Joyeux anniversaire, DC stuff, more babysitting

My birthday breakfast. 😀

I just had a birthday. For the first time in four years, Facebook did not remind my thousand something friends that I just turned 22. It’s great to be off Facebook (as I keep saying), and I’ve even considering scrapping my Twitter account, but let’s be honest, Twitter is much more educational. Thank you Huffington Post, Daily Beast, and Roger Ebert for being reliable entertaining tweeters.

Regardless of my absent Facebook page, I got plenty of phone calls and text messages. In the past, I would dwell on all the people who forgot my special day, but I’ve learned to appreciate those who actually remember. 🙂

I only had two birthday requests. I wanted a family dinner at Maggiano’s, an Italian restaurant on Santana Row. I also asked for a re-fill of m Bulgari female cologne, which I love even though I’ve been told that it makes me smell like a guy. Thankfully, both of my birthday wishes were fulfilled!

The waiter brought this out and sang...I made a wish 🙂

Tomorrow, I’m off to D.C. to find a place to live. After our initial Maryland condo fell through at the last minute, my roommate and I decided we needed to get back to D.C. to lock something down. We have several appointments and scheduled tours/interested landlords, so I’m not too worried anymore!

I’m thinking positive and taking all the right steps, so I don’t want to hear any more negativity from people who think I’m insane to up and move across the country. Sure, I can stay in stuffy California, where most of my immediate family lives, but I’ll be bored out of my mind. I was restless by age 11. I guess that happens when your dad’s family resides on the east coast and you visit them several times a year. You see what you’re missing, and it sucks to fly back to LAX. Every summer, we’d go to Boston and I remember asking my parents, “Why doesn’t Massachusetts have any graffiti? Why can’t we live here instead of LA?” My parents may have grown up in New York and New Jersey, but they had no desire to give me the same upbringing, and I’m sure they had their reasons, especially my dad, the former NYC cab driver. I suppose the New York hussle simply tired him out after 30 years.

As much as I adore northern California, which really is a geographical gem, the pace wasn’t what I was looking for, and the writing opportunities are much better in D.C. More than anything, I don’t want to surround myself with people who refuse to step outside their California bubbles.

So, D.C., get ready.

It seems that a lot of my friends are fated to be in the D.C. area as well.

Desert Lamp founder Evan Lisull is going to law school at GMU, my fellow Washington Semester alumnus Anna will be living with me, my cousin is going to UMD, my uncle lives in northern Virginia, and my closest college friend Tracey is also in northern Virginia, where she grew up.

Apparently, some of my younger UA friends plan on doing summer 2011 programs in D.C., and I will certainly support that!

Today, I babysat my nephews once again. Here’s one thing I do love about northern California: Fog.

The fog makes it much easier to play outside, go on walks, and be active.

I took the boys to the park this morning at 9:00 a.m., when it was still pretty cloudy outside. The sun wasn’t up yet, so no one was too hot to go on the playground.

Sawyer, who is three years old, wants so badly to be a “big kid.” He interacted with lots of older children on the playground. They were all playing tag, and he’d join in on their games. Luckily, they were all sweet and inclusive.

At one point, we found a 6-year-old boy playing with a toy on the asphalt. I walked over and noticed a crowd of kids around him.

“What are you showing them?” I asked.

“My shoe,” he said. “I can put rubber bands and money inside it.”

Being the nervous adult that I’ve become, I said, “As long as you don’t flick the rubber bands at anyone…”

“I don’t.”

“So what do you need money for, anyway?” I asked.

“He probably keeps it in his shoe in case someone robs his house,” responded a little girl, and I laughed.

After a while, the others left, but Sawyer stuck around this boy, who had a bandaid on the back of his head, which he apparently cracked yesterday upon toppling off the slide.

“Where is your mom?” I asked him.

“She’s doing torture right now,” he said.

“Wait, what?!” I asked, laughing.

He nodded behind me, and I saw two women jogging by a field. I laughed again.

“Did your mom literally say she was off to ‘do torture?'”

“Yes.”

What she meant was that she had to exercise. As the ladies did squats, little Lukey giggled and pointed in their direction. I guess workouts can look rather unusual, especially to a two-year-old.

Apparently, Sawyer has been cartwheeling nonstop at home ever since I taught him how to do one. I think it’s really cute, and I’m proud to have taught him something fairly useful/fun.

I’m really going to miss the kids when I move away. They’re so hilarious, and they’re the sweetest people I know. As I’ve said before, my brother and his wife did such a great job with their children. I can’t get over how well behaved the boys are for their age.

There are times when I have to be serious, but it’s definitely necessary.

Today, Sawyer asked me to make him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. When he saw that I cut the sandwich in the middle, he whined that it would be no good.

“It’s cut, I don’t want it anymore! Get me another one!” he said.

“That’s not going to happen. You said you really wanted PB and J, so I made this for you. You have to finish whatever you start, Sawyer.”

Still, he resisted, so I came up with another strategy.

“All right, well, if you don’t want it, I’ll eat the entire thing because it’s just so good,” I said, grabbing the sandwich off his plate. “Whatever you do, do not eat this, promise?”

With that, he got his appetite back. I just had to keep up the game for another ten minutes.

“Don’t eat it, OK? Please swear that you won’t touch or even look at the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it just tastes too good.”

That’s really all it takes with most kids. You have to make games out of these sort of things. Thankfully, my nephews are inherently well behaved, so they eventually cave and listen to what they’re told.

I had a tough time saying goodbye to them when I dropped them off at their other aunt’s house this afternoon. My brother wanted me to babysit again tomorrow, and I totally would if I wasn’t going to D.C. I’m going to miss them so much when they get their nanny, who will be in charge of watching them full time starting this Thursday.

Tonight, my mom and I went into Santa Cruz to watch The Kids Are All Right. It was mom’s idea, not mine, but the movie was awesome. There were so many awkward scenes/conversations, I felt like I was viewing my life on the big screen! It made me laugh.

I’ll be in D.C. in less than 24 hours, and that’s all I’m thinking about. Cannot wait for life to really begin. Getting there.

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