Monday, June 30, 2008

The Big 4-0

The June before we were married, Jeff turned 30. We celebrated by driving my convertable- top down- for a long weekend in Solvang. We went wine tasting (got hammerd too- 20 shots of wine will do that), saw a play (, and I had a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake delivered to the romantic inn ( we were staying at.

Last Thursday, the next milestone was reached: Jeff turned 40. This time, we stayed home.

Jeff took the day off work, and we embarked on the grand experiment of taking Tenley to the movies for the first time. She wouldn't sit in her own chair- not even with the booster seat. Instead, she sat in her dad's lap. She was antsy before we finished the previews. She watched randomly, wandered up and down the (thankfully empty) row, and 30 min to the end of the film told us emphatically that she was done and it was time to go. We told her "no", and fortunately the last 20 min is pretty action packed so she made it to the end. We will not be repeating that experience anytime soon. After surviving the movie, we picked up Jeff's "Gray Hare" cake from Baskin Robbins, and headed home for lunch and a nap.

The lunch part was fine, but the crazy 3.75 year old pitched the mother of all fits (the current whining and crankiness going into overdrive until it's a full-blown tantrum) about taking her nap. Nap is a problem for Ten: she still needs it, but she doesn't want it. It's a problem for us too: good luck getting her down before 2 (regardless of the time she got up), and she'll sleep 2-3 hours because (despite what she tells you) she's tired. This means she gets up at 5 something and is then up until 10 or 11 at night. You don't want to wake her up either: the screaming, whining and crying will begin immediately and will not let up for at least 2 hours. If she doesn't nap, she'll still stay up until 10, she'll just be a whiny, cranky wretch for hours. In the end, there was alot of yelling and screaming ( by all three of us) but she did take a nap.

Jeff chose the Red Lobster (of all places) for his birthday dinner...turns out he just really wanted steak & shrimp. They don't do birthday dessert, and since we had cake at home, I had a chat with our waiter on the way back from taking Ten to the ladies' room and arranged to have a candle stuck in his mashed potatos and happy birthday sang to him. This would have been very funny and a great little surprise...except that there are no secrets with Tenley around- she ran straight back to the table and told her dad everything. Thanks, Ten.

On Sat. night we met Uncle Kev, Tia Lorena, & baby Alexis for Belated Birthday dinner at Chevy's. Kev made up for the spoiled Red Lobster surprise by having a sombrero plunked on Jeff's head and a loud Mexican birthday song belted out in his honor.

I have no idea what I gave Jeff for his 30th birthday, but it had to be better than the 2 t-shirts, car sunshades, and Chillow ( I gave him this year. Kevin gifted him with the kind of books that should never be put in Jeff's hands (manuals on how to build things that will launch projectiles & blow things up) and a Taters of the Lost Ark Mr. Potatohead. The Moms (his & mine) have donated to the Jeff-wants-an-iPhone fund, and he's anxiously awaiting the July purchase date. But the grand prize for "Best Gift" really goes to Kev's mom who sent along the basket pictued below in retaliation for the year Jeff gave her Depends.

Happy Birthday honey. Here's looking forward to 40+ more!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Father's Lunch

Yesterday was Tenley's last regular day of preschool and since it was close to Father's Day all the dads came to have lunch with their little ones. Tenley was very excited to see me and couldn't wait to show me the present she had made. It was a fishing pole with a fish on the line and her picture was on the fish. She was very proud of it.

I brought Subway sandwiches for us and we sat in the shade with all the other dads and kids and ate. Tenley pointed out all of her friends to me and told me all the times they all got in trouble during class. Seems to be a big part of her life these days, keeping tabs on others.

When we were done with our sandwiches I told her I had a surprise for her, a big cupcake. She was so excited and dove right into the huge amount of frosting on the top.

After lunch we went into her classroom to give her teachers a gift. She couldn't wait to give them a present too. Teachers got boxes of See's Candy because we know what it is like to deal with a preschooler and we figured they would need all the chocolate they could get!
Tonight we get to go her school for the end of year program and next Monday she starts the summer program.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Birthday Party for Alexis

On Sunday, Tenley and I went to Alexis’ 2 yr old birthday party. Michelle was not feeling well so I went by myself and wasn't too sure of it either. The reason being is that the party was at Kevin’s parent’s house and they have a pool. I wasn’t worried about Tenley falling in and drowning because they have a fence around the pool. I wasn’t worried about chasing Tenley around or her eating too much cake and candy. I was worried about the continual badgering I was going to get as soon as Tenley saw the swimming pool and wanted to go for a swim.

I sucked it up and took her to the party. Alexis was really cute in her little Minnie Mouse dress wandering around babbling to all the guests. Sure enough, we weren’t there 10 minutes when Tenley started asking about going swimming. Now there are a few things in life that just shouldn’t be seen, like a horrible accident involving pedestrians, nuclear war, another Rob Schneider movie or me in a swimming suit. I swear someone would call PETA and alert them to a beached whale too far inland and they would come and drag me back to the ocean where they would be sure I would survive nicely. This is why I didn’t bring anything for us to go into the pool.

Tenley wasn’t taking no for an answer. Sure she was distracted occasionally by the bounce house and the party games but that didn’t stop her from bugging me every five minutes about going into the pool. Kevin’s mom told me she had some spare swim gear and she was sure she had something to fit Tenley if I wanted to allow her in the pool. Having taken all I could of Tenley’s puppy dog stare, I finally relented. So here is how the pre-pool conversation went…

Daddy: Tenley, this is not like our little pool at home. You cannot stand with your head above the water.

Tenley: Ok daddy. Can we go in the pool now?

Daddy: Tenley, pay attention. You must stay on the top steps and play there. You cannot go any further down the stairs. Do you understand?

Tenley: This isn’t my bathing suit. This one is yellow!

Daddy: Tenley, look at me and pay attention. You must not go past the top stairs. Got it?

Tenley: Okay daddy, I will play on the stairs. But in the pool right?

So we go out to the backyard and I tell her again about the stairs. I set her on the top step and she got used to the water temperature. Then she stepped down to the next step…and the next one…and the next one…until the last one where she gently plopped right under water. Her little arms were so light they just floated straight up while the rest of her body sunk like a rock.

Most parents would be thinking AAAGGGHHHH my child is drowning and dive in after them. Not me. The first thought through my mind was “Good God! My child is learning impaired!” “Did I not tell her about this?” So I stepped into the pool, new shoes, clothes and all. I grabbed her and hauled her back up to the top step. She wasn’t coughing or crying. She did have a kind of surprised look on her face and she said happily, “I went under water.” She was only under water for a split second. Probably not even long enough for her to register that she was there and try to breathe. She played nicely for the next hour on the top step and didn’t move. My new shoes were wet, my clothes were wet (at least I was cooled off for a while) and my cell phone is dead. Apparently pools and cell phones don’t mix. Hello new iPhone!!

Other than Tenley’s momentary lapse in thinking it was a really nice day. She had loads of fun, ate her weight in cake, helped destroy a piƱata and bounced until she was ready to drop. She slept like a rock that night which always makes me happy and Alexis had a very happy birthday.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Overheard This Past Week...

Tenley to the AT&T U-Verse Technician:
“Hey Man, you woke me up from my nap and now I’m grumpy!”

Tenley to the Dog:
“You will be Princess Lulu and I will be Princess Ting-Ting. But my dress is nicer than yours.”

Tenley to Daddy:
“I need your book so I can go in the army. (as she takes the book) This is called sharing Daddy, get used to it.”

Tenley to Daddy:
“AAGGHH, Kismet tried to bite me and it wasn’t nice.” Daddy says, “What were you doing to the dog when she tried to bite you?” Tenley replies “Nothing, but she needs to have lipstick on.” Hmmm.

Tenley to Daddy:
“I don’t want to tell mommy, mommy makes me grumpy!”

Tenley to Great-Grandpa:
“Great-Grandpa, why did you fall down and get hurt on yourself?”

Tenley to the universe in general:
“I am so exhausted and I am having a bad day!”

It’s tough to be a three year old!!