November 2010 Archives

If you have a bunch of junk in the cabinet under your bathroom sink and it's not situated just right and the cabinet door won't close, DO NOT kick the stuff back into the cabinet so you can shut that door, even if you don't kick especially hard.

You might break the drain pipe, and you might not notice right away, and all your stuff under there?  It could end up wet.

Just sayin.
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all four

Here's a photo from the first day of school this year which already feels like a long time ago.  Here they are two years ago:


And a few years before that:

on the steps

This is the actual first day of school photo from that year (2005)

boys' first day of school 05

Okay.  I'm totally freaked out now. 

Tonight, for the first time ever, I left a yoga class before it was over.  I got a weird cramp up under my right ribcage and it gave me knife-stabby pain to breathe and since I was doing things like balancing on one hand and the side of one foot*,  I just decided to call it a night.

It still hurt driving all the way home, but once I got home and ate a cookie (or four) it was magically better. 

* I look exactly like that, too!  Except that my hair is longer and dark and usually in ponytails and I have less of the washboard abs and more of the bowl full of jelly, OH and my legs are both down near the earth (as they say) and my ribs and hips are only about half that high off the floor. But, otherwise - it's me exactly!          

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Our night started out really nice: I got home from work a few minutes earlier than usual and started one of the kids' favorite meals; the boys came home from their wrestling meet (they both won -- pins, not just points -- which made them happy) and I got everyone fed.  Soph wanted to make cookies, so I helped her get everything out and she pretty much did it on her own, but I still do the actual baking because she's too little to handle a hot cookie sheet.  The kids had warm chocolate chip cookies and were happy and it was nice enough that I was watching them while I was doing the dishes and feeling good about this life, hard as it may be a lot of the time.  (Single parenting can be brutal sometimes, you know?  And I have help pretty frequently, and breaks every other weekend.)

Somewhere in there one of my kids (I'm not naming names) totally and spectacularly lost it.  I tried to keep my cool and figure out the situation rationally, but it just got more and more wound up, until I broke and ended up yelling really loudly practically in said child's face and there were tears and slammed doors and lots more yelling.  I hate this part of parenting.  Hate. it. 

Once I got the first fire put out, another one broke out from another kid. 

Then another.

They all three agree that I'm not as nice as I used to be.

Finally, it was just Willow, wide-eyed and coming up to me with a Mommy?  I love you.  Can you hug me?  Which, you know, made me teary all over again, because she deserves better.  (Generally I'd say they all do, but you know what? I am still pretty pissed at them right now.)

Maybe it's mostly me who's having the bad day.  I'm sitting here feeling like a total failure of a parent, wondering what the hell and can I fix this or is it just going to get worse and worse the older they get?

I sent a text to Scuba earlier that said something like: I am not qualified to be anyone's parent.  Let's run away to Hawaii together, OK?  And he knows how it can get around here, though he's never been here for a night like tonight.  Maybe because when he's here I am able to keep my temper and figure out the right amount of firmness and soothing to get us back on the rails. 

The good part is that my kids are resilient and in the moment.  Once they're sorry and you're sorry, it's all fine.  Me?  I'm left upset for longer, kicking myself for not handling things better, wishing I'd done things differently starting a long time ago, frustrated that I can't undo this stuff.  As soaked in exhaustion as I was with four babies in six years, this preteen and teen stretch of the parenting experience is so much more difficult.  It's lonely.  I know it's normal and how things go, but it's pretty rotten when the people who you do so much for go from wanting to be by your side all the time because they adore you to mostly thinking that you're a totally old dumbass who just doesn't understand anything.  Honestly, I'd be fine with them growing up and moving on without such a painful cutting of the cord.  I know it was just an off night and that tomorrow will be better, but I can't help but wish that they were still so little that I could fix everything with a freaking cookie. 
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I'm really sleepy and am going to bed at just a little after 8, so I was going to post Madeline Kahn singing, I'm So Tired, but then, *that's* totally not why I'm tired, so here's one of my favorite Sesame Street segments Of All Time.  My other favorite she did I can't find, but it's the one where she walks on stage and sings, Mmmmmmmmmmmadeline!
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on the way home from the fish store (had to get new plants and filters for BobbyJack and BiteMe's tank)

Yesterday at Sophie's soccer game (a wicked 2-0 win with my kiddo in the goal the second half) it was hot.  Like, really actually pretty hot and 75 degrees or something, and very sunny and gorgeous in that dazzling fall sort of way it gets around here that makes the houses cost a million dollars.  And now today it's winter.  Rain, wind, cold, rain, and, at my house: pumpkin pie (from scratch, no canned stuff, bitches), Mexican hot chocolate, pajamas all day, jigsaw puzzles, and Ugg boots.  Bless the rainy Sunday.

But, yesterday, when it was hot and sunny, I was pissed all day long because last week someone went into my van and STOLE my sunglasses.  Strangely, they left the 1980s REM CDs, and the iPhone/Pod charger thingie, and the stuff for Goodwill, and the seventy thousand reusable grocery sacks, and my twenty year old prescription Giorgio Armani glasses with the clip on sunglasses (oh, yes, clip.on.), but they took the sunglasses that Scuba bought me in Lahaina in 2009 to replace my five dollar Walgreens Carmella Soprano shades that I bought for the trip and holy sweet baby bacon am I pissed.  (Holy sweet baby bacon?  I have no idea, dude.) 

I just grabbed my iPhone and emailed myself a photo of those glasses, the Carmella ones, because really:

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No, I absolutely did not cap my teeth.  I don't know, it's some weird iPhone distortion and Hawaiian sun mixture going on there, but you probably did not even notice my hollywood teeth until I brought it up, because you were so fixated on my UGLY UGLY sunglasses.  After a couple of days of Scuba saying, Wow, baby, I can't believe you forgot your track suit.  And, Hey, do you know where Meadow is? he pulled me into a sunglass shop and got me these great new glasses:

Jenny took this in NYC

And my point is that except for the black Ray Ban Wayfarers my dad bought me in the 80s, these were the only sunglasses that I ever loved and some dumbass went into my van and stole them.  Then they probably threw them away because they're a little scratched, but HELLO, any sunglasses you rip off from a minivan are likely to be scratched.  DUH.  I don't think they make them anymore, or at least the only ones I can find are ones with fancyass polarized lenses that cost twice what the original ones did.  Anyway, thinking about it puts me into a rage and I'm usually thinking about it most when I am driving or watching the girls play soccer so both of those things have been extra fraught lately, and I know that's not the proper use of fraught, but it's fitting my mood.

Lemme calm down.  Here's some other things, things besides my daughter squirting liquid out her eye after snorting it up her nose (WTF?  I never knew this was a thing the human body could do, but when I tell people about this - usually kind of urgently and with a fistfull of their shirtsleeve in my hand - someone always says, Oh my friend in high school could do that! so I guess that's just one of those things I missed out on entirely.):

  • Sophie told Scuba that cows make milk in their sarcophaguses.  He asked her if she knew what that word meant, and she told him, correctly, and then added, And? it's where cows make their milk.

  • Sophie also told Scuba that she wants to work at Hooters when she grows up, so she can meet hot guys.  (We had a little talk about that.)

  • I was at Trader Joe's and there was this dude in sandals and homemade pants and a tshirt fill of holes and some stringed instrument slung across his back and he was asking the guy who worked there a bunch of questions.  And then, he saw some cookies, and he got all hepped up and said to the TJ's employee, Do you have any cookies without POISON IN THEM?  The TJ's guy kinda looked at him, trying to see if he was joking, and the guy with the seventeen holes in his shirt was all, Um.  Like, sweetened with fruit?  And I totally laughed and (accidentally) snorted really loud because, well, because I was laughing at him, because if you want stuff like that, you have to make it or go to a specialty store, or learn to freaking bake and realize what you are asking for there, exactly, and I think he just wanted everyone around him to really understand his stance on sugar, but he needed to learn that WE DON'T CARE, so it was okay to laugh at him.
  • Okay. Now I feel a little bit mean.  Being mostly nice sucks. 
The post title was lifted from this Be Good Tanya's song.  Because I have a terrible desire to travel right now and I seriously cannot. I can just daydream of packing a bag and driving someplace with Scuba in a shiny Airstream like this one.  Check out the last couple of pictures to see the shiny, shiny, fold up bike (squee).  Also?  How bitchen is that kitchen?  

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As Sophie's friend S would say, Crudnuggets.

I finally had something to write about, and I fell asleep and blew up my four day (though weak) NaBloPoMo record.

Here's what I had to tell about:

Sophie can snort milk up her nose and squirt it out her eye. 

Maybe a video will follow sometime.  If I can bear to watch her do it.
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It wasn't so bad: after all, Scuba came to help me and I got to watch him change the tire in his work clothes. 

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I have an opportunity here to go to bed for the night at 9:15 and I am so taking it.  While I sleep, you can read this.  Thanks, Very Short List, for the link.    
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Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA
flowers on Lighthouse Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA (through the viewfinder)

Lex is really sick.  Fever since Friday or Saturday, cough, headache.  It's weird now that he's fourteen and so much bigger than I am to take care of him when he's sick.  Not weird, I guess, but different.  I mean, he's not going to sit on my lap and put his head on my shoulder to feel better or anything.  He wants to stretch out on the couch and text his friends while I make him a lunch of grilled cheese and yellow gatorade.  I hand him a couple of Tylenol pills and he holds them in his palm, looks down at me, Mom, this is the adult dose.  Shouldn't I just take one? 

Well, no.  You *are* an adult by their standards.

, he says, kind of smiling. Okay.

It's really a shame the kid isn't old enough to vote yet.  He listens to NPR all the time and is honestly far more up to date on politics than I am.  He's in his bed right now, listening to election results and talking back to his radio.  I keep having to remind him to stop swearing.  Even if you are sick you CANNOT TALK LIKE THAT, I say.


So some fourth-grade mom, I've no clue who, told her daughter that she thinks Barbara Boxer is evil because she wants to kill babies because she supports keeping abortion legal and safe.  (She probably worded that last part differently, though.)  And that means that the rest of us moms, likely even a lot of moms who agree with her, are now stuck telling our nine year old kids about abortion.  THANKS for that!  Really. 

My conversation with Soph actually went fine, but I'd have been happy if she didn't have to know about stuff like that for a little bit longer.  I mean, she still semibelieves in Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, but she can tell you how babies are made and a very limited amount about how pregnancies are terminated.  I don't know if that makes my brain or my heart hurt more.       

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Monarch Grove Sanctuary, Pacific Grove, CA

Monarch Grove Sanctuary, Pacific Grove, CA

Late Sunday morning while Scuba (he's been SG here up till now, but really I call him Scuba which is part of his full nickname of Scuba Guy) went to a coffee shop to take care of some school work, I packed up my through the viewfinder contraption (something like this) and went walking down Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove in the sunshine.  We stayed there Saturday and Sunday last weekend, at a little place walking distance to the beach and the Monarch Sanctuary, and spitting distance to El Carmelo Cemetery

El Carmelo Cemetery, Pacific Grove, CA

After a while, the coffee shop decided to close up and give him the boot, so he came and met me at the Monarch Sanctuary.  Only a couple of people there asked me what the hell? with my camera set up, but later when we went to the aquarium, lots more people wanted to know what I was doing.

Jellies, Monterey Bay Aquarium

I showed them my setup, explained that I was shooting through the viewfinder of the old camera, but didn't really so much get into the fact that the end result would be all warped (from the curved bubble glass on the viewfinder) and grungy and scratched and dirty.  I'm not sure that appeals to everyone. 

Cause there's stuff like this:


And then like this:

Monarch, Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA

I think a lot of the things I like best in art and fashion both straddle the line between cruddy and good, and it's a little nervousmaking to put stuff out there that's arguably cruddy and be all, Hey!  Lookit what I did!  But ever since I turned forty, I magically do not care.  Much.

Plus, what a relief it is to get to say, Yeah, it's supposed to look torn up.  That's the whole point.  Jeez.  It gives you more confidence to mess around than when you are trying to make something look realistic. 

Anyway, it was a damn fine weekend.  I'm happy, life is good and Patrick Star says hello:

Patrick says hello

I think he may have had a few while watching the World Series.  He's a little passed out looking and he lost his pants.
Partner since June 2006




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