Thursday, August 28, 2008

Au Revoir!

Mr. Man and I are going away to a Spa Hotel in Palm Springs for the weekend sans kids. It's a much needed break from the daily grind and a time to reconnect. This has been a challenging year for us. In our renewed effort to be a fabulous couple, this is just what the doctor ordered. It'll be hot, but you will find us under the giant umbrella by the pool. We went away two years ago just before Christmas to San Diego. It was beyond fabulous and we stayed at this swanky place. We shopped...
And ate good food... Surprisingly, or not... those are all the pics I have from our last weekend away. Except for one of Mr. Man mid-sneeze. I think the Slurpee pic is just so... "us". One slurpee (my favorite drink)... purchased after midnight (because they test better after midnight)... two straws.

Au Revoir!

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Happy Place...

I have often used visualization techniques to help calm my nerves while on a plane or lying on a gurney, or at the dentist. Especially at the dentist... I have an irrational fear of the dentists. I tend to panic and can not stand to be sitting in the chair with the paper bib around my neck and the tray of tools hovering over my body. My dentist is pretty understanding and works with me. I stand in the corner until the very last second, then hop in the chair, do some deep breathing, and go to my happy place.

Sidenote: One time I was lying on the beach in my happy place. I was happily lying there and realized I wasn't alone. Whoever I was with, was wearing great cologne and I happily burrowed into him. I was aware of a muffling voice, which sounded like the waiter asking me what I'd like to drink. I listened again and heard, "Would you mind moving your arm?" Whaaaat? Why would my waiter be asking me that? Oops.. turned out it was my dentist and I had wrapped my arm around him and was nuzzling him while he worked on my teeth. Looks like my visualization worked a little too well.
Back to my happy place... This is it. This house is in Montecito and I distinctly remember driving by it one day and thinking, this is the worlds best place to live. They are in the midst of construction, so it doesn't look the same and there were a lot more trees surrounding it, and they didn't have those pesky gates. In my happy place I'm lounging on a chaise in the backyard wearing a giant floppy hat.
Also, my other happy places that appear often in my dreams are:

Books West - a bookstore from my elementary school days. My parents were always very generous in buying books.
Knapps CastleMoab This beach in Wailea Maui... What are yours?

"Not a Kid Friendly Outing"

It was several weeks ago that Mr. Man and I engaged in a debate about something related to the children and Mr. Man had the audacity to proclaim, "Taking the kids to Nordstroms is NOT A KID FRIENDLY OUTING!" I was shocked, as Nordstroms is one of my favorite places on the planet. And Mr. Boy and AK LOVE to go to Nordstrom to try on shoes. So I was all set to prove him wrong by taking the kids with the camera to Nordstroms. However, the stars were aligned that day because in Mr. Boys own words, "The BEST THING EVER happened to me today" and I captured it on film.
But first we have to travel back in time to these days... Don't you just want to nuzzle that sweet chubby baby!? So, it is shortly after this time that Mr. Boy starts to walk. We hit the local Stride Rite store because the pediatrician had mentioned while chuckling, "You might have a hard time finding shoes for him, try Stride Rite." So I walked in the store and the salesman measured Mr. Boys feet and looked at them long and hard. Finally he said, "Uh Ma'am, I'm afraid we just don't have any shoes that are um.. uh.. well.. cube shaped." So, we resorted to Uggs and European type slipper shoes. Finding shoes for Mr. Boy is a BIG challenge, and we have not been able to successfully get him a pair of tennis shoes since we lucked into some hideous Sesame Street Shoes on a trip.

Everytime we go to Nordstroms, Mr. Boy wants to try on the Nikes. He loves them, and begs for me to buy them. He hobbles around in them trying to convince me, "They're not too tight, I promise, it's just a little pinch, no big deal." Here is a pic from a previous attempt to get me to believe they don't hurt. When we take off the Nikes, his feet have red pinch marks and his audible sigh as we untie them, means No Nikes. So, he's worn Crocs and Flip Flops since he was two, with an occasional pair of Vans that are 3 sizes to big to accommodate his little cubes.

When we arrived at the shoe department on Friday, we were informed that Nikes had just come out with a Wide Tennis Shoe.Here is Nina, our favorite shoelady at Nordstroms South Coast measuring Mr. Boy.I took this pic while holding my breath, hoping these will fit. Seriously, I have nightmares where the kid is wearing a Tux with Crocs to his prom. Also, random side note, this kid has only worn red shirts for the last two weeks.Hooray, they fit! He refuses to take them off so we check his feet. He knows that is where the dealbreaker always is. However, because Nina is fabulous she gets him to take the shoes off for 2 seconds, no pinch marks!! He insists on wearing them out of the store, which was my favorite part as a kid. I feign having trouble keeping up with him because he is just too darn fast with his new shoes. And like all our outings to Nordstroms we end it with a carousel ride....

Kid friendly outing... Yes?

Boo Boo Visits..

Why oh WHY do I continue to torture myself by living in this ridiculous house that is so obviously not a commune for myself and the Ya Ya's. I love all my friends... I do.. I promise... and I will blog about each and every one of you at some point. The great thing about the Ya Ya's is that we have all grown and changed together... we've been young and newly married, new moms, moms to whiney toddlers, and school aged parents together. The best part, we have kids who are roughly the same age, so there usually a petit playmate for everyone... such as these girls...
Oh wait, actually they are a year apart... but the age difference doesn't seem to matter which is fabulous. They share a common love of movies and blankies. One thing they don't share is verbal skills. Little E was reciting off the history of the 19th Amendment to me during dinner and was practicing her oral test for her doctorate degree right after quiet time. Little E has a HUGE personality and is crazy brilliant. The Wii and the waterslide were a big hit with the other kids. Mr. Boy still asks when his "other brothers" are coming back. Bob's boys are known as Mr. Boys "almost brothers". I swear I barely saw Mr. Boy the entire day, he was too busy having the time of his life.
One of the best things was being able to talk to Booboo in the flesh and hear her words of encouragement as I try and figure some things out. She was brutally honest and one of the things she said has profoundly impacted me. Thanks Booboo!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


  • 13 years ago we met and talked until the sun rose the following morning. We quickly fell in love, got married, moved to a teeny tiny house on the 134 fwy in Los Angeles
  • 12 years ago, we brought home a sweet little labrador puppy who we named Sandy who became my study partner while I was going to school and Mr. Man was working in Human Resources.
  • 11 years ago, Mr. Man moved into Information Technology and we solidified our nerdiness by attending the X-files convention.
  • 10 years ago, Mr. Man applied for Graduate School to UCI's MBA program at the very last minute. He got in and we moved into a darling duplex by the beach.
  • 9 years ago, we were both knee deep in school and I met the Ya Ya's. We were also busy trying to be recruited by different employers. Those "wining and dining" dinners were an essential part to living within our lean budget. We decided to add another dog and Skoopix joined the family.
  • 8 years ago, we both graduated from college, got fancy jobs and bought a house.
  • 7 years ago, we spent the year working and enjoying our lives as "young professionals" Mr. Man joined the Entertainment group at work and thus began his glamorous "LA Life in the Biz"
  • 6 years ago, Mr. Man's dad was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). After years of patiently & silently wishing & hoping, Mr. Man got his wish and we started the adoption process.
  • 5 years ago, we joyfully welcomed Mr. Boy into our life. Wendy sits in awe as she watches Mr. Man turn into Mr. Greatest-Father-On-The-Planet. Wendy decides after much contemplation and heartache to leave the fancy firm and opens her own "little accounting practice".
  • 4 years ago, we decided to adopt again and put in our papers. We spend more time in LA to help care for Mr. Man's ailing father.
  • 3 years ago, we lost Mr. Man's father to ALS. We spent a lot of time with birthparents who had chosen us. Wendy does not believe this baby will arrive in our home, while Mr. Man keeps telling her to "Have a little faith...". Wendy has an idea for a stroller import company and Eurostroller is born. Besides parenting, it is the funnest project we ever did together. Meanwhile, the baby arrives several weeks prior to her due date and Wendy is instantly smitten by this tiny little girl, calls her AK, and buys 3000 pairs of baby girl shoes. She cannot believe she ever doubted the destiny of her daughter. AK arrives home on our 10th wedding Anniversary and contracts a dangerous virus 6 weeks into her life. At the same time Mr. Boy is diagnosed and struggles with severe asthma. It was a hard year.
  • 2 years ago, everyone is moderately healthy by midyear, Mr. Boy responds well to preventative asthma treatment and AK's faces new medical challenges that are manageable. Wendy decides to take the "little accounting practice" a little farther, make it a little bit bigger and closes Eurostroller. Mr. Man decides he is the caucasian version of Kobe Bryant and spends his spare time playing and watching basketball. He is still living a fabulous LA life.
  • 1 year ago, the family endured a year of Wendy's medical treatment for a medical oddity that was thought to be cancerous off and on 4 times during the year. Mr. Man sits by her side at the hospital reminding her to keep breathing as she recovers from major surgery. She contracts a lung infection in the hospital that takes 3 more months to heal from. The kids grow and thrive and Mr. Boy has his best year at school yet. We start talking of moving so we can join Mr. Man in his fabulous LA life.
At present... we put off moving for a few months, enrolled Mr. Boy in private school for Kindegarten, and AK is starting preschool. This relationship that we call marriage has had a lot of ups and downs over the last 13 years and endured some fabulous and dark times. However, it is a work in progress. There is a renewed commitment to be a team and there is a shift to try and remember not just to be a fabulous family, but a fabulous couple too. It's a hard balancing act to do, even harder to do it well. Mr. Man surprises Wendy with a no-kids weekend and she provides him with a coupon book for 13 consecutive weeks of preplanned dates.

*Format totally stolen from another blog.... but it is sheer genius *

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tagged by my pal Cinnamon

Tagged to make a mosiac using Flickr photos and using the answers to the following questions as search words.... 1. What is your first name? Wendy
2. What is your favorite food? Ice Cream
3. What high school did you attend? San Marcos
4. What is your favorite color? Blue
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Pierce Brosnan
6. Favorite drink? Pina Colada(thought this pic was out of place)
7. Dream vacation? France... uh.. Duh.
8. Favorite dessert? Strawberry Shake
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? Happy
10. What do you love most in life? ahem.. shoes, but really it is my family
11. One word to describe you? Fabulous
12. Your nickname? Once again, I don't really have one. I've desperately always wanted one, I've tried to start them, and no one indulges me. Steph created the nickname Pee Pee for me when I begged her to give me a nickname, but I think there has got to be a better one out there for me. I'm open to suggestions that don't involve bodily functions....

*Instructions for this tag and how to make a mosiac are on Cinnamon's Blog

Saturday, August 09, 2008

AK turns Three

Dear AK,
It is on the occasion of your third birthday that I write to you. I cannot help but think back to the first few months of your life and remark at how far you have come. You are in one word, "thriving." A word I desperately wanted to hear uttered by the medical staff that helped you during those first eight months. You have overcome incredible odds to be where you are today and we are so grateful for you.

Physically, you have grown by leaps and bounds. One year ago you were running around in size 12-18 months and looked like thisCurrently, you wear the size 4T. Your growth spurt has left us with boxes of brand new unworn clothing because you simply grew too fast to wear them. However, no complaints from us, we are thrilled to see you thriving. Secretly, we think it is all the premium dog food you have ingested. I have watched you wander outside and grab a tomato and a handful of strawberries to eat from the yard on numerous occasions and caught you snacking on dog food. Totally gross, but mildly comical and it will come in handy if we ever need to tell embarrassing stories about you later in life.
Your joy is contagious and you often will fall over with laughter. We have recently spent some time watching a television show that involves people falling off big giant rubber balls and have laughed so hard together as a family that you told me, "My tummy hurts, no more laughing". As we watch you laugh and embrace life we are reminded that life is too short not to marvel at the small things and laugh at the funny parts. You have a great time wherever you are and are not afraid to make your own fun. You are fearless, which has made for scary moments as we watch you hurl your tiny body off tall steps. You enjoy jumping off things, tables, the jungle gym, and the bed. You rode the Matterhorn at Disneyland and laughed during the whole thing while I clutched onto you and screamed. AK, don't lose that gift of being fearless. It will provide many great opportunities in your lifetime.
This year you have discovered the joys of pretending to be a Princess. You love to watch movies about Princesses, read about them, dress up and meet them. Often people have told you, "Oh what a pretty princess you are!" and you will always correct them. "I'm not a princess, I'm AK". You have a strong sense of self and take ever opportunity to assert yourself. You will fight to get your way and are willing to take on whoever dares get in the way. You are also very girly, but also have a strong tomboy streak. You have a fascination for "didosaurs" aka dinosaurs and love to play with cars. We love your well rounded personality. For your birthday you requested at first a Princess Party, which quickly morphed into a "Dinosaur Princess Waterslide Party with Nachos". It is the perfect event for your birthday, it embraces the sweet girly, the fiercely independent personality and your fearless nature. This year you've becoming increasingly more social. We've thought that as a second child you would love one on one attention, however it has become more obvious that you want to play with more people your own age. You attended summer camps these past few weeks and I have NEVER seen you more happy than when you are playing in a group of people your own age.
I have watched with joy and horror as you imitate me as a mother. You aren't discriminating and imitate my good and bad behavior. I have learned not to curse or make gestures while driving this year as I caught you imitating me in the rearview mirror. I have also watched you with Baby Roller Hand and seen my moves and words imitated. It has made me a better mom, because I am much more aware of my actions. Also, this year, your language has grown by leaps and bounds. You went from uttering the phrase "Mine" to complete sentences. Last year you acquired Pink Cowboy boots because you rarely talked and pointed at them and said, "Mine". Also, our favorite phrase you said earlier this year was "Here bop!" instead of "Here you go". Your dad simply cannot get enough of hearing you utter the words "Dee-Do" instead of Thank you.
We would be remiss if we didn't comment on your eating habits. You would be in utter bliss if you only ate bananas or ketchup. It is the only thing you actually request to eat. We were looking over an old letter from your beloved birthmom who wrote that while you were in utero she craved bananas non-stop. Also, when we pretend the banana is a telephone, that joke for the last 730 days or so has NOT gotten old. Thankfully, you still find us amusing.
On this day, we take time to pause and give thanks for the birthparents who placed you into our arms. We love them in such an undescribable way and they love you more than you will ever realize. Adoption is an amazing thing AK, I hope you can one day grow up to understand that it intertwines two families forever, and essentially doubles the amount of people who love and are cheering for you. It is a decision that was made out of a love so deep and intense for you. I cannot imagine the courage that it took your birthparents. I hope you inherit their courageous spirit, and have seen snippets of it in you already.

With Love,

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Vacation Bible School.. aka VBS for those in the know..

A few weeks ago the kiddos attended Vacation Bible School through their school. They wanted to go and when I realized that I would have 5 consecutive nights kid free I decided it was the best thing ever. They had a Pirate theme for the entire week, and went all out with costumes and performances. The parents joined in the last 5 minutes as they recapped the scripture, bible story, and theme for the night. I was listening to the pastor tell a story that I was unfamiliar with. The pastor said, "And do you know who came?" All of sudden, Mr. Boy starts waving both hands in the air yelling "MOSES!!" as though he was answering a Ten Million Dollar Question. The kids.. pointing.. at something interesting and VBS related...
When Mr. Boy attended his first "chapel time" at this school, we came home and put on a movie. When I turned it on for him, he threw his hands up in the air and said, "Praise Jesus!" He did it for everything all week. I learned that he was told to give Praise everytime something good happened to him. He praised his lunch, a movie, his toys, the animals at the zoo for being awake. It eventually died down and went away. It was endearing to realize all the small miracles he gave thanks for during the day.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Princess Heavy Post

I have a bunch of random pictures to blog about... and considering we are gearing up for AK's "Princess Dinosaur Nacho Waterslide Party" (her words) this post is appropriate...

In case you've been wondering what the superheros have been up to....
Mr. Boy has been having his superheros join forces with the Disney Princesses. I didn't think Superman was into Blondes.

We hit Disneyland one afternoon to see the parade, and were surprised to find the Princesses at the front gate at the park. Here AK is telling Sleeping Beauty how glad she is that she is awake and well.
And AK asked Belle if she still loved the Beast...
This picture is titled, "Sugar Coma"
We spent the weekend with our cousins and new friends. All three of the girls had Disney Princess Pajamas. These folks at Disney are the REAL reason for the downturn in the economy. They are bleeding us parents, grandparents, aunties & uncles dry with all the overpriced Princess & other Disney merchandise, forcing us to foreclose on our homes and file for bankruptcy..... I'm convinced they are the reason behind gas prices too... however I can't prove it. Of course, ahem... since Disney Execs read this I should put a disclaimer... I could be completely wrong, and must say there is NOTHING better in the world than a little girl who wants to be a Disney Princess and a little boy who is obsessed with CARS. Ahem, especially when those Disney Execs magically come up with some free products.