Friday

Surf Camp....lessons learned for all of us.

Well it sounded like a great idea when I signed the boys up in the middle of winter (ya know when it is like freezing here at 60 degrees), but this week turned out to be more of an emotional challenge for me than a physical one for the boys. And I wasn't the only one who learned things...
Let me explain:
The week started great with both boys running to the beach to sign in before I had to call them back to the car to sunscreen all the parts of them that were peaking out of their wetsuits. They met their instructor (a girl-which I thought was even cooler) and they picked out giant surfboards (apparently the larger the board the easier it is to get up) and They carried those huge things to the water then learned a bunch of stuff about rip tides, jelly fish, sting rays, protecting their head from the board (panic for ME was starting to set in at this point) and how to get up on the board. The boys were having a great time. And then they went into the water....and the goal is to walk/swim your way out past the point where the waves 'break' (meaning CRASH with insane strength to the shore of this great continent)....and getting past this point is much harder than you would think when you are all of 50 lbs and 7 or 9 years old......the boys were thrown back to shore hundreds of times (the giant surfboard flying in the air and often landing on their HEAD) with such force that I was certain they were going to come to me after each time and say 'I don't wanna do this' to which I would of said 'me niether-lets get out of here'. But you know what? The never gave up. NEVER. While I was on the shore bitting my nails and worried sick they just kept fighting the ocean with all they had. Tuck managed to get out and stand up coming in on a wave on day one and Jack was able to as well. Day two came and I decided to take the camp's advice and DROP THEM OFF. Sounds horrible- but they had superior supervision from tons of adults and lifegaurds. I went to Starbucks (Hot Spot) for both Day 2 and 3 for the majority of the day. When I picked them up they were so tired and still HAPPY. Oh and still ALIVE, which is really what I was worried about.
Yesterday (Day 4), I stuck aorund a little to watch get photos...and as I watched it happened.... Jack was fighting his way out to the break point and he was devoured by an angry wave which shot his board sky high, that then landed on his head. His instruction and saftey guy on the beach rushed to him...no blood...but what can sometimes be as bad...TEARS. We got ice, and sat down. He cried and cried and said he didn't ever want to surf again. He was never gonna do it again. NEVER. Then he said "man why to I quit everything?" (we tried baseball, football,clarinet and nothing stuck)....so I said back to him-and this took a lot of mom strength to say "Then DON'T". I said 'Don't quit. Keep trying. Don't give up'....I wanted to say- "Of course! Please quit. PLEASE. Lets go for ice cream okay?".....sometimes it is hard to be a good mom. This was one of those times for me. Secretly I wanted him to quit because it would make it better for me, less worry, less fear. So Today was Day 5, and when I asked Tucker to go put on his wetsuit to go- Jack did too. I was really surprised....but I didn't say anything. We went to surf camp like everything was normal. Jack went out today and was able to stand up and surf on nearly every wave he tried. Seriously- he looked like a real surfer to me-and my heart filled with joy to know my boy had learned life's best lesson: NEVER GIVE UP....and he learned it on his own. He pushed himself- and he succeeded. And I learned sometimes it is okay not to 'rescue' my babies from difficult situations...Oh- and I learned surfers have more facial fractures than any other sport (from one of the instructors)...yeah they didn't mention THAT in the brochure!
(Photo: Jack with victory arms raised!)
Photo note: These lifeguard stations are being 'retired' from Huntington Beach, and being replaced with snazzy no-splinter all metal ones....bummer really...since this are still so charming. Perhaps I can buy one and use as a guest house?
Now that would be totally OC of me!

Thursday

Before and After

video

Don't have actual footage of the segment from TV today. I gotta figure that out. Of course you are all invited over to my place to watch on my Tivo thingy if you want. I will provide wine and popcorn! Go ahead and bring the kiddies too- we will make a day of it! (Oh how I wish!) Meanwhile, this is a little movie of preparing before- and my thoughts after. Again- I learned a lot from this experience- and I listed all I learned at the end of the video.

She's so Crafty!

Whew! It is OVER. I survived my KDOC TV segment....got there way to early (I have to be JUST like Suzanne in EVERYTHING), and threatened my kids to be quiet like 9 million times while we waited in a conference room about 20 feet from the actual set where the news was being filmed. We had to set up the display table about 3 FEET from the news desk while they were taping...and in SILENCE in about 5 minutes. This was so so nerve wracking. Next week I am gonna ask them to wheel the table out to set it up I think. Finally the segment began. I did not get to talk about ANY of the actual crafts (upload coming soon)...nope I sorta just chatted with the news person about crafts in general. After watching I think I look about as fat as I expected- which is actually good, since I was afraid I was gonna fall into a deep depression after seeing myself on TV. Before I knew it-Voila! it was over.....Oh, and they put up the wrong web address for my blog on the screen. So that majorly sucks....but I go back next week.....I should be MUCH better at all this by then! If nothing else it was a great field trip for my boys....ya know when they have to write 'What I did over Summer Vacation' in the Fall - they can add 'I was on TV'....that should impress the ladies I think.

Wednesday

Check your Tivos people!

Whaaaa? Tomorrow is the big day folks...I am going to be on TV! And the producer thought it would be 'charming' to have my kids with me...great so now I have to figure out what they are gonna wear too. AND I will have to worry about what THEY say!!! So it is a program called Daybreak OC on Channel 6 in my land. I have to be there mega early since I will be on during the 7:00 hour. Yeah be there at like 6:30 WITH the kids...this is going to be intersting. Oh gosh I just had a vision of my kids fighting over scissors during the segment! (note to self: bring more scissors) I will figure out a way to post for all the rest of my fans (all 3 of you!...and I appreciate you all!)...

Meanwhile I am scheduled to do another segment next week on Travel Tips with Kids. So if you have any clever ideas- let me know.....I can use all the help I can get!!!!

Pedi for 3 please!

video

This is super short- so go ahead and click.....I HAD to get my signature french manicure before my TV debut on KDOC tomorrow. And it being summer the kids are with me 24/7. So off we all went...and when I realized they forgot their gameboys I thought getting them pedicures would keep them busy.....boy they seemed to really like it! Hope I am not creating 'high maintenance' men!

Tuesday

I'm embarassed...and lucky.

I am embarrassed of a few things in my life. I am embarrassed to buy beef jerky since I consider it total man-food. I am embarrassed if my kids fight in the middle of the grocery store over who gets to push the grocery cart. And very often-although not in all circles-I find that am embarrassed to admit I am a stay at home mom. I say something like ‘ well, right now I am in between consulting jobs so yes, I am staying home with the kids’, or often I inflate my photography commitments to lead people to believe I work 8 hour days as a photographer. But very very rarely do I tell people- I am a full fledged, totally lucky and privileged woman who gets to stay home with her kids. It is true after my kids became school age I was taking consulting positions in product development (Apparel and Fashion industry) which for sometimes more then 6 months out of the year. But because I was a consultant- I had flexibility which other full time working moms do not have. I think secretly I yearned to be ‘back in the game’ and fighting my way up the corporate ladder. Oh how I loved the race to the top. Then late last year my husband suggested it was time for me to return to work full-time in a regular position. I accepted a Senior Developer position (apparel) in management at a large corporation. I coordinated with my mom for school pick ups. I pulled out my arsenal of crock pot dinner recipes and calculated my attack over each weekend to be able to survive the work week. As long as I was organized and scheduled I managed to stay ahead of it all. But then came the travel. Off to Peru and Honduras and I was expected to go to Russia, China and Vietnam in the following months. The work responsibilities were growing- and while my ego swelled, my heart was breaking. My boys asked- ‘when are you gonna be done with this work thing mom?’…..My husband continued his busy executive work schedule and of course he was travelling as well. It was over a conversation with him about coordinating my over-seas trip with his Asia departure that I began to wonder what in the world was I doing? It was all a blur. My boys were having a few problems in school, I had no idea what had been going on in their lives either. I felt pulled when I was with them, to check work e-mails and my mind was distant as I mulled over the next days meetings and agendas. My husband knew how I was feeling without me saying a word- he called me one day at work and said. “Just Quit”. He made it seem so simple. So easy. And gave me the confidence to follow my heart. He never once lectured me about how it was going to affect our finances. He never once asked me to keep giving it a shot….he just gave me the total and complete encouragement to be what I really always wanted to be…A STAY AT HOME MOM. Do I miss it? Sure, a little. I miss the constant validation that I have something to offer to the world. I miss feeling valuable- and I miss getting paid for my efforts. I miss lunches with colleagues. I miss meetings and corporate struggles. I miss playing the game. I miss being in the race.…..But at the same time I am so eternally grateful for a husband who is willing to take on the financial responsibility of our family all on his own- and only asks that I do my best with the kids. He indulges my photography business, my new blogging obsession, my endless crafts and projects. How lucky am I? Pretty damn lucky folks…..I guess I am so lucky-that it is cause to be embarrassed.

Monday

I have been tagged by my buddy Nik at Prose and Converse to answer an insane amount of questions about myself. This feels a bit like an e-harmony questionnaire....but forget it all you hot male models out there...I am a happily married woman! But I digress...here it is folks...
Five things in my purse:
1. Gum ( I may need Gum rehab for my addiction)
2. Lipstick (in a silly lipstick holder with a mirror too)
3. Two bouncy balls (emergency entertainment for the boys)
4. Sunscreen stick (for da boys AND me. I have been know to cover whole bodies using the stick!)
5. Camera (always, always, always have a camera charged and ready to shoot)
Five favorite things in my bedroom:
1. My temper-pedic bed (it is as good as the commercials say)
2. My husband (seriously- this is the only time we get to talk alone!)
3. My treadmill (It is a love/hate relationship)
4. My aqua blue satiny bed spread (SO glamorous)
5. A framed copy of my wedding invitation (the happiest day of my life I think)
Five things I’ve always wanted to do:
1. Work as a photog for National Geographic (not the nature stuff..the people stuff)
2. Drive cross country. Preferably Route 66....
3. Own a Cuban bar/restaurant called 'The Mango Room' and serve Mango Mojitos. This will require Tito Puente performing opening night. Oh, I am also skinny and wearing a fabulous 1940's dress and hair-do in this fantasy.
4. Be a stand up comedian. Actually I think I AM a stand up comedian- I just have no audience. Is that really necessary?
5. Renew my vows with hubbby.....OR go to a surprise party for ME! (I am starved for attention I think- so pathetic!)
Five things I’m currently into:
1. Sunscreen...because at my age I must learn to deflect the sun.
2. Trying to be AUTHENTIC and honest at all times. I am trying to LOVE myself more...
3. Lipton Diet Papaya Ice Tea
4. Splenda everything (I am their biggest fan I swear)
5.Social risk taking...risk taking in general...just putting myself out there... and embracing ALL that is ME.
Five impressions on Nik at Proverse and Converse (who tagged me):
1. Her blog is one of the very first I read when I log into my reader each day. And I follow about 50 blogs....I look forward to her posts!
2. Her kids are as beautiful and her (and she is VERY beautiful)
3. She is a very talented writer...
4. She inspires me to do better as a blogger
5. We could be great real life friends if we lived closer and she could accept how old I am! But I fear I would 'mother' her to death....it is all I know!
Next is Six Quirks. Here (some) of mine:
1. I have a hard time writing or being creative at all if my house is a mess. I clean first.
2. I LOVE to organize. Sometimes I organize a closet just for FUN...
3. I put salt on my watermelon
4. I never eat left-overs.
5. I sing A LOT. I sing all day to my kids -it is like a mommy opera around here. "Time to go to BED! La La La"....and they sing back to me. I love it. Oh and in case you are wondering- I don't even think I am a very good singer....I just feel happy and sing!

So there you have it folks. WAY more than you wanted to know about me....if you are still reading it is my turn to 'tag' someone else. But I am not gonna- because I sense we are all suffering from blogger fatigue these days (lots of my bloggy friends are worried they are not keeping up as well as they should)....SO I encourage ANY of you to do this little questionnaire...and let me know so I can read all about YOU!!!!

Sunday

'feel free to move about the cabin'...how?

Doodle from the plane to Chicago this week.

Don't worry I did not actually wear green socks people....

and my blush was not nearly that bright...or round.

SOS from my children!

I ran out to do some errands and came home to an empty house this afternoon. Husband took the boys to HIS softball practice. Well it is very hot here today (pushing 100 degrees) so I got this e-mail on my Blackberry, from Jack who had obviously taken my husband's Blackberry to send an SOS message. The desperation just cracks me up. I mean these are BOYS at a PARK...not someone stranded in some foreign prison...
Mom its me jack and me and tucker really need you to pick us up at the field because its hot and humid and were bored by the way its a different field so you need to park at the schools lot and cut through the gate and keep walking till you here or see us. Please please please come and pick me up. Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

When I arrived they ran to me like i was FEMA coming to their aid. On the way to the car we had a chat.

Me: Ya, know boys some people do not even have air conditioning at all.

Tucker: I know that mom- but we DO. And I like it!

Oh boy...I think the glamorous life is having an effect on my boys too!

Photo challenge: From above

Well be cause I love me a linky thing...I am posting this picture of Tucker. It is part of a lovely photo challenge from Classy Chaos in which she has challenged us to show candid photos taken from above of our children. I have long used the trick of photo-ing from above in my professional work. Nothing makes a kids eyes bigger.... This photo is very special to me. Tuck was 2, and he is wearing a football jersey that he wore for THREE years. (I have kept it for his eventual museum when he is famous, oh yes he will be famous) He is holding in his hands (you can't see-but I remember all too well) a full size football. He slept with that football every night for almost year. I thought this was all too darn adorable at the time...and now? Well, now that Tucker starts tackle football with Pop Warner in August I am thinking I should have been giving that kid a Barbie to play with back then. MY BABY playing FOOTBALL? It goes against everything I have every known about motherhood.....except that it makes him happy. So I have little choice...after-all look at those blue eyes? Who could say no?