been so busy

I think about a new post all the time, but haven’t found the motivation. It is very rare and fleeting, much like my urge to exercise. Maddy has been off of school for fall break this month, and we’ve been so busy with fun outings and adventures. We’ve hiked (as much as you can with a two year old), visited museums, pumpkin patched, baked, shopped, beached and art projected to our hearts’ content. 

I’ve been enjoying them with a spoon.

At the beach, I only let Maddy get to get anywhere near the water if I was with her, and held Alice’s sandy hand tightly while she chased the waves. I was sure the ocean would suck them in, and I would only have their memories. I know it’s morbid. And I would have been powerless against a nasty riptide. But sometimes I think, this is what I will think of in the future. What Maddy said about the rainforest exhibit at the museum. How Alice shrieked when we entered the haunted house. 

Sometimes I think about what I don’t remember. I am terrible at preserving memories. I have no scrapbooks, a thread of a blog, hundreds of photos still in my phone. So I feed them overpriced cupcakes, take them to the ocean, and show them everything, hoping they remember.


time or money

I know I haven’t blogged for a while. My mom discovered this blog while she was on my computer, and found the post in which I called her “tight and prudish.” She literally said she felt like she was stabbed in the chest. My mom is VERY sensitive. Obviously I felt bad about it, and things have been smoothed over.

If my mom was tight with money, it was because we really didn’t have much. She was in nursing school through a lot of my childhood, and her parents supported us (my dad also paid child support). She said many times “we saved up for the big things!” (Also, “there weren’t any fairs near us!”) I had a bike, and toys, and when I was older we took trips – Washington DC, Boston, England. Compared to many kids I had a good childhood. 

I didn’t want her to think I am ungrateful, or spoiled, or bitter about what my childhood was like. I knew what the circumstances were. I was sometimes lonely, and felt maybe a wee bit neglected in certain parts, and went through some issues. I guess that was what I was trying to get at in my post – like most parents, I want to tweak what my experiences were as a kid into what I would have wanted. I feel lucky my kids have an affectionate, doting, interested father, and that even though they don’t get EVERYTHING they want, they aren’t wanting. My kids adore their grandma too, and grandma adores them. We have the time and resources to give them a lot of attention. That is more important to me than going to a carnival.

art museum with the kids (without heart attack)

The day after Labor Day was a holiday from school for Maddy, so I planned to do a fun trip. I decided to head to the de Young Museum, because it was a free day, and there are a lot of surrounding attractions as well in case the kids (or I) couldn’t stand the museum for long.

The drive up was uneventful: Maddy requesting to listen to For The Kids – she loves Cake’s version of Mahna Mahna – and Alice pointing out all the airplanes as we passed the airport (“they go, fly fly!”). Passing Colma Maddy noticed the rows and rows of headstones and told a rather disrespectful joke. “What do ghosts like to put on their mashed potatoes? GRAVEyyy!” We noted the weather as actually sunny for being in the city. It was a gorgeous day.

The girls were quite good at the museum. This mainly involved keeping Alice strapped down in her stroller, but she didn’t fight too much. I had never been to the new de Young, and was kind of missing the light, marbley interior of the old museum. I find the new exterior ugly, but the inside is nice and dark and cool. I let Maddy borrow the camera and she snapped her way through it. A lot of them were blurry, but there were some pretty good ones:

We also spent time exploring the Japanese Tea Garden next door. Maddy enjoyed using her new art kit and notepad, and Alice played with her “chickens.”

A nice relaxing day! Maddy was so enthusiastic about wanting to sketch “for real!” that I am looking into some drawing classes for her.

green gifty goodness

Maddy was invited to the birthday party of a very sweet little classmate. This girl, I’ll call her Cassie, is having an overnight camping trip at a private campground this weekend. Maddy will not be able to make it as her grandparents are coming to visit on the same weekend (and I don’t think I’d be comfortable with it anyway – I don’t know the family at all). But I felt bad about Maddy not being able to go, and wanted to get something for Cassie.

Asking Maddy about her likes and interests didn’t get me anywhere, so I thought I might use camping as a theme. I went to REI and picked up a cute Camelbak bottle (I have one and LOVE it), a mini deck of cards, a little tube of sporty sunblock, a Luna “s’mores” Bar, and a mini carabiner keychain. I put everything in the bottle, topped it off with some colorful curls of ribbon, and wrapped the whole thing in a snappy red bandanna. Maddy made a card and it was done.

Have a great birthday, sweet Cassie!


Carnival Time

I was denied the pleasure of yearly trips to the county fair as a kid. Growing up in San Francisco, and rarely venturing outside of the city, I guess that’s normal. We had the Pumpkin Festival on Clement St, which I don’t think goes on anymore. 

But now I live very close to the San Mateo Expo Center, host of the San Mateo County Fair, and I have to go every August. The food! The rides! The animals! I forgot how expensive it is though, and we were really easy with our cash this time, for some reason. If I by some chance I got to go to some festival or fair as a kid, we might be able to share an ice cream cone, and go one ONE ride (but like the carousel, not the trashy hurricane). We were at the mercy of my prudish, tight mom. I love being an adult for this reason. 

Shane came home a few hours early to beat the crowds, and we were in and out just under three hours. There was money for parking, then to get in, then tickets for the rides ($1 per ticket, each ride 3 to 4 tickets per person), souvenirs, cotton candy, water. We didn’t do the pony ride ($7), or any other food. I *think* we got out of there without spending over a hundred bucks. Eek.

But it was fun, and painless, and the kids had a good time. We got home, walked into the house and Alice promptly and inexplicably whacked the cat with the bag of cotton candy.