What I’ve really learned this week is that America loves a gal who’s not afraid to show off her post-baby bump. Which is why I’m scheduling a photo shoot for this week now that our vacation is over. Let’s just say after three little bundles of chaotic joy, there’s a whole lot to love. Step aside, Kate. Or, better yet, read along.
Lesson #1: After spending a few loooonng days with my kids and me, my mom (who’s all about half-full glasses — metaphorically, not literally, like me) pointed out that the fact that my kids are constantly challenging me is a sign that they’ll be leaders as they get older. Look out, people, I’m pretty sure I’m raising the future President of the United States.
Lesson #2: When you’re far from home, it’s close to midnight, and you think your toddler is just about to snuggle in on your chest and go to sleep, it’s a bit unnerving when she suddenly sits up and says “Giddy up!”
Lesson #3: It’s amazing what three kids from a one-story house will dream up given a winding staircase and an empty wicker waste basket.
Lesson #4: You can live at the beach for years and never get so much as a smudge of tar on your feet. But go back years later with your three kids (one of whom won’t touch sand and needs to be carried the whole time) and you’ll find yourself covered in the stuff, sticking to the ground the whole three-block walk (straight uphill!) to the car. But, if you’re as lucky as I am, you’ll have a seasoned friend 50 miles down the road waiting with cotton balls and baby oil to save your feet and your formerly gold sandals. (Thank you, Jodie!!)
Lesson #5: You can take the girl out of LA, but you can’t take the LA out of the girl. While driving around my old haunts, I took at least three insider shortcuts to avoid traffic. And, combined, they probably only added 45 minutes to our drive.
Lesson #6: Even staying in a house that’s four times the size of ours, with four times the number of bathrooms, I still find three kids in the bathroom with me when I shower.
Lesson #7: Most kids go to San Diego begging to spend a day at Sea World or Legoland. My kids, on the other hand, just wanted to go to Petco Park, home of the Padres. (And not even on a game day.)
Lesson #8: You’d be a fool to believe that because you found one of your son’s shoes that the other one must be close by.
Lesson #9: If you tell Little you’ll do something in a couple minutes, you’d better mean in. That kid immediately starts counting in sets of 60 and calls you on it.
Lesson #10: Little’s literal thinking doesn’t stop with counting minutes. No, after saying he’s been working harder on closing his mouth when he burps, he quickly added, “But I can’t close my butt when I fart!” Touché.
Lesson #11: Not hearing well is going to come in handy in a few years. After a trip to the very cool, hands-on Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, Big has decided he’d like to become a drummer and Little wants to start with the electric guitar. Yeah.
Lesson #12: Bending over to place a toilet seat cover on an automatic toilet with sunglasses on your head is just asking for trouble. Or extremely clean sunglasses, if you’re a glass-half-full type of person.
Lesson #13: It seems Pink’s cousins don’t like my nickname for her, so they’ve given her a new one. Which is also fitting, I’m afraid. Yes, she now answers (with attitude) to “Diva”.
Lesson #14: When we make the trip down to San Diego to see family, we also like to go back to all of our favorite places. Like the bathroom at the beach. And the bathroom at Vons. And the kids’ cousins’ pool where Little told us he was doing a public service by filling it up when he goes to the bathroom in the pool.
Lesson #15: Old habits die hard. You see, I swore if the Circle of Moms contest came back around this year, that I wouldn’t get involved. Heck, you guys clicked your fingers off the last two years to grab me the coveted #1 spot on the list. I told myself it was someone else’s turn (and it is), but what can a slightly (or more than slightly) obsessive-compulsive girl say? The logical side of her would say that since there isn’t a directory of Bay Area bloggers anywhere, this is the list anyone searching for bloggers to connect with goes. (You know, like Diane Sawyer and Coca-Cola.) The emotional side of her would say, watching that number next to the cute little heart rise gives her a crazy rush and makes her feel like the late nights and hours away from her kids actually matter to someone other than her. And her mom. (I mean, we’re only good for a few votes a day. Each.) Soooo…should either of those arguments mean anything to you, I’d love if you’d click RIGHT HERE and vote for Using Our Words. You don’t have to register, just click the little heart next to my picture to show your love. And, if you happen to share my obsessive tendencies, feel free to do it once a day. I mean, if you want to. (Or if the annoying voice in your head demands that you do, of course.)
Thanks to the friends and family who made our Southern California adventures so much fun. (And yes, I’ve been true to my word and not mentioned the people who paid me to stay silent about them here on the blog. For now. After all, I need votes.) Keep soaking up that summer fun…as long as it’s not from a pool Little’s been swimming in.