46 and Beyond!

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I turned forty-six last week. I thought I would write a really long post about all the things I’ve learned in my vast and extensive forty-six years but you know what? I don’t know squat. I have learned a lot of things, most of them private and embarrassing and I think anyone older than me would probably smile and roll their eyes over. I hate it when I read posts from thirty-year-olds thinking they are so smart so I’m going to be even smarter and stay mum. All of you youngsters can learn the hard way just like I did. Just kidding. Let’s take a walk sometime and I’ll share some wisdom privately. Or just laugh. That’s good too.

Anyway, this birthday was kind of a bust. First of all it was the HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR, clocking in at a sweaty 108 degrees. That meant we pretty much bunkered down the hatches (aka closed all the windows and  drew all the shades), turned on the AC and didn’t leave the house all day.

I did, however, leave the house in the morning to have breakfast with my pack of girlfriends. Do you have a pack of girlfriends? They are the best thing ever. Everyone should have a pack. There are five of us and we go out to breakfast monthly. Sometimes we go on excursions. Sometimes we bring each other food when we are sick or having surgery.

This birthday my friend Ana gave me a gold friendship bracelet, the fancy kind from Nordstroms. I love being a grown up and getting grown-up friendship bracelets. I like regular friendship bracelets too but I love this one so much because I feel like I’m part of secret club and when you get into your forties you trade up from embroidery floss to GOLD. Age has perks!

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So yeah, it was hot.

Payam promised to make me the chocolatiest of chocolate cake and EVEN THOUGH IT WAS 105 degrees in our kitchen he persevered and made it for me anyway!! I couldn’t even believe it. There he was wearing his batman apron and dripping in sweat while he mixed and measured and the OVEN PREHEATED. That is LOVE folks.

It was really really good too. Flourless so it pretty much tasted like dark-chocolate-flavored butter which is my favorite! That evil cake called to me all week long. “I’m in the fridge, Brendaaaaa…. You know you want me….” I’m telling myself that since it didn’t have flour in it it was Keto or Adkins or something. We’ll see what the scale says next week.

Isn’t it amazing how resilient our bodies are? If you eat a 2000-calorie piece of cake  you can get on the scale the next day and it won’t budge. You’ll amazingly stay the same weight. BUT you can also work-out for two weeks straight and eat 1400 calories a day and it won’t budge either so there’s that. Resilience baby.

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The other reason my birthday was a bust was that every single night of my birthday week, Joon had rehearsal for the play she was in this summer. We had planned to go to my favorite restaurant for my birthday dinner the night before my birthday but of course a last-minute dress rehearsal was called and that jacked that up and then opening night was my actual birthday so it just didn’t happen. We had McDonald’s instead.

Whine, whine, whine. Would you like a glass of wine?

I was a diva about it for about half a day and then I snapped to my senses and realized that this play Joon was in was REALLY COOL and I need to grow up and be the bigger person. She didn’t have a big part or anything but it was a fun summer camp that lasted a month and a half and she made a ton of friends and really enjoyed herself. I was the idiot fool that happened to have a birthday right when it ended. I should have been born in August instead. And really? Do I need more than breakfast with my girlfriends, a gold friendship bracelet, the chocolatiest-chocolate cake ever AND my kids singing me happy birthday at ten o’clock at night? No, I do not. It was NOT a bust it just was challenged. A very challenged 46th birthday.

I did however tell Joon that if she wants to be in a play on my 50th birthday, I’m not going. She can send me a birthday photo postcard of her and the cast to my hotel in Paris.

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And that was that!

Here are some pictures from my morning walks with the dogs. We’ve moved our walks earlier and earlier to beat the heat which makes for prettier pictures with better light. I’ve finally cracked the dog-walking code. In order to really enjoy dog walks you have to find a podcast you really like. I don’t dread them anymore. I think of dog walks as my podcast hour instead and sometimes I even find myself taking the long way home because I’m so hooked. Summer-2018-Swimsuit-Cover-ups-1

In other summertime news we made the most awesome swimsuit cover-ups on Alphamom this week. They were so fun to make! I’m sure this craft has been around forever but when I searched it on pinterest very little came up.

Joon showed me how to make really cool starburst designs and Bug outdid herself in stencil work. We spent hours on them, which when combatting summertime boredom translates to major currency. They didn’t binge-watch Friends (what they’ve been doing all summer) for three hours straight which says a lot.

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Then they we headed off to Payam’s mom’s pool for a photoshoot. They turned out great. Don’t you love how Joon’s personality is so different from Bug. They are both nutballs but Joon is definitely the more out-going of the two.

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It was a really big deal that Bug finally got up enough courage to jump off the diving board. So much of a big deal that she asked me to document it on sport-mode. Gifs all around!

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Happy Summer!

Joon’s Racing Unicorns Birthday Party at that amusement park that I hate.

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This latest birthday party for Joon is probably the first party since Bug’s 2nd Birthday  that I have not gone all out. I know! It’s possible. Who knew?!!  Let me just say that it was difficult for me. I had to sit on my hands.

When Joon said she wanted to have her birthday party at the local mini-golf/bumper cars/video arcade amusement park I was legitimately sad. I HATE the local mini-golf/bumper car/video arcade amusement park like the DMV. It is NOT my idea of fun at all. It’s pretty much my worst favorite way to spend the day, right next to bowling or going to the dentist/obgyn.

And that is why Payam and I get along so great. We are opposites and basically Joon is a mini Payam. She likes just about everything I don’t like and vise versa. This goes for food, amusement, songs, clothes…  just about everything. But you know what? I love this kid.

So I put aside my overbearing party planning hat and let her do her thing.

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We started the day off right by making garbage pancakes while wearing unicorn pajamas, like you do. We played dance music and Queen (her favorite band) on Alexa very loud and Bug and Joon chair-danced while they ate.

A side note: Joon is very musical kid. She makes videos on Musically all day long. She’s great at editing, singing, lip syncing, flossing and hair flipping. She knows every lyric to every hit song by heart and she can sing it on key even if another song is playing in the background. Her favorite thing to do is to sing an ear-worm infecting song at the top of her lungs and watch everyone else start humming it against their will. It always works. She’s also a pretty good dancer. What can I say. She’s a walking party.

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So naturally, a loud obnoxious place like Boomer’s (the local mini-golf/bumper-car/arcade) is just her speed. Lights blinking, bells ringing, loud music, kids running everywhere hyped up on sugar without parental supervision..it’s like home sweet home for Joon.

My contribution to this crazy train? Nada. Well except maybe some packaging for slime party favors. I didn’t even make the slime.

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I mean, what else could I do? It’s not like I could Martha-Stewart decorate the underground prison room that they call a “party room.” It was so depressing. Fluorescent light, painted cement walls, plastic table cloths. It could drive a person like me to drink except the wine and beer they sell there was the cheap stuff that I can’t stomach. I just disengaged. There was no Brenda-party-planning-extraordinarre fixing this.

BUT JOON LOVED IT! Because she was with her friends and when you are eleven that is all you really care about. Party favors schmarty favors. Just give us some candy and show us to the laser tag line!

Which by the way, I need to point out that Joon made her own slime party favors  You know me and slime. I hate it. Joon loves it. I just made sure she and Bug were making it at the table on some cookie sheets to collect the mess and walked away. I couldn’t even be in the same room. I had to cover my ears when I heard the sounds of that stuff popping and slurping. All I could think about was how much trouble it would be to get out of the rug. Thankfully, Joon knows how much I hate the stuff and she was very careful and no rugs were harmed.

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But back to the party. Joon was in her element. Her friends seemed to have a really good time too. They didn’t even seem to notice the squad of eighteen-year-old boy hoodlums walking around with face tattoos. Shudder.

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They rode the kiddie rides again and again.

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They raced the go carts. They were magical birthday racing unicorns. I should have made them all unicorn horns but the go carts people have really strict rules about hats and hair and anything that could get in the way of a safe drive.

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Then we had cake in the prison room. Something funny I have to give Boomer’s credit for are these candles that are strung together by a ribbon of paper. You light one and then they all magically light up at once. It was quite impressive! I really have to research a DIY on that.

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We sang, we hugged, we took pictures in the crappy fluorescent light. We ate crappy pizza and bonded over how bad it tasted. Cardboard with cheese, yay!

I hung out with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend all day and I have to say that I really like them! How can you not like a guy who plays Dance Dance Revolution with their kid? It’s pretty cool when the ex’s can all get along and celebrate how much they love their whacky kid.

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We celebrated Joon. She really is a sparkly unicorn of a girl. She is so optimistic and full of life. She wants to have all the fun all the time.

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I love that she and Bug are such good friends. They have their own language of inside jokes. Of course they have their moments when they bicker over what’s fair until my eyeballs are bleeding from rolling so far back into my head BUT they get along most of the time. Joon helps with Bug’s anxiety. She forces Bug to do things she would never do otherwise just by showing up and being competition. She forces me to do things I wouldn’t do otherwise. Joon definitely brings an appreciation of unabashed fun to this family.

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Love you Joon! Shine on sparkle unicorn.