Thursday, August 30, 2012

Up a Tree....

So, this happened:

I'm going to need a stronger dose of Xanax.

At least he wasn't as high up as his friend, J.  Note that Ethan is looking straight up and you can just see the bottoms of J's feet.

That's because J is alllllll the way up there.

Ethan stayed put on the second level of branches.  High enough for me, considering the first level of branches was nose level with me.  Here comes his friend, L, who at one point was even higher than J.

This will probably be one of my favorite pictures forever:

Hello, magical childhood memories!!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I am not sure how this happened, you guys, but somehow, my kid became turned into a flipping first grader.  I'm just.....I mean, it's......I can't....yeah.

Pinterest (damn you, pinterest!) is blowing up right now with picture ideas of littles holding miniature chalk boards with the date and "(whatever grader your kid happens to be") written on them.  Some overachievers have their special snowflakes adding, for nostalgic impact (and perhaps a greater sense of failure later in life when one does not become an astronaut brain surgeon veterinarian), "When I grow up, I want to be: ____________."

Oh, how I wanted to partake in that fabulous fad, but these things don't always work out. (When he was a baby, I tried to wrap him in blue and white holiday lights for our holiday card photo, but he kept falling over and it looked more like I was trying to choke and/or hang him than take a festive photo, so....)

The night before school started, Husband and I had tickets with friends to see Steve Martin and his blue grass group, The Steep Canyon Rangers.  Yeah, probably should have stayed home and bonded with my almost-first-grader.  Made him a big healthy dinner and talked to him about his hopes and dreams and fears for the coming year.  Tucked him in lovingly and wiped a little tear away as I looked in on him sleeping.

But.  STEVE MARTIN! People, I can't really overstate my bordering-on-inappropriate adoration of Steve Martin. He's an actor, a writer, a playwrite, a musician, a comedian---it's just....I love him. Not as much as I love my kid, obviously, but I can love my kid 364 1/2 days of the year.  Steve Martin's only around once a year, so, you do what you've got to do.

That means that Ethan split a frozen pizza with his sitter and ran around outside with the neighborhood kid until the sun went down, before collapsing into, mostly likely a sweaty heap in his bed.   MOTHER OF THE YEEEEEEEEAR!!!!!!

I, on the other hand, behaved like Kristen Wigg's over-excited aunt character from SNL from pretty much the second the lights went down at the winery until the lights came back up, squealing and clapping, and a couple of times just shaking my fists in front of my face with excitement.

And then we came home, full of post-concert malaise (and red wine) and I realized I had not yet made my trendy chalkboard "FIRST DAY OF FIRST GRADE" sign, and that the little chalkboards I had purchased at the beginning of summer to hang on our kitchen wall with all the super! special! family! bonding time! activities we'd planned for the summer were actually STILL on the wall, and that those little 3M sticky tabs adhere to the wall REALLY REALLY well. So I couldn't use those.  I managed to hunt down a small white board in my office & in my attempt to find a dry erase marker, I must have been distracted by something (it doesn't take much, I'll be honest) and the sign didn't get written up until the next morning, about 30 seconds before we left the house.

Behold, my janky sign (and my totally adorable FIRST GRADER!!!)....

His first-day-of-school, at least in his own mind, was meant to be much much fancier than the shorts & casual button down.  When we went back-to-school shopping last week, Ethan picked out that shirt, along with an argyle sweater vest AND a black corduroy blazer.  For the first day of school.  In California.  In August.   We agreed after looking at the weather report for the day (um, hello 90's) that he's be more comfortable in just one layer of his intended ensemble.  He's wearing a white tshirt under the button down and you can be 100% certain that when I picked him up at the end of the day, that button down was crammed down into the bottom of his Star Wars backpack, and he was running around the school yard in a white undershirt--we like to keep it classy on the first day of school.

After his father and I paparazzi'd ourselves out in the front yard, we took Ethan to school and I got the chance to stay with him for the first 1/2 hour as he explored his new room.

There was the science area, where Ethan met the class frogs, Trevor & Petie, and then looked at his hand under a microscope that was not turned on (he was underwhelmed).

There was the reading area, where Ethan did not do any reading.  He did, however, manage to make some silly faces, and that's not at all anything like reading, but its cute.

At the end of parent time, he joined his 1st & 2nd grade classmates on the carpet and amazed me by following the very first directions without hesitation (thank goodness he can handle "If you're excited to be here today, give me a thumb's up!!!!")

After school, Ethan swung on a tree in the school yard.  Natch.

Wheeeeee!!! (don't break your leg. don't break your leg. don't break your leg!!!!) 

Then we went home and had a snack on the front lawn before a leisurely afternoon of bike riding (which included me falling off my bike) and a trip to my chiropractor (see first part of sentence). 

All the excitement of the day?  Makes a little boy sleepy....

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Catch Up....

No matter how hard I try (okay, not that hard...) I can't seem to blog and write creatively at the same time.  So when I blog, characters stay trapped up inside my brain and I sometimes lose entire scenes of potential fictional brilliance (ha. As if)  And when I write creatively, I worry that memories of my actual life and my kid's childhood will slip away if I don't write about them in the blog.   And if I do attempt to do both in one day, my kid and husband go hungry (not really) and have to wade through piles of laundry to get anywhere in the house (really--sort of).   So I have some work to do in the whole life-balancing act department.   But I've written a lot creatively this week, so I think I'll spend some time catching up with you here (the laundry can wait; we still have clean underwear).

So there's been a lot of pool time, and a lot of beach time and a lot of "its too hot to go outside so lets lay in front of this fan that's blowing hot air at us and groan intermittently while we go glassy-eyed staring at the TV/iPad/wall" time.  I should feel guilty about those particular lethargic times, but if you could see the way this kid runs, scooters, bikes, swims, jumps, light sabers, and generally burns more calories in a day than he consumes in two days, you'd agree that a little bit of veg-out zone couch-potato time for him isn't going to get in the way of him being healthy and/or fit.  Also? These particularly lethargic times give me a chance to do that aforementioned laundry.  Sometimes.

This week Ethan is in "Knights, Dragons, Princesses & Fairies" camp.  He has been coming home with cardboard shields and tin-foil helmets (I did double check the camp description and it says nothing about indoctrinating the kids in government conspiracies, so I'm assuming the tin-foil hats are purely for aesthetic and pretend-play purposes).   I'm kind of relieved to see him shifting away a tiny bit from lightsabers and quoting Star Wars to other forms of imaginary play--perhaps now is a good time to introduce him to Monty Python's Holy Grail.  Because, you know, with a computer engineer for a dad and a former English teacher for a mom, he might need more help getting on the nerd train. Right?

We've also been watching a LOT of the Olympics.  Ethan is riveted.  We let him stay up late to watch the opening ceremonies, but he only made it to 9pm (a full three hours from Sir Paul McCartney's performance--poor kid; his musical tastes do not sync well with his six-year old circadian rhythm).   Also, letting a six year old watch a piece of performance art like the opening ceremonies?  Is exhausting.  "What is happening?"  "Who are those people?"  "What are they doing? "Is that smoke?" "Is that real pollution in the air now?" "What's happening now?" "Are those kids really all sick?" "Is that Mary Poppins??!!!"  "Why are there so many Mary Poppinses?" "Is Mary Poppins from London?" "Remember when we went to see Mary Poppins at the theater, Mom?"  "Was it the same Mary Poppins?"  "What's happening now?" "Mommy, why is there a giant baby in the middle of the field?"
"Mommy, why are the Americans wearing berets? Are we French?" (okay, I made that last one up...but the rest of them?  Happened.)

When he's not asking questions about the opening ceremonies, he's asking why I cringe every time a diver's head twirls past the board/platform.  Two words, kid: Greg Lougainis.  Or he's struggling to remember which country is wearing which uniform and asking, much to the chagrin of isolationists everywhere, "Why do we have to root for the American people?  I like China's uniforms.  I'm going to root for them."

We've talked about what good sportsmanship is (ie: not Makayla Maroney) and why athletes cry when they win.  And why they cry when they lose.   Oh, the humanity!!!!

This weekend is the 3rd annual music festival hosted by the group I did the SGK 3-Day walk with last year.  We're not walking this year, but we're still raising money--all of it will stay local, going to two smaller, more transparent, breast cancer research & outreach foundations in the Bay Area.  That was one of the big lessons we took away from the entire SGK/Planned Parenthood debacle of earlier this year--donate your hard earned charity bucks someplace smaller & local, within your community.  Fortunately for us, our community includes some very major research hubs and treatment centers.  Last year we raised almost 20K at this event, and we'll be thrilled to give every penny of it to those local scientists and doctors who are trying to save this and the next generations of moms, sisters, wives, aunts, grandmothers and daughters.

I missed the festival last year bc I was on the East coast; this year I will be there, with (pink) bells on, sitting at a table of my photography, hoping to make some $$$ for the cause. Also the etsy shop that I "opened" last year after this event?  Will actually be really opening sometime before the end of this month.  Just working out some of the logistics of printing out the photographs in a timely fashion as/if the orders come in for them and how to price them.  I'll be sure to start begging for your business just as soon as I'm open for business.

Next week, Ethan and I embark on yet another cross-country excursion (twice in one summer?!! we're cray-cray!) to South Carolina.  Apparently, nothing says "super fun times!" to me like sitting on a plane with a six year old for 6 hours and spending 5 days in the jungle, spongey heat & humidity that is the American South in August..  We usually fly Virgin Atlantic, the airline preferred by hipsters everywhere, but we'll be flying USAir this time.  Please note: I am not a hipster, but I do enjoy being in their general vicinity, and taking advantage of products and services marketed towards them. Ethan has already expressed concern that there will be no TV in the seat back in front of him, at which he can stare blankly for the entire 6 hours.  I have assured him that the miracle of modern technology will see him through the ordeal, via the iPad, and that he'll be just fine.  I, on the other hand, am going to be sitting next to an iPad alternating episodes of the Fresh Beat Band and the Star Wars movies.  I'm going to need a drink and an eye mask to adequately shield me from all that business.

Here are some pictures of my kid because he's pretty cute:

Pool membership: Best decision ever.

This picture, while decidedly not of my kid, is still pretty cute.  This guy was hanging out at the beach one of the days we went last week. I wasn't really that close to him; I used my zoom. And then I went after a couple of teenagers who were too close to him and started squawking about the law about staying 400ft away from wildlife on California beaches.  I love me some sea lions and I don't want my kid to witness some sort of horrifying sea lion mauling when the wild thing decides its had enough of being oooh'd and ahhhh'd at by stupid humans in side-ways baseball caps.  (although, most likely it would just lug itself back into the water and be done with us, but still....)  I was relieved that the kids listened to me and went on their way, thinking I was all official-like & beach-ranger-y.  Truth be told, I've only seen that 400-feet away from wildlife on the beach in certain areas and only during certain times of the year, but every once in awhile, I have to flex that "I'm a teacher, I'm in control" muscle and see if it still works.  It does.

My child has discovered that boys are allowed to run around in public without a shirt on.  As his favorite state-of-being is 100% naked, this is a step in the right direction as far as he's concerned.  Now we get to argue on a daily basis about where and when he can be topless.  Oh goodie.

When I told him going bottomless was not an option in this particular (or really, any outside of the home) scenario, he decided to roll up his shorts until they looked like black and green plaid diapers.  Fashion-y.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Old Dog, New Tricks

To quote one of my favorite movies ever of all time:
"Is one of us supposed to be a dog in this scenario?"
"You are."
"Oh, I'm the dog???.....I'm the dog?""

Yes, friends, I am the dog.

See, we've had Ethan in swim lessons for a couple of years now & the time that I've been excitedly waiting for and secretly dreaded has come.  The deep end.  Full-body submersion & the deep end.

Initially Ethan was super hesitant about the water--bath time nearly required full body armor and water proof ear plugs for us, as there was much flailing, wailing and bath-toy projectiles hurled at us as we attempted to wash the child's hair.  Days would go by & Husband and I would make excuses as to why tonight wasn't the night to wash his hair.  It was traumatizing for us all.  Dear G-d, the screaming.  Neighbors from DC to LA are probably still whispering to each other "remember those people? I think they were waterboarding their child a couple times a week.....think we should have called CPS?"

Swim lessons were a whole other challenge, as the whole "putting your face in the water" felt dangerously close to a bath, and well, see paragraph above.  Also, it was probably useless to try to reason with him that 90% of his body is made of water, therefore a little bit of water dripping into his eyes would likely not throw the universe into a tailspin of imbalance. Live and learn.

But we stuck with it--we introduced him to goggles and after many attempts of demonstrating how they  would keep water from getting into his eyes, succeeded in showing him that we could dump water on his face and his eyes would remain "dry."  That revolutionized swim lessons for us & worked great until the swim teacher got all hard-line on us & told us that she "really didn't want" her students wearing goggles because of the false sense of security they provide to young swimmers.  Fine, Husband & I said, you go ahead and try to get him to take the goggles off without scaring hims straight out of the water.  My main goal for Ethan is to have him safe in the water--I argued that if he wasn't allowed to wear the goggles for at least a little while longer, he wasn't going to be willing to into the water & wasn't going to learn how to swim, period.  I'd far prefer that if he happens to fall into a pool or other body of water without goggles, he has a momentary adjustment of realizing he's not wearing them, rather than having him sink like a stone because his swim teacher took his goggles away & he never went into the pool for lessons again.  Just sayin....

As time has passed, water has become Ethan's element.  With or without goggles.  The pool, the shower, lakes, oceans--he's drawn to them all & fear is pretty much a thing of the past for him.  We joined the local swim club this summer & the result has been exactly as I hoped it would be--Ethan's a bona fide fish.  His swimming strokes aren't perfectly graceful or even really totally identifiable as anything taught in a swim lesson.  But if there's water, he wants to be in it.  The 15 minutes of "adult only swim" at the end of every hour is pure hell on earth for him as he watches the water in the pool go still and glassy (because there are only about 2 people swimming in the laps and the rest of the pool is empty forEVER while the life guard takes a 15 minute break.  He's snorkeling, he's doing flips under water, he's diving for spiderman toys.

Earlier this week, one of Ethan's friends joined us at the pool.  This friend, another almost 1st grader, is used to jumping in the 9 foot deep end of the pool.  Fearlessly. Expertly.  Ethan watched his friend jump in 2-3 times, plunging way down into the abyss and floating back up to the surface.  And he wanted in.  Nervously, but he wanted in.  I stood on the edge of the concrete and told him he could if he wanted to (his friend's mom was in the pool).  "Mommy, will you come in, too?"

Sigh.  I. am. terrified. of. deep. water.  In the summer between 1st and 2nd grade, a camp counselor became frustrated by my fear of jumping off the floating dock into the deep end of the lake & she picked me up, and threw me in. I have no memory of it other than crying, kicking my legs in the air as she picked me up and begging her not to throw me in while I dug my fingernails into her arms, hanging on for dear life.  Obviously I survived.  And I took swim lessons enough to know how to tread water and kick and make my arms do something that propels me forward.  But jumping into water deep enough that I can't touch the ground?

Just no.

Husband has taken me snorkeling twice in our relationship. Each time, the first moments in the water are some of the most terrifying of my life.  Both times, I have sat at the edge of the boat steps, checking and rechecking my life vest, making sure its pumped up so much I will float almost above the water.  The idea of having my lungs and the whole breathing apparatus we humans have submerged under water, where it can't function, makes my insides turn to mush and my bones ache with fear.  Its irrational, I know.  But I've always had it. I've never dived into a pool. I've never swum with my head under water.  I've only tread water in the deep end during one session of swim lessons in 3rd grade.  And I cried the entire time.

This is part of the reason it was so important to me that Ethan learn to swim and learn well.  Because I have always felt that there is no way I would be able to save him from the water unless he needed help in the shallow end.

The first couple of times he thought of jumping into the arms of his friend's mom in the deep end, he looked over at me, smiling, giddy, and thrilled by how scared he felt.  I was breathing deeply, and gritting my teeth into a big happy smile while my heart raced.  "Catch him, catch him, catch him" was all I could think in my head.  He sensed my anxiety, and hesitated several times.  When he did jump, he did so with one arm out to catch the edge of the pool immediately.  It wasn't very satisfying for him, because he knew I was scared.

Yesterday, we were at the pool with other friends, also looking forward to jumping into the deep end.   This time, Ethan hesitated a little, but he pushed himself to do it again.  He flew into the waiting arms of my friend, all skinny arms and legs, went under water with her & came up laughing.  He swam to the edge, climbed out and said, "AGAIN!!!"

I watched him jump three or four more times; a couple of times he asked me to come in & I demured, "Oh, you know mommy doesn't go in the deep end, honey."  He left it at that, happy to have me snapping pictures and video from the pool's edge  (he's grown so used to his paparazzi).  And I thought about what it would mean for us going forward if I didn't overcome my fear.  No more pool frolicking with my kid?  Not being able to get into the deep end with my husband and child in the years ahead of us?  Jesus, I'm 40 years old.  I should be able to get into the deep end of a pool without having a panic attack.   My six year old can do it.  His five year old friend and her three year old sister can do it.  I CAN do it, I'm just always too afraid to try.

I still didn't jump.  I slid.  Slowly. I clung to the edge for several minutes and cheered Ethan on as he repeatedly climbed out and threw himself back in, bolder and bolder by the minute.  At first he was jumping in fairly close to the edge and only having to swim back a few strokes.  Within minutes, he was hucking his light little body to the middle of the deep end, sinking way down (my heart skipped several beats) and then floating back up with one arm up like Superman taking flight.  Oh, my heart.

Slowly I let go of the edge and remembered how to tread water.  "the edge is right there.  right there," I reminded myself as I started kicking and---swimming, around the deep end.  All without drowning, or even panicking.

Ethan jumped in (even gracing us with a cannonball or twelve) until "adult only swim."  My friend took the kids to the kiddie pool for those fifteen minutes.  And for the first time in my 40 year old life, I swam.  Several laps.  Again, no graceful strokes or even identifiable ones, but I inhaled, put my whole head under water (another massive fear) and managed to find my way from one side of the pool lap to the other.

I won't go into how amazing it felt to be in the water like that, without fear, feeling my entire body under the water--because my description would leave the border of corny far behind and I'd sound entirely too cheesy to tolerate (if I don't already).  But suffice it to say that I'll be underwater again today.

And who knows what's next?  Maybe a cannonball into the deep end?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Toothless in San Francisco

Except not really toothless.  And not really in San Francisco.  But somehow "bottom three teeth out in small town Nor Cal" didn't have quite the same ring to it.

Not sure how I've neglected to update the blog (oh, yes I am--I've been at the pooooooool!), but my "I'll never lose a tooth in my whole entire life" drama-king son has managed in the past 2 weeks to shed teeth like a post-partum mother sheds hair.  THREE in two weeks just "poof!" jumped out of his mouth.

The first one managed to hold off until we got home from vacation, but as we were driving home from our first day of camp on July 9th, I heard "Mommy!!!! My tooth just came out!" squealed from the backseat, and then was instructed to hold out my hand so he could drop his tiny little bloody tooth into my palm.  Oh the gifts they give us, right?

So we tucked that tooth into the little touch pillow pouch he made at kindergarten last year & awaited the arrival of the tooth fairy while Ethan shoved his tongue through the gap made by the missing tooth obsessively for the following eight hours until bedtime.

Turns out the tooth fairy is pretty flush these days.  I remember being pretty ecstatic over a quarter under my pillow the next morning.  Lets just say the kid has made $30 in the past two weeks.  Damn inflation.

The first tooth's exodus gave free reign to the second wobbly tooth and it took advantage of all the space by wiggling up a storm for the following 48 hours. While tooth #1 took its sweet old time and made a quiet calm exit from it's toothhole after weeks of gently loosening itself from the mortal coil of the child's mouth, tooth #2 was more reckless and went out in a blaze of glory, only two days after the first tooth succumbed to the pressure of the big tooth pushing its way out from underneath.  While the first tooth could have been heard whispering some sort of Shakespearean soliloquy on the brevity of life , the second tooth seemed to be all "I'm freeeeeee! See ya, suckaaaahhhhhs!" as it took its leave from Ethan's mouth.

Where once Ethan had been reticent about the idea of actual body parts simply ceasing to stay attached to his body where they belonged, he became far bolder (perhaps because his piggy bank began bulging with the Benjamins), and when he recognized the third loose tooth, he began to wiggle it.  And pull on it. And wiggle it some more.  It was definitely loose, but he helped it along for about a week.  Every time I looked at him, his hands were in his mouth, "investigating" the state of said wiggly tooth.  Last week I took him to Monterey for an overnight quick vacation.  We spent multiple hours at the Monterey kid's museum and the giant play ground with about 15 summer camp groups and children of varying degrees of hygenic integrity.  All the while, Ethan's hands were alternately on potentially ebola-carrying surfaces and then going immediately into his face hole for a minute-by-minute update on the status of the loose tooth.  So shudder-inducingly gross.

And yet, not so much as a sniffle.  But of course the tooth became ever looser.  Ethan even packed his little tooth pillow pouch in case the tooth popped out while we were away.  You know, so the tooth fairy could find us.  Alas, the tooth stayed relatively put (as in, Ethan could shove it almost out of his mouth with his tongue, but it stayed attached and bounced back into its assigned spot in his mouth when he pulled his tongue back.  Um.  Puke.) It wasn't until Thursday night, when I was out to dinner in the city with a friend that I received a text message from Husband which contained a picture of Ethan's mouth, tooth #3 conspicuously missing from the line up.

THREE teeth in two weeks.  I don't recall that sort of rapid succession in my own childhood.  I guess they don't make baby teeth the way they used to.

Now all seems calm in the child's mouth for the time being.  Except the two adult teeth protruding into the space vacated by the three baby teeth?  They are coming in all kinds of janky--like in a "V" shape, which is so not what they're supposed to look like, right?

I wonder if the tooth fairy kicks in for braces.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Vacation hangover

Vacation was all kinds of fabulousness, complete with mini-family reunions and bittersweet nostalgia, as well as speed-boat joy rides and lazy cocktails by the pool.  So really, perfection.

And that makes getting back into the swing of things so unappealing.  Truth be told, I did have brief moments on our last two days of vacation, after staying in others' homes for so long, of a frenetic need to go home and clean & organize my own home.  Some sort of primal nesting need to be in my own space, with my own things and to make them seem all shiny and new.

That lasted until about the 2nd day of being home, after cleaning the living room, kitchen & bathrooms top to bottom (which I'd done before I left, too. So....weird). I also starting clearing out the "office" room, which in theory is for Husband's at-home work & my writing, but in the ten months we've lived in the house, no at-home work OR writing has been done in there.  Technically there are two desks in the room, but until the other day, you'd have been hard-pressed to find them under everything else.  On Tuesday I tore my "side" of the room apart and reassembled it into a cozy little writer's nook.  This simply means that I moved all the crap to Husband's side of the room because at this point, he and I both know his at-home work gets done on the couch in the living room.  I'll get to clearing that all out, too, eventually--maybe after our next vacation.

Actually, my plan for this month is to de-clutter enough that in August I can hire a cleaning lady.  I have tried for years to motivate myself to be the type of neatnik that would make my mother proud, but let's face it.  I'm 40.  I hate cleaning. I'd rather write a story, or write in my blog, or take pictures or play with my kid or read a book.  Short of a massive blow to the head that leaves me in one of those "now you have to relearn everything" states & someone makes it a priority to re-wire me to be a better housekeeper, its just not going to happen.  So I'll spend this month tearing through the clutter, mercilessly tossing things (two garbage bags from my side of the office alone--hello, Hoarders!) and finding reasonable spaces for the things we need to keep.  And then I'll hire someone to clean the house every other week for the rest of my life.

I would also like to hire someone to lose weight for me.  Do they have those? Thankfully, and due perhaps to some weird warp in the universe or shift in the gravitational pull on earth, I didn't gain a pound on vacation.  I know, I have NO clue how that happened--one night I ate an ice cream sundae that was literally bigger than my head.  And the only exercise I got the entire time I was on vacation was walking the floaty raft back out into the water every time it floated back to shore on the gentle waves of the lake.  Maybe I sweat it all out in the asinine heat and humidity of the east coast? I don't know, but I'm not going to question it.  Regardless, there are still PLENTY of pounds to lose and they really do have to come off.   I figure I need a nutritionist, a therapist, a personal chef & a trainer, so.....ohdeargod, I'm going to be fat forever.

(yes, I get that the entire last paragraph sums up my problem w/ weight loss--I think I need someone else to help me do it when all I really need to do is stop putting so much food in my face hole.  But food is yummy & my face hole loves it. I'm screwed.)

Worst transition ever in 3...2...1...

Ethan had Pirate Camp this week at his school. It involved a lot of pirate-y crafts (hook-hands made out of paper cups and tin foil, decorated eye patches) and a "bloody battle" which involved swords made out of newspapers and dipped in watered-down red paint that they then "stabbed" each other with repeatedly, covering each other in "blood."  Super.  It really should have been called Lord of the Flies camp.  But he's loved it and its over today & that means next week we have 5 entire days to fill without the benefit of any pretend violence or plank-walking.  I'm starting to panic.

Which means we'll probably spend a good portion of the week at the pool.  We were there for almost 4 hours yesterday and while Ethan was all sunscreened up from camp and returned home the same color as he was when he left it, I spaced it for myself and spent much of the evening slathering ice cold aloe gel all over my cooked lobster-toned face, chest and shoulders.  I remember fondly the days of my childhood when a burn one day meant a glorious "healthy looking" tan the next day.  At 40, a burn one day means a burn--and wrinkles--the next day.  Damn it.

So far, summer vacation has been blissful & relaxing & everything I hoped it would be.  I can't believe it's half over already.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sooo....yeah. Hip Hop class....

Hey folks, sorry! I promised some of you this entry last week and I didn't realize it didn't post when I scheduled it to.  Oooops. 

Also? There may or may not be a video of Ethan's intro to hip-hop.  I tried to upload it to blogger several times and failed, I think, each time.  So either, I'm sorry, or please enjoy the video 4-5x in a row. 

I may have mentioned that we joined a pool and that we've been lounging poolside for massive chunks of time this summer.  Its blissful.  Ethan's a good enough swimmer that I can sit in a chair by the shallow end and play words with friends watch him frolic until I'm ready to get in and frolic to a much lesser degree (insert jaded youth's wasted on the young and all that comments here).  We go back and forth between the big pool and the hot tub and during adult swim times, Ethan sneaks into the kiddie pool for 15 minutes.  Technically he's not supposed to be in it because its for the 5 and under set, but given his size, he always managed to elude the age-assessing gaze of the lifeguard. Shhhhh, don't tell. 

Oh Vitamin D, we love you so. 

What I didn't realize about this health & pool club until we'd joined is that they offer a full range of parent and child exercise classes.  Things like Family Zumba and Kids Yoga.  And Family Hip Hop.  Oh yes.  Hip Hop.  Which is right up my kid's alley, as he fancies himself a "break dancer."  Really he's more of"throw himself to the floor and wiggle around a little bit on his hands and feet" dancer.  But I'm not going to be the one to tell him that.   I did however, tell him about the hip hop class.  And on Wednesday we took it together.   

Oh, the humanity. 

First of all, let me start by saying I didn't realize it was going to be a legit aerobic work out class. So I didn't really pack my apres-swim clothing bag appropriately. See those flip flops I'm wearing in that last picture?  Yeah, I went ahead and wore those to the class.  Because we went to the class right after 3 hours of pool frolicking and general sunny merriment.   And I also didn't bother with a sports bra.  Because I don't wear a sports bra when I go dancing.  Right?  

Sweet Jesus, what a hot mess I was.  Ethan, Mr Rhythm and "break dancer extraordinaire" fit in perfectly, even though he was wearing croc flip flops, followed along to all the moves presented by the full-on perky aerobics instructor and held his own for the 45 minute class, even managing to sing along to the words to Call Me, Maybe and the FloRida song (clearly we value high quality musical entertainment in our home).  

I was less successful, what with my feet slipping out of the Target flip flops and sadly, my inadequately controlled chestal region allowing gravity to work its horrible injustice to all women magic. What is it about breasts that make them travel at a slower rate than the rest of your body?  I'm right and they're still left.  I go left, they're still right.  The all-glass exercise room is the work of the devil, I tell you.

I also happened to be wearing a pair of linen pants (what? You don't attend exercise classes in linen pants? What's wrong with you? They're incredibly comfortable) and they happen to be about a size and a half too big because in general I loathe feeling any kind of waist band around my waist.  So not only were my feet slipping out of my wildly inappropriate footwear and my my breasts were doing a dance routine all their own, my pants were also falling down.

Not all the way to the ground, but enough that while everyone else was waving their hands up in the air like they just didn't care, I was holding on to my linen "work out" pants to keep from flashing my underwear in front of a class of 5-10 year olds.

For the love.

Not my finest hour.   Or rather, not my finest 45 minutes.

As we were leaving, I complimented Ethan on his fantastic hipping and hopping and asked him if he had a good time.  He replied, "Yeah, it was really really fun."  And after a pause, asked, "Can I do it again next week? But alone."

So there it is, folks.  The age at which I officially started embarrassing my child = 6.  I thought that wouldn't happen until he hit the 'tween years.  But apparently I am just truly that embarrassing.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Also? I've Never Won The Lottery...

So, I post about Ethan's securely fixed teeth and two days later?


A bonafide, even-I-can-feel-it-wiggling-around-in-its-little-tooth-socket loose tooth.  There's got to be some kind of magic in this here blog...say it isn't so and it will become so...hence, the lottery title.  Come onnnnn, MegaMillions! Mama needs new shoes!

Yesterday while we were at the beach, Ethan took a couple bites of his turkey sandwich and then decided he was done.  He was quiet and mopey for awhile, refusing to dig in the sand, frolic in the waves or otherwise be a six year old on the beach.  Given that he is like a 14 year old girl a little moody lately, I just went about my business of slathering on the SPF and having the mandatory mom panic attack about the balance between cancer protection from the sun and cancer risk from the sunscreen (and did you know that California is discussing banning the use of flame retardant chemicals on furniture because of the cancer risks associate with said chemicals?! I had no idea I was sitting on fucking cancer chemicals every time I sat on the damn couch.  Jesus).

I digress (as usual).

My friend and I went to dip our toes in the icy Pacific and that's when Ethan decided he was ready to share his big news.  "Mommy, you know why I didn't want to eat so much of lunch? I really really definitely have a loose tooth!!" And when he opened his mouth, I didn't even need him to tell me which one it was--I could see his lower left front tooth was bleeding just a teeny little bit and that it wasn't in its normal position.  When I poked it, it moved way more easily than I thought a just barely loose tooth should, but there it was.  Wiggly tooth.

mmmm, turkey & sand sandwich.  Now with 100% more sand!

Trying to show me his loose tooth...

Just being too cute. 

Once he got past the initial THAAAAAA-RILLLLLLL of being the first kid to ever have a loose tooth (what? he's not?  Oh.  I should let him know), he decided to put on the bathing suit and jump in the waves.  With a big toothy grin. 

The vastness of the ocean and the masses of seaweed wrapping themselves around his ankles and making him scream in equal parts fascination and horror took his mind off of his tooth and its eminent departure from his mouth for a bit.  But as soon as we got home, there was much angst over what he thought he could and couldn't eat.  Apparently until this tooth falls out, he is on a strict self-imposed diet of scrambled eggs and Jamba Juice. And then there was a lot of "mommy, it huuuuuuuuurts" and wide eyed looks of panic and squeamishness. A fantastic case of "be careful what you wish for."

In the past 24 hours, I've heard such sweepingly contrasting statements as "I can't wait too loose ALL my teeth!!!!" to "I never want to lose a tooth, Mommy," and a whole lot of in betweens including questions of exactly how much this whole tooth losing business is supposed to hurt.  "Its going to BLEEEEED?!!!!" he has repeatedly asked, I am guessing reliving his ripped open chin and the deluge of blood that accompanied it.  I've assured him that its all relatively painless and bloodless, but that yes, it will be a little sore and it will bleed a little and will certainly feel super weird as it gets looser and then when it falls out and that space is empty.

But I guess all my reassurances are to no avail because this is how I found him this morning....

Lying on the couch with a paper towel jammed in his mouth.  Once I got over the panic and stopped looking for whatever intruder it was that had bound and gagged my child with a full-sized sheet of Bounty while I was in the rest room, I asked him what in the Sam Hill he was doing.  "Its in case it bleeds!" he informed me.  In case it bleeds.  The little tiny tooth that is wiggly, but not in any immediate danger of falling out of his head.  Requires an entire paper towel.  Shoved into his mouth.

Last night, Ethan needed to call my mom and dad to tell them about the loose tooth.  He was so excited to share his very excitinghappyscarythrilling news with them.  My father, in turn, was very excited to share with him the information that he's heard the tooth fairy's going rate is now $10 per tooth.  Nice.

But I guess, when I win the MegaMillions lottery, I can afford to get in good with a very generous tooth fairy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Tragedy of the Not Yet Even a Little Bit Loose Tooth...

My poor kid.  He was gummy-mouthed a lot longer than some of his peers. When I go back through his baby pictures (someone please find me a better hobby...) I have to get to the 11 month pictures before I even see a hint of a tooth.  

Here he is at ten months, apparently floating contentedly out in the vacuum of space (or in front of the Sears photographer's backdrop), without so much as a nubbin of a tooth sticking out yet.

Because of his late blooming chompers (probably a result of the fact that when he was 10 months, he was really only 8.5 months because he insisted on vacating his first place of residence a month and a half early), we were told that he'd likely hold on to his baby teeth longer than a lot of other kids who started teething more age-appropriately.  It never occurred to me that this would be an issue.

Until everyone else and their brother started losing teeth this year.  Ethan's friends and classmates seem to be losing teeth by the handful and my kid is standing in front of the mirror like a 14 year old girl; but instead of obsessing over his complexion, he's poking all his teeth, one at a time, trying to Vulcan mind meld one of them into wiggling.  Poor kid.  Some days he tosses out the little white lie, "Mommy! I feel a wiggly tooth!!!" and he'll jam half his hand into his mouth to point at a back molar that is no way, no how about to come out, "Itttthhh thithttthhh one," he'll say, trying to show me exactly which one, but most of his fingers are blocking my view.  "That's great, honey! Maybe soon!" I say to him. But nope.  Not soon.  The molar isn't remotely loose, and neither are any of his other teeth.  Poor kid.

"When will I lose a toooooooth?" he whines when he gets in the car after a long day of counting the gaps in the mouths of his peers.  He doesn't seem at all consoled by any of my explanations or reassurances that indeed, one day his baby teeth will fall out of his head and we'll stuff them into the "tooth pouch" he made in kindergarten (hello, insult to injury; how many of his classmates have used that pouch while Ethan's just sits in his underwear drawer collecting dust instead of cold hard cash in exchange for his baby teeth?), and the tooth fairy will bring him whatever the going rate is for little kid tusks these days (parents of any kid lucky enough to have their teeth falling out, what is the going rate? I need to let the tooth fairy know....for someday).

He's got a dentist appointment in July and he has already informed me that he's going to ask the dentist about this whole tooth thing.  Apparently one his friends had to have a couple of baby teeth pulled to make room for the grown up teeth that were already coming in, so now Ethan is primed to inquire about having his own baby teeth pulled by the dentist in order to make room for the grown up teeth that he's certain are just dying to pop out any day now.  "Okay, honey, you can ask her," is really all I can say.  And then I leave the room and laugh for a minute or two.

I get what a big deal it is; I totally remember standing on the porch of our summer cottage and fidgeting with a loose tooth so much that it popped right out of my mouth and down through the slats of the porch's floor boards, never to be seen again.  I don't know if it was my first tooth (and its the only one I remember losing), but I know I was devastated by the idea that the tooth fairy wouldn't know I'd lost a tooth and I wouldn't get credit for it (because once you first feel it wiggle, you work that sucker for days to get it to pop out) and I didn't even get a chance to look at it before it was gone.  I remember exactly how it was equally fascinating and utterly gag-inducing to feel the tooth twisting in its socket when it was really lose. ::shudder::  Ethan is going to LOVE that.  Someday.

But for now, we wait.  And that's okay.  Anyway, they're pretty cute little baby teeth.