Since the fires here in Southern CA, the school's have been closed. They were also closed today. That meant that Foster's before and after-school pgm. was closed today, BUT, another pgm. at a nearby school was open and taking kids from all the other schools that had closed programs. So, we decided that since I'm still on jury duty and Laura needed to go to work, we'd enroll him for the day at the nearby day program. Well, Foster was onboard with the change in his schedule until we (meaning ME) got there. As I was signing him in he was getting more and more hysterical. He didn't want to stay, he didn't know anybody he said (not true), he didn't like it, why couldn't he come with me, he didn't want to stay, etc. I helped him hang-up his backpack, all the while he was saying he didn't want to stay - note, this is his M.O., he gets really upset with big changes like this and I guess when you're six, this is a big change.
So, as I'm peeling him off me as I try to leave (already running a bit late to drive downtown to park for jury duty) he grabs onto the back of my shirt and wouldn't you know it? He rips the bottom of it - about 6 inches or so. Damn. I'm not a happy camper. I calmly tell him to "have a good day and I'll see you later" and I left. I get to my car and try to decide if I have enough time to go home to change before court. I decided I couldn't go the whole day with a torn shirt so I drive home and change.
Get on the freeway, eat my bagel and cream cheese (pay attention, this is an important point). Get to my usual parking lot only to be greeted by a big blue sign politely informing me that the lot is full. Double Damn. There is no parking here for jurors, you either take public transportation or pay $10/day (or more) to park. Many people take the trolley or bus but I don't. I roll down my window and ask the lot attendant if it's "really, really full or just 'maybe' possibly full". I need a damn spot. He lets me in "at my own risk". I realize that the two HUGE Carnival Cruise ships sitting at the docks are the main reason the lot is full. All those lucky people are relaxing on the ships (having already been parked and loaded onto the ship) and now I have to find a spot among their parked cars. Eventually I do find a spot but not without a million scenes running thru my brain (namely a bench warrant for my arrest since I didn't make jury duty).
Then - were you paying attention? I go to take my backpack out of the passenger side door only to find the straps are covered with cream cheese. So, then I have to dig around to find a baby wipe and proceed to clean those. Quickly, because I don't have much time.
Walking to the courthouse, I thought that yeah, my day isn't turning out so great - better watch where I cross the street, wouldn't want to get hit by the trolley - 'cause ya know, that would REALLY ruin my day.
Get to the courthouse entrance and stand in line to go thru the metal detectors. I put my backpack up on the conveyor belt only for the Sheriff demand I put it back thru again. She asks me "do I have a pocket knife in there"? Ummmm - no I don't lady. She puts it back thru again. They open it, search it and sure enough, in a little tiny pouch I threw in at the last moment (had some Tums in there) there WAS a pocket knife. Okay, running late now. I decided to just give them the knife but miraculously it was "okay for me to bring in since it was so small". Ahhhh. Good thing to know that mad jurors runing late are allowed to bring pocket knives in, but of course, only if they are really, really tiny.
Get up to the fourth floor with a few moments to spare.
We started deliberations today to my surprise. But in a room that at noon was freezing. Now, anyone that knows me, knows that if I'm actually uncomfortably cold, it's really cold in there. I'm wearing short-sleeves - the "new" shirt I put on when I returned home this morning after dropping Foster off.
We break for lunch so I decide to go to Horton Plaza which is a mall about 4 blocks away to buy a jacket or sweater. So I run there and buy a jacket. Scarf down some lunch I picked up at the Starbucks and run back up to the deliberation room. Yeah, guess what I found out? They upped the heat, it's hot in there. Good thing I didn't rip off the price tags! I will return it tomorrow (one good thing - I bought myself a nice watch while I was at Macy*s - gotta feed my watch addiction you know).
We ended at 4:00. I picked up Foster from the day program, only to find out he had a great day afterall and calmed down within 5 minutes of me leaving this morning. Okay - well, at least that's good.
Then of course, the usual dinner chaos which I won't get into now but trust me, same old, same old.
Things were going a bit better - Laura was getting ready to go return my video to the store at 9:00 pm that was due today, only to find out that yeah, it WAS due... at NOON (I highly dislike Blockbuster).
I'd call for a do-over for today, but frankly, I don't want to.
Instead of sending out multiple e-mails to family and friends I decided to just post here.
First off, we are fine. We were "thisclose" to being evacuated though, just a few miles south (as the crow flies). We did pack the cars - just in case. We went thru this exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) four years ago.
We experienced lots and lots of falling ash and debris. The fires here were huge. About one million people were displaced but San Diego is an awesome city and they all pulled together to get thru this. I can't think of another city as well prepared as we are. We've (and I mean the collective "we" the county "we") have been preparing for situations just like this since the Cedar Fires 4 years ago. We get regular "Disaster Training" at work.
Foster is off school this entire week due to the fires. This means I get to play "stay at home mom" tomorrow. If we get all our home chores done, I have an outing planned. The outside air quality is really unhealthy though.
So, for now, things look good for us. But, in reality, the county suffered greatly. The fire that affected us mostly where Laura and I live (the Witch fire) is still only 20% contained. For those of you who slept thru math, that means a considerable amount, 80% of it, is still NOT contained and remains burning. They don't expect full containment of all the fires (there are multiple ones still burning in the county) for another few weeks. Then, all the rebuilding takes place.
I work for the county and therefore I am a "public servant" (that really is what we are called) and can therefore be called out to help out at any shelter or at any office in the future. But, since the courts are closed this week, my jury duty was postponed 'til next week. I plan to return to jury duty on Monday if all is still well.
Thanks to all who took the time to send a quick e-mail to check on us (and those who kept us in their thoughts - you know who you are) - we really appreciated it.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...
I posted this video before but I realize some of the beginning was missing - almost a minute. I'm sure you've all heard this mom "tell it like it is" and here's the whole thing - again. If you're like me, you can easily listen to this again.
The lyrics are under the video.
Get up now, get up now Get up out of bed Wash your face Brush your teeth Comb your sleepy head Here’s your clothes And your shoes Hear the words I said Get up now Get up and make your bed Are you hot? Are you cold? Are you wearing that? Where’s your books and your lunch and your homework at? Grab your coat and your gloves and your scarf and hat Don’t forget you gotta to feed the cat Eat your breakfast The experts tell us it’s the most important meal of all Take your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tall Please remember the orthodontist will be seeing you at three today? Don’t forget your piano lesson is this afternoon So you must play Don’t shovel Chew slowly But hurry The bus is here Be careful Come back here Did you wash behind your ears? Play outside Don’t play rough Would you just play fair? Be polite Make a friend Don’t forget to share Work it out Wait your turn Never take a dare Get along Don’t make me come down there Clean your room Fold your clothes Put your stuff away Make your bed Do it now Do we have all day? Were you born in a barn? Would you like some hay Can you even hear a word I say? Answer the phone Get Off the phone Don’t sit so close Turn it down No texting at the table No more computer time tonight Your iPod’s my iPod if you don’t listen up Where you going and with whom and what time do you think you’re coming home? Saying thank you, please, excuse me Makes you welcome everywhere you roam You’ll appreciate my wisdom Someday when you’re older and you’re grown Can’t wait ‘til you have a couple little children of your own You’ll thank me for the counsel I gave you so willingly But right now I thank you NOT to roll your eyes at me Close your mouth when you chew Would appreciate Take a bite Maybe two Of the stuff you hate Use your fork Do not you burp Or I’ll set you straight Eat the food I put upon your plate Get an A, Get the door Don’t get smart with me Get a Grip Get up here or I’ll count to 3 Get a job Get a life Get a PhD Get a dose of… I don’t care who started it You’re grounded until you're 36 Get your story straight And tell the truth for once for heaven’s sake And if all your friends jumped off a cliff Would you jump too? If I’ve said it once, I’ve said at least a thousand times before that You’re too old to act this way It must be your father’s DNA Look at me when I am talking Stand up straighter when you walk A place for everything And everything must be in place Stop crying or I’ll give you something real to cry about Oh! Brush your teeth Wash your face Get your PJs on Get in bed Get a hug Say a prayer with Mom Don’t forget I love you **KISS** And tomorrow we will do this all again because a mom’s work never ends You don’t need the reason why Because Because Because Because I said so I said so I said so I said so I’m the Mom The mom The mom The mom The mom Ta-da
I got selected for jury duty, Laura didn't. After I had gotten there and got into the court-room, I actually 'wanted' to get picked. Once I heard what the case is about (no, I'm not telling...yet) I wanted to get picked so I could find out how it ended up. Well, I got my wish, I'm in, and the case is expected to last thru Wednesday.
Laura didn't get selected. She never even left the Jury Lounge (her name never came up). Here in San Diego, the law is "One Day, One Trial". So you show up one day, if you get selected for a trial, you finish up that trial. If you don't get selected and you sit in the jury lounge for the day, you're done. The difference is that if I finish this trial, I can be excused from jury duty for 3 years. Laura can be summoned again in as little as one year.
The best part of the day was lunch. We met and walked over to a wonderful nearby hotel where we had a wonderful (read, quite pricy) lunch together. Kinda like we actually had a date! It was very fun indeed.
So, I report in tomorrow at 9am and I hope to end the days by 4:30 or so.
“I mean, think about it. Other than the war in Iraq, the Katrina disaster, the deficit, the CIA leak, torture, stopping stem cell research, homeland security, global warming, and undercutting science, we’ve yet to really feel the negative effects of the Bush administration.” ~ Bill Moyers
Palm Springs was FUN! We left San Diego just after 1:00pm on Friday, picking up Foster from school early. All 3 kids conked out early on in the drive so it was nice and quiet. We arrived at our hotel just after 3:30 and checked in. We met up with some cyber-friends and settled into our room which was in a perfect location just next to the pool. Unfortunately that afternoon and evening, Palm Springs was hit by some pretty strong wind. We did go into the pool but with the wind, it was quite chilly. Dinner (family-style with all the families there) was fun as well. We ended the day with me sleeping in one bed with Seth and Laura sleeping in the other bed with Logan because they couldn’t seem to NOT bug each other in the same bed. Foster slept on a cot. I didn’t sleep well that night as I would wake up every time Seth rolled over panicked that he’d fall out of the bed – which I might add was very NOT low to the ground and the floor was tile. I think I caught him no less than a dozen times during the night “thisclose” to the edge of the bed.
Saturday morning brought us to breakfast in the hotel lobby. We then decided to forgo some of the activities and we went to the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway. We took the kids to the top where it was a chilly 38 degrees. Seth (AKA: Mr. No Body Fat) got chilled within a few minutes of being outside. We did have fun letting the kids crawl over the rocks and explore the area. We knew we wouldn’t make it back to the hotel in time for lunch so we ate “at the top of the mountain”. Damn, they are expensive up there but the view is breath-taking ---- literally. I felt it a bit harder to catch my breath being so far up but felt much better when we took the tram back down. We got back to the hotel just in time for “Family Tie-Dying” – that was super-fun. We “tie-dyed” shirts and socks. It was fun to know that we can do that and NOT be responsible for cleaning up the mess afterwards. We then spent some time in the pool and got to relax for about 10 minutes.
On Saturday evening two large “cruise” buses arrived at the hotel to take everyone to a private house a few miles away. Well, “house” doesn’t do justice. It was an estate. The couple (Tom Bombadier and John Fowler) who own the house hosted an amazing event for the families that evening. They actually rolled out the “red carpet” (you can see it in the pictures) for us when we arrived. They set up tables upon tables on the tennis courts. Around the perimeter were the food stations and they thought of everything – including an OPEN BAR. They had all kid-friendly food – mini pizzas, chicken fingers, hot dogs and burgers. They had a “Make your own Sundae bar” and a “Candy Bar” where they had all these huge glass jars filled to the top with various candies and you got to fill as many bags as you wanted with whatever candy you wanted to take with you. The President of Family Pride gave a speech and they had a fund-raiser and the hosts were going to donate $25,000.00 if all the rest of us donated that much. Within 15 minutes of fund-raising (filling out promise cards) they raised close to $70,000.00!!!! Excellent. Then they handed out glow sticks to all the kids and showed a private screening of “Shrek II”. Foster, Logan and Seth did really well and we all enjoyed the movie. Then the buses came back and shuttled us all back to the hotel where we crashed – but best part yet, Logan and Seth slept in the same bed! Yay!
Sunday morning we went to the hotel lobby again to have breakfast and then a dip in the pool and then Laura packed the room while I tried to entice the kids to go for a walk – they did. We were supposed to meet back up with some of our cyber-buds but time ran out as we had to check-out by noon. We made even better time back to San Diego, less than 2 hours, and again, all 3 kids slept most of the way. We arrived home just in time to put in 3 loads of laundry.
Fun trip – we can’t wait to do it again next year!!!!!
We had an awesome time in Palm Springs. Wait 'til you see the pictures of the private house that hosted a party for us. It was probably one of the biggest high-lights of the weekend. Well, that and meeting up with my cyber-friends...sorry we didn't have more time...didn't the weekend just fly by?
Anyway, I promise pic's are coming and a run-down of the weekend.
But first, I'm oddly attracted to "Kid Nation" - both on a personal level and a professional one. Hmmm, it starts now, so I'm gonna watch it and then concentrate on getting the pic's up on Shutterfly.
This weekend we're joining lots and lots of other GLBT families for the 5th Annual Family Pride in the Desert. Both Laura and I are taking off work on Friday and we'll be sneaking in to pick up Foster early from school (probably right after lunch) and Logan and Seth from Gina's to "get the show on the road" early. Dinner is served at 6.
The weekend looks like so much fun! Lots of activities - swimming, family games, movies, tye-dyeing, a little sight-seeing and best of all --- all the food is included! Yay!
They sold out the hotel we're staying at - this is the main hotel for all the activities so I was very happy to get us a suite. We'll be here - the Shilo Inn has two swimming pools and from what I understand, all the rooms kind of face the middle courtyard and the pools.
We'll be meeting up with some friends we've met before and some we only know via the internet.
Foster is beyond excited about his "vacation" and sleeping for two nights in a HOTEL.
I really am looking forward to it - we need a mini-break!
Sheesh, I ask myself that several times per week. Now, being the good little readers that Laura and I are, I know that the parenting books, videos, magazines, etc. out there are plentiful – and believe me, we’ve read many. But, I usually think to myself “Well, who made Dr. Sears or the “Love and Logic” people the experts – better yet, the experts on MY kids”. Sure, maybe their parenting tips worked for THEM but are they working for me? It would just be easier if I intuitively knew what to do in any given situation.
Let me paint you a picture of a typical dinnertime meal: There’s child #1, Foster, stating he’s “starving, when’s dinner?” Children #2 and #3 Logan and Seth are typically getting in each other’s things and someone is usually screeching at this point. Laura is busy preparing the meal (after basically just walking in 20 minutes prior) and I’m trying to make sure nobody gets a limb caught in something, breaking up a squabble, or cleaning up kids preparing them for dinner.
Foster is still whining that he’s starving and the twins are still fighting over a piece of lint they found under the sofa.
Finally we all sit down to dinner and automatically Foster doesn’t want whatever is in front of him – well, sometimes he does.
Logan is climbing onto his chair all the while making sure his favorite baby doll is right next to him (or some other item).
Seth is dragging his heels coming into the dining room, and typically dragging some toy or truck or book or free McDonald’s toy to the table and then immediately starts removing anything green from his plate.
About 45 seconds later, and the precise moment Laura and I sit down, someone needs something – water, ketchup, a spoon or fork (‘cause they just tossed theirs on the floor). So we get that. Then about 2 minutes later Foster is done eating and asking for dessert (he usually gets to pick out 2 pieces of candy from the candy bowl). Of course then Logan demands to be done, followed by Seth who has eaten nothing. Logan’s chair and the surrounding floor are covered in crumbs, Foster is trying to pick out a Spongebob episode off of TiVo and Seth is wandering into the living room.
Then we eat – quickly because soon it’s time for bath, shower and bed for three kids. All the while Laura and I look at each other and wonder – what have we done wrong, why aren’t our kids all sitting quietly, elbows off the table, napkin tucked neatly on their lap eating their food WITH utensils (what a concept), proudly exclaiming “Mum, this food is absolutely delicious, you both are the best mums in the world and we love you – thank you for providing us with the most nutritious meal and taking such good care of us!” Then, I am quickly snapped back to reality when I hear the water running in the bathroom (WHO is in there?), see Logan running around stark nekkid wanting his bath NOW and hearing the kids yell at each other to “Move, you’re standing right in front of the TV – MOMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!”
Well, okay, sometimes it isn’t that bad but really, a manual designed for our kids, for our family would be greatly appreciated.
Sometimes when we’re out and about I watch other parents and their kids – and sometimes I think “Hey, they’re dealing with the same crap we are” and sometimes I see parents deftly handle any issue that crops up. I sure hope sometimes WE are the parents that other parents wonder “How do they handle those 3 adorable boys?” because yes, sometimes they are very well-behaved in public, even in restaurants (!!) and I feel very lucky indeed. Well, I always feel very lucky and blessed, but sometimes I just want the parenting answers inserted into my brain. Either that or Super Nanny – please come for a visit – we’ll feed you!