Sunday, September 29, 2013

Keeping things in perspective.

Last Wednesday I was going through my pre SS is awake routine. I had P's uniform ready for his monthly safety meeting, the only time he leaves home in uniform. My clothes were ready, then I moved on to SS's, and could not find the blouse I wanted her to wear that morning. I could have sworn it was with the rest of her uniforms but I could not locate the darn thing. This would be a problem if the girl was hurting for clothing, just choose another one and move on. But one of my worst flaws is how difficult it is to change gears when I have my mind set on something.  So there I was looking for the blouse, mumbling under my breath, being a brat.  When P sees me in that mode he simply gives me space, he went outside to read his beloved news. As I came back in the living room P says "We have a BIG problem," serious face, grave tone of voice. I kept on my fruitless search, which made P call to me again to please go outside. 

Now, why didn't I rush out to my husband other than the fact that I am a lousy wife? I'm used to that tone and look, it has happened a few times during our time together. Let's review some of the BIG issues we have had to deal with:

Right now P is mourning the end of Breaking Bad, and he will never EVER find a show that he can connect with on such a deep level. The man grew up in front of a TV, I'm sure he will find a substitute.

Then there's the Snoopy license plate debacle. He signed up for it, he made sure I did the same.But alas, no license plate yet, and P is mad as hell. There are frequent outbursts of how we can live in a State, let alone a country that does not recognize Snoopy's historical significance.He is seriously considering raising SS in another country.Details to follow as they develop.

Susan Sarandon's betrayal was also BIG. She was a big crush of my husband and it was understood he would drop me like a bad habit if she ever became available. And when she did I accepted our fate. But before P could come home and kiss me and SS goodbye, Susan hooked up with a thirty two year old ping pong playing nerd. The woman is dead to him.

So maybe that is why I did not rush, but P insisted. When I stepped outside he handed me his phone and asked me to read. Sorry, no glasses, blind, you read. But P insisted, so I held the phone at arm's length from my eyes and was able to make out that there was a fire the night before at a B&G club. Our daughter's clubhouse, where she was due in less than hour to catch a bus to school. We did worry, and I was more concerned because I was too damn busy making a big deal about a stupid blouse. While I was mumbling around P was planning to drive over to the club, and if the $200,000 in damage meant no bus service, he would take personal time off to drive SS to school then bring her home.  He did not want me to stress out, and he knew that we would work out something. The damage was big, but the building was structurally sound, and life goes on, except that the teen room was destroyed. The fire was caused by a mini fridge in that room. We are incredibly grateful there were no kids at the club.

And while this is about keeping things in perspective, finding a stupid item of clothing versus what  we were going to do with SS, it's also at the heart of our daily worries. It is why we are not a part of the G0d will provide fan club. Because although once I calmed down I realized that B&G club would have a plan B, well I still worried.  And while P thought the same, he still worried. Because we are the ones providing for SS, because she is not as blessed as I was to have grandparents waiting at home.  There are those moments of panic about what ifs.  The longer SS is at home, the more we come to realize that although we took an unusual path to become a couple, and another unusual path to becoming a family, we are very cautious about where we go next. Dreams are wonderful, even if there's pain along the way of realizing them.  Our journey to SS was hell on so many aspects, but meeting her, finally bringing her home, and having the privilege to see the world through her eyes has been an amazing gift. We would love to enjoy that gift again, but not at the cost of SS, not at the cost of what she deserves.  

Enough about this let's go in circles while we know the end result silliness. This morning we headed out to get SS to see the dinosaurs at Cabazon, on our way to our last summer hurrah. P and I stopped at that same spot 17 years ago on our way back from Joshua Tree. It's where I learned of P's fear of heights, albeit too late as we had reached the summit of our rock climb.  We always planned to bring SS and we finally made it happen.

Wow, a creature with bigger paws than my parents!

Friday, September 20, 2013


You know you are OLD when a simple two day stint at what was for us the easiest park ever leaves us messed up the rest of the week. I by no means consider P old, given our age difference, but he just can't stop complaining about getting old. His favorite line is "Are you going to trade me in for a younger model?" Funny thing is that I just love the changes I see in him. He is no longer a 150 pound guy who made a bet he could gain weight and failed miserably. P worked hard at increasing his caloric intake and fell very short of his goal. P complains about his gray hairs. Again, no sympathy since I have had them since childhood. Not at the rate I have now, but people would always comment on why on earth would a child have gray hairs. In my case it was just a matter of  getting more and more.  The man has no idea how incredibly hot he is, and I am not the only one in his fan club.  SS loves her Baba no matter what, but she especially loves his buzzed look. So as far as P is concerned his wife and daughter trump any other opinions. He is actually toying with shaving his head for a more clean look.

TGIF for me because P is working tomorrow, bummer. We are hoping to get some water time Sunday and it will depend on how P is feeling. 

SS oh so close to Legoland.

We are well aware that SS really needed a trim as this video shows.The girl looks like Cousin It and the fedora just accentuated the resemblance. I asked P to get her a trim Tuesday, and he reacted as though I asked him to pull an Abraham with SS as his Isaac. I calmly reminded him that I have done plenty alone with SS, including Saturday soccer games and many more things.  It took me a while to realize that SS has only had two trims since coming home. One with us before the Iowa wedding, and another one with just me. 

When I realized this I texted P that all he need to do was ask the hair dresser to trim two inches, even out the hair. I also told him to say NO to any suggestions of short, bobs (YUCK) or bangles (double YUCK).  I usually would not be this confident, but what P did not remember is how adamant SS is about having long hair. It comes with a cost, the detangling, the tears, the annoyance.  SS is our tiny Goliath, she just wants her hair long. Given the fit she threw last time I had her hair trimmed I knew she would set the hair dresser, and anyone at that establishment straight.  I should have requested more than two inches because the only way you can tell SS's hair met scissors is by the evenness. I am happy to report that both father and daughter survived the experience without a frantic call to the mama. 

We love the way SS says not breaking apart at the end of the video below. Not sure what she meant but it was cute. 

It's Iron Man!

Iron Man flying.

How cute is this close up? There have been concerns about whether SS is aware of her gender, given our lackadaisical attitude about indulging her super hero obsession. SS is VERY aware that she is a girl, a girl that is allowed by her parents to like what she likes. Just try saying she is a boy, because we are going to film it, put it in YouTube and it will go viral. SS is darn well aware of who she is.  Instead of parading around in princesses outfits, she has chosen to engage in more active play. SS has chosen to save the day, be the knight in shinning armor. It beats the hell out of growing up waiting for a guy to save her day and be her knight in shining armor.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Good thing the Tooth Fairy makes hotel calls.

Friday night SS and I were cuddling upstairs in bed, she was excitedly yapping about Legoland when it hit me. Oh no! The Tooth Fairy was due tonight, we had harped on it, because TTF only comes when a child sleeps in her own bed. Yes, we made that up, don't judge us, SS has a way of squatting on our bed. I frantically texted P, who was downstairs watching an inappropriate show. Before people get bent out of shape, he was not watching porn. While we are incredibly (or shamefully) laid back, there's only so much violence we allow SS to witness. It was late, P was not about to go out to get $5. Cash in hand our choices we $10 or $20. Mindful of not setting a precedent those were not choices. P came up with the idea of asking SS if she wanted to place her tooth under her pillow at the hotel the next night. Necessity is the mother of invention and boy did it work. SS thought it would be great to get a visit from TTF at the hotel. Should we be embarrassed?

SS went to bed really early Saturday, before her eight o'clock bedtime. After Legoland we checked in at the hotel then went out to dinner. P is a whiz when it comes to researching, he found a German restaurant/deli, and we were looking forward to our meal. P had read that lunch time was a witch. Turned out that dinner was not better. What P did not know was that buying from the deli and eating at the restaurant are one and the same at Tip Tops Meats.  It's basically take out or eat in. The line is the same, and by the time P got our food we had been there for over an hour.

We were hungry but it could have been worse. P was worried because my foot and knee were sore. SS and I sat at a booth while he stood in line, problem solved. As he was getting close to order P texted me "I'm sorry." For what? "Don't like you two waiting like this" was his response. We were all hungry, but it could've been worse. SS and I were seated, P brought us iced water, SS was busy with her iPad and I had my phone. We were not bored stiff, thirsty or suffering. Later that night P repeated how upset he was about "bringing you along." Chill dude, your daughter spent almost sixteen months in an orphanage, and your wife has gone through plenty of painful procedures. Waiting in a booth does not constitute suffering. By the time P came to us with our to go order (he did not want us to spend more time there) SS had forgotten what was going on. As I put away her earphones and iPad SS said, "Mama, did I eat already?" Our poor baby. OK, so P had a point.

We returned to the room and had a picnic on the floor. Since the Legoland hotel was booked we had planned to get a Lego themed PJ for SS. That was before the long wait at TTM. As tired as P was (he worked the day before, I did not, and he drove to LL), he went in search of PJs for his baby. SS was out a minute after P left our room. When he returned we dressed SS in her new PJs, and her eyes were open.  We were concerned that she would remain awake, but she went back to sleep.

I woke up late in the night or early in the morning to go to the bathroom.  SS surprised me by coming in the bathroom as well. I seized the opportunity and removed the tooth from under the pillow and replaced it with the money.  Then I cringed and wondered if it was too obvious, but before I could return the tooth SS was back in the room.  Damn!  I watched while hoping SS was too sleepy to remember her tooth. Yeah right, SS put her head on the pillow turned on her side and... She obviously remembered, smiled and looked under the pillow. SS was very happy to find that The Tooth Fairy really makes hotel calls. I still have issues with TTF, Santa and all other childhood rites of passage that involve deception. There is going to come a time when SS reads awful accounts of child trafficking, and I am afraid moments like this one will undermine our credibility. Gee K, why ruin this happy moment? Because when SS reads this, I hope she understands the fragile balance we have tried to achieve between letting her enjoy her childhood, and preparing her to trust us when things get serious.

When SS woke up the next morning she had no recollection of us getting her in her PJs and she was so stoked about waking up dressed in Ninjago threads. She was even more excited about her $5, to which he held on to while enjoying her iPad until daylight.

She was out cold right after this picture was taken. 

Baba got SS an Iron Man fleece blanket for her Legoland adventure, the girl really got loot for one tooth.

SS's size 8 Ninjago PJs, it's the smallest size P found. As always, Baba got just the right thing for his dainty little girl.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Legoland Waterpark

On Sunday we had an easy morning even though SS woke up at a little past six. We chilled, had breakfast, spent time in the hot tub, then cleared our room to head to the waterpark. The waterpark is very small but has many attractive features.  Unlike Soak City and other larger parks, SS was tall enough to ride almost all rides.  Their lazy river is only two and a half feet deep, and I was surprised to see many kids without a PFD.  The lazy river inner tubes have a base to build upon with plastic Legos. We were bummed when we couldn't ride together in the double inner tube. SS is so small that it is just easier to share a double. We have been able to do so at the other parks we have visited. They really hype the "build a raft" aspect of the lazy river, but it isn't as easy as it looks. P really spent a while trying to get the blocks to stay together.  When he was almost done I made the mistake of pushing him towards the waterfall (payback for earlier), and down went his blocks.  He finally managed to rebuild, and we got SS to jump just in time to his inner tube for a picture.  The things we do for our kids. 

In the small kid section they have a mini lazy river, and we thought that was so darn cool. No pressure or rowdy big kids.  SS took command of a crocodile in the small kid area and became rather possessive. There is a down side to growing as the only child at home.  When other kids tried to get on the crocodile SS would say "There's an elephant back there and a polar bear over there, go try one." She later tried to pull the same stunt with the water guns and we had to get her to sit down and chill.She actually body checked a huge girl when the girl got too close to SS's precious gun.

We were concerned that SS would have a fit when it was time to go home. Thankfully she has consistently been hanging around waterparks for four years now. SS knows there's going to be a next time. She is right, because we are hoping to get one more trip to Palm Springs before Soak City closes for the season. SS is our little water rat.  Before leaving the park SS made sure to use her Tooth Fairy money, with more of ours to purchase a Lego set. Because our child has never had a Lego set. We ate our leftovers from Saturday's dinner in the back of the van with the AC on high. It pays off to have a van and only one child. It's not the first time we have folded the back seats to have a picnic away from the oppressive heat.  We were home before six, because although we can DVR, there's no way P was going to miss Breaking Bad. I had a great time during my birthday weekend.  To keep up the pretense that it was about me P bought me an RD D2 key chain. Life's good.

SS at the entrance of her first big girl ride. She complained all the way to the top, even professing a fear of heights. We were relieved that she really enjoyed the experience.

It really worries us how at ease she is shooting at people.  It didn't help that people, some carrying little kids, kept walking in front of SS to get wet. One lady went over to SS and guided her aim, I was about to get up when I realized that the woman wanted SS to get her small daughter wet. We had a crack up moment when a very busty woman got in front of SS and our girl got her right between her huge breasts. SS is a breast girl and we were embarrassed when she was giggling like a fool at her good shot and fortune. No worries for P though, not only does he get the breast obsession, he reminded me that we can always pretend we are not with SS. 

Too bad that Legoland/Legoland Waterpark season passes are obscenely expensive, because this raft ride was our favorite.  It slides slowly and does not tip over on landing.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


When P asked me what I wanted for my birthday I knew he wasn't ready for my answer.  He suggested a weekend away, doing something fun, or just going somewhere to sit by the pool and chill. I requested to go to Legoland. Huh? We have documented SS's Lego obsession and she has been pleading to visit the Mecca of everything Lego. Somehow life got in the way, even though we had two free tickets last year.  We also have not been blessed with a ticket fairy, a magical creature who asks where you want to take your kids, then provides tickets to said places.  SS surprised us by waking up on her own, beautiful smiles and everything at 6:20 a.m. Unheard of for our daughter on a Saturday.  Not only that, she requested and ate breakfast.

When we go to Knott's it's all about the rides and Snoopy. We were concerned that SS would think of the park as a place to just see Lego models, and we were right on the money.  SS tried a few rides, but her attention was on the models. Probably also trying to figure out how to land such an amazing job.  Getting paid to play with Legos. Unlike Knott's the price tag for Legoland is too much to invest on season tickets, just so SS can admire the models year round.   

Disneyland has been on SS's wish list, especially after being bombarded with ads for Cars Land. Tickets for a weekend will run us about $600, never mind food, lodging and souvenirs. After today's experience we are not sure we want to pay so much just to have SS spend all her time in Cars Land and It's a Small World. Damn you ticket fairy! SS's driving was disastrous.  The video of her on that red go cart is hilarious.  Then at the end of the driving course the kids are prompted to go to a kiosk to get their driver's license with their names and picture. Oh goodie, then the parents take it to the register and have to shell way too much for the silly license.

This picture cracks me up, because at the helicopter ride SS did not want the police chopper, she insisted on the fire fighter chopper. We thought she was going to make a beeline for the firefighter, but when she realized it was a woman, putting on lipstick (in full gear no less), she gave her a disgusted look and settled for the cop.  Come on SS, tell us how you really feel.

This time I got a taste of being SS's passenger and it was one scary ride. Neither one of us is volunteering to teach her how to drive.

P made sure to shave his head early this morning, he just hates a sweaty head with that much hair. SS watched him and said "Mama, I love it when Baba shaves his head. I love how he looks." You and me SS, I'm right there with you. 
Thanks to Grandpa SS knows all there is to know about Star Wars, and was she excited to find out that there's a cool exhibit at Legoland. SS with a miniature Darth Maul.

I'm not a Star Wars fan, and there's only two characters I know. First is R2 D2 and SS gets a kick out of my fondness for the robot.

Then my IQ dropped thirty points when I saw Wicket the Ewok.  

The rest was all about SS and Baba, as they were speaking a language I do not comprehend.  Our bad girl with her bad boy Darth Vader.

Funky looking Darth Vader, too wide, but SS was smitten anyway.

Now this is more like the real thing.

The icing on the delicious Star Wars cake SS had been happily eating. This X Wing model is (for now) the largest LEGO model created. It weights 23 tons, consists of more than 5,335,200 LEGO bricks, and it took 32 model builders more than three months to create. Yikes.

SS really enjoyed the Chima movie in 4D, and it didn't bore us either, a bonus.

A trip to Europe is on my bucket list, and among my must sees is the Eiffel Tower. It's a pipe dream, but it's something I have wanted to do since I was a child. P has never ruled out said trip (as when he wins the lottery), but has always been adamant that France won't be one of our stops. Not sure what his deal is, but he won't consider it. Next year I have a big birthday, a milestone birthday and I hinted I might want to realize my dream (nah, not going to happen). As we were approaching this model P whispered "There you go, the closest you are going to get it." He is lucky there were too many witnesses, and his daughter was with us. Otherwise he would have found himself overboard and unable to come up for air.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Another one bites the dust.

Our baby lost another upper tooth today, and it happened at school. I dropped SS off this morning with a wiggly tooth, and she excitedly showed me her treasure box from the nurse's office when I picked her up.  SS has been full of wisdom today, this morning she figuratively knocked me on my rear when she expounded on a subject P and I are incredibly indecisive about. It happened while I was getting her ready for school this morning. It took me a while after getting back to text P the details. The kid is only six, where does she get that from?  Of course the ultimate decision is up to us, but at least we know where SS stands on the subject. It also means we can't use her as an excuse if we choose to pursue our hearts. As I was about to dumbly state that it was the first tooth she lost at school SS said "At least this one didn't fall off when my face hit the concrete." Ouch, our girl was really traumatized by that collision last year.  I was wondering if SS was messing with her tooth, but it fell off when she bit into a cookie.  They kids made dog cookies in class today, and the darn cookie was the culprit. SS is looking forward to her Tooth Fairy money. I asked her what she was going to do with her $5. SS said "I'm going to put it together with a lot of yours and Baba's money to get a Power Ranger toy." Six year old wisdom indeed.