Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mama Doesn’t Get A Free Day

I’ve been nauseated since Sunday (it’s Wednesday). I’ve mostly been ok until I eat and then I need to lie down because I’m so very nauseated. Obviously, I’ve been mostly avoiding food. Last night it got really bad and didn’t matter if I’d eaten I was so sick. This morning it was still like that so I called my mom to see if she could take the girls for a couple hours and give me a break. She did, so I slept, and took a shower, but still it’s not good. I have only had a granola bar, some jello and a popsicle in the last 24 hours. That and about 7 gallons of water. I’m trying a couple crackers now, cause my stomach is churning on itself. So we’ll see. No sick days for Mama.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fun Monday--the Fire Sale Edition

Don’t know if you heard, but Northern California is pretty much aflame. Seriously, I woke up with a sore throat from all the smoke in our air. It’s bad. Really bad. None of the fires are very close to us, but the wind is working against us as far as smoke goes. And, just for the record, the beach house has a fire just a few miles from it too, so going down there isn’t much help. Thus you get the fire sale edition of Fun Monday. cough, cough

After many weeks off I decided to participate in Fun Monday again. Fun Monday this week is hosted by Hula Girl at Heart, (go check her out for more on this topic and a really, really 90's wedding dress). The topic she gave us is:

Show us those pieces of clothing you just can't part with, whether you wear them or not. It might be your grandma's vintage wedding dress, a jacket from high school, a t-shirt from an old boyfriend or those jeans you hope to get back into some day. It could be anything. Most of us have something like that we can't seem to throw away.

I was going to participate in the Fun Monday by talking about my favorite outfit, which is a teal skirt & top. I got the outfit the spring Daddy Speak & I were engaged; so it’s 8-9 years old. I love it for a lot of reasons, mostly cause it’s gorgeous and my eyes turn the same color teal when I wear it. I wore it a lot and even took my engagement photos with DaddySpeak in it, so it’s memory is well preserved to me no matter what. Once I got pregnant with BigSpeak (6 years ago) I no longer fit in it. Or at least, no longer fit in it well. I hold on to it in the hope that I will get thin enough to get back into it, although I’m pretty sure even at a size smaller than it, my hips expanded enough so that it won’t fit “right”. But I still hope, a girl‘s gotta have a dream, right? Today I decided I’m going to give up that dream. Yup, just today I decided I’m going to get rid of it. Our friends who lost their house this weekend, I’m going to pass it on to them. Well to K, I don't think D would look that good in teal, I'm just saying... They have nothing now and it’s just sitting in my closet, waiting to eventually be passed on to Goodwill. Instead it’s going to get a new life. It holds such happy memories for me, it seems fitting that it should help her move forward into new happiness.

This is not the best pix of it, but the only I could find for now. Plus look at DaddySpeak w/his long hair! Being the Rock Star he is!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Welcome to the Freak Show

Today was so weird.

All last night & today our street has been a freak show; cars and people are constantly driving and walking by to see the destruction. The FD was here till well past midnight. The phone and cable companies have been working on lines all day. Our electricity came back around 9:30 last night, but it was well past noon before we had internet or cable. The burned out houses were boarded up by 6 this morning (DaddySpeak managed to slip in and get some photos,) and a cyclone fence with locks went up at some point during the day. People get out of their cars to peek through the fence.

Everything seems so surreal.

We had 5 parties today, we were only trying to make three of them, but I told DaddySpeak as we left, “I so don’t want to go anywhere today. I just want to stay around the neighborhood with people who know how I’m feeling. I want to close ranks with everyone here it just seems how it ought to be.” He said he felt the same way. We still had to go. It was fine. We even made the third party which was for the triplets. The majority of people were gone but it was good to be back by our house and with friends who understood our state of mind. One of the neighbors went out & got gift certificates (Target, Old Navy & Toys R Us) for D&K; the kids only have the bathing suits they were wearing at the pool when it all started. Tonight I walked over to her house to give her a check for my part. Our house was the closest of all our friends to the fire, but the smoke, apparently, drifted the away from us. Once I got past the houses I was overwhelmed w/the smoke smell. My nose started dripping uncontrollability and my eyes were watering. I can only imagine what it was like last night. We’re lucky on this front too; I tend to be very sensitive to things like smoke. If it had drifted our way I might be sleeping at my parents house for the next couple days. Several other neighbors happened to be heading to the same house as myself and we had an informal powwow for a half an hour or so. It was what I needed. To feel connected to these people who are feeling the same sense of survivors’ guilt I am. I’m glad it worked out that way.

I’m feeling so many things right now and it’s like I have no words to articulate the complexity of these feelings. I’m suddenly at such a loss of words.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Loss of Innocence

I’m sitting here drinking a mudslide in the heat, trying to get a buzz so I can forget a bit how much I care about what I’m going to tell you. As I sit here I’m also listening to the hum of six large fire engines in our street because some good friends lost their home today.

Today was a typical Friday for our neighborhood. This afternoon (after nap time) we headed out to the pool to hang out because it was HOT. It had to be very close to 100° today. I had stopped at Costco earlier & picked up a chicken to eat cold for dinner tonight. The neighbors behinds us (triplets) were there and so were A, C & their dad D. Mom would be there later after work w/KFC for the crowd. Kids played, we BS’d and shared snacks & beers. At 5:30 we looked toward our neighborhood and saw a huge black cloud rising quickly from some houses. The guys took off running (DaddySpeak was jumping backyard fences) leaving S (triplets mom) and I with 7 kids. And they didn’t come back. K (A & C’s mom) pulled up just as the guys were jumping fences, she was worried about her house. She was going to pull the KFC out & go check, but I told her I’m sure it’s fine, just go check & come back. She never came back! Now I’m getting a little worried, the guys ran over w/out anything but their swim trunks, no shoes and certainly no cell phones. Realizing this was serious and looking for some distraction, I pulled out our food and started feeding kids. K’s mom suddenly pulls up and we know D & K’s house is involved. Their mom packed up their stuff and took the kids to her house. The guys finally came back; it was D & K’s house (three doors down from us) and their next door neighbors, N (two doors down). The guys had been helping to actually fight the fire; unrolling & hooking up hoses and hosing down the house in-between ours and N’s. The fire had started between the two houses, but as of now do not know how or why. (Part of the reason there are still six large trucks out there is because they are working on finding out the why.) K & D’s bedrooms are a loss, the roof on that side collapsed. I imagine most of the stuff in the house has smoke & water damage, so what didn‘t get destroyed is probably mostly lost too. They do have some clothing and the most important irreplaceable stuff (baby mementos) were salvaged. Their dog, Leo, was in their bedroom and did not make it. I am overwhelmed with my feelings and can not begin to fathom how they are feeling right now. I had to explain to BigSpeak that one of her best friends just lost everything safe she knows. She doesn't really understand yet, and I'm sad that in short order she will. They are such babies still, they shouldn't have to understand how vulnerable we are yet.

I am grateful that they are all physically ok.
I am overwhelmed by the outpouring from the neighborhood already. (I’m sure they are too.)
I am grateful that it was not my home and my family.
I’m saddened that my child (BigSpeak) and one of her best friends (A) lost their sense of security in relation to their homes tonight.
I am hopeful that they will be blessed in the rebuilding of their home.
I pray that Leo didn’t suffer.
Mostly I am glad that all of us (their family and mine) are healthy and able to move forward together.
The picture is not of their house, I found it via an image search on yahoo.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hot Gift

I know a week or two ago I was complaining about how it’s supposed to almost be summer & we are freezing over here! But this week the temperature has been creeping up and today we were about 95° . Not having AC we’re feeling a bit warm in the Speak household (the kids’ rooms are about 80° at 7:30 this evening). In this case the heat wave does have an upside?; my folks gave us a margarita maker last weekend. It was a late anniversary gift. Coincidently my folks are spending the night here; they’re having their house tented for termites, so we broke out the margarita machine (actually the thing is so freakn’ huge it has it’s own spot permanently on the counter!) No margaritas though, mudslides! Yeah Baby! YUM! Not low carb, but yummy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Vacation with a Vengeance!

This is our first week true week of summer vacation and we are at it with a vengeance!

On Monday we went to Happy Hollow. This is a park aimed at the under 5 set and is perfect for us. After 30+ years are they are gutting the place & redoing all of it starting in July, which is really very bittersweet. On one hand ,it’ll be really, really, really nice once it’s finished. On the other, this park is a place that anyone who grew up in the South Bay has visited as a child, and to have them change it now after all this time, is just sort of sad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure, safety wise the place is a nightmare, but still, I have pictures of both DaddySpeak and I as children riding the carousel, running in the maze, climbing the fire engine….so it’s melancholy. We’re trying to get in as many visits as possible before their close date.

Yesterday, we cleaned house and then cousin S came over for a playdate; after which you couldn’t tell I’d done any cleaning. It was fine, they just built a “carnival” in the front room using every toy in the house and utilizing every inch of space in our playroom. After the playdate we headed over to one of the neighbors for slip and slide and then take out Chinese. (I love summer!)
This morning we got up and picked up the playroom (took us 30 minutes, I set the timer in 10 minute increments) then headed off to Gilroy Gardens for the day. The girls slept the entire ride home.

Tomorrow we have gymnastics and swim lessons, and Friday is Gymboree.
Whew! If we keep up this pace I’ll be a size 4 in a month!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Typical Night at Home

DaddySpeak and I are having a typical evening at home.

Girls are asleep upstairs.
TV is on; watching Dirty Jobs.
He’s sitting on the love seat and I’m on the couch, we each like to stretch out and have a blanket (cause we're true romantics). AND...

We each have a laptop going; I’m digi-scrapping, he’s cruising the Internet.

Romantics at heart, that's us!

No, we are not emailing each other!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Odd Man Out


Sometimes this parenting thing can be so hard. And they're only 5 and 2! I'm not sure how to help BigSpeak, she's super sensitive and not mature enough emotionally to deal with all the things she picks up on.

This afternoon we had a lovely low-key Father's Day with about 5 other neighbors at our neighborhood pool. We'd all agreed to a BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat) Potluck. BYOM is explainatory, potluck=sidedish to share. It was going great till we realized that the pool's BBQ is missing it' s propane tank. No problem we moved it to one of the neighbor's backyards. After everyone had finished eating the kids were playing inside and one of the girls announced we were getting a dance show. When the kids assembled to do the show BigSpeak hung back by the parents. I asked her if she was going to go with the kids and she burst into tears. She was so upset that I had to take her inside so I could get her to calm down. The explination I got was that she didn't know how to do what they were doing and wanted to do it at home. I told her that was fine & got her to calm down. She watched the "show" w/the adults, but was still unhappy. When we got home, as promised, we got our dance show. She beamed while dancing for just us.

I don't know if she was just:
  • Overtired (likely)

  • Upset because it seemed the kids had paired off & she was somewhat of the odd man out. (I think she picked up on this but may not have understood why this upset her.)

  • Being the perfectionist and not wanting to do something until she knew she could do it perfectly. (This one has been a big problem in the past, and hasn't reared it's head for a while.)
I'm sure it's a combination of the 3, the later two concerning me greatly. There's so many ramifications to being a perfectionist like that. I mean, Dude, you're only 5, if you're putting this much pressure on yourself now, how are top it by age 13? And the feeling left out thing, I know it's something we all go through, but the cliquiness that has started already, it scares the crap out of me.
I just want to gather her up in my lap and hold her. She looks so much older than her barely 5YO self, and she's still such a little girl. I want to protect her from all those mean things that rotten kids will inevitably say to her, (because kids are mean and will do that,) and the snubs that will be put her direction (because she's sensitive and will wear her feelings making herself an easy target). I just want to hold her close and make it OK.

Most of the time she's such a happy, carefree little girl and it hurts me to see these types of things chipping away at that. I want to tell her it will be OK, and know that it really will be for her. How do you help your child develop a thick skin, without chipping away at that the pure innocence that believes everyone is nice?

I watch her sleep and she's still such a baby. The world is asking her to grow up too fast and I want to protect her from that.

Friday, June 13, 2008

We made it.

Schools out (as of Wednesday) and I’m now feeling like I can breath again. Note: the next time I decide to initiate a school project with less than 2 weeks left in the school year just take a gun to my head ok? I’m obviously loopy. You see, I decided that a scrapbook would make a really nice teachers gift. Being that I was working most of the year & wasn’t able to get into the class and take lots of pictures. Brilliant me! I thought I’ll get everyone else’s pictures. This really was a great idea, if I had like a month left, which I did not. I did not let that deter me. And in the process I offered to set up a class gift as well. Because, well because I am obviously short a few brain cells.
Short story long, I was able to get quite a few pix from other parents, I now the name of every kid in my daughters class. I created a really nice (if I do say so myself) album for each teacher and collected enough money for a really nice gift card ($100+) and box of Godiva (dipped fruit, yum!) for each of them. I lost a bit of sleep (try 4 nights up till 2-3AM and Monday was till 4 AM). But I think they really appreciated it. And I enjoyed playing Santa. So that’s the reasons I’ve been MIA the last couple weeks. In the meantime some bullet points on what you’ve missed:

  • Headed to the beach house for the weekend last weekend & had So. Much. Fun!

  • BigSpeak lost a second tooth. And I do mean lost. So far, the Tooth Fairy is getting gypped.

  • BigSpeak has officially graduated from Pre-K.

  • Major neighborhood drama between moms & girls (not together, that would be too exciting); the fun never ends here.

  • LittleSpeak bit her sister & broke skin the other morning (she wanted the step stool BigSpeak was one, note there are two of them.)

  • I got to view the photos I had done with the girls a few weeks ago and OMG! Lets just say the photo studio is having a very Merry Christmas based on what we’re spending.

All right, the neighborhood pool is open now & the girls are jonesing to go again. More later! Happy Summer!

Monday, June 02, 2008


Yeah, OK a pix of her sleeping would've been way more appropriate for this post, I agree. However, I have discovered, upon looking at my photo library, that my child rarely sleeps. Thus, I have no recent pix of her sleeping. After reading what I have to say below, you will completely understand why I am NOT going to got take a pix her right now (and risk waking her up.) I love you Internet, but a mama's gotta sleep too.

She's sleeping w/out her binky right now! I know, who would've thunk it?
DaddySpeak took her to a friends house today during nap time (I was having tea at the Fairmont, cause I'm all Fancy Nancy like that). Since we had a b-day party at 4 I made it clear that she needed to nap. That was fine, friends own a port-a-crib. They also have daughters the same age as ours, so big girls could play while little ones napped. Ahhh, but DaddySpeak forgot to bring a bink. She cried. But he was surprised at how short it lasted, less then 10 min total (and that included him going in once to make sure she wasn't climbing walls). So I was inspired and tonight at bedtime I asked her if she was ready to send them off to the Bink Fairy. I got an enthusiastic "babies", meaning that's who would get them. I agreed that the mythical babies would get her binks. That was that. I rocked her a little, but she wasn't completely alseep, I put her in her crib, gave her Sally (favorite doll), a blanket and she rolled over & went to sleep w/out a peep.

My fingers are crossed that she won't wake up at 2 AM screaming cause she can't find it.

Sigh, she's really not a baby anymore.