Thursday, December 27, 2007

You think someone would have bought me the soundtrack by now...




My girls are VERY good swimmers. Always have been. I remember sitting with Hazel in a hot tub in some backyard in San Rafael for her first swim lesson at three months. I had to buy them those floaty suits when they were two and one, because you can't very well come back from a vacation with a drowned kid. Destroys the whole; Wish You Were Here sentiments. And usually Erik is on the golf course and I would be by the pool. Now, I am ALMOST the mom who gets to sit on the lounge chair and read magazines or swim laps while the kids play a rousing game of Marco Polo.

In NYC, we went swimming almost every Sunday. Indoors at the West Side YMCA. We all had to wear swim hats/caps. There's video of Hazel impersonating a bulldog with half her forehead pressed down to her eyebrows.

I have no idea why I am feeling nostalgia for swimming. Must be because I went to the gym this morning. Ha!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Whatever You Celebrate




Lula brought this picture home from school. I just love it! I love that she learns about different celebrations and different traditions and it is all presented to her without judgement or discrimination. I had joked in the days leading up to Christmas, that we were considering converting to Judaism. With the window of Hanukkah over and Christmas shopping not yet begun. Get it? I'd be off the hook for magically pulling presents out of my "sack". I kid. I kid.

Yesterday, Erik and I got a few gifts for the girls. And as usual, the grandparents out did each other and themselves giving the girl everything there little hearts desired.

I hope that you and yours have a wonderful season of celebration.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Trying to tell us something.



I read this as: Fuk the one eye bleh. After some prodding I discovered Fuk is a character in the book Lula is currently writing. It is pronounced with a long U sound. He looks like this:





One eye indeed!

Monday, December 17, 2007

My brother from another mother

Then:
When I was six years old, my father (who had primary custody) went on a date with a woman and two weeks later married her. Married her in a church, no less. So that you may fully appreciate the scenario, you should know that the woman my father shared a basket of fried mushrooms at T.G.I.Fridays in Houston, Texas, during the height of the now infamous 1970's, had a son.

Soon after the wedding, I vaguely remember a family meeting being called and we all sat in the living room where my father gave one of his tense and somewhat stern speeches. The diatribe, in a nutshell, went like this. We are a family now. We don't need to burdened with titles like step and real. From now on, you need to call my new wife, mom.

Now:
Saturday, Hazel's brownie troop had a brunch. The what-to-brings were divided by first letter of your last name. J's were to bring fruit or salad. I picked up a bag of seasonal Clementines. Excellent choice, if I don't say so myself.

As Hazel and I stood in line, I struck up a conversation with the mommy behind me. I didn't recognize this woman. When she walked in to the brunch with a girl I knew from school, I assumed that she was an Aunt. But as we chatted, she quickly explained the situation. She stated that she was the bonus mom. She elaborated that I probably new the girl's tummy mom. But that she was the bonus mom.

Later, I told Erik about this newfangled name game. We discussed. It made me wonder if the forcefulness of the new titles that were thrust upon me at such a young age had anything to do with the ultimate demise and unraveling of the marriage ten years later. It made me wonder if we had some fun little phrase like brother from another mother in 1976, if he and my bonus mom would still be in my life today.

I first heard that phrase on the dynamic and thrilling saga that is Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Who knew the show would be educational too.

There's an ogre among us.

I realized something this weekend. Maybe you should sit down, this is going to be profound.  I realized I am projecting my feelings about the certain kindergartner's teacher on to the certain kindergartner.

This past weekend, Lula was talking when suddenly she exclaimed: Mommy! When are you going to get it through your thick head.....?!?!

I was too taken aback to remember what I should be getting through my thick head. Immediately, Erik banished her to her room with a firm: Do NOT speak to your mother that way, young lady! Her head is like her body. You hear me? Very, very thin!

But all I could wonder, was - where does she get that from?! And my Nancy Drew instincts kicked in. A classroom brimming with 5 year-olds, that's where. The smoking gun MUST be the Kindergarten teacher!!

Later, I went to talk to Lula about where she had heard about cranium density when I noticed a bruise on my sweet baby child. A circular contusion. It looked suspiciously like a thumb print. The kind you might get if, perhaps, a certain Kindergarten teacher squeezed your arm a too hard in a fit of frustration from having an insane about of students in one classroom who were all attempting to navigate full day of school away from home, many for the first time. Dun. Dun. Dunnnnnnnnn!

Lula, I inquired, where did you hear that? Who told you: Why can't you get it through your thick head?

To which she politely explained: I heard it on Shrek The Halls.

I am currently taking on a few more P.I. cases, should you desire my services. 




Friday, December 14, 2007

Is it too late to update my birth plan?

On the way to the hospital to have our first baby, we made lots of stops. Well, it was the height of the Christmas shopping season and to be honest, I was scared. So I threw all of my energy into the list of things to bring to the hospital provided in one of the many birth books I had at the time, and announced Champagne. We had to have Champagne. I waited in the car, probably having a contraction, while Erik ran inside a liquor store and bought a bottle of Dom. 
                                                                                                                                  
Then I asked if we could please stop at Toys 'R Us to buy a - omg, I can't believe this now - a car seat. Horrible, horrible, I know. But it was 7 years ago. And ummmmmm - I was first time mom, living in hippy, dippy SF and I thought the hand-me-down car seat I had procured would do just fine, thank you very much. Until, I was faced with the option of actually delivering or an opportunity for more shopping! 


We strolled up and down Haight Street. Maybe I waddled? I remember buying a new robe and new candle. I remember asking to use the restroom and being told that it was for "employees only" and Erik threatening the manager with I-don't-remember-what if they didn't let his wife who was about to give birth go pee.

Today, almost seven years later, I remember nothing about the candle. The bottle of Champagne is still in our fridge. I still wear the robe. But most importantly, we got to come home with the kid!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With Strings

My morning started with my mother, Lonah, proclaiming:

What are YOU going to GET Hazel for her birthday.

I should not let this get to me. I should know better. Dismiss it and move on. But I am 100% dumbfounded that no matter what we sacrifices we seem to make, no matter how amazing the planned party, no matter how many of the adults don't currently have an incoming income, in the world of Lonah, all that matters is a wrapped gift.

Presents. It's all about presents.

I tried to explain for the 50 thousandth time in my muffled work voice.
WE. DON'T. HAVE. ALOT . OF EXTRA. MONEY. RIGHT. N.O.W!

Erik had the best answer. As usual. This year for Hazel's 7th birthday, we (her parents) will give her a roof over her head and another year of unconditional love.

Oh and maybe a bike.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Having Myself a Merry Old Birthday.

That's right, it's my birthday! Yay! 

For the past six years my special day is mainly a prep day for Hazel's party. This year is hardly an exception. I have been told that I will survive her first sleep over party.  But first I have to go to a movie and out to dinner with my family. 

Oh, and answer the 12 emails that the office has sent because they have a hard time accepting the fact that I TOOK THE DAY OFF.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Name Game Addendum

I am planning a long post on my name snobbiness. But before we get any further, you should know, I have very STRONG opinions about baby names.


So yesterday when Beau shared the news that an old co-worker had named his baby — Graham Hudson, I was full of opinions. 


I like the name Graham. Spelled that way, I think you're setting your kid up for a lifetime of cracker jokes. 

I considered it for a boy name but wanted to spell it — Gram. A homage to one of my all-time favorite singer/song writers, Gram Parson's and my paternal grand mother who we all call Grammie. What stopped me was that I consider G to be a clunky and hard to write letter. It just isn't fun to write over and over and over again. And you know, you need that if foresee an active social life in the future of your unborn child. 

Beau immediately responded that NO WAY! You can not name a baby Gram because people might think of DRUGS. Specifically, he said, COCAINE.

This really threw me for a loop. I had never drawn the line mentally to make that association myself. Suddenly, I realized it also voided the use of the adorable nicknames I had concocted, Eightball and Dimebag. Bummer.




Monday, December 10, 2007

Name game


It's usually little things that really piss me off. I've always been irritated by people changing their names. And being such a name snob myself, you would think I would not care. Especially if it were an improvement. I would probably applaud a radical, left field moniker. But changing your name from Dave to David to accompany a bump in title/salary and cross country relocation, smacks of pompousness to me.  Maybe I am just jealous. 

My own father went with a late-in-life Bob to Robert transform. I still can't get used to it. 

So if you want to rub me the wrong way, ask that I start calling you some variation of name by which I have always known you to something completely different. For a reason clearly undefined. 

Today I received an email from my aunt Chris. It was signed: 


I cropped the screen grab to provider her some anonymity. Lea? She's signing mass correspondence with her middle name? I did not get the memo. Perhaps the (Mum) in parenthesis iced my irritated cake? But the cherry was this:




Aunt Chris, if your committing to this Lea business, at least change your email preferences. Thank you.  That's all.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Driving around looking at Christmas lights

The girls and I cruised the old neighborhood tonight. Our destination was the crazy lady's house. Remind me to tell you about the crazy lady's house.

En route, we passed a recent reconstruction. A modern monstrosity. A huge house with a solid wall of window exposed. Thinking of it now, I am reminded of the truck transport of holding half of a prefab house barreling down the highway with a swath of plastic exclaiming WIDE LOAD.

It's as if the house was cut in half. Sliced down the middle. In New York City it would be an modern art exhibit. Inside the parents were at the dining room table and a son was in an upstairs bedroom. Across there was a white Christmas tree covered in white lights. As we turned the corner, a large window on the front of the house also had a matching decoration, a white tree with white lights. A tree twin.

Oh! I exclaimed – they have two Christmas Trees.

And Lula said, "Wow! They must really not be Jewish."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

8 Strangely Weird Facts About Me: A Meme

1) I am a meme virgin.

2) I have a sewing needle inside my heel. Permanently embedded. It just showed up on an X-ray, and I have zero recollection of stepping on it. It used to really creep me out.

3) I have a lame tattoo on back, right lower hip. Once I applied to be on the Jane Pauley Show and have it removed. Then I realized there would be before and after pictures of my ass on national television. I don't think so.

4) I can find people I know in a large crowds. Honest. Once I sat at Madison Square Garden with a pair of binoculars and proved it to the nay-sayers.

5) I went to four different high schools and graduated in three years.

6) Lula crowned in an ambulance. The EMTs high-fived over me exclaiming: We've rushed countless women in labor to the hospital an nobody actually HAS the baby. I'm still kinda embarrassed.

7) Maybe because I am a writer, I am often asked to read at weddings. From which I coined now defunct phrase: Always a reader, never a breeder. I've actually been a bridesmaid twice. Both couples are no longer together.

8) Lately, my mother has been reminding me of Kris Kardashian. I am nothing like Kim.


Tagged by my dear friend at The Z Files.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Answered Prayers!

Today I was ichatting with my friend Kelley. She announced that she had put us on a prayer chain at the grief counseling group she attends. She added something to the effect of — boy those ladies can pray!

Reading over my post from yesterday the words, god could people stop sending us plastic crap jumped out at me. And wouldn't you know it, today we received pretty white gift boxes filled with fine Swedish clothing. See all you have to do is ask, and you receive.


So Lord, or owners of large and reputable editing facilities, could you please give Erik an opportunity somewhere in a Zip code that begins with the number nine and has salary that comes with at least seven or eight zeros behind it. (YES, I am including the cents placeholder in those zeros.) Could we be challenged creatively and continue successfully with a some sort of afore mentioned college fund firmly in place.

No rush, Lord. It's okay if you need to get to that one tomorrow.

Amen

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tis the season

I was thinking about how we've had quite a rocky career road as of late. He's been laid off in the spring. I've been fired in the fall. But never ever have we been under such a crunch just as it was time to sit on Santa's lap. And it's making me cranky! And why couldn't this happen when the girls weren't old enough to understand that we're dragging out feet on getting a Christmas tree because we're nervous about how to pay for it? And for the love of god, could people not send us silly presents we don't need and plastic crap for the girls. Can't they just contribute to a college fund, cause - um, right now, we sure aren't.

Here is a picture from the neighborhood Christmas tree lighting. I think we look like a million bucks. On the other hand, I think I look like I need a million bucks and some lipstick.

.


Photograph courtesy of Lakewood-Now

Friday, November 30, 2007

Who's your blogger?




It was real.

It was fun.

It was real fun!

Never once did I click on the NaBloPoMo Randomizer and land on my own page. If you did, would you be so kind as to leave a comment? I'm a sucker for any contest where I might win a prize, that was my main motivation for starting this endevor. I know I was listed on the blogroll, so I really hope I am coded into the randomizer.

I've bookmarked a ton of new blogs and started reading and learning about all kinds of strange, I mean, interesting people.

Thank you for reading and have a good weekend, yo!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

California Dreaming

It was during an iChat with my fabulous and openly gay friend Charlie, that I learned that he was a out. And out as a gay bear. No big deal. Immediately, I did what any gal in my shoes would do. I googled that shit. I thought I knew and I did, but now I have wikipedia facts.

I just love Charlie. He's a friend of Stef's. We walked down the aisle together at her first wedding. He lives in California. The motherland. He's going to find us fabulous jobs and a bungalow on the beach. Oh Universe,are you listening? I want to move to California! I want Dogtown, baby. I want grommets.

Back to Charlie, after these years, all the time we've spent together, I still feel it would take a loooooooooooonnnnnng time for him to get on my nerves. Now that's somebody I don't meet every day.

Charlie said it would be really great if we moved to Los Angeles. He said we were down to earth. I wondered if that was how the fabulous say frumpy?

I wonder alot of things. And I am so thankful that I have friends like him to help fill in the gaps

So, tonight I'm surfing around and I run into this:



And I'm even more confused than I was before I started.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Honey, I'm home

You have no idea how much I have idolized business travel. So today, wouldn't you know it, I was the Murphy's law of airport arrivals. Destination was Richmond, Virginia. Two day, quick trip. I was up at 5 am. Showered, packed and kids kissed as I pulled out of the driveway and into every red light from here to the freeway I work so hard to avoid. I hit traffic. I had lane closures. I had no idea what terminal to go to. And I had no gas. Security stretched north to Kansas and I had to re-enter my putty grey plastic bins into the x-ray machine two times. I was trying so hard. I followed the signs. Even they led me astray. No trip. No hotel.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Trim

Yesterday, Erik got his annual haircut. Well, it was bi-annual. He figures it has been two years since he last sat in a chair near some scissors. I love Erik's hair long. Period. End of story. I think he looks like the grandson of Willie Nelson or the son of Jeff Goodby.

In the past, there has been no happiness after the cut. The problem he surmises came from the addition of bangs and resulted in what I referred to as a boy bob. Ugh. I loathed this cut so much I ofter requested that he not get it cut at all. Then there was the brief foray into really short hair. This involved a pair of sheers and a few beers. One forth of July, he actually let me shave his head. And that was FUN! But we both feel like I became some sort of modern day Delilah and have since sworn off the buzz, cut only.

We were considering a Keith Urban cut when I held up a recent People magazine, only to have Lonah call a mullet. Really? A mullet?! Hear that, Nicole?

So yesterday, I attempted to make eye contact with the stylist to hold up a small amount of space between my two fingers and mime the symbol for just a wee, small, tiny, little bit. Later, Erik told me that he said to the hairdresser: Don't pay any attention to that lady. Today, he no longer has the longest hair in the family, but we are all pleased with the results.

Here is before picture that when I saw it my first thought was, we're all hair and brown eyes.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Time to check my eyes

Once in college, rushing out for night on the town, I grabbed a blue aerosol can and began spraying it wildly all around head. In the split second it took for my nose to register the smell, I managed to apply a full dose of deodorant to my late 80's big hair. I thought that was the worst of my beauty errors. Until yesterday. Yesterday, I mistakenly applied some shu uemera cream all over my face before realizing it was false eyelash glue.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thankful to be home!

The last day at Lonah's never goes well. And even if I told you, you still wouldn't even believe me. One of my good friends, we've even been roommates on two separate occasions, said she never believed me until she witnessed it for herself. She said: All the stories I've heard about your Mom, I really thought you were making it up.

Hell hath no wrath like Lonah.

I have no idea why I let it get to me. I have no idea why I can't handle it all better. It is sad, but it is over.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Oh so thanksful

Happy Thanksgiving!

Erik has volunteered to guest blog. Fingers crossed. Until then here are the events that have taken place thus far...

We ( the Johnsosn's) had breakfast at IHOP with Bopa (Uncle Bob, my dad) and Grammie LaQuita.

Then we stopped by the grocery store and made our way to Lonah's for:

Smoked turkey.
Hazel's buttermilk smashed potatoes.
Lula's famous fruit salad.
Oyster dressing of yore.
Classic green been casserole.
Heated jar of turkey gravy.
Lonah's various appetizers from Real Simple® magazine.
Can cranberry.

There was tons of food. Almost all four alcohol groups. We haven't even had desert. I hope you had a equally as enjoyable time with your family.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How Dare I

Two Thanksgivings ago, we went to my Aunt Beverly's. Aunt Bev is my father's sister. They are equal months apart as my girls, sixteen. Which means, for the most part, one year. I fretted during my second pregnancy, because there has always been friction between Aunt Bev and Uncle Bob and I didn't want the same lifelong competition started amongst my soon to be siblings. Luckily mine were same-sexed and hopefully we are on track to avoiding whatever it is that caused their rivalry.

So two years ago, at Aunt Bevs, there was turkey and as they say, all the fixin's. I was tasked with bringing wine. And my father, Uncle Bob, was to bring the Texas favorite - Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice cream. I remember that my cousin Liz's in-laws were present decked out in burnt orange and there was the requisite friends and even some children running around. What fun! (Beau that was for you. )

When I was a child, all of my aunts and uncles were like super heros to me, and Aunt Beverly was no exception. She was a talented seamstress, great cook and all around domestic diva. She had strong opinions, which she shared with much aplomb. Our relationship became shaky when once I reached out to her on a visit home from NYC and suggested we get our nails done. Through a simple miscommunication I arrived at the wrong address and since the manicure was to take place on her lunch hour, ended up missing the appointment. Even though I profusely apologized, Aunt Bev never accepted that it was miscommunication. Instead, it was a grave inconvenience caused by me and put upon her. Why she didn't call my cellphone is one of our great family mysteries. Why she didn't give me the name of the salon so I could call information is equally as perplexing. But that's topcoat under the bridge.

The Thanksgiving on 2005 was the year to get everything back on track. The food was amazing. I was surrounded by three generations of family. I had a wonderful time. It wasn't until weeks later that I heard. My cousin told my father who told me that Aunt Bev was unforgivably offended! I attempted to remember what I had said or done. Perhaps it was the children?

And then the sin was revealed. Erik was the offender! He had gone into a back bedroom and - it is hard for me to even type this today - turned on the TV and watched FOOTBALL!!! Oh the horrors!

We won't be going to Aunt Bev's this year. In fact, I don't think I have heard from her since. I hope she and her family have a glorious football free turkey day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Company's Comin'

Today:
left lunch in the car.
thrown-up on by dog.
stalked on Facebook.
and now Aunt Flo is in town.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I've always been a wee bit clarivoyant

Once I conjured up a phone call from a boy in sixth grade, by just the sheer will. And I've been known to speak of my Faith Popcorn-like trend spotting skills in many an interview. Yesterday, when I blogged of my sister and Ben Fong Torres, we all should have seen this coming.




I also been known to say that my sister will one day marry Brad Pitt. So, beware Angelina.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Once Upon A Time When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth


A few days ago an illustrated Simpson's version of my sister popped up on my computer screen. She was ichatting me to ask if I knew any music journalists. Quickly and sarcastically I typed back, Ben Fong Torres.

"Yeah", she instantly replied. "I've already emailed him."


I was taken aback, slightly. It is not surprising for my sister to hang with fame. Her music video is the debut of Beck's little sister. She's friends with offspring of both the Bee Gees and His Royal Highness, Willie Nelson. She lives in LA, so I could go on and on.

"Remember when we met him?", she continued.

Slowly the fog lifted. We were at SXSW. Shopping on South Congress and I looked across the rack and saw Mr. Torres. I had met him once before at a book signing in San Francisco. He had written an amazing biography of one of my favorite musicians, Gram Parsons.

And I started to recall. My younger, freer, wilder self. The me who went to see live music many nights a week. The me on the front row who got backstage. The me who could stay up past midnight. The me that was almost famous.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Overdue

Last night Erik and I pay-per-viewed Knocked Up. And in the scene where the Paul Rudd was describing married life with children as tenser, non-funny version of Everybody Loves Raymond, I was laughing so hard I cried. I cried! Real tears. It was hilarious. And it was true.

I have been in an unfun funk since Thursday. The day I found out that Stef got laid off and that an old friend of mine is now a gay Bear. You try and wrap your head around these two events. All I can do is shake my head, curse and hug my kids.

Stef had her second child less than three weeks ago. She gave BIRTH to a human being around the time I last went to the grocery store. Stef was the one with the staff job in her family. The one with the steady paycheck and the one with the insurance.

I'm not very good at tossing around the standard everything happens for a reason or the you'll find something better. It sucks for her. For them. Even though I am in a similar boat, I don't want her misery for company.

And my other friend. We used to work together. These days, he's still on my Christmas Card list. I've known three husbands to leave their wives and marriages because they came out of the closet. This last one is thus far the first with children. It has been years since we've talked. I've never met his kids. His wife probably wouldn't remember me. But I ache for all they have gone through.

And selfishly, I morn another loss of star player who has switched teams.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

People, I don't make this stuff up

I told you this Hannah Montanna stuff is out of control. Check this out.

The Hannah Montana concert here came with it's own insanity. Erik and I debated how much money we should send Hazel to the concert with? Lonah lobbyied for Hazel to buy Lula a present. (About the only thing that Lonah like more than not eating, is presents. Pretty presents, wrapped in boxes and bows.) I channel surfed through various local news channels. Trying to catch a glimpse of Hazel or Hannah or Hazel and Hannah. It was the lead news story after all. At only one point in the evening did my sweet baby Lula bemoan her unluckiness in the situation saying, "I want to go to the Hannah Montana concert, Mommy." And I answered her with the wishes of almost every girl in the area. "I want to go to the Hannah Montana concert too."

Word for the day

One of my early memories is looking up what time All In The Family started in the TV Guide and my father exclaiming: You can read?!?

Today, kids are taught to read by sounding words out. First they learn what sounds all the letters make. And then they are encouraged to write the words based on these sounds. For example:



Awwww. Cute, huh? Did you read that? Isn't she smart? There was one thing that caught my eye. This:



I'm sounding it out now. This one didn't make the bulletin board.



Lest you think I'm absolutely horrible and because I was present at the pumpkin carving, I think she was trying to say she carved a pumpkin solely by herself.

UPDATE: It has been pointed out by other mothers, ashole translates into also.

Almost Famous


A few days ago an illustrated Simpson's version of my sister popped up on my computer screen. She was ichatting me to ask if I knew any music journalists. Quickly and sarcastically I typed back, Ben Fong Torres.

"Yeah", she instantly replied. "I've already emailed him."


I was taken aback, slightly. It is not surprising for my sister to hang with fame. Her music video is the debut of Beck's little sister. She's friends with offspring of both the Bee Gees and His Royal Highness, Willie Nelson. She lives in LA, so I could go on and on.

"Remember when we met him?", she continued.

Slowly the fog lifted. We were at SXSW. Shopping on South Congress and I looked across the rack and saw Mr. Torres. I had met him once before at a book signing in San Francisco. He had written an amazing biography of one of my favorite musicians, Gram Parsons.

And I started to recall. My younger, freer, wilder self. The me who went to see live music many nights a week. The me on the front row who got backstage. The me who could stay up past midnight. The me that was almost famous.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yummmy, Crow!




At the birthday party last Saturday, I arrived thirty minutes early with no cash. Of course, they didn't have an ATM. Well they had one, but a thief had walked out with it. Stole the whole machine. The dingy outline was revealed on the wall and the lonely electrical cords were still on the floor. After a few inquires, the employee had determined that he could swipe my debit card and give me some cash. The air hockey, whack-a-mole and Dance!Dance!Revolution called. Oh, and the kids wanted something too.

So when I checked the bank statement online, the pending charge was for $34.50. Four dollars and fifty cents worth of service fee and not one mention from the employee. I was steamed! I composed the call to the manager of the alley in my mind. I mean c'mon, it was a bowling alley not a strip club. I'm not paying over four dollars in service charges, especially when the cash went right back into their video game pockets. So today when the charge actualized there was no service fee. None.

And guess what Lula had for snack on Tuesday? Cheese and crackers. Guess what the Kindergarten teacher has in her classroom? A refrigerator. Guess who is eating a heapin' helpin' of bird pie. That would be me.

Maybe I should check my sources more thoroughly.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Looky Here




This is a video that my soon-to-be famous sister directed and my fabulously-talented husband edited. Ain't it pretty?

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Inhumanity of Healthy Choices

It is no secret that a certain someone's, certain Kindergarten teacher is NOT blowing my doors off. When I try and put my finger on when things went South, I'd say it would have to be the first week of school when the little one came home with a folder full of frowny faces. Oh the horror! I mean seriously. My kid?

Well today was the given day I had signed up to bring snack. So this morning I, Erik really, peeled 12 cuties (aka clementines) and we cut them in half and combined them with a package and a half of Kraft® singles. Keep in mind this is NOT a hippy, dippy nursery school. I love the hippy, dippy. I'd be all over the Waldorf or the Renaissance if circumstances were such. So the pressure to create theme related snacks is off and the number of parent supplied snacks with artificial ingredients is up 10-fold. So I felt slightly smug bringing in whole food, unprocessed California fruit. Stopped short of organic.

So you know what happened? Said teacher, put Lula's snack in storage in favor of individually wrapped Rice Krispie Treats. So our snack was wasted, ruined.

Lonah, I recommend refrigeration on this one.

And in other news:

My Razr phone has miraculously come back to life. A quick dip in the workplace toilet/pool and 3 weeks later Voila! — no worse for the wear. But T-mobile, our days together are numbered. I still really want an iPhone.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Let's keep it that way

Today Lula was a guest at the 6th Birthday Party of Ian, a boy in her Kindergarten class. It was a good party. Cute theme. Nice weather. Kids being kids. Parents I like. There was pizza and a bounce house. Mix of girls and boys. Midway through the party there was talk of going to Ian's room to play with his toys. As Lula led a line of kids into the house, I overheard her loudly state to the group, "Okay, but I don't have alot of experience in boys' rooms."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A funny thing happened on the way to the birthday party.



I've got a little Charlie Bucket under my roof. Somebody won a golden ticket today. Hazel got invited to the Hannah Montana concert. Squeeeeeeeck! Can you believe. Hands down the hottest ticket in town. Check your eBay. Your stub-hub. Your 6 o'clock news lead story. The event sold out in 14 minutes. The tickets being scalped at 10x their face value. Miley Cyrus in coming to town and Hazel will be in the house.

I don't watch the show. I did the read the People magazine article about Miley and Billy and the whole Ray Cyrus clan. And I was all over the gossip blogs when the false rumor of her pregnancy was wrongly reported. I checked the CD out from the library and even I have to admit, it is a bit catchy.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hahahahahahaha

Work has been a bit of a beast lately. Busy, busy, busy. Lamenting to Hazel I proclaimed:

"I've been so busy at work every day, I have not been able to leave for lunch all week.

To which she proclaimed: "Wow, you must be hungry."

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Where the money go?

One of the things I loathed about my old job, was the door-to-door commute. It wasn't the actual drive time that I detested, it was the route from the parking garage to my desk. Upon entrance to the garage, I had swipe a pass card lifting an electronic arm allowing access into the multi-level parking structure. Round, round and round I drove - finally reaching the 8th floor where the reserved spots were fewer and open spaces became available. Once parked, I navigated to the center bank of elevators that would take me to the garage's third floor. On the third floor I followed a cross walk through the garage down a ramp through a two sets of glass doors down and escalator, through an adjacent building that houses shopping, hotel, restaurants and an ice skating rink. From there I walked across a sky bridge over several blocks of downtown, through another building twisting between hallways to another descending escalator. Once at ground level, I the went through the building lobby, through more glass doors finally outside I crossed the street pushed my way through a revolving door and took my place with a mass of people waiting for the building elevators. Often this wait took several minutes. Once crammed inside, the elevator would undoubtedly stop on six or seven floors before finally depositing me on the twenty-forth floor. Wearily, I would make my way to my desk. And the price tag for this luxury perk was $60 a paycheck.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Then & Now: II

THEN

(June 2005) I've wanted to start a blog for soooooooo long.The one thing that was holding me back -- OS X. My lack of a fully supported browser was really starting to cramp my already crowded style. But alas, my dear friend Gail came to the rescue. And now I can surf, sell and blog with reckless abandon. Allow me to bring you up to speed...(and I promise to fill in the gaps at later). My name is Vanessa. I have two daughters: Hazel and Lula. On the Monday after Mother's day, my husband Erik, was laid off. How does one gift wrap a pink slip? This proves particularity perilous due to the fact that we live smack, dab in the middle of Manhattan, NY. That -- coupled with the fact that we weren't the most fiscally responsible couple in the world to begin with -- equals mac'n'cheese for dinner for the second night in a row. Oh, fondly I remember sushi and take-out of when I once thought we were scraping by. So (more speed) we're due to be out of this apartment at the end of the month. We have no car. No money. And soon no home. And two kids! This is crazy! Our plan is to try and sell as much stuff as we can in the next week, put the rest in cheap storage and go to my mother's house in Austin, Texas. This morning it hit me. I won't even be a SAHM - stay at home mom. I'll be a SAMMHM - stay at my mom's home mom. A new low? A new beginning? A new blog.

NOW

(November 2007) Ain't it funny? Look at us. Same song, second verse? I was chatting with a co-worker today about how the kids are great! The marriage is good! The career...eh...well. She gave her theory that something has to be in the toilet. Everything can not be going well at all times. I've also started reading that book The Secret. So today, I am attempting to attract a good day. Come to Mama.

In comparison to where we were three years ago: Still married! Two cars. My mom, Lonah had done a major renovation on her home and is poised to turn her garage into an apartment. (Erik is poised to move in.) It's probably been 2 months since I've had sushi but only 4 days since I've had BBQ. We now have 4 pets. Oh and get this, we OWN our own home. Well I guess the bank owns it, and I have no idea how we will pay for it, but I am a tax paying title holder. Oh and I have a job. I am a WOHM with an annual salary with a few zeros behind it. Like I said, Come to Mama.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

More

Hilarious and Heartbreaking.

I am still at work. It is 7:31 pm.
Friday night, I was on a conference call from 9 pm until 12:15 am.
Then I went to the office to make revisions.
I left the office at 4:32 am.
My work, my writing was just referred to as "half-baked".
I am working on the glossy inserts you will receive in the Sunday paper.
The client says these inserts tell a holiday story.
The story features 20+ products to buy.
Erik asked if blogging every day of November was the best use of my time.
This morning, I stepped on my belt and the hook that goes into the belt hole went into my heel.
I already have a sewing needle stuck in there.
I saw it on an x-ray when I broke my ankle. My surgeon said it was common.
That, "You'd be surprised what you find on x-rays." I was.
Coconut's partner, her parakeet significant other, his name is Keith Richards.
Coconut is the only pet we've had die. So far.
We had a desert box turtle, Stripers.
Erik found him on the front porch. He said it was trying to ring the doorbell.
We let it go in the backyard. The girls think he lives under the deck.
Lula calls a maze, like the ones found on children's menus, a 'amaze'.
The girls pronounce almost all of their words correctly now.
I didn't properly document all the sickeningly, adorable things they used to say when they were itty.
This makes tears come to my eyes.
But for Halloween, Hazel went as a "Debil".

Monday, November 5, 2007

Dazed and Confused


I've been searching for an excuse all day to do my Parker Posey impersonation and scream:

All right - You little freshman b!tches!

So far Nablopomo is going. It's fun and daunting. I've discovered this and I'm hooked. Which led me to this. Which got me thinking.

I too have been sifting through the Randomizer.

Trish says we are collectively boring. Trish says she wants hilarious and heartbreaking. Today, Stef said I was humble and hopeful. Humble and hopeful. It's there in the comments. (Leave one, by the way. I understand now why they are addictive.)

Hilarious and heartbreaking. Here goes:


We're temporarily one-income.
Erik thinks Austin is the answer.
I think Los Angeles?
Erik thinks he's been put in a bad position.
I think and I think and I think.
Hazel got a 100% on her spelling test.
Lula's family turkey project is overdue.
Our parakeet, Coconut, was found face down at the bottom of her cage.
The girls have not yet noticed .

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Amazing Race

I love me some Amazing Race. And I've turned the girls into little Phil lovin' race junkies. We have this silly family tradition, where we choose our teams. The team we each think will win. Then we watch and root all season, with the winner gaining bragging rights. The girls usually pick girl teams. Erik picks an athletic team. I pick the hippies.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Learning The Alphabet

THEN:

When we lived in NY, there was a Lucky Brand store around the corner. On Columbus, I think. On the corner of 69th? I like Lucky Brand. They have a sale twice a year. It was the Summer Sale 2003. Thankfully, Lula had fallen asleep in the stroller and I had Hazel sequestered in the dressing room with me. Frantically, I was trying to find the elusive combination of shirt that fit, looked good and seemed worth the price - even at 50% off. As I was trying yet another fitted black T-shirt Hazel stood below me. She was two and a half. Rushing, I ripped off one and was trying to decided which shirt to try on next. Hazel reached up her arms gazing up at me standing in the small dressing room in my bra. With her hands above her head, she reached towards my boobs and exclaimed:

Up, W! Up! Up! W!

NOW:

It is Saturday night. We watched the end of Akellah and the Bee. Now the girls are busy each creating their own books. This is also known as, Mom how do you spell every word? Lula is working very hard writing and illustrating. Her story begins, Once upon a time. Thoughtfully she asks:

How do you spell 'a'?

Friday, November 2, 2007

If You Are



Yesterday was a particularly trying day. One of those where life throws you a curve you weren't expecting. Where one minute your thinking about going to Mexico for Christmas and you can almost imagine the sand and the surf and the frothy drinks with umbrel -- AND then WHAM-OH! Christmas itself is suddenly in question.

Now of course, I can count my blessings. We're healthy and happy. Honestly, I blame Erik for putting it out in the universe that he was "waiting on life's next great adventure". Be careful what you wish for, buddy, you just might get it.

But yesterday, it was all new and uncertain. And the new news was turning around so fast in my head, I was just trying to get a grasp on the idea. And of course despite what ever neurotic or depressing scenario I am creating vividly imagining in my head, I always put on a brave face for the girls.

So while I was tucking Lula into bed, we were talking. About School, friends, how she can't possible sleep all alone by herself and about monsters with big teeth that might eat her. When she suddenly asked:

Mommy, are you happy?


And the question just kind of hung out in the darkness as we snuggled in her little bed. Thoughts raced thorough my head. Why is she asking this? What does she know? Does SHE think I'm depressed? Is she clairvoyant? What will become of us? I pulled myself together and answered that Yes! Yes! I am very happy. And then she said:

Mommy, do you want to show it?



And just as I was about to connect the dots she said:

Then clap your hands.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What's in a name?

Am I doing okay? started innocently enough.

To fully understand, you'll need a bit of history. My Beaufriend started about two weeks after me at my old job. It was his first job, so he was naive and scared. I, on the other hand, was seasoned and jaded. The story goes that his first impression of me was one of awe and wonder because I possessed a vast knowledge of all thing advertising and the ability to project (a false sense of) confidence! What fun!

It was on his third day that he overheard me exclaim to the co-worker in the next cube, "Am I doing okay?"

And that is when my cover was blown. My whole life I have always looked for reassurance that what ever I am doing, I am doing well. I think that it probably one reason I picked a career that is very much like school. We get assignments. We have deadlines. We get feedback. In many ways, advertising award shows are like report cards. Well, more like a Who's Who of American High Schools.

I'm always critiquing myself. Questioning if indeed, I am doing okay. And on this day. The first day of November. The day after Halloween. I am here to tell you I am NOT doing okay.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I Miss My Beaufriend


At my old job. I had a friend. Just one.

He will crack up at that. It was one of many inside jokes we shared. That one having to do something to do with a comedienne and a nail salon. But the truth is, I might have actually had ONLY one friend at my old job. His name is Beau. I have nothing but great things to say about his tired, sick, complaining, fussy, Oklahoman ass. He made going to work and being there for anywhere from 8 to 20 hours on any given day bearable.

We had lunch together every day, usually at Subway. We counted on each other for support, rides, laughs. He gave me lots of grief. His impersonation of me involves scattered high pitched babble saying something about: Did you know I have children? Two! And mine of him involved calling his all expenses paid two year cross country advertising adventure "graduate school". Hahahaha!

I sincerely hope that our paths cross again. Soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

At Your Service

We don't spank. Clarification. I should say, we don't spank as punishment, in our home. It is shocking to us all when on the rare occasion we witness a parent hitting their child as discipline. Once in a bathroom at The Dixie House. Once at a Birthday Party. Once an elderly woman caned her way over to our table at Luby's and told me Lula needed a A Good Old-fashioned Healthy Spankin'. But I digress and the point mainly is that if you're going to get spanked in our house, it is purely for fun.

So, the other night I hear a fit of giggles coming from Lula's room. I peak through the door to see Lula spanking Hazel. The laughing escalates every time either of them says the word butt. And there is lots of emphasis on the B and the T.

Butt! Haahaaahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Butt!! Haahahahahhahahahahahahahaha.

And then Lula says:

Hazel, I'm your Butler! Get it, Butt-ler. Your Butt!! Ler! Hahahahahahahahahaha.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Biggest Fan



I used to say that "our song" was Good Hearted Woman by Willie Nelson. I've even gone as far as to contemplate getting our wedding bands engraved.

His: Good Timin' Man
Hers: Good Hearted Woman


Recently, I was struggling with how many bloggers are over the top mushy and gushy and all kinds of in love with their husbands. And what was wrong with me that I didn't sit down and start my every post with....

How do I love my Erik, let me count the ways!!

To put a quick end to the rumors started from my growing legion of blans (blog + fans) and bloopies (blog + groupies) I have amassed. I want to make one thing perfectly clear, I LOVE MY HUSBAND.

And just to prove it, I've provided the lyrics to my true favorite song for us, the John Prine classic, In Spite of Ourselves.

She don't like her eggs all runny
She thinks crossin' her legs is funny
She looks down her nose at money
She gets it on like the Easter Bunny
She's my baby I'm her honey
I'm never gonna let her go

He ain't got laid in a month of Sundays
I caught him once and he was sniffin' my undies
He ain't too sharp but he gets things done
Drinks his beer like it's oxygen
He's my baby
And I'm his honey
Never gonna let him go

In spite of ourselves
We'll end up a'sittin' on a rainbow
Against all odds
Honey, we're the big door prize
We're gonna spite our noses
Right off of our faces
There won't be nothin' but big old hearts
Dancin' in our eyes.

She thinks all my jokes are corny
Convict movies make her horny
She likes ketchup on her scrambled eggs
Swears like a sailor when shaves her legs
She takes a lickin'
And keeps on tickin'
I'm never gonna let her go.

He's got more balls than a big brass monkey
He's a wacked out werido and a lovebug junkie
Sly as a fox and crazy as a loon
Payday comes and he's howlin' at the moon
He's my baby I don't mean maybe
Never gonna let him go

In spite of ourselves
We'll end up a'sittin' on a rainbow
Against all odds
Honey, we're the big door prize
We're gonna spite our noses
Right off of our faces
There won't be nothin' but big old hearts
Dancin' in our eyes.
There won't be nothin' but big old hearts
Dancin' in our eyes.

(spoken) In spite of ourselves

2007 Pumpkin Carvin' Contest Entry

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Epicenter

I was in an eleven-passenger Super Shuttle® van. With nine of my co-workers. There was one driver. We were on our way to Grapevine Mills Mall. It was not yet noon. Our mission was to observe "beta culture". You know. Teens. Our target audience. The Cads had dreamed up this event as a way to garner some new business from Large Soft Drink Manufacturer™.

Super Shuttles® remind me of New York City. It was the most economical and logistical way to get to the airport.With the added element of surprise. It's a lotto. No. More of a Forrest Gump-ish Box of Chocolates. What'cha gonna get? Who will you pick up? Where ya gonna go? And there is so much to look at driving to and from New York City. So much.

Not so in Dallas. In Dallas, I avoid the highway. On occasion, I venture onto 75. But I hate the highways. And avoid them as best I can. In Dallas there are many, many of these roads and they intersect and overlap. It is dizzying.

So I'm on a Super Shuttle® van and we've been driving for what seems like forever. We're driving past the DFW airport and there is nothing to look at. Four lanes headed North. Four lanes headed South. And no ocean!?!? Or river?!?! The roads in New York are twisty and turny, two lanes in stretches, through tunnels over bridges, with pedestrian near misses, strange smoke coming out of the Earth.

The Cads had informed us that the mall contained an indoor skateboard park. And that we should approach these "beta culture" kids. These buyers of Large Soft Drink Manufacturer™ offer them Large Soft Drink™ or buy their entrance in to the indoor skate park and then talk to them. And you know...get inside their heads. It sounded like a bee line to the top of the National Sex Offenders list to me, but then, perhaps I was being too cynical.

En route, I texted Steffy. My dear friend from college, who also works in advertising. Her response was lightening quick: Quit! Now!


(*You should know, that Cads is take off of a nickname given to a groups of bosses I had. They were called by some The Dads because I assume, they were male and had leadership titles.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Putting out an APB for the Karma Police

I am debt free. Every morning I jog and have a dedicated yoga practice. My girls are smart, innovative, leaders. They are full of confidence. They tell me ALL their secrets. I walk gently on the earth. I travel the world. Our home, which was paid for by my first novel, has just undergone complete green renovation, paid for when I sold the movie rights. It is always clean and organized. Renowned for my fabulous parties and am a gracious and competent hostess. And a snazzy dresser. Erik plays golf everyday. I usually only play once a week. It upset him too much to lose.

** Inspired by Steffy's Creative Visualization and Klein's Karma Police posts.

Four

Steffy tagged me for this. I wish I could insert a hyperlink, but since she is practically my only reader, she knows how to get back to her blog.



4 Jobs I have had:

waitress
babysitter
lifeguard
mom



4 Movies I love to watch over and over:

Coal Miner's Daughter
Almost Famous
What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Dazed & Confused


4 Places I have lived:

New York City
San Francisco
Austin
Wichita


4 TV Shows I enjoy watching:

Weeds
SNL
The Amazing Race
Grey's Anatomy



4 Places I have been:

Jamaica
Can Cun
Dollywood
Yellowstone National Park


4 Websites I visit daily:
yahoo mail
dlisted
dooce
zlikezebra


4 Favorite foods:

spinach
spaghetti and meatballs
filet mignon
cheese


4 Places I would rather be:

at lunch w/ my girls
anywhere in SF
yoga class
bali

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pretty on the Outside

I called my mom after the gym this morning. She said, "How was your workout?" I replied that I was running. And her response was, "Now don't eat!!!!" Seriously. As long as you are not eating, everything is good in my mother's eyes. She went on about high protein and no carbs and how she needs diet pills and is taking the new OTC kind. I could write for days on the relationship between my mother, myself and food. She is the only person I know who comes home from the grocery store and the fridge is still empty. I think she has an aversion to it. I usually find some product, excuse me, some HIGH PROTEIN product sitting in the pantry with the words Keep Refrigerated clearly written on the label. It is a wonder the girls haven't been food poisoned with the various kid food products that have rotted in her cupboard shelves. Including and not limited to Danimals drinkable yogurt. Doesn't everyone know to refrigerate yogurt?

Once she was flipping through the cable TV stations when a gaggle of models walking the cat walk caught her eye. "Oh, come watch this!", she exclaimed to anyone who would listen. She oooooo'd and ahhhhhhhh'd about how beautiful, how skinny, how wonderful. After a many minutes of the announcer talking about the shows intended topic and the words from the program finally sunk in. It was an expose on the fashion industry and anorexia.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Overheard

Clutching her new Hannah Montanna CD, H exclaimed: Whoever wants to ROCK come to my bedroom! I am so there.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Try New Things


This is the simple mantra we use to chide Lula into tasting new foods. It has seeped into my lexicon and I hear it in my head on the rare occasion I am actually in a situation where what I am about to experience could be filed under "new". Dooce recently started making recommendations. First a movie. It didn't blow my doors off, honestly. Second a soap. Looks good, smells okay, seems to be working. If she told me to jump of a cliff, at this point, I just might.

In addition, the lemming in me can't learn to NOT take the kids with me to the grocery store. And to pour salt, I take them to super stores. Food just isn't enough. Add toys, DVDs, bikes and bathroom accessories! And each time as we enter the automatic doors I hear the little voice say: This time it will be different. This time you will NOT get stressed out.

But they had to go and add aisles and aisles of Halloween Decorations, didn't they? By the time my blood pressure started going up I had lowered my expectations to getting enough items to be able to cook dinner that night and having staples to be able to make school lunches for part of the week. In case you are still searching, lowering your expectations is the secret to happiness.

When we finally made it to the check out line, I am able to survey the food items the girls have thrown into the cart. Lula's contrbution was Goober Grape. I remember the first time I saw this blended concoction on the shelf, not for me I immediatly thought. But this morning after school drop-off, the gym and a successful phone interview, Goober hit the spot. I highly recommend.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sex, Lies and Soccer Games

Yesterday was the area high school's Homecoming parade. The girlscouts had a small float. I sat with three other mommies on the back of an SUV pulling a small trailer, aka the float. There was cheering. There was candy throwing. And there was picture taking. It was all followed by a $5 fundraising hamburger,chips, drink and cookie meal. Later, as I was tucking the girls in to bed, I heard my phone ringing in the other room. When I checked the message it was the mom who had driven the SUV/float saying she had my camera. After a quick mental review, I realized I not only left the digital camera in the back of her car but also the video camera. When I called her back, she explained that isn't it great now with digital technology, you can just look at the pictures and video to find out who lost their camera? Which made my mind do a few twists trying to remember what exactly IS on the video camera. To the best of my recollection, there is: the girls swimming, the girls at cheer camp, the girls in the cold tub, the girls on the trampoline, the girls in Galveston, the girls, the girls and more of the girls. I mentioned it to Erik later. The what if? What if that mommy just decided to try to find out who left the camera in her car and instead of 2-4-6-8 from cheer camp she got a little mommy / daddy 69? Wouldn't that get the PTA talking?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Her Father's Daughter

Hazel looks like Erik. Occasionally, people will say we look alike. But I know better. Erik says watching Hazel is like looking in a mirror. Tonight, Hazel and I were chatting about the prospects of tomorrow's lunch. After eating with them for the first time at their school last Thursday, I can't wait to go back. My plan was to go on a day when they are planning to eat school lunch and observe. I am curious about the choices they make when they go through the cafeteria line. Last Thursday, Lauren's mom was there to eat with Lauren and she brought food from Arby's. And across the room their was another mom with a Chik-fil-a bag. So forgetting my whole plan to make sure they are at least asking for the fruit and vegetable option, I asked Hazel where she wanted me to pick up the lunch. Immediately her arm shot up in the air. She waved her hand wildly and proclaimed, "I know! I know! HOOTERS!!!"

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm like a bird

Guess what? Mamma got fired. Lovely, eh? I HATED my job. And I have gotten over the sting in record breaking time. I am so full of excitement at the possibility of what is next for me. And so incredibly thankful it is not an employee of my former boss. I was working in a department of 15 people, three were women, three were parents. One parent was a woman. Me. I think being a mother AND being a woman had everything to do with why I no longer have gainfull employment.

Since my release I have busied myself by:

Having lunch with my children at school.
Taking my daughter to her ballet lessons and arriving on time.
Going to the zoo with other moms student holiday.
Getting my hair cut.

Monday, I am so going to a movie. And I really, really hope I don't have to fire the cleaning lady. Tomorrow is only her 2nd day on the job.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Over the shoulder pebble holders?

The first time Hazel asked for a bra, I just ignored her. It is a common coping mechanism I use. Be still and maybe it will go away. Which it did, until Saturday when I could not BELIEVE the racks and racks and racks of children's bras. And what is even more jaw dropping – they were padded! As Hazel glanced up at all of them wide-eyed she exclaimed, "Oh, this one is pretty. This one is pretty. Oh, I like this one". I tried to imagine a six year old wearing a padded bra. It was a pandora's box of problems. And it was easy for me to say absolutely NOT!

But the bra door had been opened again. I had discussed this dilemma with my cousin April the first time around. She has two daughters, one being many years older than my two. Her solve was a sports bra style bra, similar to a tank top but shorter. And because I don't want to make my girls feel weird about their bodies or create a situation where they want something twice as bad just because Mom said "NO", I bought four Champion® extra small sports bras in pink, lavender, light blue and turquoise. Two for each the girl.

You know when they reveal the gift new car on My Super Sweet 16? The shrieks of joy. The trills of happiness. Over the moon they were. And for the rest of the weekend is was non-stop bra talk. Can you sleep in a bra? Do you like my bra? Can I switch to the other bra? Can I just wear the bra with these pants? I'm going to wear my bra to dinner. To church. To school. To the park. To walk the dog. On and on.

It is Tuesday and both girls are braless at school today. Monday I warned Hazel's best friend's mom. I knew that her daughter would be begging for a bra, just as mine is begging for the things Lauren has that she doesn't. She isn't ready for Lauren to wear a bra. Who is? Apparently children's clothing manufacturers.

*I was looking for an image for this post, so I googled child bra. I clicked on the first non-sponsored link and discovered that I have NOT seen pictures of normal non-sexual breasts.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Gimme a C - U - T- E !!!


We arrived home from Austin last night late. I carried one sleeping kid in and instructed the other to use the bathroom before going straight to bed. We are just about out of the "accident" phase of parenting and really I can't congratulate myself enough. This example of accident refers to the pee pee variety. In case you are no where near or forgotten all the messy details, you can take a sleeping child and sit them on the potty and nine times out of ten, they will tinkle. Amazing. After checking to make sure all the pets were still alive, I thumbed through the mail and then opened the free supplemental weekend section we get to the paper. The funny thing is, this particular paper is usually delivered on Sunday night, making all the news obsolete. But I still read it, occasionally I find something interesting and they often have a coupon for a free medium popcorn at the Angelika movie theatre. I fantasize about going to the movies again someday, but since I no longer live across the street from the busiest theatre in North America and I have about 22 minutes of unaccounted for time per day, it is mostly an exercise in the scissor skills and cutting on the line. Plus, seeing the coupon carefully cut out and tucked in the pocket like a possibility makes me smile when I am digging through my wallet for the appropriate member card at various retail establishments. I open the weekend section of the paper. Scan through the headlines and my eye catches on a front-page photo. Is that? My kid is front-page news! You didn't know I was raising a french horn aficionado? No the cheerleader on the right. Hopelessly out of sync with the rest of the squad, with her tongue outstretched a little less than her arms. That one is mine! And I'd like to thank whoever told the photographer and incorrectly credited her older sister. Now I don't have to come up with a creative answer to why does Lula get to be in the paper and I don't?

Thursday, June 28, 2007