Thursday, June 25, 2015

the great outdoors

My good friend, Jenn, who is about to embark on a camping weekend with her kids (ages 2 and 4) inspired this post about camping. Second to only sleeping (or swim lessons or babysitters) as a favorite topic on a moms message board to which I belong. Where to camp. What to bring. Camping with infants and toddlers. Car camping. Backpack camping. It's as though all the cool kids are doing it. I love the idea of camping - campfire, stars, sleeping in a tent. I grew up camping. Canada, BWCA, tents, canoe portaging, bear ropes, the whole shebang, however, then it was my dad and stepmom that did most ALL the heavy lifting. I was just along for the ride. Heck, I even backpacked through Montana in college with a crazy PhD student sleeping outside, paddling a canoe in a straight line across a lake trying to take measurements of the lake bottom, and using a piezometer to take water samples. But even then, crazy PhD student did all the work - kept me fed, safe from bears, etc.   
These days, it's a grand production just to get us all in the car and not forget the diaper bag , a change of clothes, and a couple packages of goldfish crackers. Packing up for an entire weekend (or longer) for the wilderness, where running water and a convenience store may or not may not be readily accessible is really out of the question. This is not to say that we did not try this once. Read here for the recap. The next time, we opted for the great indoors here. After which, I declared what Gus had been thinking all along, but was just indulging my desire to do things that all families appear to do, that we were not camping people. 

I do love the great outdoors and a good campfire, and I've been known to eat s'mores for breakfast. But what I love even more? Being able to retire comfortably in a cabin (or I could probably even do a yurt), or a house on a beach, sleep in a bed, and take a hot shower in the morning. There is nothing about sleeping on the ground that is particularly appealing to me these days. I do enjoy the thought of a cozy tent and a sleeping bag, but about 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning when I wake up and half to go to the bathroom, getting unzipped from both a bag and a tent and hoofing it to whatever is being used for a "bathroom," the magic is really lost for me.

So, I hereby proclaim, that unless we lose our minds we will probably not be tent camping anytime in the near future. I would definitely do a camper or a pop-up camper, but as it were we don't seem to actually really enjoy camping enough to warrant the preparation or the cost of purchasing a camper. We are just not very good campers. I accept that. I am good at many things, but sleeping on the ground is not one of them. Although, if anyone is offering to take us on a camping trip, plan meals, pitch the tent, etc. I could be convinced. We'll provide the beer.

the one and only time this giant tent
has been used.

Monday, June 15, 2015

the little miss j show

The one and only Little Miss J had quite the weekend. Friday night she graduated from preschool! How cute is the little cap and gown?

After the ceremony, she requested mac & cheese. On our way to the restaurant, Little Miss J proclaimed she was "hungry, thirsty, and tired," which sounded like the perfect storm for a meltdown. Fortunately, Gus and I managed to inhale our food and get outta there before any real physical or emotional damage had been done. Both kids passed out in the car on the way home, which made for a quiet rest of the evening.

Then Saturday it was her dance recital.

Saturday evening we got an impromptu last minute invite for a swim and dinner. Fun catching up with some friends we hadn't seen in awhile. A perfect summer evening.

And this little guy, he was just along for the ride on the Little Miss J show.

But don't worry, he got plenty of drowning swimming, Cheeto eating, play-doh playing, beer swiping in -

This summer is off to a very good start!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

more than one less than two

My dearest J2,

You have gotten less than regular update letters, and for that I apologize. I have a little file in my brain that collects the things that I would write in a letter to you, if, in fact, I ever sat down to do it. So that should most definitely count for something. But let's knock this out before this blog becomes an explosion of posts dedicated to all the summer fun that I plan on having.

I am sorry to report that your approval rate in the public mommy opinion poll has slipped in recent months. Your smile could win absolutely anyone over, but you are so hard. So very very hard. You love to run away, play with your food, climb on the table, open up cupboards, and put dog food in places where it shouldn't be. Your dad and I are simultaneously looking forward to and dreading vacation as it means a 3+ hour plane ride with you.

You do quite a bit of talking, which is often overshadowed by Little Miss J who is a talker extraordinaire. Most of your talking is in Korean, and thankfully your sister is pretty helpful as my interpreter. In my defense, my Korean is actually gotten good enough that I probably have the vocabulary equivalent to that of a two year old. My pronunciation, however, continues to leave something (or everything) to be desired.

You watch Gangnam Style ad nauseam, and once your dad was so tired in the middle of the night that when you asked for it, he actually obliged by letting you watch is iPhone. You love to dance. You love to play kitchen. This morning as I left for work, both you and your sister were in the living room stirring balls in the All Clad saucepans.  You are particular about your clothes and will tell me "other one," if I pick a shirt that you do not feel like wearing that day. You can identify most body parts, in Korean of course. You will, without fail, put just about everything in your mouth, but if it isn't rice, you will more often than not simply chew it up and spit it out all. over. the. house. Carl can be found trailing right behind you literally (not figuratively) picking up the pieces.

Your independence is a force to be reckoned with. I try to prevent you from falling off the carousel horse and you push my arms away. I keep you safe in the pool and you struggle to be free and drown yourself. I watch you feed yourself all the while trying to hold my Type A personality at bay as food gets on the floor, in your hair, on your clothes, etc. I hope you like wearing a life jacket because between the lake and the myriad of fish ponds at the cabin, I have a feeling you will be wearing it 24/7.

You are the apple of my eye. If you would let me, I would scoop you up and kiss your little face all the time. You run with reckless abandon wherever you go, as I watch anticipating the face plant that may not happen today or tomorrow, but will inevitably happen. You are stubborn. You are sweet. You idolize your big sister, and you are always doing something. Leaving for work each morning is not as bad, when you blow kisses at me from the window. When I come home from work, you greet me at the window and then follow me to my bedroom, where you climb into bed, get under the covers, and immediately demand an iPhone. Every day I look forward to seeing your smile and hearing your little voice.

You are my happy, sweet, funny, stubborn little buddy and I love you to pieces.



last weekend

After a crap week at work, I needed last weekend. On Friday night, book club turned into movie club and I got to see a new movie, in the theater. Yes, this probably sounds like a pretty novel idea to those of you with small children. Trust me. It was glorious. Better yet? Prior to the movie, I was able to grab a quick drink with my fellow indentured servants coworkers, and you know how much misery loves company.

Saturday morning we celebrated the day after National Doughnut Day with our first trip to Stanley's, our neighborhood doughnut shop. 

After which we hit up the farmer's market for some peaches, which are sweet orbs of juicy deliciousness right now. Then soccer, Costco, and a dance recital before we headed over to our friends' house for pizza, beer and playtime. I love that we have friends that will just invite us over to hang. You can wear yoga pants, don't have to wear makeup, and you can spend the evening just sitting around getting the stink eye from a one-eyed pitbull. We are lucky to have good friends. 

Sunday morning we went to church, which has become less about God and more about trying to prevent J2 from running through the sanctuary. He's started to go up to the front for children's sermon, and once he gets there he's not that interested in leaving. 

Sunday after naps, we headed to the California State Railroad Museum. Seeing as we moved to California to build a train, it was about time we saw the museum. Free admission (SCORE!) since it was Amtrak Days. The museum was really cool. It's definitely on my list of places to bring my parents when they come. J2 refused to be confined to a stroller so much of the visit was spent running after him. 

free train whistles. surprisingly, not super
all aboard!

Thank goodness it's Wednesday. I'm already looking forward to another weekend.

Monday, June 1, 2015

little miss j at the bat

We survived our first t-ball season! Barely. The real t-ball moms of Sacramento may or may not have secretly wished that we could forfeit the last game and just head straight to the party. 

I also endured my first snack shack shift complete with burning myself on the popcorn machine and having to refill the bag 'o cheese in the nacho machine. I earned my first giant button of Little Miss J's smiling face in full uniform. I think these things are mom rites of passage, as I recall my mom always having a button of me and my brother, as well as working the canteen at the Hippodrome.

the greatest
I have to say I am pretty proud of my little girl. She is brave, and relatively speaking she focuses, she tries hard, and is a good listener. By the end of this season, the coaches were pitching to the kids rather than hitting off the tee and actually making some plays. Not only was it fun to watch them improve, but after game pizza and beers certainly didn't suck. We all get so busy with our lives, families and activities, that it was kind of nice to be able to count on seeing our friends on Friday nights for games. Even if we weren't always up for the after party, it's just nice to see their faces and exchange a friendly hello. 

After our last game on Friday, we all headed over to the Shahs for the end of the year PARTY! Water slide, beer, trophies. So. much. fun.

you'd think she won an Oscar
Thank you to everyone for a super fun t-ball season!