the following saturday morning, we went to the little gym and oliver was elected to be picked up by mr barry and allowed to flip the switch that turns on the bubble machine. i've never seen a kid get to do this. mr barry must have been pleased that oliver is no longer afraid of him. oliver also chose to sit on the rainbow mat on his own during the circle times, as opposed to sitting on my lap. he gets so freaking excited to go to the little gym. and now, we're coming to the age where he graduates to classes without parents and we can't decide whether to go to a different program, like kindermusik, or not. many other factors going on here. it is a web my mind cannot easily navigate.
i think it was after class that day that it rained cats and dogs and horses and elephants and the back door leaked more buckets. brian has since called the management company AGAIN and, somewhere in there, they all of a sudden decided it wasn't their problem even though they have sent out people on two occasions for the same issue and he himself came out the other day to look at it and said no such thing. it took them a month and a half to spontaneously tell us that. we are not finished with their hides yet.
i was feeling depressed because we hadn't really accomplished much that day. brian suggested we finally dine at the new bliss cafe. it's the tiniest thing on the planet which has replaced a former pick-up-some-shrimp-here kind of place. it's on a curve on greenville (a busy, six lane road with a median) just before the light at park. it has like two parking spaces and shares a tiny lot with el rincon, which i guess is a taqueria or a butcher shop or something. the first reason i haven't wanted to go there was because i found it overwhelming to zoom through the light and slam on my brakes and hope someone doesn't rear end us while we try to figure out where to put our car.
they've swanked it up and most of the seating is on a porch, which makes me wonder what the hell they're going to do when it's summer and a hundred degrees outside. they serve vegan raw food, which sounded like a good idea before we got there. for some reason, we brought nothing for oliver to eat or play with and that turned out to be a mistake. there was nothing on the menu for him and everything was pricy and not worth the risk and had confusing descriptions. i saw the rooibos tea with floating goji berries was only $2 and that seemed like some kind of a deal, so i ordered it. ick. brian tried one of the berries and, apparently, they are not eating berries. which makes me wonder the point of putting them in there whole instead of juicing them or powdering them or doing something to release their miracle powers into my weak-tasting, lukewarm tea. at one point, our waitress asked if i would like her to add more water to it because it's a hydrogen and self-replenishes or something like that. i had no idea what kind of science she was talking, but i knew i didn't want more of that business to try and drink.
as we waited for our food to arrive, we gazed through the plastic and canvas wall tarps to the drive thru alcohol barn directly across the avenue. i had noticed during my drive to the Y the night before that there were several latinas standing outside of the barn wearing what amounted to shiny, black, lycra boy panties and neon boobie tops of some sort. and at least one of those girls had a bit of a belly fold going on over her boy panty waistband. i thought maybe they were taking a break from a nearby strip club. as it turns out, they are barn employees responsible for bringing purchases to the vehicles. when they are not loading up cases of beer and fifths of vodka, they go out to this little table and stand bent at 90 degree angles with their hooches pointed at the street. and us. i wanted badly to snap a photo of oliver's head peering through the tarp at the street right next to us with the hooches in the background. but i thought it might be de classe.
our food arrived. brian had ordered the tacos. there were two, small tacos on his small, rectangular plate along with a tiny ramekin of some kind of slaw. brian said it was tasty. they cost something like $13. i ended up going a safe and exhausted-from-trying-to-decipher-the-me
sunday was mother's day. my third, if you don't count the one where oliver was in utero. brian programmed oliver to knock on the bathroom door while i was getting ready and i think he also programmed him to speak "happy mother's day", but i didn't know about the programming and told him to wait three minutes and i'd be out. so i came out like a minute and a half later, because i heard the "happy mother's day" and he was holding a gift bag. it contained a card with fancy stand-it-up fold outs with mexican words on it and a pink and blue picture of the virgen de guadalupe, but i didn't really get to see it because it was immediately commandeered by you know who. there was also a tiny camera in there. so tiny, it has a keychain attached to it. you unfold it and stick in some old 110 film. and then you push up this little square of plastic and pretend to frame your photo with it. i am curious to see what comes back out of it.
in order to make me feel better about our unproductive saturday, brian had the good idea of looking for rocks for oliver's birthday at the science museum at fair park. it was a total score as they had an entire trolley cart filled with shiny rainbow stones and we picked out something crazy like 24 of them and they came in two, velvet bags. since we were already there, we decided to go out the back door to climb the lagoon and look at the swan boats and then we kept going and looked at the flowers and the trees and the shrubs and the squirrels and avoided the dead, eviscerated bird and then we wandered over to the old mill inn restaurant where we saw lots of adult children taking their elderly parents to lunch and it was sweet. oliver's attention was captivated by the water wheel. we never got to sit on the swing. occupied.
we realized it was lunchtime and then we learned there is a cafe in the science museum and we expected a menu chock full of nachos and corny dogs and hamburgers and fries. instead we got an organic pb&j, a grilled cheese, pasta salad, mixed fruit, and a bottle of water (brian's!). for like, $12. that's practically the cost of a plate of lettuce! and the two salads came in cardboard and the sandwiches came wrapped in red and white checked paper and the utensils were made out of potatoes. and a there was a sign right behind oliver with an alien painted on it, which we later could not stop him from spinning in circles. it was fancy even if there were not hooches to look at while we ate. just swan boats and lagoon footpaths.
it was roughly naptime, so we decided that even though the sky was a little heavy with the threat of rain, we would take a little drive down to the OC to the twelve hills nature preserve, like we did last year. the drive was extended because we're both retarded and forgot we don't know how to get there and hadn't gotten directions, so we went by the house first and produced more oliver-napping-time.
last year, it was such a gorgeous day and i wasn't heavy with child and everyone was in good spirits. this year, it kind of all got mucked up. it was starting to warm up a little and my hormones don't help in that department. and the poison oak seemed to be encroaching much more on the trail, which only spans between two and three feet. oliver was also totally into the warning signs posted on sticks about six inches off the trail, which meant he was constantly stepping right into patches of poison oak to check out the sign. and then he'd lose his shit because we kept having to snatch him back out. then it was paranoia all around that we were going to end up coated in invisible, inescapable poison oak dust. so then, brian and i were getting our dander up over the tantrums and becoming irritated with whoever the 12 hills people are for not just removing the freaking poison oak from along the path and we vowed to never come back until it's gone.
we didn't even make it to the end of the trail before deciding to get the hell out of there. no fancy photo ops. only grumpy, hit and miss shots.
after getting back in the car and allowing the a/c to bring my mood back into alignment we stopped back by the house to scrub our extremeties and change oliver's pants/socks/shoes/shirt/diaper. i called my mom and brian called his mom and then we headed back out to an early dinner at dream cafe.
there were some monsters already there on the playground, which keeps shrinking because of the behemoth apartment complex, which was built on what used to be the parking lot. for some reason, the fence along the backside was removed so that your child was able to easily traverse the five feet to the driveway of the new parking garage. very safe. we had to sit on the side so we could make sure he wasn't going through the tiny playhouse, out the back and into the restaurant parking lot just on the other side.
anyhow. this one monster boy was probably six and was shoving rocks through a hole in the playhouse and standing so oliver couldn't get into the playhouse and making me super sad because oliver had that look on his face saying he just wanted to be friends and hey, let's play together. brian and i scarfed down some burgers and oliver ate some beans and rice and fries and strawberries from our desserts (we actually both ordered dessert, if you can believe it) and went back and forth between the table and playground. toward the end of our stay, a new boy monster appeared who kept throwing rocks. his father caught him once, but not a couple of other times. the second time he caught him was when he threw two rocks in a row with what seemed a purpose of hitting a pregnant lady in the belly. please don't let oliver turn into one of those.