A single moment captured in a photograph. Candid and fleeting this will always be a special moment in time…
A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014…
//Finnlagh: aka #9 on The Cubs, playing in his first-ever baseball game
//Alina: We fill our house with daffodils every week, and she just adores the light floral scent
A sizzling day in southern California to celebrate 21 months of our little lad! We headed to Arroyo Burro (also known here in Santa Barbara as Hendry’s Beach) and took in some rays at lunchtime, skimming the surface of the waves with our toes, running through the sand, and enjoying frosty milkshakes. Arroyo Burro is barely a 5-minute drive from our house, and yet we always seem to neglect it in favour of other farther-flung destinations — a mistake we are not likely to repeat: it’s pretty much picture-perfect. A scenic drive after lunch, followed by a stop at our local farm (we got fresh organic strawberries, Bacon avocados, Ojai pixie tangerines and limes– prime season), baseball practice and a family swim in the pool before dusk… it seems that life with Reed is always reason enough to celebrate.
//Reed: face and hair smudged with Nutella, surely how it’s intended to be ingested
//Finnlagh: he’s been waiting so patiently for a big boy bike, but still loves that red tricycle
//Alina: reading MAPS in the hot afternoon sunshine (if you don’t already own this gorgeous book by Aleksandra Mizielinska, you must get it!)
Linking up with Andrea from Apartment Baby today for A Day in the Life post…
7.40am: Alarm goes off on my iPhone. Remembering that Alina’s school lunch is already prepared and in the fridge, I hit the snooze button. 10 more minutes, please.
7.41am: There is no going back to sleep. The little baby in my tummy is kicking so I just lie there and enjoy all the jabs.
7.49am: Both Alina and Finnlagh are awake. ‘Wake up, Mom and Dad!’ Finnlagh shouts. And just like that… Reed is up, too. Thanks, Finnlagh.
7.50am: Gosh darn snooze alarm goes off again. Bloody awful sound. Must remember to change that.
8am: Reminding Alina to get dressed or this school thing isn’t happening, I dash into the bathroom, slap on some lip gloss and blush and take care of things. It’s a bit chilly this morning so I find a knit tunic, leggings and step into a pair of sandals. I’m grateful for clean, weather-appropriate clothes.
8.18am: Time to get in the car. I snap a quick selfie to use in this blog post.
8.19am: God bless my husband for having cleaned and vacuumed the car. It won’t last, but I sincerely appreciate the effort. Reed is standing at the door screaming his head off and having a fit because I’m going somewhere without him. Tears at my heartstrings. Must rip off band-aid and run!
8.28am: Drop off Alina at school. We blow kisses and wave goodbye. She’s too adorable for words.
8.31am: I contemplate heading to Trader Joe’s for groceries or doing a coffee run. The car reminds me ever so gently that it needs gas. I’ll deal with this later, I think and abort all missions.
8.36am: Arrive home. The boys are already in full action. Grant looks like death warmed over and informs me he is feeling sick to his stomach. I send him back to bed.
8.40am: I sit down to lend a hand to Finnlagh who is working on some homeschool work. We’re hungry, he declares.
8.45am: Boys are sitting happily at the dining room table with yogurt and glasses of milk. It’s so quiet in here, I can hear myself think. I stop to check my email and flag messages for later.
9am: Now I’m hungry. I let Reed watch Peppa Pig on the computer to buy enough time to cook my breakfast. Mother-of-the-year moment? Decidedly not.
9.08am: I sit down with my high-protein breakfast and Reed wants to share. Everyday is double-breakfast day for Reed in our house.
9.37am: Time to go wake up Grant. He’s feeling better now and has to go get ready for work. We’ll drive him today because he left his bike at work due to all the rain we had earlier in the week.
9.45am: I get the boys out of their pajamas and into real clothes. I attempt to clean up some of the destruction that has already occurred in our living room. Wow, it’s ghastly in here.
10.15am: Grant brings me a huge bin from storage (at my behest) for our spring purge. I tell him it’s full of useless things. He shrugs and walks away. Reed attempts to ride the cat and I have to go break it up before it gets ugly.
10.20am: Let’s go! Time to get everybody in the car, head to the gas station, and get Grant to work on time.
10.45am: Drop Grant off at work. Such a great view.
11am: While taking streets home instead of the highway, Finnlagh tells me Reed has fallen asleep and suggests we grab a drink. We go through drive-thru and sit in the parking lot with our drinks and our sleeping baby. Finnlagh and I try to discern the many vanity plates on the parked cars. ’2 SWEET.’ ‘PATENTZ.’ ‘ROOMIES.’ ‘HOT TMLE.’ ‘VIXEN 2.’ Uh, no idea how to explain that one to a five year-old. This is why places like New Zealand passed a law so people can’t name their babies ‘Love Juice’ and ‘#17 Bus Stop.’ Not all people can be trusted to think on their feet!
11.20am: Arrive home. Reed promptly wakes up as soon as I put the car in park and Finnlagh asks if we can go to the arts + crafts store to get more supplies. He reminds me how boring our craft closet is now that I’ve gutted it, and that he needs things for homeschool. Ok, I say. We can head out just as soon as I am finished with this Braxton Hicks contraction. Neither of the boys has any clue what is going on. I wince in silence.
11.45am: Have driven to a neighbouring suburb of the city, aka Big Box Store Land. Santa Barbara is too fancy to have any such places, and I imagine the rents are too high to house them as well. Hoping that Reed doesn’t smash a glass vase like he did the last time we were here. Reed manages to stay in the shopping cart for a grand total of 30 seconds.
12pm: We are approached by someone trying to get me to sign up for a credit card. I tell her that I don’t qualify because I don’t get a full-time salary. She asks what I do for a living. I respond that I make and raise children. Oh, she says. I wish I got to stay home and watch Oprah, she tells me. So do I, I reply in kind. I tell her it’s a good thing she didn’t say Jerry Springer, because then I would have been REALLY offended.
12.30pm: We make it out of the store for under $30. File back into the car and head home. I manage to injure my middle finger while closing the trunk. Oh, the irony!
12.50pm: Upon arriving home, there is a strange man crouched on our front lawn. Who are you? I say. It’s another guy fussing with our sewer drains. Next thing I know, he’s attached hoses to our house and we are surrounded by a whirling din of suction and noise.
1pm: Lunchtime for the boys. I forget to eat because I am too distracted by the noise and by going through the big bin of useless things Grant has brought me from storage. I swear under my breath and feel like throwing everything we own away.
2.15pm: While putting the boys in the car to go do school pick up, a pest control truck pulls up next door. The exterminator questions me about my neighbour, who just moved out. What’s the issue I ask? Rat infestation outside, he tells me. I just about die. But I haven’t seen anything, I tell him, and we keep our patio doors open! This is the kind of exterminator who takes pleasure in trying to make ladies squeamish. I feel like I’m being patronized. I tell him that we’ve lived in so many places we’ve lost count, and had to deal with all kinds of vermin and insects. Just give me the facts, buddy. I feel like throwing up. I guess skipping lunch today was a good idea. He goes over to our car and hands the boys stickers with giant black widow spiders on them. ::Sigh::
2.20pm: I call Grant from the car phone. Explain to him the issue and tell him to call our property manager immediately. I’m still dying.
2.30pm: We pick up Alina from school, and there’s that limo again! This is the third time this week a limo has been at the school to pick up the same student. So tacky. I see the teachers rolling their eyes and I start to giggle because they are very obviously being rude. Alina spots us, gets into the car, and then I gingerly explain the situation to her. I decide we cannot go home because we have the sewer man and the exterminator working in our front and back yards. We get on the highway and head over to Grant’s work, hoping we can steal him for a few minutes and get ice-cold smoothies.
3.05pm: At last, we’ve been able to reach Grant on the phone and convince him to take a 20 minute break – and here he is! I go into the smoothie place and order 4 smoothies. No, I don’t want supplements. Or carob. Or kale. Nope, no wheatgrass either. I return to the car to pass out smoothies and watch everyone drink them. I’m not allowed any because of my gestational diabetes. Hooray.
3.25pm: We return Grant to work who is particularly all-business. He’s such a boy scout, it makes me chuckle.
3.30pm: Decide to take streets home once again so we can breathe the ocean air and try to forget about what a crap afternoon it has been in parts. There are so many people on the road today, the drive drags like a mule-driven cart. The road starts to open up, and I take a deep breath.
4pm: Home again, home again. It starts to drizzle just as we pull up in front of our house. Good timing, I think. The sewer man is still at our house, except now he is making less noise. Finnlagh gets to work on his art project for homeschooling and I hand Alina several projects to do for Easter so I can go nurse Reed, sit down and think about making a warm beverage that will only get cold before I have the chance to drink it.
4.01pm: MAMA! We’re hungry. What’s for dinner?