Thursday, January 28, 2010

The best _____ ever

On my wedding day, my grandfather proudly stood up, made sure he had the attention of my 80 guests and pointed to my husband.

"He's the luckiest man in the world!"

Lots of awwws from the crowd. Then, he turned to me.

"This is the best day of my life."

A year later, my dad took Grandpa fishing. It was spring, warm, the fish were biting. Grandpa looked at Dad.

"This is the best day of my life."

I may have inherited the overstatements.

"This is the best cheeseburger of my life!" (In 'N' Out, Culvers, a burger from my grill)

"It's the best movie I've ever seen." (Dr. Zhivago, The Shawshank Redemption, The Princess and the Frog)

"You are the smartest, most beautiful girl in the world." (To Natalie, which to any of you who know her is obviously just a statement of fact.)

So I have earned a reputation as an overstater. No one believes me anymore. I've tried to tone it down. But the other night I came home from dinner with a new friend and told Tony:

"I think she could be it! My new BFF!"

He told me to slow down honey.

And I knew what he was thinking, that I was just caught up in the moment.

But I don't care. Because my wedding day WAS the best day of my grandpa's life, and so was the day he went fishing. And so were all the other days when he was happy and and the people he loved were happy and the fish were biting and everything was perfect.

"Well that's how it feels," I said.

And then I had a thought, which I shared with him.

"How come when I say you're the handsomest man in San Diego, or that I prefer you over George Clooney (George Clooney!) or that you're the love of my life, you believe me? How come?"

And you know what? He didn't have an answer. He just takes it as the truth.

So there. I'm now going to see if I can find the Best Cup of Coffee.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

There's a new princess in town

In Natalie's world, I am ...

Like Cinderella, I am blond, cheerful and kind and often seen scrubbing the floor.

Natalie sees herself as ...

Like Snow White, Natalie has short brown hair, a rosebud mouth, surrounds herself with little people and talks to woodland creatures.

Recently Daddy introduced Natalie to his new girlfriend. Natalie liked her very much. She described her as looking like ...

See, Daddy's friend has dark hair like Princess Jasmine and an exotic name. She is cinnamon to Cinderella's vanilla.

My heart sank.

I felt uneasy.



And then I reminded myself of what I'd told Daddy when I started seeing Tony.

"No one will ever replace you. You're her father. That will never change. The more people who love Natalie, the better."

Tony and I stood in the kitchen that morning, after I'd picked Natalie up and she told me about tea with Daddy and his friend.

"She said she looks like Princess Jasmine," I told him.

"Oh honey," he said. He hugged me, then put his hands on my shoulders.

"You're her mother. Her mother. Nothing's going to change that."

He's right. And after all it could be worse. She could be ...


That, my friends, would be very hard to take.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy to be home

Last night as Natalie and I were getting off the freeway, we put the windows down.

It was a warm night, the sun was just setting and we were happy to be returning home. So happy in fact that Natalie felt compelled to announce her approach as we made our way down Del Cerro Boulevard.

"Baby Miss Aaaaaaaaann! I come home righ naaaaaaaaaaah! Baby Miss Aaaaaaaaaann! I come home to youuuuuuuuuuuu!"

I was happy, too. A barking dog, a purring cat and a handsome man still in his suit and tie greeted me at the door. And the view wasn't too shabby, either.

It's so nice to come home.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


One of the best parts of my birthday last week was visiting Trolley Barn Park, also known as Baba Two Swing (Baba=playground; Two Swing=the two operable baby swings, as opposed to Balboa Park/Baba One Swing, where for an entire year there was just one in operation).

At Baba Two Swing, we swung and played hide and seek. And then we laid on the grass in the long shade of a big tree and watched the clouds. This is something I did a lot as a kid, but not so much anymore.

We laid like that for a long time. The clouds seemed frozen.

The grass was cool, the breeze was warm. Tony and I put our heads together; Natalie rested hers on my belly. ("The grass itches me, Mama.")

And for a moment I had a fleeting, euphoric feeling of being totally clear and unencumbered by all that clutter and noise that surrounds nearly every action and thought and follows me to bed at night.

But soon it was time to go. It was getting late, and we were hungry. I wanted to stay there forever.

"Come, Mama."
I thought: so this is what I was reading about in this book, currently collecting dust on my night table.

I keep meaning to return to the book. I think it could change my life! But then I think: I will do it later, which is not a very good grasping of the power of now.

Not anymore. I am doing it now! Or, tonight after I put Natalie to bed. And watch "How I Met Your Mother," which we recorded last night and is supposed to have a very funny musical number. Also need to gather up some financial documents to load the details into, and make flash cards for Natalie's new vocabulary words...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Limi hits the road

The smallest of Natalie's babies is Limi.

When Tony drove to Phoenix to visit his brother, Natalie offered him Limi to keep him company.

She looks even smaller in Natalie's car seat.

The guest bed at Uncle Mike's was very comfortable.

"I love you, Limi," says Uncle Mike. Uncle Mike is also known as Uncle Bad, because he once pushed Tony into the pool at the Mission Bay Hyatt as Natalie watched, mouth agape.

Limi had a fine time on the road, but she was happy to be home with her brother and sisters and her very busy mother.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Looking good, Antonio

Living with a man means being embarrassed sometimes. Sorry, but it's true.

Like when your guy goes outside to take the trash down to the street and he's dressed in long johns and a down parka. Or when he dresses for a walk in baggy track pants, gloves and a beanie pulled down past his eyebrows like he's Eminem trudging across the Alaskan tundra. (And it's sunny and 60 degrees!)

He is undeterred, despite being told:

"You look like a rapist."

"You look like a homeless person."

"Please! Can't you put on some real pants??"

This would cause any reasonable woman to shudder, look the other way, maybe even walk a few feet ahead so passersby wouldn't think they're actually together.

But then he walks into the kitchen like this. And well hellllooo, what do we have here?

My favorite gray suit, a lavender shirt and navy tie. And, his Matt Lauer shoes. They're pointy. See?
I wish we had somewhere to go today. But I'm home with a cold and he's at the office. Jacket on and keys at the ready, he's dutifully checking email here:

That's my guy. Almost makes the rapist/homeless/Eminem experience bearable. Almost.