Thursday, July 23, 2009

Holy heat

I know I shouldn’t complain about the weather when I grew up in Chicago, a place where the humidity could melt your face off. But it’s hot! We don’t have air conditioning because in the 70’s, when my home was built, they were okay with discomfort. America had yet to become the land of indulgence that it is now. Kids did not ride around on electric scooters and kindergarteners were not pushed around in strollers. They were okay with sweaty pits back then.

In my house we suffer. My kids kick their sheets off in the middle of the night and have beads of perspiration on their foreheads in the morning. Sometimes I lounge around in my underwear and tank top. As a result, my kids may be permanently damaged because no one wants to see me in undergarments.

My Midwestern relatives act annoyed when I mention that it is over 85 degrees outside. They need to shut it. They blast their air conditioners all summer long. We spend a lot of time at the pool avoiding our sauna like home. My daughter’s hair has an unmistakable green tint to it. I am going to need to cut it. “But mommy I have to have princess hair, you can’t cut it,” she whines. What I want to know is where did she come from? I barely brush my hair and always sweep it up into a messy pony tail. As a kid I played in the dirt, never with Barbies. Sometimes I feel like her and I are a cosmic joke. The girly-girly stuck with a mother who has no problem wearing pajamas in public. She is so going to hate me once puberty hits!

My daughter takes swim lessons at the Tierrasanta pool from a 20-something named Kyle. He has a tattoo on his torso of the fine state of California. He wears green sun-block on his face. “I don’t like him!’ my daughter pouts after her first lesson. “Why not,” I ask. “I don’t like his look!” At four my daughter is already a snob. My son did the same thing at her age. He went from having a beautiful blond swim instruction to a pudgy faced one. After his first class with the new teacher he told me “I am never going back there!” Is it my fault that they are this way, I wonder. Am I as shallow? I feel like I need to read a parenting book before they turn into complete jerks. Maybe when they are preteens and have bad skin and B.O they will pull it together and start chanting the mantra “all that matters is what’s on the inside.”

I force swim lessons upon my kids all summer long. I want them to be strong swimmers. My mom enrolled me in swim lessons just once when I was little and never again afterward. I think it may have been because I was an embarrassment. I was the kid in the class that screamed and flayed around a lot while hyper-venalating out of fear. When kids were bad in my class they were not rescued by their parents. They sent in the lead swim instructor, a man in an American flag Speedo. There is nothing more terrifying than a man in a Speedo. He would force me into the water and dunk my head under. To this day I still detest Speedos.

My daughter Amelia is the kid in the class who wants to do everything first and better than the rest of the kids. If the instructor wants her to do 20 head bobs she does 30. The rest of the parents sit in the bleachers next to me with digital cameras and words of encouragement. I might be too aloof. Maybe that’s why she is a little insane and up in everyone’s face with her crazy competiveness. When I wave and try to behave like the other parents and say “you’re doing a great job honey.” Amelia gives me a puzzled look as if to say who the hell are you and what have you done with my real mother. For the most part I remain quiet and silently watch her being peppy and over the top while inwardly chuckling.

When her class is over she behaves like a child that has just attended a slumber party where she has only gotten 2 hours of sleep and eaten her weight in candy. She’s a mess. She whines that she is freezing and hungry and exhausted all at once. She spends the next thirty minutes sitting next to me asking when her brother’s lesson will be over. It must be excruciatingly tiring to be her. I don’t get her mood swings, mostly because I have always been such an under-achiever.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Minus one

My mom stole Andrew for the summer. He was supposed to be gone for two weeks but it has stretched into something much more extensive then that. It has been over three weeks since I have seen him. I miss the little man. I have agreed to allow him to stay until the end of the month. Last night he attended his first ever magic class. I am afraid that he will come home and be bored to pieces.

Amelia and Jake are a mess together. Amelia is bossy with him and Jacob loves to torment her. I am hoping that the two of them pull it togehter and learn to be normal within each others presence. That may be asking too much though. Without Andrew it feels like the balance of our family is out of whack.

Here are photos from our summer so far:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I love thrift stores

I went thrifting today. The following pictures are of my favorite scores

My stuff:
My favorite is the yellow vintage dress. It had long sleeves but I seam ripped them off and sewed the edges. I also really love the grandma hemp looking shoes. The black shoes are Kenneth Cole Reaction. The tank is J. Crew. The white floral blouse is vintage gap and looks super cute on!

Amelia stuff:
The pink ballerina outfit was brand new. It only cost me $2.50. I love the mod dress with the big black buttons. Amelia put the brown maxi dress on as soon as I showed it to her.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Del Mar Fair

We went to the Del Mar Fair today and the entire place smelled like fried food. Everything that could cause a heart attack upon ingestion was purchased by either Aaron or Jacob. Aaron ate a turkey leg the size of a toddler followed by a fried twinkie with fluorescent pink toping. Jacob chowed down on chocolate covered bacon.

Our activities included the viewing of farm animals, a monster truck show, pig races, carnival rides, and the consumption of trans fat. Amelia went on a kiddie ride with a teenage girl whom we think must have been on acid. I felt like we were in Alabama.

The look of pure satisfaction after the intake of chocolate covered bacon

American laziness at it's finest

Teenager on acid ( You can see Amelia's tiny little head in front of hers)

Fact: Clowns eat people

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

San Francisco

I find it interesting that my brother, sister, and I all live in different vacation spots. I'd like to think it has something to do with the summer road trips my mom took us on as kids. We would pile into the family station wagon with maps and candy. We never had a real plan on where or what we would do. My mom would crank up the A.C and the music. We would stop along the way when something looked fascinating. Sometimes we would head up to the west coast while other times we ended up in Florida or New York.

A few weeks ago the kids, my mom, and I spent 5 days with my brother and his family. It's weird to see Roger as a dad because when I think of him I picture him at 12 holding a skateboard and convincing me to climb the enormous evergreens in our front yard. He was the kind of brother who believed in allowing his little sister to tag along with him. I used to think he was the coolest person on the planet. I still kind of do.

Here are pictures from my brother's neck of the woods. He is a San Franciscan through and through. I loved exploring his city with him.