Friday, November 22, 2013

10 Reasons You Know you Live in the Bay Area

The Bay Area is am amazing place.  You have beautiful mountains and beaches just a few miles away and here we are right in the middle, living in the unique business mecca called Silicon Valley.  It is a place unlike any other.  As I have talked to family and friends back East, I have struggled to put our new home into words.   In the spirit of the Late Show's Top Ten Lists.  I have put together my own list.

You Know You Live in the Bay Area 
Top Ten List
10.  You know dozens of people who drive electric cars.
9.  You think a 2,000 sq ft house is really big.
8.  You know real estate takes a big jump after every big IPO (Go Twitter).
7.  You plan your entire day around rush hour which starts at 4AM and ends at 11PM.
6.  You always remember your reusable bags, because there are no plastic bags and paper ones will cost you.  
5.  Every person you know has a really cool dog and you fully expect dogs to come into restaurants.  
4. You now consider one hour of rain or temperature in the 50's really bad weather.
3.  Every person you talk to has either just finished or is just getting ready to completely renovate a house.  
2.    You know what the highway meter is, enough said.
1.  Everyone is in really good shape.  Young, old, small, tall, everyone is always on the move here.

I don't know if it quite explains it all, but it is an amazing and unique place.  Just last week, Twitter's IPO instantly created 1,600 millionaires and 2 billionaires.  But around here, that kind of stuff just happens.  We, however, just did our regular thing.  It was school and work and no vast millions added to our coffers.  Thankfully, we did buy our house before Twitter's debut, so good news there, as real estate prices will be going up (although my East Coast mind finds that impossible).  

Now it is onto Thanksgiving and we definitely have much for which to be thankful, including living in the wild and crazy place called the Bay Area.  

That is life in the Stroller Lane.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Longest Yard

I am many years past running a seven-minute mile, but I not using a walker yet.  So how can it take me 15 minutes to walk one yard every single morning? 

I literally park Old Betty, our much loved minivan, three feet in front of the house.  All I need to do is hop in and go.  It should take one second.  Every morning, like a black hole sucking time away, it takes the kids and I 15+ minutes to bridge that final yard from our front door to on our way to school. 

It is the usual drill of "get your shoesbackpackslunchboxes," which is now one long word in my vocabulary.  That step is not as simply as it seems and inevitably sucks away a good 10 of the minutes.  Then, there is the predictably unpredictable other delays.  It may be the phone ringing or a trip to the potty or "mom I need to create an entire science fair project before 8AM."  It is those unexpected delays that truly turn that last three feet into the longest yard. 

I know I am preaching to the choir with all the moms out there, because you have your version of the longest yard, too.  We can read all those parenting books and magazines with their ideas for picking out clothes and packing lunches the night before, but they never have good advice on how to traverse that last few feet from house to car without at least a few delays.  Given that we somehow manage to make it to school before the tardy bell, I guess my "shoesbackpackslunchboxes" mantra is at least working marginally well.

Thinking of school, the girls are officially back to school now that we have eradicated our lice "delay." That was definitely in unexpected category.  So was two weeks of bronchitis.  Both of which were totally crummy.  However, prescriptions meds were definitely the silver lining for both.

In spite of all the delays, there has been lots of other busyness around here, too.  There were parent-teacher conferences.  With three in school now, that is quite a chore. There is start on making house renovation plans, it is all fun cometh even if I didn't give him our forwarding address. And from the looks of the stores, it is time to get ready for holiday shopping, too. Just like you, I need 26 hours in the day, though I'm sure that still probably wouldn't be enough. 
until they tell us how much our dreams will cost.  Plus it is time for some end of year tax planning, since we lived in two states this year.  It turns out the tax man

That is life in the stroller lane. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mostly Tricks This Halloween!

How can Halloween go wrong?  It is the easiest holiday of the year.  Just buy some candy and throw on any old costume, you are good to go.  It's easy, it's simple, so nothing should go wrong.

But they do say Trick OR Treat, so someone has to get some tricks.  Well, yesterday was full of them.   And I should know better, we once spent most of Halloween in the ER with one of our tykes, so this isn't our first time having a Tricky Halloween.

So what went wrong?  First, there was my fall season cold and laryngitis.  What words I can speak sound like a squeaky mouse cartoon.  Second, was Scott's forgotten computer.  Gone is his 6-mile, no traffic commute to work.  A laptop left at home is now a major disaster.  I start heading north, he starts heading south and we meet wherever the traffic gods say we will meet leaving us both with a lots less time in our day and more gray hairs on our head.  Third, was the monster, the giant beast in a little form.  A monster that doesn't discriminate based on race, religion, or socioeconomic status.  The monster's name is lice.  The call came just as I had pulled back in from meeting up with Scott, so I was far from relaxed. 

Yes, given enough kids and enough years at enough schools, we were bound to fall victim, but did it have to happen on Halloween?  The day of school parties and school parades?   When the school called, they said so kindly, "there isn't an emergency, but your child has lice."  And I really wanted to say, "can't it be a little bitty emergency instead, because I really don't want to all that laundry and hair combing."  But instead I said "I'm so sorry, I'll be there as soon as I can." 

Further inspection, found our problem wasn't exactly isolated.  Given the fact the kids share just about everything and often come and snuggle in with Scott and I, we ALL needed to be treated just to be safe, because one louse can lead to like 4 gazillion lice in no time.  Plus, pretty much everything in the house needed to be washed.  It is now the end of another day and I'm still not done with the laundry.  Good news, we get to do this whole process over again in 7-10 days, just to be safe. 

I was doing laundry and bagging up stuffed animals as trick-or-treaters came to the house.  I didn't need a costume as I was such a fright - no voice from the laryngitis, no make-up, hair a ratty-mess from the no conditioner and comb out treatment (holy mother, I have kinky curly hair, I can't go without conditioner).  It wasn't exactly how I envisioned meeting all the new neighbors on Halloween night.  But, our house is rather dark, so hopefully they couldn't me very well. 

On a very good note, we survived.  We managed to get sanitized in time for the kids to trick-or-treat.  And, oh my, did they score.   From the volume of candy they brought home, there couldn't possible have been any candy left for any other kids - but it turns out that is just how kind our neighbors are.  Full size candy bars and handfuls of treats. 

That is life in the stroller lane.