Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My Future's So Bright...

... I gotta wear shades.

My kids constantly remind me that coolness is perception. It's not about whether things are perfect (my fingerprinted fridge.) It's not about status symbol shoes (gotta love the dirty socks.) Hell, it's definitely not about designer jeans (though personally I think Stink rocks his off-to-the-side Osh Kosh cargos - it's a new toddler trend called the Wedgie Twist.)

Every day these goofballs remind me to stop and have some fun.

And these pictures remind me to stop and clean - hence the short post.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Game of Life

Rex is playing computers games with the boys tonite. Yes, it really is as sexy as it sounds. In more lurid detail (this is your chance to be saved from the nerd virus that might attack your computer from this post) he and three guys are meeting in someone's office, hooking up their servers and getting high on Coca Cola and nachos, all the while screaming, "You bastard! You killed my wonder!"

It never ceases to amaze me that this man, who is not much of a talker, has made his living networking (c0mputers, that is.) Small talk? Not my husband. But ask him about his GTO and you'll get way more than an ABC answer. Someone have a baby? He'll ask about the delivery, but not the kind that involves labor. He's more concerned in how the child was delivered home. (In my case, after birthing Stink, I drove us home in a 1994 Saturn coupe, stopping first at the Canoga Park McDonalds for a Fish Filet and Diet Coke - a highly recommended treat to anyone who's just pushed an 8 pounder out their hoo hoo.)

What makes Rex such a character is just when I think he has the mind of a computer, he sends me flowers on a whim (Okay, not that often. But it's been known to happen.) This is someone who, at 6'3, still gets down on his hands and knees and plays "drop the baby" or "push over Papa" or tells me how much he loves me for all my wackiness. The other night, as we were drifting to sleep, he whispered, "Can you believe how far we've come in just seven years?" Then he added "... And just look at all the cars on the road. Isn't all this techonological advancement amazing?"

The last part kind of killed the mood, but it did help put me to sleep.

In concluding this rather goopy post, let me be the first to state that there are weeks when I'm ready to kill Rex, and him me. (If I didn't admit this, Stella would, or anybody that knows me. Facade and me don't exactly go hand in hand.) But then I have weekends like this past one, full of family and friends and walks, and I'm once again reminded how lucky I am. To quote K, "Life is not an episode of Friends." Life is last minute trips to Kaiser, vowing to lose that last five pounds then downing an entire bag of pink and white Mother's Circus Animal Cookies, over-spending the house budget then bitching about lack of Ebay sales, looking forward to a trout dinner than realizing you instead bought tripe, over sleeping, over caffeining, canceling bbqs, putting them on again last minute, watching Scooby Doo twelve million times, vowing to walk, sitting on your duff, and yes, putting the kids to bed yourself so your husband can geek out over Age of Empires.

We all have a turn at the Game of Life. Sure, most of us hope we'll spin that dial and end up self-made millionaires. But the truth is, at the end of the game, many of us end up with small homes (that look just like our neighbors) and regular cars. And after popping out all those kids, how realistic is it that we'll keep those stick figures forever? I won't anyway. Not with my penchant for Candy Land. I'm thinking I can deal with this Game of Life as long as I still have Trival Pursuits.

* Pictured: Rex this morning with Pipsqueak. Just another example of a man who won't let you touch his toothpaste. You take one piece of his perfectly stacked gum from his car dashboard and you'll hear about it for weeks. Last minute trips to Costco for a hotdog. Are you insane????? But a little girl comes up to him begging for his breakfast? It's all over.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Longs Road Home

Today I took a two mile hike to Longs Drug Store with my sister, L. I felt so economical and camper-like as I bought only what I could stuff in two plastic bags for the walk home: Macaroni, coffee, roll-on, hairspray and detangler.

To be truthful, until I met Rex, my outdoors adventures consisted mostly of walking from the parking lot to a hotel room. From my few hikes with my husband, however, I retained a few bits of key knowledge. 1. Don't pee over a cactus. 2. Wave at fellow passerbyers. I always found that one odd. They could be buck naked eating granola and carrying a chimp, but you'd still shine that good ol' pal smile and nod a, "how's it going, man?" (Of course, inside you're like "I'll tell you how it's going... it's time you get some pants on, monkey boy.")

My point: we walked past an older lady and said, yes, you guessed it, "how's it going?" at which she gave us a half-hour of details, including an offer to come in for coffee. We declined, but hung around a while anyway outfront near her geraniums.

I suppose I should have been irritated, but there's something in me that could have stood in that hot sun, groceries in hand, and chatted with her for three more hours about her life in Canada, her trek to Houston, her years as a widow in Westlake, and how she raised a boy who grew up to be a neurosurgeon. As it turns out, she even worked in her son's office for a while as a secretary. I threw in, "Oh, so if someone asked you about how tough your job was, did you answer 'It isn't brain surgery'... Oh, wait, it actually is..." At which my sister burst out laughing but Sarah didn't crack a smile. Having a doctor in the family is apparently serious business. I used to joke that we had an M.D. in the family, too. But my father being Manic Depressive wasn't the kind of PhD you bragged to the neighbors about. Although if anyone talked about it, it was my dad himself, with his cheery, off handed way.

In fact, if Melvin had met Sarah, I'm sure he would have taken her up on the offer to enter the house, found out the name of her Temple, told some rabbi joke and planned an Elder Hostile trip with her community center group.

Later today I went grocery shopping at Costco, first stopping at the crowded snack stand ($1.50 for a hotdog and soda... how can you beat it? Now I'm not saying I did, but I'm not saying I didn't have a Diet Coke.) I shared a table with an older man who I apparently made nervous, because although he said I could sit there, he was holding onto his cane for dear life and making furtive glances to the diaper aisle.

Tonite we had people over for hamburgers while my kids ran around like fools, reminding me of those long summer nights of staying too late in the pool and curling up in a warm towel on my mom's lap while she talked to Esther and David.

Maybe this is why I stop and talk to the Sarah's of the world. Why I force my way into old people's tables at busy warehouse food chains. Why I love bbqs and get togethers and traditions. For all the madness in the world, there's value in connection. It's the warm towel on a cool night that assures us that it's okay to sit still, and feel someone else's heart, and listen to someone else's dreams.

Good night, and in the name of memories, Happy Memorial Day everyone.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I Got Plenty of Nothing

And nothing's plenty for me... Well, not really, but it has to be.

Here's the skinny on the many irons in the fire ("iron" being "ironic" as I hardly ever iron my clothes. In fact, when I think "iron", I think "ic".)

My point? Ah... waiting to hear from:

* Nickelodeon re: using our house for some kids' tv show. We're in the running, so fingers crossed

* A few magazines I have queried. They are big nationals, so my chances are low. I need to move onto some shelter magazines, apparently. Whatever those are. More time and research to come.

* Ebay... what the hell! I have had so few bids the past two weeks. And I'm so disappointed. My Tinkerbell bags sold so well, but now I can't find them wholesale for a decent price or I'd sell those.

* Any scripts out there... is anyone reading me, Susan? Why has Desperate Housewives not responded to my Desperate Housewives from this desperate housewife. Do they not see the perfect union they are missing?

Here's my philosophy on it all (and this will probably change tomorrow.) But for anything to get done, I must do it myself. I must get this damn blog on a search site so that people can find me other than you fine folk (thanks for reading, by the way. And great suggestion, Cecelia.) I need to get my own product on Ebay that isn't reliant on some 98cent store in Chatsworth to supply me. Some boutique product of some sort. Perhaps some painted Elmo overalls or Scooby Doo patched jeans. (Of course I can't sew or paint, but what the hell.) And I need to write a new movie of some sort and then really push it. (Of course, time is needed in all this equation, and I am a mama first and foremost.)

So perhaps I need patience.

Any of you out there going through that? I say we plug away and do the best we can but keep going. Yes?

Life could be so much worse. I look at the news and see the genocide happening around the world. The poverty. The loneliness. And I sit here and type that I don't have enough feedback? I should be so lucky.

Don't have much more to say except it's Saturday Night. Rex and I are going to pay bills and watch Modern Marvels, The History of the Cheeseball. (Okay, can I complain about that?)

Shutting up now.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Bounty Hunter

Thanks to my mom, I have a new favorite show, The Bounty Hunter. It's on A&E and stars Dog, his wife, Beth, and an eclectic posse of family and sidekicks. If Dog himself doesn't bring down the bad guy, his wife's huge kahunga's will. If you haven't already done so, check them out. (Not her kahunga's... the show.)

I had a showdown of my own today with the downstairs tv room. No stain, fuzz ball or random Cheerio was safe. Of course, I hunted with Bounty paper towels, but you get the point.

On other notes, poor Pipsqueak has this terrible hick-up cough dealy doo that I took her to Kaiser for. Not exactly how I wanted to begin my Friday night, but she just didn't sound right. Thank God she's okay, but miserable. Even an hour on papa didn't calm her down, so we finally stuck her in bed with a bottle. Hopefully her teeth won't rot and she'll wake up more rested.

On my way home from urgent care I got a panicked call from Cecelia's husband..."She's not answering the phone! Can you go over there? You have permission to kick in the door if she doesn't answer!"

Cue action music as I blaze over there quicker than I can down two dozen Twin Dragon cookies. There was her car in the driveway - all house lights blaring. Sweet relief turned to dread when, after ringing the bell, I got no answer. I had the urge to take Slim up on his offer and kick in the entry way. After all, that's what we bounty hunters do, right? We pound, scream, and when there's no answer, ka-baaaaam!

Then I realized my glove compartment stored a key.

After a quick scan of the joint, I let myself in, and what did I find? Blood? Glass shattered? Cryptic foot prints?

Just a nine month pregnant woman taking a shower. (Well, heard her, not saw her. And she sounded pretty annoyed. Rightly so. I scared the living placenta outta her.) I took off and headed home for my night time ritual.

While sticking Stink in bed, we started talking about living things. I informed him that we are all human beings, at which he chimed in, "I'm not a human being. I'm a human nut."

And so is Dog and Beth. And so am I. And if any of you out there are human nuts, I applaud you.

Though the Human Nut Award of the day goes to Cecelia who, despite being ready to drop her own human nut any second, still managed to come by with flowers for me this evening. Very unnecessary but so appreciated! I shined up my old tarnished tea pot and there they sit. Right next to the wedding picture of Dog and Beth.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


This dinosaur has long legs, is equpped with a cell phone, blackberry, laptop and a GPS system. He made a brief appearance at the home of Mama-P-A-Cranky but then took off for another last minute meeting. After a long business trip he is probably hoping to visit the Land of the Lucky tonite, but he'll most likely find his mate's desires extinct.

The downside of being married to a T-Rex is that he's often out roaming for a living. The upside is I have a comfortable cave to raise our brood and send out my queries (which I did tonite while Pip-A-Lot-A-Squeaks and Stink-A-Scooby-Doo went to bed early). Let's just hope some magazine responds before the next Ice Age. Otherwise it's nothing but B.C. themed blogs from here on out.

Don't think I won't do it. It worked for the Flintstones.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Slumber Potty

Stink had his first sleepover tonite: Translation: No "sleep", I'm "over" it.

It's safe to put me down as verifiably insane to let him have his cousin crash in his room (for the first time) while Rex is out of town.

To be fair to my adorable niece (seen above), she was a perfect angel. The oddest thing happened, too: she actually did what I asked her to. It was amazing. Let's go over the difference between a 3 year old boy and 4 year old female, shall we?

Example #1

Me: Stinker, brush your teeth.
Stink: But I have to go pee pee.
Me: Then go pee pee.
Stink: But I have to put on my pants.
Me: Put them on after you go pee pee.
Stink: But I have to brush my teeth.


Me: H, brush your teeth.
H: I already did. I'm in bed reading my book quietly. (And so she was)

Example #2

Me: Stink, it's time to go to sleep.
Stink: Just one more story.
Me: Go to sleep.
Stink: But I'm thirsty.
Me: Fine, here's your drink.
Stink: (shriiiiiekkk) I spilled it.
Me: Try sitting up next time. (Arrrrrrggggg. Drawer open. Drawer close. Shirt toss to Stink in the dark.) Here's a shirt.
Stink: Don't throw Mommy. Time out.
Me: Just put it on.
Stink: I can't see. Turn on the light.
Me: I'll do it for you then.
I hastily put on his shirt.
Stink: I don't like the truck one! I want the Scooby one!
Me: Oooh, suddenly you have night vision?
Stink: I'm not a knight on television. I'm Stiiiiiiinker! One more story?
Me: No.
Stink: Two more?
Me: (Deep breath) Do I need to send H home?
Stink: Yes, send H home.
Me: I'm not gonna send her home, G.D.!
Stink: Because you're gonna tell one more story?


Me: H, go to sleep.
H: Okay, I'm tired. But can you stop talking?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


It's official. I love Desperate Housewives. So much so that I am staying up late to finish watching the two hour season finale. With Rex gone, I might just break into the coffee and watch Oprah's Legend Ball or Crossroad's Bon Jovi/Sugarland jam session.

I am such a chick I scare myself.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Puff Daddy... Err... Mommy

On our drive home from the McDonald's play area, I commented on the beautiful blue sky - a nice alternative to our rain of late. Stink quickly chimed in, "And look at the biiiiig white fluffy clouds. I want to touch them. But to get there, I need to fly. I'm going to need a Super Hero Mommy."

Then later today he kept busy setting the table while I made a fancy meal of boiled chicken and applesauce. He kept nudging Pipsqueak ,"Come on... we have sooooo much hard work to do." Then he made a huge "train track" with his puffy letters. (Puffy is a big word in our household.)

And just thinking about the clean-up is making my eyes puffy.

In closing I'm not a joint smoker, but if I were, perhaps now would be a good time to take a puff. But since the only grass tended around here is our front lawn, I'll just wait for Super Hero Papa to come home from work and lend me a hand.

Wait, he's gone to Detroit.

I will wait for my fairy godmother to arrive in a puff of smoke. (But for that to happen I guess I better jump on the joint train.)

In closing, I can't really complain. My kids have been great today. I'm gonna drink some extra coffee tonite, put the kids bed, stay up late and organize videos. I miss Rex, but to be geeky and stinky feels nice.

I hope all of you, puff free or not, have an equally relaxing evening.

And puff... Mama P is outta here.

Velvet Vox Error

This is the correct link to a cool mom blogger. She has some good links listed on her blog roll, too.


I Made a Huge Log

Not that kind of log, you potty mouth freaks. A query log. Thanks to columns and tables via Microsoft word, I am logging in every query I send: To Which Publication, Article Name, Date, Fax or Email or Hard Copy, Notes. I'm hoping it will kick me in the head to keep filling up one per week. Also, it will assist me in remembering the tiny details that sometimes, with two kids, can slip my mind. "Does an editor called Naybor need stories about unique play gyms, or does my neighbor have an interesting story about what happened at a play gym?" Shocking that it can get muddled.

Bottom line: I figure with keeping all my ducks in a row, I'm bound to land an article at some point. Or if I don't, I can use it as a huge reminder that "I suck! I suck! I suck! Look at all those places you applied and you got a big fat NAAAADA!"

Then again, if that happened, I would use all my "no's" to write a fabulous book about keeping positive in spite of rejections. I would keep a big fat log of Who, What, When, Where and the Date I sent the book proposal. And then the process will keep repeating forever and ever until some poor sucker takes my ideas and the rest, my friends, is history.

Either I'm very tenacious or insane.

No comments, please.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Running on Steam

Neither of my kids napped today. I have had very little coffee. My car is at empty and I'm about to embark on yet another three days without Rex. Needless to say we're running on steam around here. In fact, any more of it and I could open a sauna. Not a bad idea: I could be cranky but have excellent pores.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Star Trek

Today, while waiting to pay next year's tuition, I struck up a conversation with a mom at Stink's preschool. (As many of you know, this is not a hard feat for me. It goes something like this "Nice sweats... you got them at Disneyland... I just went to Downtown Disney...") Before long, I know their family history, what they like on their burgers, and how many times a week they fornicate. It's a gift.

Turns out she had sex at least twice in seven years (2 kids... I'm quite the sleuth to deduce this). More notably, she was the make-up coordinator for all the Star Trek series and movies for the past 12 years.

After dinner tonite, I came into the office to watch Rex downloading the behind-the-scenes footage of Deep Space Nine.

Later we took a walk to Arcos for lollypops under a star filled sky.

And let's not forgot I had a small brush with Hollywood earliar today as I quickly folded the kids constellation themed bedding so the location scout could take "set pictures."

Perhaps it's a forced connection, but I am sensing a shift in the big dipper formation. Yes, I am seeing a giant, twinkling, M.P. - as in Mama P - in all it's glory sparkling in the sky for me as a beacon of salvation from the routine of the Valley heat.

Then again, M. P. could stand for "More Poop."

I'll take that, too.

Hooray for Hollywood

I just had my first legit tinsel town meeting in almost a year. It was with Nickelodeon. They are going to get back to me next week regarding hiring me for a new kids project.

Oh, wait. They're not interested in me. They're interested in my house for a location shoot.

The scout was here for less than ten minutes. I'm thinking it didn't go so well.

But who cares. It beats fighting with Rex over money or doing the same dishes over and over and over.

Maybe I'll get my kids an agent. Some people might talk and wonder if I'm trying to sell off my cute rugrats to fulfill my dreams of limelight windfalls. What's their point?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Downtown... Everything's Waiting for You

After a two hour drive, the two rug rats and I descended upon Mickey's version of Citywalk - Downtown Disney. We met my cousin and her hubby, Macy and Fry, for lunch. It was my third time there, and I have to say, it's fun. Commercialism be damn, the weather was perfect, the music was catchy, the plants were blooming and things were spotless. That's more than I can say for my house. Even the parking, if you're there less than 3 hours, is free.

Not to say we didn't spend money. I of course bought the kids lunch. And Aunt Macy, who has no children, was kind enough to take Stink to Build a Bear where he could design his own stuffed animal. We joke that I buy his food, she buys his love. It's a sweet relationship.

Lucky me - I got to ride home to an overstuffed dog singing Happy Birthday in velcro surf shoes. (I shouldn't complain... Stink actually fell asleep ten minutes into the drive.)

If the kids like Downtown Disney this much, imagine what they're going to do when I actually break down and take them into the theme park? I have two words for you: toddler leash.

I conclude with a note on Cecelia who, true to her impeccably organized self, always manages to stop by for a chat when the kids have just fallen asleep. (Though I am grinning internally, and now externally, on her grand concept to keep her baby socks together: every time she takes off a pair, she plans on saftey pinning them together before they go in the wash. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! If she pulls this off for more than a month, I vow to show my most unflattering pregnancy picture to the world via this blog.)

My point about Cecelia: just when I think her belly can't drop any further she manages to surprise me as her unborn child nosedives further and further south. I have this bizarre desire to wrap my arms around her and guide her to the car, less this kid drops out on my geraniums.

It's been a good week full of Ebaying, McDonald's play areas, visiting with moms-to-be, hanging out with grandmas in Oxnard and setting up Rex's associate with an old acquaintance of mine I ran into at Costco near the hot dog stands. I hope all of you are having an equally nice one.

I just heard a tsunami size splash. Thought Cecelia had stopped by for a visit, but it turns out my sprinklers just went on.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Border Issues

Like our President's speech this evening, I am here to discuss some issues with Borders - as in the Mexican chain restaurant, On the Border. The fact is that I may, or may not, have ingested a certain bubbly beverage of choice. Perhaps Bush can send a few of his 6000 National Guard to guard my willpower. If this became the case, in the future, I would, or would not, consume approximately 2.3 glasses of gaseous liquid, preventing certain toxic explosions. There would also be less energy issues, more financial security (as water is cheaper) and no fear of non-U.S. citizens clearing my table.

Speaking of tables, I may, or may not have, paid a babysitter under the table last night so I could dine out with Rex. As it turns out, she took these photos that I just found while downloading ebay shots. I love you, Alien! (Babysitter's code name: Alien - since not only does it go with the migrant worker theme of this blog, but she's the spitting image of Jennifer Garner.)

In closing... because I know you wacky women out there are wondering... am I worried about my husband having an affair with the hot babysitter? Not for a sci-fi second. People that look like Jennifer Garner have no need for my computer saavy husband who, again with the theme, actually is an alien from outer space. It's just groovy groovy on our little cul de sac of star trek geek love.

Beam the post up, Blogger.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

10 Reasons Mothers Day Is Better Than Christmas

1. I slept in until 9:00.
2. All holiday cards were written for me (in this case, individual cards from Pip, Stink and Rex).
3. I was given the gift of time: Rex made the kids breakfast while I went for a long walk to the mall.
4. Instead of snow or rain we had the most beautiful sunny weather a mama could ask for.
5. I did not cook dinner but instead ate a doughnut and drank cappucino (Sorry Dr. Oz - see post below)
6. I did not fall asleep at 6 in an exhausted frenzy, but instead waved goodbye to a babysitter while Rex and I headed to dinner in Burbank (Here's a plug for Market City Cafe in Burbank's media district. Despite their title, there was no marketing to be had... just lots of eating under heat lamps followed by a plesant walk through an old bookstore). It was sad to not buy groceries, milk or toilet paper, but I got through the night.
7. I did not hear Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer 12 times in five minutes but instead listened to whatever dumb country station I pleased (Not that there's going to be world peace thanks to lyrics like "Those panty hose ain't gonna last too long, when the dj puts Bon Jovi on... She might come home in a table cloth, yeah tequila makes her clothes fall off."
8. I did not clean my house as I was too busy running from it.
9. Pipsqueak climbed on top of me and said "I love you" - all unprompted. Thank you, little love bug. You make me glad to be alive. You too, Stinker. Now go to sleep! I hear you Scooby Dooey Doooing all the way from the office!
10. Rex obliged me with geeky photo booth photos (above). Thank you Rex. See? A girl doesn't need much to keep her happy. Just a few hours, some validating cards and some food. If you could only wait on me hand and foot for the rest of your life, all would be so good!

And 11. (Because I'm in the Christmas... err... Mother's Day spirit... we had great parking, no wait thanks to reservations and I refrained from Diet Coke and alcohol which means I am currently typing, not vomiting)

If this isn't the most wonderful time of the year, I don't know what is.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

My Mom is the Best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I had a wonderful time
Hanging out with that Mom of mine
She not only thinks my kids are the best
But takes them from me so I can rest
She thinks all of their poo poos are cuter than gold
And has spunk and a spirit that defies being old
She'll probably kill me for showing her pic
So look while you can (I might take it down quick)

I know many of you have moms that you love
But mine is most definitely sent from above
And at almost six feet, I do mean "above"
With white hair and long legs she looks kick ass and tough
But despite stoic features she's really a softie
(Just don't try to talk to her before she's had coffee)

The reason I love hanging out with my mama
Is she's a true modern thinker (who rolls with my drama)
If I'm in blue jeans, no makeup, unshaven and smelly
She'll still split a bagel with me in a deli
She reads all my blogs (and even my scripts)
And even the bad ones she calls fabulous
I only hope that when my kids move away
They'll dig me like I dig my mom to this day

PS: Okay, so this poem was shot from the hip
But I have just two moments so please deal with it
The kids are now bathing, I hear water dripping
(And something that sounds mysteriously like licking)
The point that I'm making, like it or not
Is we can't choose our moms so let's love what we've got
And if your mom's passed away (like me - lost my dad)
Than be a mom to another - trust me you'll be glad
For we might have at birth been cut from the cord
But we never stop wanting to be loved and adored
And now that this PS is longer than life
I thank you for reading and wish you good night!
Oh and of course, the last thing I want to say
Is all of you Happy Mothers Day!

Team Mates

I have a friend who desperately wants to learn Ebay. As it turns out, she's a published magazine writer. We've been spending Wednesdays helping each other fine tune our crafts while our kids run wild in each other's backyards. I'd like to say that I've had this kind of focused support from the men in my life, but it seems to be a woman trait: this getting down to business while wiping butts, feeding cats and making sure we don't forget to send in the taxes. I'm not gay, but if I were, I would be a lot richer thanks to the power of female organization.

A big internet hug out to Cecelia who about to go into labor any day now. Her belly has dropped more than the stock market and she is in that fun stage of "Am I having labor pains and is that my water breaking" or "Are they just Braxton hicks and I'm peeing on myself?" Let's all wish her lots of luck. Labor isn't easy, but it's also do-able with the right attitude. And she better know I'm here for her when she needs a break. (That 'ol women partnership again.)

Speaking of breaks, thanks to all my girlfriends who took turns sleeping over while Rex was in Indianapolis. There was Anna Banana, a neonatal nurse who regalled me with stories of 1 pound bambinos and reminded me how lucky I was to have these two healthy munchkins. There was Topanga T who left her pit bull at home to come to my place, paint my hallway, rearrange my furniture and clean my floors. And of course, there was Cecelia, who I refrained from repeating Anna Banana's horror stories. Then again, Cecelia is about as big as a watermelon now, so there's little chance her swollen belly is carrying a one pounder!

Today I'm taking my mom for a walk and then lunch for mothers' day. I was going to do it tomorrow and then I realized I'm a mom, too, so I'm being selfish and taking myself, and my computer, out to breakfast tomorrow while Rex is on rugrat patrol. I've got to rethink how I'm writing these queries and get down to brass tax. It's hard to rearrange my thought process, but if my three year old can be taught that throwing clothes down the stairs is very counter productive, I suppose I can learn something new, too. (It's so hard, though, and I have this creeping feeling that it would be easier to pound my hands and feet on the floor, prostrate and scream "Nooooo! I can't do it! I can't I can't I caaaaaaaaan't!"

* Pictured: Pipsqueak at 22 months. Like how her dress matches my blog background? That was planned - I'm just that organized.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Wizard of Oz

After watching a tv interview with reknown surgeon, Dr. Oz, Rex and I are attempting to eat better. This means sticking with wholesome foods such as raw almonds, spinach, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil and salmon. It means avoiding meats that come from four legged animals, hydrogenated oils, enriched flours and sugar. It means listening to your body tell you what it needs.

Yesterday I listened to myself and ate a steak and a bag of Mother's Pink and White Animal Cookies.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Stinker Belle

My Stink and belle have been really good the past few days – so helpful given that Rex is out of town. (Of course, now they're throwing tuna, but I'm going to make them clean it up, giving me an additional 5 minutes on the computer. I’m banking on my Yankee Candle Vanilla out scenting the Kirkland Low Sodium Fishy smell. But I wouldn’t put money down.)

I’m elated that 7 Tinkerbelle bags sold with additional interest about extras. Unfortunately, no one is biting on the Spongebob totes. I think they’re darling. A good friend of mine claims that they’re scary, however, and no kid of hers will be “toting that bag around.” Odd how different people see things so uniquely. I find them funky and hip and not at all threatening. Then again, I find Dora’s freakishly large head more terrifying than the national budget. It’s all relevant.

I won’t be posting later this evening as my presence is required to collect my bad parenting award. My prize: First Place Slacker for Ditching Preschool and Taking the Rugrats to a Malibu Play Park Instead. I couldn’t help myself. The weather was so balmy. And with the responsible Rex gone, even the good angel on my shoulder was taking off her wings and putting on her g-string bikini.

We had a fabulous time with our friend’s kids on the swings, the monkey bars and eating icecream. Afterwards, we perused the shops that line the sand lot. It’s always a kick to check out the price tags. "Oooh... 800.00 silver stilettos that look like Robotic hooker gear... I HAVE to have those to clean my toilets!" It's a complete different world from the Valley where it’s more Warhol than Walmart and half the men look prettier than the women. (Ironically, I live with a robotic male who looks prettier than I do most days, but he's truly an enigma. Like a Cadbury egg, he's a J-Crew model on the outside, geeky tech on the inside. And like those chocolate eggs, too much in one sitting can make me a bit queasy... so it's good for us to have our little work induced breaks.)

On that note, I just saw an Oprah where Dr. Robin discussed her marriage that ended at age 28. Another guest was Lance Armstrong's ex-wife. The third was a 32 year old professional with cold feet about her upcoming 60,000 dollar wedding. The theme: Women lose themselves in marriage. (Sidenote: Of course marriage talk is a serious subject, but what I was really hoping Oprah would ask Lance's wife was "How was the sex after he lost his testicles?" Is that just totally rude and low of me? Am I an insensitive freak? Just wondering. No offense to any one-nut male readers out there.)

The ladies spoke about how wives are conditioned to please others to the point where their shopping list reflects their husband's shaving cream, their kids’ diapers, their mother's hairspray, their neighbor's dog food, but not their personal needs. Oprah claimed that she didn't get married for that reason.

At first I got dramatically sad. My head began spinning more than usual as I panicked,"Oh my God.. I totally take care of my family. I have no time to write anymore. I'm not that funky redhead who goes to Santa Monica for eyebrow waxes! I lost all my fabulous gay friends who would take me on whims to Santa Barbara in Ann Margaret’s Buick Regal. (Actually, that was my ex-boyfriend. Never mind that one.)

Have I become a mere shadow dancer while my husband is the power player?" Then I calmed down and rationally thought: "Hey, someone's gotta raise these kids while someone makes the money. So I'm not getting the 200.00 haircuts. I still have time to myself here and there. Why? Because I frigging demand it, that's why. I’d rather step out than be a stepford wife."

It was a big epiphany for me - this thing that so many women don't fight for their needs due to putting on this perfect wife and mother front. And the enlightenment came not because I put up a perfect front, but because I don't. I never had the energy to not be truthful to Rex. If I think he's acting like an ass, I tell him. If he thinks I'm being an irresponsible financial mess, he tells me. It's not always pretty - it's downright depressing sometimes - but on those lazy Sundays where he's firing up the bbq... kids running around the backyard in their birthday suits... a nice beer in our hands... and he looks at me and says, "I really do love you".. I have the good fortune to not doubt it for a second. Turns out are relationship, despite our differences, is super healthy.

Who'd a thunk?

Now it’s back to my to-do list. Looks like I need to pick up Rex’s dry-cleaning, go food shopping, pay for some kids’ clothes with my E-bay earnings and figure out when I’ll get time to get my beauty sleep in between cooking and cleaning. I’m barefoot and making dinner, but I’m not pregnant. I’ve still got my toes (unpedicured and dry as as they are) in that independent woman well!

Hey - just got 10 bids on the spongebob bags. If I keep this up I'll be born to ride! (The bus... I'm only selling them for 2.25/each. Still, that times 1 million and I'm riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiich!)

Monday, May 08, 2006


I adore Ebay. You never know when you're going to come home from a playdate and find that someone in Wisconscin bid fifty cents for your Tiajuana monkey lawn ornament.

I have also learned so much about the human psyche. A brand new non-name brand leather bag might get zero bids. But a plastic 25 cent tote with a slapped on Disney logo? That can go for five bucks. Our society is so obsessed with name brands that we don't even know who we are without our steamy cup of Starbucks, our Nike shoes and our Cingular cell phones. Consumerism is so out of control and dehumanzing and so... brilliant. How else is this little housewife gonna make some ducets? (Until my queries land me something... I'm still working on that.)

High on my Starbucks, and entreprenuerial spirit, this weekend I hit my favorite 98cent store and slapped down 100.00 on some kids totes, hoping to double or triple my profit. Any irritation I had over the Indian cashier recounting my bags right after I tallied them in front of him were over shadowed by Disney style glee. Turns out that not an hour after posting someone bid on 7 of my Tinkerbell bags. (See above... they really are cute.)

While these green girls will most likely will get used as party favors for some little princess's birthday party, I love the idea that seven queens are using these little fairies for make-up. Or electric razors.

The ten dollars I'll make off of shipping and price doubling? Nice. The value I'll get from the buyer's backgrounds that I concoct? (Or in this case, con-cock?) Priceless.

Trading Places

Now that preschool is almost over for the year, I'm considering starting up a six week trade with 3 other mamas of two kids each. It would go like this: Two moms take 6 kids for two weeks - two times/week while third mom gets exciting day off to grocery shop, go to cleaners and enjoy relaxing gynecological procedures without screaming, "I don't care that it can grab your sister's boogers... A speculum is NOT a toy!" . That means for every 4 weeks "worked" moms get two weeks off. Sounds reasonable, right?

Here's the positive:

* Moms get to talk to people that don't grunt, wobble or deficate on themselves
* Kids get to socialize and get germs over other kids toys
* This village style kids raising builds community and links that kids can take with them for the rest of their lives and utilize to become doctors, lawyers, President of the United States, or freelance party planners slash kettle korn kiosk owners.

Here's the negative:

* One mom can't do it one week due to sick kids, so the perfect schedule is thrown off
* One kid is more difficult than the other 5 kids, leading to all sorts of complaints from other moms: Tommy's Mom: "We should get one and a half hours for every hour we watch Johnny." Johnny's Mom: "My son is just spirited." Tommy's Mom: "Your son put my son's head in a lawnmower." Johnny's Mom: "Perhaps he was subconsciously telling you to mow your lawn." Tommy's Mom: "Well excuse me for not marrying into money and having a gardner. At least I love my husband for who he is, not his wallet." Johnny's Mom: "Good, because I certainly couldn't love a fat, anti-social bastard. (beat) Pass the Evian!"

Just not sure.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Other Tom

Today we made the trek to Fillmore for the once a year Thomas the Train Fiesta (with Grandma Stella riding in the main coach). Unlike the famous Scientologist, Tom, this train didn't care that we made a bunch a of noise. Longer post later, but for now let's just say that we rode trains, ate icecream, walked through mazes of hay, jumped in jumpers, played with model engines, and even particpated in a parade. Highlites pictured above.

PS: After a big steam whistle start, the train got very quiet. Then I noticed a huge passifyer sticking out of its caboose. Perhaps I was too quick to point out differences between the two power houses.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Kids Say The Darndest Things...

...Usually because they repeat whatever they hear from us.

Top 10 Things My Kids have said lately

Code Key

*** = not one of my prouder moments.

((( = "Excuse me while I wash my mouth out with soap"

+++ =Something I taught them to say for my own benefit.

1. Me to Stink (as I rub cream on his dry back): "Your skin is so happy to have this baby lotion." Stink: "That's not baby lotion - it's BIIIIIG boy lotion."

2. Pip dropping her bottle on her foot. "Jezzzis Crys!" *** (((

(She had just heard me say that when I dropped a coffee cup on my foot. Luckily she hasn't repeated it since. I'm so going to hell. Or going to have to take the kids out of Catholic preschool.)

3. Me: "Oooh, I made a mistake" Nick: "No, you're perfect." Me: "Oh stop." Stink: "It's true!" +++

4. Stink, first thing in the morning, after he shows up in my office with a stolen lollypop from the cookie jar. Stink: "Can I have this? (Hopeful grin) Of course I can?" How could I say no?

5. Pip, after excitedly seeing Rex home from work. Pip: "Paaaapa! Bottle! Milk in der! On couch!" So sweet that Papa is instant comfort.

6. Stink, as we say goodnight "Te Amo, Mommy. Bunas Noches! Uno mas? Uno mas?" (Love you Mommy / Good night / One more? One more? ) Meaning - one more word? Me: "Are you just wanting to learn a new word to stay up later?" Stink: "Yes, mommy!" At least he tells the verdad.

7. Stink, re: the difference between boys and girls. "I have a peanut. Pipsqueak has a boogina"

8. Pip: "I waaaaant dat, Mama!" (On one hand I find the constant demands irritating, but on the other, I am so proud of her for using sentences rather than pushing, shoving and throwing herself on the floor in the freezer aisle"

9. Pip, grabbing my drink from my hand, "Give it baaaaack, Mommy"

10. Me to Stink. Me: "You're the best!" Stink: "You're the best , too, Mommy! And Pip's the best!" Pip: "I the best! I the best!"

And finally, to complete the list, let me say that I love these kids so much I can't... Stink, finish it for me... Stink: "You can't stand it." Then, as he always adds, "You can stand it, Mommy. You caaaan stand it."

Sometimes, after a long day, I really can't stand.


Then again, my vertical challenge is how I ended up with Pip and Stink.

Lack of Period.

It's all very circular.

* Pictured: Pipsqueak last week, screaming "Surprise!" over and over.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Good Grandmas

I don't get moms who have issues with grandmas. I've heard everything from, "I don't like the way she baby talks my child" to "Can you believe she gave my toddler fruit snacks? Corn syrup is the devil!" My favorite, "She tells my daughter 'good girl.' My daughter is good because she's human... I only want her saying 'you do good things' but not refer to her spirit."

And I thought my kids' diapers had a lot of shit in them.

Now I know I'm gonna get internet slapped for this one, but while moms these days are entitled to bitch about being exhausted and sometimes depressed, then they have no right to complain if they have some old lady relatives willing to help out.

Maybe I'm too slack. I wasn't the type that interviewed pediatricians. I don't care if my kid goes to school Tuesday and Thursdays or Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I'm happy with the grey city paint of an HMO reception office as opposed to a faux painted waiting room littered with chic parenting magazines. I don't freak out if Stink wears his shoes on opposite feet or if Pipsqueak puts a barette on backwards. I treat my kids with respect on a daily basis. If someone wants to compliment them by telling them how good they are, so be it. (I draw the line at "you bad bad dwarf")

And most of all, I certainly don't care if my mom wants to let my kid "nap" at her house (translation: watch tv, eat cookies and read 10 books in her bed) while I get a much needed break (so I'm not the depressed, exhausted mom mentioned above).

Mom, Rex's mom, or Stel: if you're reading this, thanks for spoiling my kids rotten. You're good women. (And I do mean "good" in terms of spirit. I hope I'm not going to send you screaming into therapy. Now turn off this blog, eat cookies and go back to your t.v. coma.)

* Pictured: Stink, wide awake after his long snooze in grandmas bed. Ha!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Tube Ties

Top 10 Tubal issues I've dealt with since having kids:

1. The toothpaste tube... or shall I say.. the sticky goo all over the counter (and sometimes the bed).

2. The tube shaped slides at the park (Stink seen above - he couldn't be more elated if he fell into a vat of Scooby Snacks)

3. The vaginal tube (yes, that's right, I just used the word vaginal). I don't know about you moms, but for my kids, they had no issues with fetal claustrophobia. They were like "oooh.. it's tight, cramped, I can't breathe and I might just poop on myself... Coooooool.. I'll just chill right here, because some lady out there doesn't sound so happy"

4. One word: macaroni

5. Tires, wheels... anything round that can be pumped with air - my kids love it.

6. Can we say, "Vasectomy for 500?"

7. More Mac lipsticks have been destroyed thanks to Stink than animals have been tested on (Yes, I know Mac doesn't test on animals... just go with the literary simile, even if it's a bad one)

8. America's famous babysitter: the boob tube

9. Toilet paper rolls - lots of 'em - often times stuck on toothpaste which was just released from the tube all over my counter (refer to example 1)

10. McDonald hamster trails - plastic tunnels, spit, vomit and greasy hands. Code name for kids: Paradise

Reading over my blogs, I either have a good sense of humor when it comes to letting kids be kids, or I'm just a delinquent watcher.

Is it just me, or does it seem like no matter how much you pay attention, they will just do what they want to do? Like the day Stink was at my mom's and walked into her room with a net and some flipping goldfish from her tank, exclaiming "Grandma, I go fishing!"

Humorous stories welcome - Preferably related to tubes to keep the theme - but I'll stop being a control freak in the hopes for a good laugh.