Thursday, November 30, 2006

Did you miss me?

Okay, so we're home. Back in L.A. where the sun is shining--although it's been cold this week, in the 60's, just when I was looking forward to some 80 degree weather. Damn. Delaware, per usual, was lots of fun, but it is always nice to come home. Home to my familiar bed, to our usual routine, to the comfort of the predictable.

(Also, very good to come home to this. All hail Tar Heel nation.)

The kids are in school, the laundry is done, the bills are paid and I--I went to the gym today. That's right. I returned to the place of my humiliation and not only ran on the elliptical machine for 21 minutes and 18 seconds but also did a complete round of the weight machines. It helped that I was the only person in there. It felt good. It still feels good, even though my tricep muscles are shaking. (And by muscles, I mean arm fat.)

I am completely out of touch with all of you because--despite the fake blog I set up specifically so I would have an excuse to be on the computer while I was in Delaware, I never seemed inclined to sit there for long. Too many nieces and nephews to laugh with, old friends to visit, dinners to make, parents to tease. Now that I'm home and have nothing much to do but take care of the kids and blog I'll be spending some more time with you. Though I've heard there is some sort of holiday coming up at the end of this month, so I might be a bit busy with that.

This reminds me: do you ever wonder what it's like to be a husband in December? Lance has to plan my birthday, but other than that, it's pretty much a regular month for him. No running around getting gifts, wrapping, cooking, decorating, etc. Fortunately for our marriage, I actually enjoy the bustle of December, so it doesn't bother me that our work loads this month are so lopsided. But if I was like my mother, and hated Christmas and all the activity it entails, December might be the reason Lance and I finally called it quits.

That's all I've got today, folks. It always takes a little while to get back into the swing of blogging after a hiatus. Hope everyone is well!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Who says you can't go home again*

We have now been in Delaware for almost a week. Actually, we are, at this very moment, less than two hours shy of one full week in the state of my youth, with two weeks to go.

It's fun. No, really. I enjoy coming home, especially for long periods of time, so I don't have to cram seeing everybody into 15 minute intervals while I race across town with the kids from house to house. I like driving around the streets of my childhood and adolescence, reminiscing about lazy Saturday afternoons on the high school football field debating the merits of the Born in the USA with friends back in 1985. I enjoy hearing my sister talk about kids--sons and daughters of people that I went to 8th grade with--that her kids are now playing with. Most of all, of course, I like spending time with my family: sitting around the kitchen table with mom, gossiping about all 5 of her siblings and their extended families, driving around town with my sister and her two kids, discussing the new Carolina football coach with Dad.

My parents' house is extremely comfortable, even with all of us extra folk taking up space. The guestroom I stay in is huge, with a remodeled bathroom, both of which are nicer than what Lance and I are currently building in L.A. The kids have a nice room with twin beds and lots of leftover toys from when my niece and nephew were small. Best of all, the basement: chock full of old toys and games, a partially working television, kid-sized table and chairs leftover from my childhood, and three different boiler-type rooms to hide in. My kids will play down there, happily, for hours, leaving me to make dinner, phone calls, read the newspaper, or watch TiVo in utter peace. I could get used to living here, trust me, especially since my mom stocks the fridge and only lets me pay for beer. There is even a spare car for me to drive around in. Also, I get to spend quality time with my best friend Susanna and her two children, commiserating about girls who turn into brats at age two and husbands who are wonderful in so many ways and yet still drive us crazy. In L.A., I don't have any "good" friends who are also moms, so it's nice to be able to talk to someone who totally gets where I'm coming from for a change.

You'd think I'd have more time to blog, then, but to be honest, I'm enjoying the break. I miss you guys, of course, but it's a little bit of a relief not to have all those November posts to plow through every day. No matter how much you guys make me laugh, or cry, or nod in agreement, sometimes it's nice to just live my life outside of the computer for a little while.

One of the great things about coming East for a few weeks is the opportunity to see old friends. Along with Susanna, I also get to see old friends from middle school, friends from college who trek miles just to see me, and blog friends. Since I'm here for 3 full weeks, it's fairly easy to fit everybody in. I have even found the time to fit in a visit with my Dad's mom--a difficult woman, and a visit I don't generally look forward to. But it's done! Already! My mom's mom can be difficult too, but in a different, much more loving way, so we've already spent several nice afternoons with her. Last weekend, I actually drove with the kids to Virginia (about 4 hours away) to visit Lance's brother Mark and his wife. They live on a neat old farm in the middle of nowhere, between Charlottesville and Richmond. (This is the nice brother, of course. I would never travel any distance to see assboy.) The kids had a blast riding tracters, playing in the barns and feeding the goats, and I had a great time hanging out with Mark and Margaret. My sister's daughter (age 9)came with us which was a huge help for me, especially in the car, especially since the traffic going home had us traveling from 10am until 5:30pm.

I will leave you with a few shots of the gorgeous leaves--we got here just in time to catch the last gasp of them in the neighborhood; now they are mostly gone. For many of you East Coasters, this is nothing, so these pictures are dedicated to my fellow California bloggers (you know who you are):

DSC01109 DSC01110

I hope everyone is having a wonderful November!

*I have a sinking suspicion that the title of this post is a song lyric from someone like John Cougar Mellencamp--and now you will all see me for the top 40 music redneck that I am. I know that you've been pegging me for a Radiohead fan all these years, but alas, I've finally given myself away.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Why pancake batter left too long in the fridge turns blue.

How my feet have shrunk 1 full size since the last time I purchased new shoes (over a year ago).

How to convince Vivian that all girls sit down to pee, so we don't have the "But Isaac gets to stand! I want to stand!" temper-tantrum at every pee break throughout the day.

Similarly, how to explain to Isaac that yes, Vivian is getting rewards in the form of M&Ms whenever she poops in the potty, but he is too old for that, so sitting on the potty and practically popping a blood vessel in the effort to get a poop out is not going to help him.

When the transcontinental flights from L.A. to Philadelphia--me and two kids--will get easier, so I can stop dreading them. (Tomorrow, around 1:30pm Pacific Time? Send some good vibes my way, k?)

Why none of my family members (with the exception of FFB, who as you know already reads this blog) bothered to answer the invitation to the private blog, which I set up just for them.

How long until the poo-poo-head jokes stop being funny.

When Pancake is going to pop the question to Heidi. (Come on already!)

If I will ever go back to the gym, especially now that Lance has taken to going. Now that all the cool kids are doing it, it just doesn't have the same appeal. Yeah, that's it.

If it is a good thing or a bad thing that when we go to pick up my kids from their grandparents house, and they cry because they don't want to come home with us, I don't get my feelings hurt. Shouldn't this bother me more?

Why old habits die so hard.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

No more NaBloPoMo

Okay, people. Far too many of you have jumped on this whole "post every day in November" thing. When I first heard about it, I"ll admit it sounded like a good idea. What a clever way to motivate people to write more. Not to motivate me, mind you: I freeze under that kind of pressure, and god knows I struggle to find something to write about 3 days a week. (See: gratuitous kid photos. Also: meta-blog posts.) (such as this one.)

But. I have since changed my mind. This is not a good idea. This is a terrible idea! I am currently unable to keep up with all the feeds in my bloglines. If I do manage to visit everyone, I certainly don't have time to comment everywhere, and if I attempt to do that, then there goes my time to compose anything to post here, on my actual blog. You know, the reason I started blogging. Actually, I don't think you can call it blogging if all you are doing is reading blogs through bloglines, is it? I end up feeling relieved when a few days go by between posts--that way I can try to catch up with everyone else*. (By the way, Phantom, since you already post at least once a day, are you going to try for NaTwoBloPoMo?) (Oh dear god.)

Do you know how many people that I read regularly have signed up for this insanity? A ton! Tons and tons of you, millions of you! If all of you post every single day, I will absolutely drown under the weight of all those words. Plus, I will be at my parents' house for most of November. I did hand out my "fake" blog to them, so I can spend some time at the computer without suspicion, but certainly not the 40 hours a week it will require to read all your posts. And I don't want to miss anything!

I'm screwed.

*This also gives me a handy excuse for not posting anything in days: I am helping you, oh loyal reader.

Also: NaBloPoMo is really hard to say. And harder to type. Psshaw.

Happy Halloween!





Also: best threat ever? "If you don't behave I'm throwing all the Halloween candy away!"