legend about the struggle he put up to keep his hair and how important it was to him.

But then, unlike Samson, C actually kept most of his hair.  We barely cut anything off due to his astonishingly strong reaction.  He looks more emo than surfer now, but at least the emerging mullet is gone.

After this crazy experience I am going to by C’s stylist.  He may end up with bowl cuts or a slightly uneven fringe, but until C enters the age of reasons in a couple years, we’re all just going to have to grin and bear it.  I think he’ll still be pretty cute.

Wiped out after his haircut!

(On a final note, I tried desperately to remain calm and stoic throughout the whole experience, while my mother fell apart.  Thinking back over the experience, though, I kind of want to cry a little.  My poor baby!!!)

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I may have gotten a little over-excited today, or maybe I was just suffering hunger pains from my diet, either way, I ordered a bread-maker.

In my defense, it was on sale and it’s a Cuisinart..and it was a ridiculously good deal….and I love bread….mmmm….bread.

Visions of fresh, steaming bread danced before my eyes as I hit the purchase button. The heady aromas of carrot or zucchini bread seemed to waft directly off the computer screen. What a wonderful mother I would be serving my child bread I baked with my own two hands (and the help of a fancy electrical appliance)! How great would that be?!?!? The answer: so great!

Ahhhh…I can already taste it…

Now that it’s late at night and I’m feeling rather bloated from my chicken and pasta dinner, I’m wondering WHAT IN THE WORLD POSSESSED ME TO BUY A BREAD MAKER?

When did I think I would have time to make bread? And when will I be eating said bread, since I’m allegedly on a low carb diet? Where in the world am I going to store this darn monstrosity?

I am already overloaded with unused or under-used appliances. My beautiful, cherry-apple red counter top mixer is currently collecting dust as it pitifully lays on its side in the back of a cupboard.

so beautiful, so lonely

And, I believe at this point that my sleek, oh-so-fancy immersion mixer has been used…once.

And so I bought a bread-maker to really round out my kitchen. I think we can safely say that now my kitchen is complete.

ooooohhhhhh….the Belgian waffle maker is also on sale? I totally need that!

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The title is borrowed from The Amazing Mumford seen here:

The Amazing MumfordThe Amazing Mumford using magic to demonstrate the wonders of addition and subtraction.  The magic of math is truly astounding (I wish I’d paid closer attention as a child and maybe I would struggle with math so much)!

So why am I bringing this up, other than my apparent obsession with all things Sesame Street?  Well, Baby C has taken to carrying things around with him as he walks; typically long stick like objects: foam baseball bats, tv remotes, wrapping paper cylinders, drum sticks.

The last, in particular, is somewhat worrisome as the drum sticks are pretty dangerous.  C’s toy drumsticks are hard colored plastic styled to look like caterpillars:

Drumstick or weapon? You decide.

While they are cute, clever toys, these drumsticks also scare the crap out of the dogs as C wildly waves it around as he walks by them.  And given C’s propensity to “hug” the dogs several times a day (which is actually him just running into them with his arms out), these drumsticks often function as weapons more often than they are actually hit on a drum.

I’m sure C doesn’t mean to cause harm, but when the dogs flee from him as he waves his drumstick in the air, C thinks it’s a game and squeals in delight, chasing after them, swinging his toy with even greater ferocity.  I usually intercede before drumstick meets fur, but I can’t help laughing as all my “children” engage in a game of chase.

When not chasing the dogs or hitting the walls with his drumstick, C waves it around as he walks, looking like a miniature wizard more than anything.  I, for one, have been trying to get him to say “A La Peanut Butter Sandwiches” when he does this (an unreasonable request, but it would be funny none the less). However, certain members of my family have different ideas as to what the little wizard should say.

Apparently my sister’s boyfriend, AVP, would like Baby C to be an evil wizard.  The first “spell” AVP tried to get C to say was “Avada Kedavra”, which (if you know your Harry Potter) is the killing curse.  What made this even funnier is the evil, husky voice AVP adopted when saying “Avada Kedavra” to C.

My sister was mortified!

You’re teaching him the killing curse??!?!? Why don’t you teach him something different? EG said, outraged.

Ok. C say “Crucio”. –AVP

That’s not better! You’re teaching him to torture someone.  How about something nice, like “Lumos”? –EG

I only remember the bad ones.  C say “Septum Spectra”. –AVP

NO! What is wrong with you?!?!?  He doesn’t need to know the bad spells.  Stop teaching him those. –EG

Snicker, snicker. –AVP

I was likewise outraged that AVP would think to teach my son the evil, torturous, murderous curses before teaching him the nice ones.  My initial reaction was one of shock!  I’m serious! I was shocked when AVP said “Avada Kedavra” to C!  That’s the killing curse!  He shouldn’t know that!

Once the initial shock wore off I began to realize we were all having a conversation about fictional spells and curses as if they were real!  Why should I be shocked if C knows the make-believe words used in an alternate reality to kill someone?  I don’t know why, but I was.  I understand rationally that there is no such person as Harry Potter, Hogwarts does not exist, and magic, if real, is utterly lost to most of humanity.  Still, that I (and my sister) would react so violently to those two words really says something about us and our imaginations (or maybe our tenuous grip on reality).

I’m still going to try to teach C to say “A La Peanut Butter Sandwiches” because it’s a heck of a lot nicer, even if magic doesn’t exist.  Call me crazy, but I don’t want to hear those evil curses come out of my son’s mouth.  It’s just not right.

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As a mom forced to go solo with her one year old, I am constantly looking for ways to simplify my life.  And while some of you environmentalists may cringe at this, but I have found the disposable wipe to be one of my primary weapons in my daily battle for efficiency.  Do I feel bad about the 3-4 wipes I dispose of daily? No, I absolutely do not.  Three extra wipes in a landfill is totally worth my sanity.

(If you are neither a mom, dad, or lazy you will not find this post entertaining or informative.  Just a warning!)

Wipe 1-Clorox Wipes:

Lemony fresh timesaver

Because my baby likes to self feed, his high chair gets mighty dirty.  C also has a habit of squeezing food in his hands or mushing and then spreading food around on his tray, especially when he is tired.  C is also typical in his demands to get out of the high chair as quickly as possible, leaving me with little time to clean his hands and tray before freeing him from his plastic prison.

My lifesaver here is the canister of Clorox wipes I keep on the buffet next to the high chair.  These wipes clean and disinfect (which is awesome because that slick banana oil that gets everywhere seems to seep in, and by the way, is disgusting).  They are also much thicker than other wipes I’ve used, meaning they’ll actually scrub off dried spaghetti sauce as well as whisking away bits of soggy Cheerios.  One wipe can typically take care of the whole tray, unless we’ve had pizza and then I just use his stained bib to wipe up the tray (it’s already ruined, so why not?).

Wipes 2–Pledge Wipes:

Handy and Dandy

It is no secret that I have little time in which to clean, nor is it any secret that I don’t actually like to clean.  OK, it’s no secret that I HATE to clean, but that doesn’t prevent me from being house proud.  In order to save a little face, I will take 5 minutes (because that’s all I have) to wipe down every surface in sight before someone comes over.  I usually only have one hand to do this with, given C’s propensity to “explore” while my back is turned, so he sits on my hip as I move from bookcase to counter to mantle, swiping each with these miracles of home care.

Wipes 3–Neutrogena Makeup Remover, Cleansing Towlettes Night Calming

Fresh faces just a wipe away

So this last one is mostly because I’m lazy, or maybe just because I’m worn down at the end of everyday, but there are days, many days in fact, that I just want to go to sleep rather than deal with a whole rigmarole of nightly cleaning.  Sometimes I just want to go to sleep.  After I’ve put Baby C to bed, if I’ve managed to put C to bed, the last thing I want to do is stand at the bathroom sink washing, cleaning, toning, moisturizing, etc.  I just want my fact to be clean so I can get some sleep!  Is that too much to ask?!?!

Apparently it is not.  Several makeup and skin care companies now make these convenient towlettes.  So for those nights when it is just too much to get out of bed one more time, I keep a little box of these towlettes on my nightstand.  I just grab one and wipe away the day.  30 seconds later, my face, and my conscience, are clean, ready for some much-needed rest.

It may not be exciting, but sometimes it’s the little things that make each day a little easier.

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