Monday, February 28, 2005

Yay! Ray!

I'm so happy that Jamie Foxx won the Oscar for Ray last night. I absolutely loved that movie, and I thought he was incredible in it. Granted, I haven't seen any of the other movies but I just can't believe anybody did a better job. And apparently, I'm right!

I didn't watch the Oscars--I find them really boring--but I checked this morning to see who won. I can't believe how well Million Dollar Baby did. Maybe I'll have to see it after all. Wonder if it's out on video yet?

One thing about this year's nominees: I might actually watch most of these movies. Usually, the movies that are nominated don't interest me at all. I really hate period dramas and those slow arty movies the critics love so much. But this year, it seems a lot of the nominated movies are my kind of movie. Even Hotel Rwanda, which is the kind of thing I usual avoid (graphic violence, true story of people behaving cruelly), is somehow appealing to me this year. Probably because Don Cheadle is such a favorite of mine.

*** *** ***
In other news, Vivian slept until 6:30 both Saturday and Sunday mornings. However, this morning (she must know that it is Monday), she woke up at 5:15. Screamed bloody murder until she finally passed out at 6:05. Woke her brother up who started yelling "Mommy! Mommy! Daddy! Trash truck!" around 6:10 and didn't stop until we finally went to get him around 6:50.

I know if I feed her when she wakes up, she will eat quickly and quietly and then go back to sleep, so it is really difficult to just let her cry and wake up the whole household. But she is 8.5 months old, for pete's sake! I know she can sleep 11 hours without a feeding, she just doesn't want to. I am so hoping that just a few more weeks of this torture and she will be doing that on a regular basis. Pray with me, now.

Oh, but guess what? She has started coughing again, the same phlegmy hacking cough she had a few weeks ago. I can't believe she is getting sick again, and I am dreading returning to the pediatrician. Why, you ask? Um, well: 1. Dr. Kaminker prescribed an antibiotic and told me to bring her back in to make sure her ears were clear after 10 days. 2. The pharmacy didn't give us enough antibiotic and when I called, the nurse told me 7 days of it was probably enough, but just to make sure and bring her in the be sure her ears were clear. 3. Guess who hasn't brought her back in yet? (It has been almost 3 weeks.)

And there's this: when I brought her in the first time, I had Isaac with me, and he completely freaked out as soon as he saw the room. His last trip to the doctor was traumatic, and apparently he hasn't forgotten it. I really don't want to put him (and me, and the doctor) through all that again, especially since he has his 2 year check up coming up. So I need to find a time to take her when either my husband is home from work, or my mother-in-law is available. Unfortunately, MIL is out of town skiing (the nerve!) and Lance is busy. So I'm not sure what to do.

Sunday, February 27, 2005


As I sort the laundry this morning: when did I acquire 10 pairs of jeans and where did all my non-denim clothes go?

Friday, February 25, 2005

John Mayer

Before I start this post, I should just lay it out there: I'm not much into music. Not that I don't like it, I just don't pay much attention. If its on and it sounds good, then okay. I don't listen to lyrics much, don't know what an MP3 is, have never even heard of many bands that others listen to daily. I am not a complete idiot: I know about Britney Spears, Matchbox 20, Coldplay. But I don't know that I could name a song by each of them. And those are mainstream bands, that get lots of radio play. I have to admit that the non-mainstream stuff, the really really "cool" stuff, like Radiohead or um, I can't think of another--that stuff I generally don't like listening to. If I had to pick a genre that I appreciate most, its R&B. But really, I don't know what I'm talking about here. So proceed at you own risk.

Have you heard the new John Mayer song--"Daughters"? Well, of course you have, it's all over the radio and I think he won a Grammy for it. Either that or he was nominated. (The Grammy's did happen, right? Or did just the nominations come out?)

Anyway. This song, "Daughters", is on the radio a lot. And I hear it as I'm driving to the playground or grocery store or Target or wherever. It's a nice song, with a pretty melody, and I can sing a long to it fairly easily. I don't hate it. It's nice, whatever.

But when I listen to the lyrics, it starts to bug me. "Mothers, be good to your daughters, too". Specifically, that line bugs me. It's so damn patronizing. Who is John Mayer to tell me to be good to my own daughter? Isn't he like 21 years old or something? I'm sure he doesn't have kids of his own, so what the hell does he know about it? It just sounds like he's sitting up there in his nice shiny "Aren't I perfect in every way" box, teaching all us mere mortals how to raise our kids. And, GOD! He's a kid himself.

Blech. I shouldn't let this bother me. It's not as if he's talking to me personally. But I'm taking it that way. And I hope to hell he didn't win the Grammy for it. I hope those Grammy voters sent him a nice little note instead, something along the lines of "Dear John, while we appreciate the sentiment of your song, "Daughters", we suggest the next time you write a song, you write about something you actually have experience with, such as high school. Or junior high. Perhaps the bad haircut you got a few months ago. Or your experience with mood altering drugs. Leave the parenting advice to the NY Times. Thank you."

(Aside: I once had a roommate who actually said, in a room full of people, "Who's Ringo Starr?" I mean, I may be a music idiot, but that's ridiculous. )

Also: While writing this post, I ate almost an entire bag of Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolates plus 1.5 Amstel Lights. Yuk.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Judith's baby

So our friend Judith, Tim's fiancee, sent an email the other day. Turns out, she's pregnant. She went to Spain a while back and now she's back, pregnant by a guy she met there. She sounds really happy about it, and for that reason, I am happy for her. If Tim hadn't died, she would probably be pregnant right now too, so there's that.

Judith has a very supportive family and she will be living at home for the duration. Tim's parents, who have maintained a close relationship with Judith since Tim's death, are also thrilled and very supportive. Apparently the father will come for about a month in August when she is due. It doesn't sound like they are still in a relationship, but that he will be part of his child's life in some ways. So it sounds like she will have a lot of help. And this is good.


There is a little part of me that is thinking, "Oh, no." I hate to think of an innocent child being brought into this world with such a weight. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm afraid people are expecting this child to somehow make up for Tim's death. A child always brings joy as no doubt this child will. And I want Judith to experience that. And I want Tim's parents to be grandparents. But isn't it a little soon?

Oh, this sounds wrong. Like I am in any position to judge. And I'm not really judging, because honestly, I do want Judith to be happy, and if this makes her happy, then so be it. I don't want to be sitting here in my happy little house with my very alive husband and two beautiful children and say--"Oh, gee, I don't know, is that the right thing to do, Judith?" I mean, I have NO IDEA what she has been through this year. And I don't even know her well enough to know how much grieving she has done, whether she is coming out of the black place or still stuck there.

So. I am just going to be happy for her. She does sound thrilled, and she should be. Maybe this baby is exactly what she needs, and what Tim's parents need, and what the world needs.

I'll just shut up now.

A word about blogs

So I am (obviously) new to the whole blog thing. It's whole different world I have discovered here in cyberspace, and I find it so strange how all the bloggers know each other, and visit each other's blogs and comment on them, then comment on their blogs about what they've commented on the other's blog, and so on. I guess not strange really, but surprising. I would never have guessed that blogging had a whole subculture of its own, complete with popularity contests and bitch fights, just like in high school, or the local Moms club. Human nature, I guess.

But that's not what I wanted to write about.

The thing that I like so much about my blog is the potential audience. I realize that no one has ever read my blog and it would take a lot of work for anyone to find me, but still, when I write here, I write as if I do have readers. And that makes me write better than I do in my journal, which I know no one will ever read or judge.

When I started this blog, I thought that maybe I would send my mom or other family members the link, so they could read about what was going on out here in California with the two little munchkins. All my family lives on the opposite coast, so we don't get to see each other often. And I'd read that blogs were one way to keep in touch with family and friends. But so far I haven't been brave enough to fess up. Although I do still consider it, and every now and then I even compose an email, with the link included. I guess one day I'll do it, but until then I just write knowing that someone I love might just be reading this.

The other thing is this: what if I want to bitch about one of my family members? If they know about this site then they will be reading, especially if we are fighting. So I am also keeping my privacy for that reason. I am sure there is a way to keep certain posts private, and maybe that's what the other bloggers do when they need to vent about something that could hurt a loved one's feelings. But, as you may have figured by now, I have no idea how to do that. I suppose it's possible that one day I will learn.

The other day I left a comment on another blog. When you leave a comment, there is a place for you to enter your blog web address, and so I did, albeit nervously. I suppose that is how you get people to read your blog, by leaving the address around. But I'm still not sure I want anyone to read this. God knows the last thing I need is perfect strangers criticizing me. Although lots of people make nice comments, too.

(In any event, if anyone ever did come to my blog, they wouldn't be able to see any text, since my blogroll has pushed all the text way out of sight. So one look and they would run away, probably thinking all kinds of snarky things about me and what an idiot I must be.

And to be honest, when it comes to code and blogging in general, I am an idiot. I don't know what the hell I'm doing here. )

So far no one has come to see my blog. But it is possible that I may start leaving comments in an effort to get some more traffic. But the thing is, once I start doing that, then I'm all caught up in it. Then I'll get competitive and want more hits than everybody else. Maybe I'll even take away my blogroll so nobody can get to someone else's blog from here. You see? Its a slippery slope.

Right now I am happy in blogging wasteland. But who knows how long this will last. . .

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Two Posted by Hello


Dear Isaac,

Two years ago today, I was lying in the bathtub trying to make my contractions ease up. I was so excited! So excited I didn't even mind the pain so much. (Of course, this was at least 30 hours before you were born; suffice to say, the pain got much worse.) But still, I was excited. Finally, I would meet you. You who had caused me SO MUCH SUFFERING in the form of morning sickness, dire pre-natal diagnoses, bed-rest, heartburn, and overstaying your welcome in my uterus. You would soon be here!

I cannot believe 2 years have passed. And I cannot believe how much has changed. How much YOU have changed.

I know that we are entering the terrible twos, and this means you are supposed to be extremely difficult and pig-headed. And in fact, you are. But you are also going through the absolute sweetest phase you have been through yet. (Aside from your newborn stage when you made up for being such a terrible in utero guest by being the world's best baby.) This is what it is like to be Isaac's Mom these days:

"Mommy? Mommy? Git up?"
"Good morning, sweetie. How did you sleep?"
"Giving a hug?"
"of course! Mmm"
"Giving a kiss?"

"Daddy working in the office?"
"No, Daddy's still sleeping."
"Poor Daddy. Giving a hug Daddy?"
"Yes, let's give Daddy a hug!"
"Giving a kiss to Daddy? Make Daddy all better?"

And so on. I don't know why you deciding that hugging and kissing was so much fun, but please, keep it up. It is the best feeling in the world for this Mom to get a big hug and smacking kiss from you.

Another really cute thing about you: you seem to really like your sister. I was all ready for you to ignore her or pretend she didn't exist, but that's not how it is with you. You think she's really funny. And you hate it when she cries. True, any toy she has is the toy that you need to have RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT, but generally speaking, when you snatch something out of her hands, you replace it with something else. You love kissing and hugging Vivi, too, and if she grabs your hair or clothes while you are doing it, that's a bonus.

You have recently begun singing. Singing came late to you, as most one year olds love to sing. However until recently, singing has never been your thing. In fact, whenever I start singing the ABC song, you always say "No ABC! NO ABC!" until I stop. The only song you permit me to sing is "Wheels on the Bus". And you refuse to sing a long with me. But suddenly just the other day, you want to sing. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a favorite. You can sing a long with Wheels on the Bus. And you even sing the ABC song on occasion now. I'm not sure what changed, but hearing you sing is pretty dang cute. Unfortunately I don't know how to put a recording on a blog, or I would do so, for all the world to hear.

(One thing you should know: your mother is tone deaf. And your dad isn't much better. Although your singing is really cute, it's definitely not on key. So don't be thinking American Idol is in your future.)

Here's something I find strange: You weigh under 30 lbs, yet when you are walking around, your feet are so heavy, the whole house shakes. Really. It's kind of hysterical. You come stomping around the corner and there's no way we don't know you're coming, since it sounds like a herd of elephants. The candles shake in their sticks, the leaves on the house plants rustle, chairs rattle on their legs. And then there you are, grinning as always, and often with something in your hands that you are not supposed to have.

You have a great smile. And if I knew how to post a picture to a specific spot in a post, I would post one here. But I don't know how. So I'll just have to post it as a new entry later. Then all the people out in the blogosphere will have to agree with me--what a smile! Although you have become a little more shy lately and will rarely speak when a stranger talks to you, you always smile. And it's so cute no one generally minds that you won't answer their questions. (Note, I do mind. I'd like you to show off all your tricks to my friends. So when I say, "How old are you? Or "Can you count to ten?" It'd be great if you would actually speak, and show everyone how incredibly smart you are.)

Your favorite thing to do is "Keeping the mess" which translates to "cleaning up the mess". Although your pronunciation is actually more acurate, since there is rarely any cleaning going on. What this usually entails is sweeping, or mopping, or wiping the floors with a paper towel. Luckily for me, this provides minutes of entertainment for you. Not so luckily, the mop and the broom are considerably taller than you and you don't have quite the control over them that one would like to see. So as you are wielding them through the house, you inevitably knock things over or bang your mother or sister in the face. I do see the allure of the pile of crumbs that your mother has swept into the corner but not yet vacuumed up, but it would be a lot "cleaner" if you would just leave those piles be.

There are some areas that need improvement. Noteably: can we do anything about your attention span? I mean, I know you are two, but jeez. Mommy was not born to be an entertainer. Why is Elmo the only creature that can keep you quiet for longer than 5 minutes at a time? Remember all those great toys you got for Christmas? And how much fun it was to play with them for 5 minutes? Well, they are still here--and guess what? You could play with them again, for AS LONG AS YOU WANT. Like maybe 10 minutes. It would be fun! And then Mommy could lie on the sofa and close her eyes.

Also: the melt downs. It would be so much MORE fun to walk around the block with you if you did not have a complete screaming fit every 10 yards or so, because I won't let you eat the fertilizer the neighbor left out, or pet the stray german shephard that is foaming at the mouth, or run into the street without looking for cars. And going to the playground is considerably less fun for Mommy when everytime we have to leave you scream the scream of the terrified, or the horribly abused. Mommy does not like it when all the other mothers stare at her in horror.

But this is small price to pay for all the Isaac I get in my life. Even when you are being loud in your crib at night when you are supposed to be sleeping--even then you end up being impossibly cute, with your running litany of expressions: "No, Aga, don't do dat! No climbing!Trash truck comes once a week. Trash truck is NOISY. Aga want to look out da window. Mommy? Mommy? Mommy taking a nap. Mommy soo tired. Mommy have ice cream. I scream you scream we all scream. Vivi okay. Okay, Vivi? Giving Vivi hug?" And so on.

Oh, I almost forgot about the sweetest thing you do. You love love LOVE the feel of anything soft against your cheek. Especially skin to skin contact. So there we will be in the grocery store, and suddenly you'll stick your thumb in your moouth, grab my hand and start rubbing your cheek with it. It kills me everytime.

I fear I may never finish this post because there is so much about you I want to remember. I want to freeze you like this so I will never forget how exquisitely perfect you are. I am tempted to say "Don't get any older!" and "Stop growing!". Because the way you are now is so wonderful, how could you ever get better? Then again, I had the same thought when you turned 1. And look what I would have missed if you never changed from that.

So Happy Birthday, Wonderful Boy. I promise to relish in your "two-ness" this year, to try and live in the moment, appreciate your quirks, and stop working working working just to get to nap time every day.

I love you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Absence makes the heart . . .

So we have been out of town for the last 5 days, visiting my brother in Chapel Hill, NC. (And yes, I did witness a game in the Dean Dome, more on that later.) Because we are not masochists, and because we wanted to be able to enjoy at least some of the weekend, we left Isaac here with his grandparents, and just toted Vivian along for our cross-country trek. 5 days, 4 nights--the longest we have ever spent apart from him.

And, on many levels, I missed him. It would have been fun to "show him off" to the assorted family members and friends we saw while there. It would have been fun to see how he reacted to his first visit to God's country*. But I must confess that for most of the time we were there, when I thought of him, I was thinking, "Thank God Isaac isn't here". I'm sure that sounds terrible-- but having a hyperactive 2 year old along for not only the plane travel (layover in Dallas, 12 hours total each way, including driving time), but also for a weekend which included 3 straight evenings at restaurants ending after 10:30pm, jam-packed days with no time for the daily 2 hour nap, and a 3 hour time change (just to mention a few obstacles), is nothing to take lightly. He would have been miserable, and so would we. And honestly, a few days without him was kind of nice for me. Not having to be on constant watch for 4 days was really relaxing, so much so that on the way home from the airport I felt a sort of dread at the thought of our next days together.

But then.

Lance went to pick him up at his grandparents' house and when they came home, he actually tripped over himself in an effort to get to me as quickly as humanly possible. He just flung his arms around me, giggling hysterically, and I couldn't pick him up fast enough. I planted his face with kisses and felt like my whole body was going to explode I was so happy to see him. I guess I did miss him after all.

Oh, and he is talking so much more! Really! In five days. I swear! I do think I forgot just exactly how sweet he is as we spent the next 5 minutes in a dog pile on the floor, tackling each other for kisses. Lance joined in, and for a while we were like lunatics, climbing over each other, kissing and hugging and grabbing at each other. I suppose, if you were sick in the head, it could have been a little perverted.

Then, just to break my heart a little more, Isaac suddenly looked up and said, "Vivian?"

So we had to quickly wake her up and let her join in the kiss fest on the floor of the family room.

My family, in the family room. My god, what did I do with myself before this??

*If you don't know, then you haven't been there. Chapel Hill is God's country, because it is the most beautiful place on earth--and of course you've heard the saying, "If God isn't a Tarheel, why is the sky Carolina blue?"

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Again, with the tech support

Okay, so I found powered by blogger and used it to finally add a blogroll to my sight. But as you can see, it has bumped all my posts down out of site. This is much more annoying than not having a blogroll.

And, guess what? I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FIX IT.

So, bear with me for a while.

But I do wonder: who are these bloggers and how do they know so much about code? Is it a requirement to be some kind of techno geek before you have a blog? And if so, how did I slip in? And who the fuck do I ask to help me fix it??

And you think you have it bad

Last night.

7:30pm Lance is at the Laker game, so I do the whole bedtime routine alone. Somehow I forget to feed Vivian.

10pm Realize my mistake, wake her up and feed her. Think--well, at least she'll sleep till 6 or 7 tomorrow. (foreshadowing, anybody?) Go to bed myself.

12:01am Hear cat's sick screaming meow, which means she is about to huck up a hairball. Lance jumps out of bed and throws her outside.

1:12 am Cat is meowing as loud as she can to be let back in. This goes on for at minimum 10 minutes. Lance finally gets up to open the door.

2:21 am Vivian wakes up crying. WTF? I go in, stick her pacifier in, pat her back for a while. After 5 minutes, she falls back asleep. Phew.

3:23 am Isaac wakes up crying. Lance gets up to see what is going on. Whispered conversations interspersed with loud crying ensues. After 5 minutes or so Lance returns to bed. Isaac is still crying, loudly.

3:33 am I get up and go into the room. Attempt to quiet him down, rub his back, threaten him with bodily harm if he doesn't shut up, and so on for 15 minutes. Eventually turn his radio on very low and convince him to be quiet. Go back to bed.

3:48- 4:12am Attempt to sleep while listening to Isaac talk to himself, NOT QUIETLY.

4:49am Vivian wakes up screaming. ARGH. Go in, roll her over, stick the pacifier in her mouth. This does not calm her down. Pat her back for a few minutes and sneak out. As soon as I open the door, more screaming. Return to my bed anyway.

4:56am -5: 31am Listen to Vivian screaming bloody murder. By some miracle she has not woken Isaac up. Finally go back in, roll her over, stick the pacifier in, pat her back. No dice. This only makes her scream louder. Give up and return to bed.

5:31-6:42 am See above.

6:48 am Vivian finally sleeps.

6:49am Cat begins sickly meow again. Get up and throw her outside.

8:05 am Cat's meows are so loud they have woken the entire neighborhood. Get up to let her in, and feed her.

8:10am Isaac wakes up.

8:40am Vivian wakes up.

At least they let us sleep from 7 to 8.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Monday, February 14, 2005

8 months old

Dear Vivian--

This has been a jam-packed month for you. Not only have you mastered the art of sitting up, you are also trying to crawl. Stop that, would you! Mommy can't run after you AND your brother! Fortunately for me, you are having difficulty with this skill, and usually wind up face planting several times for every inch of forward motion you achieve. Sometimes this pisses you off, but more often you just grunt and try again. You look like an inch worm, and you can move about 1 foot every hour. You do better turning in circles. We all love watching you crawl--even your brother giggles at all your machinations--but, seriously, love-bug, don't get too proficient. We love you just as well when you are sitting still. Remember how much fun it is to just sit up so strong and watch the world go by? Only a month ago, sitting was s0 difficult for you, you were always toppling over and bonking your head. Try and relish this new skill before moving on to the next, k?

Also, this month you learned consonants. You can babble with the best of them now, and babble you do. Lots of DA DA DA BWAH BWAH BLAH and, just yesterday, perhaps in honor of upcoming Valentine's Day, MAMA. I about died. The only thing is, darling girl: perhaps 6:15 am is not the best time to excercise these new-found face muscles.

You are becoming much more definite about the way things work. For example, when your brother snatches aLeggo out of your hand, you no longer simply look around mellowly for something else to chew on--you immediately start crying, a sound that stops even Isaac in his tracks. Pretty soon there are going to be some knock down drag out fights between the two of you, this I know. And you don't like being put down by yourself anymore. That exersaucer that used to keep you entertained while I administered to your brother? You won't be left there anymore. You stick your legs straight out and refuse to put them through the leg holes. Oh--and you hate green beans. You absolutely REFUSE to open your mouth for green beans. I keep telling you, "hey, these are NOT peas", but this doesn't seem to affect your decision.

The other thing you hate, and this one I don't understand, is medicine. Now, Vivi, let me remind you: baby medicine tastes good. The people who make baby medicine fill it full of suger and tons of artificial flavors so it tastes like candy. There is NO REASON to spit it out. Your brother, for example, loves his medicine. He would drink it all day long if he could. (And no, that is not the last time I will compare you to your brother. If you work harder, perhaps next time the comparison will go in your favor.) You have had a terrible cold and cough with accompanying ear infection for a week now and getting tylenol, Triaminic or your antibiotic into you has been quite challenging. So instead of feeling better -- because that is what medicine is for! -- you continue to feel miserable. And you are doing a very good job of making all of us feel your pain.

This weekend we went to Carmel to visit some friends, and despite your illness, you behaved very well in the car. (The same cannot be said for your brother. There, see? In this comparison, you come out the winner!) On the way home, we stopped at the cemetary in Santa Barbara where Tim is buried, so you could meet the man for whom you are named. You would have really liked Tim, and he you. We left him a "rude boy" (some fraternity term for Heinekin), told him we missed him, and went on our way. The world is a much quieter, paler place without him. But I do think you will make up for his loss, in your own way, whatever that is. (No pressure, though!)

Next weekend we are going to Chapel Hill to see your Uncle Chip. He turned 30 on Sunday, so we are all going to surprise him. Your brother is not coming with us, so already you have something you can lord over him for the rest of time. See how good we are to you? The truth is, I can't leave the both of you with your grandparents for 5 days, and you are much easier to handle than your brother. Plus we don't have to buy you a seat. So you win, and get to travel across the country for the 3rd time in your short life. I trust you will bring out your angel behavior and parade it around all weekend. While we are there, we will be meeting baby Kayleigh, who is not even 4 months old. And guess what she can do? SLEEP THRU THE NIGHT. Yes, Vivian, a baby who is not even half your age can sleep thru the night. This leads me to believe that your nightly 4:30 am wake up is not so much a necessity as a habit. So we may have to do some serious breaking of the habit when we get back. Consider yourself warned.

One last thing: you still love your feet. In fact, on our way back from Carmel you were sucking on your feet so much that when I took off your socks, they actually dripped. I am not making that up. You like to sit in your seat with your left leg pointing up at a 90 degree angle. Perhaps you will be a yogi one day. This is also another reason to stop with the crawling. Right now, your feet are pretty clean. But once you start moving around the floor, forget about it. Mama has enough to do without cleaning the damn floors! But you know what? Its actually pretty cute, the feet sucking, as is every! other! little! thing! about you.

You are my little love bucket, my muffin, my Miss Viv, and I love you with every ounce of my soul.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

brand new bathroom

New bathroom Posted by Hello

Old bathroom Posted by Hello

New bathroom

I live in Los Angeles, near the beach. This means that the house I own would sell for a ridiculous amount of money. This does NOT mean it is worth a large amount of money. In fact, the house was built in 1953 and is a complete piece of crap. The four of us live here, in 1400 sq. feet, with 1.5 baths, and pay almost $2000 a month to the bank.

But wait--we're the lucky ones! We bought 3.5 years ago!! If we bought this same house today--we'd have to pay almost double. Oh, and did I mention: no central heat or air, no insulation, tiling in bathrooms and kitchens from 1953. We replaced the roof and plumbing when we moved in. Every time it rains we have a lake both in front of the house, on the side, and in the rear. We have no gutters. We have relandscaped the entire house, front and back. (I say we, but truly, my husband does all that. I'm not good with plants. . .but that's another blog) . And the kicker? Oh yes, we live right next to a municipal airport! Hooray! Airplanes taking off and landing all day long a few hundred yards away. Pure Eden.

So. We have decided to redo our bathroom. That is, the one full bathroom, which the four of us currently share. (This actually not being that big of a deal, since both children are under 2 and not potty trained. They don't use anything but the tub). Our bathroom is small, and unfortunately there is no way to make it bigger unless we completely remodel the house. So we are re-doing it, but all that really means is getting rid of the 1953 appliances and tile and replacing with new.

But since we only have 1 full bathroom, for the week or so they are working on it, we have nowhere to shower. Not exactly convenient. I mean, yes, it's true I don't always get a shower every day--but come on, even I draw the line after 2 days. While the bathroom is being re-done, we are packing up our things and driving down to the beachclub to bathe, about 2 miles away.

Things I overheard the contracter say:

"Son of a bitch!"

"No, that one doesn't fit. Where's the one that fits?"

"I don't know how to do it. I thought you knew how to do it."

"Well, that's gonna cost you an extra day's work, but yeah, we can do it."

But despite all this--the bathroom is done, we only went over budget by $300 and the contracter actually did a pretty decent job. So I don't have anything else to bitch about, no matter how good blog-reading it would make.

I'll send some before and after photos if I can figure it out.*

*You may have noticed the non-functioning link to dooce at the top of the page. This was to be my blogroll, but obviously I can't figure it out. That is NOT where I wanted it to go, and of course I wanted the link to work. Bear with me, at some point I may fix it. (However, since I have no readers the only person that would use the links is me, and for now I just go to SBFH. So there's no hurry.)

He was trying to be helpful!

This morning around 6 I stumbled back into bed with Vivian, having spent most of the night and the entire last hour trying to get her to sleep. She has a terrible cold and cough and it's really pissing her off that she can't breathe. She can't nurse very well, either, which contributes to her generally pissy mood and inability to sleep. And I don't blame her--hey, it sucks to be sick!-- but at 4 in the morning empathy is hard to come by.

So last night was a tough one, involving trips to the bathroom with the hot shower running, numerous doses of cold medicine, tylenol and anything else the medicine cabinet offered up, and lots of patting of the back, rocking and shushing. Finally around 6 I figured I had to get some sleep somehow so I dragged her into bed.

At which point my husband said, "Babe, you really need to take her to the doctor."

Ya think??

UPDATE: Perhaps fearing his upcoming death, my husband did make up for his nighttime transgression by taking child #1--wide awake loudly at 6:30--out to get coffee and newspaper while Vivian and I finally slept this morning.

Now, that's helpful.

And yes, we have a doctor's appt today at 1:40.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


My game is tipping off in a few minutes, and I am already drunk. Off one Amstel Light, one glass of 5 day old chardonnay, nerves, and the fact that Vivian screamed for 3 hours (no joke) before her nap today.

(Go heels.)

UPDATE: at halftime we don't even have 30 points. What is wrong with Raymond and why can't we shoot a free throw???

UPDATE: So Raymond finally showed up, but we still couldn't hit a free throw and tell me--how did we not get a shot off in the final 15 seconds, down by 1??

Why, why why why why?

(Okay, look, I know. This is sports, this is entertainment. This is not life or death. And I realize that it is pure narcissism to assume I have anything to do with whether they win or lose. But permit me this indulgence, okay? I am drunk, remember????)

First the Eagles, now the Heels. Have I angered the gods in some way? Is it because I harbor so much hate for the dookies in my soul? Because I honestly believe JJ Redick is actually Satan, in a homosexual form? Is it because I was not a good mom today in so many ways, including forcing my children to wear Carolina gear all day long? Or perhaps because I wore the same Carolina shirt I wore last year to the Dook games (both losses)? Please, tell me, so I can correct the error of my ways.

The day will come when the Dookies will pay. This I promise you.

Until then, we will not speak of this again.

Why it's worth it


We were playing with Vivi's Peek-a-block set (thanks, Grandy!). To be more precise, Isaac was playing with it--dumping the blocks in the tower, hearing the song, letting the blocks fall out of the tower--I was watching him and offering encouragement (what a good mom!), and Vivian was trying to reach any block Isaac put down for a minute (though not having much luck, as forward motion is still a new concept to her).

At one point, she turned too far and fell over backwards. Not too hard, so I just said, "Uh oh! Vivi fall down and go boom!"and picked her up. Which, for some reason, completely tickled Isaac. He laughed hysterically and proceeded to repeat the phrase for the next 5 minutes, despite the fact that Vivian did not fall down again.

A little while later, I was changing his diaper and out of the blue he said, "Giving Vivi hug?"It took me a minute to understand what he was saying but I finally got it. And although I didn't know what prompted it, I thought, "Aw. What a sweetie!"

And then he said:

"Vivi fall down and go boom? Giving Vivi hug? Make it all better?"

Tell me that doesn't warm your heart!


I lay on my back on the sofa with Vivian sitting up in my lap. Isaac was happily wreaking havoc with his toys in the same room. Suddenly he looked up and noticed where his sister was.
"Up! Up! Up!" Trying to climb on top of me and Vivian.

"Hold on, buddy. Vivian's in my lap right now. Why don't you keep playing with those Leggos?"

"Up! Git in mommie's yap! Up!"

"Okay, okay. Here let me help you."

"Aga carry Vivi! Aga carry Vivi!'

And so I helped him up, seating him on my lap behind Miss Viv so he could "carry" her. There they were, my two precious angels, Isaac with his arms tight around Vivian, Vivian turning her head to grin at her big brother, and for a minute we were the happiest family on the block.


If you have packed up the kids and driven to the park only to discover you left the double stroller at home, turn around and go get it.

Do not, I repeat, do not attempt to carry 8 month old and diaper bag in one arm while holding the hand of 23 month old the 100 yards or so from parking lot to playground.

Also: do not request help from random 8 year old when trying to get tantrumming 23 month old and crying 8 month old back to the car because 1. random 8 year old's mother will think you are a kidnapper, and 2. random 8 year olds are not the most reliable help.

What you don't want to see

. . when you enter your son's room after a nap and immediately smell that there has been poop:

Said son standing in his crib, completely naked, having completely disrobed and wrestled off his diaper.

Entertaining Isaac

8:30 am
Isaac: "Go Car? Go Car? Go Car?"
Me: "No, sweetie, we can't go in the car yet, Vivi's sleeping."
"Go Car? Go Car? Go Car?"
"How about coloring? Do you want to color?Mommy will get the markers."
"Go Car? Go Car? Go Car?"
"Let's color! Which one do you want? Red? Do you want the red one? Look, what should we draw today?"
"Geen one!'
"You want the green one? Okay! Let's get the paper. Sit down at your table."
"Geen one! Geen! Lello! Bown. Bown. Bown one!"
"Okay, brown one then. Here you go. Remember, we only draw on the paper, nothing else, okay?"
"Dump it out? Dump it out?"
"No, sweetie, we're not dumping out the markers. Only one at a time. You tell me when you're done with the brown and I'll get you a new color."
"Lello! Lello!"
"Okay, here you go. I'll take the brown back." --"Hey! Isaac, what are you doing? We only color on the paper! Okay, no more coloring. Come on, give Mommy the markers."
"Go Car? Go Car? Go Car?"
"Let's build a castle!"
"Build castle?"
"Yeah! Let's build a castle! Here we go! Where does this one go?"
"Wowsa Dowsa look at that big castle!"
"Wow, you're right! Look at the big castle! Here's another one, where does it go?"
"Here? Here? Here?"
"Okay, great! Good building!" "Oh, no! There goes the castle! You knocked it over!"
"Build castle again?"
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
"Hey, I know. Let's read a story. Can you pick out a story?"
"Okay! Story!"
"Go ahead a pick one. Okay--oh, that one. Hmm, Mommy doesn't like that one. Pick another, okay?"
"Barney! Barney!"
"Really? Don't you want another one? How about The Napping House?"
Barney! Barney!"
"Okay, Barney it is. 'Hugs are special, hugs are nice . . . '"
"Read again?"
"Okay, let's read it again."
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
"What about The Napping House now?"
"No Napping House!"
"Alright. Hey--I see a mess over there. Should we sweep it up?"
"Seep! Seep! Ceen up the mess!"
"Let's get the broom. Here you go."
"Seep! Aga's ceen up the mess!"
"Thank you, Isaac. What a big help you are. Thanks for cleaning up the mess.--Okay, broom stays on the floor, though. Broom on the floor! Thank you."
"Boom on foor. Boom on foor. Messy, messy."
"Hold on, hold on, let's not go back there. The mess it out here, sweetie. Isaac, NO. Vivi is sleeping."
"Check on Vivi? Hear her? Hear her?"
"No, Vivi is still sleeping. I don't hear her. But there's a mess over here. Dont you want to sweep it up?"
"Check on Vivi? Go car? Go car? Go car?"
"Hey--what's Elmo doing? Look who I found? Here's Elmo!"
"Elmo sad! What appened to Elmo?"
"What happened? Did Elmo fall down? Better give Elmo a hug. Good boy! Oh, and a kiss, too. I bet Elmo feels better now."
(Elmo is thrown to the floor.) "Elmo sad! What appened to Elmo?"
"Did Elmo fall down?"
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

8:45 am.
Me: "Do you want to watch Sesame Street?"

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Go Carolina

For the latest in sports blogs: check this out.

And another link, brought to you by my brother, Chip, who has no idea that his whole family is converging on Chapel Hill to wish him a happy 30th birthday next week (watch for it in coming blogs!) Note this is a link to the actual Duke Student newspaper, not a spoof.

Guess what game is coming up? Yeah, that's right-- Carolina vs. Dook. There's a wee bit of a rivalry there, so forgive me my obseesion for a moment.

The real link I wanted to send you was a picture of Coach K on the floor after he fainted this weekend, but since the powers that be at Duke have made sure all such photos are banned, I am out of luck.

I did find this one instead. (Yes, of course its doctored, so not quite as funny--but it will do.)

Anyway, apologies to all my non-existent readers for this crazy post. I admit to being nervous already, and the game is not until tomorrow night.

I. can't. help. myself!

Why I love my coffee guy

When my daughter was first born, and I was in the black hole known as "new motherhood", one of my only pleasures in the otherwise hellacious days was strapping both kids into their carseats and heading to the Starbucks drive-thru. Those days, I was recovering from my c-section (which was MUCH more difficult than expected, but that's another blog), trying to keep up with my 16 month old son, who was acting out constantly (jealousy, I'm sure, but knowing why doesn't make the dealing with it any easier), adjusting to being mother to two instead of one, and tending to a crabby newborn--all on little or no sleep. It was not a happy time, and my daily jaunts to Starbucks may have saved my sanity.

However, Vivian did NOT enjoy the daily run to Starbucks. She despised being in her carseat, so that driving anywhere with her was an exercise in torture. She screamed BLOODY MURDER from the time you strapped her in until you got home, unless she by some miracle fell asleep. Once she was asleep, all was fine, until you had to slow down. God forbid you stop altogether at, say, a red light. Then the crying, the wailing, the blood curdling screams would begin again in earnest. I spent a lot of time turning right on red in those days, whether or not I actually needed to go right.

As you might imagine, a Starbucks drive thru often has a line. Let's be honest here, folks: there is ALWAYS a line. Which means you must slow your vehicle to a stop and wait, anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes, before getting your life-giving serum.

So, my daily fix entailed spending a known period of time in a closed space with a screaming infant.

Still, it was worth it to me, just to get out of the house. Every day I'd pack the kids up, strap them in the carseats, drive to Starbucks, then wait in line. Some days I could get there before the screaming started, sometimes the screaming started the second we got in the car. Either way, as soon as we got in line to wait, the screaming would commence again. I always had to shout over her wails into the drive thru box. After a few weeks of this, the conversation went like so:

In the background: hysterical sobbing, sniffling and screaming.
Coffee guy: "$2.70 at the window."

Driving to the window, several minutes later, infant still screaming:

Me, grabbing coffee, handing over 3 bucks: "Thank you."
Coffee guy: "Yeah." Pause. "You know, every morning you order a decaf, and I just keep thinking, maybe you should order the regular strength."
Me, looking up, startled. "What-oh, HA HA HA HA" Commence, hysterical slap-happy giggling and continue cackling as I drive away.

Maybe 3 weeks later, we had leased a new car. This time when I got to the window in my new car, with Vivian screeching in the back, he said:

"Wow, new car. Same baby, though, huh?"

He's not there anymore (I think maybe it was his summer job) and I don't need to go every day anymore. But every time I do, I think of him, if only to be able to point to the back at my charming 8 month old, who NO LONGER SCREAMS IN THE CAR!! Hooray!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

A blog about sports?

I know this is probably against all the blogging rules, but I just can't help myself. Heels Stuff State: "CHAPEL HILL, N.C. � Second-ranked and Atlantic Coast Conference leader North Carolina had little problem dismissing rival N.C. State, as the Tar Heels rolled to their 18th win in 19 games with a dunk-filled 95-71 win Thursday night at the Smith Center."

I realize that what I am writing is probably classified as a "mommy blog"-- which dictates appropriate blog text as my failures as a parent, mixed with commentary about how adorable my children are, and perhaps the appropriate liberal political witticism. Don't get me wrong, I will do plenty of that, but I want to admit this up front: I like sports.

In particular, I like college basketball. This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows I attended the university of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After all, if that's not a college hoops town, then what is? So I will probably be blogging about sports every now and then, especially Carolina hoops, and especially this time of year. And especially since, oh, we kick ass. Did you know that? I don't care who Dee Brown is, Carolina over Illinois any day, any way.

But that's not all-- I also enjoy football to some degree, and have been known to attend an NBA game or two. The Super Bowl is this weekend, and guess where I grew up? Right outside Philly. So get ready for some sports talk. In fact, since we are talking about the Super Bowl, here's an article * that my brother sent to me this morning. It's pretty funny, especially to an Iggles fan.

*I did it! I posted a link! And I think it worked! Watch this: I don't care who Dee Brown is, Carolina over Illinois any day, any way. Ah, the joy in learning a new trick.

Did I mention that Carolina kicks ass?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

How to win an argument

The other day, I was feeling (and perhaps acting) a little bitchy. I can't remember why, probably I got no sleep because the children are insane and maybe my husband wasn't helping me enough. That's usually it. Although, to be fair, he actually does help quite a bit. And I do appreciate that, sometimes.

Anyway, we got into an argument because he didn't want me to run back into the house to get Isaac's jacket. He insisted it was warm enough and I was being ridiculous. I realize that I live in Southern California, and yes, it was a warm sunny day. But it wasn't that warm! It was 69 degrees, according to the car. In the sun, it felt warmer, but who's to say we would always be in the sun? In the shade, it feels colder! And colder than 69 degrees warrants a coat, in my book. Not too mention the boy was wearing shorts and a short sleeved shirt! All I wanted was to run in the house and get a jacket just in case he got cold. But noooo, that is an absurd and outlandish idea! How could one even suggest such a ridiculous thing!!

So we didn't get the freaking jacket, and we were driving along and I was giving the cold shoulder and then being snide when forced to speak (can you tell I'm 35? What, you thought maybe a teenage mother?). We stopped at the local store and Lance ran in to pick up some snacks.

(I will add a sidebar here: while Lance was in the store, I had the following conversation:
"Mommy stoopid."
"Daddy stoopid."
"Hmm. Well, uh, lets not say that, okay?"
"Mommy stoopid!"
"Wait, what are you saying, sweetie? I don't think I'm understanding you."
"Fuck! Fuck!"
Cough. Clear throat. Look outside car to be sure no one has heard.
"Wow, look at that doggie out there! See the doggie? What do doggies say?"
"Doggie! Doggie say bow wow wow. Doggie driving!"
Ahem. Crises averted, I suppose. And no, we were not swearing during the argument, although I suppose it is possible that "stupid" was tossed about.)

To continue: When Lance returned from the car I was still giving the cold shoulder, and so couldn't even relay above conversation. Considered repeating conversation and blaming spouse completely for it. But then . . .

Lance hands me the bag of groceries and a 5 dollar bill.

"Jeez, do you have to throw things at me? What is this?"

"I'm paying you to be nice to me."

"Oh." Long pause. "Okay." Smile.

Where is Mars and how do you get there from Venus?

Fact: when child #1 is yelling "git out! Git out! Fresh diper! Fresh diper" at the top of his lungs, and child #2 is bleating "da da da DA BLAH BLAH BLAH da da da" also at the top of her lungs; it is physically impossible for mother to ignore them and go back to sleep, even if it is only 6:03 in the morning.

Fact: if all above conditions are met, father has no problem snoring away peacefully, even if mother huffs and puffs and kicks covers off.

Good morning.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Vivian, oh Vivian

I was going to write this wonderful post to you--a monthly newsletter ala dooce*--but right now it is 1:43 pm, and that means you have been screaming in your crib for 43 minutes--wait, now it's 45. You are so pissed off at me, dear sweet wonderful child, and you are there in your crib, screaming as loud as you can so that the WHOLE WORLD can hear you and know--I am killing you. I am poking you with large, sharp objects and then pouring salt on your wounds. If only you could tell me that sleeping during the day in your world is akin to being forced to eat mounds of mushy peas in mine. But listen to me carefully, darling daughter: I will ALSO force you to eat mushy peas if you dont STOP SCREAMING. And I KNOW how much they suck.

*no, I obvioulsy haven't figured out linking yet. And anyway, who needs all these links? Are you that lazy, oh internet, that I have to provide one click links for you? You can't just google it yourself??

Where is my personal IT guy?

Ack. I wish I was more web-savvy. It just took me over an hour to post those two photos. And what I was trying to do, actually, was post them to my profile. But fuck it. I 'm not spending any more time on it.
I was also trying to add text to the same post that holds the photo, but . .

Anyway, next on my agenda is to figure out how to link to other blogs and websites. Be back in a few hours. Probably feeling really cranky.

Just for fun . . .

Isaac and I Posted by Hello

Daddy and Mini- me Posted by Hello