Sunday, August 28, 2011

Something to celebrate

On the eve of AK's sixth birthday, her very first tooth wiggled it's way out.  She was beyond excited and wanted to write a letter to the tooth fairy, which included thought provoking questions such as, "Do you like Sharks? Did I lose my sweet tooth?" 
On her birthday we had friends over to swim, and that evening we went out to In-N-Out  and had cupcakes.  See that massive pile of gifts, I only bought one of those gifts.  Mr. Man totally spoils his girls and he came home with a plethora of gifts for AK.  
She made her wish and I'm pretty sure it was for a "pink horse with friendly brown eyes". 
 The following day it was a day of love as Mr. Man and I celebrated our wedding anniversary.  Mr. Man took me to a swanky dinner on the town, while Auntie Cinnamon babysat.  While we were gone, the kids got to work decorating the house.
 This is my favorite, with the kids and dogs. 
While we were at dinner, Mr. Man and I paused to remember that six years ago we brought this cute girl home from the hospital on our tenth anniversary.  She was the best anniversary gift ever.  We didn't want to leave her while we went out for dinner, so we brought her with us and just went out for Ice Cream later that night.  The store was just getting ready to close, and Mr. Man, pleaded, "Please it's our 10th Anniversary, and we just brought this baby home from the hospital."
They obliged and Mr. Man and I toasted ten years of marriage over a Hot Fudge Sundae. Originally, I had high expectations of a swanky dinner, possibly a vacation for our 10th anniversary.  However, sitting in a strip mall Baskin Robbins with a brand new baby in my arms with my husband seemed like no better way to celebrate the occasion. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

AK turns six!

Dearest AK, 
On the occasion of your sixth birthday, I sit down to write you a note to tell you how much I love you.  Six years ago today, you were placed in my arms and I knew you were the piece of my heart that had been missing.  You have a spunky personality and are such an amazing gift to our family. You have a zest for life that is contagious and you are such a genuinely happy girl. 
You have a flair for drama, and will make up the most amazing stories.  I have had many people tell me you need to go in show business, and they might be right.  This summer, we went to see a movie, and you later re enacted an entire scene verbatim for you dad. We have been instructed to help you "find your passion" and at this point it is hard to narrow it down. 
You are passionate about so many things, horses, singing, dancing, and you have the biggest imagination.  This past year you have told many sob stories to strangers, teachers, and friends that have resulted in many phone calls that start with, "AK was telling me all about.... "  People are amazed at your imaginative story telling, and have asked if I ever thought about having you write soap operas.

 Last year I was unsure whether or not I should send you to Kindergarten, my gut knew that you weren't ready, but you were so social, it seemed like we should give it a try.  Hooray! You get to do Kindergarten again this year!  AK listen to your gut, it always knows the right answer, however I do not regret sending you to Kindergarten when I did.  We learned a lot about you and it gave everyone time to figure out how we can best help you.  AK, there are struggles that lay ahead for you, but you need to listen to me very carefully.... You are going to be OKAY. 
AK, you have this resilient strong and fighting spirit that you have had since the day you were born.  You have an unbelievable will to survive and conquer.  You have a feisty spirit and I love it.  You do not back down when it is important, and will hold your ground.  Here is the best thing I love about you AK, something I struggle with... If it is not important to you, you will give in.  You let it go, which is a concept that I'm still struggling with as an adult.
 Kindergarten was challenging this year, especially the early start time.  You love your beauty sleep and did not like to be woken up.  Many mornings I dressed you while you slept and even popped you into the car while dozing.  You go to bed early,  so it's not like we just kept you up too late, you just really love your sleep.  It takes a lot of energy to be you, and so you needed that time to recharge.  There are some nights though, you just want to party all night.  We can't figure out what causes it, but there are some evenings you stay up in your room singing to yourself until midnight.  The neighbors have also noticed your late nights as they have heard the window open and a little voice saying, "Helloooooooooo."  You love to ask them where they were and if they had fun.  They always encourage you to go to bed, but you like to tell them, "I can't sleep, tell me a story." 
You will try anything once and are eager to do anything that puts you in the spotlight.  This past summer while in San Francisco, we drove slowly down the windy Lombard Street.  With the windows rolled down, I taught you the funniest thing ever invented.  You leaned out and in your sweet voice, said, "Pardon me" to all the tourists who were standing on the sidewalk snapping pictures, "Do you have any Grey Poupon?" You never batted an eye and we all laughed hysterically. 

 AK, I want you to know how much we love you.  You have taught me so much about life and I hope I can teach you some things in return.  We live in the most amazing place and the world is full of opportunities.  I hope your self confidence and spunky spirit never fades. I pray it will carry you through Junior High and High School, and you can emerge your teenage years filled with the self confidence to be a success in the world. 
I love you, 

Friday, August 05, 2011

Lessons learned from my father: Mortification

My dad. *sigh* I can’t even say the word dad these days without sighing.  It’s a reflux.  At some point, I need to write it all down, vent… share… laugh so that my future generations can be like, “SHUT UP, our great great grandfather made my great grandma drive his trash in the passenger seat of her car all the way home, because his trash day was still three days away.  That doesn’t make sense!  I know future posterity, I know. Save yourself a fortune in therapy and just don’t try to make sense of it all.
 My Dad went from grieving widow to single man on the prowl in about 60 seconds (or six weeks).  It threw me for a loop, a big one, I mean… a really, really big one.  Now, after some time, therapy, lots of tears and laughter, I get it.  I mean, I don’t like it, I don't approve, but I understand to a degree.  In his engineer brain, he is like, “Problem:  No spouse and excess loneliness.  Solution: Find new Spouse on Internet.  If you don’t at first succeed, try try again. “ 

And as for “Try Try Again” my Dad is trying really hard to get married, the problem is he is good looking, financially stable, and has all his hair.  In other words, the more mature crowd finds my dad to be a catch.  The craziest of the ladies seem to be the most aggressive and eager to get the golden ring.   It’s a roller coaster and every lady seems to have a need of some sort.  For example: A green card, money to pay off a mountain of debt, a place to live. 

Unfortunately, his marriage obsession has made our relationship a little bit rocky.  I didn’t expect he would be ready to get his dance card punched six weeks after my mom’s passing.  We are working on this, but essentially my dad keeps referring to my “mental state!”.  “I’m very concerned about your mental state!”  “What does Mr. Man think of your mental state!?”  “You are in a mental state! I have never heard you so upset.”

Whew.. all this is leading up to something, but wow, I just had to let that all out.  Now for the lesson I learned from my dad. 

 My dad was obsessed with Dr. Laura, and when her radio show went off the air, he was devastated.  Thanks to Oprah and daytime television, now my dad has found a new replacement for his devotion in the form of Dr. Oz.  Now Dr. Oz, is nice and all, but his ratings are in the tank, which means his topics are meant to sensationalize and draw in the mostly female TV audience.  Dr. Oz is always talking about Women’s health, couple that with my mental state! And it results in my dad obsessing about my health. 
The other day, my brother, dad, and I were sitting in an attorney’s office discussing my mother’s estate. This is not an attorney that knows our family beyond a few phone calls.  Mr. Attorney turned to type up some notes in his computer, and there is silence.

My dad turns to me and says, “Wendy, who is monitoring your health?  Is it your OB/GYN? Does he monitor your health monthly, annually? And is he aware of your mental state?  You aren’t taking any of those synthetic hormones, are you?  Dr. Oz says those will make you crazy.” 

At this point, I turned beet red and wonder if Dr. Oz ever did a show about people who actually died of embarrassment.  The attorney graciously ignores my dad’s outburst of concern for my health and carries on.  Since when has my dad been so concerned with woman’s health, especially my health?  It’s something we haven’t ever discussed.  This is the moment I learn you are never too old to be humiliated by your parents.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Dear Summer,

Dear Summer, 
You know that I adore you,already.  Is it possible that I fell even more madly in love with you this season?  
Please, my dear summer, please don't make me send these beach lovin' kids back to school just yet. We are having too much fun! 
Truly, Deeply, Madly... in Love with you,