The kids and I spend a lot of time outside. One of their favorite spots is the park. We are lucky to live so close to many different parks including a few in walking distance. My children are typical siblings – they love each other and play great together usually – but they also fight and drive each other crazy.
Lately I have seen Matteo tormenting Malina to the point that she begins to cry. We tell her that he is a ‘baby’ still and that she should ignore his comments, but she does not. We talk to him as well about his behavior, but he continues to do it. 10 minutes later they will be playing together as if an argument never happened. Their relationship is a bit lit a seesaw, it goes both up and down. By chance I caught them having a great time on a seesaw at the park recently.
We have been very lucky the last year or so. The kids have not been sick or missed school. The few times that they have been sick it was over the weekend so we have not had to miss any work. Our luck ended this past Tuesday. Malina said she did not feel well after school and by the time she went to bed I noticed that she was indeed warm, very warm.
I began texting away looking for a babysitter to look after her on the first afternoon when Max was not available to look after her. Four people later one of my friends was available to spend the afternoon with her. On the second afternoon Matteo and I spent the afternoon with her. She was feeling much better and ready to leave the house. After picking up a gigantic packet of home work from school we went to the beach. What is better than a little fresh ocean air? Nothing.
We lucked out finding a parking spot with 2 free hours of parking by chance, and we stayed that whole time! By the way the weather has been very hot the last few days. I’m not sure if it is global warming or what, but it was almost 80 degrees at the beach and closer to 90 degrees by where I work. At the beach we played a little volleyball, smash ball, football, snacked, tried to fly a kite (not enough wind) and just relaxed. It was a great afternoon with the bonus of seeing the sun set as the kids sat on the hood of my car. Life truly is good.
It is the weekend finally. It has been a long week- but truthfully every week is super busy so that is the norm. I feel rewarded when the work day ends and I have family time. On the weekend I really like to “relax” and have fun.
I have been thinking about something a lot lately that has been bugging me and yesterday we took the first major step to making a change to that. We do not like Malina’s new school. Her school is 75% different than the school that we came from before the move.
Yesterday Max dropped off an application for her to attend a different school. Yeah!! We met with the principal last week and took a tour. We were very pleased with what we saw. They do not have a spot for her now at the new school, but I have my fingers crossed that somehow, somewhere an opening will happen sooner than later. Cross your fingers for me. Meanwhile we are making the best of our current situation. I don’t want to go into details about the challenges that we are facing at the new school, or point the finger at anyone, but it just is not the right fit for our family. It just sucks not having made the right choice to start!
I have a very special place in my heart for the town of Santa Cruz, California. The first images that I saw of this town were in the vampire movie “The Lost Boys”. The boardwalk looked amazing and I always wanted to visit the town to explore in person. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area for one year I never made the trip there being that Santa Cruz was at least two hours from where I lived and I did not have a car.
Visiting Santa Cruz finally for the first time in the spring of 2012 I loved it! We spent our entire day on the boardwalk first eating lunch and enjoying the rides. After our visit I quickly purchased a DVD of the movie “The Lost Boys” to revisit the town from time to time.
Returning again this year on spring break we stayed overnight and we were able to see more of Santa Cruz. The town consists of an “eclectic group” of people and reminds me of a nicer Venice Beach- keep in mind that I will not take my kids to Venice Beach again until they are teenagers. Max thinks that it is a good town for students, surfers and the hippie type of lifestyle. He vows to return with us here next year. The kids and I fondly talk about our time here time to time and sometimes they ask me if we can return to Santa Cruz for the day. They still do not realize that Santa Cruz is more than six hours from Los Angeles.
Photo: Mike, Ryan and Malina on a big kid ride
The other day I was on Facebook and my friend Mike did a post about visiting the boardwalk with his family. They live less than an hour away from Santa Cruz and we actually met up with him and his family on our last visit to Santa Cruz. I loved what he had to say so much that I would like to share it with you all too:
Well Santa Cruz as always you didn’t disappoint. And my kid has learned a lot of new terms. The way he was looking around at everything was crazy. He has been there a lot, but this day was really busy and everyone, as in every type, was at the boardwalk.
Driving to the boardwalk could only be compared to the scene from the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation” with Chevy Chase. When, I believe, they are driving through the Southside of St. Louis, and the kids are staring out of the windows checking out things they have never seen before. My kid had his window down, eyes wide open and firing questions at me non-stop.
Throughout the day here are some of the questions I got to field:
Ryan: Daddy what’s that smoke smell?
Me: It’s marijuana.
Ryan: What’s marijuana?
Me: It’s really bad. Hugs not Drugs!
Me: People smoke it over here like it’s a cigarette.
Ryan: Daddy someone just walked by with a parrot on their shoulders; are they a pirate?
Me: No, they are just a resident of Santa Cruz.
Ryan: Daddy why is that guy laying on the ground next to a grocery cart?
Me: He probably got tired walking home from the store with his groceries and just needs a nap.
Ryan: Why do they only have sodas in that stroller? Where is the baby?
Me: The soda (Probably 6 12-packs of beer) probably got tired and needed a nap. The mommy probably is already at the beach (And no we never saw a baby).
Ryan: Why does that man have paint (tattoos) all over his face?
Me: He just wants you to know not to bump into him.
Ryan: Why is that person’s hair like that?
Me: It’s called dreadlocks. It happens when you don’t wash your hair for like 5 days.
Ryan: Don’t let me go 5 days without shampooing okay?
Me: It’s a deal!
Ryan: Is that man homeless?
Me: Sorry buddy I think he is.
Ryan: Is that dog homeless?
Me: I think so.
Ryan: How come the homeless man gets a dog and I don’t?
Me: Because, if you remember, I am allergic to all animals.
Ryan: Why are the police talking to that dirty man?
Me: He probably wants to be his best friend.
Ryan: Why are those people drinking out of brown bags?
Me: Because they think it looks cool.
Ryan: Why would someone drink out of a bag? Are they drinking soda?
Me: No beer, they are called ‘tall boys’.
Ryan: Did you ever drink out of a bag?
Me: Yes, but I stopped doing that. You’ll probably do it someday.
Ryan: What’s that smell?
Me: It’s Santa Cruz
Ryan: Daddy that woman’s really dressed up.. Look at those pretty shoes..
Me: Yeah, she’s probably going to a fancy party. She probably is waiting on a friend to give her a ride. (She was a prostitute)
Ryan: What’s that smell?
Me: Oh, it’s pee.
Ryan: But we are not in the restroom.
Me: I know.
Ryan: What’s that women carrying to the beach, is it a toaster?
Me: Don’t be silly it’s just a rice cooker (Seriously one of the weirdest things, but just go with it I thought… I think it’s a good idea since I like rice and don’t really know how else I would bring it to the beach).
Ryan: That woman has very shinny pants.
Me: They are called chaps. And no Ryan I have never seen anyone with chaps and ‘Daisy Dukes’.
Ryan: That’s right because we are the Southern Boys. Can I be Luke today?
Me: Sure bud!
Ryan: Why does that woman have a big metal thing through her nose?
ME: To catch buggers.
Ryan: Daddy, seriously why?
Me: Little man I have no idea why people do that. Go ask her I would love to know.
Ryan: Dad (Rolling his eyes).
Ryan: Dad why is that woman smoking holding her kid?
Me: I don’t know that mommy is making a bad choice.
Ryan: Let’s go tell the cops.
Me: Sorry bud it’s not illegal, it’s just a bad choice.
Ryan: Why is that guy carrying a suitcase to the beach?
Me: He is probably having a cruise ship pick him up (Seriously a large hard case suitcase to the beach).
Ryan: Look dad an iguana, a live iguana on that man!
Ryan: Don’t you think that is weird?
Me: No, we are in Santa Cruz.
Ryan: This place is the best, can we come back tomorrow?
Me: I agree little buddy it is the best. Not tomorrow but soon!
*** Mike, thank you for letting me share this conversation that you and Ryan had on my blog. I too love Santa Cruz and can’t wait to return. So, we’ll see you guys same place, same time, next year? ***