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3.27.2007

I Wish I Could Have Known

Savannah's preschool teacher asked me for pictures of Savannah as a baby. Oddly enough, she was able to talk about pictures of my daughter without sweating and getting shifty. Anyway, as I sifted through pictures of Savannah's first year, I was struck by two things.

One, how many there were. I am not exaggerating when I say I spent a roll of film A DAY. (Would you like to see Savannah shake a rattle for an hour frame by frame? No?)

Two, that I'm hardly in any of them.

And then I came across this one:

I Wish I Could Be Her Friend Now


Five years later I guarantee I can tell you what we did that day. I was in sweats and a t-shirt with an unwashed ponytail, a baby girl strapped to my body, at some stage in the process of going to Target. Then I likely headed to the grocery store to stare at the oranges. Then Chris would have come home, I would have mumbled something about peanut butter and handed him the baby as I walked out the front door.

I would've waited until I couldn't see our condo in my rearview mirror before I let go. Huge heaving sobs would have torn through me as I struggled to breathe. Hopelessness and loneliness would have gripped me until it made me physically ache.

And then the guilt would come.

I look at this picture and I see a girl who felt utterly alone. And thinks she is holding an innocent victim who was dealt a horrible mother. I feel so sad for that girl. I want to reach into that photograph and wrap my arms around her and tell her she's doing a wonderful job and that this too shall pass. I want to invite her to lunch and make her laugh and tell her all moms feel the way she does.

I want her to know that five years is going to fly by like that. And that she'll soon be buying that baby a backpack and singing along with her to "Hollaback Girl". And that that baby is not going to be scarred if she lets her cry it out or feeds her formula. That that baby is going to grow into a delightful little person.

Very soon. She's going to feel proud.

Most of all, I want to tell her to ask for help. To reach out without shame. Because her life is pretty damn sweet. She just needs someone to show her.

3.23.2007

Real Moms...

...hide their cards.

Cheater


So, maybe sometimes I occasionally speed up a mind-numbing game of Memory by sitting on a few cards. Honestly, I'm really only good for one good game. And then I want to hurt myself.

What's a few less cards in the grand scheme of parenting anyway? There's worse things I could be doing. Like eating all the pink cookies out of the Animal Parade variety pack.

Check out more mama truths here.

3.21.2007

Things I Love To...

...Hate

  • The old man who occasionally stands dazed at the entrance to our development with his pants unzipped. (Why, of course he started doing this as soon as we listed our house. Do you even need to ask?)
  • Weekday Storytime at the library that you need to show up an hour early for, because there is nothing else to do in this town... unless you need something at Target.
  • My gas tank that is never ever not on empty as we race to Weekday Storytime.
  • Max. Yes, I know it's not okay to hate a baby bunny. But, why must Ruby put up with his incessant dumbassery?
  • That they haven't yet invented self-washing sheets.
  • That my trainer keeps calling to "schedule our week". (Um, Monday's no good. How about never? Does never work for you?)
  • Not being asked for i.d. last weekend when I was obviously buying enough alcohol to contribute to the delinquency of an entire high school football team. (Oh, do dream on, Lena.)
  • 5:00. Will it ever stop being the time of day that makes my ears bleed from all the whining?
  • Enlarged pores.
  • Pottery Barn for making me feel like a complete ass that I've ever thrown any of Savannah's artwork away.
  • Lost. I am over it. Completely. Except I'll watch one more episode. And then that is the last.

...Love

  • The inability to count how many cookies I've had when I eat the batter.
  • The way Savannah tricks me into playing a game. (Okay, mommy, I know you can't play right now. Okay....Just hold this card for a minute while I roll the dice.)
  • King of Queens. Watching Kevin James and Leah Remini play out my exact marriage, so that Chris and I can laugh at each other freely, has all but replaced couples therapy.
  • Yoga pants: The New "Mom Sweats". Does my belly ever need to encounter a zipper again? I think not.
  • How I'm pretending I can't wait for Savannah to start kindergarten already so I can have my days back, geez. Complete with an eye roll and everything. (I think I might be able to psyche myself out by August, you guys. I really do.)
  • That yesterday Savannah said she wishes she could get back inside my tummy. (Me too, my love. I would do so much better this time around; I promise.)
  • Your comments. (Shameless!)

3.19.2007

Because I'm Mean And Crampy

This is the funny thing.

I think of posts all day that will be funny. All day! I do! I'm driving down the street or pushing the grocery cart and I'm chuckling to myself and muttering "heh, that's good" and scribbling things on the backs of receipts and fast food bags (I am very high-tech. And?).

Then? I sit down at the computer and do you know what happens? The goddamn phone rings. And it's a realt*r telling me that they're on their way over and of course they are because I JUST sat down with an onion bagel and an iced coffee (you wouldn't like my breath when I'm creative) and a fantastical post that will shock and amaze you, the content of which is comprised of two McDonalds receipts and an electric bill envelope.

But, alas, I must run around retrieving underwear from the floor and hiding dirty dishes in the oven.

And if you think you're sick and tired of hearing about my house that's not selling, imagine how I feel! Just take yourself and add a very angry brow and then an incredibly clean house. And also an uneaten bagel. Voila! You're me.

I've been looking forward to today all weekend because Savannah is in preschool today and Mamapop and Clubmom are taken care of (am not mommyblogger! am not! prove it! ...oh, that.). So, the day was filled with possibility. And one of those possibilities? Was for my punkass uterus to decide TODAY is the day she would like to shed her lining, thank you very much.

Her timing is impeccable. I think she's just bitter that this is all she gets to do anymore.

All this to say, I have cramps. And also I was mean to the drive-thru girl at Starbucks.

I only go to this particular drive-thru Starbucks on Mondays and Thursdays because it's next to Savannah's preschool. The Starbucks people by my house know me so well that they know what to charge me for my drink. And when Chris goes in to get my coffees, they write messages to me on the cup. It's no secret, I have a problem - we've all seen my bank statements.

Anyway, at the drive-thru Starbucks they're less personable. You would think, though, that they see me enough and discuss my drink enough that they would remember me. And remember my drink. And remember that they're asshats. Perky asshats.

See, my drink is a grande iced latte with 1/2 a pump of mocha syrup. I know, I know. It seems really anal. But, I swear, it's the perfect burnt marhsmallow-y mixture! Well, since there's normally 4 pumps of mocha syrup added to a latte to make it a mocha, it's 30 cents extra. But, since I'm only getting HALF A PUMP I shouldn't have to pay the full 30 cents. (Again, I know. Anal right? But, I drink these every day. That's like...a lot of math.)

Anyway, whenever I order at this drive-thru I always order it as a "latte" and they always read it back to me as a "mocha". In this really perky, upbeat, daring-you-to-be-mean-to-them way.

So, I say to the perky drive-thru order-taker "That's a latte".
Perky: "Oh, you want a latte?"

Me: "Yes. But, with half a pump of mocha syrup."

Perky: "That's a mocha."

I decide to play along.

Me: "Oooh, I thought a mocha had to have two or more pumps."

Perky: "Ooooh, no. I'm sorry. Did you still want the mocha?"

Me: "Ummm, yeah."

I'll take this up at The Window. I pull up.

Perky: "That'll be $3.50 puh-leeeease!" [GRIN]

Me: "Yeah, see. I think you're supposed to charge me for a latte. You don't need to charge for one pump or less."

Perky: "Oh, no, we have to charge you." [GRIN]

Me: "Well, then, shouldn't it be, like, three and a half cents? For half a pump?"

Perky: "I'm sorry. I don't make the rules!" [weak smile]

Me: "I'm just telling you what corporate told me."

Which isn't true, but I felt like I was losing ground. And you should always argue honestly until you start losing.

Perky: "Okay...well...alright then." [sad face]

I handed her my $3.20, she handed me my latte, and all was well with Lena.

I admit I did feel bad about turning Perky's smile upside down, but how many times do I need to have this conversation? And who else could I take my cramps out on?? (The cats are becoming less and less understanding.)

Most of all, why don't I just start drinking lattes already?

3.13.2007

Same Song, Second Verse, Same As the First

Stream of (Semi) Consciousness: The Humiliating

I am totally stressed about selling this house. What if nobody buys it? What if we're stuck here?

What if we're trapped and poor without equity and Chris loses his job and ends up selling fruit at intersections and I'm here for YEARS and start petting out-of-towners at gas stations while fervently whispering "Tell me what's it's like out there? Tell me please. Has it changed much? Are there still those things called malls? And places called Whole Foods where people don't balk at not spendin no four dollars on whole grains when I gots me some Wonder bread right here for ninety-nine cents! Please take me with you Lady Not Wearing A Scrunchie. I can be very quiet and useful. Take me to where they don't eat SPAM. You smell so goood."

Seriously. What IF?

Our house has been listed for one month today for a whole lot less than it was listed for six months ago and about $40,000 less than our exact house sold for around the corner a year ago. $40,000 less.

And today? After the br*ker tour? Our realt*r called to tell us that while all the realt*rs who toured our house found it "cute as a button" and "very clean" (again with the clean), some of them did think we should be listed for $25,000 less. Excuse me, did you say $25,000 less?

ffffffffffffffhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhllllllllllljkkhhhhhh;;;;;;;;;;

That would be my head repeatedly hitting the keyboard.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In brighter news! Savannah and I had this exchange this morning:

Savannah calls out, from the bathroom "Good news! I can wipe my own butt! You and daddy don't have to help me anymore!"

I respond, from the shower, "Great! You can get your own place now!"

She thinks about this.

"No!" she cries, "I don't know how to make tuna or do my hair!".

Ah, my mothering abilities have been conveniently summed up for me in order of importance. How refreshing.

3.08.2007

Drunken, Christian, Loser

*Scroll to the bottom of this post if you're here to read about The Party That Never Was.

I think I just found my new screen name! DCL in the his-ouse!

Let's wrap this little game up, shall we?

# 10 - I once was a Christian missionary in Utah and was chased by a rifle-toting polygamist.

When I was 16, a group of us Christian teens were dispatched to Provo, Utah to preach. While there we encountered the most pleasant Mormons I've ever met and also some whackjobs. Within the territories we were given to preach there were addresses of homes to stay away from because "that's where the polygamists live". And they were apparently an angry bunch as evidenced by the tall scrawny bearded man who came out onto his porch...with a RIFLE. And watched every move we made. As we got nearer, he gruffly yelled something and rushed into his yard menacingly. And we screamed and ran.

Because, you know, we were 16. And it was bad enough that this man was having all that fornication, but now he was going to done kill us.

#11 - I once got into a drunken political argument with Adam Duritz at The House of Blues in L.A. and then accused him of having an affair with Monica Potter.

Oh, how I wish this one wasn't true.

When I was 21, my girlfriend and I flew to L.A. to see Counting Crows perform. My friend is a gorgeous model-type and we were a little groupie-ish. So, by the time the concert was over we had scored backstage passes to the after party upstairs.

This is the part where I'd really like to say that I had a couple drinks, flirted coquettishly with Adam Duritz and then left him with my number. Or my smile. Or something other than the impression that he should call security.

I'd really like to say that the night didn't involve me inhaling the free liquor at an alarming rate, arguing vehemently about abortion with both Adam Duritz and Barbara Boxer's daughter, Nicole, and then falling down the back stairs.

I would. I really would. But, alas, my liver betrays me with her poor filtering capabilities.

I also accused Adam of secretly being in love with Monica Potter, who was then newly married. Being the Macgyver I am, the whole "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby" thing tipped me off. And, uh, yeah. They dated a few years later. So, hello super perception skillz!

Okay, I saved the best for last because this is SO BAD, it's GOOD!

#12 - I once threw a party and no one came.

Haven't you ever wondered whether this really happens to people? Well, I'm here to tell you: it does!

Okay, here's how it went down. My friend's sister - we'll call her Sad - was getting married. She'd already had one bridal shower and my friend - we'll call her Nice - asked if I would be willing to host a second one for her. And here's the kicker, it was going to be a surprise.

So, the weekend of the party my friend takes her sister (the bride-to-be) out for coffee. The idea was, my other friend - we'll call her Helpful - and I would quickly decorate my apartment, put the food out, be there to welcome the guests, etc. Then when everyone arrived we would call my friend Nice to let her know she could bring her sister Sad back to my place where we would all presumably be waiting to yell "surprise!".

Fun would be had by all.

Well, 7:00 came and went.

Then 7:30 came and went.

My friend Nice kept calling us furiously from the Starbucks bathroom asking if everyone was there yet.

"No one is here!" I cried.

"Well, did you call people? Was the date wrong on the invite?!" Nice exclaimed.

"It must've been! Helpful is calling everyone right now. I'll call you back".

But, the date was right. And no one was answering their phone.

In the meantime, Sad was tired of coffee and really wanted to go so she could eat dinner. And Nice kept stalling.

Finally, 8:00 came and went. Then there was a knock on the door.

And this one poor lone guest stood there with her beautifully wrapped gift. We'll call her Mortified. She peered in the apartment from the porch. Where is everybody, she asked. We ushered her in, hoping this was a good sign.

It wasn't.

By 8:45 we knew no one else was coming. Mortified sat there on one of the 30 or so folding chairs we had set out with her gift on her lap. And I'll tell you what, I've never seen a more pitiful sight. She was, well, mortified. Finally, she just left her gift and hightailed it out of there before Sad got home.

Ultimately, Sad insisted on going home and Nice was forced to tell her what happened. I can only imagine: "We threw a party for you, but no one came. We'll see you at the wedding!".

This experience traumatized me. Seriously. Years later, I would be the first bride in history to have invitees calling me irritated to RSVP because they had received my invitation in the mail, a phone call from my mother, and two emails from me all in the same day asking ARE YOU COMING OR WHAT??.

So, that about covers it. Everything you never wanted to know about me. Now we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming about cheese and Tivo and my cats.

3.05.2007

Truth or Lie Blah Blah Blah - Part 3!

I fully planned on updating this site over the weekend, but between posting naked pictures of myself and writing about Britney's eyes rolling back in her head this is the first chance I've gotten. Well, that's not entirely true: I did just finish a breakfast bagel while watching I'm From Rolling Stone. But, those are the perks of the fabulous life I lead! Walking to my mailbox!In my pajamas! Picking up checks from people I don't even know! And I can show you how! For just three easy installments of $69.95!

So, where were we? Oh, right. #4 - I once was pulled up on stage by LL. Cool J during a concert.

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~
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DIRTY LIE!

I've never even been to an LL concert, let alone been pulled up on stage by him. Although, this is true in my mind if you know what I mean. And I think you do.

Now, for the sake of my ADD, let me just go ahead and give you the goods on a few more of the truths:

#5 My nose is currently broken.

Crazy, right? During a doctor's appointment for a sinus infection a few years ago, the doctor came back in with my x-rays and asked nonchalantly "So, how long has your nose been broken?". Wha...? We think it happened when I was a baby, but the official story is it happened while I was streetfighting. With Cameron Diaz.

#6 Dean Cain hit on me at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

Read about it here.

#7 My aunt had Post Partum Depression and jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Sad, but true. My grandfather's sister, Lara Partridge, was a beautiful statuesque blonde. She gave birth to twins - a boy and a girl - and jumped to her death off the Golden Gate Bridge while in the throes of PPD. My crying on the kitchen floor story pales in comparison, no?

#8 I bought my mom a $5,000 sapphire ring when her cat died.

Although upon further reflection (aka Chris is the freaking Truth Police, I swear), the ring was more around $4,000. And it wasn't just because of the cat. A long, long time ago in a land far, far away Chris and I briefly had money to burn. We had just convinced my mom to move to Southern California with us and she was lonely and depressed. Then her favorite cat disappeared, likely caught by coyotes. She drove around for weeks shaking kitty treats out the window and calling for him. She cried every single day. So, it was a sad time in her life and the cat was like the last straw. I took her to dinner and told her how much I loved her and what an amazing mother she has always been and it was sort of like a great big thank you for being my mom. But, the cat totally triggered it.

As did having two nickels to rub together. If her cat were to die now, she'd get a card. From 7-Eleven.

Well! That's enough fun for one day! I pinky swear that the next post will be so self-deprecatingly funny, I'm not going to be able to take myself seriously anymore. What a relief.

Next up:

#9 I once was a Christian missionary in Utah and was chased by a rifle-toting polygamist.

#10 I once got into a drunken political argument with Adam Duritz at The House of Blues in L.A. and then accused him of having an affair with Monica Potter.

#11 I once threw a party and no one came.

I'm already laughing. But, crying on the inside, you see.

3.01.2007

Truth or Lie Revealed! Part 2

Do you want to know how to feel like a complete loser? Hire a housekeeper to come in and then while she's here, let her walk in on you:

1) taking a picture of yourself in the mirror
2) sneaking chips from a bag you've cleverly hidden behind a pillow as you sit in bed on your laptop
3) watching the Hamster Dance on YouTube
4) sipping a Slurpee and petting the cat with your foot

Lo. Ser. I can just envision her coming in here any minute and saying "Ma'am, I'm finished. And also? Are your legs broken?"

Anyway.

Moving on down the list. Here we go!

#2 - I once reported a car driving in front of me that was on an Amber Alert and maybe saved a kidnapped child.

TRUE!

A few years ago I was driving on the 241, a local toll highway which at the time was a fairly new and less-traveled alternative to the main interstate, on my way to school (my ten year college plan is a semester every other year - it's going well, thank you) and I notice that the large jumbotron has an Amber Alert running across it. You know, the alert that immediately goes out when a child is reported kidnapped?

So, I notice that the vehicle description is like a 1990 Green Ford Explorer with a partial license plate number and that they were last seen in Irvine, which just so happens to be the city I am about 15 miles north of.

Then, it was like something out of a movie, I swear. Just a couple minutes later a ratty old customized green Ford Explorer goes flying past me in the opposite direction on the highway.

I stare at it in my rearview mirror for a second. Was that a Ford Explorer? It was. And it was very green. And about fifteen years old. Additionally, this was an area where you rarely saw an old car, let alone one in such bad shape.

No way, I thought. What are the chances? Then I think you never know and I pick up my phone.

I dial 911. I describe the car I just saw. "Yep. Yep." the dispatcher says as I describe the custom paint. She's rapidly firing off questions and asking me if I can follow the Explorer as she's dispatching an officer. I'm still driving in the opposite direction as the Explorer when I see a cop come screeching onto the highway on the other side and speeding past me.

The dispatcher is still on the phone with me. She's urgently talking with someone else, but asks me to stay on the line.

Then? Then? She shouts "We got him! We got him! Thank you!" and HANGS UP.

I'm still driving and holding the phone and she's just hung up and I'm too far now to see anything in my rearview mirror and my hands are shaking.

What just happened? Did she say they got him because the officer I saw caught up to him? Or because she received new information? And did she cry thank you! because my call is the call that nailed him? And did she have to hang up on me in her excitement without letting me know for sure what happened??

I called Chris right away and started crying because it was so intense and I maybe saved a child's life! Or something! We talked about calling the local police department to find out what the story was, but it seemed a little self-serving, so we never did.

Looking back I wish I had. Mainly because it would have made a killer post years later.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let's make this a two-for because I'm pretty sure no one is on the edge of their seats waiting to find out if (((gasp))) I aced a final for a class of which I only attended one day. Which is to say #3 is TRUE as well.

Next up: my night with LL Cool J! Or...not?

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