Does Anyone Know Where My O Magazine Is?

You would not believe the activities I have completed today in preparation of my three day trip up to the SF Bay Area tomorrow.
  • Made a batch of spaghetti (since if I don't Chris will only eat things handed to him through his car window the entire time I'm gone)
  • Went grocery shopping
  • Did Accounts Receivable and Payable for my business
  • Did five loads of laundry
  • Wrote a letter to O Magazine advising them that if they don't stop sending me collection notices for my paid subscription and start sending me the damn magazine, they're going to have an ah-ha! moment of their own
  • Paid bills
  • Organized my desk (read: rearranged piles of papers)
  • Played Barbies with S (did you notice that Barbie's boobs have shrunk substantially?)
  • Threw the ball for the cats (okay, that one was for me)
  • Vacuumed
  • Went to Toys R Us with S in her tutu and bought toys for my nephews
  • Stopped by Vi's to tease her with my mocha and spread S's germs around
  • Had my eyebrows waxed (they grow not only together but up my forehead if I don't)
  • Packed
  • Quickly lurked around your blogs without commenting while waiting for water to boil

I can't wait to see all of my family and drink heavily have dinner with Renee. I'll be back Saturday! In the meantime, caress my archives.

Also, this will have to do for my Thursday Thirteen...


Handling the Love... Handles

There's a firestorm whipping around the blogosphere over the good ol' weight issue. You can read about it here, here and also here. Those are some angry bees.

I understand why. Let me jump on the bandwagon with my agitated respectful opinion.

There is a big difference between natural weight gain and gaining a massive amount of weight and becoming asexual.

When you first meet your husband, you are, say, in your 20's. You can eat entire pizzas and store them in your hollow leg, you can sleep on your side and yet not have a crease across your face until 2:00 the next day, you can exercise constantly because you have the time and the motivation and you see immediate results. Gravity is working in your favor - you have all options at your disposal. Your life is yours!

Then, someone comes along wine-ing and dining and you say "Yesss". And then bam! five years later you are wiping butts, considering the girls at The View your true friends, and eating cookies in the pantry and cold nuggets out of the sink.

It is the natural progession. It's not lack of self-worth or of interest in your mate. It's physics.

Along with these major lifestyle changes come some major physical changes. Let me outline them:

1) Once you are happy and in love you just aren't going out that much...and eating in alot.

2) Once you get pregnant, forget about it. Your body has a mind of its own...and its mind is to stretch, stretch, stretch.

3) Your body changes permanently after pregnancy. I did not even have hips before. And back fat? Wha...?

4) Taking care of a child is draining. Sometimes the only thing you do for yourself is eat. So, you're going to make it count.

When we get married we go from women with our own lives to Mothers. To Wives. To Daughters-in-law. To Social Coordinators. Often to Spiritual Heads. The weight of the family is on our shoulders. Everything from whether the house, the car, our children's hair is clean to whether our husband looks presentable to whether our weekends are packed with dinner dates to whether our kids are in soccer/dance/softball to whether our family eats healthy and exercises to how many friends our husband has, girlfriends we have and playmates our kids have depends upon our efforts. The entire social, mental, emotional, and physical framework of the family is reliant on our action.

So, what do we do to reward ourselves? How do we ‘take care”? For most of us that spin class isn’t going to cut it. I don't know about you, but exercise is yet another chore I must get done. It is not a reward. A venti mocha and muffin is a reward. A rum and coke is a reward. Chips and onion dip. Ben and Jerry’s. Those are comforting. Maybe not for you. But, I'm sure you have your comfort foods too.

Sometimes there are just not enough good reasons to prevent me from pulling into that McDonalds…and then going home and preparing a healthy dinner for my family. Does it mean I don’t love myself? I don’t think so. Does it mean I don’t love my husband? Uh, no. It means I want fried potatoes. That’s about it.

But, there's two sides to this coin my friends.We also have a responsibility to our families to stay healthy. Notice I didn't say "We have a responsibility to our husbands to stay hot". It's not about "false advertising" which just pisses me off. I know I don't look like I did when I got married, but neither does my husband. Neither of us are happy with the way we look now. He's doing something about it. I'm not. But, nowhere in our vows did it say that we had to be ‘consistently attractive’ til death do us part.

I want him to be attracted to me. I want to be attracted to myself! But, the best I can manage right now is to maintain my weight, even though I know I need to go to the gym and eat healthier and cut back on the alcohol. I don’t want to. And I'm not going to just to please my husband. I feel I am good enough now. When I decide to get rockin hot again, then I will. If I never feel motivated to then I guess those days are behind me. Simple as that.

I believe the unspoken deal is that Chris and I stay attracted to each other, not attractive. The reason I stay a reasonable weight is because I am not comfortable being any larger. My sexuality and attractiveness are too important TO ME. It is incidental that they are important to Chris too.

We’re constantly going to be changing in our lifetime together and we need to both feel that our mutual attraction is based on much more than our physical bodies. But, that doesn’t let us off the hook from at least making an effort to stay reasonably physically healthy.

But, let me tell you something. You can put forth the same effort at 33 that you did at 23 and you’re going to get completely different results.

The bottom line is this: If you hate yourself and your choices and are eating your pain, then that will shine through in your entire family's life. If you're overweight, but it truly doesn't bother you and you and your husband have open honest discussions about it and it truly doesn't bother him and you're healthy, then good. for. you.

This is a hot button for one reason: Mommies do not like you coming into their comfort zone (read: faceless blogging where looks are irrelevant and content rules) and start poking at their soft spot...literally. We all fight this demon, some more than others. I think if you're passionate about this subject, even if you passionately disagree with me, it’s because it’s touching a chord.

Put A Bow On Me

Wow. MIM had to close comments on her weight post because people were actually starting to call her names. Personally I didn’t agree with everything MIM had to say, but to personally attack her for her opinion seems extreme.

The real question here, and Virenda brought this up in her comment on my last post, is:

Why are we so quick to judge each other? And so hatefully just because we can hide behind our computers?

So, MIM and obviously many others feel that you have a duty to stay attractive and sexy for your spouse. Well, good for them! They are entitled to their opinion. The end.

I think if I have to stay looking amazing every minute of my marriage to “keep my man” he isn’t worth keeping. But, that’s just me.

I think the notion that we as women are under some sort of obligation to keep our appearance at a certain level is insulting to men. Are our relationships that easily summed up that some weight or a short haircut devalues you as a loving wife? Are men that simple minded that when they’re not constantly turned on by you, they’ll start sniffing out the neighborhood for fresher meat?

I don’t know about you, but my husband is as into what I do as what I look like. ….And I do alot. (That was a joke for my ‘regulars’).

I think where MIM really stepped in it is when she referred to dating as “advertising”. As if we are pretty packages that need to keep up our wrapping paper.

Let me ask you, are all of your girlfriends attractive and thin? When you first met in, say college, were they size 4’s with long hair? Now, in their 30’s are they carrying an extra twenty or thirty pounds? Have they dared to get a “sensible haircut”? Do you love them any less? Do you feel duped that they aren’t the exact friend you made 10 or 15 years ago?

Do you feel it was false advertising? Or are they still the same person with the easy laugh and big heart that you met and loved all those years ago?

Why the double standard? Are women’s relationships with each other that much deeper and more meaningful?

Is it the inclusion of sex in the relationship/friendship that immediately holds rank over all the other aspects in the relationship?

Again, what an insult to the men who chose us. I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we all know that we could look better. And frankly, if your appearance rules your life, then you must be one very scared individual. Because appearance can go like that.

The real issue worth debating here is health.

You drop the word “health” in everywhere where MIM had “attractive” and “sexy” and I’m in total agreement. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. I do have an obligation to my husband to be healthy every waking moment of my life. Because he signed on to grow old with me and I owe it to him to hang around. I do have an obligation to my child to be healthy because I want to see her grow up and have the energy to run around with my grandchildren.

Now, our health is something worth getting worked up about. Think of all the calories we’ll burn.


Reality Still Bites

TRY and tell me that this movie is not the best movie ever!

I can still watch it 10 years later and it rocks so hard. But, for different reasons now. I pick up on comments that I never got before, being a teenager. Now, I'm in awe of how they so perfectly captured that early twenty angst. I realize how much I took away from this movie and incorporated into my own personality for good - the sarcasm, the phrases, the definition of irony, my VIEW ON LIFE.

Just when I think Ethan Hawke is a has been and I have no interest in him, I see this movie and remember. Ah, yes. I remember. Brilliant tortured soul. Saying things like this,:

"Life is just a random lottery of meaningless tragedies and a series of near escapes."

And Janeane Garofolo! Her comic timing is perfection.

"I just realized I am now manager of The Gap. I'm responsible for alllll those t-shirts. French cut. V-neck. Ribbed. What have you. Duuude, I'm in trouble."

Is the scene of them dancing in the convenience store to "My Sharona" not priceless?

And Ben Stiller could not have captured "awkward yuppie hypocrite" better. Could not.

Winona - you can steal all the Barney shirts you want. You will always be queen in my book.

The dialogue is sheer brilliance. If you have not experienced this movie recently, watch it today. Remember what used to speak to you.

You. Me. Five bucks. Good conversation. That is what's it's still all about my friends.

I Like Agreeable

Am I a horrible person because I really like my daughter when she is sick?

Healthy, she is lovely, but a bit argumentative. And insistent. Also, impatient. And a whiner. I know, I know, she gets it all from her dad. Exactly what I was thinking.

But, when she's sick, even with just sniffles, she becomes quiet and soft and affectionate.

She tenderly inquires about breakfast rather than yelling up the stairs at me "Where's my pancakes?!". She requests kindly that I sit with her and watch a movie and even lets me use my laptop without interrupting me every five seconds to watch every damn scene in Monsters, Inc. She's good for only three games of Whack-A-Mole rather than 900. She pets my arm while I pet hers. When I ask if she wants a smoothie she replies "That's okay mommy" instead of "I hate smoothies".

And she doesn't follow me around with "Is it time to see my friends now? How about now? When the clock says one-one-three-zero? How about then?".

I realize this is because she doesn't feel well and I do want her to get better quickly of course. I do. Just minus the whining. I'll try to do the same.

Updated to add: I take it back! I want my insolent, petulant, beautiful, fiery daughter with attitude back! When fevers get over 102, I don't. like. it!

P.S. - The "meme" S is holding in the picture is her comfort blankie. Kinda funny story: When she was about four months old, she started to have really bad colic. She would cry all the time. Chris would get up with her in the morning and I would run to the gym before he had to leave for work. One morning, I'm coming up the steps to our front door and I can already hear her wailing. When I get inside both she and Chris are inconsolable. He leaves for work and I spend an hour unsuccessfully trying to calm her down. Then I remembered reading somewhere that babies like a familiar scent with them when you put them down. So, desperate, I pull off my workout shirt and lay it with her in the crib. She immediately rolls her face into it and falls asleep. I haven't gotten it back since.


Conversations With Dog

Actual conversations I've had with ex-boyfriends:

Me: "I don't want to be your Friday night girl!"
Him: "Better than my Monday night girl. She's pretty ugly."

Him: "Can you please stop eating corndogs?"
Me (with a mouthful): "Why?"
Him: "You're never going to be able to run a marathon eating junk."
Me: "Who said anything about a marathon?"

Me (to boyfriend of FOUR months): "Cool tat. What is it?"
Him: "The Nazi SS symbol."
Me: ???

Me: "Your girlfriend just called me."
Him: "You're not going to mess up my truck, are you?"
Me: "Don't flatter yourself."

Him: "So, were you really sick yesterday when you cancelled our date?"
Me: "Yeah."
Him: "Are you sure you didn't go out with someone else?"
Me: "Yes! Why?"
Him: "I was watching the football game on t.v. yesterday and guess who I saw in the crowd? With another guy?"
Me: "Oh. That."

Me: "I get the feeling that you're married."
Him: "...Really?...Why?"
Me: "Well, you have a tan line on your finger for one. And you always look like you're about to cry."
Him (starts to cry): "I just need a reason to leave. Can you be my reason?"
Me: "Holy hell."

Him: "Oh shit. There's a cop behind me with his lights on."
Me: "Well, pull over!"
Him: "I can't. I didn't hide my drugs or my gun."
Me: ???

Him: "Check out my new tattoo."
Me: "It' name...across your back."
Him: "Yeah. Well?"
Me: "I thought I broke up with you last week."

Him: "Those other guys are idiots. I'll buy you a garden where your flowers can bloom."

And I married him.


I'm So Vain, I Bet I Think This Blog Is About Me

Ahh, you're all such good sports. I have to laugh at the recent tone of my blog: I complain, I whine, I cry. Then you come soothe me, encourage me, hold me. You're enablers - the whole lot of you!


I would like you to know however, that when I bitch I truly am not looking for ego stroking. I'm just venting.

So, for those of you out there that are one post away from leaving the following comment: 'Stop whoring for compliments! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!' I want to say I don't blame you.

I also want to assure you that on a cognitive level, I do think I'm a lovely person. It's just that I don't always feel the need to share those moments of clarity with you. It makes for boring blog, you know? Plus, for some reason, I only feel the need to write when I want to bitch and vent.

Lucky you.

I'm So Vain, I Bet I Think This Blog Is About Me

Ahh, you're all such good sports. I have to laugh at the recent tone of my blog: I complain, I whine, I cry. Then you come soothe me, encourage me, hold me. You're enablers - the whole lot of you!


I would like you to know however, that when I bitch I truly am not looking for ego stroking. I'm just venting.

So, for those of you out there that are one post away from leaving the following comment: 'Stop whoring for compliments! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!' I want to say I don't blame you.

I also want to assure you that on a cognitive level, I do think I'm a lovely person. It's just that I don't always feel the need to share those moments of clarity with you. It makes for boring blog, you know? Plus, for some reason, I only feel the need to write when I want to bitch and vent.

Lucky you.


Weekly List

Stages of Me

1. I was born to two hippies in 1977.

2. No, really. Hippies.

3. We lived in a 100 year old house with no foundation. And all was well. Really well for dad, if you know what I mean.

4. I was loved mostly. Don't be scared by my dad's Jesus hair.

5. I had a bit of an attitude.

6. Then there was the complete inability to do the hair...along with the striking similarity to a 35 year old man: my father.

7. I don't know how to prepare you for this one; I'll just have to do it quick like a bandaid. Here's my "awkward stage". Uh, yeah. Lots of attention from boys here. So, imagine my delight when I started looking like this. And this. And then this.

8. Alot of drinking ensued. No, ALOT - love my yellow hair. Followed by good hair (I'm in the middle - and those are some high pants). And then really good hair.

9. Then I met him. And I liked it.

10. And he lured me with lots of shiny things.

11. Then we did this.

12. Then I my body went from this.

13. But, then I had this. Which turned into this. And then this. And this. Also this. Which makes us this.

*Thanks to Kelly for the inspiration.


Don't Waste the Pretty On Me

I think this is a new low for me.

Saturday we were at a little princess party around the corner. It was thrown by an acquaintance of mine who does not have kids, so she had invited alot of other moms that I didn't know. Well, one of those moms was her sister-in-law and she looked

sort of like this.


And her name was like Gia or Eva. And she spoke with an accent.

Well, Gia-Eva decided that she wanted me. Hard core. She was eyeing me across the room. She was laughing at my jokes. Every time I caught her eye, she was all grins. She eventually made her way over to me and started a conversation. This woman was striking. Olive skin, blue eyes, dark curly hair, tall, thin, big smile.

She was also flashing a cheesy red thong, but I digress. This beautiful creature zeroed in on me and was now trying to strike up a friendship. She pulled out all the tricks: she complimented my daughter, she asked where I got my shoes, she admired my bag. Girl was working it.

Normally, this would be a non-issue. I can hold my own and have even been known to (gasp!) consider myself attractive.

But, anyone who has read my blog for five minutes knows about my current neuroses. I'm not thrilled with my appearance. The fact that I weigh more now than I did two months after my daughter was born (Where are those breastfeeding kids when you need em?) displeases me greatly. I haven't been to the gym regularly this year, I've been eating crap (McDonalds bakes syrup right into the pancakes! I wish I never knew this!), and frankly things are taking a turn for the worse in all areas physical. And have I mentioned the new wrinkles? Let's not. I'll save that for Self-Hatred Tuesday.

So, the thought of having Miss America around gave me a huge internal sigh. It's hard enough to be comfortable with myself with the beautiful friends I have now. I just don't think my ego could take another one in the mix.

Gia-Eva was getting the 'ol brush off.

I was polite, but every time I looked at her I wanted to laugh maniacally and then cry. I wanted to just interrupt her as she hinted at what her free weekdays were and say "You know what. You're nice and all. Any girl would be lucky to have you. But, I'm just not ready for this. It's not you.... It's me. ".

This can't be normal behavior, can it?


Do I Bore You Too?

Are you ever interrupted while telling your husband a story?

Once the outside distraction passes, do you ever not pick up where you left off in your story on purpose just to see if he was listening?

Does he ever then bring up a whole new subject without even noticing that you have not finished your story? That you were not even close to finishing? That you were actually interrupted by the waitress mid-sentence?

Do you ever not bother to tell him, thinking at any minute he'll remember and say 'I'm sorry honey. You were saying?'?

Do you ever sit there and grow more irritated by the fact that he never notices?

Do you then wonder if he ever really listens to you?

Does he then wonder why you're suddenly bitchy for the rest of Sunday brunch?

Yeah. Me neither.


My Noggin Hurts

Wherever you are in the world you can look at the clock at 9:30 am PST and you can think of me because you will know exactly what it is I am doing. I am fielding the following question: "What are we doing for kids today?"

Am I wrong or is this the question that makes you bury your head in the laundry you're folding and scream? Or in my case, duck behind your laptop screen with your mocha.

S. is in preschool two half days a week - just enough time for me to grocery shop...or lay on the floor eating cookies. But, that leaves me the other 90 hours a week to fill.

We do the library, the bookstore, the park.

I've purchased books of activities. I've arranged playdates with people whose inane conversation made me want to claw my eyes out. I've even driven my happy ass down to San Diego to visit the science museum and get chased by homeless people in the park. But, whatever activities I have planned, whatever fun S. has enjoyed, does not change the fact that the next day needs to be filled as well.

And she's totally picked up on the fact that the grocery store is not "the sticker place" just because after an hour of shopping with mom they give her a string of flourescent orange "Meals in Minutes" stickers.

Don't get the wrong idea - I'm not at her beck and call. I'm way too lazy to produce an overindulged child. What I am is a mother who lets her child watch way too much Noggin and Nick Jr. by default. I know the shows are educational, but what bothers me is not the content, its the fact that she's sitting there like a glazed donut.

The short answer is to quick! reproduce! and give the child a sibling. Well, I'm working on it.

Until then, any suggestions of how you fill your little hobbit's day would be much appreciated.


Why Other Moms Intimidate Me

13 Reasons Other Moms Intimidate Me

1. You understand that $400 worth of scrapbooking supplies are meant to be used.

2. When your child grew their first teeth, you knew date, location, and order. Instead of looking at your daughter one day and saying “Hmm, I think you can eat an apple now”.

3. You didn’t spend the entire first year of your child’s life crying and apologizing in your pajamas.

4. You don’t show up a half hour late to playgroups panting, sweating and swearing.

5. You never bring Krispy Kreme donut holes to your daughter’s class only to have the teacher kindly request you “consider a fruit” next time.

6. You can’t make a sandwich with the ingredients under your carseat.

7. You don’t repeatedly piss off your daughter by referring to the cats as her “brothers”.

8. You manage to put on both a belt and shoes for the preschool Open House.

9. You don’t yell at your daughter to stop curling her toes while you try to force a size 10 shoe on her… only to later find out she is now in fact a size 12. Wide.

10. Your daughter’s bows match both her outfit and each other.

11. You don’t start laughing while reprimanding your child.

12. When you start counting as a warning to your child, they don’t start counting with you.

13. You manage to get haircuts that don’t cause you to lock yourself in the bathroom until your husband coaxes you out with cookies.


This Girl Walks Into a Bar

Just to drive home the point that my day is incredibly nuanced and unpredictable, here is the conversation Chris and I had this morning:

Chris, eating an oatmeal bar at his computer: "Mmm. These taste great. Did you do something different?"

Me, grinning: "Really? See, that's so funny because I always just add the same base ingredients and mix up the fruits and then this time I thought 'Hey, why not add cinnamon?'. So you really like them?"

Chris, moving on to adult work: "Mm-hmm".

Me, satisfied, staring at his back: "Maybe tomorrow I'll try coconut."

Did you pick up on the part where I got excited? And then was satisfied? Did you?? Ahhh, the bliss. I think I'm slowly being pickled.


Monthly Letter

Dear Blue,

You are four years five months old today and this is the first of many monthly letters to you. I've been wanting to take this letter writing thing on because:

1) you say alot of very clever things that I am not clever enough to remember to write down

2) you are constantly challenging me and your dad every single day and I must capture your negotiating skills on paper

3) I want you to have proof that you turned my world upside you'll understand why I am so clingy

4) I need you to know I love you more than "to Yew Nork to California" as you've been saying recently.

Yesterday you went to dance class. I made the wise decision to put you in the late class this year because you and I are not morning people. If we're forced to get up too early we end up making each other cry before we even get out the front door.

You love to put on your leotard and back up to me in the bathroom, holding rubberbands in your little hand, full of demands of how you want your hair.

You love to walk the cobblestone wall after every class while enjoying the sucker the teacher gave you. Your whole face is lit up after you dance. Your pink cheeks flushed, you are downright jolly and ready for the day.

Grandma Cathy showed up after your class to surprise you. It was a last minute visit, so I didn't tell you. We couldn't wait to see your reaction. You started to run for the cobblestone as always and as you reached the wall, you saw her standing there and did a double take. You immediately turned around and looked at me, as if to say 'Is this happening?". Grandma reached out to hug you but you continued to jump up on the wall as planned! Grandma was hurt, but you needed to finish what you started. That wall wasn't going to walk itself!

After the wall walking was complete, you threw your arms around her. I found it funny that I had predicted you would react to her sudden appearance the way you did - delayed joy because you weren't prepared.

Dad took you to see Curious George and then bought you the stuffed animal after. You have been so taken with George that you had to immediately undress him (a sure sign that he's loved) and take him with you for your nap.

You are obsessed with games. EVERYTHING is a game these days. You constantly ask "Do you think I can run this fast/pick this up/throw this far/read this word?" We're not allowed to show faith in you. You get upset if we say we think you can. You want to prove us wrong.

The other day you begged me to play a video game with you. I put it off until it was almost bedtime. When dad went to unhook the Tivo to set up the game, I realized that it was going to stop recording my favorite show. I stared at you. You stared at me. I told dad to go ahead and pull the plug on Tivo.

"You can see it later" you said hopefully.

"No, it's only on tonight" I responded.

You started to cry. "I'm sorry mommy" you said.

I was shocked at your empathy. You actually felt guilty. I, of course, told you it was no big deal and I would rather play with you.

But, as I lay in bed that night I thought of how your reaction is yet another indication that you're growing up. Into such a loving little girl.

I love you,


Blog Love Means Never Having To Say Shut Up Already

Pop the corks, open the ice cream, do a jig! I have completed Smack My Tax Up '05! All documents are bundled and off to the accountant's, tear stains and all. This feels deceptively celebratory, even though I know I will still be spinning my accountant on my shoulders and tossing him out the window when he calculates the final amount owed. See this? This is me not caring.

I have also organized my office, helped S. with a month's worth of homework, cleaned out my vacuum filter (Did anyone else know you're supposed to do this? That little Swedish man is deceptive), and baked oatmeal bars.

Did I also mention that I managed to spend the entire day with my mother and not look at my Devil's-work-blog once?

I am feeling competent. Do you have any socks that need mending? Scrapbooks that need finishing? Any countries you need united? I'm totally up to the task.

Also, can I just say that I have THE BEST commenters EVER? Always making me laugh and making me think. Not only do you guys know just what to say, but you get that my whining is temporary.

Now. Can you talk to my husband?


I See Little People

We enjoy the kids. We really do, right? The chubby cheeks, the little arms around your neck, the rambling pointless stories. And when they can't pronounce their "r's", well, that's just pig in a poke cute.

But, what is it about the Little People that they possess this uncanny ability to always know when you have just:
  • sat down on the toilet
  • called a friend long distance
  • put shampoo in your hair
  • dared to sit and eat
  • stepped into the bath
  • started know... in the bedroom (or anywhere else)
  • pressed play on your favorite Tivo'd show
  • gone to the liquor store without saying goodbye

Whether they're sleeping, playing happily with their toys, or harrassing the dog, they can sense the moment you are actually relaxing. And that is just not allowed! Didn't you get the memo?

Take today for example. My daughter is watching Drake and Josh (don't even email me that she's too young for this show; she has a wicked crush on Drake and it may mean my life if I intervene; the heart wants what it wants people) and since she is normally entranced with Drake for thirty minutes straight I sneak downstairs to use the restroom.

Almost immediately she is downstairs jiggling the bathroom doorknob which is about six inches from my face.

"Just a minute!" I say through gritted teeth."Oh, no. I'm not trying to come in mommy. I'm just gonna play with the doorknob."

Well. There you have it.


Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly - Did Anyone Else Watch "Cheers"?

Kelly the Nello is deeelightful y'all. Just as you would guess, she is warm, witty, beautiful, funny, and chatty. And her glass eye is totally not noticeable. Or her wooden leg.

She met myself and Vi at The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. It was pouring rain, so I should add that my hair sucked. Just so you can visualize. As soon as she arrived, Vi and I accosted her with conversation. Kelly can hold her own though as you can imagine.

It was so cool to actually chat with someone you love reading about. The best part is you aren't restricted to just what their post is about. We talked about our husbands, our kids, our blog traffic, our religious beliefs, our asses, our boobs, our families, our hometowns, breastfeeding, mommy clubs. Seriously. We ended spending about three hours together and one of those was in the parking garage because we didn't want to say goodbye. Commence to saying "ahhh, special".

The one thing I cannot to this moment understand is why we did not take a picture! Now I have no proof. I swear we met. Really! I think I may still have one of her hairs on my coat?

P.S. - I'm getting a strong "WTH? vibe from my title so let me fill you in: On "Cheers" Woody (Harrelson) the bartender was sort of dumb and he had this perfect blonde girlfriend named Kelly, whom he made a song for in one episode and every single word of the entire song was "Kelly". He played it at the piano for her and she loved it. You should Netflix the whole series really. Go now!


I Cried In a Preschool Teacher's Arms Today

Today at noon I am standing in my daughter's classroom crying while her teacher holds me.

Let's work backwards.

The taxes really aren't that big of a deal. I've been doing them for years. It's just that we normally get a nice big refund, so I perform my tax duties with a jaunty spirit. But, as you know, this year Uncle Sam is going to drive a fork through my hand instead, so I have understandably been putting this whole thing off. Not to mention, Chris and I are pretty fancy with multiple deductions and employment statuses between us.

Anyhoo, this morning I attempt to retrieve last year's taxes from the computer to get the bajillion categories we use every year so I can finish this mess off. But, wait! Chris got a new computer because the old one crashed three months ago! Watch me fling myself around the office wailing.

So, Chris, in his neverending effort to assuage me, races down to the garage to dig up all the old documentation, hoping it will help. Even though this does aid me slightly in this godforsaken project, I begin to rant about us not "being on the same page" financially and him not "holding up his end of the bargain" by helping me with tax time.

After poking Chris with a stick for a half hour, he finally snaps back. Whiiiich in turn makes me start to cry.

As you are so unfortunately aware, I've been feeling guilty lately about not working towards my goals and slacking on my responsibilities. So, now to lash out at Chris because of the stress of this tax crap just made me feel like I was really failing on all fronts.

So, imagine my delight when a half hour later S's teacher is telling me that she is "very concerned about S's homework" or lack thereof. She points me to a chart with every child's name on it. Every single name has about 10 gold stars next to it, indicating completed homework. My daughter's name has nothing next to it. Nada.


As I mumble an excuse about losing those little 2x2 scraps of paper called "homework" she begins to explain why it is so important that S. begin doing homework in a timely manner. You know, to make her more successful in life. And a better person.

Uh-huh. Uh-huh. I listen and nod. The recent tears are back with a vengeance. I try to look down at S. and help her with her coat, but it quickly becomes obvious to Mrs. Teacher that I am actually crying over this.

Then she does the worst thing possible. She starts to speak soothingly and hugs me. Which of course makes me stiffen like a cadaver.

Horribly. Awkward. Moment. Of. The. Year.

I swear I am not normally this emotional.

I'm actually much worse.


Writer's Block

13 Ways I Know I Have Writer's Block

1. I actually throw up a little when I look at the cursor.

2. I keep preparing snacks.

3. I force the cat to wrestle with me.

4. I yell at Chris to keep it down as I hear his keyboard tapping away.

5. I actually start doing laundry.

6. I peruse other funnier blogs and mentally try to sap their energy. (You’re not doing that now are you?)

7. When the phone rings, I leap up and answer it “Yes I will!”

8. I desperately search my surroundings for blog worthy content. ‘Hmm, how can I make my bookshelf funny? Are those pillows holding a story? Would anyone find this amount of dust interesting?’

9. I call my four year old in and ask her to say something cute. To which she responds ‘You don’t pay me enough’.

10. I have a sudden urge to clean the oven. And under the fridge. When did we have ham? And then bake oatmeal bars while I’m there.

11. I call my mom and start an argument…just to have something to write about.

12. I run an anti-virus scan. Three times.

13. I end up at this website. WTF?


Come Here, Let's Hug

You are all just a virtual fuzzy robe and slippers. I slipped into, and lounged around in, your comments all day today. I am happy to report that after all the love (and six snack bags of Doritos) I am feeling better.

Also, I have registered for Summer classes! Yay for me. I am on my way. Now, I should warn you that when I'm a student, I'm a did Chris put it?...unbelievably intolerable I think. I am a stellar student, but sort of in the way that Hitler was a great leader. I'm a bit fascist in my commitment to obtaining an A.

So, consider yourself warned. You're the ones that pushed the issue. :)

Move Along Folks - There's Nothing To See Here

Is it weird that I stayed up late to watch my cat eat the newly sprouted wheat grass? That I sat in my office in my bathrobe grinning like an idiot as he gnawed on the edges?


One of, oh, about 45 things, needs to happen quickly. Not the least of which is my need to register for classes this semester. I cannot put this off anymore. I still have two years of school left and at this point it is virtually impossible for me to get my degree before I turn 30.

Once I’m over 30, I become the mom of the class; the non-threatening “older” woman that all of my classmates are rooting for, “really hoping she sticks it out this time”. I remember being baffled by these women in my first year of college at 19. I would see them with their scrupulous notes and highlighters. Their graying hair and extra thirty pounds. And I would think “What have you been doing all this time?”. Well, now I know.

I want to have a well laid plan when S. starts school. I don’t want to be the mom that slowly folds laundry in front of the television waiting for school to let out. I want to transition right into my career.

Which brings me to the next subject: these blood sucking gift baskets.

You people have no idea how many robes I have folded just so, how many perfect bows I have tied (hold straight up and down, loop bottom ribbon first, then bring top ribbon around - Wheeee! And again!), how many hours I have spent in my garage shrink wrapping. About a fourty hundred thousand, as S. would say.

Burned out does not even begin to describe how I felt when we lost our biggest client almost two years ago. At the time, I was going to school full time, I was running my business full time, I was working out with a trainer at 5:30 a.m. three mornings a week, I had my 2 year old with me 24/7, my husband was working 12 hour days, and yet I made it all work. Everything was scheduled to the minute. Then several of the balls I was juggling fell out, leaving me with just a ball or two and no real demand as to how I kept them going. “A body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to…blah blah blah” and all that.

So here we are some time later. Chris works from home, S. is in preschool, I am not presently in school, I am certainly not training unless crying jags are considered a workout, and I am down to one client. My husband works his ass off taking all the clients he can while I sit here stroking my laptop and arranging my closet. The man has worked this hard for 25 years – he deserves to enjoy his life! And what am I doing to help?

I try to be happy as a SAHM (even if that acronym makes me feel like its my CB radio handle) and I tell myself these years are precious and its only temporary. Believe me, every helpful thing you’re thinking right now, I tell myself. And yet I can’t help feeling like if I’m not on the floor doing workbooks and playing dolls all day with my daughter, then why don’t I take my selfish ass into the office and start cold calling and help my husband out?

We have a massive (I mean massive) tax bill due in about 30 days and it all falls on Chris’ shoulders. I know he would like to think that it’s a fair exchange because, you know, I am a Stay! Put! At! Home! Mom! but we both know that he does as much work with the child as I do. So, where is my value add, as we used to say in the biz?

Do you want to buy a basket?


We Have Issues

While we're on the subject I just fell off my bed trying to pull on my sock. I can't make this stuff up! If I go missing, you can bet I accidentally ran myself over.

And now, some highlights of my trizip:

(S. is not diggin the snow.)
(She prefers her audience of ducks.)
Okay, so you have to picture this for it to be funny. Trust me - I know about these things.

So, I made a nice big dinner one evening while we were on vacation and Chris - he is well trained - was doing the dishes.

Well, the water is running loudly and he is facing the sink, away from the kitchen door. My mom walks by behind him and says "Thank you for doing the dishes Chris". Without looking at her, he says "Oh, no problem."

I know that he has no idea that I just walked into the kitchen so the second after my mom says that behind him, I soundlessly pass by and pinch his butt. A subtle little pinch. The logical thought, of course, is that its my mom. He spins around and the look on his face, dear reader, was PRICELESS. Horrified doesn't even begin to cover it.


My mom is a bit of what my aunt calls a "premature panicker". As in "Ohmygod!Ilockedthekeysinthecar!ohmygod!....oh, never mind, here they are" or "Iforgottopaythatbill!They'regoingtotakethehouse!Whatrewegoingtodo?!...Oh, wait. Here's the receipt. Whew.".

So, when it began to snow Saturday and we were somewhat low on firewood, cash, and water, my mother started frothing at the mouth in worry. Picture this: Brian, my stepfather (gentlest, quietest soul), Chris (silent strong type), my panicky mother, and my feisty self are all standing in the living room deciding what we are going to do.

The dilemma is that even though the electricity keeps going out and we know we are going to need more firewood soon, we can't agree whether we should go to the store immediately before the weather gets worse or wait it out.

Chris: "It's just a little slush. We'll be fine in our car. Let's go."

Lena: "Are you crazy?! Absolutely not! I will not allow you to leave this house without chains on the tires! Can't we just wait?"

Mom: "Chris, you're being foolish. Be realistic. It's a blizzard out there! You have to use chains! And we cannot wait! We must go now! It's only going to get worse!"

My mom's panic becomes contagious and I'm starting to be truly concerned for our safety.

The more concerned my mother and I become, the more amused Chris and Brian are with us. Before you know it, my mom is pulling on her coat and claiming she is walking to the store (about a mile away). I run for my coat as well.

Then I remind my mom that we're going to need to walk back with firewood. We both stand at the front door staring at each other.

So, without a word, Brian just calmly grabs his keys and gets in the car. My mom and I chase after him and jump in. We drive to the store.... without incident.

Inside the store my mother is stocking up for a winter of hibernation. Keep in mind we have ONE day left. She has about 50 pounds of wood, 3 liters of alcohol, a large bag of coffee, and 20 tons of bottled waters. I grab the essentials: skittles and an US magazine.

When I scoff at my mom's large purchases at checkout, she and I start arguing. And she actually says this: "What if we get snowed in?!".

There is about an inch of snow on the ground. The sun is out. And the cashier is wearing SHORTS. He is also losing his patience with us.

At this point, the woman standing behind us can't take it anymore and, in her cute vest and jeans, leans forward with her pack of gum and says "Excuse me. I'm just trying to pick my son up from school. Are you guys...ready?".

My mom, bundled up in her puffy pink ski jacket and snow boots is now flustered and I am quickly realizing that we are overreacting just a bit. The locals are just trying to go about their day while we shout and panic over getting "snowed in".

To make things more amusing, the next day was sunny and all the snow had melted. To which my mom responded "You're not going to blog about this, are you?"

Lake Arrowhead: 1

Girls: 0

(You can't tell, but Chris has a pantsfull of snow.)

(Me and S. after bobsledding.)

(Mom is gearing up to go about 1 mile an hour.)

(Let's pretend we're admiring the birds outside rather than playing Nintendo.)

(My parents. Eww! Get a room!)

 photo copyright.jpg
envye template.