Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thank you MN and Liv

My RSS feed is working. So NOW... for the last time... come visit me.

Please let me know if it's not working.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I'm Moving!

Please travel over here and change your address for me! I'm finally moved in. See you soon!


Sunday, October 05, 2008

It Weeble Woobles...

...and it does fall down.

If you don't get the above reference you are younger than I am and I officially hate you.

So far my new site's platform (http://www.lifehappins.com/) is more confused than Lindsay Lohan's sexuality. It is not showing comments, RSS feeds, my original posts and, like a hemorrhoid, being an overall pain in the arse.

However, Super Rex just flew in to save the day. Not only did he hand me a Diet Coke, but he informed me that the Evil Computer Devil did not infiltrate my new web page, but instead the Dorky Mama Tech set up her portion of Life Happins as a web page, not a blog, hence the inability to leave comments.

Since I'm back in the internet force field and don't feel like going into hiding again while I fix this temporary glitch, think of Blogspot here as a temporary apartment until the mansion is updated.

In closing, I took all day off of the computer on Saturday. I actually cleaned out my office and started organizing some videos. The nesting! The connection to family again! The vision of a few family nights with our new Disney collection of tapes, courtesy of a neighbor - all of them neatly tucked in dresser drawers.

Then the VCR broke. Then we ran out of milk. Then this morning I slept through my alarm and missed church. Now I'm cranky, Rex is watching the history of pirating, and my kids busy cutting out Halloween costumes from ads while intermittently streaking in and out of my office with little pieces of scrap paper, interrupting my ability to think sanely and calmly, so instead I've resorted to screaming, "If you don't leave this office I'm throwing out the magazines of costumes (which NO I WILL NOT BE BUYING YOU YOU"LL GET A HOMEMADE HALLOWEEN COSTUME AND LOVE IT) and you'll spend the next hour cleaning your room while I sit for TEN MINUTES IN PEACE HOLY BUCKETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (then) Love you! Smooch smooch! Now scat!"

A peaceful Sunday. It was nice while it lasted.

* Photo of my office in progress. I can breathe! There's stuff in drawers! I have furniture to hide my thrift store addiction... um... smart purchases! I also have wires to kill small toddlers and dogs. But I'm working on it, along with a paint job, a new rug and some wrap around office furniture that Rex will build in between working, potentially going to grad school and fixing all other house projects like kitchens that look like Martha Stewart went bi-polar on me. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 03, 2008

I'm Moving In With A Woman

Oh relax. The woman I'm moving in with is my sister-in-law at a new website.

Karin is a lot like Rex, only she talks more and is much shorter, blonder and funnier. She's also able to drive past a Fry's Electronic's without shaking more than Robert Downey Jr. after a bender.

I have missed all of you over the past few months and look forward to catching up. After all, Life Happins.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Taking A Break From Blogging to Cool Off

After 3 years blogging in this space, I need a small break to work some issues out. Some of them include, but aren't limited to:

* My friggin' ads. Why just public service ads? And what do I really feel about ads on my site? Will I lose credibility? Am I a sell out or, like any artist with patrons, do I not deserve some income for my work?

* Is it work to write here? Not to me. It's always been a joy, which leads me back to question #1 again and begs the next question...

* What credibility do I have? I mean, what is this site about anymore anyway? Slice of life? Mommyhood? Being positive?

* Perhaps most importantly, will anyone's life be ruined if I'm not throwing my opinion into cyberspace each day? Doubtful.

I write all this not to be negative, but because I really do want to make a difference to people with my writing, even if it's just silly entertainment.

I feel good about my paid gigs, because those have focus: Parenting or marriage. But most important to me is my personal work. What is that focus?

Perhaps, in the end, there doesn't need to be one. Maybe the odd little nuances of my life are what pull my readers in. Or perhaps what sends them away, clasping at their chests,"Thank God I'm not saddled with a husband, two kids and a house in the burbs." I don't know.

I love my little space here. When my kids were only 1 and two and a half, it was truly my only connection to my writing life. When parenting seemed bleak and dark, with not a lot of extras to treat myself to, a kind comment from you made all the difference.

When Rex and I were going through a stressful period, I was able to turn to this site for insight on who I was outside of marriage. And while I certainly didn't share everything going on in my life (I shouldn't have to - no one should) I was able to let off some steam while I came to the peaceful place that I'm at now in my professional life, mothering life and marriage.

I hope you'll come back in September. But be aware: It will have a new look and some new vavoom once again. I'd like to think of it as going on a small cruise. Without the cheesey pitstops. Nor the bad lounge singers encouraging it to play shuffle board on the lido deck.

I'll be checking into everyone else's posts and most likely emailing many of you with technical questions as I work on a new look for PasstheZoloft as well as an organic type blog I'm doing in conjunction with someone else.

Finally, I recently taught an online magazine writing class that went really well. If any of you know people interested in taking an online class where people can log in at their own pace and learn how to pitch editors, send them my way. I'm charging 100.00 for 4 weeks. My last class landed someone correspondence with an editor in two weeks. I'm proud of that.

Anyway, thank you everyone! Talk at ya in September.

* Photo of the adorable dog we were housesitting for this weekend. I almost named this post "A Slippery Wiener" but I didn't want to go out like that.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm Not As Think As You Drunk I Am

So after the last post on drinking, I decided myself that I'm not partaking nightly. From calories to making me tired in the morning, I simply don't need alcohol every night. I appreciate everyone's opinion on the subject, though. And rest assured, if we ever did some blog girls weekend, you'll see me enjoying my Rum Diet Cokes.

On another note, my camera batteries are MIA, so I can't show you this photo of a wiiner dog I took care of this weekend. Aptly named Chuey, he munched on my son's Lightening McQueen shoes, stole 3 chicken legs, and dove into the pool to save Stink from his mean mama tossing him in the air. This dog was both annoying and friggin' lovable all at once. (Kind of like me.) I'm sad my neighbor is back, because it was fun hanging at her pool and seeing the kids interact with this hound.

Speaking of dogs, I seem to have picked up a weird dog allergy late in life. My throat gets all stuffy fluffy. Neither here nor there, but I'm kind of bummed, because my best friends have the sweetest dogs on the planet, and while I can hang out there with them, I am going to have to detox them from my place for a while. I feel guilty, because my kids go to their house. And for some people, dogs are like kids. I mean, if you think about it, they both jump on furniture, pee in inappropriate places, eat with their mouths open and don't come when you call them.

On a sad note, a colleague of mine's son just died a few days ago. I just saw her speak at a panel at Blogher about kids with special needs. I don't know the whole story. But that combined with a woman from church who just passed away from cancer, leaving three young kids behind, makes me grateful for the life I do have.

I am meeting His Girl tommorow. I told her that if she wants to get Jesus freaky on me that's fine. But if she does hands on healing and spills my Diet Coke I'm going to kick her God loving booty out of the restaurant.

Happy Monday everyone.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Tall Drink of Water

If I were a cartoon character, I'd be the Bumble from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Sadly, like this rather large dude, I don't enjoy shaving. My temper is like his in that I get all spit fiery and pissy kind of easily, even if I don't always show it. The good side of being a Bumble is that I'm not afraid of falling because I bounce right back. And I'm tall. Really tall. The person putting the star on the tree at your party? That would be me. I've also been known on occasion to scare small children and dogs.

Someone once called me a "Tall drink of water". I find it rather ironic, because while I am indeed lengthier than a cash register line at a Nordstroms Half Yearly Anniversary sale, I don't drink water. I do bad things very well, though despite constant protests of giving it up. Diet Coke and coffee? Oh yeah. Stained teeth and coffee breath. Goes nicely with the Bumble Hair I so hate to shave.

Lately, at night, I've added a new spin to my Diet Coke addiction. And it's none other than R-U-M.

I blame Blogher.

And my husband who, the other night, insisted I was wound tighter than Princess Leah's braided hair buns (God, weren't those so rad back in the 70's?) Why waste a half glass of bubbly when two would do the trick?

And there's the dilemna. See, despite being HUGE, I'm a teeny weeny alcohol light weight. Which means I'm supine on the couch 25% into my booze. Which means by 50% in I'm half naked and giggling. Which means 75% in I'm all the way naked. Which means 100% in Rex is... 100% in.

And while that's not bad (shut up, all 2 of you male readers) I worry... because that's what I do... I have anxiety attacks about everything... even having fun... is drinking every night - say even one glass - a bad habit? Do ya'll do it? Because I have to tell you - this laughing at dumb stuff and things you can't control? It doesn't suck.

* Photo of Stink and I on the last flight out of San Fran five years ago when the L.A. fires hit. I didn't know it then, but Pip was inside of me, planning her future shoe empire. Do you see how I can crash out even in planes with ginormous nine monthers on me? (Yes, he was only 9 months.) Do you see why I am such a sloppy drunk? Help! Do you drink nightly or not?

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Blogher - Loved It!

I'm back from Blogher. As so many people have said before me, it was an amazing time! Not only was the hotel to die for, but the conferences were informative, there was great swag, amazing food and just so many people to talk to. Combine this with a rockin' city and some extra cash in my pocket for drinks, treats, a new bra, a pedicure and some well needed freedom, I can't complain about a thing.

Well... except for having to throw out $75.00 of face soap on my trip home because I was a dork face and didn't pack correctly.

And the fact that I only had a one day pass to the conference instead of 3 and wasn't invited to any swanky parties where I could kanoodle with Heather Armstrong of Dooce fame.

And the fact that when I did finally see Heather of Dooce fame speak, I was sitting so far back that her head looked like the vintage angel at the top of my Christmas tree after many, many eggnogs. But it was still awesome. I loved what she and many others had to say about the business side of writing.

A big thanks goes out to my husband who not only slipped me surprise cash before I left, but took amazing care of my rug rats. When he picked me up at the airport, he had a huge Diet Coke waiting for me, took me to lunch, and let me sleep for 4 hours. Yeah, I'm bragging. But I can't help it. (Well, I can, but I'm not.) It was super of him.

Now that Monday has settled in, I'm back to the routine of life. I'm also a bit worried since my poor boy is sick for the fourth time this summer. Not a high fever, thank God, but a sore throat none-the-less. Any of you experience this with your kids? He went from immunizations last month to an infected arm, pink eye, strep throat and now this. I'm just tired of him getting ill and am hoping that this is a normal thing for 5 year olds?

The photo above is of myself with Liv (yes, she really is hot in person) Christine from Flutter (equally hot) and my fabulous roomie, JCK from Motherscribe (equally hot.) This "equally hot" thing means nothing as have maybe 2 male readers, but I'm letting you know anyway because they really were such fabulous gals.

A big thanks to my cousin who picked me up in San Jose a few days before and took great care of me. Love you, Dee and Jim!

How was your weekend?
More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All She Wants for Her 4th Birthday Is...

...An Aqua Globe. Perhaps you've seen the infomercials? They're little blown glass devices that promise to water your plants PERFECTLY for you FOR TWO WEEKS. No messes! It's that easy!

I had no idea Pipsqueak knew about those, but as evidenced by this video, she has. She asked me why I wasn't buying her one. What I didn't say, but would have loved to, is, "When I can buy a Toddler Globe which consists of a little plastic device I can pop in your ass that will FEED YOU for TWO WEEKS! with NO MESSES! I'll consider it."

Until then, she's getting a princess like the rest of the girls out there. Hey, someone's got to clothe those execs at Disney.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

It's Almost Hump Day!

I've read a great book recently by Kimberly Ford called Hump: True Tales of Sex After Kids. Ford talks about embracing her sexuality after her babies are born, not hiding from it. It's funny, witty and such a nice twist on the post baby books where women rant about never wanting sex again. As a person who falls in the middle of both categories, I found it really inspiring and validating all at once. Curious what you think.

I have a review out on GoodHousekeeping tomorrow if anyone's interested in hearing more about it. Or just buy it! You won't be disappointed.

Until then, my true puritanical self (see blog below - LOL) is off pack for a trip, plan a family party for Pip and go grocery shopping. It's an exciting life at best. I hope I don't fling my sports bra into the natural foods freezer section. I'll let you know.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Infuriating the Masses

I'm not talking about the Catholic Church. I'm talking about the male readership at Yahoo Shine - a site mostly meant for women, but men troll it to find women.

What I find the most fascinating about this forum is not only how poorly people spell (and I'm no goddess at it as you know) but the level of anger if you dare question people's beliefs.

It's also interesting to note that:

1. People tend to only comment when they disagree with you.

2. One really obnoxious comment encourages twenty others

3. People throw way more insults at a computer screen than they will in real life. Perhaps they forget that the person who originally took the time to write it might actually check back in to learn something. Which I have. Which, in this case, is that men don't like to be challenged on the fact that women that take their clothes off on film are not necessarily doing it with a busines plan in mind.

Anyway, am curious about your thoughts on this subject. Please don't feel the need to support me, but do me a favor if you have time and articulate where I went wrong in posing my argument. If I came off like a religious right winged anti-gay sanitized Lemon Pledge woman, that wasn't really my intent. I simply wanted a discussion.

I got one.

To entice you, here is my favorite rant so far. I wish I had those little hater boxes like in Dooce. One day... this from a woman actually. My favorite part is when I'm addressed by my proper name. In addition to being painted as a staunch butch feminist, I am also matronly.

Anyway, take it easy. See some of you at Blogher? Email me seperately with your #s so we can chat! BabyCenterAndrea@yahoo.com

Let's get something straight right now: The women who "write" for this site are not feminists. They're just flighty airheads who think that having an OPINION with no RESEARCH or FACTS to back it up is reason enough to go into an online tizzy and throw their whining text into cyberspace. This site is a detriment to feminism; this blog post is an embarassment.

There are so many problems with this blog post it's impossible to list them all. What proof of ANY kind does Ms. Frazer have that ANY woman who shows skin in the media is doing it for male approval? Ms. Frazer has equated Miley Cyrus being wrapped in a blanket to pornography to eating an entire package of Oreo cookies. A young girl wrapped in a blanket IS IN NO WAY PORNOGRAPHIC. Being NUDE and SHOWING SKIN are not the same thing. When was Britany Spears photographed NUDE? Pornography is NOT natural sex and is NOT a "natural function." The urge to eat an entire package of cookies isn't natural either. How is Ms. Frazer's sex life related to these things?

But what's Ms. Frazer's REAL problem? Is it just that she can't write? Is she ashamed of sexuality? Is she angry/jealous of our youth obsessed culture, yet unable to analyze or discuss this issue intelligently without ranting? Was she unsuccessfully attempting to discuss sexism in the male-dominated media while simultaneously blaming women for embracing their own sexuality? Does she lack even a fundamental understanding of European culture, which long ago abandoned the Puritanical sexual ideals that people like her hold so dear? Is her love for her daughter conditional, based on her wardrobe choices or lack thereof?

This post is juvenile at best. Based on the blog posts I've read from "writers" on this site affiliated with Good Housekeeping, I now consider that rag among the cheapest of tabloids.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

White Trash Here I Come!

I have decided that although I would love a new kitchen, it's like giving up Diet Coke - simply not in the cards. (Yes, I'm back on the juice. I had a good month's run of water and ice tea. And then my body screamed, "Fxxx this shxx" and I had to oblidge it.)

* Sidenote: Do you think I'm somehow more classy by not actually spelling the cuss words? Because I really don't want to swear. But, like my new kitchen and giving up cancer inducing sodas, I just can't. Moving on.

My kitchen: I've had it with the chipped tile, old paint, stupid knick knacks, goo on the counters, old curtains and general "Make me want to kill myself while I'm cooking gluten free tastes like a homeless person's shoe insert food."

And so, I'm fixing it up! I'm painting doors white! I am taking down old curtains! My sister-in-law is making me curtains for above my window and below my sink. I'm even going to replace the burnt brown 1970's laminate over my stove. I can't decide between aqua blue with sparkles or boring vanilla. You'll never guess what I'm leaning toward.

Is my decorating tastes potentially a cross between the Pottery Barn, the Salvation Army and a brothel? Perhaps. But you know what? If I'm not spending 25 grand right now, I want to have something fun. For my time and about 250.00 in new accessories, laminate and a throw rug, I can have a fun 1950's style kitchen.

And, after K is done with my under the sink curtains (I'm thinking aqua with cherries or white with cherries) I might never want that new cooking space after all.

PS: Feel sorry for me. I have a yukky throat. But soon I'll be able to make it feel better with tea in my funky new kitchen. I'll toast a virtual cup to ya'll.

Looking forward to checking all your sites out soon.

* Photo of my little cans: Trash, recycling and wet rags. Sad that something so small like this just lifts my little heart up. And man, I need to paint pronto. I'm thinking of putting up stainless steel squares behind the trash cans, like they have in diners, for easy wipe down. I will have to check some restaurant supply sites. I love this stuff. And hey, suggestions are welcome. But not on the laminate. I want my aqua blue sparkles.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

You Keep Stink, I'll Keep Pip!!!!

Some of you wanted to know about our vacation. It was beautiful. And such a nice break. But most of all, it was so wonderful to reconnect with my family.

I'm sure a lot of you are like we are, running all over the map. It's easy to lose sight of what really matters. I mean, I know, but I don't always know. But after sharing a small cabin with these people, I can't think of any other human beings I'd be happier to share my home with.

Unless Eric Bana or Hugh Grant came to my door. Or a year's supply of Yuban. Then I'd sell Rex down the river.

I feel strong. And relaxed. And pumped full of gratitude.

I'm sure by tomorrow I'll want to bitch slap a checker, so don't get too washed away in my emotion with me. Stay strong in the jadedness, people. Stay strong.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

His Girl, I've Been A Bad Girl

So I have to chuckle. His Girl, upon reading a few of my Good Housekeeping blogs, and seeing my responses to some fairly unenlightened folks, basically joked, "You just like messing with people, don't you?"

Um, yeah. I don't take it too personally. And I leave all comments up, even the ones I don't agree with. The only ones I send to the abuse team is the random spam telling me they'd like to "Eat my cat..." if you catch my drift. (Sorry Patches @ The Litter Pan. Hope that didn't scare you.)

And the bad spelling from some of these commenters? Fine. I really believe everyone deserves a voice. And Lurd nos I make lots of puntuation arrors if you catch my drift.

But stuff like responses like this post about the boundaries wives need to set? Oh my God... I live for it. Hence the highlited stimulating conversation here. I wish I could make this stuff (and the use of capitalization) up:

Posted by cooldude 8 hours 1 minute ago


From Me:

Cooldude - Being in love, like anything, takes work. You just don't "stay in la-la land" forever. Life gets in the way. If you spoke to me like you write here, I'd not only tell you to go get a whore, I'd also encourage you to get a dictionary. You could study it while sleeping in your own bed.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Monday, June 16, 2008

So Long, Farewell...

I'm going on vacation! Yeah! I'm leaving on Monday for almost a full week. I will be without cell phone, computer, DVD player or telephone. That's elating, and terrifying, all at once.

This past week just about did me in, what with shopping, car cleaning, errands, end of school activities, shots for kindergarten, going away parties... on and on.

My poor Stink... I took him in on Thursday for his final immunizations. On Saturday I took him to get his TB shot marks tested (he's fine) but the nurse found his arm all swollen from his other shots.

I felt like the worst mom ever, because I hadn't really noticed it. I thought all arms swelled up like piping hot balloons after being stabbed by sharp needles..

I was doing okay with this change of plans until one doctor came in and looked at his puffy shoulder with dismay. Then he asked another doctor to come in for a second opinion.

Then they both went outside to "confer." All the blood in my body drained at that moment. I went to a deep, dark place that no mother should ever go to..

When the original doc came back in with news of a new shot of antibiotics for the infection, plus medicine, I burst into tears. "It's not something else, right? I mean, that's not why you called in the second doctor... because there's a reason he hasn't healed as quickly as he should have?"

He looked at me like I had just belched the Ave Maria and said, "If you want to think something dramatic, that's your call. But I'm telling you on the surface what it is: An infection."

I can only hope that my firecracker Pip becomes a doctor one day. I pray that she'll get that man as a patient. And when he jumps to conclusions because maybe, six months earlier, his wife had been diagnosed with something, and he doesn't take things for granted any more, and he's freaking out over some dick rash he got for sctupping a hooker, and thinks he's going to die a terrible death, Pip looks at him and gives him the same words back, "If you want to think something dramatic, that's your call. But I'm telling you on the surface what it is: an infection." .

And when he breathes a sigh of relief, I hope she'll add, "Sadly, we're all out of antibiotics. YOU'RE GONNA DIE." .

* Photo of one of my best friends, Topanga T, with Stink at the beach. She is getting married on Wednesday in Italy to the most darling 24 year old man on the planet. I've known her since I've been 4. That was 33 years ago. You do the math.

I'm so happy for her. She has always loved my kids like they were her own, and never once... not once... made me feel like I'm somehow contributing less to society because my priorities are more home based. She is a true sister who I adore. Everyone, please wish her good luck, pray, spit in water fountains... whatever it is you do to spread well wishes!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lets Hear it For the Boys!

So do you know that there are actually a few men who read all my chicky ramblings? Sadly (or perhaps fortunately) one of them is not Rex.

But some do dare to swim in this virtual pool of estrogen. I am going to list them here. Go on over and give 'em some love. Their blogs are great. And so... male. Fishing. Sports. Camping. Books about war. Pheasants. Miniature gaming pieces. Single dad musings.

You men kill me. But I love ya. I give you, with warnings in ( ):

1. Em (Sweet daddy and hubby... ahhhh... If you're fighting with your spouse, read him for inspiration. Or not if it'll make you more mad.)

2. McShowoff (Lots of balls here. That's all I'm sayin'.)

3. Troyboy (Puns galore. Lots of lists. Some radical opinions on rambunctious kids at Dairy Queens and prisoners on Death Row.)

4. Travis Erwin (Super smart. Will make you feel bad for being a lazy ass if you don't read.)

5. Long Island Wargammer (Miniature war pieces and Jesus are his favorite men. Don't get him started if you don't want to listen.)

6. Baldo Daddy (Single dad with music knowledge rivaling Troyboy. I see an internet game of chicken here.)

*** 7. Brad Paisley (Really funny music.)

I hope you find some of these links amusing. If you have a penis, and I forgot you, please let me know.

Photo above of my new pets. Aren't they cute? They don't have papers, but they don't chew the furniture, so I'll keep them.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

*** Brad Paisley doesn't really read my blog. But I still love him.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Do You Talk To Strangers?

I really want to know, because I talk to everyone. All the time. I can't help it. It's probably why I like blogging. It's, as I wrote someone else today, like virtual people watching.

Yesterday, for example, I struck up a conversation with Ninny - the same lady who has been handing me my husband's drycleaning for the past two years. She mentioned something about being married for 50 years. So I asked about how she liked it.

A simple question that some might just answer, "Oh, fine..." But I got instead the following points:

* Her husband has been "in heaven" for nine years.
* She liked being married okay. Good points, bad points. "Asian marriages aren't the most passionate. We're kind of luke warm. It's why it lasts." (Is this true? Any Asian readers out there? Because that kind of goes against what I hear from my guy friends about "hot Asian chicks". Perspective, I guess.)
* She sometimes desires male companionship, but she really digs being able to watch Jeopardy whenever she darn well feels like it
* She owned a drive thru market - several of them - when she first came to L.A. in the 70's. "And did you know gas was only 14cents?" She sold fuel at some of the more successful ones.
* Sex is okay, but stability is more important.
* It costs too much to drive, but with kids, sometimes it's important to say the heck with it and go some place. Time goes by fast.

People, I got all this in 5 minutes. It's amazing. And the more I spoke to her, the more I saw how really beautiful she was. I mean, not that she wasn't pretty before, but it's easy to overlook people's traits in the rush of checking off the to-do list.

If I know one thing, it's that humans like to share. And be connected. Perhaps it's why I blog, to answer an earliar question.

Do you chat with strangers? If not, why?

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Morals in Aspargus

Every night we say prayers, followed by stories. It's customary to include people we know and events we've attended. Sometimes there's a moral. Often times they are silly. Tonight was no different.

Me: "One day Mommy and Papa and Scooby and Shaggy...

Pip: "And Dora and Boots..."

Stink: "And everyone we ever met in our whole life.."
Me: "...Went to the 99Cents Store. Mommy boughts a red balloon, Stink bought a blue one, Pip bought a pink one and Papa bought a green one. Scooby wanted one shaped like a Scooby snack, but they didn't have any. So he howled and howled."

Giggle giggle from said rug rats as they snicker at my lame attempts at whining like a sad canine. Continuing:

Me: "Shaggy tried to tell him what Mommy tells you guys about not getting what you want. 'You get what you get...' .

Stink: "And you don't get upset."

Me: "Right. Finally Scooby agreed that any balloon was better than no balloon, so he chose a helium one shaped like an asparagus."

Giggle giggle.

Me: "And as he was walking down the street, everyone said, 'Hey, Scoob, cool asparagus balloon! In fact, he got so many compliments, he went back and bought the rest of the asapargus balloons from the store."

Stink: "Yeah! And it cost him Twenty Seventy dollars!"

Me: "Uh-huh. And this time, when he walked out of the store, he was overcome by so much helium that he flew high into the sky. And when they got popped by a bird, he landed on top of none other than a SCOOBY SNACK FACTORY!"

Pip: "And he ate a million zillion Scooby Snacks?"

Me: "You got it! And he was so happy. Because while he didn't end up with a Scooby Snack balloon, he got the real deal, which was waaaay better than he could have anticipated. And that just shows that sometimes what you think is a mistake, and something you really never considered, turns out to be the best thing that could have ever happened."

Given that's what transpired when Stink was only nine months old and I got pregnant with Pip, the moral of that particular store rang very sweet in my ears..

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Why Do You Blog? Blogher Conference!

I have been meaning to ask you all this for some time now: Why do you blog? Or, if you don't blog, why do you read them? Feel free to come out of hiding if you've never commented here before. I promise not to stalk you. Not even if you come to...

Blogher. I'll be there July 18 - July 20. At this point, I'm only attending the July 19 conference. I'm not really into the rah-rah scene, so I'm scared that three days of women jabbering about writing might send me into a coma.

Will you email me if you're going? BabyCenterAndrea@Yahoo.com
Lorelle talks about blogging here.

Meanwhile, why do I blog? A few reasons:

1. It's a fun record of silly events that make my life worthwhile
2. I have met incredible people with similar outlooks on life
3. I have met incredible people with diverse outlooks on life
4. I have helped educate people about things near and dear to my heart
5. It polishes my voice

What do I fear about blogging?

1. That no one really cares about my silly life, and why should they?
2. That one day my kids will be angry at me for writing about them
3. That I don't really say what I want to say, so I'm trivializing my existence and not showing the real me

What do I hope to do more from blogging?

1. I'd like to make some money off my own blog, not just writing for other corporations (Though THANK YOU, Big Corporations, for letting me write for you! I can't believe you haven't fired me yet! Wait... that sounds weird. Back to my original question...)

WHY DO YOU DO THIS? WHY DO YOU READ THIS? Are we all really as narcissitic as critics of blogs seem to think? (Just Google my question - you'll see lots of real "journalists" who think we're pretty lame.)

In closing, my goal is to not hurt someone's feelings with my internet writing. If there was a code of conduct to sign, I'd sign it. Once was enough and I still feel bad about it, inadvertant or not.

So that's it. Who are you? Why do you blog or read?

Did you have a good weekend? Did you bake? Did you have lots of sex? Did you sleep? Did you go to church, temple or a nudist colony? What is up? (If you were at a nudist colony, don't answer that last question.)

* Photo of my silly little Pip. Why? Because I friggin' ADORE her and it's my own little narcissitic blog, so there.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Coming out of My Shell

Did ya'll know that summer is almost here? This means bathing suits, beer and hopefully some random trips to places without clocks, cell phones and alarms.

Along those lines, I managed to carve out some magical moments with my family this week. Sad that I have to "make time" for it, but as a high energy, goal oriented person, I consciously must say, "Hey, what's the rush? The kids are only young once."

One of our unexpected jaunts was to a local outdoor mall after school today. Unextraordinary was the chain restaurants and Disneyfied ponds with supersized coy fish bigger than the average patron's collagen injected lips.

Extraordinary was Stink finding a random turtle wandering near some construction under an oak tree. We scooped it up, gingerly placed it in the pond, and laughed as it "Found its way back to his mommy!"

Despite days of wondering if I'm really cut out to shape the lives of two little human beings, I'm honored at how many of my childrens' stories
include happy little rugrats and their fearless mommies.

A few nights back, as I stroked my little man's moppy blond curls, I once again told him how much I loved him. "I love you so much, I can't..."

Stink: "You can't stand it!"

Me: "It's true. I can't. Do I tell you that too much?"

Stink: "It's okay. You can tell me that all the time!"

Me: "Even when you're older?"

Stink: "Even when I'm huuuuge. Like...8."

Me: "And what about when you're 11? Even then?"

Stink: "Uh-huh."

Me: "And you won't care if I say it around your friends at school?"

Stink: (pause) "Mommy, let's not do that."

And that answer, my friends, is precisely why I'm taking the time to relocate the lost turtles while I can.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Caffeine Withdrawl/Civilization Withdrawl

Here is an article about a remote Brazilian tribe recently discovered. Face painted and ready to fight, these indigenous people are aiming at the planes with their weapons to ward off evil. Or perhaps nosiness. Kind of like George Clooney with the paparazzi.

I feel this weird fascination and repulsion by this discovery, as reported by the BBC. On one hand, how intriguing it is to know that people actually do exist without cell phones! And computers! And supermarkets!

At the same time, how annoying that they are being disturbed.

Regarding my Diet Coke abstinence, I can only emphathize with the dude in red, shaking his stick at the shiny metal object above him. "You are a threat. You are mean. You are ruining my peace. Go away!"

On civilization notes, it leads me to wonder what would happen if Rex ever gave up his love for the computer game, Civilization? How would he ever express his emotions?

And on withdrawl notes, which also refer to Rex, what if he had practiced that method with our love life. How would we ever have our beautiful children? How would he ever express his emotions?

Life is complicated. Perhaps that poor tribe is better off in isolation. Ignorance is bliss, right?

Take it easy and happy weekend!

* Picture from the BBC link above

5 days without Diet Coke. But I still drink 4 cups of coffee/day. Baby steps.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Giving up the coke, man

So, for the millionth time, I am attempting to give up Diet Coke. In the process of going through withdrawls, I've lost my purse (just found it), forgot my jewelry, crashed each night by 10 but have woken up at 2am only to lie in bed for two hours straight.

I'm thinking I'm a bit addicted.

And that's just dumb.

How are you all? Giving anything up these days in efforts to get healthy?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

At a Loss for Words

Since I've had kids, I've lost cell phones more times than Oprah's lost weight. In fact, Oprah has been way more successful than I've been.

Once it fell off the top of the car on the freeway.

Once I dropped it in a toilet at a San Francisco airport.

Once I washed it.

Once I dried it.

Sadly, the last two fates are more than I do with my hair most days.

Being the computer stud that he is, Rex has always been able to replace them via Ebay. Sometimes the ringers don't work. Sometimes they won't take messages. Other times they sound like the inside of the Staten Island Ferry at rush hour. (Not that I've ever been inside the Staten Island Ferry, but I can only imagine noise, seasickness, and my crappy cell phone coverage as one horrible combination.)

I was pretty proud of a two month, no injury record. Until yesterday when my lucky streak ended. I couldn't find my phone. Bad.

But I called the market, and they said one was turned in at the exact time I lost it! Yeah!

So I figured I'd do dishes before the grand cell phone reunion so when Rex came home for his big reunion with the family it didn't smell like a Tuscon truck stop.

I turned on the disposal - recently fixed - and hear a clunk clunk cluuuuuunk.

Can you guess what was in there? I'll give you three guesses. If you get it right - you win a mangled cell phone!

PS: Thank you all for your well wishes on the Terminator gig. I have heard nothing. NOTHING. I really didn't expect to. This is about the 10th time location managers have photographed our home, and then they never call. My poor house - it's going to be so rejected once again. (Hey, maybe that's why the disposal ate my cell phone.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Studying for my mid Term...inator

True email written to Rex today, right before the kids and I crashed out for a late nap.

" Hi babe. A location scout from The Terminator just came by and took pictures of the house. They are interested in using us for filming. It would be a six month gig – Sarah and her son’s new home. It would pay (insert ridiculous amount where we'll probably sign our lives away but if we could actually replace the laminate from the photo, and maybe our 1974 toilets, it'd be worth it.)

They like our casa because it is “very Americana” and “non-descript.” “Clean” but a place where “terminators could hide in peace.”

We've had location managers here before, but never has a Terminator crew come to the home of an actual living Terminator - my little robotic Rex. He would be stoked. I'll keep you posted. But probably not in detail. If we get the gig, I'm sure we'll be signing away all rights to speak or we will be detonated.

How's everyone's Monday?

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

More Rumblings from Me

I know I just posted about the beach below. And not to get out of a lovely, carefree mood, but the fact is that 50,000 people have lost their lives in China. In other parts of the world, Tsunamis have wiped out entire villages. Poverty and war ravage other countries, while in other places young girls are being taken by their mothers, raped and killed.

I know how damn lucky I am. And without sounding too pious, I thank God every day for what I have. Why I'm so lucky, I just don't know.

Hope all of you are safe. That your families are safe. And for those of you with family and friends in the military, a big hearty thanks goes out to you for keeping my kids free from want.

It's Hard to be a Beach...

....With days like today. Just look at this beautiful sky! The weather was glorious. The sun was setting while my kids joyously dug tunnels in the sand. There was no fighting. No screaming. If there was, I couldn't hear it over the crash of the waves anyway.

With Rex out of town, Topanga T and her fiance' joined us last minute (just three weeks before the big Italian wedding). They brought their puppies - endless sources of amusement for my own little mutts.
After splashing in the water, Stink found some sunglasses and Pip found a pink headband. Forget God's landscape - Pip has accessories! The day, very unplanned, couldn't have been nicer.

Well, one thing could have been nicer. I could have walked up the steps to my fabulous pink BEACH HOUSE instead of dragging my sand encrusted butt into my stinky SUV to head back to Smog Land.

Other than that. I'm not bitter. Someone has to live in paradise. My only consolation? I get a view of my kids each day. Let some Hollywood rich folk have the ocean, the sunsets, the dolphins splashing in the waves, the smell of the salt air the... the... Okay, I better stop before I see where I can sell toddlers online to buy some beach front property.

Hope you had a great weekend. I owe many of your sites visits. I'll be there tomorrow. Unless it's sunny and I ditch you for the ocean again. Hey, life's a beach.

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Freedom - Myth Busted!

I've officially named Wednesday as Andrea night. This means I get the kids to bed at 6:30, spend 30 minutes with Rex for dinner, then get the heck out of dodge. Being myself only, not a wife or a mom, is important to me. Nothing wrong with some alone time, but if I don't schedule it, it won't happen.

Last night, I was out the door at 8 and went walking with Mrs. V. at the mall. Wow - do you know that people actually shop retail? I mean, there were pants in windows going for, like $99 and up. There were no "Red Tag Salvation Army Specials" and no homeless people with shopping carts bartering for the Dora the Explorer handbag right next to me.

After sweating up a storm, I realized that the whole night was mine! I could Ebay all night. Or write. Or watch videos! I was going to sleep on the couch and be my own woman!

But instead, I grabbed an extra large Diet Coke and headed home. After watching Myth Busters with Rex, we called it a night together by 10:Pm.

Ever find that it's not the act of doing, but knowing you can do something, that makes all the difference?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Drawing a Blank

Today my sister and I took my mother out for lunch - her first day using the walker instead of a wheel chair for movement. I have only three things to say about this grand event:

1. Given that it was my sister and myself who were right next to her when she broke her ankle in the first place, this only proves that a mother forgives all sins and places no blame.

2. When my mother couldn't maneuver her way up the curb, a hot, bald and muscular man resembling Billy Blanks offered to carry her up the step. She accepted. He wrapped his arms around her waist, thrust his head under her arm pit, and lifted her gracefully up to the sidewalk. She was elated. I was furious, however, due to my final comment:

3. Where's my camera when I need it?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The ABC's of BBQ

Today it was warm out. We took the kids to JPL for an open house where Stink and Pip got run over by a robot. Literally, they sprawled down on the floor while a rover pummeled over their small frames and they just laughed and laughed, operated by two techs young enough to be my sons.

If only I could be so submissive when the so-called boulders of life come at me. Instead of running for cover, "Dear God! It's coming for me! Duck! Run for your life!" I should really just smush face down on the earth and let it pass right over.

And so, after JPL, I tried that. When Topanga T's boyfriend called out of the blue to ask, "Interested in some beer and hanging out" I didn't say my normal, "No, I have to food shop and clean the house." I said "Yes, come on over. With a 12 pack. And yes, bring your dogs."

And so they did. Rex cranked up the stereo, Pip blessedly slept, and Stink ran abandoned his movie for the much more pleasant option of writing in chalk on the back yard patio table, in between pilfering watermelon off my lap. I mean, it was so nice to relax, I didn't even other to put it in a bowl for others. "You want some? Here's my tub o'melon and a plastic fork. Come and get it." Classy, real classy.

Later on Cecelia and Finn stopped by. They left before a fabulous meal of heated up spinach, peas and veggie burgers, but they can read about it here.
In closing, this week it's going to be about taking a breath and chilling out. Less coffee, more beer. Less chores, and more laughter.

Though I do want to finish the windows in the house. They are driving me NUTS. I'm trying to chill. I am. But it will be easier to see the world with perspective if I don't have handprints and dog licks on the first four feet of every glass surface. So sue me.

Talk to you tommorrow!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ex Husbands and Boys Man Enough For Barbie Slippers

Stink, Pip and I checked out the opening of a local firehouse today. They had never been to one before, and after today, they're certain to want to go back. Although they'll no doubt be disappointed when there's no jumper, no live band, no food, trucks on display or a climbing wall. "What? Just, like, firetrucks today?"

It was a hectic morning of fighting with Rex, the kids at each others' throats and the sad realization that I was, yet again, late with my credit card payments. Rex is so timely, if he were female, he wouldn't even be late for his period, despite being pregnant. He's just annoyingly perfunctual and practical about everything. Which is why we have a home and savings and food on the table and why I am clearly the biggest whiner on the planet. I'd take a class on how to be more grateful, but I'd just be late, so what's the point?

With all the dumb irritation of the morning, it wasn't until we arrived at the firehouse that I realized Stink didn't have shoes. Luckily Pip, who had on a princess dress and purple ballet shoes (because you can't ride a fire engine without sparkles) had an extra pair of Barbie slippers. He had a choice: Wear the blond or go home for his own sneakers, cutting his play time in half.

You can take a guess what he chose.

Between the shoe fiasco of 2008, and an emergency bathroom break post firetruck festivities that forced me to leave the car in the middle of a local park n' rec lot while I raced to the mens room, only to be interrupted mid-operation by a football player needing to use the facilities, the day was eventful to say the least.

Rex met me later at a local McDonalds where we didn't talk about credit card bills, vacation plans or how a last minute trip to Costco for a hot dog is too spontaneous for him. Stink can't eat hot dogs anyway, and if we went, I'd have to admit that I don't have the cash I thought I had due to a late payment on my credit cards, so it was a good time to just let it go. We held hands while the kids burned off the rest of their energy, ensuring an early bed time tonight. Gavin, the 10 year old down the street, is coming over at 7 for the first time to watch the kids while they snore. His only concern? Can he watch the NBA playoffs. After today? I don't care if he watches porn, as long as he doesn't tell his parents and keeps my kids safe so I can reconnect with the man who I sometimes forget about in the heat of my go-go-go crazy spinning brain.

Speaking of going out, I had better get the kids' dinner ready while they knock around a balloon the size of a kiddie pool that Pip intercepted from a 20 year old fireman in training. Pip: "I don't want a baby balloon. I want that biiiiig one on top." He looked at her in disbelief. "Pleaaaase?" she coyly offered up, then gave him a wink. No joke. He was defenseless.

Oh, for those of you interested in my ex-husband's blog, you can give him some love over there. He's single again with the most handsome boy in the universe, so if you know any hot women that don't mind living in Austin, give the man some props.

Though here's the warning: His blog platform is on Vox - One of the most difficult blogs to sign up for and comment on. I hate Vox. That's the reason I divorced him all those years ago. I mean, it had nothing to do with the fact that I was young and dumb and not ready to do my own laundry, let alone pay bills like an adult. No, not that.

And finally, happy wedding day to Mrs. V's sister in Florida. Hopefully V's kids made it down the aisle without staining their tuxes and she is now happily buzzed on martinis.
Happy weekend!

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Lots of Balls in the Air

Some of you wanted to know about the yellow ball in the last post that looks like a cross between a dog treat and a bomb. I have an answer for you, and it's not the most titillating.

Though it can be used with tits.

It is none other than... a massager. That's it. You stick in a battery and it kind of shakes. I'm seriously considering giving it to my kids for a bath toy. Though the fact that it came from a sex store is a bit creepy, so maybe not.

Speaking of sex, a few weeks ago I went into an adult store for research. I figure if I'm going to write 3 posts/week on sex, I've gotta come up with some better material than how foreplay in a Southpark "I Killed Kenny" tee shirt is not as exciting as it's cracked up to be.

I brought a friend with me from church (ha, there's some irony in there) who had never been in a "toy store" - or so she says. To prove the point that once a mother, always a mother - despite big intentions to rev up the sex life, I give you the following example:

Friend: Wow, look at those vibrators. They are HUUUUGE. What's the big yellow one called?

Me: I believe the correct name is "Ouch."

Friend: All I know is that I had better start finding something new for my husband. We've been so bored and... LOOOOOOK! Batteries in the vibrator aisle! Those are perfect for my son's new light saber!

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Greetings from the Crotch Queen

So I stole my title from fellow BabyCenter writer and friend Kim Moldofsky who attended Camp Baby earlier this year. Hosted by Johnson and Johnson as a vehicle to show blogging moms their products, she apparently came home with a ginormous load of freebies, including a life time supply of K-Y jelly. Word on the street is I'll be getting some, too. I have never used it, but I will attest to this: Sex lubricant is one item I won't buy used.

Speaking of sex, my Good Housekeeping blog occasionally gets comments from people other than perverts, teenagers and mad men whose wives kicked them on the street for their porn and fast food habits. One commenter in particular was Diana Jerome who sells products for an internet toy company. Ahemmmm...
She asked if I was interested in buying some of her products. I told her if she wanted to send me some free samples I was indeed interested. Cut to one week later - this is what I got today!

As I cracked open my pistachios and drank my coffee, I went through the box. Rex drank his glass of milk while perusing the catalog. It had everything from racy to very mild, like the cream pictured: X-Scream. I immediately opened it up, applied it to my lips, and then looked at Rex, who laughed:

* "Oh my God! That is why they do animal testing. For bozos like you who just try stuff without bothering to read if it's even for your lips in the first place. They're exploding! Oh no!"

He's upstairs now. I hear the shower running. Too bad my products are down here! Ha ha ha!

Anyway, thanks Diana.

** If any of you want to reach her, you can here or email her at diana.jerome@slumberparties.com

Asterik translations:

* No, neither of us believe in animal testing. Relax. It was a joke! (Nor do I believe in some of the animal prints in the catalog. Matching Tarzan outfits? Sorry Diana. No Rexs of the jungle at mi casa! But the other stuff was intriguing.)

** Yes, I just did a blatant plug for someone's business. Why? #1. I got free stuff. #2. I like Diana. I don't know her. But I like her. And #3. Good for her for leaving me a comment and following up. Why don't more of us women put our necks out there? If we don't ask, we don't get.

So there. All done! Now go to her website! Or not. As for me, I'm going to bed with my new Basic Instinct pheromone mate attractor. I think if I rubbed beer on myself and played Star Trek theme music, that might work, too.
More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Twisting Through Life

I hope none of you had family affected by the big Virginia twister. I'm waiting to hear from a friend about his mom who lives there part time. I'm sure she's okay, but you never know.

And by "friend", I mean "ex-husband". Not that this fact has any merit other than some salacious intrigue, but with life so short, why not throw it in?

My friend has a blog himself. I'll wait to see if it's okay that I share it with you. Baldo's dad, are you there? Do you want one million women hopping over to your site? Now's your chance! (Okay, one hundred women... whatever.)

On other breaking news, my mom is now able to walk to the bathroom in under an hour, thanks to her healing ankle. By Friday she should be able to write that novel "Around the Block in 80 Days". Look for it in big print at a store near you.

* Side note: My mom got a call from her 80 year old brother with this thick Jersey accent. "So, sis, are you feeling better? It's so great to find out about your busted foot through your daughters blog!" Hi to any and all of my fellow Eastern clan that read this. I hope I make you proud with all my talk about tics, poop, sex and Mothers Animal cookie excess. Not necessarily in that order. Write when you can.

Today, my son had these minor vocal tics - kind of like light "beeps" and I was feeling like the crappiest mom ever because they were driving me CRAZY. And really, it's not his fault. So I didn't say anything and tried to think positive happy thoughts. Unfortunately, the thoughts kept being interrupted by annoying beeps so I wasn't really winning that game.

Side note again: Stink, if you ever read this down the road, know that I love you to pieces. I promise to give you lots more to hate me for than working through my noise issues. Like the time I'll show up at your First Communion training dressed as Barney. That'll teach you to steal that chocolate.

People, the truth is, my son is fine with a few tics. They really are small. It's ME that has the issue. I need to get over it. I really do. Because honestly, it could get worse, it could get better. What he needs is a mom who 100% loves him no matter what. Which I do. But I don't need to get so crazy over it. I need to have some faith in what I'm doing. Which is a lot. So that's enough of that.

Tonight, along the lines of dealing with differences in a positive light, Stink picked out "Don't Cry Big Bird" as a bed time book. It was a new one, but as fate would have it, it was all about how Big Bird feels different and cries about it. But his friends all do nice things like make the hop scotch game bigger. Or all of them sit on one side of the see saw so he can bounce with them. The moral: Difference is not that bad. You just need to adjust and move on.

Yeah, I didn't feel stupid or anything.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Ren Fair Lady

I might have mentioned that we went to the Renaissance Fair a few weekends back. Kind of dusty, kind of dirty, but all around a great time.

It's nice to let out steam. It's not saving the world, but it saved our sanity. Pretty darn good if you ask me.

Tonight my best friend from kindergarten, Topanga T, came over at 4 so that Rex and I could go to the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion for My Fair Lady. AT & T sponsored the event - the same people who sent us to Jersey Boys last year. Free tickets, parking and dinner? Yeah, I know how lucky I am.

While the actual choreography, sets and talent were outstanding, I have to say that I hated the storyline. A gruff professor grabs some poor girl off the street, teaches her to speak nicely just to win a bet, is verbally abusive to her (and threatens to hit her), and alludes to throwing her back on the street when he wins.

Then she gets mad and leaves him. (Yeah!) Then she misses him. (Huh?) Then he treats her like crap again. (Baffoon!) Then he misses her. (Too late, buddy.) Then they get together. (Oh, not too late after all. Now this "lady" gets to live with a tramp after all. How romantic.)

I probably have thought about this too much, but that's my opinion.

Do we all have some gutter mouths in us? I do. That's for sure. Do we all have some ladies in us? I hope so. I bet you male readers hope so even more! Dumb joke. It's late. Moving on.

All I know is that I hope Pipsqueak knows better than to fall for some guy who treats her like an object. I'm guessing if he ever asks her to speak into a horned shaped recording device, she'll tell him to take it where the sun don't shine. Not even the rain in Spain will dislodge it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thief! Thief! Give Me My Normalcy Back!

Thank you to those of you who emailed me outside of this blog. It's been a little bonkers around here. Some good stuff, some not so good stuff, some bizarre stuff... Like my cooking, let's just throw it all out there and let you taste it for yourself. Insight, humor, or insults all welcome.

* Stink's EEG: The upside? Stink has normal brain frequency. No epilepsy. That means that when he tics, it's just that... tics. I'm relieved, though of course, it would have been nice to have a cause. The downside of the EEG: It's now official that my HMO is the worst health insurance on the planet. Well... that's not true. If you're healthy, it's terrific! If you're a 5 year old boy about to get electrodes placed on his head, it's not so great. Example: Stink (to the tech, after asking her five times and not getting his questioned answered): Will this hurt? Tech: No. Stink: Are you sure it won't hurt? Tech: I can make it hurt.

* Kindergarden for Stink: Downside: We did not get into our first choice charter school. The luck of the Irish, the luck of the Jewish and the luck of the English (all my background) were NOT with us. Charters here are done in a public lottery. You either get a good one, or not.) Upside: We got into another! Entreprenuer business school! No joke! Taught by strict Russians. (Think thick legs, thick accents, shouting...)"We will not stop until all our kids are Harvard bound!" Holy Moly. Free tuition, small classes, personalized curiculum. I'm there. So he has a business plan at 5. Whatever.

* My Good Housekeeping Blog: Upside: It shot to one of the top spots and was syndicated by Yahoo in their new female driven platform Shine. Downside: Yahoo uses tags like "dominatrix" and "sex slave" to get traffic. And so a blog about my responsibilites called "All Tied Up" will get horny men living in the middle of nowhere (or next door to me... who knows) who find my face next to the word "spanking". Terrific. And needless to say, when they find out it's a tame blog about romance and marriage, they're pretty mad. The comments are not exactly pleasant. As far as getting my writing exposed? Great! But being personally exposed? Not so much. I signed up to write about marriage and sex, not be associated with bondage.

* Yesterday. Upside: I drove my mom and the kids to my sister's to go swimming. It was sunny! And breezy! Perfect! Downside: Until my mom didn't see a really uncommon thing my sister has near her driveway called A STAIR and fell down. Hard. Broke her ankle and everything. Ambulance. Fire Truck. Couldn't move. It was so! Much! Fun! She's getting a cast as I type.

* Tonight: Upside: I'm going to dinner with Rex since Stella is here! Downside: I have to first return a wheelchair to a friend and get my mom home and get the kids to bed and... and...

* Tomorrow: Upside: Stella gets to take the kids to school. Downside: I get to go right back to the same HMO that I just went to last week for Stink's EEG, and yesterday and today for my mom's ankle, because she's having major eye problems and is going to get drugged up. I can't wait to see her on a martini and Vicadin.

With this week so crazy, not sure what will happen about my plans tomorrow. I was supposed to go see this new documentary about Tourettes at UCLA. It has been planned for over a month. I so rarely go out at night. I got a sitter and the whole nine yards. I know that Stink has such a minor case compared to what's highlited in the film, but I'm dying to meet the top docs in the field who will be there. I'm hoping to work my "getting to know you/invite me to your house for a Diet Coke/look at my cute boy if I need your help later I'm calling" magic.

On top of all this, the kids have been terrific, but soooo sneaky. I have so many stories about Stink it's not even funny, but I'll share later. Let's just say that I wish these devices, from the Rennaissance Fair last weekend, were mine. I could use them.

I owe so many of you visits. Don't leave me! I'll be back...
More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
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Monday, April 07, 2008

Taking a bite out of life

So tomorrow I am taking Stink for an EEG for his tics. I want to rule out epilepsy. I don't think it's absence seizures, but given that his bad eye rolls are a bit disconcerting when they happen (which luckily are less and less these days) I'm not taking any chances.

The good news is that since we've gone gluten free for good, I see some remarkable changes. He rarely tics like he used to. But... I'm scared to say this... it could be the cycle of the tic. What if after knocking my socks off they come back? Am I just kidding myself?
Or am I simply eating healthy so it's not a big deal? Other than I might be causing more stress with the constant "Yes, you can have a cookie, it's just sugar... but no food dyes... and that hotdog? Sure... but no bread."

What if I do all groundwork and it doesn't do a damn thing but make me the butt of some college story where he's like, "My mom used to drag in wheat free pizza to every Chuck E. Cheese party from the time I was 5. It suuuucked."

I'm holding my ground though. Do we walk around feeling sorry for the Jewish kid who can't have the cheese burger? No. He doesn't eat milk and cheese as part of his culture. It's accepted and we make adjustments. So Stink and the family will have to make adjustments to my crappy cooking, too!
What choice do I have? At least with the diet I feel like I'm controlling something.

Ha. Like I have control over anything anymore.

And now what I lack control of the most? My heart. It loves these kids so much I could cry from the emotional overload of it all. And guess what? Today I did.

But better now. Thanks, Mom.

* Photo of Stink eating gluten free corn spaghetti. Rex spent an hour on the sauce and made tons of extras. I told him that the kids wouldn't eat it and to make the pasta seperate. His response: "If I'm going to eat fake noodles, they can try my masterpiece." Clearly Stink hated it.

How are you all? I owe so many of you visits. Honestly, I'm in outerspace right now with too much going on. But I think of you often and will poke in soon. Make way! You can't escape!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Peas & Thank You's

I recall watching Maria Shriver on Oprah last year promoting latest book on motherhood. She said that what she remembers most about growing up was not what she was given materially, but what her parents taught her about life and thinking.

Dinner time was not about "What did you do at school?" Since Dad founded the Peace Corps, it's not surprising that it was about "How can you use your talent at changing the world?"

Shriver drove home the point that sitting together at the table is more than food for our bodies. It's food for our souls.

Take last night for example. My son dropped a green veggie in my water. I thought it would be a great opportunity to school him on saving the planet, but settled on teaching him bad jokes.

Me: "Hey, don't pea in my water!"

Him: (Confused look)

Me: "Get it? 'Cause it's a pea. And you shouldn't pee either. It's a double entendre. A joke! That we say at home - never at school. Especially not during circle time. Or when you're practicing the sign of the cross. Jesus and veggie jokes - not a great combo. Though it worked for Veggie Tales. But I digress."

He looked at me in a daze. Oh well. He'd understand later.

I got up to get water. Just when I thought my material was going to be wasted, Rex sits down. Stink drops a green veggie in his water.

Stink: "Hey, I peed in your water, Papa!"

Papa: "Cute."

Stink: "Get it? PEEEEED!" Guffaw, chuckle, hee hee heee.

Papa: (Serious) "Very nice. But no toilet jokes at dinner."

Stink: "You mean you didn't flush before touching your noodle?"
(I showed amazing restraint at that one.)

Papa: "I mean no talk about pee, poo, or anything related to the bathroom."

Pip: (Suddenly piping up, huge brown eyes, all earnest) "And no talk about diarrhea either?"

Stink is now hysterical and Pip, though not sure why, joins in the merriment.

Papa, to quote a book I just read, morphs into Ward Cleaver. "No talking about anything that exits from any orefice. Which means hole. As in your body. ENOUGH."

There's quiet for a minute.

Stink: "But if we really have to pee, that's okay, right?"

Rex is speechless now. But he had to admit, Stink did have a point.

I'm not sure if this was the kind of "thinking outside the box" Shriver was talking about, but it's a memory for me, that's for certain.