Friday, June 24, 2011

Mama, as seen in "The Wiggles".

This afternoon, I put Bug down for her nap and wandered downstairs to dutifully begin my very favorite chore--folding laundry. (You should sense the sarcasm in the "favorite chore" part. I hate folding laundry. You should also sense the sarcasm in the rest of the sentence where I said I was going to fold laundry. Let's face it; we all know I was hoping for a nap and a few episodes of Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss.)

The TV had been left on some sort of children's channel. I found myself rooted to the ground, watching a grown man in a pirate suit lunge and flail his way across the screen, presumably in an attempt to entertain the 4 and under crowd.

I found myself wondering what my own price would be. How much cash would it take for me to make a complete idiot of myself for a few young laughs?

And then a series of surprisingly vivid flashbacks slammed into my brain like one of those Acme anvils in the roadrunner cartoons.

Me, straighfaced, with Bug's wooby balanced neatly on the tip top of my head.
Me, crawling around on the floor in my pajamas growling like a dinosaur.
Me, hiding under the level of the bumper on Bug's crib, popping up and down unexpectedly with a new ridiculous look on my face each time.

So, basically, I make a complete idiot of myseself every. single. day.

And here's the worst part: I do it for free.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Mr. Gets the Shings.

Let’s talk about how not to wrap up a romantic weekend, shall we?
In our experience, it’s really fairly simple. Just do your best to steer clear of SHINGLES.

Oh yeah. I just said that.

A little back story for you:

Several months ago, we got a coupon in the mail for a gift card that essentially amounted to 50% off of a stay at the beautiful Hotel Park City. We decided this would be a wonderful and affordable way to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. Between my running in the Dirty Dash and Paddy’s busy work schedule (even on the weekends), our June weekends filled up fast, and this last one was the first time we had a chance to sneak away.

With the Bug safely bundled away to Nana’s house, we first headed up to Currant Creek on Friday afternoon to do a little fishing. The hubster and I used to do a lot of fishing on the weekends before I pushed Bug into the world, but since that time, he’s had to enjoy his fishing trips alone. Daughty’s little legs are just too short to hike around a river bank, and visions of her flinging herself into a lake or gulping down a couple of treble hooks have kept me safely at home with her since she was born. For Father’s day Paddy requested a joint excursion, and since we were headed up the canyon anyway, the timing worked out perfectly.

The drive was gorgeous, although we did miss our Jeep when we hit the unpaved section of the road. We caught a few pretty little trout—in this instance, ‘we’ refers almost exclusively to ‘Paddy’—and then headed back to Park City. The gift card was also good at the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse located in the hotel, so we stuffed ourselves full of yummy steak until they basically had to roll us out of there and up to our bee-you-tee-ful room.

In the morning, we ran over to the outlets to do some shopping for the dads in our lives, and raced home to see that one little Bug we had been missing so much. After her nap, we hopped on Trax with our best buds the Ortons to check out the chalk festival that benefits the Utah Foster Care Foundation. Paddy and I stumbled on the show 3 years ago, and we’ve loved checking it out every year since. This year, luck was on our side, and the show was Harry Potter themed—perfect for Stacey’s deep love of the magical series.

I dumped an entire cup of ice water into Bug’s lap at dinner. Other than that, the visit was fantastic.

Did I mention that this story was going to end up with SHINGLES? Yes? Well, I'm getting there.

Schmoopsie had been complaining of a strange skin pain on his back and around one side to his abdomen for a week or two. We didn’t know what to think about it since there was no sign of a rash or bruise anywhere.

Until there was.

Sunday morning, Paddy had a small patch of blisters on his stomach. A quick visit to WebMD and I was confident I had the right diagnosis, because, you know, who needs medical school when you have WebMD? That's how I diagnose myself with spinal meningitis everytime I sleep poorly and wake up with a stiff neck. Anyway, in this case it was hard to know for sure, though. After all, Paddy was experiencing symptoms a full TWENTY THREE YEARS before the average person gets shingles.

Did I mention that part? The part where my 27 year old husband has shingles?

Don’t worry, I’m picking up his walker and a package of Depends at the store later today.

Instacare confirmed it. Paddy’s got the shings.

Let’s all count our many blessings that Bug got her chicken pox vaccine in October. (Vaccine haters, go ahead and bring it. Frankly, I think you’re freakin’ crazy anyway.) Let’s also count our many blessings that Stacey, whose immune system is busy helping to growing a baby, had no reason to touch Paddy’s bare stomach over the course of our outing. That’s all we need—to give our pregnant best friend the shings, too.

Really, he's not contagious, especially now that he's been gobbling antibiotics FIVE TIMES A DAY for the last 2 and a half days. Basically, someone who has never had the chicken pox or who has a weak immune system would need to rub his naked blistered stomach like a magic genie-lamp and then lick their fingers, and then they might get the pox. Let's hope he keeps his shirt on when he hits Chuck A Rama at lunch today.

And that’s the way we rock Father’s day around here, herpes zoster style. Recreate, relax, and can I have a side of SHINGLES, please?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Californication, Part 3

Day 3: Just another good vibration.

The day began slowly, with the entire family shaking off the Mormon version of a hangover from the late-night party the night before. We spent a few hours in the morning crashing each other's hotel rooms and discovering which cousins can rap the entire first verse to Eminem's Lose Yourself. Eventually we all brushed our teeth and headed down to the pier to rent some beach crusiers. My extended family turned into the biggest bicycle gang in Southern California!

Here's Bug in the bike shop trying to tell us how much she dislikes wearing a helmet. She was unsuccessful in convincing us; after all, Mama is a trauma social worker and Daddy is a certified worrier. The helmet stayed.

This needs to be said: the dirty jeans behind Bug do not belong to my family.
 We rode all the way to the Wedge to set Bug free and check out the big waves from all the wind.

 This is the whole fam-dam trying to figure out how to lock up all of our bikes with the two bike locks they gave us.

They are so tasty.

On the way back, I risked life, limb, and lens cap to pull the camera out mid-pedal and snap a few shots of our own little bike parade. The boardwalk was populated by my family as far as they eye could see in front of and behind me. How lucky I am.

Once we pedalled back through all the wind-blown sand (can anyone say microderm abrasion?) we were starving. We stopped for some delicious burgers and fries just off the beach. I won't bother to bore you with the story of how I knocked an entire Diet Coke out of Paddy's hand, splashing ice and soda all over a 5 foot radius. Instead, I'll tell you all about how then we wandered down to Seaside Donuts for a treat.

We did a bit of shopping--sticky fingers and all-- and then headed back to the hotel for a desperately needed nap. Once Bug woke up, we decided a trip to the hotel pool to show off her tankini was in order. 

 The rest of that evening was spent standing around in the hotel lobby debating over where to snag some dinner. After hearing opinions from all 19 of us at least twice, we evenutally landed on a Mexican place just down the road which turned out to be delicious.

A good night's rest and it was time to pack up and head back to the ol' SLC. Bug and Uncle Big watched the whee-yas while we waited, dreaming of the day when he is a pilot and he can take her up in plane himself.


Thanks to the thunderstorms waiting for us at home, the flight was the bumpiest I've experienced. Miraculously, the Peanut snoozed through the entire thing.

We made it home safe and sound. Bug seemed disappointed to wake up the next morning in her own bed, unable to toddle down the hall to Grammy Lu's room. I think it was her first time with the post-vacation blues.

To that I say, welcome to the real world, girl.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Californication, Part 2

Alternately titled: Dude, Allie! Post some pictures of your wedding already so I can steal them for my blog, you slacker!

Day 2: Marry me, girl, be my ferry to the world.

Saturday was the big WEDDING DAY and the real reason for the trip. We took off early from the hotel for the Los Angeles LDS temple, where both the bride's and groom's parents had also been married. Here is the part where I am a bad mom. After slathering Bug faithfully in sunscreen the day before for the beach, I completely neglected to consider that she might need some while hanging out on the temple grounds. She waited outside in the sunshine, and those fair little cheeks pinked up in no time. She wasn't in any pain with her minor little burn, but her Mama was from the shattering of my heart every time I looked at her for the next 3 days.

We were lucky enough to go into the temple with the gorgeous couple and witness their lovely ceremony. Sitting in the temple together is always a wonderful reminder of the promises we made when we were married, and we treasured the experience, especially so close to the anniversary of our own wedding day. And yes, that is a long way of saying that I cried my eye makeup off, thanks for asking.

For some reason, I didn't get any shots of the whole family waiting patiently for the end of time-- oh wait. No. We were just waiting for Allie and Chad. In their defense, they were waiting too, in a LINE OF BRIDES trying to exit the temple to great fanfare and photo ops. All of the time spent chasing Bug around the flower beds was worth it, though, when we saw the beaming couple, which I totally don't have a picture of because I am lame.

Ahem. So, we took a few of the obligatory family-on-the-stairs-of-the-temple shots, and then jumped back in the cars to head to Olvera Street for some to. DIE. FOR. tacitos. Olvera Street is a vendor-filled block in historic Los Angeles. It was hilariously fun. Here's most of the group (we're all related, but it's confusing to detail how, now that I think about it):

Bug got to sample pan dulce, the tasty sweet bread her Daahie ate nearly every day for breakfast on his mission. She was kind enough to share with Grammy Lu.

(Please, ignore her sun-kissed little face. It still makes me sad.)

Anyway, after we stuffed ourselves on Mexican food and meandered through the countless tiny shops selling sandals and woven bags, we hopped back in our cars to head to the reception.

Ok, so seriously, this wedding was the most rockin' awesome party I have ever been to, and I'm not just saying that because Allie reads my blog. Let's just lay out a few of the details for you.

The bride. I unashamedly stole this from her facebook since I somehow managed to not get a picture of her all blessed day. Basically, she made it entirely unfair to any bride that comes after her, ever, for the remainder of the world, because she was so freakin' stunning. Don't take my word for it.

I mean, what the what? Chad, you're a lucky man, my friend. (She's pretty lucky, too. We like him.)

Secondly, the reception was catered by In N' Out. Oh yeah. I said that. Cheese burgers and soda. It was so awesome. I wish I could do the whole thing justice, really. There were milkshakes and pie and fruit and Martinelli's in tiny bottles... the whole thing was just shamefully kick-A.

The bride and groom had choreographed a hilarious first dance to kick off the dance party of the year, and we kept the party going for hours.

Now, have I mentioned that my daughty loves to dance? She needs to dance like she needs oxygen. She shook her cute little bootie for honestly hours on the dance floor. I have never laughed so hard in my life. Here is the proof: my girl, owning 3 groomsmen all by herself.

I have a feeling we are in SO much trouble.
We all shook our tailfeathers until we were exhausted.

 These are nearly all of my lady cousins, with the exception of Colette, who had a baby instead, Jessica, who lives in Washington these days, Ashley, who had to work, Maddy, who had soccer tryouts, and the bride, who was probably off being awesome somewhere else at the time. Also in the background- a crazed looking Tommy dancing with the most eligible bachelorette at the party.

Bug was so tuckered out by the end of the night, but was unwilling to leave the party. We had change her into her jammies on a chair in the dark and then drag her out while the rest of the family stayed for the pool party.

Did the wedding party dance their way out of the reception, you ask? Um, I'm pretty sure you can answer that one yourself.

It. Was. That. Fabulous.

Monday, June 6, 2011

5 years. Do I have to find him a gift made of wood?

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

-Pablo Neruda, Sonnet xvii

Happy Anniversary, Mo. Love you.

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's Californication, Part 1

Did I mention that we went to California over Memorial Day weekend? Oh yeah. We did. It's the edge of the world and all of western civilization, of course, and also the location of Bug's second out-of-state jaunt. Basically the party rocked so hard that I'll be detailing the trip in separate posts. 

Day 1, Part A: The sun may rise in the east, at least it settles in a final location.

We woke up at the crack of dawn to load up and get to the airport via a pay-to-park lot and the shuttle. The Bugster wasn't thrilled to be awake 4 hours earlier than usual, but she took it all in stride, particularly because she was going to get to see AIRPLANES!

I've mentioned before that our little daughty adores any hint of talk about airplanes. She spots the tiniest airborne fleck in the sky, and immediately shows us the sign for 'airplane' while squealing "whee-ya!" with a look of pure bliss on her face. While I'm not sure she really comprehended that we were actually inside one of her beloved whee-yas, she definitely enjoyed peeking out the windows of the airport while we waited.

Thanks to our super supportive family, she was fabulous on the plane ride. She definitely bounced from lap to lap, but we avoided any hollering, and thankfully did not experience any air sickness.

I've mentioned before how much I love the Long Beach airport. It's small, casual, and has a mid-century sort of vibe. Bug nearly popped with excitement when we got out of the plane right on the tarmac.

We drove directly from the airport to Norms, our favorite delicious greasy-spoon diner. After stuffing ourselves with brunch, we quickly checked into the hotel and ran straight for the beach.

Day 1, Part B: Tidal waves couldn't save the world from Californication.

I'll let the pictures do the talking. In case you were wondering, this is what happiness looks like:

Our little Bug-a-loo could not get enough of the sand and the water. She could have spent the rest of her life happily searching for shells and eating sand coated fruit snacks. We are so lucky to have this little peanut. As you can see by her complexion, we are also very lucky to have packed SPF 50 spray baby sunscreen. It worked like a charm.

After the beach, we headed back to the hotel for a quick change of clothes, and ran back to another stretch of sand for a weenie roast with the rest of the extended fam before the big wedding day (more on that later.) We did not take pictures because it was fuh-reezing and Bug was long past her last bit of patience for our blatant disregard for her schedule. Needless to say, we didn't stay long.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Does that require a 4 year degree?

A few weeks ago, I found myself sitting cross-legged on the floor of my parents' new house with a rag, a razor blade, and this:

In a well-intentioned but poorly considered move, the former owners of the house had placed a large quantity of extraordinarily sticky double-sided tape on the polished stone fireplace hearth. We successfully removed most of the spongey tape, but the goopy residue seemed content to remain on the stone for the rest of time. Not exactly thrilled with the smudgey asthetic in the brand new family room, I volunteered for the painstaking and somewhat aromatic job of removing the gunk.

It was in about the 43rd minute of my soaking-blotting-rubbing-scraping-soaking routine that I noticed something on the container that gave me pause. Admittedly, three-quarters of an hour of inhaling the fumes may have had something to do with my observation, but I suppose you can be the judge of that. Any guesses as to what may have caught my eye?

Professional strength? Really? Are there professional goo-off-ers somewhere? Is this a career path that I somehow missed? (Because it turns out I'm really good at it.) Would a professional goo-off-er really purchase the self-proclaimed miracle remover in a 4.5oz sized container? And, more importantly, where can I buy the strength designed for mere lay-people? I don't have a goo-off license.

Bonus random thought of the day:
As long as we're on the topic, here's another thought for you. What is the deal with products that use those stickers that leave the paper-y sticky residue behind when the sticker is removed? It absolutely burns me when I buy a new set of tupperware, as I recently did, only to find that the largest container will forever have the furry white fuzz in the outline of the large descriptive sticker placed on the front.

When I purchase a discounted book, that 20% off sticker had better peel off with perfect ease, not a hint of gunk remaining, because if I have to live with one more cover marred by a price sticker bunched in one corner from my fingernail and pressed back into place due to poor sticker-removal, I'm going to have to find and forever employ one of those professionals they speak of.