Wednesday, December 27, 2006

embarrassment of riches

Oh, hi. Nice to see you again! So, Christmas was a huge success. We hosted, and it was nice to be home on Christmas Day. We made brisket and au gratin potatoes. Delicious. Evan got tons and tons of toys. So many toys, in fact, that he was on overload and only played with about 5% of what he got. Which led me to complain to my co-workers today about all the toys and toddler paraphernalia littering our house.

And then it hit me. I sounded just like Chandler Bing: “Two women love me! My wallet is too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!”

Seriously, come on now. I am sitting at my cushy job in my cushy town COMPLAINING about how many toys my healthy happy child has to play with. This plunged me into a guilt spiral, but also made me realize: I am truly blessed in all the ways that count in the grand scheme of things, and in many others that don’t.

I wish this for you as well. Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

a short dispatch from the holiday trenches

It's 9:58 a.m.

I just ate a truffle.

I'm not proud of it.

But it was sitting there, so inviting, and damn if it didn't taste great with my coffee.

I might go eat another one.

And if I do, I promise not to blog about it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

the spreadsheet

Let me tell you about a little piece of holiday joy I’ve found for myself. I have created a massive Christmas spreadsheet that identifies each person for whom I need to buy gifts, as well as miscellaneous holiday to-do items.

Now, the section where I list the gifts to buy has a sophisticated status mechanism. It features separate columns to identify whether the gift has been received and wrapped, and a color coding system to show when that person’s gifts are complete. I cannot tell you the satisfaction I derive from this spreadsheet. It’s very comforting, because It’s.All.There. I refuse to be blindsided by a holiday emergency. I must anticipate all possible scenarios.

Either I am a control freak (highly probable) or I have spent far too long in Corporate America working for The Man (also rather likely).

p.s. I desperately wanted to post a screen shot of my spreadsheet, but since some of the people who read it are family, I cannot. It’s classified!

Monday, December 11, 2006

for the record

I have to say something. It’s nothing that others before me haven’t said more eloquently. But still, whether for posterity, or for the desperate hope that someday Evan will stumble across what I’ve written when he’s old enough to understand it, I need to get this off my chest.

It is simply this: having a child is the best thing I’ve ever done. I never imagined that watching him grow up would be nearly the delight that it is. The funny things he says, the faces he makes, the huge personality emerging from his tiny body – all of it is more than I expected or could have hoped for.

This weekend, he became even more a little person. He’s always quick to demonstrate his feelings about things. Pancakes? Cars? Trains? Balls? All good. And conversely, we all know how he feels about riding in the stroller. (um, not good.) Then last night, I gave him a bath. When it was time to drain the tub I said “OK, time to get out!” He looked at me and said “Bye tubby!” then followed it up with a question, recognizing what always follows his bath: “Diaper?”

Something about the fact that he gets it, that he understands the order of things, that his brain has developed to the point where he knows what’s coming next, just pushed me over the edge. It’s not that I think he’s more intelligent than all other kids (ok, part of me does think that), but it just seems unbelievable that this baby, this once-helpless being, is now a real person who talks and understands and communicates.

I thought my heart would break, but instead it just spilled out in the form of hot joyful tears that I was powerless to stop. And I was so, so thankful.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

blogger ate my homework

What up, peeps? Well, earlier in the week I wrote a particularly awesome entry, which Blogger subsequently ate. I hit “publish,” and it published the first three lines and the rest went poof. It was such an awesome entry that I felt that I needed to recreate it. So I did. Then Blogger did the EXACT SAME FREAKING THING again so I was forced to give Blogger the cold shoulder all week.

But I couldn’t neglect you for long. Hi! However, because the universe (also known as Blogger) clearly doesn’t want me to tell you all about how we rented a Duffy boat on Monday night with our friends, and how Evan fell asleep thereby enabling us to have a grand old time with said friends eating pizza and drinking wine, and how I have bought all my Christmas gifts either online or at Costco (um, what? You don’t call it an awesome entry? Whatever.), I am going to go another way with this post.

Instead, I will focus on how we’re going to get a Christmas tree this weekend. And how I am wearing a headband today. And how cute it is when Evan says “Bye Mommy” when I drop him off at daycare. And perhaps, how I intended to get regular Cheetos at lunch today but accidentally ended up with Flaming Hot Cheetos instead, which are evil and must be destroyed.

Consider yourselves up to date on my life.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I’m happy to report that our LA adventure was a great success. We had an awesome time, and get this:

I saw Paris Hilton.

Swear! I could hardly believe it myself. Also sighted: Nancy O’Dell from Entertainment Tonight, who was very tall and pretty in real life.

And the hotel we stayed in was uber-swanky. So swanky that it was like a cave with suede covered walls and hardly any lighting. It had the best hotel toiletries I’ve ever experienced. It had a lovely and minimalistic flat-panel TV. It had a hip yet comfortable platform bed that reminded me of an extra-fancy futon. It did not, however, have a hairdryer. I guess people who are of this hotel’s caliber simply do not require hairdryers. As befitting the VIPs we are, we got upgraded to a cabana room*. Apparently people who typically stay in these cabanas have oodles of time to allow their hair to dry naturally while enjoying a sun-soaked breakfast with mimosas by the pool. We, on the other hand, woke up late, ran out the door and ate Jack in the Box on the way home.

But hairdryer or no, we had a fantastic time. We bowled, we people-watched, we drank martinis. And did I mention Paris Hilton?

*What actually happened is that our room wasn’t ready when we arrived. So they gave us a better one. Awesome!

Friday, December 01, 2006

why i love today, by bearca.

It’s Friday.
I’m taking a half day (to go shopping and get my hair highlighted!)
Evan is finally getting a couple of new teeth that’s he’s been working on all week.
Tomorrow, I will be blissfully enjoying a night away from Teething Tantrum Boy.
Which means, on Sunday morning I may even get to sleep slightly longer than 6:00 a.m.

People: it’s all just so exciting. Happy weekend to you.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

picture of sisterly love

Yes, that's right: here is a pic of me and Poka Bean enjoying some Thanksgiving family togetherness. In this photo, we are snapping the ends off some grean beans while posing for our camera-happy father. She looks normal, but what is up with my weird head tilt?!? I appear to be about to tip over.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

it's a bad day when...

At 3:16 pm on a Wednesday, you develop an intense craving for a Snickers bar, which you fight as long as possible, which turns out to be approximately 30 minutes, and then you finally give in and drag your lazy behind out of your desk chair to go up two floors to the ONLY vending machines in this building, and then find yourself standing in front of a sign that says "Out of Order."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

what's for dinner?

I have so many things swirling around in my head right now that I’m finding it hard to formulate a cohesive post. Work: crazy. Holiday planning: crazy. Toddler who refuses at all costs to be strapped into a stroller: crazy.

Also, that hour and a half between arriving home after work and when Evan goes to bed: crazy. There is mail-opening, dinner-making, bath-giving, book-reading and more all before we collapse like zombies on the couch to watch whatever drama Fox has to offer. (seriously, did you watch Prison Break last night? Way to redeem a sub-par season with a decent ending.)

But back to the original point… anyone out there with the same problem? And what do you make for dinner that can take less than 30 minutes?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

beware, we won't be solving world hunger with the contents of this post.

After reading your comments and taking a comprehensive tour through my closet last night, I have settled on a Uniform outfit: jeans and a sassy black top. I was going to take Whoorl’s advice and do a photo collage of my potential sassy tops, but I was launched into a shame spiral of epic proportions when I attempted it. I think the problem could have been any of a number of factors: a) the fact that I was wearing a sloppy ponytail and sweats, which made every top look ridiculous, b) the incredible messiness of my closet, or c) the realization that I have a boatload of clothes but all of them are either work- or weekend-appropriate. I am lacking in sassy going-out attire appropriate for martini drinking. Which makes sense given, shall we say, my home-centric social life?

Nevertheless: shame spiral.

But peeps! I now feel just fine about it. I mean, jeans and a black top may not be the most inventive choice, but damn if I’m not gonna work it. I will accessorize and wear awesome lip gloss. Because that is how I roll! And because I was terrified of UC’s suggestion for leggings. Leggings! Let’s not forget that I lived through the 80’s when they actually happened and therefore, unlike the youth of today (kids these days!) I cannot in good conscience go back.

Now, stepping off soapbox…

What are you all doing for Thanksgiving? I will be eating two Thanksgiving dinners, one on Thursday and one on Friday. I will likely be gaining several pounds, possibly rendering my safe and boring Sassy Uniform ill-fitting.

Can you say shame spiral?!?

Monday, November 20, 2006

in which I beg desperately for your help

If one is invited to a surprise birthday party for one’s friend, that involves an overnight babysitter, staying at a schwanky hotel in Los Angeles and possibly the consumption of multiple expensive martinis, what should one wear? I should mention that bowling will also be involved.

I’m confused!

My current vote is for The Uniform, aka cute jeans and a sassy top. But which sassy top? Do I even own the perfect one?

This is what happens when your social life begins revolving around a child’s bedtime and DVR. Help me.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

open letter

Dear 3 faithful readers:

For some reason, I appear to be doing some sort of NaBloPoMo in reverse. NaNoBloPoMo: it’s the Bearca way of life! This could be because of any or all of the following factors:

  1. I have been traveling for work WAY more than I’d like to. My recent destinations have included such glamorous destinations as Rockville, MD; Columbus, OH; and Ottawa (ooh, international!).
  2. I recently got a promotion (yay me!), which has kept me busier at work than usual.
  3. I participated in a 1 mile ocean swim recently which rendered me too sore to effectively manipulate my keyboard.
  4. I have been home, desperately want to write to you, but have been trapped under something heavy*.

Well, regardless, I will be back to regularly scheduled programming shortly. I promise!

Love, Bearca

*please tell me you recognize this reference.

Monday, October 30, 2006

time change, schmime change

The baby sleep book that we read has advice on everything: getting your child to sleep, keeping them asleep, even how to handle the time change. Their helpful advice for ending Daylight Savings Time? Simply ignore the time change and your child will adjust automatically.


Ignore the time change, my arse.


If there’s one thing I’ve learned about having kids, it’s that they always do exactly the opposite of what you want them to do. If they sleep until 7:30 a.m. on Friday, whatever you do, don’t start hoping that the same thing will happen when Saturday morning rolls around. In fact, if experience is any guide, you should assume that the child will actually wake up several hours earlier just to spite you. Toddlers are sneaky like that.

So as I reset my clock on Saturday night, I went to bed thinking that Evan had been sleeping until 7 am pretty well for the last couple of weeks so maybe we’d hear from him around 6:00. In my dreams!

Instead, I was awakened at 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning to the sounds of Evan happily talking about what he wanted to do that day.

“Go walk” he said clearly, over and over.
“Go walk!”

He also threw in some discussion of Elmo (“Melmo”).

After ignoring him for an hour we were finally forced to get up and mainline coffee until the bleary-eyed state cleared up at, oh, about 3 pm.


Friday, October 27, 2006

welcome to the linguistic parking lot

My hub forwarded this to me and I almost died laughing. Below is an email he received with "helpful stock tips" (aka spam) that was a tad heavy on the spam filter avoidance language. Enjoy…


Most people believe that a satellite falls in love with a loyal tape recorder, but they need to remember how ostensibly a load bearing burglar wakes up. The inferiority complex thoroughly secretly admires the power drill. A frustrating briar patch satiates a boiled recliner. An overripe blithe spirit is muddy.

Most people believe that a chess board seeks a bartender about a cowboy, but they need to remember how almost a particle accelerator goes to sleep. A skyscraper finds subtle faults with the food stamp. Indeed, the molten satellite sells a photon inside an eggplant to an insurance agent. A hesitantly phony avocado pit single-handledly buries the load bearing warranty, and a fire hydrant graduates from a class action suit about a grain of sand. Furthermore, the fractured tuba player earns frequent flier miles, and an insurance agent toward a line dancer lazily finds lice on the inexorably imaginative movie theater. Now and then, a stoic bullfrog conquers a most difficult cheese wheel. A load bearing plaintiff sweeps the floor, because a cargo bay recognizes a cashier. Furthermore, the class action suit related to a microscope hesitates, and the familiar senator accidentally negotiates a prenuptial agreement with an avocado pit. Most people believe that a chess board seeks a bartender about a cowboy, but they need to remember how almost a particle accelerator goes to sleep. A skyscraper finds subtle faults with the food stamp. Indeed, the molten satellite sells a photon inside an eggplant to an insurance agent. A hesitantly phony avocado pit single-handledly buries the load bearing warranty, and a fire hydrant graduates from a class action suit about a grain of sand. A spider over the cashier organizes the girl scout. If a non-chalantly incinerated insurance agent plays pinochle with an often fat tornado, then a scythe inside a dolphin gets stinking drunk. Furthermore, a wrinkled polar bear feels nagging remorse, and an overwhelmingly highly paid umbrella dances with the cashier. Any tape recorder can recognize an avocado pit, but it takes a real blithe spirit to plan an escape from a linguistic parking lot some buzzard toward a pig pen. The surly cargo bay requires assistance from a spider.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

one crazy roommate

It happened to coincide almost exactly with turning 18 months old: my child may now be certifiably insane. One minute he’s happily playing with his toys and the next he is HOWLING AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS because we won’t let him hold a pumpkin while he gets his diaper changed. Or, we leave for the park without his balloon and ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.

Those things actually happened last weekend. It’s actually kind of funny how the slightest thing will set him off. Take for example the Pumpkin Incident.

We had just arrived home from some errand. Evan was reaching for the pumpkins that were sitting on our kitchen island, so I handed him a miniature one. He kept repeating his word for pumpkin (which happens to be “maniss” for reasons I don’t begin to comprehend) and a few minutes later we needed to take him upstairs to change him. I took the pumpkin and put it back on the table (a critical error) and my husband took him upstairs. He started crying on the way up the stairs and the tantrum escalated sharply upon realizing that the pumpkin was not accompanying him. “MANISS” he yells in between sobs, “MANISSSSSS!!!!” Dave laid him down amid much writhing and screaming. After a couple of minutes he realized it was a losing battle and said “Get the pumpkin! Get the pumpkin!” I ran downstairs, retrieved the pumpkin, then ran back up and handed it to Evan. He started smiling through his tears and saying “maniss” in this soft happy voice. From then on? He was absolutely fine. Until the next day, when we tried to get him in the car without his balloon and endured 15 minutes of screaming in the car. Good times.

I mean, I knew toddlers weren’t reasonable, but the violent reaction to things that aren’t that big a deal has surprised me. And maybe taken a year or two off my life.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Ahhhh… the weekend. What a relief! I will be engaging in activities such as getting the baby a haircut and going to the park. Not sleeping in, because although Evan has been sleeping until 7 am lately, tomorrow is Saturday and therefore he will wake up at 5:30 am. In fact, he often enjoys doing the opposite of what I think he should do. Like instead of eating his green beans, he throws them on the ground. And when I give him a spoon for his applesauce, he promptly turns it upside down and dips the handle in instead.

However, he has picked up a helpful habit recently. At night before it’s time for his bath, we say “time to clean up!” and he starts rushing around picking up his toys and putting them away. He’s very focused on it and it’s absolutely hilarious.

If only I could say “make mommy some coffee” and he would obey. I guess he’s still a bit young to be operating the grinder. I’ll give him another year or two on that.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

morning of chaos

Some days, going to work feels like a vacation. Today was one of those days. Case in point:

4:15 a.m. – I hear Evan crying on the monitor. He quickly stops crying but then starts talking. I hear words like “Momo” (which means “Elmo”) and “nose.” (yes, it’s random, but he has recently learned those words).

4:20 – He’s back to sleep.

5:30 – More crying. More talking. Elmo and nose again bandied about.

5:35 – Back to sleep.

6:40 – I get up, shower, get ready for work, wait for Evan to wake up for good.

7:30 – He’s still sleeping.

7:45 – Mr. Crankypants wakes up on the wrong side of the crib. Fusses. I change his diaper and get him dressed amid protests.

**Then, I make the critical decision. Since he woke up so late, do I feed him at home or take him to daycare and let them feed him? I decide in favor of the former because it allows me to spend a few more minutes with him.**

7:50 – we go downstairs and I attempt to get him settled in his high chair. In the process, I accidentally pinch his finger sliding the tray. Screaming ensues. I spend the next 10 minutes soothing and patting. Finally he calms down once I promise him a banana (“m’nana”).

8:05 – He is happily eating his m’nana and some Fruity Cheerios. We’re out of milk.

8:20 – He appears to be done eating so I start cleaning him up. I put him down and he stands in front of the TV watching Curious George while I wash his high chair tray. Finally, I’m ready to go and go over to pick him up. However, he is standing in a suspicious position, sort of a slight crouch. I do a quick check and sure enough… diaper is dirty. He helpfully says “poo-poo!” and I haul him upstairs to change the diaper amid much kicking and screaming.

8:30 – we are finally clean-diapered, fully dressed and ready to go. We say bye-bye to Daddy, then I strap him in the car, at which point it occurs to him that Daddy is leaving, so more tears ensue. We drive away, he calms down and talks my ear off all the way to daycare.

8:40 – I drop him off and proceed, exhausted, directly to the coffeemaker at my workplace.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

o canada

I just got back from a business trip to Ottawa. It was my third trip to Canada and also my third work-related trip to Canada. Which means, although I have been there three times, I have yet to do any meaningful sight-seeing. In fact, I might as well have been in Chicago, or Dallas, or San Francisco, save for the fact that I had to show my passport.

It was cold, though. Canada's definitely got that going for it.

Monday, October 09, 2006

it's monday, all right

My baby is full of snot.

My house is full of ants.

My inbox is full of work-related emails that I can't answer (see "my baby is full of snot" above).

And this is why I felt completely justified in eating cookies for breakfast today.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

and the hits just keep on coming

It must be the Weekend of Overhearing Ridiculous Things. Yesterday I was stepping off the escalator in Nordstrom and saw a woman holding a small dog wearing a sweater over its pink fur. This woman had run into an acquaintance and greeted her, then said "And this is my son, Playboy!" while holding up the pink-furred, sweatered dog for her to see.

I did a double-take to ascertain: was she actually talking about the dog? And since I couldn't see any other person who she could possibly be referring to when mentioning her "son," I had to draw the conclusion that she was.

Hmmm. Whatever.

Friday, October 06, 2006

reason #1 why evan will NEVER AGAIN go to a birthday party or grace the seat of an unprotected shopping cart

The scene: Target, Friday evening at approximately 5:30 p.m.

The players: One (1) annoying lady with two (2) small children sitting in a shopping cart five feet away from us.

What went down: With my back turned I hear a disturbing noise, then the woman's voice saying "In the bag! In the bag! In the FRICKIN bag!" We turn around to see the older kid hurling violently into a Target bag.

We quickly turn back in horror (nothing makes me nauseous faster than hearing or seeing someone throwing up) only to hear her then say, "You can't go to a birthday party covered in throw-up!"

Um, excuse me? How about now that you're throwing up you might want to SKIP THE BIRTHDAY PARTY????? Help a mother out over here.

Oh, and by the way, this kid then proceeded to fill at least two (2) bags with his puke.

It's times like this that I wish Target featured a handy haz-mat decon chamber at the door. Yuck.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

plum plum

I just got back from a quick trip to Kansas for my husband’s grandfather’s funeral. I guess it went as well as a trip to Kansas for a funeral could go, but I just want to say, if any of you out there have an almost 18 month old and want to take him on a two-hour flight followed up by a four-and-a-half hour drive: don’t. But if you do, rent a car with a DVD player so you can keep said almost 18 month old quiet with four and a half hours of the Wiggles. Then, by the end of the trip, your sister-in-law, who allegedly hates the Wiggles, will be singing the Wiggles songs nonstop even after you have exited the car (“and she looks like a sugar and a plum PLUM PLUM!!!”).

And to think I used to think DVD players in cars were a bad idea.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

hurts so good

In my quest to achieve a supermodel-fabulous* body, I’ve been going to this Pilates mat class at lunch and I love it. I went Monday and now feel like I’ve been beaten about the shoulders and rib cage by a vicious bat-wielding toddler. But in a good way! I’m sitting here slumped over at my desk, drinking coffee and eating a scavenged pastry from the meeting going on in the conference room near my office. What? You think the pastry might run counter to my fitness goals? Hmmm. I digress. Anyway, Pilates is happening again today so I will go, because nothing is more awesome than wearing workout clothes while contorting your body into compromising positions among co-workers.

*and by “supermodel-fabulous,” I mean somewhat less flabby around the midsection, with maybe a defined muscle in sight SOMEWHERE.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


So many things about parenthood are different than I expected.

I was never one of those people who adored everyone else’s children. Now, a stroller goes by and I crane my neck to catch a glimpse of the little person inside. (I’m a convert.)

I was afraid of the constant barrage of dirty diapers. I had no idea that soon, they’d be no big deal. Grab a few wipes, clean it up and move on.

I dreaded the lack of sleep. That actually did suck as much as I thought it would – but it was temporary.

I had absolutely no idea how simple developmental steps would blind me with awe. My reaction to watching my child learning how to knock on the door, climb stairs or take a bite of a pear has surprised me no end. The visceral sense of pride I feel every time he does something new is powerful.

I dreaded the lack of time to myself. But now I treasure the few bits of time that I do have, and enjoy them that much more.

I am naturally impatient, and thought I’d be intolerant of a toddler’s timetable. And sometimes I am. But most of the time, I enjoy sitting back and watching him do things on his terms.

I was afraid my house would be overrun with toys. It kind of is.

I didn’t know how much I would come to appreciate hand sanitizer.

I thought I would dislike all children’s TV shows – annoying! But now I find myself humming Wiggles songs constantly. Surprisingly, I don’t hate it.

I’m sure many people have waxed far more eloquently than I ever could about what it means to be a mother. All I can say is that it’s transformed me in more ways than I can count.

Monday, September 25, 2006

because cat furniture can be dangerous in the hands of a washed-up glam rocker

On Saturday night, we got a little crazy and rented a movie. Wild times at our house! My husband agreed to go in and pick it out while Evan and I waited in the car. He came back with something I’ve never heard of – New York Doll. I was skeptical.

It was a documentary about the bass player from the New York Dolls, Arthur “Killer” Kane. In case you don’t know (I didn’t), the New York Dolls was a glam rock band from the 70’s. Evidently my knowledge of 70’s glam rock is sorely lacking. Basically what happened is that the band broke up because someone died, and the other band members went on to further success in music, but Arthur became a Mormon and started working in the Family History Center in the Los Angeles temple. The only person I could think to compare him to was the Grizzly Man. He truly was the Grizzly Man of rock & roll! Even down to the haircut and the way they talked – very similar.

Even though I’d never heard of the movie and the topic was someone I knew nothing about, I ended up enjoying it. It had an incredibly bittersweet ending and he was a sympathetic character. I have to say, though, there was a redeeming moment of unintentional comedy (yet another similarity to Grizzly Man!) that will stay with me forever.

The thing with Arthur is that he was pretty bitter after witnessing some of his bandmates’ success. They illustrated this fact by interviewing Arthur’s wife, who told the story of when Arthur had seen one of his former bandmates in a role as a cab driver in the movie Scrooged. Apparently this sent him into such a rage that he drank a quart of peppermint schnapps and started (and I quote) “beating me with the cat furniture.” After that he jumped out of a window and fell through an awning and hurt himself pretty badly… yadda yadda yadda. The whole story was about him hitting bottom, which is what eventually led him to find the Mormon church and was therefore essential to the entire story. However, I really heard nothing after the comment about him beating her with the cat furniture.

I had never thought that cat furniture could be used as a weapon. We started musing on what type of cat furniture it might have been. A scratching post? One of those multi-story things with the individual cat platforms? Who knows? I may never feel safe in a cat owner’s home again.

Friday, September 22, 2006

B.E. vs. A.E.

Now that I have a child, it occurs to me how I recklessly wasted eons of time before he was born. What did I do with my life? I wonder this because somehow, I feel like I get more done now than I ever did before. For example:

B.E. (Before Evan)
7:45 am – slowly drag self out of bed, lounge comfortably on couch drinking coffee and watching Today show.
9:00 – get to work.
5:30 pm – leave work and go home.
7:00 – eat dinner.
10:30 – go to bed.

A.E. (After Evan)
6:30 am – hear child talking on the monitor. Get up and change dirty diaper.
6:35 – gather up a load of laundry. Throw in washer.
6:45 – play with baby, then get him dressed.
7:00 – take baby downstairs for breakfast. Make coffee and empty dishwasher while child eats.
7:10 – eat bowl of cereal.
7:15 – turn on Sesame Street to allow self to do breakfast dishes.
8:00 – leave the house to drop baby off at day care.
8:30 – arrive at work and do normal worky things.
5:00 pm – leave work, pick up baby.
5:10 – stop at store to get milk.
5:30 – arrive home and frantically pull together something for baby to eat for dinner. (meanwhile, lovely hubby making something for us)
6:00 – eat dinner.
6:30 – go for a quick after dinner walk.
7:00 – bath time!
7:15 – baby goes to sleep.
7:30 – Clean kitchen, pay bills, iron, throw the clean laundry from this morning into the dryer, whatever else needs to be done.
8:00 – blissful TV watching period, often involving consumption of ice cream.

I’m not sure how this happens, but I get so much more done in a day than I used to. It must just be necessity, I guess, but I sure look back and feel like I was a shiftless underachiever. My next challenge is finding time in above A.E. schedule for working out so I can improve my body to previously unknown levels of fabulousness.

Who am I kidding.

Monday, September 18, 2006

life & times

So I’ve been avoiding blogging because my life has been a tad boring lately. Well, I don’t think it’s boring, but there are only so many times you can post things like “on Saturday we took Evan to the park. It was fun. The end!” Because that’s how our weekends go down around here.

This weekend was, predictably, much the same. We did take him to the park. In fact, we took him to several parks! Sometimes I feel like my life is the eternal quest for the perfect park. There must be a large grass area, for proper baby exhaustion. There must be playground equipment safe for the little guys. And there must be a Starbucks on the way so that I can get a frosty iced coffee before we get there.

So anyway. We went to the park(s). We also got to go out to dinner on Saturday night to celebrate my husband’s birthday (which is actually today… happy birthday babe!). We went to Roy's, which was uber delicious. I had macadamia nut encrusted red snapper and a Hawaiian martini. Yum!

Also this weekend: I bought a new pair of sunglasses, I learned that Whoorl wasn’t kidding about the delicious cupcakes they have at this place, and Evan now knows how to say "turtle."

It was a winner.

Monday, September 11, 2006


You know when you wear a pair of new shoes to work? And at about 8:05 a.m., you start feeling this painful rubbing against your heel? And then, you dig in your desk drawer for a band-aid and put it on, only to find that eight minutes later, after walking 12 feet to the conference room, your shoe has shoved the band-aid so that it rides up and uncovers the sore spot? Then, you go to the first aid kit in the kitchen and stock up on bandages so you can experiment with interesting and creative new band-aid placements. Like for example… the double. Or the perpendicular cross. Or, the configuration that I am currently experimenting with: the knuckle bandage placed over a standard bandage for more coverage. I am sporting this attractive band-aid mélange on both feet right now. Such is my life.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

evan's dictionary

Here is a comprehensive guide to understanding the words that come out of my son’s mouth, listed in alphabetical order by pronunciation.

a-bah -> ball (said constantly and repeated multiple times when he spots any kind of ball)
ba-ba -> bye-bye
bwis -> books
cancake -> pancake
canket -> blanket
da mor -> good morning
down -> down (said repeatedly every morning when he’s awake and wants to be rescued from his crib)
gowah -> go for a walk
ice -> outside
kah -> rock (repeated ad nauseum when he sees a rock of any size… who knows, maybe he’ll grow up to be a geologist)
mo -> more
ni-ni -> night-night
pwis -> please (said sparingly)
yi-yo -> lion


Tuesday, August 22, 2006


We are heading out of town for a couple of days and holy Hannah, we are going to leave Evan overnight for the very. first. time. We have left him many a time to go to dinner, concerts, movies, etc. but this is an actual overnight babysitting gig. Which means, we will not be sleeping one room away from him. In fact, we will be sleeping approximately 65 miles away from him. I think this is a great idea on the surface, but I’m sure I will talk about him nonstop in truly annoying mom fashion.

But fun! We are going to stay at a swanky hotel and it is going to be awesome. Happy 7th wedding anniversary to us.

Friday, August 18, 2006

i'm in love

Note that calcium has been added. It's practically a health food!

Delicious and nutritious.

It's a win-win.


OK, so I may have exaggerated a bit in my last post. Thankfully, I did not end up spending $800 on my tires (phew!). $800 was what the stupid Ford dealer wanted to charge me for the exact same tires that I was later able to hook up at Costco for $500 (complete with a $60 discount for a set of four Michelins) . So yay for that.

HOWEVER, now my husband needs new tires too. Lordy.

Well, I'm sick of having to spend all our money on tires and air conditioning. But I am even sicker of complaining about it, so I hereby promise that I will attempt to refrain from this boring topic in the future.

And! It's almost the weekend. Ahhhh.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


New tires: $800

New brakes: $500

Enormous tub of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows: $15

Me praying to all that is holy that I will stop hemorrhaging cash on various home and automobile repairs: PRICELESS

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


What was that I was saying about things falling apart around here? Well, apparently it extends to cars. This morning I had just dropped Evan off at day care and was merrily driving to work, feeling all smug and virtuous about having gotten up early to go to swim practice. All of a sudden… boom! I hear this thunderous noise and the car starts driving all bumpy. Grrr – flat tire. I pulled over, called AAA and waited almost an hour for the tow truck guy to come change my tire. He did and I was on my way.

But now! I have to get some new tires and my smug feeling? Gone.

I am currently sitting here nursing my wounded pride with a tall cup off hot chocolate with the mini-marshmallows.

Monday, August 14, 2006

bearca's formula for winning big $$ at the horse races

Here are two simple questions to ask yourself when betting on a horse:

1) Does the horse have a good/intriguing/unique/funny name?
2) Is the horse pretty?

If you have answered yes to one or both of these questions, then you have yourself a winner. Jockey? Trainer? Lasik? Blah! I’m all about aesthetics when it comes to horse racing.

We went to Del Mar on Saturday and this was my formula. May I say, it worked like a charm! We won the big bucks*. Well, enough to pay for our margaritas, anyway. And to me, there’s a successful day at the races.

* If by big bucks, you mean winning $24 on a $2 bet.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

freon ain't free

We seem to be in a place right now where lots of things in our house need fixing. We bought the house brand new, and haven’t even lived in it five years, yet in the last two weeks we have had people out to service both our washing machine and our air conditioning. Cool! Spending money on fixing things that we completely take for granted is the best.

(palpable sarcasm)

Example #1: The Laundry Episode
A couple of weekends ago, I was doing some laundry. During one load, I was downstairs cleaning up the kitchen and heard my husband calling me upstairs. I go back up and hear a hideous noise coming from the washing machine. I stop the cycle, then find out that I can’t get it to spin, and that it WILL fill up with rinse water, but it WON’T drain. Picturing our clothes soaking in water for two days just doesn’t cut it for me, so I take each item out of the washer and hand-wring it out before putting it in the dryer, almost breaking the dryer in the process because the load was too heavy. Awesome!

I set up a service appointment for two days later. The guy comes to the house, shows my husband that it’s this little part under the lid, fixes it in 20 minutes and charges us $160 to replace a $30 part. You know, for LABOR.

Example #2: The Air Conditioning Caper
Last weekend (again over a weekend!?!) our air conditioning just stops working. The fan still worked, but the a/c unit outside just went dead. Lucky for us, Southern California is experiencing really nice weather, unlike the 112 degrees it was two weeks ago (and don’t EVEN think I am kidding about that number… it really was, I swear). Bottom line, though, since it’s only been in the low 80s, we can live with it for a couple of days until we can get someone out to fix it.

We find out through our next-door neighbor that a lot of people in our neighborhood have had problems with our air conditioning over the last couple of weeks. So on Sunday, we go door to door asking them what happened, who did you call to fix it, etc. One neighbor seemed to have the answer. It went something like this:

“Uh, yeah, it’s the switch behind the control plate. You just have to get in there and file it down with a nail file. But stay away from the rotogirder because it’s next to the flux capacitor, which holds 1.21 jigowatts of electricity. Hoo boy! Did I get a shock when I touched that!”

Did I hear a niner in there? We look at him blankly, and immediately and telekinetically agree that we are going to call a professional.

But guess what? All the professionals are already scheduled fixing everyone else’s air conditioning that was overused in the recent heat wave. May I remind you that it was 112 degrees.

So we end up calling this emergency air conditioner repair guy, who fixed our friends’ a/c recently and who also overcharged them for doing so. (We were warned.)

He came over today. First of all, he was this enormous bodybuilder with a very thick Russian accent. Who knows? Maybe they have excellent air conditioning trade schools in Russia. Anyway, he checks the fan. He checks the fuses. He checks the switch behind the control panel and the flux capacitor.

He comes back into the house and announces that we need a new conductor and some freon, and that will be $325 please. He fixes it in 10 minutes and is out the door with my check.

I tell my husband the whole story and he is shocked and horrified. And after looking it up on the internet, comes to the conclusion that he probably took me for double what it should have cost. Apparently the freon thing can be a scam – you really shouldn’t need new freon unless you have a leak. Damn Google. What’s that saying? Ignorance is bliss?

Anyway, the air conditioning works again, which is good, despite the fact that we are $325 poorer. Well, technically we are $485 poorer, if you count the washing machine.

Lordy I hope nothing else goes wrong for a while. I guess the moral of the story is, when your friends tell you that the Russian bodybuilder might overcharge you, he will.

Monday, August 07, 2006

baby action

I’m happy to report that the limp is finally gone! After multiple doctor visits and x-rays (all of which were negative), it just went away on its own after a few days. So now I no longer have to envision my tiny toddler dragging a leg cast around. Now THAT would have been sad.

And he must be fine, because he’s learned how to climb up on all the furniture! He’s also added the words “go” and “jump” into his vocabulary. He’s all about the action.

On that note, I will present an updated list of things Evan likes and doesn’t like:

Climbing furniture:

Eating vegetables:

Walking independently:

Being confined to a stroller:
The hatred is intense.

The Wiggles:

When I take a forbidden object out of his hand:
The wrath descends.

That's all for now, peeps. I will leave you with only one further note, which is that my husband was called "girlfriend" by a not-heterosexual man at Banana Republic yesterday. Hmmm.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Do you want to know what one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen is?

A 15-month old baby with an unexplained limp.

Yes, that’s my boy. We noticed he was limping on Friday night. It was barely perceptible on Saturday, but got worse on Sunday. We ended up taking him to urgent care in a panic, thinking somehow he had fallen and broken his leg without us knowing. (Or without daycare knowing, because you better believe that was the first phone call I made when I saw the limp. But my daycare is awesome. I digress. )

The other saddest thing is two parents holding a 15-month old limping baby down on the x-ray table. I could cry just thinking about it.

But after two doctor visits and a trip to the hospital for x-rays, they didn’t find anything – no apparent infection, no broken bone, no nothing! Just a 15-month old baby with an unexplained limp.

He's getting better though, slowly but surely.

Friday, July 28, 2006

an actual conversation that took place at my house

Me: “Evan, what does a duck say?”

Evan: “Kack kack!”

Me: (giggling uncontrollably at the realization that my son is a genius) “YES! That’s right! That’s exactly what a duck says!” (meanwhile I continue to quack loudly while making funny faces to encourage him to keep it up)

I’m all about sacrificing my dignity.

Monday, July 24, 2006

weekend festivities

Apparently, this is the time of year where it seems that I wake up in Florida every day. Enough with the hot! And the humid, OMG. This weekend was cray-zay. On Saturday it was literally 108 degrees at my house. I better start saving money to pay for my electric bill.

But apart from that it was a rather nice weekend. Swimming lessons continue to be awesome fun. Once we were done at the pool we retreated to the air conditioning and pretty much stayed there all day. My sister-in-law came to visit us so we headed to the mall for even more air conditioning. Then we watched Grizzly Man – highly recommended, very interesting documentary.

Yesterday afternoon we headed up to Fashion Island thinking that it would be a bit cooler with the ocean breezes. And Fashion Island, it never disappoints. It was ten degrees cooler, plus they have those funny fountains with bubbles of water that explode out of the ground and land on the heads of unsuspecting toddlers who dare to walk along their surfaces. Good fun. After the fountain, a ride on the carousel (Evan’s first), and an eyeshadow purchase from the MAC counter at Macy’s, we headed over to Bandera for a delicious dinner. It was there that we determined, lo and behold, that Evan enjoys artichokes! We were sitting back sipping our cocktails and saying la la la, our child is the best, he is so well-behaved AND he likes artichokes. Then when he was done with his dinner he began throwing Cheerios so we beat a hasty retreat.

We got home, put him to bed, went downstairs, watched Entourage and ate Drumsticks. In my opinion, Drumsticks must always live in my freezer. Always. Well, until they are eaten.

Friday, July 21, 2006


You know what sucks? When you have a massive sneezing attack right after you've put on mascara.

Also, when you are lounging comfortably on your sofa watching the British Open and sipping your second cup of coffee and then you realize: it's not Saturday.


Monday, July 17, 2006


Hello peeps. Since it's been a while, I'll just update you with a few small items to start getting you up to speed on what's going on in my life.

1) Just got back from a business trip to Columbus, Ohio. It was hot there.

2) It's also hot here.

3) Getting home from Columbus was a nightmare involving multiple missed flights, ridiculous security lines, ground holds in Chicago due to bad weather, and whatnot.

4) The mommy & me swimming lessons are going great! We just had our fourth lesson on Saturday and we've gone from hysterical crying (lesson 1) to whining (lesson 2) to only whining when our face gets wet (lesson 3) to pure unadulterated joy at being in the water (lesson 4). Success.

5) I am once again obsessed with HBO's Entourage.

Because I have a lot of work to do at this moment, I must cut the list short. I promise to update again soon with more. Three-week blog hiatuses (hiati?) are for the birds...

Monday, July 03, 2006

you know you're out of shape when...

...spending 20 minutes crouched down in a swimming pool holding a toddler causes quadricep pain so intense you can barely walk down the stairs.

Friday, June 23, 2006

twice in one week, now that's a record

Hi! Here I am, making a concerted effort to post more than once a week. And what a week it’s been. Yesterday, I spent an hour and a half at the dermatologist’s office getting, count them, five skin biopsies for various suspicious spots. That was a good time. I have to say, though, apart from the whole scary “waiting to find out if I have skin cancer” thing, the process was rather fascinating. I love Discovery Health, all surgery channels, etc. so I thought it would be interesting to watch the doctor do the biopsies. And it was. Is that weird? Does that make me sound like a freak? I’m really not, I’m just fascinated by anything medical. Apparently, even my own.

Anyhoo – I need a good book to read to take my mind off my impending skin cancer doom. Any recommendations?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

few and far between

Wow, has it really been this long since I posted? Apparently yes. Maybe I should start a movement: Blogging Once a Week (or Less) For Fun And Profit!

Well, what’s going on Chez Bearca? Lots, I tell ya. Last night I went to the spa with some girlfriends and had a fabulous massage, followed up with a margarita and copious amounts of homemade tortillas from El Torito. Yum. Oh! And I’ll be traveling to Columbus, Ohio in the next few weeks on business. Really looking forward to that. And? This Saturday, we start Mommy & me swim classes! I cannot wait. Evan has these new swim trunks and let me tell you, just thinking about him standing by the pool with his belly hanging out over those trunks brings a tear to my eye.

And also? I am in the market for some really awesome aviator sunglasses that are not too Hollywood obnoxious looking. I’m sure that will take up a boatload of my internet surfing time for the foreseeable future.

But speaking of internet surfing time, please do yourself a favor and read this. Random, but so very funny.

Friday, June 09, 2006

weekend bonanza

I’m heading into this weekend with yet another lengthy list of things to get done. There will be Costco! There will be planting in the backyard! Diapers will be purchased!

So basically, it’s going to be an awesome weekend. I am feeling a bit blah today. Not sure if it’s the weather (which is yucky) or just some sort of general malaise (also yucky) but I am just kind of ehhhhhhhh.

Adding to my anticipated weekend dissatisfaction is that the book that I’m reading right now, American Pastoral by Philip Roth, is not really grabbing my attention right now despite the fact that it won a Pulitzer. I mean, I get it that this guy represented the American dream and all that is possible and then it was all taken away with one selfish misguided act by his revolutionary daughter. I get it already! Geez. Also, this book is the literary equivalent of a gigantic salad. To beat you over the head with the analogy, you know how you can be eating a salad for what feels like an hour and you still find yourself with an enormous bowl of lettuce? That is what reading this book is like. I keep reading and reading and somehow I have been stuck in the middle of it for the better part of two weeks.

So in addition to the diaper buying and the Costco food tasting, I will also focus on Pulizer prize-winning book conquering.

Monday, June 05, 2006

this weekend by the numbers

Times Evan threw up in his bed on Saturday night: 2

Number of sheets soiled in the process: 2

Hours of sleep I got that night: 4

Alcoholic beverages I consumed over the weekend: 4

There is nothing like doing barf laundry at midnight on Saturday night because you are running out of clean crib sheets and sleepers! And this was not the wimpy spit-up of months past. This was real, honest-to-goodness throw-up, complete with chunks and the vomit smell. I will spare you additional details (come to think of it, are there any? That was pretty graphic).

All in all, though, the weekend wasn’t a total loss. Some notable achievements:
  • Bought a new dining room table!!
  • Scheduled an appointment with the carpet cleaners
  • Got a new baby gate for downstairs
  • Went to the nursery to get some plants for the backyard
  • Spent a bunch of time hanging out in the yard enjoying the hot weather
  • Had my sis and her husband over for dinner (complete with some uber-delicious chipotle mashed potatoes)

So despite the chunk-blowing, it wasn’t a bad weekend. But is anyone else annoyed with the way they wrapped up the Sopranos episode last night? Barely anything happens all season and then they close it down for who knows how many more months. Thank goodness Entourage is coming back next weekend. Yay!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

pride goeth before a fall

Over the last couple of months I’ve nearly broken my arm patting myself on the back thinking “Wow, I’ve really got this working mom thing wired! What are all those people whining about?” Perhaps it’s my incredible organizational skills! My incessant list-making! My ability to juggle home and work flawlessly and simultaneously!

But lately my son has been a magnet for every virus in his day care. First there was the roseola incident. A couple weeks later he got a fever and had to come home. Then over the weekend, he got another fever and had to stay home on Tuesday. And I have a couple of business trips coming up.

Then I realized, this is where the rubber meets the road. This is where my always-present-but-often-latent guilt rears its big black head. Am I spending enough time comforting my sick child? And when I am, are people at work thinking “Is that slacker taking care of her ‘sick baby’ again?” And if they are, do I care?

It turns out I do.

I have such an overactive sense of guilt that I struggle with the concept of doing the best I can. I am pulled in so many directions. But even so, I am so lucky to have a supportive and helpful spouse. I also have a supportive manager. I have a housekeeper who comes every two weeks to scrub the house from top to bottom, and a gardener who comes every Friday to mow our tiny lawn. So what am I complaining about?

I guess it’s an age-old problem that I’m not exempt from after all. At the same time, I wouldn’t trade it for anything (except maybe the ultimate flexibility of independent wealth.) Unrealistic dreams aside, I’m generally pretty happy with my arrangement. It’s been eye-opening to realize that even though I’m content with the way things are, that doesn’t mean it won’t blow up from time to time.

Maybe I just need to be okay with that. It still scares me, though.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

overheard at lunch today

I was sitting outside in the beautiful sunshine, eating a delicious panini and eavesdropping on the conversation that the geeks at the next table were having. My heart was warmed by the fact that they were peppering references to So I Married an Axe Murderer throughout their conversation. Also, they were discussing how LL Bean sells indestructible jeans and how that would be the ultimate in clothing. One guy said “I will buy seven pairs and never have to shop again!”

Putting aside the fact never having to shop again would be my personal hell, this overheard conversation made me realize how much I love nerds.

Monday, May 22, 2006

operation baby exhaustion

Now that my baby (and by “baby,” I mean child who walks everywhere and therefore is no longer officially an infant but how can I not call him a baby anymore, SOB) is extremely mobile, I have a new parenting strategy. The strategy is to provide him opportunities to exhaust himself so that he will become compliant and amenable to anything I want him to do. Like for example sleep. This weekend, the new strategy manifested itself in a couple of different areas.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day so we packed up a bag and some beach chairs and headed off to the park. Silly us, we did not understand that chairs are useless in this new parenting strategy! No, rather the park for us means following him on foot everywhere he goes so we can be prepared to extricate the leaves that he picks up off the ground and shoves in his mouth, or ready to change his direction if he’s rapidly heading toward a ditch. I should also warn you that this strategy requires climbing. I figure working against gravity has got to be a successful method for baby exhaustion. Well, it is, but it is also a fairly reliable way to exhaust your husband. Mine was forced to climb up the playground apparatus approximately eight (8) times to go down the slide.

Then, Sunday we went to the Irvine Spectrum, which is kind of a weird mall, but it has an Oakley store so the hub wanted to go there. In a mall setting, executing the strategy means setting the child free and following after him with the stroller, possibly with some baby wipes in hand to de-dirtify him after he has literally done a belly flop into a puddle and stuck his fingers in every drain he sees.

So there you have it. Operation Baby Exhaustion was a success, but I still haven’t recovered. Red Bull, anyone?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

stickin' it to the man, part two

The poor attitude exhibited in my last post has passed. Yes, I still have a gigantic zit on my nose and an atrocious up-do, but what are you gonna do. I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do: buck up, drink a caffeine-free Diet Coke and tell you about something really awesome that happened to me recently. Like, really awesome. Not sarcastic awesome.

Did you know that if you get a speeding ticket in the state of California, you have the right to a Trial by Written Declaration? That means you can fight your ticket by mail without ever having to step in front of a judge. And furthermore, if you do not like the way the judge rules in this Trial by Written Declaration, did you know that you have the right to request an entirely new trial? Yes. It is true. I know this because I am a nerd and read the vehicle code.

I am not so much of a nerd that I read the vehicle code for fun. I read it because yes, I got a ticket for ALLEGEDLY going 47 in a 35 mph zone. I repeat, allegedly. This troubled me. This troubled me because it was my second ticket in less than 18 months (um, for speeding) which means that I couldn’t go to traffic school to get it off my record. So, I decided to pursue a Trial by Written Declaration because after all? What did I have to lose.

I will now detail the chronology of me fighting the power.

I sent a letter requesting a Trial by Written Declaration, enclosing my bail payment of $119.50.
The court sent me back the forms I needed to submit evidence on my behalf.
I wrote up all such evidence and had my attorney (for full disclosure, I should say my husband who is an attorney) review it.
I mail the stuff to the court.
I anxiously await the judge’s decision over the next six weeks and obsessively check the mailbox hoping for news of my fate.

And then, it happened. I got a notice from the court in Saturday’s mail. I opened it up and guess what? My ticket had been dismissed! Either my case had been incredibly well-argued, or the cop who cited me had failed to respond in the time he was given.

Either way, they will be refunding the money I paid for the ticket and for now, the People of the State of California are off my back.


Today is really annoying.

Exhibit A: I have an enormous zit right on the tip of my nose that no amount of concealer can hide.

Exhibit B: Work is stressful.

Exhibit C: The weather is blah.

Exhibit D: Bad hair day. Just now I took a camera phone shot of myself to illustrate said bad hair day, but decided that it was too hideous to share with the internet.

Cupcakes. Where are cupcakes when you need them?

More later when I recover from this funk.

Friday, May 05, 2006

where shopping carts go to die

I just went grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. Now, I love shopping there as much as the next gal, but I've figured out how they keep their prices so reasonable. It's because they eliminated the budget line item that other stores keep on the books to purchase shopping carts. Honestly. Trader Joe's has the most horrific shopping carts in the history of any retail establishment. I have never gotten a cart there that steered right, that I didn't have to use all my admittedly minimal upper body strength to navigate it down the aisles. It's annoying. Annoying, but worth it in order to enjoy the possibly heroin-filled cracker discs knows as Savory Mini Thins.

And: on the way home from Trader Joe's, I heard Edie Brickell's "What I Am" on the radio, followed up by Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Fabulously reminiscent of tenth grade. Jack FM, I salute you. You are doing the Lord's work.

Monday, May 01, 2006

V is for vindicated

I love to read, and to avoid my book habit wreaking havoc on my budget, I frequent the library quite often. (is that redundant?) I also really enjoy reading a nice little crime drama slash detective story from time to time, especially while traveling. There’s something about spending a couple of hours living vicariously through Kay Scarpetta or Kinsey Millhone that really makes a flight seem short.

One time, though, I left a copy of Sue Grafton’s “Q is for Quarry” on a plane. Oops! I went to the library to report my transgression and paid whatever lost book fee there was.

So when I recently checked out a book for my flight to Ottawa, I didn’t give it a second thought until I got a phone call saying it was overdue… after I had already returned it.

Then, I received a threatening letter explaining that the next step would be to turn me over to collections. Sheesh, these library folks don’t mess around. Remember that Seinfeld?

The funny part? The book they claimed was overdue was none other than, you guessed it, Sue Grafton’s “L is for Lawless.”

After a quick phone call to the library, they were able to find the book on the shelves and absolve me of any wrongdoing. What a relief. I was starting to dread the library cop shakedown. Almost as bad as a tax audit.

new era

This weekend was action-packed. We went to see my parents so Evan could hang with Grandma and Grandpa. Success. He was happy wandering around their house, doing laps from the kitchen to the living room and back like he loves to. But yesterday Dr. Jekyll showed a little Mr. Hyde (or is it the other way around?). We took him for his second haircut ever, and he screamed bloody murder. Which was weird, because at his first haircut he had a grand old time. Then we made nice by taking him to the park so he could go on the swings. All was forgiven.

At this point he has definitely developed preferences and whatever the opposite of preferences are. Here is the current scorecard of various activities and Evan’s reaction to them:

Bottle? Good.
Sippy cup with milk? Um, not so much.
Walking? Good.
Being carried? Bad.
Walking around the house with the remote control? Good.
When Mommy takes the remote control away? GOD HELP US.
Swings? Excellent.
Shots? See “When Mommy takes the remote control away” above.

Apparently, the era of the docile, agreeable baby is gone for good. Don’t get me wrong, he is a great kid. He just knows what he wants, and a haircut ain’t it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

beware, this is a rambling post about the beauty of list-making and a plea for recipes involving powdered wasabi

I am the type of person who makes a list for absolutely everything. I don’t think I could function in a world without lists. I could make a list of the various lists that I keep and it would make me happy. Crossing things off is just so satisfying. I don’t know if it’s my natural tendency or if it’s directly caused by too many years in a corporate environment. Possibly both.

So a typical to-do list for me might read something like this:

  • Do expense report
  • Pay AmEx bill
  • Get car washed
  • Drop clothes off at Salvation Army
  • Get groceries
  • Call for haircut appt.

The beauty of this list is that guess what? It spawns another list! A grocery list. Now we’re just getting warmed up. I have often thought that it would be helpful to make a grocery list in the order that you would encounter the items in the store. However, I am not really that anal. I am surface anal. For example, my house looks clean, but whatever you do, DO NOT open a drawer or closet. The results will frighten you.

So where was I? Well, it has come to my attention that not everyone lives and dies by the list. Some people do things willy-nilly! Throwing caution to the wind! Doing errands in a haphazard and unorganized fashion! I could tell you about the time I sent my husband to the grocery store for some dinner items and he came home with a can of powdered wasabi. We were not having sushi for dinner. We were not having Japanese food for dinner, in fact. But to this day, there is still a can of powdered wasabi cooling its heels in my pantry. A never-used can of powdered wasabi.

This is what happens when a list is disregarded. Powdered wasabi happens. But I am of the school of thought that believes when life gives you powdered wasabi, you make powdered wasabi lemonade. So if you know of any recipes that use powdered wasabi, please write it up for me and leave it in the comments section. Just avoid any lemonade recipes because hello, that was figurative.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


People, people, people. It is Tuesday and therefore I am rubbing my hands together with glee just thinking about what vocal delights the American Idols have in store for me tonight. Then, I will be spending an hour with my semi-secret television boyfriend Dr. House afterward. Win-win.

Also, I have discovered a delicious new beverage: Aquafina sparkling water in lemon-lime. Tasty.

And in unrelated news, I am really hoping the metallic trend keeps up for a while. I have made a few investments in that arena (shoes, bags, etc.) and would be sorely disappointed if it suddenly went out of style. I have this annoying tendency to go completely overboard on something I like and it turns into somewhat of an obsession. But what happens is that I’ll be a complete naysayer on that thing for up to a year before I end up embracing it full-scale. For example, back in the late 90’s I thought it was so lame that cropped pants came back in style. A year later I ended up with about 800 pairs of cropped pants in my closet. And now, I can see the writing on the wall. Right now, I’m hating the straight leg skinny jean. I love, love, love the boot cut and think it’s so much more flattering – for me at least. But I can just see myself in April 2007 wearing skinny jeans nonstop, eating my words along the way. I don’t know why I do this. Evidently I am just a Late Adopter of fashion trends.

So if you’re wandering around the OC and see a girl in flared jeans and multiple metallic accessories, feel free to say hello.

Monday, April 24, 2006

i'm back...

So, it's been a while. Here's why:

Baby gets high fever for four days, ruining his first birthday party and forcing us to kick out assembled family members to take him to the clinic on Easter Sunday.

The next day, I leave home to spend the week in Ottawa for work-related meetings.

A hefty dose of mom guilt ensues.

Meanwhile, it turns out he has roseola.

Husband stays home from work for two days to take care of sick baby.

More guilt.
More guilt.
More guilt.

... and so on.

Anyway, I am home, baby is much better and I think everyone has recovered. But today... today is his one-year checkup, which means he will get stuck with multiple needles. It's always something.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I warned you that I wasn't a home biscuit

So I made the cupcakes. Everything was going well until I attempted to crack an egg into my KitchenAid mixer while it was running. I got the egg cracked and the innards went into the mixing bowl. Then, with a quick accidental slip, half the egg shell fell into the bowl and I watched in horror as the mixing apparatus crunched the shell in with the perfectly creamed butter and sugar. Ouch.

So I had to start that process over again. The second time, I just cracked the egg into a bowl first so that I could control the egg shell environment. And it was successful.

The cupcakes turned out okay, but a tad dry. And my icing may have been a little lumpy. I told the day care lady today to make sure the kids have something to drink while they eat them. I hate to think of a kid choking on an organic cupcake that was supposed to be good for him. I think that might even be actual irony.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

look to the cupcake

Can I just tell y’all, I love to blog about nothing. My blog is becoming Seinfeld revisited. I mean, the contents of my refrigerator? Who isn’t fascinated by that? But honestly, it’s kind of refreshing not to put so much pressure on myself to come up with witty and interesting topics. I am in a phase where I would rather post more often, albeit less interestingly, so as to encourage myself to write more.

And in the spirit of blogging about nothing… tonight I will be having my traditional Tuesday evening. Which is to say, I will be sitting on my couch, eating leftovers and watching Fox. And I’m wondering, how exactly is American Idol going to do with the songs of Queen? Come to think of it, I can honestly only think of two Queen songs: Bohemian Rhapsody and We Are The Champions. And I can’t imagine either of those making a good AI performance.

**Begin Supermom alert**

Oh, and tonight I am also going to make cupcakes for Evan’s birthday party at day care. I am no home biscuit, but tonight I am going to attempt a crafty organic recipe to wow the taste buds of toddlers, who, like, won’t even notice or care! But I am nevertheless excited about my baking project. I just hope these turn out deliciously organic, not healthy-but-taste-that-way organic. Don’t worry, I won’t put carob in them. Geez I used to hate it anytime carob popped up in a snack as a supposed chocolate substitute. Blech.

**End Supermom alert**

Well, that’s today in Bearca’s world. Someday, perhaps, I will tell you where “Bearca” came from. Like when I REALLY have nothing to blog about. (so, probably soon)

Monday, April 10, 2006

beware the broccoli.

Well, after cleaning the fridge out countless times, I finally identified the culprit: broccoli. Yes, it is among the more “fragrant” vegetables, and no, I didn’t consider that it was the offending item because it was almost brand new. But when I opened the bag and took a whiff, I almost fell over in horror. I removed it from the house and my quality of life subsequently skyrocketed. I have temporarily banned broccoli in my fridge, at least until I can recover.

DEAR GOD this is a lame post. What interesting things are going on out in the world? Did you hear that Gwyneth named her new baby Moses? Hilarious. Maybe I should consider naming my next child Nebuchadnezzar.

Oh, and also I am reading the book The Tipping Point. Fascinating! Highly recommended.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I am in the worst mood today, all because of an unidentified hideous smell emanating from my refrigerator. It is putting me over the edge. For two days, I have been cleaning out the refrigerator multiple times a day and yet every time I open that door, I am knocked over by the odor. I have thrown away almost all our food in search of the offending item, and am coming up with nothing. And now I'm at work, completely obsessing over it.

After googling terms like “awful refrigerator odor” and “refrigerator smells bad,” I have concluded that my next step will be to clean out the drain pan underneath the fridge.

Please let me know if you have a better idea, because I’m going nuts over here.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

a little glimpse inside my brain right now.

1) Are we the only ones who haven’t done our taxes yet? Am starting to stress.

2) Many people have blogged about this already today but SON OF A BEESTING, what has happened to Kenny Rogers’ face? That must represent years of plastic surgery. Wow. American Idol, thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

3) This weather really bites. Not so much a fan of the rain and cold.

4) I have an exciting new lip gloss discovery to share. Sally Hansen Diamond Lip Treatment. Yes, Sally Hansen as in the nail products. Weird? Maybe, but it’s good stuff and only like $4 at your local drugstore. I highly recommend the color Antique Bronze. It is neither antique nor bronze. It’s a good pinkish neutral. Discuss.

5) Have I ever professed my love for the show Prison Break in this forum? Also House. And 24. Am obsessed. I love me a good Fox drama (or 3).

6) My husband wants us to get a Mac. Should we? Hmmm.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Monday, April 03, 2006

my standards, they are a changin’

Before Evan was born, I would have called it a great weekend if my husband and I had gone out to an awesome dinner with friends, gone away for the weekend and stayed at a fun hotel, spent one or more days at the beach, eaten leisurely breakfasts and/or read the paper cover to cover. How times have changed. I look back at the weekend we just had and honestly can’t remember a better one in recent memory. Here’s how it went down:

Friday night
Dave puts Evan to bed while I go grocery shopping. I get back, put away the groceries and feel like I accomplished something exciting because! Guess what! I don’t have to fight the crowds at the grocery store on Saturday afternoon! I am smug Supermom. Then, we proceed to watch an episode of House on DVD and fall asleep. Success.

We get up, feed Evan and hang out for a while. He takes an hour and a half long nap. We read the paper and hang out, then clean the house. Husband vacuums house from top to bottom. Then, Evan wakes up and we take him to Toys R Us (the store that I formerly WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CAUGHT DEAD IN). We buy him new toys, then go home to play with them. He naps again. During this time, I also take a nap. Then, we go to the mall. Evan gets more toys and Mommy buys cute new sweater (win-win). We go home, play with new toys again. Once he goes to bed, we eat dinner and watch two more episodes of House.

We get up and go to church where I am supposed to work in the nursery. I spend the entire hour marveling at Evan’s new walking skills, which he is working very hard to perfect. Afterward, we go to Starbucks for delicious caffeinated beverages. Then Evan eats lunch and takes a nap. I then proceed to take another nap myself. When he wakes up, we play with his new toys then go to Costco. Stock up on bottled water and toilet paper. Feel very confident that if major emergency happens we will not dehydrate. We go home, Evan eats dinner, plays, goes on a walk with us and goes to bed.

The end.

To sum up: I TOOK TWO (2) NAPS. Unbelievable. Evan now knows how to walk and (bonus) for once doesn’t have an ear infection. He loves his new toys. Husband vacuumed entire house. I got my most hated chore (grocery shopping) done virtually before the weekend even started. What could be better?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

2 adults + 1 baby + 1 small hotel room = TROUBLE.

We just came back from Santa Barbara (went for a friend’s wedding) and man are we exhausted. Two big people and one little person in a little hotel room is not a recipe for comfort and relaxation. Especially when we have to sleep in the same room as said little person and when you lay him down in his crib he pops up like a gopher to look for us because he KNOWS we are in the same room and are AWAKE so we should be ready to PLAY.

But related to this trip is something that I realized about being a parent. It really makes your own issues stand out. So for example, I have a bit of a problem with guilt. As an example: we were planning this trip and needed to find a babysitter to watch Evan for the wedding. I emailed a friend who lives in Santa Barbara asking her if she could recommend a babysitter. She responded by saying that they’d be happy to watch him for us. Then, I proceeded to feel extremely guilty, like they probably thought I was fishing for them to offer when in fact I wasn’t. Hello, way to totally overthink it. I would have offered the same if she had asked me and I wouldn’t have thought “Wow, that girl has so many ulterior motives. I bet she was just waiting for me to offer to babysit.”

Anyway. This is probably not that interesting but such is my life today. My life is filled with guilt and television shows that I DVR so I don’t have to watch the commercials. I think I just need to stop feeling guilty about dumb things and take things at face value. And I probably should stop using DVR as a verb.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

it is so fun to be me right now.

“Why is so fun to be you, Bearca?” you may ask. Well, it’s because I’m sick. I’ve got a nice little cold going, festering in my head and threatening to invade the sinuses. (Thanks daycare! You rock!) “And why is that so great?” you ask again. It’s because for the first time in a looooong time, I can actually take good drugs to medicate myself. That’s right, no more lame-ass saline drops for me. Since I am no longer a) pregnant or b) nursing, I will be moving on to the hard stuff. Currently, it’s Sudafed. But as everyone knows, Sudafed is merely a gateway drug. I can’t wait to stop by my friendly neighborhood crack house (drugstore) and pick up some NyQuil. I will then retreat to the privacy of my home to do Nyquil shots alternating with squirts of Zicam down my throat.

Monday, March 20, 2006

first haircut

Note the expression of peaceful bliss on the boy's face upon having his hair cut and styled professionally, as befitting one of his stature.

Also note: this was not the facial expression Evan was wearing this weekend. Why? Because Mr. Fussy Whinerson was trying desperately to get his top teeth through his hugely swollen gums.


Sunday, March 19, 2006

tres cosas

Tag, I'm it. Thanks to the lovely and witty Shannon of Shanntastic fame, I'm entering the world of the meme:

3 things you wish for (just for you)

  1. To win the lottery and become independently wealthy so I could spend more time with my baby
  2. A personal chef
  3. An unlimited supply of new, free, uber cool purses

3 things you would do to/for yourself if there was no one to judge you (or if you had the guts to do it!)

  1. Quit my job and become a doctor (although not sure a lifetime addiction to Discovery Health and live surgical procedures is enough to qualify me)
  2. Move to a big city
  3. Spend a year traveling

3 bad habits you have

  1. Feeling guilty about everything
  2. Worrying too much
  3. Buying too many lip glosses (am an addict)

3 insecurities you feel

  1. What if I'm not a good mom?
  2. That I'm not a good writer
  3. That people don't get my sarcasm and think I'm mean

3 talents/skills you wish you had

  1. Mad public speaking skillz
  2. Singing - what can I say, I watch a bit too much American Idol
  3. The ability to be the life of the party (am semi-introverted but hate that about myself)

3 things that you would do if you had more time

  1. Read
  2. Read
  3. Read

3 things that bring you peace/relaxation

  1. Long relaxing dinners
  2. A super hot bath
  3. Being near the ocean

3 things that spark your creativity

  1. Reading
  2. Listening to all kinds of music
  3. Blogging
Okay! That was fun. Now, I'm going to tag Poka Bean, Newlywife and Whoorl.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

here i am

Here I am! Back for my bi-weekly post! Is that right? Does bi-weekly mean every two weeks? Because if it means twice a week, that would quite obviously be wrong.

I digress.

The real reason I am writing is to ask you folks a question. Is it not the Unwritten Law of ATM-Going that you stay several paces behind the person currently using the ATM, so as not to frighten them and cause them to fear for their money or their lives?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Well, the guy at the ATM yesterday had apparently not gotten the message. (You! The guy at the Union Bank on the corner of Oso and La Paz yesterday at 12:15 pm!) There I was, innocently transacting my business, and he sidles up next to me, lifts up the envelope dispenser thing OF THE ATM I WAS CURRENTLY USING and fishes out an envelope. And I am not kidding when I say that he sidled. It was a sneaky maneuver.

I was aghast! I was alarmed! So the obvious thing to do was to avoid all eye contact, grab my cash and flee to the safety of my car. But with my ATM innocence sadly left behind.

I beg of you, never again take proper ATM etiquette for granted. It could vanish at any time.

Monday, February 27, 2006

the goat is loose

I heard someone on TV the other day use the word (and I use the term “word” loosely here) “escapegoat.” ESCAPEGOAT. Being unfamiliar with the term, I wondered: what exactly is an escapegoat? In case you don’t know what it is, I will use it in a sentence for you here:

“I am using this person as an escapegoat for my hatred of bad grammar and the abuse of the English language.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

yes, it's true, i'm a valentine's day grinch.

And upon confessing as much to my sister today, I received the following email from her:

"oh bearca, i am so sad that YOU ARE ONE OF THEM. a valentine's day grinch. if i hear ONE MORE PERSON go on about how valentine's day was invented by marketers and money grubbers who want to rake us over the coals under the guise of love and romance i am going to PUKE.

GET IN THE FREAKING SPIRIT! i think this holiday is so fun."

Ain't nothing better on Valentine's Day than getting berated by the ones you love!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

stickin’ it to the man

The other night, my husband and I were able to watch three hours of television in only two hours. “Impossible!” you say. No, my pretties, it is not only possible, it is revolutionary.

And it is achievable through the miracle of Tivo. Or DVR, like we have.

On Monday night, Dave and I were talking about what to watch vs. what to record. Should we watch Skating with Celebrities live, and record King of Queens and How I Met Your Mother? Should we do the opposite? Then watch 24 live? Then, the lightbulb went on over his head.

He said, “I know how we can do it. At 8:00 we can watch King of Queens live, while recording Skating with Celebrities. Then, at 8:30 we begin watching the recorded Skating with Celebs, fast forwarding through the commercials, while we record How I Met Your Mother. After that, we watch the recorded How I Met Your Mother, while recording 24 – and then we watch that. Then, we will have watched all of it in the same night, without staying up too much past the ACTUAL end of 24.”

Sounds complicated, no? So at the beginning, I scoffed.

Then I thought about it again. And I realized that it might be pure television genius.

I turned to him and said, “Now if we do this, there’s no going back. We will not have the luxury of commercial breaks. We must decide that there will be no bathroom breaks, no getting up to get snacks, just a determined focus on the goal at hand.”

He agreed. And let me tell you, it was a magical night. We followed the plan. We watched it all. And we were finished at 10:06 p.m.

Truly life-changing.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

vomit-free since 2003

Throwing up is the worst. I hate it and always have. Doesn’t everyone? So after reading A Million Little Pieces recently, I was horrified by how James Frey threw up every day in rehab. (I’m going to go ahead and believe that part was true, so work with me here.) Also, I saw the movie Less Than Zero at age 12 and had the same reaction. It wasn’t that Robert Downey Jr. died at the end, or that he became a male prostitute – it was the scene where he spent all night throwing up in Jami Gertz’s apartment. That scene alone made me think, sheesh, I’m gonna stay the hell away from anything that makes me barf all the time. Duh!

So perhaps we’ve approached keeping kids off drugs entirely the wrong way in this country. We shouldn’t focus on “just say no,” or “this is your brain on drugs.” So 80’s! Let’s embrace vomiting as the deterrent it is. Can’t we just have an entire ad campaign around the theme of Daily Vomiting and say goodbye to this problem once and for all?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Why today rocks, by Bearca.

Because I just used the word “dadgum” in a sentence. At work.

Next I will be putting old appliances in my front yard (look out, Aliso Viejo!) and attending Nascar events.

I am so awesome right now.

Monday, January 16, 2006

the cuteness, it is ridiculous

Dear Evan,
You are nine months old today. To celebrate, we thought we'd take you to the pediatrician for a checkup. And then maybe feed you some Cheerios and sweet potatoes for dinner. And then give you a bath. Well, come to think of it, today is really about the same as any other day.

I did want to say that it's been great having you around for the last nine months. You really are a kick in the pants most of the time. But if you could go ahead and get those top teeth you've been working on, that'd be great. Right on.


Friday, January 13, 2006

the sweater data sheet

Believe it or not, the following post was written entirely without the aid of the margaritas that Undercover Celebrity suggested.

One time, when I used to work in a cubicle (now I am very important and have my own office), I sat near a girl we’ll call Susan. Susan would always complain about how cold it was in the office. Which it was, but somehow the rest of us figured out how to layer clothing appropriately so as not to suffer on a daily basis. This basic task seemed to escape her.

Now in the technology marketing world that I inhabit from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, my coworkers and I can often be found writing something known as a data sheet. A data sheet is exactly what it sounds like – a piece of paper containing the selling points of whatever product it is intended to promote. In the data sheet writing world, it’s all about crafting powerful, convincing prose in the form of bullet points. Preferably beginning with “action words,” or as the rest of the world calls them, verbs.

Once my co-workers and I realized that Susan’s complaints were becoming a trend, we would always talk behind her back. Our offhand “why doesn’t she just put on a sweater already, dammit” comments then evolved for our own amusement into an imagined piece of marketing material that came to be known as the Sweater Data Sheet. As the creative marketing professionals we are, we began compiling bullet points about the features and benefits of sweaters that supported our thesis that simply adding a sweater to her daily wardrobe could eliminate this problem. Because people, a sweater is not just a product – it’s a solution.

Before long, brainstorming content for the sweater data sheet became a frequent activity for us. We would email each other new content back and forth, such as:

  • Traps air next to your skin, ensuring that body heat does not evaporate
  • Minimizes shivering
  • Can be worn open or closed, depending on desired amount of heat retention (cardigan models only)
  • Available in multiple colors and fabrics

And so on. The Sweater Data Sheet took on a life of its own. There were diagrams with arrows and callouts. There were revisions. And anytime someone complained of being cold in a meeting, we were unable to look at each other for fear of dissolving into a fit of unprofessional giggles.

One of two things is happening as you are reading this. Either you are thinking “Oh Lord, this girl has gone off the deep end,” or you are recalling to yourself an inside office joke that amused you, perhaps excessively. If the latter is true, please share.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

married white female seeks inspiring blog topics to write about

So if you haven’t noticed, it’s a new year! 2006 even! And therefore I decided I was going to get all New Year’s resolution-y on myself and update my blog, like, all the time!

And here it is, January 10 and as you can see it’s only my third post of the new year.


You see, the problem I’m having is that I am really, truly uninspired right now. I literally cannot think of anything to say. I have not read any interesting books lately, been to any awesome concerts, nor do I have any wildly entertaining work anecdotes to share. I also feel that I’ve really exhausted my ability to make baby poop fun and fascinating. I’m sure you agree.

What’s a girl to do?

I’ve settled into this lifestyle of going to work, picking up Evan from daycare, playing with him, feeding him and putting him to bed. After that, next on my agenda: having dinner, talking to my husband and watching too damn much television. Hardly the stuff that people flock to your site to devour. Except some people do a great job of making that type of thing readable! Not sure why, I can't seem to get on board.

So I need some inspiration. Please, my three to four loyal blog readers, put on your thinking caps and leave me some comments to help me get back on track here. Otherwise, I betcha you’ll be hearing about baby poop in no time flat. Save us all from this fate.

Monday, January 09, 2006

said to me the other day:

"Jeans are the new black pants."

True, no?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sign o' the times

For those of you on your edge of your seats wondering what I did for New Year’s:

Let’s see… we put Evan to bed around 6:30 pm so we could start the wild party. Or, because he was sick and needed some extra sleep. Once he was fast asleep, I made meatloaf for dinner. Can you stand it? Nothing says “Happy New Year” more than whipping up a delicious batch of meatloaf! Then, we sat on the couch. Me, reading. My husband, doing some of the sudoku puzzles that he got in his stocking. Once we were done with that, we ordered March of the Penguins on Cox On Demand, watched approximately half of it and then proceeded to fall asleep on the couch.

So… what’s the sitch here? Do I need to make more of a concerted effort to celebrate major holidays such as New Year’s Eve? Do I simply need to drink more? Or, is this just kinda the way things are going to be from here on out? Which I’d be totally okay with, as I am quite the homebody to begin with and all.