Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Baby

Tucker is turning 2 tomorrow. Two years since he came into this world, on the day after Thanksgiving 2004. I had big plans to enjoy some turkey and pecan pie, but ended up getting sick and nauseated after two bowls of Frosted Flakes that morning, and it was all downhill from there. I was suppposed to be induced on his birthday, but went into labor on my own and was already well on the way when I arrived at St. Joseph's hospital at around six in the morning. Anyway. Tucker is turning two, and if you know us, you know that it was a rough year, at least for two weeks in the middle of it when he was so sick. But I don't want to dwell on that. It happened, and it was terrible, but he's all better now and full of that robust, endless energy of toddler boys. Run, run, run all day, and then crash into bed at night.

I want to celebrate this beautiful boy, this little charmer. I'm so fascinated by the sweetness of this little boy. It's like this rich vein of sugary goodness running right through the core of his personality -- his sweetness and loving nature. How a little boy who loves to cuddle with his mommy and give her big wet smacking kisses can eventually turn into a macho guy who grabs his crotch whilst reaching for the remote and /or a beer is a strange process, but I'm thrilled to have this front row seat to see how it all happens.
I dare you not to agree that he's destined to be quite the heartbreaker, no? Plus, he a Sagittarius, like his mama, and I already know what unrepentant flirts we can be. Watch out, ladies of the world.

Happy Birthday, my dear little boy. I hope it's a fabulous year of sunshine and laughter and music and lots of playing with your beloved trucks & cars. And lots more chocolate pudding, too.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Settling In

I know it's been over a week now since my last post. It's not that I have nothing to say, quite. A lot of it is time and inclination, and also a certain intimadation factor. Just as in my "real" writing, I hold myself to a high standard set by those I admire, and so it goes with this blogging business, too. Just like a baby duck will waddle after the first warm, breathing thing it sees and call it mama, so it goes that some of the first blogs I read and modeled myself after are done by some awfully creative and/or talented and/or funny folks who obviously have huge stores of wit and creativity and time that I can only aspire to. (Insert reminder here that I have an almost-two-year old and extremely spirited four-year-old. But still.)

I never set out for this to be a so-called "mommy blog," in which I detail every day's new adventures in snot and tears and hard-earned wisdom. There are already plenty of women out there doing that, not that the blogosphere doesn't have room for one more. I really hoped that I'd write a little about the kids, and a lot more about my interior life, and what I'm reading, or listening to, or baking or buying or decorating this week. It's just that, well, the kids really do take up such huge chunks of my mental and physical focus and energy, that by the end of the day, it's hard to form a coherent thought -- much less a sentence. And then I click over to one of the crafting blogs I frequent, and see this sort of thing. So much for using the kids as an excuse, when this woman has the skills & organization to make birthday gifts ahead of time for her children's friends. And here I can barely get my lazy ass to Target the day before a party that Lily's been invited to. It can make a girl depressed and a little self-castigating. (But what doesn't?)

Anyway. So, I'm still around and still feeling my way around this blogging business. I think about my little blog a lot, and compose posts in my head, but I know that's not quite the same. Trust me, it's all up here (she says, tapping noggin mysteriously).

Speaking of settling in -- this week I sent out a little feeler e-mail to three women I know about having them and their spouses and children over here for a little festive get-together next month. That may not sound like much, but to me, it's pretty huge. Most of my entertaining has revolved around my warped and stunted extended family, so having real people over -- well. Get me the Prozac prescription now, because I'm not sure I can handle it. It's another example of how much I've come to regard Temecula as home. Last night, I remember having some snippet of a dream in which I was standing before a large stand of trees swaying in the wind, and knowing it was Temecula, and thinking how I didn't want to leave. Huh.

The picture above was taken a few weeks ago in the early morning, before Daylight Savings Time ended, when it was still a little gray and still out when I'd wake up at 6:30. I like the way the trees look, with that warm, golden, sun-just-cresting-over-the hills glow, and that second balloon in the distance, half-hidden in the wispy clouds. The children were both still snug in their beds, and I got to savor this for a moment or two, before Lily called out "mommy??!!" in that panicked way she does every morning, and another day was off to a roaring start.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

Did you? It's hard to tell, living in this very conservative hamlet in the midst of otherwise-liberal SoCal, whether or not all the hype about the populace turning against Bush is true or just, you know, the crazy lefty media trying to brainwash us all into thinking so. Being a die-hard Dem myself, I still felt a little paranoid voting tonight. I was sure a right-winger was standing behind me in the crowded and stuffy polling room, peeking at my choices, and planning to harass me out in the parking lot. After all, this is the town where I was convinced that, if I'd put a Kerry sign on my front lawn two years ago, someone would have egged our house. And I still worry about the hubby, driving in his little rice-burner up the freeway every morning with his "WTF" sticker proudly displayed, amongst all those pickups on steroids with their River Rat and Glamis decals. Ah, Temecula. Someday I'll write a longer and more thoughtful post on my love/hate (or rather, grudging acceptance/general dislike) relationship with my current hometown.

But for now. Yes, I voted today. And didn't accomplish much else. We went to the park, the kids played hard and got dirty like kids should, we came home, they took a bath together, and I made lunch. At the end of the day, the kids were still alive with no missing or broken limbs, so I guess if nothing else, I accomplished my job as a mother, and as an American, too. No wonder I'm pooped.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

R.I.P., Halloween 2006

Lily and Tucker gaze upon the grave of Halloween 2006.

It was hectic, it was crazy, it was much too expensive with those damned Disney costumes, but it was also fun to be out last night in the cool autumn air with all the other trick or treaters, watching Tucker understand after just the first house that this holiday was all about the candy, man. And Lily was so polite, remembering at every house not just to say "thank you," but wishing everyone "Happy Halloween!" too. And it was interesting to see how she was more aware this year of the bigger kids, how they wore scarier costumes, and were allowed to go out all by themselves.

And no, the Halloween Witch or the Halloween Fairy will not be making a stop at our door. Have you heard of her? She's the invention of plucky parents who don't want their chidren's teeth to rot from all their hard-won candy. How it works is, you let your kids keep just a few pieces of candy, then leave the rest of the bag on your front stoop overnight. In the morning, poof! The Halloween Witch has come and taken your Butterfingers and Smarties and all those lemon-flavored Tootsie Rolls, and in their place is....a new Tonka truck! Or, a Barbie doll! Or...a coloring book about healthy dental habits! Fun!

My thinking on the matter goes something along the lines of this: it's already enough to ask my little girl, who is oh-so-curious about the natural world, to maintain her belief in Santa Claus, and that he is keeping track of her naughty or nice behavior. Not to mention the whole concept of God and heaven and angels. Just tonight, I had to try explain to her what the Devil is, after she saw a cartoon illustration of a kid in a devil costume. (Lily: So, he's like the bad God?
Me: Uh....yeah. Kinda like that.)

So maybe my children will have a few more mercury-based fillings in their wee little heads, compared to their non-sugared peers. But maybe, just maybe, I can get them to believe in Santa, and all things magical and unseen, for just a little longer than average, too.