Spring Break Phone Pix Dump

We actually did a lot over the two-week break.

The child had a bad case of the hives, got really sick, and also lost another tooth, but he rallied for the best parts of his vacation.
He had no trouble inhaling a basketful of candy on Easter morning.


The rest of our days went something like this…

lunch with Grandma
Inflatable World
Pump It Up
several different parks
a night at the downtown Marriott
egg hunts
I guess I’m too tired to remember anything else.
Enjoy the photos!

Oh, I almost forgot!
Husband got a new job.
(Insert great relief here.)
He started yesterday.
So far, so good!




















Insert bad family photo here (complete with chinless child and bug-eyed mommy):


I love this next one of my husband.  He’s more than a little freaked out by heights, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying our 11th floor view of the bay and the bridge.




The pools were beautiful.  The smaller one was walk-in warm in the morning.













Next on the agenda?
Back to school this morning and then to the kid’s salon for a long overdue haircut!

What did you do?


A Day At The Beach

My front room is a disaster again.  😦

What I wouldn’t give for a few feet of formal entryway, just a little something to soften the blow and keep every visitor from instantly seeing exactly how we live.

Right now, this space contains two large dishwasher-size boxes, a power sander, a heavy duty orange extension cord, a laundry basket full of cds, and five extra pieces of furniture.  I can’t stand it.

There is clutter everywhere.  A lot of it was generated by the little boy, but plenty of it is mine and a bit belongs to the husband too.

I want to get organized before the holidays blow in, you know?

Gotta tackle this disaster!

There is a loose plan brewing in my head for all of it, but it seems I never have time to implement the plan.  When I do get a few free minutes, I am usually so exhausted that I haven’t the brain power to make good decisions.

Consequently, I am easily defeated, sometimes teary, and a little depressed over this space.

Today, I needed a distraction from it.

Thank goodness we had plans for some family time at the beach.  🙂

Husband and the boy ventured much farther into the water than I cared to go.

I took pictures with my crappy phone.

My favorite part of the day (not) was trying to discreetly change to our clothes, in the street, next to the car, while another vehicle full of beach goers waited for our spot.  Awkward, but sooo San Diego, right?  😀  Heh heh.

Enjoy the pix!

Happy Sunday!

P.S. Come back in the next few days to find out if I solved my front room clutter dilemma.

P.P.S. Do you like my hat?

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Carlsbad Staycation

The little boy went back to school yesterday.  Yea!

And he did it with lots of excitement and no complaint.  Amazing.

Of course, he usually melts down on day two or three after a break, so we’ll see how the rest of the week plays out.

Last Wednesday, we took a little trip up the road to Carlsbad.  We stayed at the Hyatt Summerfield Suites for a couple of nights and took the boy to Legoland.  It was nice to get out of our stinky cat hair house for a while.

On the way to the hotel, we stopped at the Forum Shopping Center.  We took a walk on the adjacent La Costa Glen Trail and then popped into Gepetto’s to get the boy a few toys for the trip.  He picked out a magnetic dartboard and a small car that lights up.

The hotel was great.  The room was a little bit small considering the amenities packed inside it.  We had a full fridge, a two-burner stove, a small dishwasher, a full set of dishes, an HDTV, and granite everything.  Very convenient.

The king-sized bed was too soft for our taste and our son’s pull-out sofa sleeper took up too much of the room, but everything was really clean and the hotel service was excellent.  We swam in the pool and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

My only real complaint with the Hyatt might be that the bathroom door had no lock.  Our son doesn’t really understand our need for privacy yet, so that was problematic for us.  There also wasn’t a fan to muffle any noises in the bathroom either.  If you know what I mean.  And I think you do.  🙂

The hotel is small and located a little too far to walk to anything, but Carlsbad is not a difficult place to navigate by car and the distance to Legoland, the beach, and the downtown village is minimal.  There is no restaurant on site, but the hotel does make up for this with complimentary social hours with drinks and appetizers every night and continental breakfasts each morning.

We hit Legoland on day two of our adventure.  The boy wouldn’t go on a single ride, so we basically spent $268 for a really long walk, but it was fun anyway.  There are popper fountains and a great climbing structure that the boy enjoys.  Note in the photos how he passed out for an afternoon nap at the end of the day.  He was pooped.  He hasn’t napped like that since he was two years old!

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On Friday morning, we went to Bobby’s Hideaway Cafe for breakfast.  It was yummy.

Bobby’s is located next door to Buffalo Brothers Guitars.  Husband happily went there while the boy and I went across the parking lot to a botanical wonderland called Plant Play Nursery.

I have decided I would like to curl up inside one of the giant, beautiful, glazed turquoise basins in this place and live there forever.  Plant Play is teeny and charming.  Go, if you’re ever in the area.

When the husband finished his brief tour of Buffalo Brothers, he and his green thumbs wandered over to find us and he got sucked in just like we did.  We bought four plants total and we both want to go back again.  I am still dreaming of a gorgeous old rusty wrought iron trellis I saw.

We headed home after that and finished out the break with egg hunts and an Easter brunch at my mom’s house.  Pix of that tomorrow.  Maybe.

And that’s about it!

Happy Monday!!

It’s good to be back!

P.S.  The little boy continues his movie making.  He doesn’t know the words to the song, but he’s committed to the process!  I sure do love him.


Ignore The Dirty Kitchen

Got a new video camera a few weeks ago…

Samsung Full HD 8.0 MEGA.

And that’s pretty much all I know.  😀

It’s little and shiny and I don’t know how to use it yet, but husband does.

Happy Sunday!

P.S.  Am in a better mood.  Thank you for all your encouragement.

P.P.S.  The little boy finished ALL of his homework this week.  Woohoo!


Springy Sunday

Husband did some work in the backyard this week.

To the delight of my taste buds, he planted a Satsuma Mandarin tree.

Oh please, oh please, let it grow, be healthy, and one day produce an abundance of delicious fruit!

Satsumas are my favorite.  They’re in season right now.  Go get yourself some.

Husband also planted three different raspberry bushes.  Three!  Yummy.

The little boy helped.  Not really.  But he (and his very big feet) played in the water.

and made Daddy blow bubbles…

which he chased and popped…

Rusty helped too.  Not really.  He mostly just hid behind the bird bath, hoping something tasty would scurry by.

It’s warm today, much warmer than it has been in the last few weeks.  It feels like Spring.  Flowers are blooming.

The plum tree is bare, but it’s striking and architectural and seems ready for its little white blossoms again too.

Husband trimmed it a little bit.

The branches are beautiful.

And yes, those are the Christmas lights on the wall in the background.  What can I say?  They’re cheery and I don’t feel like taking them down yet.

Today I remembered that it’s better to wear shoes when you’re taking pictures in the muddy yard.  Poor socks.

That’s about it until I have some time and a little motivation!

Happy Sunday!

P.S.  Look what my friend lent to me.  Snicker snicker.

My days of crushing on Rick Springfield are long over

and I feel kind of silly having this in my house,

but I feel compelled to read it!  😀  Heh heh.


Holiday Wait

The little boy broke more stuff today.

I snapped at him.

I cried some more.


Hate myself for not just letting it roll off my back.

He’s really excited about Christmas.  He has been bouncing off the walls all day.  He wants to hang EVERYTHING on the tree and he wants to do EVERYTHING himself, including things he really can’t or shouldn’t do.


I have less patience this week than I ought to.

And such guilt.

Husband and I got to talking over dinner with some friends about how much waiting kids have to do at the holidays.

While the grown-ups get together and cook and eat and exchange pleasantries, the kids wait.  And wait.  And wait some more.

I think my son does a lot of waiting.

I think my son does a lot of waiting for something he is sure will be exciting.  Instead he gets more waiting, nothing too exciting and a mom who snaps.  And maybe a vague sense that the snapping has something to do with him.

I think my son probably doesn’t understand why grown-ups take so damn long to do everything and when they do it, they don’t have the same joy about it that he does.  I think my son deserves a mom who isn’t tired.  A mom who finds that same joy and shares it with him as well and as often as he shares it with her.

I try to be that mom.  I do.  I really do.  I don’t think I am though.

My son is so hopeful.  I hate that I can rob that from him with impatience or delay or fatigue or a quick temper.  He deserves more.

Tomorrow, I will try to give him more.

Day Twenty-Seven 2010 Pumpkin Demise

I took some of these photos in the morning and some just before dusk today.

The later pix are softer, even downright fuzzy, for some reason.

I don’t know if I chose the wrong camera setting or if it was just dark clouds in the late afternoon sky that made the difference.

I decided to include the later pix anyway since there are a few cute ones of the boy and his chocolate mouth.


Oh, and just in case any of you are worried, I will not be showing you the demise of those other squash on a daily basis.

Happy Saturday!

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P.S.  My oldest cat barfed in three places on the floor behind me as I was typing this.  🙄



Feeling full and relaxed after a pleasant evening with family.

No long post tonight.

Just a few pix of the day.

The boy and his hat:

The kids’ table with See’s chocolate turkeys…
and Uncle Bill’s beer:

Super blurry, poorly lit, bad family photo take one:
(Post bath outfit already on the boy.)

Take two:

Different family players, take three:

Darn it – not one really well lit, clear photo of the table!
We had no centerpiece this year anyway, so whatever.

Hey, the boy ate a cookie with NUTS on it!
Actually, he ate several.
Will wonders never cease?

And the aftermath:

Look for the daily pix & pumpkin pals in a separate post.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

P.S.  Are you braving the black Friday chaos tomorrow?
Maybe I’ll see you somewhere.  😀




Report Card

Mom #2 asked me to give the Disneyland trip a grade…

A through F.

I have been thinking about that all weekend.

In no particular order, here are some components of the grading:

Marital Strife = B

Average level of miscommunication and failure to recognize the other’s value and contribution to the pre-travel readiness process.

Extended period of uncomfortable silence lasting through first half of drive up.

Extra credit for letting it all go and having goofy fun with camera on balcony Thursday night.

Packing & General Preparation = C+

Remembered wet wipes & bandaids (lucky for random dad on Tom Sawyer’s Island with skinned knee kid & no mom along).

Neglected to bring or draw a suitable calendar for the little boy.  Major points off for this since little boy lost track of days and after all the challenges he faced with queasiness, control issues, difficult transitions, ride disappointment, etc., he actually didn’t want to go home on Friday.

Forgot the clips I use to keep my bath towel wrapped around myself when I’m blow drying my hair.  Annoying.

Neglected to put ice in cooler with drinks and snacks.

Extra credit for remembering to bring stuffed animal and travel playdoh kit.

Points lost for leaving both of them in the car until the third night.

Car Ride for Little Boy – B+

Minor expected agitation over red lights in beginning of trip & again at end of trip.

No car sickness.

No objects chucked at mom’s or dad’s heads.

Minor wiggling and some kicking of front passenger seat.

Generally sunny disposition and willingness to go wherever necessary.  Even Target.  Because what’s a vacation without a trip to Target?  I had a craving for Riesen candies.

Extra credit for waiting through most of the CD before telling Dad to turn the music off.  Good CD for Dad and a little bit for Mom, just not for boy.

Disneyland Hotel Choice = B+

Excellent location in heart of Disney Resort.

Extra credit for immediate Goofy & Pluto sightings, extra towels, exceptionally pleasant gift shop employees and really fast elevators.

Bonus points for lovely view, but points lost for being there on a day without fireworks.

Special credit for a pool space that encourages all body types to relax and enjoy swimming with kids.

Points lost for failure to send promised text message when room was ready for check-in.

Points lost for failure to offer the creme brule through room service.  Flourless chocolate cake selected as alternative not worth $16.50 in cost, hidden delivery charges, tax & tip.  And I make better raspberry coulis in my own kitchen. 😐

Number of rides & overall amusement park experience = D

No crowds.  Best week ever to go.

Remembered to get letter from psychologist for special pass to front of lines.

Good foundation built by riding Small World first.

Excellent follow-up choices in Peter Pan and Dumbo rides.

Some points lost for failure to remember herky-jerky characteristics of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

Three full letter grades lost for thinking even momentarily that taking child on Matterhorn was a good idea.  Oy.  Three hours into day one and little boy was done with the rides.  Sigh.

Thank goodness for Tom Sawyer’s Island on Day 2 – perfect for mom who needed to sit in the shade a minute, little boy with too much energy and dad who never got to go to the hotel gym to continue training for upcoming century ride.

Food – B

Worst Boca burger ever at Red Robin in Tustin on drive up, but empathetic vegetarian waitress took it off the bill.

Extra credit for planning most of meals away from expensive Disney.  Who knew that Denny’s had such tasty granola?

White Water Cafe at Grand Californian has a good veggie burger, but big, bad, super dry brownies.

Coco’s is really close to the hotel.  Seriously, I like that brown bread and the Asian salad.  Without chicken.

Never got my vacation requisite Mexican food.  Sigh.

Points lost for turning in the seedier direction for supermarket search.  Why doesn’t this Albertson’s have any good cheese?!

Points lost by husband for giving all of leftover snacks to Pidgee.

Bonus points to Pidgee for keeping the location to himself.

Miscellaneous Extra Credit for…

Remembering to use our camera during the Mickey Photo Op so that we didn’t have to buy the expensive Disney version.

Going to Burger King at least once so the little boy could finally enjoy a meal and have some real fun.

Letting the little boy crawl under the big star…

And hug the row of rainbow towels when we were shopping to replace Mommy’s broken sunglasses…

Going to the Lego store and just letting the little boy hug whomever he pleased – including Woody & Darth Vader…

Remembering to get chocolate milk at seedy Albertson’s…

And that’s pretty much it…

so what do you all think?


Yeah, B.

A few sordid details to follow in the next couple of days…

Happy Sunday!


Up The Coast

I don’t know how to write about our vacation.

Parts of it were amazing, quite magical really.

The wedding was wonderful.  My mom-in-law married her sweetheart on New Year’s Eve.  ♥

They sang to each other during the ceremony.  Sang to each other!

I told my husband that despite my intense love for him, I am pretty sure the only thing I could sing all the way through while looking deeply into his eyes in front of an audience is the Lumberjack Song from Monty Python.

There was flourless chocolate cake at the reception.  And chocolate covered strawberries too.

We had a beautiful room in the woods at Asilomar.  With two giant windows…

and an ocean view.

And deer.  Big deer.  With antlers.  And a full moon.  Amazing.

My husband’s generous mom made it possible for us to be there.  We are forever grateful.  It was something we wouldn’t have missed.  We love her and her husband very much.

I don’t know how to write about this vacation because, despite all that lovely, there was some anxiety too.

We took some bad habits into the car with us and they rode along all the way up the coast.

The few essentials we forgot to pack motivated daily stops at Rite Aid or CVS or Albertson’s.

Everytime we went to a store, we impulsively spent another twenty or thirty or forty dollars we didn’t have.  Foolish.

We bought a California road atlas and bottles of water and cheetos and magazines and this giant SpongeBob pillow for the little boy.

We got a can of cashews, some plastic utensils, chocolate covered almonds and a pack of Gladware bowls.

We bought chocolate milk and cranberry-grape juice and straws.  And beer and a bag of miniature teddy grahams.

I went in for bandaids twice and never bought them. Dumb.  😦

We spent too much money.

We agreed to enjoy the trip and were committed to most of the expense, but the reality is that we are a single income family and we don’t have a lot of extra cash for things.

On the morning we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the reality of that hit me like a ton of bricks.

I am 44 years old and I don’t work.  I guess I’m embarassed by how totally incapable I am of paying my own way.  I probably shouldn’t be, but I am.  Embarassed, I mean.

I spent money on these little knick knacky things because I thought we needed them.  Then I realized we mostly didn’t and I was mortified.

I had a meltdown in the parking garage in downtown Monterey.  About money.

I was exhausted from the driving and all of the wedding/new family excitement I think, but it was the money thing that got to me.

My husband sat quietly and listened, or pretended to anyway.

When I was through melting, we agreed again to enjoy ourselves and we locked up the car and walked.

As we made our way to the Aquarium, I talked about the salt water taffy I looked forward to getting in the same little shop we’d been to years before.

We bought a bag on that trip too, but after enjoying only a few pieces, we lost it somewhere.  It would be fun to finally replace it.

The Aquarium was great.  If you haven’t been, you’ve got to go.  They have the most amazing jellyfish tank.

My husband’s mom and stepdad treated us to lunch afterward.  Great food and great view.

Very relaxing meal.  Will have to get the name of the restaurant for you.

We parted company with the newlyweds and arranged to meet them later for dinner.

As the three of us meandered toward the candy store, I had almost let go of the money stress.

We would get our taffy and forget about the rest of it.

We each grabbed a bucket and perused the rainbow before us.  The taffy was piled high in barrels, every color and flavor imaginable.

There were also old timey candies like Mary Janes and Bit-o-Honey.  The little boy spotted yogurt covered malt balls and some miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter cups too.

We were in candy heaven and the morning money meltdown was fading.

We came back together in the middle of the store and compared our selections.  A few more caramels for good measure and we were through.

I took everything to the register while my husband and son did a final loop around the bins.

I watched happily as the cashier poured our buckets into little white bags.  I impulsively added a big dark chocolate macadamia nut turtle.  Yum.

The cashier plopped our bags onto the scale. Wow, they sounded kinda heavy.

And this, my friends, is why my morning meltdown surged again – this time high in my chest – causing my cheeks to flush and tiny beads of sweat to trickle down my neck.  Oy.

At some point you just have to laugh.  🙂

If you want a piece of $50 taffy, come on by.

Stay tuned in the next few days for some more pix and tidbits from our trip.