Friday, May 28, 2010

This Time of Year

Yesterday was the last day of school for our school district and there's something about this time of year that makes me so emotional. Today I committed the act I try to avoid at all costs: driving by our local high school when it is lunch time or when school has just gotten out. Today I drove by as school got out. Ugh! It takes at least five minutes to go from one end of the school to the other when this unfortunate navigational misfortune takes place. My blood typically boils when the kids refuse to let the cars pass and take forever to walk in the crosswalks, but today was a bit different.

As my SUV slowly crawled down the street, I was instantly transported back to my years at Pacifica High School and my own personal feelings that came with the end of the year. I loved seeing the yearbooks my friends and I had worked so hard designing in our fellow students' hands. I loved the idea of three months of freedom. I adored that excitement of feeling full of possibilities and the fresh slate of the following school year.

And within that five minute crawl past the high school, my eyes fell upon a group of boys talking. I imagined they were making plans for the summer. Swimming at one boy's pool perhaps? Summer jobs? Maybe a road trip or what movies they wanted to see together. Then I imagined these boys being MY boys and my eyes welled with tears. They will go to this high school one day. In the not-so-distant future, they will be sharing last-day-of-school pats on the back with a yearbook under one arm. One day, my boys will be like these boys making excited plans for the future, cracking jokes, and goofing around. They'll be tall and gangly, but have fabulous skin, of course. I tried to pick out which kids my kids will look like and who will make up their group of friends. Will they hang out with the kids on the steps, the kids under the tree, or that big group on the corner. I then slipped into a fairy tale in which my boys want my husband and me to play an active roll in their clubs or teams--a time when I'll wear Burroughs High School red to their games and maybe wear their letterman jacket as I sit in the stands...if they haven't already loaned it to some (stupid) girl.

All of this happened in the span of five minutes. When I pressed the brake pedal at the final stop sign at the corner of the school, I glanced into my back seat and saw three beautiful little boys all in some sort of car seat or booster. Their cheeks are still chubby with baby fat and they all have some sort of shmutz on their faces--even the littlest one had a little dried milk on his chin. As I placed my foot on the accelerator I was instantly thankful for the precious days I have with my little boys and I vowed to treasure the present and look forward to the future.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Little L.A., A Little OC

I grew up in the O.C. I was a beach girl--the daughter of a surfer. I was a baton twirler who spent her high school Memorial Day weekends in the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival Parades. I cruised Balboa with my friend Tracey listening to Color Me Bad and sneaked my way in to Knott's Berry Farm more times than I can count. (I knew every trick in the book.) I was O.C. through and through. So when I got married back in 2000 and agreed to move to Studio City (L.A.) with my husband who is in the entertainment industry, I was truly a fish out of water.

Giving up my life in Orange County (and Long Beach) was not easy. I gave up my hair place, doctors, the florist (yes I had a florist!), malls and stores, restaurants, family, and friends. The big city feel of L.A. scared the crap out of me. I'm not going to lie, people drive CRAZY here! I felt like everyone looked different than me and I certainly didn't feel cool enough to fit in with the people I did meet. I saw a celebrity almost every time I went to the grocery store...and I'm not talking about B listers either. It was tough to start a marriage in a land I didn't know. I was starting over. No friends, family, or familiar haunts. We hadn't lived together prior to being married. In fact, we had only ever spent time together on the weekends, so needless to say, it was not an easy adjustment all the way around.

When I lived in Orange County, I believe that the world revolved around those of us behind the Orange Curtain. Now that I'm here, I've gotten a much bigger picture and better appreciation for the fabric of California as a whole. This September, my husband and I will have been married 10 years and during that decade something pretty awesome has happened. I've started to become more adjusted to life in L.A. I used to drive with white knuckles through the streets of Hollywood during my occasional trips "over the hill" and now zip through Hollywood's crowded streets without a second thought. I like that every house is old and they all have a story. I have grown to love that I live in an "industry town" in which the moms at the park understand what it's like to have a husband who has to leave on a shoot for days, weeks, or even months at a time. I love that I live where I can walk to a bakery, restaurant, antique stores, the hardware store, and world famous studios all within minutes.

Now, almost ten years after living here, I am now at a crossroads in which I've discovered that I'm not an O.C. or L.A. gal. I read the L.A. blogs and most of the time I don't feel like I connect with them. In fact, I still feel a bit like an outsider when I talk with a lot of other women here in La-La land. And while I try to keep up with what's going on in Orange County, I know longer fit there. I'm used to driving like a maniac, trendy shops every few blocks, and the diversity I just don't recall from my days in the north O.C. Not feeling like I truly fit in in my past or my present is a strange sensation. I carry a lot of what I grew up with in West Garden Grove but have grown to love and value where I am raising my children. I guess I'm a Californian stuck between my past and my present hoping to instill in my boys the best of both.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Getting Back On Track

It's been five and a half weeks since Baby C joined our family. We've gotten through the toughest of the newborn days but still have rough patches here and there. C's smile is amazing and melts my heart every single time. My other boys adore him too and are always happy and willing to give him a bottle when I'm too busy to sit down and nurse him.

I had a minor setback the other day, personally. Someone I am close to made a crack about me still carrying my baby weight. I was crushed. As I've mentioned before, weight is a really big deal to me. I had thought that I had done a pretty good job up until that point of camoflaging my ample thighs and belly, but apparently it wasn't good enough. Now before you go and say nasty things about the person who made the comment, let's just say that they "didn't know any better" and leave it at that. I have to turn the other cheek and just move on from the comment. Move on and do something about it, that is.

I started eating better and I've already seen another pound shed off by controlling my desire for after-dinner desserts. I've cut out "naughty" breakfasts and replaced them with a (measured) bowl of Special K, a banana, and strawberries each morning. (I'm allowing one splurge breakfast per week.) I'm really controlling my portions and allowing myself healthy snacks when I need them. But on top of it all, as if from heaven, one of my girlfriends emailed me today and asked if I would like to run the Disneyland 5K in September.

It's on! I'm doing it! I haven't been on my treadmill since the first trimester of my pregnancy and I've NEVER ran a 5K or to the corner of my street for that matter. I'm going to take it slow, but this 5K is the perfect motivator to get my booty moving again. I have a big press event June 10 and hopefully I'll seena bit more trim me in the mirror by then. I know that I can do this! And when all is said and done, I eventually want to lose 20 pounds, I know I need to take it one day and pound at a time.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Time To Be Social

Grab the link-up button and post "It's a Social Parade Wednesday Link-up."  Every Wednesday a new linky will be posted with that weeks exchange info.  This week is Google Friend Connect Round Up!! Here's a link to the details

To participate, follow the blog in the first spot or all of them.  All blogs participating must post about Social Parade and link to that post. Have fun and be social!

Smart and Trendy Moms

Reporting From the Trenches of Motherhood

I haven't posted here in a while because I've been sent out on assignment down into the trenches of motherhood. On April 6, my husband and I welcomed beautiful baby C into our family and life has been nonstop ever since. Baby C weighed in at 6 lbs, 5 oz and 20 inches long. I had a labor that I will perhaps blog about once I have had a chance to get over the fact that the jerks at Kaiser made my labor way more traumatic than it needed to be due to their arrogance and lack of compassion.

Anyway, we are back in the land of sleepless nights and exhausted days. It's funny how motherhood has a way of producing some sort of Jedi mind trick allowing you to forget how tiring it is to be up with a newborn all night and how fun it is to feel like the baby is going to suck your boobs right off your body. You forget the joy of yellow poop projecting across the changing table and the fact that your waist is still but a distant memory even four weeks after delivery.

Baby C is fabulous. He's is a cute as a button and growing fast. My other two boys love him to pieces and the dog has yet to give him a second look. (Of course, that could very well be because the dog is desperately in need of being groomed and can probably barely see the baby through his long "bangs.") He seems to have a pretty calm temperament and doesn't mind the noise the other boys make while running through the house playing.

I have to say that by and large, baby number three is pretty darn easy. As a mother, I feel like I have lots of tricks up my sleeve. (And believe me when I tell you I'm wearing sleeves. My post-pregnancy arms are not a sight to behold.) I'm also so much more calm than with my last two. I know that the difficulties and sleepless nights will pass. I know what I have to look forward to. Every moment is so very fleeting. Today, for example, I swear that my four-week-old bundle of love smiled at me for the first time. (Yes, he is a genius. I just filled out his MENSA application.) It was magic. It made me forget the fact that I have not slept since 4:30 and the fact that my boobs feel like I imagine my dog's chew toys feel. Baby C is just so precious, I can barely stand it.

So anyway, I'm back and sorry it took so long to get here. I'll be reporting the good, the bad, the ugly, and the wonderful of my journey. I'm also hoping to start doing a few giveaways here, instead of over on my Disney blog, Babes in Disneyland. If you aren't already, please follow this blog through google and "like" me via Facebook so that I can have more visible fans here.