Sunday, July 26, 2009

Super Derby

The 2009 convertible RV.

Okay so its not really a convertible RV, It’s a picture taken at this years Orange County fair.

At the OC fair not only do we have a demolition derby, in an effort to constantly out do itself this year we had a SUPER derby. Apparently the first of its kind in California. Instead of old cars rescued from the junk yard that most people have long forgotten this derby consisted of class c mobile homes resurrected and ready to rumble.

Now I consider myself a pretty level headed person. I enjoy many things within a broad spectrum of things. I love tent camping with the family as much as I love staying at the Four Seasons with my husband. I enjoy a great NASCAR race almost as much as I love going to a great concert. I will try almost anything once, just ask my kids and they will relate the infamous Turkey Balls incident. So years ago when a friend suggested we head over to the demolition derby and check it out, I was all for the adventure. Over five years later it has become my sole reason for going to the fair.

I think its the pure recklessness of it though played out in a safe and secure setting. How many times have you watched a high speed chase only to be disappointed at the the lack luster ending or those “Worlds Wildest” television shows you find yourself watching almost mesmerized at all hours in the evening when sleep has abandoned you? Come on I can’t be the only one. I love watching, waiting, hoping to see a marvelous crash befall the crazy drivers. Well that is the demolition derby. Ten to Fourteen cars arrange themselves around a dirt arena where the sole purpose is to crash into each other till the last car running is declared the winner.

Except this year they pushed it up a notch and unveiled the Super derby... and I was thrilled, until we got there. What did I do? I shopped. and cried. a lot.

Here’s the thing- old cars that no one wants smashing and crumbling into twisted metal? cool! But take a running RV and destroy it when I would be perfectly happy to take it and use it for years to come traveling and creating endless wonderful memories with my family? Heartbreaking.

My husband knew he was in for trouble before it even started when I began comparing each RV on display in relation to how it would fit our family or after it started when I whined as the Grandmas Attic literally fell onto the ground and got run over by a competitor. I mean that was where I knew our kids would have loved to sit and watch the road before them as we sang “You are my sunshine” in the rounds as a family (okay maybe not quite), but it was a lot like taking a cool shiny toy holding out in front of an eager toddler and smashing it to bits while they watched and wailed. At one point it actually hurt to watch.

In the end nothing was left but a handful of truck flatbeds and a whole mess of shit to clean up...(sigh) I guess its the Four Seasons yet again this year.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pork Butts

Its been a silly tradition for years now.

Although I only have the last three years on digital, I'd like to someday get the whole collection together. I still laugh every time I take the picture.


...and they are getting to an age where soon they may no longer want to embarrass themselves this way.



I sure hope not. 
What I would possibly do for fun then?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Water Fight

I have the best kids in the world. Really. Hands down the best.

The other night we were all at the fair having a great time. It was a big group, my cousins had come for a visit and we had allowed each of the kids to bring a friend which of course meant they also brought a friend. We were a small cyclone meandering through the fair and rides.

It wasn’t intended to be that big, but somehow in addition to our already large group we became the dump all of all other parents at the fair that evening. We would simply run into adults we knew and then suddenly the kids where with us and the parents were nowhere to be seen. It was eery really if you thought about it. Though we didn’t mind horribly. It was the fair, and we were having fun watching the kids absorb it all in. besides it was Orange County and everyone had there own phones should they have needed to contact anyone.

One particular child was one of the youngest and most shy. A sibling to an older child and friend of our daughter. In the excitement this child had an accident. The worst kind, since all the other kids could obviously see the dark stain upon his previously dry jeans. My husband did his best to comfort and walk in front of the child, but it was inevitable that someone would notice.

That is about the time my cousin and kids began the water fight. I yelled at first unaware of their plan, I had just paid ten dollars for ONE bottle, throwing it on anyone was out of the question. I was rationing as it was, this bottle was going to be with me till Christmas!

I was explaining this when it dawned on me what they were doing. My cousins and children had positioned themselves in front of and behind this child who had had the accident. Then they were each tossing the water back and forth towards each other in a mock water fight.

Within minutes not only did ALL the children have splashes of water on their clothes, but the child with the stained pants could no longer be deciphered from the rest of the group who had been in on it unless you looked really close.

It was a simple act that left me prouder then any other parent could be.

Kids- you rock!!! (and I won’t really take the ten dollars out of your allowances.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

ORANGE COUNTY (picture Swarovsky crystals sparkling so much you need your sunglasses to gaze at it)

There are a plethora of wonderful advantages to living in Southern California. Not only do we enjoy summer all year long but we have great sandy beaches and lush green mountains that turn white and bring us snow within an hours drive.

Living in Orange County California takes that simple beauty and exploits it, injecting it full of Botox creating an over the top exaggeration of life.

Not only do we have malls with valet parking, we have GYMS with valet parking. You can drop your child off at day care, and just a short jaunt down the road you can also drop your dog off at their own day care- complete with lap pools and play group hour. In fact right next to the Sprinkles cupcake store, is the dog bakery where your pampered pooch can have a treat of their own.

With so many “enhancements” to everyday life, raising children in Orange County is even more difficult when it comes to keeping them grounded and teaching them what is normal. Normal to them could so easily be their own iphone, flat screen TV (in their room), individual Mac Notebooks, and like the bottomless fries at the local restaurant, endless itunes downloads. Because well you know everyone else has those things.

Except in our house, where if you want an iphone you have to pay for it yourself, we have one TV (for all four kids), and its embarrassingly in the living room, along with the computer and oh yeah itunes? better hope you did your chores and Mom likes the song, because its her password that you will need to get it on your ipod.

For a few years now I have wanted to take the kids on a pilgrimage to Mexico so they could work with kids there and see that their lives are a vast difference to many others. Of course the war on drugs (and subsequently war against Americans) and the Swine Flu have halted that plan for now. So its back to more creative parenting in showing them a valued life doesn’t mean a material life.

I understand that living here was our choice, that although every house matches the one next to it, across from it, and down the street from it, diversity could have been found much easier had we decided to live elsewhere. I'm also painfully aware that for us, as a blended family, it isn’t just about our house, but our ex’s houses as well and for now, at least, here is where we stay.

Still, I am not complaining about being here in the “OC” as with many things in life, its all how you play the game. After all with all the kids at their other homes this week, where else can someone make but just one quick call to the Poop Butler and have all their pets waste picked up for them?

Orange County, what a place.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Trampoline

It was just a normal day. Busy as always.

Running around, spending more time

in the car then out of it.

You were all tired. Cranky. Hungry.

I am not sure who saw it first, but suddenly the three of you were on it.

Laughing. Taking turns. Smiling.

I pulled out the camera and fell into your glee. The sun went down, it was time to eat.

It was no longer a normal day. It was a great day.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I Honor:

My beloved Gramps who served in the Army during the Korean War.
My wonderful Step Father who served in the Navy during the Korean War.
My amazing Uncle who served in the Navy during Vietnam.
My incredible Husband who served in the Navy during the Gulf War.
My two brave Cousins who served in the Coast Guard together, though apart.

I love each of you not only for who you are to me but for unselfishly dedicating yourselves in honor of this country and protecting the Freedom we hold so dear.