foggy-morning, costume-sketching, kelp-popping beach walk

we always make sandcastles in our pajamas

We went for an early morning beach walk today, as we often do. We don’t really have a regular routine. (Sorry, stalkers.) Sometimes I’m just sitting on the couch, groggily tuning out her pleas for a breakfast of gummy bears and the light hits me from the window with a call to action. It says, “Get off your butt and take some pictures!”

I always try to obey the light calling me. Ever since there was that one time when the light was so perfect and I was able to take that photo that came in handy for Christmas cards. I can’t really describe it. It’s just brighter, glowier, magical… something like that.

Other times I just want to get out of the house and get a latte. The beach just happens to be on the way home from Starbucks. Tough life, I know.

whispy

Just as we got to the beach, the fog started rolling in. It wasn’t that perfect morning light that I was looking for but it was something else entirely magical itself. Fog is nothing new, it always comes and goes, but I love it. I always say it makes my beach private. It keeps away the hordes of beach-goers and kind of soft-filters all the harsh edges of things like the encroaching McMansions and ugly dumpsters full of the weekend’s rubbish. You feel like you are a dancing in a fairy’s meadow or flouncing around in clouds with the Care Bears. Maybe that’s a stretch but you know what I mean.

where ideas come from

I’m so glad I finally finished up the first book of the Twilight Series and I haven’t gotten my hands on the second one yet so I can actually spend moments like this at the beach not absorbed in the lives of Edward and Bella. I’m rolling my eyes too. I hate it when I jump on the pop-culture bandwagon but I had to know what all the fuss was about!

the Eva* costume idea #2

So I sat on the beach and sketched all the other things my brain is filled with. You guys can discuss Sarah Palin and global warming and I’ll be over here in la-la-land thinking about Eve costumes. You know, the robot Eve (or as we call her, Eva) from the movie Wall-E? We’re obsessed.

the Wall-E mask she insisted I make

Which is sort of funny to my sister-in-law CC, who reminds me frequently that I was the blowhard who said my kid would never prance around in Disney character costumes. People who don’t have kids should never make statements about parenting, that’s what I’ve learned. Because everything I once said has come around to bite me in the butt.

Wall-E is technically Pixar. There’s a huge difference, right? I love Wall-E. I think I’m going to have to qualify my earlier statement about Disney characters and say I just don’t want her to like characters that I don’t like. I’m the boss here.

Maybe.

modeling her Eve costume head

The beanie cap idea (a white cap with felt sewn on for her black face panel and blue eyes) is actually idea number two. Idea number one made it to production but was rejected by Baby Bug. So I guess I can share the big secret of how I made this incredibly creative Eve head number one that has been rejected so wastefully.

You’ll never guess.

You see, I’m on a strict budget these days and I have to make everything out of things I already have. It’s hard! I hate it! Money, why can’t you grow on trees!? Why can’t some neighbor throw out something modular and plastic that would be perfect for an Eve costume? (Trash-digging is totally acceptable now. It’s very “green.” It’s called foraging now.)

I rustled up some of the old couch-cover fabric (of which I have plenty) and then searched the house from top to bottom to find something mesh and black for the face panel. It had to be see-through. Hmmmmm… what could I use? There is nothing in my house that is black and see through!

Or is there?

You probably guessed it. The elusive and yet perfect fabric was in my underwear drawer. Don’t be grossed out. They were very very very clean and barely worn black Victoria Secret panties. I didn’t really like them anyway. Snip snip snip and the back panel became the perfect Eva mask! Yes, my butt is that big. So yeah, poor Baby Bug had to look through the same material that my butt cheeks use to sit in so cutely. But it was so perfect! Where else am I going to find something so perfect for free?!

Too bad Baby Bug won’t wear it. I guess nobody’s going to buy it on ebay now that my secret has been revealed. Pffft. Oh well, it makes an interesting story. I’m getting used to my ideas failing anyway. I have a feeling she won’t wear any costume I want her to wear and will want to be a princess like her cousin when Halloween actually shows up. I’m prepared for the rejection. It happens every day when I try to get her dressed.

prepare for destruction

But I really want her to be Eva. Doesn’t she look like Eva? She’s got the eyes down.

I figure I might as well blog about it anyway since I get a ton of traffic over the whole merbaby costume. I might not get to see my idea come to fruition but that doesn’t mean somebody else can’t. Just don’t tell anyone where you got the black mesh fabric from.

ready to roll

Back to our foggy morning walk.

After I sketched a bit and Baby Bug made a castle or two we both decided it was time for some real breakfast and headed home. Except the tide was really high and that meant I had to push the stroller high up on the beach along the bumpy dry sand instead of the hard-packed wet sand. With all the fog it felt like I was pushing a moon buggy on the moon which is kind of cool but a whole lot more work.

enveloped

I like to think I’m a local and I can time the waves just right. I know all about sets and how usually three small waves are followed by three big waves. So I took a liberal risk or two onto the wet sand and then totally got washed in by a big surprise wave! Arg! Pants and all.

showing you my drenched pants
(photo by Baby Bug)

I LOVE stepping on these

I may have been distracted from my vigilant wave-watching while trying to take a photo of this sea kelp bulb. I just wanted to capture how they glisten on the sand like little jewels waiting to be crunched with a satisfying pop under your grippy rubber running shoes. It’s the BEST feeling ever.

There is so much more seaweed on the beach this year. Tons of it and I love it! I don’t like the smelly seaweed or the flies that float in clouds above the clumps of seaweed that gather on the sand but I do love stepping on these poppy bulb things. It’s better than popping bubble wrap. If you don’t believe me, I’ll send you one in the mail—if you pay for postage of course, which could be expensive due to the “nothing liquid, breakable or perishable” rule.

Just take my word for it.

I’m Back!

My creation

Hi everybody! It’s good to be back. I missed you!

I’ve thought of what I’m going to write in this post a thousand times and I still haven’t come up with anything brilliant so I’m just going to do what I usually do and state the obvious. Then I’ll just see what happens after that.

It’s been a long month not coming here to write. I really missed it. It was an exercise in willpower. I think I wrote posts in my head nearly every day. I would have broken down after the first week if I weren’t so stubborn about keeping my word. And I wonder where my kid got her stubborn streak? Hmph.

I learned a lot about myself and my affection for blogging. I thought I might get caught up in my real life and forget about the internet but that didn’t happen at all. If anything, it just cemented the fact that I do love blogging and I’m probably never going to quit. Some people like Facebook, some people like Twitter or Flickr or MySpace and some people don’t like the internet at all and choose to use their time wisely and write novels for money. Not me.

I like blogging. It’s the perfect medium for me. Sharing but not too much sharing. I can say what I want to say and then walk away for a day. I use all those other internet social sites but I don’t love them as much as I love blogging. So what can I say? I guess I’m here to stay.

Next time I start getting burned out, just tell me to take a week off. No more month-long sabbaticals. Unless of course I have another kid and for some reason I am struck down by good sense and decide to be a mom every second of the day. But even then I don’t think I could stay away forever. You guys are too good to me and I miss sharing.

So anyway, how’s it been going this last month? Weren’t the guest posts pretty fantastic? I didn’t turn anyone away either. I wasn’t choosy. I just put up what came my way and it worked out. I have a few posts left in the vault too in case I ever want to lay low again but keep the content coming. I was really pleasantly surprised with what the contributors came up with. It was refreshing. I know some people were annoyed with me but I think all in all it was a good experience. If anything, it amused me. I had a lot of fun illustrating most of the posts.

What have we been up to while I was laying low? A lot. Probably more than I could ever condense into one post. I might write about a few of the things we did. There was the time we made bread. That was fun but the bread was pretty bland (I need a good hearty wheat bread recipe). We discovered a few new parks. We spent a lot of time at the beach and my mom’s, where I found a treasure trove of old toys from my childhood. We went to Bethany’s a lot, though she did a pretty good job of documenting her side of our visits.

While I’m on the subject of Bethany, I need to come clean. She’s been editing my posts for quite a while now. I may have mentioned it now and then but I don’t think anyone knows how much she really does. She is my right-hand woman. She has the password to my blog and she uses it. Frequently. You might think my writing has gotten better. It hasn’t. She also edited all the guest posts. She put in a lot of time. Many times she put pieces of posts together and even published them for me after I’d passed out while putting Baby Bug to bed. She’s a friend indeed.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I need to pass on some credit to my own very personal editor. She spoils me. She’s also a freak. In more ways than one. She’s one of those people who knows everything, like a walking encyclopedia. You can just ask her random things like, “What is cream of tartar?” and she’ll know the answer off the top of her head.* It’s almost annoying. Except it’s super handy when you don’t know how to spell very well and she’s only a click away on instant messenger.

I’ve been hesitant to gush about my friendship with Bethany on this blog because it just felt like bragging. I know when I read other people’s blogs and they talk about this or that friend, I sort of glaze over with a you-had-to-be-there sort of feeling. But I think Bethany has crossed over that line here. She’s pretty much become a character in my life and on this blog. She is a character.

Honestly, I think she was a character sent from God. You know how you have low points in your life and you wish or pray, or whatever you do when things are really bad, that someone would just come rescue you or show you the way out of some particularly difficult problem? Well, without revealing every detail of my life, I just want to say that Bethany has been that person. She sort of dropped out of the sky like an angel and has really helped me through some hard lessons that have been plaguing me for years. Maybe someday I’ll be able to write about them. Maybe I won’t. I don’t know.

I just want to say that praying (or wishing or dancing rain dances—whatever you do) really works. It might take a day or a year or even five years but people do come out of the woodwork to help you through. And sometimes as a by-product they edit your blog posts and help you with your over-use of commas!

So I’m back! I’m just going to stop my rambling right there and say I can’t wait to write something else tomorrow!

*Editor’s note: I did not know what cream of tartar was off the top of my head. I had to look it up on Wikipedia.