The Week of Visitors

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My mind is full of this week but I can’t write about this week until I write about last week. Last week was the week of visitors from other lands. I love having company but man, wham bam I had a lot of it!  First Carrien arrived from Thailand and we spent the day traversing Los Angeles and Hollywood in search of Mexican Food, the Thai Consulate, Post Offices and Banks in order to procure her visa paperworkedness. I am not good at talking and driving at the same time so you can imagine the fun that ensued. But it was fun and of course I love spending time with Carrien even if I am turning the wrong way and going the wrong way and getting us later and later to things.

It was really fun to have a two-year-old around again. Her youngest is very affectionate and took to me right away. It was almost like having another Bug for a day. He drank coffee (foamed milk for him, latte for me) with me. He threw himself at me and let me tickle him as much as I wanted. It was really lovely. I do miss two-year-old Bug. She was something else. But nine-year-old Bug is pretty great too.

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Then the Gronbergs came to visit from Japan and that was extra nice. Carrien left and the next day they showed up. So we went to the beach, like you do when you’ve been missing the beach. It wasn’t all that warm but the kids got wet anyway. Like they do. Bethany and I stayed nice and warm on the sand. And just when we were talking up the storm the kids decided they were freeeeeeeeezing cold and we needed to go home right away and get in the hot tub.
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Because nothing washes off sand and warms you up better than an apartment complex hot tub that you don’t have to clean up. If I ever live at the beach again I hope I’m a gazillionaire so I can afford a jacuzzi. It’s so much better than traipsing sand into your house or hosing off outside.
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They stuck around long enough to shoot a craft with me and have many many lattes. Doesn’t Elliora just crack you up? It’s good to have old friends back in town. Next I’m plotting to visit them!

Random Instagram Dump

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I’ve discovered that if I don’t blog here, my traffic goes down and if my traffic goes down, I get less sponsored gigs. Go figure!  Hmmm…. So how about a rambling post about the few things that I can write about?

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1. Balance

I feel much more balanced than I have in months. It’s been a long hard journey but I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere with my work life and my social life. They’ve been at odds for years. I’m finally getting a good rhythm, balancing my work days with my go-out-to coffee mornings and my hang-out-with-my -neighbors-and-chat-the-day-away afternoons.  It feels so much better to be balanced. I’m happy and I can pay my bills too!  It’s a great feeling.

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2. Bug.

Oh, that girl.  She is the light of my days.  She is brilliant and sweet and turning in the most curious of creatures.  She’s got a quiet side to her these days. She’s not so outgoing as she used to be. She likes to explore nature and wander around by herself more than she used to. She reads whole books in a day. It’s pretty amazing.  One of her good friends moved away and I think her natural balance of friends has tipped a little and she’s still adjusting. She might be a bit of an introvert which is okay.

She recently went through a terrible time with anxiety. Her old trigger (kids puking in class) happened a couple times this last month (it’s life) and she went on a tailspin of anxiety about going to school in the morning. We tried toughing it out and it just wasn’t working. I was literally pushing her into her teacher’s arms in the morning while both of us had panic attacks.

Finally, her dad stepped in and he took her to school two mornings in a row. She didn’t like missing me but I felt like we were going backwards into separation anxiety that we’d conquered in kindergarden. So being with her dad was helpful. He’s a little more firm and a little less weak at the sight of her crying. She’s a smart girl, she figured it out. We’re looking into therapy too to see if maybe talking to someone besides me and her dad can help. It’s so hard to know what to do sometimes. But she does seem better and I’m so relieved. She’s brave and so proud of herself when she gets through a day. I love seeing her smiling when I pick her up.

3. Curry for dinner!

Bug is the pickiest of picky eaters. She doesn’t like butter or cheese or sauce except sometimes when you least expect it.  She’ll take a liking to something rare and special like super sharp cheddar or havarti of all things.  But it’s a small window of favor and as soon as you stock up on the new food she will quickly dislike it. She doesn’t like anything with garlic or anything too sweet like barbeque sauce. And then she takes on other people’s opinions about food too. She’s got all her dad’s idiosyncrasies about germs and restaurants and food that other people prepare… it’s just a real challenge to feed this girl. She’s not keen on Ranch dressing or even pizza. All the go-to foods that you can google for picky eaters, she does not like. In fact, I don’t even know what she does like. It’s the holy grail for me to cook something that she actually eats with gusto.

So you can imagine my glee when she requested curry for dinner last night. I almost did a cartwheel. She never requests anything (well besides Ramen noodles and Easy Mac which both have the nutritional value of a potato chip). Plus, I LOVE curry too. Yum!

china-cove 4. Mother Daughter Adventures

We still make time for little outings. Both of us love it so much. I never remember to take my camera with me anymore (also my kit lens is crapping out on me which is a huge drag) but I love getting good instagram shots. We hit the beach the other day after I picked her up from her dad’s. It’s hard sometimes that we don’t live there anymore but that doesn’t mean we can’t visit and walk around like the locals we used to be.

5. Gray

Do you see my gray hair? I am seriously going gray this year. It’s a turning point.

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6. Glendora

Bug’s good friend (and her mom who is my good friend too) moved to Glendora so we’ve visited them a few times. They have this park there called Big Tree Park and they’re not messing around with that name. This tree is HUGE. It was fun to sit around and talk with old friends while the kids scrambled and climbed the roots that are as big as dinosaur feet.

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7. Long Walks

I’ve been trying to incorporate small changes in my activity level.  I can’t seem to work in time at the gym anymore (too expensive and the windows I can go are better used for work) but I can work out in our little mini gym in our apartment complex and take walks with Bug or whomever will go with me.  Bug loves to work out in the small gym. She loves working out in general for that matter, little shredder that she is. She likes to ride up and down the treadmill and show off how many more push-ups she can do than me. She is in such great shape.

Yesterday we took a long walk up a hill by our house. We were probably gone two hours and it got blustery and cold on us. That happens a lot. We go out and start exploring and we don’t turn around to go home early enough. Before we know it we are racing the sun and wishing we had worn heavier sweaters. But all was well and I got a lot of good instagram photos.

That’s all I got!