Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dressing Up..

My kids are always quick to point out the "other moms".  "Other mom's" pack fruit roll up and lunchables... "Other mom's" don't nag about getting faces washed and putting on a clean shirt.   Sometimes, I'm proud I march to the beat of my own drum, but other times they are spot on in pointing out my shortfalls.

When Mr. Boy was in Kindergarten at the fabulous little Jesus-lovin school, he pointed out... "All the other mom's dress up for Halloween"  and most of them did.   I made a vow that I would dress up, but it took a few years for me to get in the mode to do it.   The first year,  my halloween costume was  held hostage while the floors were being redone and I was in the midst of my remodeling induced emotional breakdown.   Last year I went as a glam witch.... but I knew I wanted to do something original for this year.    

And it was a hit.... I forgot how fun it was to dress up.   It was such an easy costume to make and I think my fabulous new shades give "Flo" a touch of pizazz!

Last year, AK was sweet Madeline and I loved designing her costume.   We spotted a little girl at a halloween carnival wearing an Olivia Costume last year and AK said, "Mom! I want to be Olivia next year!"  
 Of course trying to hunt down a red and white striped shirt or fabric proved to be challenging because whenever you need something it's always scarce.
I made her little red jumper and the ears, and AK is thrilled with her costume. I love that she is still little enough that she wants me to make her costumes.   Mr. Boy wants none of that now....  he wants blood, guts, and gore. 
I don't have pictures of Mr. Boy in his costume, but I do have a picture of what happens when you eat nothing but candy and soda for an entire day.  Poor guy learned a tough lesson over the weekend, our bodies aren't made for a steady diet of sugar and chocolate.  He proclaimed at one point, "I won't ever eat chocolate again!" 
Any bets on how long that will last?  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Does this Fridge make my kitchen look fat?

It doesn't seem that long ago, the Juans were busy working on the house.  I miss them terribly and my favorite thing about the Juans was that I just had to shout, "Ayudeme!" (Help!) and someone would come to help me.  That came in handy as I was often working on house projects while they were here.  I love the house they built and when asked, "Would you remodel again?" my answer is YES, in a heartbeat.  We had a great crew, amazing contractor, and it has changed my life.  I've become this crazy recluse homebody who thinks the deer are my best friends.   

The Chalet has had one nagging problem which has been my very fabulous  Juan-ized Fridge.  It is super old and has been leaving ominous puddles on the floor which have been getting larger.    When I talked to the repairman he had the nerve to laugh at me and say, "Junk it! I can't even get parts for it anymore".  Finally, Mr. Man and I decided a beach towel in front of the fridge isn't really the seasons hottest accessory and to pick out a new fridge.   

Originally, I wanted a Tablet Fridge, but Mr. Man's solution to the tablet fridge made me reevaluate it's functionality.  Once again, Mr. Man and I trolled the aisles of Home Depot and the appliance stores asking the question, does this fridge make me look fat?   Which is our favorite way of asking if you like this fridge.  I never really found anything that made me excited to get a new fridge, I loved my old fridge so very much.   Maybe you aren't supposed to get excited appliances... and I'm supposed to find my excitement elsewhere, like rapelling down a skyscraper.  

Finally, I found a fridge that made me giddy, it had a whole bunch of different accessories, and I swear that is the way to sell me on something every time.  You can switch out the handles for 100 different variations and for whatever reason that is what I love most.  

I bought the fridge and then came home and measured the space.  That is backwards, do not do it this way.  I was a little off in my measurements, but surely, the spec sheet from the manufacturer allowed for some wiggle room.   I'm sure they weren't EXACT measurements...  except that they were precise and accurate exact measurements which I discovered on delivery day.   

The deliverymen hauled the fridge in and said, "Oops, doesn't fit, you are a 1/4 inch off.  Well, we can take it back right now and you'll get a full refund. "  To which, I said, "NO!  I can make this work!"  (All that Project Runway is really paying off, I could actually hear Tim Gunn saying in my ear, "Well, make it work!") 

So,  I immediately dialed the Juans and said, "Ayudeme! Por Favor"  but they were on a job and couldn't help until next week.   That wouldn't work because I didn't want to admit to Mr. Man who had asked 3 times, "Will it fit?"  that I was wrong.  Our marriage is built on the illusion that I'm perfect, and a quarter of an inch wasn't going to stand in my way. I went out the garage to assess the tools, grabbed a jigsaw, a hammer, and a crowbar.  I shouted out, "Lo Siento Cabinet Juan!"  as I started cutting into the cabinets to wedge the fridge in. I am shocked that I didn't lose a toe or a finger although I had some close calls.
 Huzzah! It fit and Mr. Man is none the wiser, our marriage is saved!  Although I fessed up pretty quickly, because I love bragging about my handiness. 
For what it's worth, the fridge is a Viking D3 and I love it.  It's quiet, spacious, and I ordered different handles so I can mix it up.  Mr. Man is a bit nervous, I'm going to bedazzle the handles... but that would be pretty glam.. Oui? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yes meets my Bucket List: America's Cup

Part of an ongoing project called, "The Yes Project", where I resolve to say YES more to opportunities that come my way.  Click here to see the other posts.
When I was little my family had a sailboat and my brothers took sailing lessons every summer.  While other kids were enjoying afterschool sports and shopping at the mall, I was on a boat taking sailing lessons. During one sailing lesson, our boat got way off course and when we failed to return to the harbor, the Coast Guard had to come and rescue us.   I still remember my mom on the dock fretting that I could have "been adrift for years". (We were only about two miles offshore, I highly doubt I would have been adrift for years.) 
I distinctly remember watching the America's Cup Boat Races on TV with my brothers while I was growing up and have always wanted to see the races in person.  It's item number 14 on my Bucket List.   My darling nephew asked me earlier this year to please come and visit during his birthday week. I said, "Yes."   Lucky for both of us, he lives in San Francisco, home of America's Cup, and his birthday week coincided with the World Series races.  
The America's Cup Village was super kid friendly and my kids totally caught the America's Cup Fever.  Their favorite was learning to walk on the boat nets and the America's Cup iPad game.  I loved that my Uncle and Aunt came to join us for the day!
We opted to watch one of the fleet races from the shoreline and as I sat on the rocks, I looked around and had that sense of community..  These were my people, who came from all over to watch America's Cup.  The lady next to me also had this on her bucket list, and when one of the boats had a spectacular capsize, we all gasped, cheered, and high fived each other.    
Can I also pause and mention how much I love my brother?   My family has changed so much over the last year and really, he is my family.  There is so much of my mom in him, and when I spend time with him, I feel closer to my mom.   I give him a hard time, but he did hog all the good genes.  Just look at those dimples.
If it wasn't the year of the YES, I probably would have said no to my nephew.  It took some logistics to pull this trip off, in the middle of school and sports, but Wow,  what a trip!  How often do you get opportunities to love on your nephews AND cross something off your bucket list!?  Grateful for YES! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Where does Yes take you? Part 5, YES takes me "Over The Edge"

Part of an ongoing project called, "The Yes Project", where I resolve to say YES more to opportunities that come my way.  Click here to see the other posts.

There is a small flaw with this "Yes Project" where in my friends all taunt me with "Oh say yes, you have to!" and suddenly I'm crawling through mud or hanging by a harness 32 stories off the ground. 
I was chatting with my friends at school and my friend mentioned she was going to repel down the side of the skyscraper the next day.   We all stopped and said, "Wait... What!?! Why?"  After she explained, my friend Chaton  said, "Sounds like a Yes Project for you... can we do it too?"  
I was familiar with the hotel and I didn't really remember it as being a tall one... maybe 6 or 8 stories. It wouldn't be so bad, I thought... 5 minutes of terror and then I could be on my merry way.  I was wrong, so very wrong.
 I was on the phone with one of the Ya Ya's when I first caught glimpse of people repelling off the 32nd floor of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. I opened my car door and threw up, right there on Figueroa Avenue in Downtown LA. Did I mention I'm terrified of heights?  
We signed away our lives on a stack of waivers and then Chaton and I went up the penthouse to get harnessed up.  While standing around the plush suite, you aren't really thinking about what is about to take place.   Everyone is in a good mood, and they move you through it all really quickly.  Then there is that moment... where they ask you to stand on the edge to be clipped in and you realize.... You are 32 stories off the ground... what in the world am I doing?
I held on to the rope for dear life and slowly made my way down.   I would look down and see the tiny people on the ground and think, "I'm so very envious of them."  
There was comfort in having my friend, Chaton doing this with me.  Only she knows just how terrified I was. The crazy thing is there is only one way to get down, if you panic, they can't just open a window and pull you inside, you have to finish no matter what.   There is no plan B.  My whole life is all about Plan A and Plan B, this took me way out of my comfort zone in so many ways.   I thought I would lose my mind when a gust of wind sent me swinging sideways.   I just kept uttering, "You can do this, just keep going. You are going to be okay." 
 When I got to the bottom, there was a man who was there to help me out of my harness.  When my feet touched the ground, I grabbed him and hugged him as hard as I could.   My whole body was shaking with adrenaline, and when he started to pull away, I said, "Nope, not done hugging you yet."  I have no idea what his name was, but I held on to him for dear life until I felt my limbs steady enough to stand on my own. 
My daring friend who convinced us to do this, Moi, and Chaton
This was by far my most challenging "YES" project so far, but crazy rewarding.   The adrenaline buzz lasted for at least a day and a half and it is something that reminded me, "I can do anything."   This whole Yes project is all about making me step out of my comfort zone and embrace life.  So often I let my head interfere with opportunities, saying No is the easiest route in many cases, but when you say No, you just don't know what you are missing. Just say Yes!     

Thursday, October 11, 2012

One of those crazy sports parents...

Oh this blasted football, I have such a love hate relationship with the sport. Mr. Boy loves it, and even worse he is great at it, but flag football, leads to tackle football and I don't know if I can do that. I can barely handle flag football because every time they hitchhike* the ball, they plow into each other. Some of the teams are more physical than others and when a kid gets hurt we (the parents) have strict instructions not to run in the field. The rule is to let the coaches assess first, and it takes all my might and strength not to run on the field when Mr. Boy gets hurt.

One particular game, the other team wasn't playing very nice and were tossing our kids to the ground.   It's flag football so that isn't allowed and the dumb refs weren't even calling it.  After a kid got tackled right at the ref's feet, I felt that low growl of a mama bear rising from within.   Next thing I know, I've ordered AK to hold my earrings and I'm storming out on the field. 
Before I really can even register what is happening, I'm out on the field wagging my finger in the ref's face and telling him how to do his job. It was almost like an out of body experience and suddenly I realize... "Oh no.. I'm one of those crazy parents!"   
Pretty soon,  I'm being guided off the field by the coach and told to settle down. (All while suddenly becoming aware that everyone has their cell phones aimed in my direction, I'm sure there is a YouTube video of it somewhere.)  I'm mortified and can't figure out how I've become one of those crazy sports parents.  Somehow my car has lawn chairs in the trunk at all times for sitting on the sidelines, Gatorade is a staple in my fridge, and I have a color coded calender for different sports.  Although... now my lawn chairs have a seatbelt, to discourage me from jumping out of my chair to yell at the refs...      

*FYI - I'm aware the technical term is "hike the ball", but up until two weeks ago, I thought the term was "hitchhike the ball". 

Monday, October 01, 2012

It can all wait until tomorrow...

One morning with a stack of papers on my desk and a sink full of dirty dishes, my friend Hillary and I were lamenting about the only terrible fabric store somewhat near us. We both are working on house projects and needed fabric. These are first world problems, I know.
Silly us! We live in LA, home of the garment district.  Then we wondered what would happen if we blew everything off for the morning and hit downtown. And I said, "YES! Let's find out what happens when we blow off our responsibilities." 

Once downtown, Hillary showed off her talent of finding the perfect fabric for her project only to find out it was the priciest fabric in the store.  I showed off my talent of being a really good enabler.

The dishes were still there when I got back, and the stack on my desk got addressed  in due time, but it was totally worth playing hooky from my life for a morning and indulge in a whim.  Thankful for Yes!