Saturday, October 20, 2007

Carboard boxes, duct tape...

Moving time... I'm gonna go check out a different program for a while. Blogger has pissed me off for the last time!!! ;)

The move may be temporary until I find a program that offers everything I want. I apologize if I'm not as easy to find as I usually am. Think of it as me, playing hard to get. Think of it as one big fun wild goose chase. Or hell, don't think of it at all and just click here.

Expect a sub-par layout, but a comparable level of whining!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Why I Need To Hire Smokey The Bear As My Gym Trainer.

Watching my body adjust to postpartum life has been like a ten week walk through funhouse mirrors. My fat cells can't quite decide where to settle, so they spend a week in my stomach, then down to my ass, around to the thighs, with a few lone explorers checking out the living conditions of my upper arms.

When I started working out again, Chris begged me, in quite the Sir-Mix-A-Lot fashion, to "please don't lose that butt". I've always been blessed in the booty department, but things have gotten a little out of hand lately. Out of two hands, actually. I have a spare tire, all right. Only it's not in the normal spare-tire-around-the-midsection locale. I couldn't get the metaphorical spare tire up over my birthing hips, so there my fat rests, in thighs and ass.

I hadn't paid much mind to it until last week, when I did quite a bit of walking around. I had chosen to wear a skirt that day, which made me feel pretty and ladylike... until I was actually in pain from my thighs rubbing together when I walked. By the time I got home, I'm not kidding you, I had two red patches on my inner thighs from the skin-to-skin contact.

"Chrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrris!" I squealed. "You're not gonna believe this. It's worse than my ass almost bouncing me off the treadmill."

"Uh-oh," he said, knowing that he was crossing into dangerous territory.

"LOOK!" I screamed, spreading my legs and pointing. He raised an eyebrow. "NOOOOOOOO NO NO NO, not that! Here!" I shouted, showing him the silver-dollar sized rashes on each inner thigh.

"What... the... hell?" he asked, suspiciously.

"I got these FROM WALKING! My damn thighs are rubbing together so bad that I got a rash! I'm just lucky the friction didn't start a forest fire!!!"

"Yeah," he said, a smirk sliding across his face. "Literally."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Playing the part of Proud Wife

Ever wonder what happens when Chris plays Ipod Commando?

He wrote about it here.

Mr. Cantwell did a guest spot for
Re:Generator last week. He provided five music videos for the weekly "Five Music Videos To Help While the Weekend Away" column. I provided some snappy adjectives! (Reprieve! Penchant! Totally mine.) Anyway, you should check out Re:Gen despite the fact that Chris contributed this week, especially if you're into metal. Like, It Sounds Like We're Getting Prison Raped By Satan Metal.

If you need something sweet after all that, here:

The Dutch Apple of My Eye

Looky what I made!

With Reagan being baby number three and all, I was a little worried that the novelty of an infant would have worn off a little bit. I'm gonna level with you here: I'm not enraptured by wee babies the way most women are. I like the ones that can tell me what they're thinking, can wipe their own butts, and especially ones that laugh at my jokes. Frankly, I don't vividly remember the infancy of Maddy and Brady; it's mostly just a blur of "leaving the house is a pain in the ass" and "when was the last time I showered?".

This time around, I'm enjoying it a lot more than I remember. I'm certainly not playing favorites with the children themselves, but the circumstances are much better this time around. I'm married. I'm not working. I'm getting enough/maybe too much sleep. Although I've doted on all my children, Reagan's got me whooped. If my day was broken down into a pie graph, the biggest slice would be "stares lovingly at baby." If my life was an actual pie, it would be Dutch Apple, and win a blue ribbon at every state fair.

My reprieve from work has created ample opportunity to give more attention to the older children as well. I can finally be the mom that isn't too tired to play outside with them after school! I'll read more than one bedtime story, and not fall asleep sitting up, still mumbling "I do not like them Sam-I-Am..."! I'll occasionally make something for dinner that doesn't have the word "cheese" in the title! And get this: yesterday, we actually made play-dough.
AND, my life of sunshine, fresh flowers, and cupcakes with sprinkles just got a little better yesterday. I finally bought a new pair of jeans... something with an actual waistband, not elastic. And you know what? They're a size 7, not too shabby, not too much farther to go. Not even fitting into my pre-pregnancy size 4's could make me any happier than I am with life right now.
Although, after mentioning it, I wouldn't mind a piece of pie.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Book Pimp

The best part of being a Stay At Home Mom, aside from the obvious "Baby-bonding", is the fact that I'm left with long stretches of empty hours when the munchkin is sleeping. When I get tired of staring at her, and after I’ve made up a good enough excuse to postpone the housework, I set up camp with a book. I've read a ton of great books in the last month, and when I was out of fresh material, I scoured my bookshelves for those titles I was more than happy to dust off and revisit. And now, being the generous soul that I am, I'll share a few of my favorites of the last few weeks, both old and new, with you.

It's officially Autumn now, so even if you're not an avid reader, maybe the thought of curling up in a cozy seat with a cup of tea and a good book sounds appealing. Or better yet, sit outside for a while without fear of heatstroke, and take a glass of wine and a pack of smokes (if you're into that), and one of these:

Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk
C.P. is the same mastermind that brought us Fight Club, and Rant is along the same twisty-dark lines. Granted, the best thing about the movie Fight Club is Brad Pitt's body, which Chuck Palahniuk isn't responsible for, but I think we all can agree that it's still an amazing concept. Rant is a little confusing at times, but well worth the mental workout once you get accustomed to the style of narrative- which is basically a bunch of different people giving an account of a man named Buster (Rant) Casey. (Hence the “Oral Biography” warning.) I also read Lullaby this summer, and although it was entertaining, I liked it far less than Rant and another C.P. book I read last year, Choke.

Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas, and also Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
Both of these books are collections of essays/articles by Pop Culture Junkie Chuck Klosterman. I loved both of them, but if I had to pick just one to recommend, it would be Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. I, for one, enjoy people who can make me feel intellectual and vital to society while I’m reading about Star Wars, Saved By The Bell, and the Pam and Tommy sex tape. C.K. gets a standing ovation from me- or better yet, the Slow Clap.

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Sarah Jane Gilman
Sarah Gilman is everything you love about David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, but with ovaries. This book was so fantastic that it completely erased all the guilt I was harboring for spending so many years pouring over vapid chick lit. Yup.

My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands by Chelsea Handler
I’m not kidding you, this is the fourth time I’ve read this book. It might be a little on the vulgar side for a lot of people, but I absolutely loved it.

So, there you go. I’ll probably add more to this list later, but there’s a few of my favorites from this summer to get you started. And, as a little bonus, if you’re interested in reading any of these books, I would L-O-V-E to lend you my copy. Maybe if you have something you think I’d like, we could even trade. These books are too good to sit on my shelves, so if you can give one of these a good home and a little attention, they’re yours for the taking.

So, what books are you currently pimping? I’m almost through with re-reading
To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife. When I’m done with that, I’ll need some new material… suggest away!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Estrogen-Infused News

Don't sue me for libel.

Faulty Pipes (and that's not just a critique of the singer):
British alternative rock icon Morrissey cancelled two of his LA shows due to a burst water pipe at the venue. It's actually a great thing that the building proved to be unstable before the show, so they'll have time to fix the problem. If the venue can't sustain a leaky water main, there was no way in hell it was going to stand up to hundreds of crying Smiths fans. Umbrella is the new scarf.

Britney Britney Unfitney...

What the hell kind of world do we live in that makes Kevin Federline the responsible parent? He's now full-time Papazao because Britney allegedly failed to show up for her court-ordered drug tests. Maybe if her weave wasn't so tight, she would have realized that she wasn't supposed to be testing the drugs, but that she would be tested for drugs. "Them drugs work just fine, y'all!"
Let me tell you what I like about this whole Britney scandal. For the last 10 years, that girl has been the go-to hot chick for any male with a fetish for the innocent school girl. The statistics on that? It's right up there with the amount of men who breathe, masturbate, or like pizza. I'm willing to bet that every female in my age demographic has had to listen to male friends- maybe even boyfriends- call that Pop Tart hot. And she was, in her heyday, which just makes her that much more annoying. I, for one, once dated a guy who kept a life-sized cardboard cutout of Britney in his bedroom. Like that's not intimidating. Time that I should have spent enjoying myself was spent vowing to do more situps.

Now? HA! NOW I ACTUALLY DO HAVE ABS LIKE BRITNEY- no crunches required. Thank you, Britney, for simultaneously "hitting the bar" and lowering it. It takes a lot of money to look that cheap.

Leave J-LO A-LOne!

Ok, I'm officially over the J-Lo pregnancy rumors. The media has been swirling preggo rumors about her for what feels like years now- can we get over it? Doesn't the gossip media have anything better to do- like find out for me what Luke Perry is up to. That, I care about. I love pregnant celebrities, so I'm getting a little tired of the tease. Wishing that Jennifer Lopez would actually be pregnant is giving me blue ovaries.
What grinds my gears about this particular rumor is that it's set off every time J-Lo is photographed in something on the modest end of the scale. It's a Catch 22... either you go around half-naked and get criticized relentlessly (see above), or you wear age-appropriate fashion and get accused of being pregnant.
The only point of contention I have with Jennifer Lopez is that marrying Marc Anthony pretty much obliterated any chance of a clever "Hollywood Smashed-Up Couple Name" a la "Bennifer". I'm punny as all hell, and even I can't think up anything catchy. Ben Affleck had the right idea- he just married another Jennifer. Smart move.

This concludes our broadcast day.
As for me, my husband should be home any minute. I'm going to pour us both a drink, cuddle up with him on the couch, put on a movie, and then spend the entire time trying to think up a clever name for Mr. and Mrs. Marc Anthony.

Update from Camp Cantwell

I've certainly been lacking in the blog area of life, because diddlydoo is going on. Actually, that's not entirely true, but try as I might, I just can't get around to posting an entire entry about how I burned my face making bacon (what a way to go) or how interesting it is teaching a seven year old how to spell the word "doughnuts".

Aside from those things, my days consist of speaking in a secret language to my baby. If you live under our roof, terms like "shadooby", "shadinky", "Rootus" and "Boof" all have their own specific definition. I also serenade the cat with impromptu songs like "Fatzilla Catzilla" and "Let Me Brush You, You'll Look Ten Pounds Lighter". Needless to say, by the time Chris gets home from work, I am near delirious with anticipation of speaking to someone who comprehends what I'm saying and appreciates me on a deeper level than "I Like You Cuz You Feed Me." It's also nice having someone contribute more to the conversation that "Waaaaaaaaah" or "Meeeeeehreooow".

One noteworthy thing that happened last week: Maddy was inaugurated as Super Student of the Week in her second grade class, the first student of the year to be picked. HECK YEAH. As a young, once-single mom, I feel like there's a bit of a stigma, so I'm prone to pushing Maddy academically because I have to overcompensate for the silent judgement I get from some of the other mothers. Maddy's school is teeming with affluent Stay At Home Moms, and a handful of them are Big Fat Bullies. So here's what I have to say to you, Condescending Mom Who Always Makes Me Feel Bad- SUCK IT. Your child? She wore a t-shirt with the periodic table of elements on picture day and my beloved bastard daughter still won Super Student. Go cry about it into your Starbucks Coffee with Seventeen Modifiers all the way to your kid's ballet class. Nyah-nyah-nya-nya-nyah. (Usually I'm not quite this... well, mean. Let this out-of-character rant, in my defense, serve as testament to the fact that this lady has it coming.)

In other, less estrogen-infused news (ok, there's an idea I'm gonna take off running with, ye be warned): Both the boys have birthdays this week. Brady turned the big Oh-Four over the weekend, and is extremely proud that he can now show off his age by doing this:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Chris won't reach official birthday boy status until Friday. Ah, it seems like only yesterday that I was affectionately referring to him as "22". We did have a BBQ on Sunday as the Pre-Party, and I can honestly say it was the most fun I've had in a long time. Chris had a blast, even though he doesn't remember the last part of it. It's a shame, really, because the most hilarious part of the evening was when Chris was coming back out to the backyard where everyone else was and slamming the sliding glass shut just hard enough for the lock to latch behind him. "Somebody locked me out!" he said, indignantly. "Nobody did, honey. We're all outside. You know how sometimes the slider locks when you shut it?" Chris then proceeded to knock on the glass. "Who, exactly, do you think is going to come unlock that for you? The baby?" "Someone locked me out, on purpose, and they're still in there. You know what, whoever you are? EFF YOU. Yeah, eeeeeeeeeeefffffffffffffffffffff yoooooooooooooooooooooooooooou!"
(Complete with photographic evidence:)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

All in all, it was a great day. We made not only a killer lunch, but a killer dinner as well. For the PM crowd, Chris grilled two whole chickens, a ton of shrimp, and an entire prime rib. My only job was to handle the side dish- roasted veggies. Delicious, scrumptious roasted veggies, that ummmmmmm, that sat whole and raw in the refrigerator because I didn't remember that I was in charge of cooking them until I was piling my dinner plate high with an array of protein. Ooops, my bad. This is why we can't seem to keep Vegetarian friends.

If you weren't there but wish you had been, here's your chance to live the action vicariously! Be thankful that you weren't there to witness firsthand my husband's proclivity to giving kidney punches to unsuspecting friends. Maybe it's not just the vegetarians that we're driving away, come to think of it.

So, I suppose saying that diddlydookins has been going on is a bit of an understatement. Usually a comment of that nature isn't followed by multiple paragraphs of rambly text. Hey, Keep Em Guessing, that's what I always say. Who am I kidding, I never say that- I always say "What's for dinner?"

Well, that and "SUCK IT!"

Friday, September 28, 2007

This Week's Featured Pet Peeve:

Spelling errors in a classroom.

How arbitrary are my neurotic vexations? I'll start a sentence with a conjunction, but a homophonous error will make me insane.

Before Brady can walk out of his preschool, he has to go around and individually bid adieu to each classmate. "Bye, Nolan. Buh-bye Sapphire*. Goodbye, other Brayden." As he was making his rounds, I started eyeing the craft shelf to avoid having some kind of Romper Room flashback. Cute little jars sat in a row on the shelf, each one bearing a label indicating their contents, even though the jars were clear. "Damn," I thought to myself, "someone here is a stickler for organization." It seemed a little redundant- a jar of pencils that said "PENCILS", a jar of paper clips that said... you guessed it, "PAPER CLIPS", and then, right there between the "GOOGLEY EYES" and "BEADS" was a jar of sparkly little gems. And it was labeled "SEQUENCE". This is the type of thing that most people either wouldn't notice, or wouldn't dwell on more than a flickering smirk. Not me. No no no no, not Anal Retentive About The Most Arbitrary Things Me. It's not like there was a teacher beating one of the kids or a lice outbreak, but I'll tell you what, I am never, ever thinking of that daycare the same way again. Granted, Bradyn will likely never know that the teacher who was obsessed with labeling everything wasn't so meticulous with her spelling(and it's not just like she transposed a few letters- this is an entirely different word here, people!!!) but it is very, very likely that every time I go to sign Brady out for the rest of his preschool career, I will look at the shelf above the sign-out book obsessive compulsively to see if the error is still there.

*If I had to guess who was Most Likely To Be Caught Playing Doctor Under The Swingset, my vote goes to the kid with the stripper name. Just sayin.

Monday, September 24, 2007

All the spandex in the world can't help me.

Imagine my glee when I stood on the scale at my 6 week postpartum checkup and saw the little metal slider getting nudged farther and farther to the left, until it finally hovered over a number that was within ten pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight. Imagine my smug little face as the nurse recorded the number on my chart with an impressed expression. Imagine my elation when the nurse practitioner- previously referred to as The Pregnancy Diet Nazi- called me "Skinny Minnie!" Imagine me skipping out of the office that day feeling like the Prom Queen.

Imagine my horror when, two weeks later, my go-to baggy pants required an elaborate "shimmy-hop-shimmy-twist" to get over my ass. I should probably also mention that said pants are maternity. Need I mention I almost passed out? (Although, in hindsight, it was probably because the pants were cutting off my circulation.)

The time to work out was nigh.

Believe it or not, I had actually really been anticipating a return to the gym. I'm the last person that anyone would ever call "fit" or "healthy", but about six months before I met my husband, I had been bribed by my roommate to go the gym with her, and I fell in love with it. Immediately I began to see results, and I felt better about myself than I had since before I had kids. It was like a drug.

Along came Chris. The euphoria of falling in love quickly became more addicting than the euphoria of making it through an entire Latin Dance Fusion Aerobics class without wheezing. I traded in dates with the treadmill for dates with Chris... and although he provided me with plenty of cardiovascular activity, he's also a chef. No one but me noticed when a few new pounds stowed away here and there. Like a baby or a cat, I tend to gain weight when I'm happy, so I was ok with it. It was when I went shopping for clothes and had to buy an entire size up that I really gave it a second thought. Hmm... my belly is getting bigger... which is funny because I have felt kinda sick the last week and haven't been able to hold much down... hmm, maybe I'm just PMS'ing. Yeah, that's it. I should be starting any day now... actually, come to think of it, aren't I a bit late? [Smacks palm against forehead...]

I was under no grand illusion that I would shoot out baby numero three and look like a supermodel, but I was pleased with the progress I had made at the six week mark, and confidant that once I was given the OK by the doctor to start working out, the rest of the pounds would fly off. What I didn't take into consideration was that the birth control I begged my doctor for would cause extra weight to flock to me like paparazzi to Beckhams.

Realizing that I needed to go to the gym cancelled out the fact that I wanted to go to the gym. It's like your boss telling you to do something that you were already planning on doing- sure, the task gets done, but not doing it of your own free will takes all the fun out of it.

With a slightly deflated attitude, I suited up for my first day of working out. By the time I had spent a few minutes walking on the treadmill, my heart started beating faster and I could literally feel the endorphins being pumped through my veins. Confident and determined, I reached out to the treadmill's control panel and eagerly starting tapping away at the plus sign. The loop of rubber started cycling faster and faster, and soon I was going from power walk into jog.


As soon as I accelerated my gait into something that was of a slightly higher impact, I was absolutely horrified to realize that my ass was jiggling like two jello molds in my gym pants. I was almost afraid that the velocity of my behind bouncing rhythmically up and down would eventually gain enough momentum to catapult me right off the treadmill and careen me into the elliptical machines. Never before has a trip to the gym instilled so much antipathy; not once have I ever said to myself, "I need a sports bra for my ass."

I don't really like focusing on weight as a number, so instead of targeting a specific weight, my goals are:
1.) To get back into wearing actual clothes and not my maternity wardrobe... which is equal parts working out and shopping for clothes that fit me.
2.) To be able to endure a cardio session without
a.) Bouncing off the machine
b.) Wheezing like an asthmatic geriatric
c.) Walking away from the treadmill thinking, "I need a cheeseburger and a cigarette."
3.) To scare the gratuitous belly fat into submission. No, tummy, it is NOT ok to hang like that. Retreat! Return from whence you came!

Does anyone have any gym horror stories, or I am the only one whose ass makes an ass out of them?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This Week's Featured Pet Peeve:

The Birth Control Patch.

"They" make you think you don't get pregnant because the hormones in the birth control prevent eggs from being released, or prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in your ueterine wall.


I'm convinced that the real reason you don't get pregnant is because you don't have the chance to. The fatigue, moodyness and weight gain are what kills your chance of ever getting action in the first place. Also- try to feel sexy with a week's worth of bandaid adhesive forming a linty square on your stomach.

Soon, we are "upgrading" to something a little more reliable and a little less likely to turn me into a fat hell beast, but in the meantime, I am waging a war with hormones. Because my husband is hotter than hell, and because I'm still suffering PTSD from my lovely pregnancy and labor, I've got to deal with the minor annoyances associated with pumping my body full of extra hormones. Although I may bitch about what a pain-in-the-ass it may be, I'd MUCH rather take on a handful of extra hormones than an extra human being. Because really? That's just a pain-in-something-else.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

L is for Lazy...

I caught this on this very funny blog, and it's pretty much all the blogging I'm in the mood for tonight. Expect something more soon!

A is for age: 27
B is for breakfast: Breakfast was delayed today- by the time we got to IHOP, I was way more interested in a bacon and egg cheeseburger than the origianal strawberry pancake game plan.
C is for career: Stay-at-home mom/wife for the next month.
D is for dog's name: No dogs, although my last one was named Alouicious.
E is for essential item I use everyday: Definitely the computer.
F is for favorite TV show: Sex & The City and Arrested Development- out of shows currently on-air, I'm addicted to LA Ink, Rock of Love, Top Chef, and am waiting (im)patiently for the new season of American Idol.
G is for favorite game: Apples to Apples
H is for hometown: Born in LaMirada, California
I is for instruments I play: Skin Flute and Male Organ.
J is for favorite juice: Grape
K is for kitchen, what color is it?: Red
L is for the last place I ate out: IHOP
M is for Marriage: I am totally obsessed with my husband.
N is for nickname: Nik, Nikki, Coley
O is for overnight hospital stays: 3
P is for people I was with today: Reagan, Bradyn, Madelynn; Husband; Grandparents; Brother
Q is for quote: "We're all of us haunting and haunted." -from Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
R is for regret: Smoking
S is for sport: I started getting into Major League Lacrosse this summer!
T is for time I woke up today: 7 am
U is for favorite piece of undergarment: Chris's lucky boxer-briefs (Trust me, I'm the lucky one!)
V is for last vacation I took: 2 days in a swanky hotel in Santa Monica while I was pregnant.
W is is for worst habit: Leaving the dishwasher open. "Honey, have you ever seen 'Garden State'?)
X is for number of xrays: Just dental ones.
Y is for yummy food I ate today: Homemade chili for dinner... with Fritos on top. :) There's only room for one gourmet chef in this family, and it's quite obviously not me.
Z is for zodiac: Leo

And now I tag... well, everyone who's up for it. Meghann? Ashlea? Tiana? Andrea? Who's sneaking around here?

Friday, September 07, 2007

This Week's Featured Pet Peeve:

People who call my baby a boy.

At five weeks old, I'm willing to concede the fact that my daughter still looks completely like... a baby- a deliciously plump, happy, androgynous baby. Well, usually she's happy- in the photo, she looks disappointed in mankind, or severly annoyed, just like her mama.

I've always thought that newborns all looked like wrinkled little old men, aliens, Elmer Fudd, or Yoda. All of them, even my own. It doesn't bother me that other people think that as well. What does bother me is when strangers assume the gender of my baby, although I suppose it only bothers me when they get it wrong. Baby faces are baby faces, granted, but do people really not notice all the hints I'm giving them? She's dressed in a pink onesie. With flower booties. In a pink blanket. In her pink stroller. Either I'm doing my best to subltly suggest to the public that she's female, or it's a boy, and the cast of Queer Eye For The Metrosexual Infant threw my baby shower.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Proof that I am a spoiled American:

From a MySpace bulletin I sent out today:
All summer long, our house has been a chilly 72 degrees. Partly, this is due to the fact that when I was pregnant, anything over 72 degrees felt like I was boiling in a vat of my own fat. Partly, I wanted to overcompensate for the fact that Chris works with fire all day long... the least I could do was have a nice, cool, house for him to come home to! (Notice I didn't say clean...) I'd be the first to say, whenever the topic of weather came up, that actually, it didn't feel too hot this summer! It was actually quite pleasant! To which Chris would slowly, slowly turn to look at me, and I could see the little thought bubble above his head full of this stuff- &%@#$%&!!!!!!- because my summer? My summer consisted of laying on my couch like a beached whale, drinking caffeine free iced tea and watching Rachael Ray with the AC blasting so hard that I was actually cuddled up underneath my favorite down comforter.

I'm sure that's probably the cause of the problem I'm faced with now. One of our AC units went out yesterday. Last night I was in denial. Today, I am in agony. Agony and lots of deodorant. I am forced to hang out in Maddy's room all night, because the only parts of the house that don't feel like you're in the stomach of a cow are the kid's rooms.

Which brings me to my point- and you thought I didn't have one!!!


(Preferably one that accepts salami sandwiches and watercolor paintings of indecipherable animals as payments, but as they say, beggars can't be choosers.)

Two weeks ago, my beloved TV started to show signs of aging.
Last week, I left my cell phone outside and it's been dead since.
Yesterday, the AC.

I was sitting there thinking "Wah-wah-wah what's going to break next?" when I realized how petty it was to complain about losing some of my luxuries, I laughed out loud. I am so stupid, so petty, so damn lucky to even have these problems at all. But for the record:

Please God, don't take my Internet.

What Santa is bringing this year...

I want to get the munchkeroos these!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

By my calculations, I'd be in 22nd grade this fall. (But don't trust my calculations, I didn't make it through college.)

In the same way that Christmas and Halloween have become less about me and more about the experience I create for my children, The First Day of School has been a spectator sport. I get to channel my inner geek with a romantic stroll down the school supply aisle, where, in my imagination, protracters and glue sticks follow me like I'm Snow White, where I am serenaded by the pencil sharpener that just flew by and landed on my shoulder.

Happy First Day of second grade to Madelynn!
In the grand tradition of Maddy, me, and first days of school, I fought back tears after I waved goodbye and walked out to the car. She was excited to go this year, fully because she had been suffering a mean case of withdrawal from those three months without Monkey Bars. She worried all summer about second grade, but I don't worry about her. Madelynn may be shy at first, but people adore her. (And even if they don't, she doesn't really give a shit. Sweet.)

She sat at her desk, hands folded, and looked like she was afraid it was going to swallow her up. I watched her through the big classroom window for a few minutes while I was chatting with the other Moms, and I saw her straighten her pencil box in the center of her desk, and then move it to the side, and then the middle again. And then I noticed that even though I got the exact pencil box the teacher specified, most of the other kids had a different brand. Knowing this as I walked back to my car burdened me with some bizarre surrogate social anxiety. Is that weird?

Speaking of surrogacy, I emailed the four girls I know who are still in high school, and asked how their first days went. And then I begged them to tell me what they wore, because that's pretty much what the first day of school is really all about. My daughter has to wear a uniform, which, although a godsend on every other day of the year, kinda takes all the fun out of the first day. I reconciled myself with this by harassing my sister and her friends to tell me what they wore... and by reminding myself that there is Free Dress on Picture Day.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Attack of the Mom-Brain!!!

Something about pregnancy and the subsequent weeks of being postpartum renders your brain only about half-useful. It's the phenomenon of Mom-Brain that leaves you incapable of even the easiest mental tasks. It's what causes you not notice that you're wearing your clothes backwards, have two contacts in one eye (right, Tiana?), or that you never rinsed out your conditioner. It's what caused me to leave an entire trunkfull of frozen foods in my car until they melted beyond salvation because... well, because I just completely forgot about them.

The grocery mishap, compounded with the fact that I've been listening to Disney music all day, caused me to seek shelter within the pages of my new book, Rant, by Chuck Palaniuk. The pessimist in me especially loved this passage from pages 12 & 13:

"The big reason why folks leave a small town," Rant used to say, "is so they can moon over the idea of going back. And the reason they stay put is so they can moon about getting out." Rant meant that no one is happy, anywhere... Rant used to say, "Life's greaetest comfort is being able to look over your shoulder and see people worse off, waiting in line behind you."

May your day be graced with a good book, some age-appropriate music, and no thawed chicken juice seeping into the upolstery of your trunk.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Love me, love my weakness for musicals.

Because it's late, and I'm exhausted to the point of nearing delirium, I'm going to confess something. I was really anticipating the August 17th release of High School Musical 2. Unfortunately, my daughter was out of town and we had to wait until she came back to watch it... which means the last five days were more torturous than I'd like to admit.

If you're not familiar with the High School Musical phenomenon, it was a movie made last year for the Disney Channel about a group of high school students. It's plot is Grease meets The Mickey Mouse Club, and it so corny yet so catchy. When I saw previews for the sequel, I knew it would be horribly cheesy, predicatable, and over-the-top... ergo absolutely fabulous and I couldn't wait!!!

Even though I grew up loving musicals and cheesy movies, there were moments that garnered a groan and eye-roll from me. ME- I saw From Justin to Kelly- IN THE THEATER- so who am I to pass judgement? Noooooooooooooooone. But I will anyway.

Zac Efron- dreamy enough to make me feel like a creep- was wearing so much makeup that he looked like an Oompa-Loompa gave him a makeover. Sadly, even his freaky fake tan was not enough to distract from the horrible song and dance around the golf course that he did. Who thinks that was cool- besides the Kevin Bacon character in Footloose? Otherwise, though, that kid is adorable. Even when he's trying to cop a feel on Gabriella as she's singing her "I'm Breaking Up With You" song. Hello, on the bridge? I am SO not the only one who noticed that, right? (Oh, how I wish I had another adult to discuss this with!) And why, oh why, was there an omelet on the stove just ready and waiting for him every time he walked into the kitchen?

Really? Am I really typing all this? Time to put myself to bed before I start to analyze the beseball dance-off... one boy just sang to the other, "I'll show ya how I swing!".
It would just be too easy to keep going!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What came first, the chicken or the egg? (And other food-related queries)

Do I watch Food Network all the time because I'm constantly hungry, or am I constantly hungry because I watch Food Network all the time?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Piss Drunk?

Germany. Home of sausage, Hefeweizen, lederhosen, and now... the Piss-Screen.

Essentially, it's a way to weed out potential drunk (male) drivers by having them play a simulated driving game where they steer a car with their stream of urine. If you crash your car in the game, the number for a local cab company appears on the screen.

Great for society, bad for janitors...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

For those Crazy, Hip, Neglected Blog Mamas!!!

I haven't participated in a CHBM rally in a while. Please forgive me while I unabashadly blame it on my unborn child. After the stretchmarks she's giving me, she can take a little heat from a blog group. ;) Oh, and if anyone's peeved that I didn't post this on Friday like I should have... take it up with afformentioned unborn.

The theme is Summer Photos, here's what I got for ya:

Friday, July 13, 2007

As a favor to me...

Anyone who has access to Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds", go play it... this is my message to you-ou-ou.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

This has to be some kind of joke. Unless Petra Nemcova designed a line of resort footwear inspired by her tsunami survival, or Aquaman has a fashionista for a girlfriend, I have a hard time imagining much of a market for these.

On the other hand (foot???) they do accomplish one remarkable feat (feet!!!)- they actually make Crocs look not-so-bad. I can't believe I just said that.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

More than meets the eye?

Anyone out seeing this

soon? Keep an eye out for my step-brother, who's got a teensy bit of screen time in the movie. (Towards the very end, he's flying one of the helicopters, and then he blows up.) I haven't seen it yet because the idea of sitting in a packed movie theater watching robots fight for two hours while my body is screaming "Why aren't you laying down, Stupid?" at me... well, it's not my bag, Baby. I am, however, extraordinarily proud of my brother.

This step-brother of which I speak is named Michael, and he's a month older than I am. I didn't get to know him until after my mom married his dad a few years ago, because he was an Army Ranger and served two terms in Iraq, flying Blackhawks. He's one of those guys who comes off as a complete asshole until you get to know him- then you realize, well, yeah, still an asshole, but he's funny.

Soooooooo, go have fun, those of you who are unencumbered enough to be able to sit in a movie theater for two hours without frantically making an escape plan in case your water breaks!



Does anyone know how difficult it is to remove wallpaper? Like, on a scale of 1-10... for a preggo. I have a fairly small bedroom with a wallpaper border along the top of the wall that I would just like to not exist anymore. Anyone have any pointers???

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Young man, you are grounded until I can tell this story without busting up laughing.

Tonight, over dinner, I was dealing with the usual frustrations of trying to get my children to eat... not to mention keeping elbows off the table, full mouths closed, and the bodily-function jokes to the bare minimum. To make matters worse, Maddy had a friend over, and my baby broher Tyger, and my sister and her best friend were all there too. Mealtime was hectic, and I was getting frustrated with how much policing I had to do to get them to eat. It's not like I was forcing them to eat liver and onions or anything, I made their favorite- Mac & Cheese- from scratch.

My three year old was in rare form tonight, especially because he had an audiance, and I had to keep pestering him to quit the comedy routine and eat. Raising my voice slightly, I said, "FINISH YOUR DINNER!" to which he looked at me, wide-eyed, looked back down at his plate, stabbed a forkful of Mac and said, "MACARONI! You are going in my belly to marry my lunch! And then you will kiss each other! Nakey! AND IT WILL BE SEXY! They'll be like 'Oooooh la la!'"

I almost spit out an entire mouthful of salad. I could not fathom what had just come out of my baby boy's mouth... let alone begin to process how to counteract the situation. While the six other people at the table howled with laughter, I tried not to choke on my mouthful of food. I could feel my face blush with mortification. And then, after asphyxiation was no longer a concern, I couldn't help but laugh. And trying to reprimand a three year old while you're laughing doesn't help much.

"The Talk" happened after dinner, when it was just the two of us, and I still had to turn my head away a few times when I was about to break character. I'm not sure where he picked the term up, but according to my daughter, he had used it at least twice before. It got me thinking about how, even though my kids cross the line occasionally, they do it with hilarious pizazz. Hey, it could be worse- as long as cracking a really inappropriate joke is the most trouble they get it, I can handle that.

It got me thinking, though, about how hard it is to repremand a child when they do something funny. My all-time favorite example of this was when my family went out for dinner once. My mom, two brothers, sister and myself were in the middle of a busy restaurant on a busy night, at a table surrounded by other diners. My brother Tyger had to have been only about 3 or 4 years old at the time. In the middle of dinner, Tyger lets out the most enourmous, resonant, bellowing belch I have ever heard in my entire life. My entire family is dumbstruck for a moment, in awe of the fact that a noise like that came from a three year old and not a lumberjack. Apparently, the other diners heard it too, because it seemed like for a split second, a hush fell over the restaurant and all eyes were on our table. And then, my baby brother, with a look of shock and disgust on his face, turned to our mother and said, accusingly, "MOOOOOOOOOOM!"

Almost ten years later, I can't even type that story out without laughing out loud...

But enough about me and my family's bad manners- anyone have a story to share about a kid getting out of trouble (if only momentarily) because of a keen use of comedy? Sharing is caring.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007



Last night's dinner...
The Tabasco sauce is for Chris, who liberally applies it to everything edible. I've got mad Tabasco aversion thanks to one fateful lunch shift where an entire bottle spilled in my apron and I had to smell it all day long. (In case you were wondering. I'm a huge fan of Cholula, though.)

So, there you a go, a picture of dinner in lieu of an actual post. Eat up!

If Tabasco and Cholula got in a street brawl, who would win?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Why put something off until tomorrow when you can do it the day after that?

So, I'm gonna level with you here. I'm not really a motivated person. Especially with this whole "(insert any verb here)-ing for two" that I have going on lately, sometimes it takes me a whole half hour to motivate myself to rise from a reclined position to go get a brownie from the kitchen. If it takes that much for chocolate, people, you can only imagine the struggle I'm having with housework.

It's not just that I'm lazy. It truly is difficult for me to move around. I'm trying my best! Yesterday, I did a few loads of laundry, some light housekeeping, played with my son, grocery shopped, and cooked two dinners from scratch. Seems like an easy day off, right? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? By the end of the day, I felt like I got run over by a truck.

Today, I still feel miserable- a theme I've been battling for the last week or so now. (I'm thinking about starting a fund to bribe Dr. Jacome to expedite this whole childbirth thing, donations gladly accepted.) I'm taking it easy today, although I'm bored out of my mind. Already cleared my TiVo of everything I have been saving to watch when Chris wasn't around (he disapproves of my addiction to The Ex Wives Club). I had to get out of the house before I went stir crazy- seriously, nothing makes me grumpier than feeling like I wasted a perfectly good day off by staying in my house and not contributing to the economy in any way. Since we're trying to save money, I decided against going anywhere that provides you with a shopping cart, and instead decided to visit my other therapeutic outlet, Golden Spoon. Life feels so much better with an empty cup of frozen yogurt in front of you, especially when it's Strawberry and Orange 50/50 Bar Swirl with fresh strawberries on top. Or maybe that's just me. But I sat outside of the the yogurt shop, reading a book and basking in the sun until I was scraping the bottom of my Styrofoam cup and the metal rivets in my maternity jeans had absorbed so much heat that they were literally burning my skin, and now I feel like a new woman.

Or, at least, I will...after my nap.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I've returned physically, but not mentally.

Our two-day vacation was perfect... except for the fact that it was way too short. Depressingly short. Almost-threw-a-tantrum-when-we-had-to-leave short. As a matter of fact, I may appear to be back, but it's just a clever illusion. Really, I'm still in the VIP cabana at the Viceroy Santa Monica, sipping Voss water and eating food I can't pronounce. You're reading this because I've gotten mighty good at telepathy.

In reality, I'm glad we could sneak away from the desert, even if it was for 24 hours. Timing was perfect- I was maxed out mentally, and still kind of am, to be honest. A proper post is in the works, but I'm having a hell of a time stringing words together to form sentences so it might take me a little while to get caught up.

In other news, can I please have this baby? I'm literally losing what little sanity I had left.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I'll take a Jehovah's Witness any day.

One would think that living two decades in a city with the word "Desert" in the name would make one accustomed to desert-y things. I absolutely adore my desert city, with the palm trees, the sand dunes, the tumble weeds the size of SUVs, the mountain ranges hugging our valley from all sides, the unrelenting sun- even wild coyotes, bighorn sheep, roadrunners and scorpions lose their novelty after a while. What I will never get used to? The fact that because I do, indeed, live in a desert, sometimes I might need to be prepared to come home from the hardware store to find a four-foot snake on my doorstep.

Luckily, Snakey the Snake was first spotted by Chris, who's "WHOA!" was reason enough for me to stay pretty far back. I did get a peek at the serpent, from a good 15-20 feet away, and it was enough to creep me the F out. I could not, do not even want to try to imagine what would have happened if I had stumbled across the thing on my own. Only one of us would have been able to walk away from the situation without going into cardiac arrest... or, more appropriately, I should say "slither away."
My money? It's on the huge scary scaled thing.