Sunday, April 29, 2012

Choo Choo

This weekend we took Leyton to Old Sac so he could ride the train.  It's free for his ride and $10 for me.  It was literally the best $10 I have spent.  The train was 40 minutes, and Leyton spent the entire time on his tippy toes so he could look out the side.  He was in awe.  It was such a gorgeous day and such a perfect experience.

After we had lunch with my friend Kim and her daughter Presley.  Kim and I have been friends for almost 25 years and there is nothing more wonderful to see our children together.  Presley trying to take Leyton's crayons, Leyton poking her to make her crazy....it was love at first date.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Custom Tattoos

I got my first tattoo when I was 18, it was a ladybug.  My second I was still 18 and it was a sunflower.  When I was 19 I got a gnome.  Not a single one of these items meant anything really, they were just things I liked.  I was always proud that they didn't come off a tattoo wall, but there was really no other significance.  Those tattoos were followed by others, the ladybug became a fish, a bee on my shoulder for my husband, a horseshoe to mark my wedding.

I had seen over 10 tattoo artists.  I jumped around, had one started by one person and added onto by someone else.  It never really mattered to me as long as they were good.  I never had a real connection to anyone because to be honest, a lot of them were assholes.  You could be amazing, but if you were a prick while you were pricking me...I wasn't coming back.

In 2007 I got injured, spent a a year recovering from a knee injury and relearning how to walk.  When I was starting to see the light at the end of this dark journey I decided that I wanted a tattoo to mark it.  I didn't want to just find an image though, something that I liked.  I wanted something that was custom drawn to mark this moment in my life.  Something that would tell the story.

That was when I found Alfredo.

I went in on crutches and told him my story.  I was hurt in the ocean, I got a blood clot, I had been on crutches for half a year and was relearning how to walk.  Could he create something for me.

It was perfect.  The waves were angry and bleeding at the bottom.  My crutch was there and the key word "transcend" reminding me that I could make it through anything.  I knew then and there I would never be tattoo'd by anyone else.  I also thought that was my last tattoo.  I didn't stick to that word, but I'm proud to say that I have had four more tattoos since this one and they have all been done by Alfredo.  What makes Alfredo wonderful is he is not just a really good artist, he is also a really good man....a pleasure to spend time with.

If you know Getty, you also know the Getty Owl.  Alfredo is also the man behind the owl, something I don't think he has ever gotten good enough credit for.

Alfredo and I started my recent tattoo earlier in the month.  This is the first tattoo I have had that will take sessions to complete.  I know I won't ever get another tattoo, the only thing I would do is have the one on my arm grow.



It's not even finished and I love it.

Sadly, Alfredo is leaving the Sacramento area and going to tattoo in the Seattle area at Cicada Tattoo.  Now, for me, getting tattoos will also include taking a vacation.  It doesn't matter if I don't stick to my word and end up with 100 more tattoos, but I tell you this....I will never have one done by anyone other than Alfredo even if he moves across the US (please don't!).

Check him out if you are in the area, or take a vacation and see him!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hard habit to break.....

I have a serious addiction.  One that I have shared on here before.  I gave it up for a while....almost two years actually.  Then, after having my son, I picked it up again.  My reasoning was it helped me be more alert and that I didn't have other addictions liar so why not.

Now, every morning I stop at a gas station and get a BIG FAT DIET DR PEPPER.  I feel great with the first sip.  I feel awful when it's finished.  I wake up most mornings feeling like I have a hang over.  I'm not sure if it's the diet soda...but damn if it's not a good place to start.

So tomorrow I quit.  I'm going cold turkey.  You probably won't want to talk to me tomorrow, or maybe even at all this weekend.  I have a feeling this is going to suck more than it did the first time I tried.  I know I can do it though, so please bear with me...hopefully I won't be too much of a bear.

On that note, I'm going to go fill up my water bottle.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Case of the bumps....

My son is a bug magnet.  If there is a bug that bites it will find him and bite him.  Mosquito swarm him like dirt on Pigpen.  Every day there are new bumps on his body.  Sometimes they are itchy, sometimes they don't bother him at all.  We even found there is a laundry detergent that was causing bumps so we stopped using that.

I want to find something that I can rub on Leyton's skin each day to keep the bugs away.  I want it to be natural and am not opposed to mixing it up myself.  Does anyone have any recommendations???

Monday, April 23, 2012

Love him.....

Lately I have been in a space where I find Leyton very frustrating.  He is in what I would assume they call "the terrible twos."  He can be the sweetest nicest boy on the planet and then the next moment he becomes a total spaz.  He'll throw, go crazy, not listen and this weekend learned the word "No."  He's said that word a long time, but never in the context of telling us that he wasn't going to do what we ask.  Before it was always, "No, I don't want any juice."  Now it's "No, I will not get down out of the windowsill."

It's hard in moments like this.  Society makes mother's feel like they should enjoy every singly moment and thing there child does.  I don't.  I love my child more than anything, but damn if he doesn't make me crazier than any other human being ever has done.  Thing is, I can't un-friend him on Facebook, I can't ignore his calls and texts for a while, I can't tell him I'm busy.  He will make me absolutely crazy and then when I'm just about to lose my mind he will come crying to me because he's bonked his head on the table and I have to pick him up and give him loving hugs, which is what I love to do most...give him loving hugs.  Parenting is so extreme and I guess I didn't ever know that.

So, what I do in these moments is try my best to focus on the good times.  Do my best to remember the moments that make me swell inside because my heart is about to burst from all the love I feel.
I remember that this gorgeous sleeping boy is mine.  That he loves me more than anything else in the world and I feel the same about him.  I look at this picture and my heart just melts.  Twenty minutes before this picture he was making me insane, running through crowds of people and trying to run into the middle of a parade.  I'm sure that's all normal but all it did for me was make me want to drink a bottle of wine.
I remember that this little boy can laugh so hard when he is playing with his Daddy.  He loves nothing more than to be outside in the sunshine, naked and hiding out in his house so his Daddy doesn't spray him with water.  His laugh makes my heart hurt so much it can bring tears of joy to my face.  Twenty minutes before this he was standing inside a window sill telling me no he would not get down and banging on the glass hard enough to break it.

Here's the thing, what happened twenty minutes before and how it made me feel fades away.  The smiles and the laughter and the beautiful sleeping boy are what stay.  No matter how frustrated I may get, how much he can make me crazy, it still never compares to how much I love this kid.  I just don't have to like him all the time and I think it's OK to say that.  I think it's normal parenting.  If not, feel free to call CPS on me I guess.
Here's to more moments of "cheeeese" and less moments of crazy.  Mama loves you baby.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ladies Night

Last night I had a ladies night out with girls from Honey and my Getty Owl partner in crime Kate.  The goal of the night was to have some drinks, have a great dinner, talk about the upcoming events for Getty Owl and just have some regular old fun time with the ladies.  What I didn't really have on the agenda was a debate about concentrations camps.


When we arrived Meghan and I ordered a drink from the menu.


That drink arrived and it was delicious.  Then comes Kate.  Kate wanted to know what we were drinking and we pointed it out to her, The Krakow Salt Mine.






I think the first words that came out of her mouth were "oh."  The rest went something along the lines of Krakow was a labor camp/concentration camp and today happens to be National Holocaust Remembrance Day and this is all a little awkward.  I'll admit, we all were kind of laughing in a this is all very inappropriate kind of way.  We decided that we should let the restaurant know.  Just give them a heads up that to some that might be very offensive.


Along comes Manager Mc. Douche.  We were very casual.  Told him that we just wanted to give him a heads up that the drink name could offend.  We were calm, we were cool and we had smiles on our face.  What happened next was out of this world.  He started to argue.  Started to tell us that no it was NOT a concentration camp, that we were WRONG, that he had it up online in the back.  It was just a salt mine plain and simple.  Kate then brought some stuff up online too and in her casual cute way said, "Can't you see though how someone could take this the wrong way?"  He replied with a No, because it WASN'T a labor/concentration camp.  He knew more than us.  He then walked away.


We were baffled.  I seriously had NEVER been talked to that way by someone that was supposed to be in a pretty substantial customer service position.  All we needed was a "We will look into that."  It could have been total bull shit too, but the way he handled it was unlike anything I had ever seen.


So, we did what people in this day and age do best.  We hit the WWW.  We started tweeting and Face-booking.  Yep, we were "those people" and damn proud of it.  People started re-tweeting and soon enough an online fire had irrupted.  A fire that eventually included the restaurant.  Only it wasn't the manager it was the social media person and the owner.  In the end Mc. Douche came to our table and back peddled.  He said all the things he should have said before.  He tried to make good saying they were looking into it.  Saying that the bar tender did it for shock value.  In-fucking-credible.


I don't know whether or not they will change the drink.  I hope that they will. I know they use vodka from Poland in the drink, they may even use salt from the mine...either way, not a good idea.  


A little history for you. Krakow was the ghetto that the Jews were forced into while it was decided if they would go into a labor camp or to Auschwitz.  If you have seen the movie Schindler's List, that centered around the Krakow Labor Camp.  Now, today, Krakow is a beautiful booming city.  There is actually a salt mine there, although it is named the Wielczka Salt Mine and lies almost outside of Krakow.  Even if they are using the salt, the name doesn't make sense.


For that matter, my main point is this.  Names like this are only accepted because we are in America.  We are far away from where the Holocaust took place so we can turn a blind eye to it and take it with a grain of salt.  If we are going to start naming drinks for the shock value then we will soon see the Columbine Shooter and the Oklahoma City Cherry Bomb.  Sticking close to home like that makes it unacceptable, when it should be unacceptable all around.


Here's to hoping our next ladies night isn't quite so confrontational!



Monday, April 16, 2012

The Grandmas

Today we made our way back home.  I am so thankful that we made this trip to Texas.  My Grandma does not like to travel anymore so it's the only way she is going to get some time with Leyton, her great grandson.  We call my Grandma "GG."
Leyton loved GG's house.  She had a park across the street, a big backyard that he could run around in and all kinds of stuff that he could play with.  He knew right away that she was a good Great Grandma.  She was the best Grandma to me and it's so important for me that he knows her.  I want him to love his GG as much as I love my Grandma.

My Mom, Leyton's Grandma Lala met us in Texas.  Leyton spend more time with his Grandma Lala (although not enough - MOVE ALREADY.)  He warms up to her right away.  He knows that he is going to get spoiled rotten by his Grandma Lala.  She is a wonderful Grandma, which is no surprise since she had her own mother as a model.
Even though they both have their own names, Leyton came to know them as "The Grandma's."  If they weren't with us he'd ask, "Where the Grandmas?"  It melted my heart in an instant.  I'm pretty certain that we will try to take a trip with him to Texas each year so he can spend as much time as possible with "The Grandmas."  If I had my way they would both live in a cute apartment near by and he could go and visit "The Grandmas" each week - MOVE ALREADY!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stockyards

Our last day in Texas was spent in Fort Worth at the Stockyards.  The highlight was watching my little dude go crazy over all the horses and cows.  He enjoyed riding in a horse drawn carriage:

Riding on a motorized horse:
Petting baby goats in the petting zoo:
And going through the maze (which apparently was on Season 5 of The Amazing Race- we finished in 20 minutes):

My favorite thing was seeing him romp around in a pair of cowboy boots!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Let's Go Racing Boys!

While visiting Grandma was our top priority in Texas there was another event that was not to be missed.  Something Bill has wanted to do for a long time.  NASCAR was in town at Texas Motor Speedway and Bill and I got a chance to spend a day together at the races.  I know for most this might not sound like the most exciting thing, but racing is one of those sports (and yes I do think it's a sport) that you can't help but enjoy when you are at an event.  For one, the quality of the people is not to be missed. I have a hard time with some other professional sports because all you hear about is complaining that they aren't getting paid enough or when someone makes the news for their elicit behavior.  It's not too often that comes up in racing.   It's a very family oriented deal.

Boy oh boy does it also provide for great people watching.  Racing crowds are interesting.  It's like you combine Walmart and Neiman Marcus.  There are the blue collar workers and those with much more money attending the races.  You can attend a race in a cheap fashion and then there are those that spend thousands of dollars to enjoy a weekend at the tracks.

One of the finest moments was a group of young guys enjoying the race in front of us.  They were Texas finest in their flag, red white and blue and coon skin hat attire.  Then they stepped it up even more and busted out their homemade beer bong.
That's right, using a pink lawn flamingo.  I don't think I have ever laughed so hard in my entire life.  That thing got passed around through the whole race.

Needless to say the hubs and I had a great time and enjoyed the longest day we have had alone together since before Leyton was born.  Not only that but the hubs favorite driver won the race....how perfect is that?!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Zoo Time!

Today we headed to the Frank Buck Zoo in Gainsville.  It was kind of a mistake that we ended up here, and our ultimate goal was to let Leyton ride the train.  Wouldn't you know it we arrived just as the last train was taking off.  After sidetracking Leyton from the train we got into the zoo.  He loved looking at the animals so I made a note to take him back to the Zoo in Sacramento when we get home (although the train museum is top on our list right now!)

There was a place where he could feed the goats, but he was too afraid to give them the food and instead just put it on the ground for them.  One goat was trying to eat everything and he was thus named "Piggy Goat."

Leyton had the most fun just running around here.  He pushed his stroller everywhere, stopping quickly to check out and animal and then off again.  That was until he saw the greatest animal of them all.  The one that stopped him dead in his tracks.  It was big and it was out of the cage so he got a full view.  Don't worry, I made sure he was especially careful.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cackle and Oink

We arrived to Texas yesterday and it was guaranteed that one of our stops would be at the Cackle and Oink.  I blogged about them in 2008 and just like then, they definitely know how to cook a meal.  I went with the brisket, potato salad and corn bread casserole.  As you can see, it was delicious.  Soo good I didn't even get a picture taken until it was almost all gone.

They have delicious sauces which you can slather on your plate and each one was better than the last.


 This will always be a must stop when visiting Grandma's house, even Leyton loved it!

Lost and Found

When I decided to participate in a book review for BlogHer I was nervous.  I haven't liked both books I've had to review.  Not only that, this was a book about money.  While I love to spend it, I sure don't like hearing about money.

To say that I couldn't put the book Lost and Found by Geneen Roth is an understatement!  I was enthralled.  Geneen and her husband were part of the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme.  This was a word I didn't even know.  I had to ask those in the financial world to explain this all to me because honestly, I didn't pay a darn bit of attention to those that lost their money or what Mr. Madoff did in the first place.

The thing was, for me, this book wasn't just about Geneen losing her money.  This book was about how skewed our relationships are with money.  I related on so many levels.  Not paying attention to what I have, spending when I don't have.  The list goes on and on.  I read this book in my iPad and had to figure out how to highlight parts.  Something I haven't done since I've had to during school.  It was like words were coming right out of my mouth.

I absolutely loved Geneen's writing style and she kept me interested the whole way.  I look forward to reading more of her books and encourage you to not only give her book a shot, but think about how you feel about money and if you are only digging yourself a grave.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Little Burrito

Part of this blog is for you the readers to keep updated, or goodness...I'm not even sure why you come here?

Part of this blog, the part that I know the answers to, is for me to keep a baby book so to speak.  A place to store what is going on with Leyton so I can look back and remember and he can look back and know why he is paying so much for therapy.

This is a later kind of post.

Things Leyton loves right now:

The Polar Express movie.  He has NEVER been into watching TV and won't sit through anything, but this dang movie is his most favorite thing.  He asks for it every day, and know what?  If he asks I let him watch it.  The kid isn't even 2 and is speaking sentences, I think we are doing fine on the brain development stages.  He loves the beginning and says, "Go to bed and train will come!"  He can't wait till the train gets there.

Being outside.  Go for walk.  Go for big wheel ride. Go for jeep ride (which means he wants to walk and push the stroller.)  The problem is he is ALL OVER THE PLACE on walks.  I would love if he would walk to the park and then go nuts but unfortunately what used to be a 10-15 minute walk to the park is now 2 hours and by the time we get there I am done.  I know he needs to learn by exploring his environment but there are only so many times I can take keeping him out of the street and off people's porches.

Cars are his favorite toys.  He pushes them around, puts them in his play garage.  He plays with cars more than anything else.  Especially if it is big and has anything that lights up and makes noise.  He absolutely loves garbage day and will stand at the window and watch the big garbage trucks go by.

Fruit snacks.  I curse the day I ever gave him a fruit snack.  Fruit snacks and the fact that he can't always have them create more melt downs in our house than anything else.

Being wrapped up like a burrito after bath.  We even sing a little song about it.  Burrito time is now more fun that bath time and typically he puts one foot in the tub and says, "All done, burrito now."



Play-Doh.  I'm not sure what he likes more, playing with it or licking it.

Going to Grandpa's.  While he knows that Grandma is there too and quickly gives her a hug, he only asks to go to Grandpa's.  It usually is "Go to Grandpa's play piano?"  It's just about the cutest thing ever.  I always wanted to know my Grandpa's and didn't get a chance to.  It's nice that Leyton has a Grandpa in his life.

Things Leyton doesn't love so much:

Having to go to bed.  He wants mommy and he wants her bad.  He will sleep in if mommy is there and by golly if that isn't tempting mommy to always sleep with him.  This kid can fight sleep like nothing I have ever seen.  I'm so glad he hasn't figured out how to climb out of his crib.  We'd be in big trouble.  I'm thinking he'll stay in that bed till he is at least 15 at which point I will be saying, "Are you ever going to get out of bed?!"

Vegetables.  He will still not eat them.  Now when I hide them he figures it out and stops eating what I gave him.  The only veggies he gets are in the pouches or corn.  He loves corn.  He's a good eater though so I don't worry too much about it.  He'll eat them eventually.

Not being allowed to do or have anything in the "loves" category.  Not much explanation needed there.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Ode to a man.

The most common question I get after getting a tattoo is "What does Bill think about it."

I don't talk much about Bill here.  This is not his blog so I try to keep him out of it.  Sometimes though, he just has to be here because he is a part of me.  Bill is the guy I commonly refer to as "hubby."

We will celebrate our 14 year anniversary together this year, 5 years married.  We have never broken up, never stormed out on each other.  That's not to say that things are always easy.  Relationships are hard.  Relationships can be even harder when you were young when you got together, I was 22 he was 27.  You have so much growing to do still.  The thing with the hubby and I that I think we are good at is we don't try to make each other grow into the direction we want.  We let each other grows towards wherever our light takes us and love each other as we are.

When we first met I had three tattoos I think, all small.  I also had my tongue pierced.  The thing is, I was not a crazy girl.  I lived by the book, I worked hard and I was a "good girl."  In fact, I have said before that I think I enjoyed tattoos because it was a way to say that people shouldn't be put into a mold based on how they look.  I say that and yet I remember thinking, when it dawned on me that I liked my husband, that he would never like a girl like me.  A girl with tattoos and a stud in her tongue.  He seemed too straight and narrow, so by the book, such a "good boy."

Guess what, he did like me.

Through the years I have lost weight, I have gained weight.  I have been blond, I have had black hair.  I have had long hair, I have had boy short hair.  I went from having three small tattoos to having 10 tattoos which aren't all so small.  Most of the time Bill knows nothing of these changes.  He just comes home to find something new.  There are times I realize that perhaps this isn't fair.  Perhaps I should get his opinion on things before I make changes.  The thing is though, he always loves me.  I never walk in and find him saying, "why is your hair short...I like long hair!....why do you have another tattoo, I like clean skin."  I appreciate this about him.  I appreciate that he lets me be me.  I appreciate that he knows that the girl he fell in love with is still there no matter what is going on with the exterior.

It dawned on me before getting this tattoo that almost all of my tattoos were something Bill had to deal with after the fact.  I didn't know whether he loved them or hated them.  I had never really asked.  I decided before this tattoo to tell him.  I decided to ask him if it was OK, and if he had said no..I would not have done it.  Well, he didn't say no.  He was fine with it.

Tattoos may not be his thing, but he knows that they are a part of me and he lets me do that.  I think this is one of the best things we can teach our son.  Acceptance.  Everyone is different.  Not everyone is going to look like you, like what you like, do what you do, be who you are but you just might find that if you look past that you will discover a person who is perfect for you and you will accept them and everything else that comes with them.

I am so happy that I found a man that I love more today than I did when I was a giggly 22 year old girl who felt head over heels.  I'm so happy that I found a man that I love today more than I did yesterday.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Story of tattoo......

Last night I started work on what will be my final tattoo.  My piece de resistance!  I've always known that I wanted to do a sleeve of some sort.  I have always had a fondness for them.  I just didn't know what I'd get.  Tattoos work two ways for me.  Some have a serious important meaning tied behind them.  My leg piece signifies my ability to overcome obstacles, my baby foot to mark Leyton, my horseshoe to mark my wedding.  Others are just images that I have liked, things I found beautiful, things that I just liked.  For me they have never come out of a tattoo shop, never been picked off a wall.  That works for some, but was never my way to get a tattoo.

Along came Pinterest.  Damn that site.  It was full of so many ideas, so many beautiful tattoos, so much inspiration.  I started pinning tattoos I liked, although nothing was ever what I would get on my arm.  Then came an image.  An image I re-pinned from my friend N'Gina.  A piece of artwork called Allusion by Yellena James.  I knew the moment I saw it that it was it.  Like seeing your soul mate on the other side of the room.  It was unique, it was beautiful, it was messy and cluttered, it had flow.  It was just me.  I emailed my tattoo artist the same day and said, "can we make this a tattoo?"  He was ALL FOR IT.



The outline is in place and I will have another appointment at the end of the month to fill in the color.  Alfredo did an amazing job capturing Yellena's piece.  I can't wait to see it healed and can't wait to see the final finished artwork.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Fun Day!

I thought about what to write today.  I've been home with a sick kid again since last Thursday and my instinct was to come on here and bitch.  Instead, I have decided I want to tell you about a fun day Leyton and I had yesterday.  I took him to the Sacramento Children's Museum again and I was right in thinking that this place is only going to get better as Leyton gets older.  He LOVED it.  He got soaked in the water, messy in the paint and laughed when the wind would blow in his face as he put the puff balls in the tube.  He walked around a wagon for hours and I even snuck a top hat on him and he just kept on trucking.  It was the best day and much needed.  It's fun to get out and about with this little dude.  He always has me laughing.


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