I can haz blog?
My apologies, interwebs, but the past month has brought a lot of sinus infections, ear infections, fever, chills, colds and whatnot all through the Sarahndipity household and there are only so many ways to describe things like fleghmy coughs and snot before you lose your readers because of the ick-factor, you know?
But we're all recovered now (until the next time one of us touches a doorknob or walks past a person harboring a solitary germ...), so it's possible I might have something to talk about besides post-nasal drip and the mortifying realization that its time to go bra shopping after a trip to the doctor's office, during which, while listening to my lungs with her stethoscope my doctor pointed out, "you know you've got a hole back here in your bra strap, right?" So awesome.
Aside from consuming a small forest of trees worth of tissues (right now we have the carbon footprint of a giant Yeti--I'm going to have to start composting just to make up for the past month's tissue consumption), we've gone through all kinds of fun little family growth, development and bonding.
Ethan started swim lessons and lo & behold, the child put his face in the water and the world did not come to a screeching halt. This is the child who has screamed when having his hair washed since the day he emerged from the womb. The child who lives in dire dread of getting water in his eyes and who I thought would be wearing arm-swimmies until college. But what do you know? When he's in the presence of the speedo and swim cap clad teenager, he's all about slapping on the goggles, blowing bubbles and floating on his back. Who knew?!
Oh, the cute!!!! And that pink tutu in the lower right? His wife. You know, the one he married a few months ago. Yeah, they are still very much in the honeymoon phase--swim lessons together and everything.
Ethan's also developed an oh-so-charming habit of faking me out with his independent play. Yes, he'll play independently in his room, or the backyard and I will have a few blissful moments of relative quiet to...wash the dishes. or fold the laundry. So, you know. yay.
BUT, when he feels he's kept to himself long enough and is noticing that I am not adoringly absorbing his every swing of the plastic light saber or swooning with motherly pride over every crash of the matchbox Lambourghinis, wherever I am in the house or yard I hear "oooooooouuuuu" followed by the fakest fake crying one has ever heard. Ethan definitely has a future in the performing arts, but acting won't be his thing, I assure you. No Academy Awards in Ethan's future. But of course, being the responsible mother I am (most of the time), I go to see what tree has fallen on him or what pteradactyl-sized bee has stung him. And when I ask him, "honey, what's wrong?" he generally stops crying (well, stops making fake crying sounds), thinks for a few minutes and then says, "I have a boo boo," pointing to a week-old, scabbed over quasi-cut that he never even realize he had gotten in the first place, such was its initial painlessness. But now? While I am up to my eyeballs in half folded laundry or a sink full of soapy dishes? That "boo boo" takes on epic significance and its limb-threatening pain must be dealt with immediately.
Honestly, I'm finding myself "rushing" to his aide at a much slower clip these days, my little boy who "cried wolf." Someday I am going to saunter out into the backyard and find him impaled on his light saber or being attacked by a pack of rabid mourning doves and then I'll feel bad. But seriously, kid.
We also took a little trip to Monterey to get our fix of fabulous fresh air and outdoorsy goodness. I tend towards the Clark Griswold when it comes to expectations of family vacations or holidays, so I had our 3-day itinerary packed to the gills with coastal exploration, aquarium visits and other seaside town fun like surrey bike riding and watching otters frolic like they do. In the back of mind, as I always try to, I reminded myself that it *might* not be as Norman Rockwellian as I always want things to be--there might be meltdowns or things we couldn't do and I might end up pouty and disappointed. And I took a few deep breaths.
And yeah, so Highway 1 was closed before Big Sur due to the fact that the road had literally washed away. Bye-bye, road!
And we didn't get to the children's discovery museum. Bye-bye, extra giant sized petri dish o' preschooler germs!
And the Tor House in Carmel was closed. Bye-bye, house built of stone by some poet, by his own two hands, as a sort of sea-side Taj Mahal testament of ever-lasting adoration to his beloved. We did drive by it for a peek and I was afforded the opportunity to chide Husband for never building me a seaside cottage out of rock and stone with his own two hands as proof of his undying love to me. He informed me that if I waited for him to construct some sort of symbolic gesture of love like the Tor House, I *might* be waiting for all of eternity. Fair enough.
And our hotel had no air conditioning. Hello, sweaty king-sized bed crammed with kicky preschooler, snoring Husband and me. For two nights.
And Ethan decided 15 minutes after leaving a restaurant with a fully functioning restroom that he had to pee, so we had to run around Carmel looking for a public restroom while he whined that he was going to "peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" through the hoity-toity streets of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Hello, stares from fancy-pants Carmelians & tourists. Goodbye, dignity and extra time to poke around in pretty little shops until the parking meter runs out.
BUT in spite of all of that stuff, the trip was perfection. If you are ever in the Bay Area, you absolutely have to go to Monterey/Carmel. That's an order.
look! They have playgrounds EVERYwhere!
Then we went to Lovah's Point....where we saw no lovahs (thankfully), but weird little pointing statues, seagulls and lots of rocks...
For dinner, we went to Benihana where Ethan wore a paper chef hat, tried shrimp for the first time (hated it) and was generally a blur of activity while the guy in front of us salted everything he cooked to the point where I think he may have been trying to kill us from a sodium overdose.
The next day there were a multitude of not-so-shabby views like these as we drove down the coast until we came upon the "Route 1 is closed due to it being gone" sign (not actually what it said, but that's the gist....)
And then we watched a couple of harbor seals trying to get out of the water and up onto the rocks by repeatedly riding tiny waves up onto the rocks and trying to hold on for dear life as the wave washed back out. Those fat little suckers work hard for their couple of hours in the sun. There are some serious evolutionary flaws at work there, I think. But so cute. Like marine cabbage patch kids.
There was a lot of hiking and plenty of breath-taking views at Point Lobos--even excursion-averse Ethan enjoyed himself....
In Carmel, rich people dine with pink dogs in their laps. And there are places that serve chocolate chip cannoli and gelato. What a magical place...
There are countless other pictures we took of 17-mile drive, the aquarium, the sunset, yadda yadda yadda, BUT the highlight of Ethan's trip was, without a doubt, the bicycle surrey (with the fringe on top, natch). Ethan was our official bell-ringer as we pedaled down the bike path, steering the ancient behemoth of a bike through pedestrians and real cyclists, and across streets.
I don't know why I look like I'm trying to smile through unspeakable fear in this picture, or why Husband resembles someone who *might* receive extra scrutiny from the TSA, but Ethan is totally blissed out....
But now we are back to reality, a reality complete with epic battles over who is cleaning up the legos and in exactly what time frame, how much of one's plate has to be cleared at dinner to merit an ice cream sandwich for dessert and how many hours of The Beatles one family needs to listen to before they are officially "Beatled out."
It's all good.