Monday, July 10, 2017

Footnotes on Three

You are quite suddenly hilarious sine turning three. Maybe though because you can finally talk in sentences we can all mostly understand.

You are also fairly easy to enrage. Luckily I'm a sucker for three year olds (hopelessly so) so I don't let it phase me much when you tell me moments after reaching tenderly to kiss my face that you don't like or me or that I'm "mean" because I deny you the second or third pack of fruit snacks in the pantry you think you own.

You know your colors which I admire because I never taught them to you.

You call ants "animals" and demand to know the name of every one of them whenever we spot some. I make them up as we go just to see you easily delighted by such things. And, it seems, according to you I have a knack for it.

You love to play hide and seek but always shout out to the one looking for you because of how proud you are of your secret spot. You count and seek too. "one, two, three and ten." No one corrects you.

You love your stuffed animals. Unlike your brothers at your age who were more prone to balls, swords, super heroes, ect - though Rex is working hard to see that admiration for the latter grow in intensity. (Speaking of him, you still worship him the same as the day you were born. Even when he is mean to you (which is so much rarer than he to all the rest) you forgive him instantly. You follow him around and hug him constantly. You see that he is patient with you. Everyone sees it. You appreciate that he teaches you things, explains things to you, laughs, encourages, is proud of you. It's the sweetest bond to see and one I'm guessing will always exist in a similar kind of way forever. But I do hope you talk him out of some of the more daring things he has in mind when you both get older.

You inform me you are "big" constantly until it's time to pick things up, in which you will declare that you are "too little" to lift all these things. But you do it anyway because I press it.

You love cartoons and miss them dearly because the option suddenly disappeared when we moved into the house and never picked up the TV. You remind me of it sometimes and vow to move back in with Grandma because of the simple fact of cable. And basically everything else she has that you miss since the move.

You refer to Arlo and Leon as "Big Leo" and "Little Leo" - Leon being "Little Leo" - which I love.

Yogurt, string cheese, apples and gold fish are your favorite snacks. You pretend that certain foods make you sick but it's really just because you like the sound of yourself coughing.

You are tough and rarely cry when you get hurt. Which Arlo is very proud of.

You play for hours with plastic magnetic tiles and wooden blocks. But are forever happiest at the beach. Diving into the water and chasing the thrill of wild waves that roll and toss you around even with me clinging tight to your hand.

You like being naked. Whenever possible. Which is often now that our patio is secluded and seems to almost invite the habit.

You call Jack your puppy and treat him (rightfully) like another brother.

You love babies. And I love that you love that.

Your brothers are your biggest idols. You seem to believe you are as big as them and try all too often to pull off the same stunts. Arlo is adventurous and you like it, Rex is daring and you mimic it, Leon though is a mystery to you sometimes and you tend to ignore him. Thankfully, he doesn't seem bothered by it. He still compliments you often and thinks you're the cutest "baby" there ever was. Even if three now doesn't technically hold that title anymore.

You are a mama's boy through and through, and it shows. You're also the only one who's lasted this long in our bed because I can't seem to find the right way to get you away from me for too long.

Your flashing eyes and bouncing curls are your saving grace. It's hard to get mad at a face like that, even when you fully warrant it. Still we try.

All in all, three is the best.
Until you turn four.
Then we'll love the next year somehow a little more.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Around Here

In midst of settling in we get lost all too often during a morning trek out for drive through coffee, distracted by the strip of blue that snakes along the coastline all the way downtown, pulling us into curious turns that comes lined with aged Spanish bungalows nestled amongst overgrown succulent landscapes with drive ways manned by teenagers sporting well earned tans, loading surf boards onto their parent's hood racks. 

The five of us weaving aimlessly around the streets while the fog lingers, wandering untouched necklines of a new town we still don't know. Piling clothes into clean and dirty baskets without the help of drawers or dressers to divide them neatly like before. 

Reminding the dog - with a penchant for lounging in the middle of a warm culdesac back at the old place that embraced the habit - that this street is anything but forgiving. Eyeing neighbors curiously who eye us back the same way. Meeting boys down along the block while visiting parks and taking walks. 

Driving a roofless old Land Rover down the hill at sunset with Mexican blankets on our lap to keep us warm, to the beach before dinner to squeeze in a quick surf session before the sun falls away. 

Complaining about the absence of TV. 

Eating tacos for dinner for seven days straight. Feeling like vagabonds on vacations, caught somewhere between being broke and downright blessed. 

Dreaming up renovations that entails walls being trimmed, torn and rearranged. Book shelves carved bedrooms. Bathrooms busted and ceilings exposed. Dry wall dust on our shoes. 

Every corner reminding us of all the time and money we don't have to any of it happen very fast. Big plans tethered to patient budget. 

And of course the laundromat on a humid Friday afternoon where we manage to stuff eight days worth of dirty clothes into four big metal basins and count down the minutes until they dry. Laughing carelessly as we do. Because it's new and unfamiliar. Life between the undetermined and the settled. Whispering of new adventure around every turn. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Right White

At our first house, a cute 1927 Spanish Bungalow, we fought endlessly over colors choices. The fact that Mike is seriously color blind when it come to anything with a touch of green gray, didn't help matters. I think, just based on what I can remember, we must have painted and repainted the inside of that little house more than six times in four years. With quite a few really stupid quarrels in midst of it

Needless to say, the decision to go all white has saved us a lot of bickering, time, and money. I mean, painting is one of my least favorite tasks. And I'm awful at it. So once the entire house was one bright clean color, I felt an inner peace unravel inside of me. Simply retouching the walls every few months when the grime of a four boy household became all too evident.

Yet just as impossible as it was to find the right "grey" that I searched for years before, the right white might be even harder? Our last house was a generic brand of swiss coffee which I liked because it was soothing and warm with a slightly touch of cream to it. But photographed more yellow than I liked so this time around we're on the hunt for one that is a bit brighter and clean but not cool or stark. Just one of countless descriptions I've uttered aloud that make me cringe hearing myself speak to the poor kid at the paint counter. Realizing how ridiculous I sound expressing these variations. Good thing is social media offers up a lot of help in these areas, and as much as I'd like to say we found "The One" based on what provided, I'm actually headed to the local paint shop today to test one more. And then we're tearing a bedroom ceiling out.
Wish us luck.

Top contenders (based on Instagram suggestions) so far being:
Benjamin Moore 
Arcadia White
White Dove
Vanilla Milkshake
Cloud White cc40
Chantilly Lace
Designer White
Super White
Simply White
Heron White

Martha Stewart
Glass of Milk

Ultra White

I let you know what we finally decide on.