Thursday, May 28, 2009

vanity strikes another would you rather....

gosh it sure seems like i'm on a vanity kick with my ol would you rather's... maybe it has to do with the fact that very shortly i turn 30, and every day i'm gaining more lbs with this biscuit growing inside me...
in any event, i reckon this one's for the ladies, and yes its vain, and likely totally out of the question for most of us, but its kind of fun to pretend. i'd say husbands could speak for their wives, but i really don't want to start any fights. so with that said, i'll spare you the picture associations...

would you rather....

get a tummy tuck

or

breast implants?

anyone who knows me, knows my answer... i'm out with it... so don't be shy (though i know you guys will). trust me, i won't hold it against you.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

disney.... hole







its been a good 10 years since i've been to disneyland. my recollections were obviously fond- after all its the happiest place on earth right? so when we decided to take lily for her 4th birthday, we wanted to be strategic. go in the middle of the week, not in the summer, don't bring oz, and get there about a week after the CDC declares a national pandemic. all of it came together relatively seamlessly. my mom agreed to watch oz despite her back injury from "showing off in aerobics," and a friend of a friend hooked us up with free tickets. lily was obviously very excited about the whole thing, but if you know lily, its pretty obvious what occupied most of our conversation leading up to disneyland... the princesses.

once we actually made it into the park, lily insisted that we first must go see snow white where she would "give her a big hug." we made our way to fantasyland and joined a line with about 67 other 3-6 yr old girls all on the verge of a melt due to the wait to actually interface with the princesses. after being in line for about 15 minutes, lily started to get whiny and hungry. we tried to feed her while we waited, but it seemed as though she was quickly getting over it. it was about that time that we received word that megan (shelley's friend) had arranged a private meeting with 2 princesses at 3:30.

okay, so how do you convey to your newly 4 yr old daughter that she is about to experience something very few get the privilege of. well the reality is, you don't. you take her on small world and wait it out. after some quality time in toon town, we made our way to fantasyland where we would be greeted by a 'brittany' who would be looking for us. now after my brief interaction with megan, i was really starting to understand the difference between management and peons at disneyland. 'brittany' though dressed in a cute dress, was still not management. she simply oversaw the princesses, who also despite thinking they run the place likely get paid minimum wage.

so lily gets all dudded out in a $30 ariel outfit (basically just a turquoise polyester nightgown), and brittany escorts us down to a secret door. we enter into a theatre area and then are taken into another door wherein sleeping beauty and snow white are just hanging out.

okay, here's where it gets intense. i've always been into the disney princesses, but i was never fanatic about them, however when i saw these two, i seriously felt like i was 5 again. they were so pretty and so real! lily immediately seized up, totally overwhelmed at the whole experience. so i was stuck with her on my lap in between snow white and briar rose, sweating profusely and feeling lets just say fat and ugly not like a princess. these girls amazed me. they seriously did not break character even for a minute. while lily was biding the time by stuffing her dress into her mouth out of sheer nervousness, i was stuck laughing awkwardly at the princesses chatty banter.









to give you an idea it went something like this:


snow white (sw): "lily, you remind of me of one of my most shy dwarfs, do you remember his name?"


lily: blank stare


me: laugh, "lils, answer snow white, who's super shy honey?"


lily: blank


sleeping beauty (sb): "oh i know snow white, its bashful isn't it?"


sleeping beauty and snow white continue this cheerful talk by discussing all the dwarf's and how silly they are...


when they finally realize she isn't going to speak, they turn to me. here's my moment:


sb: "so did you have to travel far to come visit us?"


me: "oh well not to far, we live near san luis obispo, it wasn't too bad, just some traffic."


sb: "yes well, traffic can be slow in those horse drawn carriages!"


.... really sleeping beauty, its clear that my daughter is not talking, you really can't break character for one minute to chat with me.... i'm not five, i know you're not real... i think.



anyway, this awkwardness (for me at least) went on for about 15 minutes. towards the end lily started telling me things to tell the princesses, but never actually addressed them directly. however when we were leaving ariel was coming down the stairs and asked lily if she had been in her closet (cause lily was wearing the ariel nightgown). lily got a kick out of that and actually looked her in the eye, smiled, and shook her head.



so there you have it, the rest of the day was filled with more rides, frozen lemonade and smiles. lily talked abundantly about the princess experience and even told me she wants to come back when she is 5 for a tea party with them, and then she won't be shy. i tried to explain that this was a once in a lifetime experience... but she disagreed.



i must say i wasn't expecting such a unique experience, and really i cannot express how thankful i was for megan to arrange that for us. it really was special, and i know lily will remember it forever. and if she tries to forget... we'll just show her this video and make her realize the shiz i go through for her.

enjoy.....






video

Thursday, May 21, 2009

don't judge me...

okay, so this 'would you rather' might be considered a bit vain if you choose a certain answer. i'm pretty confident that the majority of you will choose the latter, but seriously, just answer what first comes to your mind.

okay enough disclosure....

would you rather have your child be incredibly good looking, or incredibly smart?

if i can get 10 comments, i'll tell you what went through my mind.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

its a tough one...

i know last week you were all dying without our weekly would you rather... but it was my baby girls bday and i decided her tribute triumphed.
so i thought i'd take us to a more serious topic for our would you rather thursday, and to be honest i think i'm still undecided on this one....



would you rather be known as the most generous person or the most faithful person?



and of course... why?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

conniekins

for mothers day i bought myself a book called 'because i lover her.' its a compilation of over 30 women writers who reflect on the mother-daughter bond. i'm only onto the third one, but already i've been moved to tears.
when i try to analyze why the mother daughter thing is so relevant to me, its really not as complicated as i often make it.

its simple really. i've always had a great relationship with my own mom.

my parents divorced when i was 8, and since my brother was 7 yrs older- he went and lived with my dad. it was only a matter of a couple of years till he bailed slo completely. i always felt like an only child. but never did i feel lonely the way many only children do. maybe because i knew in the back of my mind that one day my brother and i would be close (as we are), or maybe it was because my mom was like a sister in so many ways. in any event, i came to know life through my mother's eyes.

now that i have kids of my own, i cannot even fathom what it would be like to be a single mom. i guess i would hope that, like my own mom did, i would just pour myself into my kids. however, i'm not so sure i would be capable of such a selfless act. from age 8-18 my mom pretty much put her own needs, desires and wants aside to ensure my success as a woman. though i did my fair share of blowing it, for the most part it worked.

as i read through some of the essays in the book, i find it interesting that so many of these women feel incompetent around their own mothers. they feel as if they will never cook, clean, organize, sew, carpool or whatever as well as their own mom did. though they love their mom, they often dread her visit, cause feelings of inferiority may surface.

when it comes to running a household, i don't share the same sediments. though i in no way have mastered it, things run pretty smooth here on fearn ave. typically when b gets home, the house is picked up, dinner is in process and the kids are generally happy.

though i'm satisfied with my homemaking abilities, i know its not enough.

although my kids are still young, i recognize its their character, integrity, their world view- that's the stuff that really matters. as i've mentioned before, i'm not sure i'd have the confidence to rent a room to john carter, or take the time to stop old ladies in the grocery store and watch their eyes light up as i tell them lavender really is their color, or drag my kids to the old folks home to visit every sunday and call it church. i grew up going to unity, and marianne williamson was a household name. all these experiences and more are what made me the person i am today. my moms ability to expose me to so many things, in combination with her devout love for me (as in never once missing one of my basketball games) are what defined my character. and though i would sometimes long to live in the arbors in a track home with nice white carpet and a mom and dad and chocolate chip cookies, i know now that living on pismo street in a smelly old house on the creek with john was really where i belonged.

my moms gifts would take pages to list. she's one of those people that impacts all she interfaces with. to this day when i run into people from my past, kids and parents alike will always ask about my mom.

her love for god humbles me. her heart for social justice moves me. and her love for her grandkids brings me to my knees in thankfulness...

i've said it before and i'll say it again, if i could be half the woman she is, i will have succeeded.

happy mothers day mom.

i love you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

when your daughter turns 4
































i've never been one of those moms that dreads her kids getting older. i haven't looked back and wished i had more time at a certain age, or wished that time would just stop so i could capture a phase in their life. i've always looked to the future with confidence and anticipation... what will they be, how will they love?




my baby girl turns 4 tomorrow.



to think 4 years ago, i sauntered into the hospital with no idea of what i would leave with. when lily was born, i felt overwhelmed with joy and elation. the day had come.



my firstborn.




my pearl.




however, as the hours went on, and the visitors ceased, i had glimpses of my future, and the uncertainty set in. here i hold my flesh and blood... my lineage, my daughter. i felt, as i've shared before, an intensity creeping over me. how could i shape and mold and love and care for this girl to make her into a woman filled with passion, generosity and the ability to love recklessly. how could i instill in her all the things i value in myself, and yet protect her from all my inadequacies? i knew the task was big, and would be overwhelming, but in my heart i was hopeful.




after one magical year as a family of three, i find out i was pregnant. i knew lily, b and i would never be the same, but never could i have a imagined how much the birth of oz would complete us. time began to blur as the years passed. i've had moments with lil i know were divine, and yet i've had moments of anger and frustration i never knew i contained.




lily couldn't be more different than i had imagined. born with a full head of black hair, chubby cheeks, and shrills that could wake the dead, i looked at my daughter and thought... 'this isn't exactly what i expected.' she continued to surprise me. the look in her eye the first time i saw her hold a doll, her seemingly inherent dislike of boys, her obsession with skirts, dresses, jewelry and all things 'fancy,' all remind me of just how different she is than myself. when she looks at me and tells me 'i will never play sports ever! i will only be a cheerleader!' i cringe, but its not the heartbreak i might've thought. or when she changes her clothes seven times a day, i'm frustrated, but not as annoyed as i would think.







through all my preoccupation with making my daughter someone i could be proud of, i learned that its her being her that's made me a better woman. although its simple, i now paint my nails regularly, i find myself wearing more dresses, and make-up's becoming more and more fun. through it all, in a funny way i've found the sister i never had, and a friend i've always needed.



so here's to lily on her 4th bday. thank you for continuing to refine, challenge and bring me divine joy. i love you goose.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

he's a winner.... for a lifetime!

for those of you who don't know, b has really gotten into running.

back in the day when i use to grace the streets with my footsteps, he was always an onlooker. when we did the race around lake tahoe, he contributed by being driving support. he didn't often express his disdain for the sport, but made it clear he'd stick to surfing and mountain biking.

however, i think deep down, like most of us, he realized that running really is kind of the ultimate in bad ass ness. if you can run long and fast, you kind of can handle most sports. its the hardest on your body, and always gives you the most bang for your buck.

i can't quite remember how it all came together, but prolly about a year ago he dusted off his old nikes and hit the pavement. within weeks i think he realized his potential. since i'd been running casually (as in, just enough to eat what i want), we decided to do the oktoberfest run in osos. its only 4 miles, and not to toot my own horn (but i will), i kinda one the women's stroller division back when lils was like 6 months old. needless to say, i'm thinkin- no problem. i can at least keep up with b- especially since he'd be pushing oz in the stroller (lils was waiting at the finish with nanna). the whistle blows and immediately i realize b's pace is one i'm not gonna be able to match. before we even hit mile 1, he's out of my sight. humbling to say the least. i mean we'd run before and he didn't seem that fast. it goes without saying he beat me handedly.

that race was just the begining. he started reading more about running, and entered a couple a trail races (one of which i struggled through with him). he's currently running 6 days a week (mostly on his lunch), and will often be gone sunday afternoon for at least a couple hours running out in MDO. through this new hobby has come some new gear- but unlike his other main squeezes (surfing and mountain biking) its much cheaper. after getting new running, then trail running shoes, he'd been eyeing heart rate monitors for awhile, but we never could quite scrape it together to get one for him... so he took matters into his own hands and entered a contest for a new polar HRM.

without further ado... here is the winning entry...


For starters let me say that this is the only article of female 'gear' that I have ever worn...except for that one time but that is another story.
I am sure there are some who might say to themselves, "what is this joker talking about? Polar's heartrate monitors are unisex." Go ahead, google Polar F4 and see what comes up...tell me you don't see the word female in at least five of the first ten search results?! Of course if you go to PolarUSA.com and check out the F4 they have a certain color...BLACK THUNDER that effectively crushes the female aesthetic of this slimline monitor...but go ahead and look closely at the other monitors...see BLACK AMBER? What kind of message does that dainty little thing send when strapped to nordic wrist of a guy who mother nature chose to bless with a sweater vest?...(dig it, that is back hair and chest hair for those not so versed in the common of lingo body hair). Anyways, I got this bad boy (or girl) in 2005, and for all I know BLACK THUNDER was not an option...at the time it was a gift for my wife who was with our first child. Apparently it is not good practice to elevate your heartrate much above what a good book might produce when you are pregnant...and of course, being the good husband I am I thought it important to abide by the word of the Dr. and ensure that in her various pregnant exploits she maintain the required level of relaxation. And like any good husband I supported her nonactivity by being there with her...nonactive and happy...most of the time...and while she put on 35-ish lbs, I chose to stick with a scant 20lbs for my weight gain...of course I was without child so who the hell knows what I was thinking...oh, and one more thing; it's kinda hard to look like a Nordic Warlord when your sweatervest is stretchin' round the midregion.
Fast forward 12 months and another kid...I snaked my wife's F4 and it is still as girly as ever and I am starting to get a complex about it. I have started running and my mileage is increasing....that scant 20lbs is now down to 5lbs and I am striving for better mile times and images of David Hasselhof running down the beach, feral sweater vest glinting in the sun give me that motivation to run a little further and a little faster...
Fast forward to present...don't yet have another kid but there is one in the oven, 7 weeks! My viking genes cannot be contained and my kids both rock white blond hair...sweet...let's all hope together that neither of them get the sweater vest. Anyways, my mileage is up to 50/60 week...I have gotten into trail running, and trail racing...in fact at my last event (PC Trailruns 15k at Montana de Oro State Park in CA) I won my age group! That was pretty sweet cuz they're my home trails. My F4 is still my biggest weakness and now the battery is starting to go but it has seen me over hundreds of miles, both on and off road and in spite of it's less than nordic appearance it has been an invaluable training tool. Long ago I learned the meaning of 'recovery' runs and have reaped the benefit of those slow cruising runs at half throttle, my F4 is my tachometer and without it I almost always over-do it.
So, I've lived this long in my ladies F4...but now like an old girlfriend it is time to move on. But, between diaper money, last pair of trail shoes, and my wife's frickin VW van there ain't a dime to spare...so, I'm not above begging...but before I do that let me offer the opportunity for some first rate advertising...imagine it...POLARUSA.COM emblazoned in Times New Roman font size 30 across the back of my nordic sweater vest....sweet...pure sweetness.




here's what he won... and i must say, he brought it... that's one well-written piece.