Looking Back

September 18th, 2008

September 253

Impulse shopping – I purchased this wooden railway for Ethan for no other reason than it was on sale.  I know, I know……it came with a wooden storage box ON WHEELS YA’LL!

September 18th, 2007

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A super fun play date with Freya at the beach.  They were SO little!  They had already been married for a year at this point I think ; P

September 18th, 2006

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Morning play time at the beach, doughnuts at the bakery, bath in the laundry tub to clean up.  That’s freaking awesome.  I love this day all over again!

September 18th, 2005

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My third cousin (I think?) had just flown into LAX with her two kids for a fleeting visit so we drove up to visit from San Diego and the boys had a blast in the pool.  Look at my champion swimmer!  Oh god, clucky much?

September 18th, 2004

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A dear friend in Encinitas, did this beautiful henna tattoo on my HUGE belly as a baby shower gift.  It was awesome.  BTW people are so uncomfortable with pregnant chicks in bikinis.  I felt like I was walking around nakey or something.  But what else fits you when you are that big?

That’s it.  Because was there really life before the belly?  The baby belly, then the post-baby belly and now the 4.5 years on belly.  Sobs into pinny “I’m waiting on the Flat Belly Diet Book, I swear I HAVE ORDERED IT!”

Mommy play dates? What's your experience with mom dating?

I am happy to report that I have had many successful and ongoing playdates here in New Zealand.  The kids become long term friends (see here) and us Mums become long term drinking buddies as well.  Everyone goes home happy.

When we lived in Southern California we had lots of friends.  Lots of single, childless, surfing, skating, imbibing-type friends – did I mention that NONE of them had kids?  My family was all in New Zealand and Dave’s family all live in the south so I searched out a local Mom’s Group on the coast, made contact via email and hooked up Ethan and Mama’s First Play Date.  I was excited, nervous and feeling quite self-conscious.  Ethan was six months old by this point and I had never been in a situation where I could sit around and talk to other mothers – I had no idea of the protocol.  Professional mothers (as I thought of them) were scary, I was just an amateur.

Things started off well, the babies sat around and played with the communal toys, the 3 other moms were nice and polite and appeared interested / nosey about me and my little family.  They were all quite a bit older than me as apparently there is this unspoken law in SoCal that if you live at the beach and are under 30 you DON’T have children, they ruin you hot-ness and cut into your time at the bar.

We ran into the major snag when the topic eventually drifted into what the babies were eating / drinking etc.  I mentioned that I was making ALL of Ethan’s food myself.  Even carrots believe it or not!  I know who would have thought?  This was where the clique and I parted ways because if there is one thing you must NEVER do for your child, it is cook and process carrots for your baby!

WHAT THE?!?

That’s what I said.  These incredibly mis-informed matrons berated me for a good half hour about the danger of homemade carrot puree, not wanting to upset the applecart I nodded my head and “uh-huhed” at all the right moments, and then I got out of there quick smart.

I cried all the way home, those awful mothers, with their advanced age and established playgroup clique had made me feel so inadequate and bumbling.  I was doing a damn good job with that baby with NO family around to help and NO friends to offer advice.  Dave and I were doing it our way and I had thought it was working pretty fine.  Ethan was eating like a champ, 100% organic for his first year.  I made from scratch every meal that child ate, our freezer was a veritable supermarket of little frozen cubes of peaches, eggplant, pumpkin, the evil carrots, blueberries, lamb, free range chicken and whatever else was in season.  He never, not once ate from a jar or drank from a bottle.  But did I wave this in the faces of the smarmy women?  No I just sat there and took the anti-carrot slander without making a peep!

I left that awful playgroup never to visit again or join another.  Mothers groups can be full of stupid bitches, with lame opinions who have never heard of Google.  I don’t have much time for these people.

This picture was the one good thing that came out of our foray to playgroup
This picture was the one good thing that came out of our foray to playgroup

Stuff White People Like #126 Vespa Scooters

I may not drive a Prius (though I would if Toyota needed me to test drive one for a year or so!) and my car does not run on recycled vegetable oil, but I can say that I have been the proud owner of a motor scooter.

As the astute observers at SWPL have noted, I am a stereotypical white person so it should come as no surprise that I have dreamed of owning a vespa at numerous points throughout my adult life.  A vespa for me is kinda like a Ford F350 truck, it would be cool but it’s not going to happen.  But something else happened and its name was Honda.  It’s colour was blue, it was mostly made of plastic, it was born in 1984 and cost $2.49 to fill up – there was nothing not to love.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Bush and I drove cross country from Jacksonville, FL to ‘California’.  I say it like that because we had no idea where we were going, we were just ‘moving to California’.  We arrived in Encinitas eventually found a place and got jobs etc.  I had no license as I forgot to renew my visa about 5.5 years before, so getting a vehicle was going to be tricky.  Luckily my friend Pat worked at the car lot I walked or cycled past every day on the way to and from the garden centre where I worked.  My new Mexican work mates assured me it was no big deal to get a car (or other vehicle) without a licence and they were right!  Pat hooked me up and I was soon the proud owner of a 1984 Honda Elite.  It was a little out of my price range, but Pat and his manager were able to finance me for the whopping price of $300.  I didn’t think life could get any better.  Dave didn’t have a car either at this point, so the scooter gave us so much freedom, but not from each other, we still did everything together.  Grocery shopping was fun, a little uncomfortable by the time we got home as I had to carry all of the groceries in  a backpack, skateboarding was more fun, the scooter had a little luggage rack at the back so we were able to strap the skateboards on, but surfing before work was the most fun of all.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 SCOOT by you.Bush would drive to the beach with our boards in her truck and I would cruise down in my wettie on the scoot-scoot.  Encinitas didn’t know what had hit it. 

I continued to ride the scooter well into my pregnancy with Ethan, until the bumps at the bottom of Moonlight Hill got WAY to much for a chick in her third trimester.

Everyone was down with the scooter, people were stoked when I would let them borrow it.  I mean, who was I to hold back if they were picking up more classy vodka such as Popov or Wolfschmidt for Bush and I? 

Even Dave’s friends who would visit from out of town loved the scooter,MP 001 by you. check out pro-skater Kyle getting amongst the scoot with Dave Jack, he won $10,000 the day before in a skate contest but all he wanted to do was ride the scooter of style. 

I had only one treacherous moment when driving the scooter.  We had cleaned out a shed at work and I found an awesome Jerry Garcia painting done in oils that we HAD to have for apartment in Tortilla Flats.  I was quite sure that if I rested one corner of the painting on the foot peg and tied the back end up with some garden string I could get Jerry home in one piece.  I was wrong – Moonlight Hill struck again and Jerry fell off and it was all quite traumatic but I eventually made my way back to the spanish ghetto where we lived and Bush loved him!

The scooter represents everything wonderful about out time in Encinitas, that easy, carefree time before we were parents, before we had bills, when all we had to worry about was whether we were having fish or chicken tacos for dinner.  The little blue beauty never broke down, never gave us a lick of trouble and I would buy another Honda Elite again in a heartbeat.

Wow, 8yrs ago!

Nate must have been dredging his archives because he came up with his blog from 2001, and look at young me!  I was 22!  Wow.  On the eve of my thirtieth birthday it is nice to be reminded of how long I have known Nate and Julzy.  Back then things were obviously very different; I was dating Nathan, Julz was (and still is one of my bestys) and the two did NOT get along!  Now, almost 9 years later they have gorgeous Donovan and a happy marriage to thank me for lol!  Anywho, this trip to Destin was my first trip to the Gulf Coast and I was blown away by the beauty of the area.  Thanks for having me in your lives Arnolds, I miss you all xxxx.

November 2001
November 2001

Off home – Thank goodness

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Dave and I looked at each other when we got Ethan inside and said "Ok, what happens now?"….it was quite funny!

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Ready For Home

Nana Vicki flew out from Florida to spend the first week with us which was a big help;

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Beautiful sleeping child.

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Our first visitors!  Jo and John stopped in on their way home from London – Ethan was 3 days old!

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And then there were three!

Enough was enough, one HOT curry and it was all action stations.  Ethan arrived 3 days early thanks to Siamese Basil (the Thai Restaurant on Coast Hwy).  We had a great time in the delivery room waiting for little man.  Chrissy and Miguel spent the day with us and we watched movies and laughed and Miguel our mexican flatmate finally came up with the RIGHT name!

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First bath; hmmmm we have seen this face a few times over the last 3.75 years aye!

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Daddy was so proud!

First Kiss

Hospital

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The battered little man!  Ethan got stuck for a while and still has his birthmarks.

And then there was some news….

After a busy couple of months, surfing heaps, snowboarding and skateboarding, Chrissy came home from work one day, out of the blue with a pregnancy test.  She said "you’re pregnant, now prove it" or some such thing.  I hadn’t at this point even stopped to consider I might be preggers!  but she was right and I was soon frantically making lists and driving Dave around the bend with weekend shopping excursions.  There were quite a few as at this point we shared a scooter and that was the sole material asset that we owned aside from our numerous surfboards, snowboards etc. 

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The Engagement

So Dave proposed on the cliff overlooking D St on New Years Day, 2004.  Wedding plans were begun, everyone was excited, alas Bush and I discovered we just weren’t the wedding-planning-type-of-girls so we never got too far along.  I did buy a VERY comprehensive guide book though………and it was always on hand in times of need…..such as when a coaster was nowhere in sight!

Where it all began….

If I get a little jumbled here, it is because I am going to attempt to back-catalogue our lives up to the point below;

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3rd Street, Encinitas, CA. Stay with me as things may get confusing as the old and the new are blogged perhaps, sometimes simultaneously!! I am going to file everything from pregnancy to late 2007 under the tag ‘Ancient Jack History – pre 2007’ for your reading pleasure.