24 June 2008

W is for World of the Sea (aka SeaWorld!)

Boog and I went to Sea World two weeks ago! He had a blast. So did I!

Before our big day, he was given a little monkey "backpack", which is a toddler-leash in disguise. Go ahead and comment on how cruel this device is, I don't care. I didn't lose him, now did I?

He sat so still during all of the shows. During the dolphin show ("doffin show!") he sat on my lap with his hand stuffed in his mouth, he was that excited.

He decided that it would be more prudent to go see the shark exhibit first, and then go to the Sea Lion & Otter show. That way we wouldn't feel too rushed.

He stayed awake as long as his little body could manage. I was impressed that he held out as long as he did! 5pm with no nap! Well done, Boog!

23 June 2008

V Revisited: V is for Variety

While running through alphabet-inspired posts, I keep stumbling over a variety of ideas for new material, but put them on the back burner of my mind since they lack the appropriate letter that would propel them to stardom. The back burner of my mind is getting a bit cluttered, to say the least. So in an effort to do some light housekeeping, I shall perform a clean sweep, hopefully ending this cursed bout of writer's block.

Stealing Respectfully borrowing from a dear blogger friend's routine theme, I am hereby submitting some random thoughts:

• I was on my way to finding a parking spot for my car while I spent an afternoon on the beach, when I stopped at Jack-in-the-Box to get a nice frosty cold beverage. It got me to thinking about drinking straws. How brilliant is the drinking straw? Who figured out that instead of lifting a big heavy cup to your lips to drink, you could leave it sittign on the table, stick a tube into the liquid and sip it with as little effort as possible? And the crazy straw? Genius. I can remember as a child how much more enticing it was to drink a glass of milk when I got to watch it make its curly journey to my mouth. I'll bet a mom with a stubborn toddler invented that one. Some Cliff Claven trivia for you: The straw was invented in 1888. Learn something new every day, don't you?

• Southern California has been in the throes of a heat wave for the better part of a week. It's rather remarkable how different the world is when it's hot. For example, why does the rising temperature bring out the worst in people? I find my patience evaporates quickly, people's tempers boil over, not even allowing time to stew. Everywhere I turn, I witness heated arguments. Okay, I'm done with the puns. ... Hot-heads abound. (Okay, I'm done for real now.) I live on the second floor of a west-facing apartment building. For those of you who are directionally challenged, this means my living room gets ALL the afternoon sun. And coming home from work in the early evening is the earthly equivalent to vacationing in one of the circles of hell from Dante's Inferno. This past weekend, I seriously considered selling my computer to buy an air conditioner.

• When your boss is out of the office for a few days, do you find yourself slacking off? Not even a tiny bit? I had some relaxing days at work last week while my boss was vacationing on her ranch. It felt like a tiny vacation of my own, in a way. But not really. I mean, I'm still the one sitting on my ass in front of a computer, right?

• My car has been acting up lately. It does this weird lurching thing when I accelerate sometimes. In the past week, it has occurred with greater frequency. Am I the only one that pretends not to notice these little inconveniences in one's life? My relationship with my car is such a unique one. It's so one-sided. The car gives and gives, and I just take and take, for the most part. I try to take good care of it - I take it to the mechanic for regular servicing, I change the oil every 5000 miles, if not sooner. I wash it and clean the trash out of it. I sing to it (okay, that's more singing to myself, if you want to get technical about it) and sometimes I even talk to it, lovingly patting its dash in an encouraging manner. In return, my car has been good to me. Until now. So I did what any self-sufficient woman with limited funds would do in my position: I put more oil in it. You know, lube it up a bit. That's what she said. And believe it or not, so far so good. Lube: Works every time. That's what she said.

• Finally, I'm trying my hand at "That's what she said". How am I doing?

• Oh. And then there's this:

13 June 2008

V is for Venomous

I do have another "V" post in mind, but for now, I have to vent to the Internets about my disgust with the show TMZ. I'm not even going to link to it, this is how disgusted I am. I watched 10 minutes of that show tonight. The people who work there are HORRIBLE HUMAN BEINGS with no sense of respect for others. I wonder if it makes them feel good about themselves. It would be the only good that ever came of that show. They should be ashamed of themselves. It's not just gossip, it's downright meanness. I put my remote to good use and changed the channel.

End of rant.

06 June 2008

U is for Undercover Agents Underground

Tonight, I surpassed the 1000 mark in how many times I have read the Backyardigans "A is for Adventure" book to the Boog. I exaggerate, but not by much. In the last two months, something extraordinary has happened - Boog is actually paying attention to what I am saying when I hold a book in front of his face! He repeats stuff and he points to stuff and names it or asks the name of it. I am delighted with this new turn of events.

Up until this point, our bedtime book ritual involved me picking out a book from his bookshelf, sitting in the glider with him, and beginning to read from page one. Not three words into the page, Boog impatiently flips the page. Okay... I begin to read from that page. Flip! Then I decide that I will just entertain myself instead of getting annoyed at the lack of personal closure that I feel when reading every word on the page. I try to speed-read as much as I can before he flips the page again. He counters with faster flipping. Wheeeeeee!

But now? Now he wants to pick out the books himself from the shelf. He climbs into my lap and hands me the book and we read it. And he points to things and proudly proclaims his knowledge of what it is. And he inquires about objects that he can't quite remember, "Whassdat, Mommy?" And we read books about the alphabet, and he points to the letters that he knows. It makes me a bit verklempt, actually. Side note: Go here for a good flashback of laughs!

I have loved books for as long as I can remember. My mom tells me stories about how when I was three, I used to bring five or six books to bed with me to read, and before lying down to sleep I would neatly stack the books on the table next to my crib. In junior high, I was obsessed with Sweet Dreams romance novels and would stay up until 4am, just to finish the book, or pass out with my face in it, whichever came first. Thankfully, my taste in reading matured with time, but my habit of reading into the wee hours of the morning remained. I lost count on how many times I stumbled into work or school with less than two hours of sleep, and not because I was out carousing the night before, either!

It seems to be one of the many joys of parenthood for me: watching Boog's love for books grow over time. I am so excited to see what the future holds for him.

03 June 2008

T is for Teenagers from Sweden!

My "S" post should really have been about Sweden. After all, Norway got its day in the sun, right? Oh well, bygones. What's important is that as of last night, we have three visitors from Sweden! They'll be here for a couple of weeks, staying at my parents' house for most of it.

I have two cousins in this world. Two. They are my mom's sister's children. They both live in southern Sweden in or near my mom's hometown of Simrishamn. How cute is Simrishamn, by the way? The town is storybook cute, people. Cobblestone streets? Check. Adorable hundred year-old houses lining the promenade in town? Check. The whole European sidewalk cafe action? Check. I haven't been there since 1998, when my grandmother turned 80. The teenagers that are visiting us now were 8 and 3(4?) years old the last time I saw them. I always love visiting my family there. I envy those of you who grew up in the same city/state/country as your relatives. It would have been so great to grow up with them and have close relationships with them! I'm fairly close with my female cousin, but only because she came over here a few times as an adult, the last time staying with me for a couple of weeks. The visitors this time are the wife and kids of my male cousin.

We don't correspond much - and it's not because of any language barrier. Those kids speak English like pros! But it's usually birthday and Christmas cards and that's about it. Since Boog was born, they've been sending him clothes and toys and sweet cards in the mail. The 18 year-old has a Facebook page, which allows me and her to send messages back and forth on occasion. So that's been fun, and has been a great place for us to get more acquainted.

So after work today, Boog and I went over to my parents' house to join them all for dinner. It is only the beginning of two crammed weeks of fun with these guys. We're going to Sea World this Saturday. It's a perfect place that can accommodate teenagers and boogs alike. And we haven't been in about 18 months, so I think Boog will enjoy himself.

Part of their visit coincides with Boog staying with his dad, so while I am going to miss my sweet boy more than anything, it will free up my evenings for movies and late nights and even a weekend trip to Magic Mountain! I haven't been to that park in over ten years, and cannot WAIT! I am hoping that I am so busy that time flies and Boog is back in my arms in what seems like only a short moment.

And all of this activity is certain to create memories to blog about and photos to post!

01 June 2008

S is for Summer

Boog and I finally kicked off our summer (properly) this weekend! Memorial Day weekend was a dud as far as summer days go. Rainy, cold, overcast days - totally inappropriate beach weather! But this weekend? This weekend was GORGEOUS.

Boog loves being at the beach. He loves the sunshine, the sand, all of the people, the waves. He loves all that space to run around and just be a crazy Boog without bumping into anything. I love the beach too. It is what I missed the most when I lived in Northern California. Now we live a mile from the coast, and couldn't be happier. I'm looking forward to perfecting our sand castles, having tan lines, finding sand all over the car, inside our shoes, in my bags and in Boog's diapers. It is a part of summers in Southern California that I hold dear in my heart and memory.

Happy Summer of 2008 everyone! Enjoy the moments!