Saturday, January 27, 2007

Taking A Peek Inside Pandora's Box

Last week Finn and Shea finally got to see the inside of Disneyland for the first time. I say "the inside," because they've spotted the peak of the Matterhorn and the skyward-stretching, slanted roof line of Space Mountain while driving along the Interstate 5 many times en route to cousin Reilly's house.

Before you get too upset on their behalf that their cruel parents have been depriving them of this de facto rite of childhood passage, I should let you know that Santa very generously left Finney and me ANNUAL passes in our Christmas stockings (Shea's free until she's three), so we will be visiting Disneyland often in 2007 to make sure Santa damn well gets his hard-earned money's worth.

I must admit that John and I have been keeping the secret of kiddy goodness that is Disneyland from the kids somewhat on purpose. Because he and I both grew up in Southern California, we've been to the park countless times -- most often accompanying visiting out-of-town relatives who were discovering it for the first time -- and we've seen first-hand how the number of guests has grown over the years to make some visits so crowded they're nearly intolerable.

On the last few pre-parental trips we made to Disneyland in our late 20s/early 30s, we realized that maybe it was time for a Disney hiatus when we found ourselves spending more time sipping cocktails at the Disneyland Hotel bar than waiting on line to experience Mr. Toad's Wild Ride -- the G-rated version of our bar experience.

"We'll go again when we have kids," we told ourselves. Then we added, cautiously, "When they're five. So they really get the most out of it."

Well, guess whose next birthday will be his fifth? The prospect of visiting Disneyland in late June, though, during the peak of summer with half of the entire planet waiting on lines with us under the sweltering Anaheim sun, made my inner Tinkerbell pass out.

Mid-week in January sounded much nicer. And it was.

Finn was hand-picked from the lunch tables in New Orleans Square to play the tambourine along with this zippy Jazz band. We walked right onto almost every ride and had to wait no longer than 10 minutes for the most crowded ones. Finn was able to meet Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Tigger, too. The weather was perfect -- not too hot and not too cold. Nobody got sunburned, threw a tantrum, or got hurt. Shea generously napped in her stroller for nearly an hour. Most importantly, Grandma Emely and dear friend Trudi came along to share the day and ease the load.

The kids, naturally, loved it all. And now that they've seen the delightful bounty that is the Happiest Place on Earth, I'm sure we'll be back again soon.

Just not in June.

You can check out the rest of the photos from our inaugural Disneyland visit here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Guess Where We Went Yesterday?

More pictures and stories to come in a future post.

Monday, January 22, 2007

It Begins

A couple weeks ago, Cari brought over a big bag full of Daisy's old dress-up clothes: tiaras, purses, feather boas, faux fur-trimmed capes, the works. You know, really frilly girly stuff that I'm sure Shea will one day covet.

(I hear the fourth birthday is the magical princess turning point for most little girls, when their hearts turn a rhinestone-encrusted shade of hot pink and they begin running around as miniature royalty in frills. Should be fun.)

So far, though, since she's only 20 months old, Shea really could care less about most of the dressy items.

Except the shoes, that is.

She's already deftly clomp-clomp-clomping around the house in these garish, Barbie-emblazoned, silver "beauties" -- which fit right over her thick footie pajamas, since they're still about three sizes too big for her feet -- and even demanded that she be allowed to sleep with them last night.

"Sheeeeeeuuuwwwwwsss ON! Sheeeeeeeeeeuuuuuwwwwwsssssss ON!"

Today when we left the house to go pick up Finney from school, I heard Shea bid a soft, plaintive farewell into her closet as we left her room: "Bye bye, shoes."

Does this mark the first blush of an honest-to-goodness girly girl?

Shea's learning to talk quite a bit these days, so whatever you do, please try to refrain from saying the words "Manolo Blahnik," "Jimmy Choo," or -- worst of all -- "Christian Louboutin" in front of her, OK?

Thanks. Every little bit helps.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Preschooler Wears Quiksilver

Finney and I went out to run some errands together on Sunday. On our way to Blockbuster to return our weekend rentals, he asked me if he could hold the DVD cases so he could give one last hug to the boy glory that is the movie Cars.

Surprisingly, he broke his enamored gaze at the race car epic long enough to steal a glance at the second case in his hands that contained the DVD I had rented to reward myself for meeting an especially gruelling deadline.

Which caused him to ask me:

"Mama, did you rent this DVD that's all about girls?"

"Yes, honey."

"Well, why would you want to do that?"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Personally, I Like Double Sipping OCD The Best

Most of my regular readers (hi, Mom!) have this blog address saved to their Favorites and check in periodically to see if I've posted.

Some of my more tech-savvy readers have added it to their
Bloglines subscription list and are automatically alerted when I submit new posts.

And then there are those who find this blog through conducting a search on Google.

What searches, might you ask, would lead someone to this blog? Well, thanks to sitemeter, which allows me to track where visitors come from, I'm able to answer that question for you right now.

Here are some of the more memorable search strings that have matched to DDD over the last few months. (Think they were tickled by or disappointed with what they found here?)

  • darth vader has to wear diapers

  • super duty guy that poops

  • Naartjie Smell of shop

  • sarah bernhardt cookie recipe

  • double sipping ocd

  • expired denny's paychecks

  • hawaii hula girl boobs photo

  • Palm Sunday Digit Monday Phalange Friday

  • damn heavy

  • skywalker angst

  • mom dad I'm gaelic

  • swollen gullet

  • thick diaper gals

Which one's your favorite?

Monday, January 08, 2007


That, my friends, is -- according to my four-and-a-half year-old son -- a string of the world's funniest words.

Pure comedy joy. In fact, peals of hysterical brainwaves are emanating from the top of his sleeping little head right now, merely through the osmotic energy of my having just typed them here.

Oh My God: the potty talk.

We've been battling pretty regularly here in Casa DDD to keep the potty talk to a low simmer; to that end, we have employed a number of mostly unsuccessful deterrents.

First, a little back story: For about a year or so, Finn got in the initially adorable habit of addressing his father as Johnny -- not Dad, or the preferred Papa. After a while, John came to miss hearing the word Papa come from his son's lips but we just couldn't find a way to reverse the trend.

Enter Grandma Emely (who should write a damn book about child psychology, by the way, or at least about creatively administered methods of bribery), and began rewarding him with coins -- a penny here, a nickel there -- whenever he used the paternal address instead of the familiar. Moreover, there was a promise of a trip to the Big Toy Store once he had accrued enough coinage.

Within a week he was completely broken of his Johnny rap; within two, he was berating me for addressing my husband by his first name.

Yeah, the kid responded to the money.

Last week, after an hour strolling Toys-R-Us with Grandma, he brought
this home. And Johnny don't live here anymore.

Anyway, back to the potty talk. My Mom's solution for this recent trouble is the same one she employed with my brother when he went through this normal but totally annoying developmental curve: have Finney get all potty talk out of his little system while in the bathroom.

You know, potty talk stays in the potty.

Seems simple enough. In fact, it's no holds barred in there most days -- a butt here, a fart there, a doody this, and a stinky diaper that. Every now and then he'll slip at the dinner table or playground, but for the most part he's reserving his best and brightest for the bathtub and toilet environment. Fun times.

So I nearly swallowed my tongue when I overheard Finn, standing in the hallway while talking through the closed bathroom door to Grandma Emely as she was inside using the restroom:

"Grandma, make sure you say lots and lots of potty words while you're in there, ok?!?"

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Back Again, With Lots Of Pictures To Woo You With

Hi! Remember me? I used to be a dutiful blogger, diligently posting stories and photos of my kids and family.

Then the holidays came around and unceremoniously used me to wipe down every last dining table, strung me across the top of the roof line and set me to "blink," and threw me away with the heaps of crumpled wrapping paper and empty boxes.

And then I was not.

But I'm back, and shit howdy do I have a boatload of photos to share with y'all. My new camera and I are taking things very slowly, setting the strong foundation for any good long-term relationship, and have been learning little bits about each other every day.

Camera: Doesn't warn you when the battery's getting low; instead, just shuts off in a huff -- game over -- slightly resentful that she's been ridden that hard, frankly, and just needs some time to heal and recharge now.

Karin: Hasn't taken the time to read more than 10 or so pages of the manual to find out if she's just not looking in the right spot to monitor the battery's remaining lifespan. Didn't mean to offend camera.

Camera: When shutter button is depressed halfway while set to Manual Mode, interprets this as an indication that user wishes camera to establish focus on subject.

Karin: After 20 years of conditioning, still thinks that the partial shutter depression will yield a light reading and that it is still her responsibility to set the f-stop and establish focus on subject. Has taken an embarrassing number of poorly exposed and awkwardly focused images as a result. Remains slightly nostalgic for familiarity of old camera. Realizes it's time to read further in said manual.

Camera: Goooooood lookin', so refined....

Karin: Wouldn't you like to know what's going on in my mind?

Anyway, the holidays were a lot of fun this year. Eddie and Amy were here, as was Grandpa Jack. We spent some time at Crystal Cove State Beach's adorable cottages, which were just restored to their early-20th-Century splendor. We celebrated our 13th-annual cocktail congregation on Christmas Eve with a record number of friends and well wishers. We got completely spoiled by Grandma Emely's wonderful cooking. We went sledding and rang in the New Year in Big Bear with the newlyweds, as well as Finney's best friend Logan and his parents. Best of all, John was able to take 11 days off from work so the kids basically ignored me while he was in their presence AND I got to sleep in past 7am on most mornings.
I'm so in love with my husband.

Here, then, are the links to my photos of these various eating and drinking festivals,, I mean, celebratory events. I will think of this Christmas as the one when Shea finally realized who the guy in the red suit was (but never warmed up to him), when Finn garnered the courage to sing with his peers in front of an audience, and when my new camera and I first started to get friendly.

To view a slide show of Crystal Cove, Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, click here.

To view a slide show of our trip to Big Bear to ring in 2007, click here.

Monday, January 01, 2007

2006: The Year In Photos

2006 was a great year.

John turned 40 and Shea turned one.

We triumphantly battled strep throat, ear infections, conjunctivitis, tonsilitis, temper tantrums and even strep butt.

We went to Hawaii once, Arcata once, and Big Bear twice.

Finn learned how to write his name, swim, and read his first book.

Shea learned to walk, talk and feed herself.

John went camping, got a tricked-out new wetsuit, and continued his lifelong love of surfing.

I wrote 15 freelance articles, started teaching, and got a kick-ass new camera.

Here's a roundup in photos.

January: Doing her best Annette Funicello impression

February: Enjoying his first can of Aloha in Hawaii

March: Resting up

April: Puckering up to receive kisses on her first birthday

May: A study in stripes

June: In Newport Beach's 100th Anniversary Parade

July: Well on their way to their 500th Otter Pop already by this point

August: Beating the heat

September: Back to school

October: In Big Bear

November: Squeezing out a few last beach days

December: Mom's got a shiny new camera now

Here's looking forward to the many gifts and challenges 2007 will bring.

Happy New Year!