Friday, July 22, 2011

Nathaniel's vacation

We finally found a good time to ship Nathaniel out to my parent's house in Sebastopol, CA.
On day one Dad took him sightseeing in San Francisco.

Here is where Nathaniel tries to look relaxed in a borrowed sweatshirt from Aaron when he is actually freezing his butt off. The first text he sends me when he found his bus stop in Oakland was that it was, "umm, kind of cold." Which is why I told him to bring a sweatshirt. But he argued with me and I felt sure he was old enough to learn this one on his own.

There are apparently a lot of things you cannot do at Golden Gate Park.
I'm not sure I can identify them all.

Sarah was unhappy he didn't buy her one of these hats.
Maybe we can find her one online.

These were some type of botanical gardens where there were a bunch of bug and even man-eating plants! Cool!

The story behind this is interesting I think. Constructed for an exposition in 1915 it wasn't built to last and was supposed to be demolished after the event was over. But the people of San Francisco protested and so it stayed. But by 1950 the temporary plaster structure was crumbling apart so they had to tear almost all of it down to replace it with concrete and steel. I've been going here since I was very young. It really is incredible.

The last day Dad took Nathaniel kayaking. Nathaniel said it was "really pretty" which in teen translation means, gorgeous scenery.

Here is a cute picture of dad. The best part for me in all this was the description of things through the eyes of Nathaniel. He said everyone went to bed at pretty much the same time, except for my Dad, who instead would "just wander all around the house." See I get what my Dad is doing because I know how he is, but it is so funny coming from Nathaniel.

"Then it would be all dark outside and suddenly there would be this bright light that would scare the heck out of me." That would be Dad with his floodlight-style headlamp on, wandering around the yard checking on his plants in middle of the night.

These things are pretty foreign to outsiders, but to me there is reason behind the madness. I get it. Night is the most efficient time for brains in our family. No distractions. Everybody does this once in a while.

But for a person with serious attention-deficit problems this is much more than that. There is not enough time in a day filled with distractions to get important things done and so we do it when others are sleeping and our brains don't have to filter out all of these other static and noise of the day. While others are slowing down, we are just getting into our groove.

I rarely do this anymore. Like almost never. Kids get up too early and demand too much for me to have been up until 4am.

The beer shack built by some local surfers.*
*all pictures courtesy of John Tracy:)

My favorite story is of when they were kayaking. Nathaniel says they were just floating along when all the sudden my dad pulls out some corn on the cob and begins to eat it with fervor. At which point he turns to Nathaniel and asks, "Want some corn?"
Even if he did happen to have a hankering for some corn on the cob just then
I think he was too confused to say yes.

The conclusion to this is that Nathaniel had a really great time. A blast really. He ate some fabulous food, including a salmon salad made by gourmet cook Linda with real flowers in it, that he thought was surprisingly good. He got to go to Great America with Aaron, his girlfriend Sam, Lily, and her friend-who-is-actually-not-just-a-friend-but-I'll-call-him-that-just-to-humor-her-named-Peter.
Lily has always been jealous of my man so she keeps finding other guys with
the same name to date. It's really sad.
(That one was for you sis, my love biscuit;)

He got to learn about important things like listening to his mother when she tells him there will not just be a chill in the air but he will actually feel cold to his bones if he doesn't bring a jacket, how to totally pimp out his PSP and many other computer ninja moves from Aaron, about conversing with strangers without grunting one word answers (social skills) and saying thank you (more social skills).

So kudos to you Mom and Dad.
He had a great time and if we're lucky he may have even come back with some new life skills.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Musing on a blissful day

Peter is in California with the girls and yesterday I took Nathaniel to the airport to visit my dad. After watching him go through security I spent the rest of the day texting and calling him to make sure he was getting on the right transit from Oakland to Santa Rosa, then switching from bus to bus, and finally being picked up by Aaron.
My dad sent me this text, "the package has arrived. it is eating."
That leaves John and I. Just John and I.
And though John is a most labor intensive child I am still very much enjoying this.
Today after kicking the tooth-grinding John out of my bed at 7:30 this morning, I got up, took 2 Advil for my sore legs, got back in bed and slept until ten. Then I spent the next hour on my computer reading the news and then proceeded onto celebrity gossip. Yesterday was Hugh Grant and today was Meg Ryan. Strange lives these people lead. Moved onto some PB&J toast while watching another episode I DDR of the new digitally-remastered WWII series of never before seen film. So good. I'm still in my pajamas and would really like these three parentally neglected neighborhood kids to leave my house. In fact I think I'll throw them out now.
OK, so they're out.

I keep thinking there are things I should be doing. Like going through my giant pile of to-be-filed. But I haven't. I know this is optimal time to work on my quilt I started last January, which I want to do, but I just like sitting here. The house is in pretty good shape. I've cleaned bathrooms, done dishes, laundry, etc. But everything is so much easier when you take four people out of the equation! I have so much free time!
I could go and paint my kitchen right now and John could care less. No one will be asking me why I am doing it (again), why I chose that color for it, or when I am making dinner. This is why I start these projects when I'm alone. No one to question me.

As moms I think this is one of the most exhausting things we deal with--the constant barrage of questioning. If you're a mom, you know exactly what I mean.
"Who was that on the phone?"
"Why are you wearing that? Are you going somewhere?"
"Can Lea come over?"
"When are we going to order those jeans?"
"Why can't I stay out later?"
"Did you call the piano teacher?"
"When is dad coming home?"
"When are you going to be back?"
"How long is this going to take?"

You know how this is. There is basically no end to it. It is like someone is always there expecting you to give a play by play of every movement you make, the reasons behind it, and what your next movement is going to be. Except that they have opinions and criticisms on it all.
Throw on top of this the questions we get for no reason.
"Do you think I should get a Ferrari or a plane when I grow up? How much are planes? About a million dollars? More? Less? Do you think they take a lot of gas?"
Like I know?

On Sunday I had already been pelted with different questions/demands/new updates in just the few moments after we sat down and was trying to will myself into a place of peace before Sacrament Meeting started and Peter turns to me to ask, "What is that big red spot behind your ear?"
I know the family sitting behind us probably overheard me turning to everyone and saying, "Will you all please just shut up?"
I really try not to say shut up. I almost never do. Except that it felt right just then. In the chapel.
I'll do better next time.

So instead of doing something productive I thought I'd just blog about how wonderful it is that I am sitting here in my pajamas at 12:30 in the afternoon thinking about what I could be doing but am not. Things are so wonderfully unscheduled and peaceful around here
I can't help but think,
this summer is going by
way too fast.

Friday, July 1, 2011

I am not a carpenter

Peter and I celebrated our 17th anniversary on Friday. We went for our annual trip to Cedar City to stay at the bed and breakfast our friends and tax clients own. It is very, very nice. While we were there we saw Midsummer's Night Dream, which is actually the play the bed and breakfast is named after. I didn't know the play very well and reading the summary of the plot was even more confusing. The whole fairy thing wasn't doing anything for me and I just wasn't sure I even wanted to see it. But it was playing while we were going to be there and so we bought tickets.

It was fabulous. The best play we've seen I feel. The Shakespeare Festival plays are so well done-- they have all been very good. But this one absolutely took our breath away. It was that good. Go if you get the chance!!

In our married life we have never bought bedroom furniture. I've always wanted an actual bed but it just never was a priority I guess. At first I thought I'd buy a used headboard and just paint it, but I wasn't finding one I liked so I wondered if I could just make my own and started looking online for ideas and came across one where they used old cabinets. It was exactly the look I wanted so I decided to go for it.

Picked up these cabinets free in some stuff a couple was getting ready to throw away in a move. Took off the handles and made a frame. Attached cabinets, added msf boards and molding, then painted.
This project wasn't the funnest thing for me. I don't suspect I'll want to do it again soon.

There was a lot of noise coming out of my garage for a couple of days with all the pounding of nails and cutting of wood.

I'll say this much--there is a great amount of caulking to cover up all the poor craftsmanship in this!

After it was painted Nathaniel came out to the garage and I asked him what he thought.

"Since when can you build stuff?"
Then he walked back in the house.
Guess that means he liked it!

I love this painting Rebecca did a few years ago. I've had it framed for some time and thought it would be very appropriate to finally hang it up by some raindrops I bought back in April and am finally getting around to hanging. No cute pillows or anything on the bed yet.
The blue was the first color I painted in this house and I love it just as much today as I did then.

Friday night fun

A few weeks ago I noticed John was rubbing his eyes and moaning. This isn't necessarily cause for alarm with John--he's a dramatic guy after all. But when I took a closer look I saw that the whites of his eyes were very swollen and filled with fluid to the point where it was actually pushing his eyelids out.

I was definitely alarmed. It was (of course) 6:15 on Friday night when I discover this. I immediately drove him over to Peter's office to tell him I want him to go with me to urgent care. The waiting room was filled with sick people. Poor John is utterly miserable. I think maybe this is pink eye but I've never seen pink eye do this before. After two hours we are seen and doctor takes one look and immediately knows it is some kind of severe allergic reaction. He prescribes Benadryl at night and two allergy pills in the morning. John seems immediately relieved and is back to his normal self in a couple of days.

I have never heard of this before and was talking to my nurse friend who works in pediatric and she said she's only seen it once and it was on an adult. The above picture of Mr. Messy Face just doesn't hardly do it justice. I think by this point the Benadryl was already taking effect.