Archive | March, 2013

Yeah … I Don’t Know What It Is About Easter Egg Hunts

29 Mar

As Easter weekend approaches I’m bracing myself for encounters with crazy parents and crowds of children. Just thinking about it causes anxiety and I think I’ll need to meditate twice tonight just to prepare myself for the aggravation ahead of me this weekend.

There are two egg hunts in my parenting future. One on Saturday. One on Sunday. I so wish I could just scrap the Saturday one and go to the beach with the kids, but we’re making memories, right? So I gotta just cowboy up.

But in truth it’s not so much the kids that will annoy me, it’s the parents. Have you seen these people on Easter in Easter Egg Hunts? Have you seen them leave their own kid in the dust and steamroll other three-year olds for a purple plastic egg?

Duuuuuuuuude.

I saw this and I thought of them.

 

Image via LeFunny.net

Image via LeFunny.net

 

I don’t know what it is about Easter Egg Hunts that brings out the crazy and the stupid in people. But it does. Wish me luck as I encounter all kinds of parents this weekend. I’ll try to remain Zen-like.

 

Weekly Image of Life: Getaway

28 Mar

 

 

Getaway

Getaway

 

Stress.

Anxiety.

Frustration.

Anger.

Counting to ten doesn’t seem to be working?

Need a getaway?

Trader Joes has your passport.

Chocolate Lava Cakes … they take me anywhere.

 

Weekly Image of Life Challenge Courtesy of This Man’s Journey

 

 

Checking Your Crazy at the Door Makes Legoland Better

27 Mar

The hope. The anticipation. The excitement. It all started with a jar and ended with a smile and a couple of do-it-yourself souvenirs.

It was a marathon of kid excitement that involved a lot of walking, waiting, and sunscreen. But luckily my new meditation challenges have instilled a little more patience in me, so I’m less likely to be annoyed among the hundreds of wild preschoolers and Nickelodeon watching kids that flock to this kid Mecca. That’s right … The Guat is a proud parent survivor of LEGOLAND.

Normally we plan to attend the park on a weekday when the place is a little less crowded and the lines are little shorter. But since we were in San Diego for my friend’s wedding that weekend, where the death of my feet began because someone invented high heels and I was stupid enough to wear them, we decided to venture off to LEGOLAND the day after the wedding. We were all about doubling up on adventures, because the drive is always jam-packed with traffic and stupid drivers. And don’t even get me started on expensive gas prices. So with all this to consider, we brought the kids to the wedding, with my cousin — the babysitter — to watch them in the hotel room, between her massive texting and Facebook  status notifications. And while the happy couple was off to Maui for their honeymoon The Guats and company were off to LEGOLAND hoping to survive the weekend crowds. Yeah that’s right this time I had some support on this parenting adventure as my good friend Gloria and her family joined us.

But in truth, even with the comadre support I was still a little stressed out, because like any crazy mom I wanted to get there as soon as the doors opened. Seeing how our hotel was five minutes away from the park I was hoping to take advantage of the proximity, but plans always go awry. Stuff like eating a well-balanced breakfast to start off the day slows you down. But I remembered my go-with-the-flow meditation mantra and it proved to totally help hide my crazy.

And trust me when you’re surrounded by that many kids, that many rides and games, and that much potential for fun, you gotta be able to check your crazy mom schedule at the door, which I know is hard for moms because we all know that sticking to the schedule makes everything easier on you later as the afternoon and night progress. For every action there is an equal an opposite reaction. Newton. Genius … total genius.

This is why the schedule exists, but at LEGOLAND you learn that there are no schedules. It’s a go with the flow environment and in truth I’m usually that kind of chick, but when it comes to the kids I get a little crazy, which is why I probably have more gray hair now. You can’t really go with the flow with kids every day, all hell will break loose. But I’m happy to say that on Sunday, I checked my crazy at the door, and the LEGOLAND experience was a better one because of it.

 

This is his jar that starts off the LEGOLAND adventure every year.

This is his jar that starts off the LEGOLAND adventure every year.

 

I wasn't about to sit there and roll up all that change.

I wasn’t about to sit there and roll up all that change.

 

CoinStar … my savior. It counted …

5  Dollar Coins.

1 Half Dollar.

479 Quarters.

304 Dimes.

178 Nickels.

686 Pennies.

Totaling $171.41.

Admiring the scene and enjoying he moment as the parents getting it together and loading the stroller.

Admiring the scene and enjoying the moment as the parents get it together and load the stroller.

 

The friendly locals.

The friendly locals.

 

One of his favorite attractions.

One of his favorite attractions.

 

While her brother was getting his Junior Volvo driving license, she was busy checking out the stationary cars.

While her brother was getting his Junior Volvo driving license, she was busy checking out the stationary cars.

 

After driving school we decided to check out their new Pirate water attraction where we proceeded to get soaked.

After driving school we decided to check out their new Pirate water attraction where we proceeded to get soaked.

 

 Then we headed off to The Land of Adventure where they rode on all the rides at  least three times each. This one was our  favorite -- the giant slide.

Then we headed off to The Land of Adventure where they rode on all the rides at least three times each.

 

This one was our favorite -- the giant slide.

This one was our favorite — the giant slide.

 

After all the walking we ended up in the gift shop to buy firefighter Legos. But the best prizes were the two Angry Birds he won at the throwthe

After all the walking we ended up in the gift shop to buy firefighter Legos. But the best prizes were the two Angry Birds my son won at the throw-baseballs-and-knock-down-the-clowns-with-the-crazy-red-hair game. There was a lot of woo-hooing.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

26 Mar

 

 

Future Tense

My world is the 80s.

So when I think of future, sometimes I think of a DeLorean. A crazy scientist. McFly. And Gigawatts.

1.21 Gigawatts to be exact.

Time machines, Doc, McFly and the future … they rock.

 

A Lot of Bad Decisions and One Good One

25 Mar

Four Band-Aids. My weekend getaway involving a friend’s wedding ended up with four Band-Aids and sore feet.

I’m not much of a dress and high-heel wearer. But it was a special occasion so I showed up in full chick attire, and my feet paid for it in the end. I didn’t even make it to the reception with my black strappy cha-cha heels. I wore them for about an hour and a half and that’s all they needed to make their mark. And in truth there wasn’t much walking going on at the church, but the standing, sitting, and standing routine in addition to waiting outside in order to give the bride a hug was enough to torture my feet to break the skin.

I didn’t see anyone else in pain. All I saw was smiles and stylish opened-toed shoes with nicely painted toenails in bright peaches, reds and pinks. I saw no wincing and no discomfort on anyone’s face, so I did my best to pretend that I was stylishly comfortable too. But I couldn’t take it. I asked my carpool friend if she was ready to go and I was so grateful when she said yes. I wobbled over to her car, sat in the back seat, and took my shoes off.  Yeah … I saw the damage right away. Two scraped toes and blister on the back of my heel already bleeding.

My feet were pretty angry with me.

How could I do this to them … again? Yeah again, could you believe it?

The last time I wore these shoes, they didn’t do as much damage because I had decided to wear nylons. But I was still in pain. However for some reason I thought that shoes sitting in a shoe box would magically make them pain-free. But shoeboxes are not magic. I guess wearing nylons would have helped minimize the abuse, but apparently the nylons didn’t make it into the suitcase. I know nylons are so not cool for a night out on the town or fancy shin-dig wedding, and they should only remain with business suits and skirts, but when it comes to heels, comfort is always my thing. And it was so unfortunate that it didn’t work out that way for me. I couldn’t even stop by a store to buy some, because the traffic was so disastrous. So I had to battle the high heels on my own.

I lost. Four Band-Aids in one hour. I lost big time, and the party hadn’t even started. At least I had a two-hour window to give my aching feet some rest.

But then come around six o’clock I’d have to undergo a high-heel marathon until Midnight. An arduous event that included dancing. And not just regular dancing, this was dancing that involved cumbias — hip shaking like washing machine cumbias. So I knew I had to do something drastic. The fruity drinks I was having weren’t helping forget about the pain, so I did what any self-respecting New Balance wearer would do. I took them off and went barefoot.

The relief. The awesome relief. My ankles and the backs of my heels were thanking me, although they were still calling me stupid, they thanked me anyway.

And as the night progressed I realized I wasn’t the only New Balance wearer to rid herself of the blister-causers. A few us out there on the dance floor were tapping a bare naked feet to the rhythms of our Latin music. One of the girls even thought ahead and brought black socks to wear. Visionary. A total forward thinker. I would have never thought to bring a pair. Perhaps I’m not as smart as I think I am. My feet sure didn’t think so.

But nevertheless the night went on, the after-party continued, and the laughs kept coming. And even though I didn’t plan or think ahead, I was glad I thought of one good thing. I made one good decision that day. The card. I was proud of it … my card. Every wedding is different and you have to find the right card for the couple — the one that shares your vision of the journey they will embark on and what is to be gained of this joyous union.

 

The best idea I had all weekend

The best idea I had all weekend

 

IMG_4540

 

 

I truly hoped she enjoyed it.

.

The Defnition of Music

21 Mar
Image via LeFunny.net

Image via LeFunny.net

 

 

I was so thrilled with the concept of a weekly playlist that I was going to post another one this week. But I ran into this quote in the middle of my mixed tape creation and I had to put it up there.

I had no idea who Frank was, but he seems to understand a chick’s mind.

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

20 Mar
Lunch

Bruschetta

Lunch.

I’m usually a carnivore, consisting of hamburgers and foot-long Italian sandwiches, but for some reason I decided to eat a Julie & Julia signature meal.

However it was in Guat proportions.

No tiny mini breads here.

Just ginormous half loaves of crunchy, tasty, savory, garlicky, fresh, and satisfying ingredients.

I had four servings.

Why not?

There was no Trans Fat.

Lunch.

Sandbox Adventure List IX: I’m Glad I Didn’t Push The Snooze Button This Time

19 Mar

Just because I’m awake at the crack of dawn doesn’t mean I like it. I know some parents might think that waking up before 7 a.m. is awesome. But I fall under the category of snooze-button advocate.

When my son has a day off from preschool I really don’t feel the need to get up and go. I’m all for the “give me five more minutes” routine, which eventually turns into an hour of PBS Kids, The Sprout Channel, or Nickelodeon.

Don’t judge me.

But this weekend, the morning routine was a little different. And I have to say that the blame wasn’t on Curious George this time. It happened to be children’s author Laura Numeroff and her partner in crime Felicia Bond.  After reading If You Give a Pig Party and a few others from that series he decided that some of those adventures were pretty cool. I mean he always thought they were cool. We’ve read them hundreds of times, so I don’t know what it is that sparked the inspiration, but the fuse was lit.

What adventure? What specials tools or props on this one?  Pillows. This one happened to involve pillows.

Now normally I only use pillows to rest my weary head, or bury my head in an attempt for deep uninterrupted sleep. But my son thought differently. At 7:03 on Sunday morning … he thought differently.

I didn’t see it flying high above the bed, and I sure didn’t hear it, but I felt it. Smack! The red Angry Bird pillow happened to hit my face. Normally pillows are soft in nature, but when they’re thrown at you at 7:03 in the morning? Not so much. I think they’re made of hard cotton, or something. Waking me at this hour in that manner would usually get the Incredible Hulk in me all riled up. But as I looked up I saw both of them with their morning hair and sneaky smiles.

Then I heard it … PILLOW FIGHT!

 

My son heading for cover.

My son heading for cover.

 

Dude it was on.  For the next twenty minutes pillows of all sizes were flying high. As you all know I’m not the greatest morning person, but I made the exception that day. Groggy, tired, and exhausted. But I cowboy-ed up and went with the flow. Going with the flow … it’s something that I’ve been constantly reminded of during my recent meditation challenge. It was the first time I hadn’t hit the snooze button … it proved to be a good decision.

 

Little sister surveying the situation, trying to grab the Angry Bird pillow before her brother.

Little sister surveying the situation, trying to grab the Angry Bird pillow before her brother.

 

I tackled the Angry Bird pillows and flung them over. Sometimes his little Flintstone Vitamin body would withstand the blow, but other times he’d wobble and fall into the covers, only to be bombarded with more pillows and victory screams from his sister. It was one of the loudest and most fun mornings we’ve had. I couldn’t believe we hadn’t done this before, definitely a good addition to the Sandbox Adventure List. I’m glad I didn’t push the snooze button this time. I would’ve missed out.

 

 

 

Being Anti-Ageless Proved To Be Too Complicated

15 Mar

I never thought I would find myself in this aisle of the CVS Pharmacy. But there I was in aisle 10A thinking about my anti-aging possibilities at age 37. What the hell?

This kind of stuff shouldn’t even occur to me until I have my mid-life crisis. I mean I have all kinds of crises — all kinds — but I haven’t had the ginormous one yet. I shouldn’t even be concerned with my epidermis. I shouldn’t even be saying epidermis. So what the hell was going on? What led me to visit aisle 10A? What led me to contemplate my skin’s supposed lack of radiance and the need for renewal?

The skin renewal aisle

The skin renewal aisle

People. Regular good-looking people.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not too shabby, but this wasn’t really about looks. It was just about my face, my skin. I mean I’ve always had good skin. No need for Clearasil during my teenage years. No acne scars. No blotches or dark spots. No hardcore facial hair. No allergies. Just regular smooth Guat skin. My only issue has been the dark circles under my eyes, but that’s all good. I’ve had those forever and I’ve learned to use concealer. I’ve grown accustomed to them. So why was I all of a sudden looking at creams with stuff called exfoliators and Retinol? Why the hell was I freaking out about my skin? I’m a Chapstick type of girl, and proud of it. That’s who I am, that’s how I roll. I’m good with it. But it wasn’t the glam look that concerned me. It was me and what I saw in my face during my nighttime routine.

A couple of weeks ago I hung out with a bunch of friends, some who were moms, some who were not. It was a laid-back get-together celebrating one of our friend’s personal milestones. Everyone was having a good time, laughing, chatting, and just hanging out. Everything was all good. Then when I got home something happened.

I looked in the mirror.

Now usually I tend to avoid mirrors, not that I’m hideous or anything. But I just don’t feel the need to constantly look at myself throughout the day. Just in the morning and just at night. But I was getting ready for bed so the mirror was necessary as I did my bedtime routine. I don’t know if guys have bedtime routines, but I know chicks do, even Chapstick chicks do. It’s a process. So as I was lathering up my Aveeno cleanser I looked up and thought … holy crap I looked jacked up. Stressed. Weary. Worn out. Defeated. I looked like my skin needed a vacation.

I thought back to the get-together from that afternoon, everyone I had hung out with today. Dude … they all looked really good. And I couldn’t use the excuse of … well I’m a mom. There were moms there and some with three kids, but they were looking all CoverGirl-like. They looked energized. Vibrant. Airbrushed. They looked magazine-worthy and then here I was looking like the before shot of a wondrous miracle cream that’s supposed to solve all your problems. I mean I know I had the flu and was doped up on DayQuil and NyQuil, and that could have contributed to my crappy state of being, but it was still a total downer.

So it was all of that combined that led me to this alpha-hydroxyl, fruit extract, RevitaLift enriched aisle. And let me tell you there were plenty of options. I realized that this trip down aisle 10A required a little more recon. I stood there about fifteen minutes lost in the multitude of anti-aging, lifting, firming, revitalizing, scrubbing serum creams. I felt like I needed a lifeline, but had no idea who to call.

I was lost. I had no idea if I needed exfoliating or toning, lifting or firming. I thought cream was just cream. The fanciest I’d ever bought was something with SPF so when I saw all the choices, I was a little overwhelmed. I looked around to see if anybody in a red CVS vest was around … maybe they could give me some facial guidance, but all I saw was a teenage boy with acne trying to talk to some girls while restocking the paper towels. I guess I should have gone to Macy’s or something. They got all those chicks in the lab quotes and big mirrors looking all professional with tons of makeup caked on, but I was on a budget and couldn’t be spending a hundred dollars on a small jar of you-won’t-look-like-crap-anymore cream. I needed a big jar at an affordable price. I needed a Costco size.

So after about thirty minutes of examining jars and tubes and soy extract formulas, I went home without anti-ageless assistance. The entire trip was a bust. It seemed that being anti-ageless was a little too complicated for me. Maybe I’ll be ready in a few weeks, after I’ve done some research, until then me and my stressed out skin will have to work on relaxing so as not to look so jacked up. But then again maybe I shouldn’t be checking myself out and examining my face while I’ve got the flu. Germs tend to affect your appearance.

 

Sometimes You Can’t Help It When Inspiration Strikes

14 Mar
Image via LeFunny.net

Image via LeFunny.net

 

This is why deadlines and late nights produce some of the best fiction ever.