Monday, December 17, 2007

yet more proof that being pregnant turns you into a complete and total idiot

I know, I know… I ignore you for weeks on end and then I post twice in one day. What is up with that? You’ve just got to ride the wave when it comes, people.

Anyway, remember how pregnancy rendered me mentally unfit to operate the fax machine at my office a couple of months ago? Well, today my dizzying intellect appears to have progressed to a new and disturbing low. I went to Subway at lunch to pick up a sandwich. In the three minutes I was in there, I did the following:
  • Searched my purse frantically for my keys, panicking that I had lost them or something, all the while not realizing I was actually CLUTCHING THEM IN MY LEFT HAND the whole time.
  • Forgot where I had parked. I scanned the parking lot for a full 30 seconds before I found my car. Right where I had left it.

Did I mention that these two things happened within three minutes of my arrival? Hi.

Note to self: retract Mensa application.

looks like a pump, feels like a sneaker


So the other day I was in Macy’s doing some Christmas shopping. Like a moth to the flame, I was compelled to wander by the sale shoe racks. I was drawn to a particular pair of shoes. They were black, with a bit of a platform and a chunky high heel. I tried them on: were they cute? Check. Were they comfortable? Check. I looked at the inside of the shoe and couldn’t tell what brand they were – all I could see was a small lower case “e” printed on the footbed. I flipped the shoe over and saw the verdict:

They were Easy Spirits.

I recoiled in horror, but then wondered: is 34 the age when you are supposed to start wearing shoes like this? Was this final proof of my mom status? What’s next… NATURALIZER????

In the end, I got over it. I decided they would be cute with jeans and a black sweater so I went for it. I had made peace with my decision and then was thrown into a shame spiral once again when my husband saw the shoebox on our bed and said with a confused look on his face, “Did you buy a pair of Easy Spirits? Nice!”

So now I need you to decide. As demonstrated in the two photos above, I am wearing them to work today. Are these actually cute or am a) kidding myself, or b) possibly channeling 1996?

And whatever the answer, I think I’m OK with it. It’s like I’m wearing slippers! Honestly! Go out and buy a pair today!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

you can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him



This is what’s known in the industry as a “Christmas card photo shoot gone wrong.” On Thanksgiving we took about 8 million pictures like this one and in EVERY SINGLE ONE, either Evan is running away or someone is not looking at the camera or has a weird look on their face (and let’s face it, that person is usually me).

Once there are four of us, I’m sure we will be even less capable of taking group photographs.

Monday, November 26, 2007

pants emergency

Being pregnant is no picnic, let me tell you what. There are random aches and pains, it’s difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position, you’re constantly getting kicked in the innards, you have to choke down horse-sized vitamins and you are unable to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine on Thanksgiving. But my chief complaint can be summed up as follows:

Ill-fitting pants.

Yes, that’s right. Ill-fitting pants, or IFPs, are by far the MOST annoying thing about being pregnant. Trust me, I’ve tried all the options. The demi panel, the low-rise, below-the-belly pants, the non-maternity pants in bigger sizes, the full panel with the giant pouch to accommodate the bowling ball that I’ve apparently swallowed. At this point, everything sags. It’s simple gravity. I hike up my IFPs all. the. time. When I get up from my chair. When I walk two steps. After I’ve grunted attractively trying to pick something up off the floor. The pants-hiking is driving me completely crazy. I’ve come to embrace the concept that the full panel style, however repugnant to me fashion-wise, is probably the most comfortable option right now because it resists the pull of gravity by anchoring above the belly instead of below. But it’s ugly! And it kind of bisects my abdomen in an annoying way!

Yesterday I got so fed up with all my uncomfortable pants that I declared a state of emergency. As soon as Evan went down for his nap, I headed out to the mall to see if I could find an alternative to wearing sweats to work.

Ladies and gentlemen, I located a life-changing pair of pants. They have what’s called a roll panel – so you can roll it down or wear it over the belly. But otherwise, they appear to the naked eye to be normal, reasonably stylish tan pants with a nice long boot-cut leg. And they are seriously comfortable. What up, The Gap? I love you, man. I mean, I hate you in normal times and had sworn off your pants for life, but maybe we can make a fresh start. I'm willing to give this one more shot if you are. Please take me back? Maybe we can just be friends right now until I've earned back your trust.

The long and short of it is that I may very well be sleeping in these bad boys tonight. And even if I don’t, my co-workers will be mighty sick of these in two months.

And that is what I am belatedly thankful for this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

at 32 months

His smile is infectious and his enthusiasm unbridled. He is independent and wants to do everything all by himself: climb in the car, peel bananas, turn on lights, close doors. His words take my breath away on a daily basis:

“You’re my best friend, Mommy,” he said the other day, completely unprompted.

He answers “Of course!” when I ask him for a small favor.

And the other day at the pool, we got into the hot tub for a few minutes and he announced “It’s an octagon!” I counted up the sides and sure enough, it was.

It blew my mind. I know every mother must say this, but I am constantly amazed by his intelligence.

He speaks in full sentences, knows every letter of the alphabet, has memorized page after page of the books we read him at night. His dad takes him to Starbucks early Saturday mornings, and when he hears them call “Grande Americano,” he says, “Daddy, your coffee’s ready!”

Everything he observes is a cause for celebration. Seeing a crab at the beach, or a bird flying overhead, or an airplane taking off – he can't contain his excitement. He literally insists on stopping to smell the flowers on our way out to the preschool parking lot. “Should we smell the flowers, Mommy?” he asks. I know the right answer.

I’ve said it before, but I really never used to be much of a kid person. I’m converted. I’m a “my kid” person. But now, I’d probably really like your kids too, now that my eyes have been opened.

I wanted to write this because I felt like my last few posts were whiny and filled with complaints about tantrums and typical toddler disagreeable behavior. I felt like I really needed to set the record straight and talk about the positives.

When I think about all the changes that the last 32 months have brought, I almost panic. I think oh no, it’s been close to three years. A few more of those chunks of time and he’ll be learning to drive and graduating from high school, not just eating with an adult-sized fork. That’s when I know he’s got it right.

Stopping to smell the sweet white flowers outside preschool is always the right thing to do.

Monday, November 05, 2007

real-life conversations with a two-year old

Below is an almost verbatim transcript of a few of the exchanges Evan and I enjoyed on the way to preschool today.

*******************
Him: “What time is it, Mommy?”

Me: “It’s 7:51.”

Him: “It’s NOT 7:51!”

*******************
Me: “Look, it’s really foggy outside today.”

Him: “No, it’s NOT really foggy outside.”

*******************
Him: “Can I hold my lunchbox?”

Me: “Sure. Just don’t unzip it please.”

(I instantly hear unzipping noises)

Me: “Please don’t open your lunch right now.”

Him: “I’m NOT opening my lunch!”

*******************

If I didn’t laugh about this? I WOULD CRY.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

greetings from the land of smoke and fire

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know all of Southern California is aflame. Everyone in my family has been affected somehow – from preparing to evacuate their homes to needing to evacuate their homes to having school/work/everything cancelled all week long. Everyone is fine at this point, but it’s crazy. And the air! The thick, orange-gray smoky air… breathing it is a chore. Every morning I walk outside to my car and it’s covered with a layer of white ash.

A couple of days ago, I came to the realization that the costume we had picked out for Evan over a month ago – a firefighter – now seemed in poor taste. So yesterday I went over to Party City and bought a substitute. I didn’t want people thinking we were somehow making light of the situation. Now he’s going to be James, Thomas’ the Tank Engine’s vain red friend. What could be more harmless? It’s kind of a silly costume, but he seems into it.

In other news, my placenta and I don’t seem to be getting along very well. Now how’s THAT for a segue? Come to think of it, my placenta and I have never been BFFs. Last time, I had a retained placenta that took an act of God, a lot of tugging and a sharp instrument to remove. This time, I have a marginal placenta previa that we are hoping will resolve itself within the next four weeks (according to my doctor, it should). But in the meantime, my evil placenta is um, causing some symptoms that I, um, find unpleasant, resulting in me consulting multiple nurses and doctors both on the phone and in person several times since last Friday. I’m sure everything will be fine, but maybe just send some positive placental vibrations my way, would you?

My placenta and I will update you soon. Stay safe, and don’t breathe that smoky air.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I think I can, I think I can

What is the deal with this week? It is quite possibly the longest work week EVER. Maybe because I have been dragging myself through it in a feverish haze of coughing and hacking, spreading love, joy peace and bacteria to everyone in my office. (They love me, really they do.)

Being sick is no fun, but being sick when you are pregnant is even less fun because all the good drugs are off-limits. The books say things like “get plenty of rest” and “gargle with hot salt water,” and let me tell you: not going to happen. What I really need is a double dose of Nyquil and the ability to sleep past 6:30 a.m. without hearing a little piping voice that says “Mommy, please come get me!” in escalating whiny volume until I have no choice but to stumble out of my bed and comply.

There I go complaining again. It’s a wonder you people put up with me. Well, here’s something: I’m happy that today is Friday, that despite my ongoing plague that I seem to be having a good hair day, and that I think I just saw a Krispy Kreme box walk by my office. Oh, and I am also grateful for your understanding responses to my last post. It's good to hear that perhaps I am not a raving lunatic mother after all. Well, not most of the time anyway.

Gotta go find those doughnuts! Have a great weekend.

Friday, October 12, 2007

patience

I’m sorry to keep harping on the tantrum thing. Of late it’s become somewhat of a pattern: he wants to keep doing what he’s doing; he insists on doing everything “all by myself”; I tell him it’s time to do X and he decides he’d rather do Y.

Before these tantrums started in earnest (say, three or four months ago), I had nearly broken my arm patting myself on the back for having the patience of a saint with my toddler. Me, a notoriously impatient person! I could handle this mothering-a-two-year-old thing with aplomb, without losing my cool. As all the books and experts tell you to do, I would give him a choice of two things, he would choose one and we moved on. To my surprise, this technique worked for a long time.

But the game has changed. On Tuesday, he will officially be two and a half years old. He’s smart. He’s fiercely independent. And he knows how to push my buttons mercilessly. He’s got my number, all right, and the patience I thought I had seems to have evaporated overnight. The other day I lost my temper with him and yelled and swatted at him in the car. Shaking and near tears, I apologized, hoping that the tantrum I'd just thrown in response to his hadn’t scared him or lost his trust.

A good friend of mine says it’s good sometimes for them to see that we have limits too. I don’t know. I’m not sure what it is about having a child, but everything you thought you wouldn’t tolerate, everything you thought your child would never do, comes back to you in spades. It’s a lesson in control for both of us. Sometimes I can’t control the situation, or his behavior, and it scares me. Sometimes he can’t control the situation and he lashes out, angry and frustrated, wanting to do something by himself or on his timetable, and I can’t let him.

There’s where I can see common ground. It’s just being human. We like to know what’s happening to us, to be aware and in control and if that is taken away from us it’s frightening. When I step back, I recognize and understand how he feels. And it always passes.

This morning we were again at an impasse. It was time to leave for preschool and he wanted to play in the house with his trains. I could see him start to get upset and knew what was coming. Sure enough, two minutes passed and we were in full tantrum mode. This time I did keep my cool, but still had to force him into his car seat. Once we were on the road this time, I only had to endure a couple of minutes of yelling until he stopped and asked me quietly “Mommy, did you lose your temper?”

I said “No, honey, but you lost yours.” He sniffled and said haltingly “I’m sorry Mommy.” Then he asked “do you love me?”

That was the sound of my heart shattering into a thousand tiny pieces. The fact that my baby could formulate a question like that blew my mind. He is full of questions these days: what is that? Why did you say that? Please can I have this? Many times, he already knows the answer before he asks. I told him, over and over again, that I loved him, praying that this was one of those times.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

a few reasons why this week is not shaping up to be as awesome as I’d hoped:

Pink eye (Evan’s)
Sore throat (mine)
Sneezing (both)
More tantrums on the way to school (both)
Middle-of-the-night wake-ups (Evan’s, and therefore also mine)
Saggy maternity jeans (um, guess who?)

And this morning? I drank a cup of non-decaffeinated coffee and I don’t feel guilty about it at all. In your face, What to Expect When You’re Expecting! I just wish I had some cookies to go with it, like Swistle. That would have made the whole thing even better. Now where can I get some cookies?

Friday, October 05, 2007

redemption

Well, after the Raging Tantrum from Hell’s Depths on Wednesday morning, things picked up. It’s always darkest before the dawn, if I could borrow a hideously clich├ęd expression. Hi, I am literarily uncreative today. But anyway, on Wednesday evening I went to pick Evan up from preschool. He ran toward me and gave me a big hug, chattered my ear off all the way home, and then, best of all… when my husband was holding him later that evening, he pointed at me and said “That’s my friend Mommy.” Then, pointing back at his dad, “That’s my friend Daddy.” And then once more, smiling at both of us, “There’s my friends Mommy and Daddy!”

Which just goes to prove my ongoing theory: just as you’re about ready to sell him to the gypsies, your child will do something so charming, so irresistible that you realize you were not, in fact, crazy when you decided to have him in the first place.

I guess I can stop drafting that notice for Craigslist now.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

defeated

This morning I had what was possibly the worst single 15-minute span in my mothering career. All was well at the house until I needed to get Evan in the car to take him to preschool. I cleaned him up from breakfast, put on his shoes and brushed his hair. He wanted to play with his trains, so I let him for a few minutes while I finished getting ready. Then, I told him we needed to go get in the car. He said no. I gave him some options; did he want to walk out to the car by himself or did he want me to carry him? Again, no, he wanted to play with his trains. When it became clear that there was no way he was going willingly, I picked him up and brought him out to the car.

He stiffened his entire body and wailed in protest while I had to physically muscle him into his car seat. He kicked and cried but there was nothing I could do but just buckle him in. Of course, this is when several neighbors happened to be walking by my driveway on their way home from taking their kids to school. I gave them the sheepish “kids will be kids!” smile and they looked sympathetic.

After I finally got him in, the real problems began. He cried and screamed and raged. He kicked the back of my seat repeatedly. I knew there was nothing I could say to make it stop – it was a tantrum, pure and simple, and he needed a little alone time to let it run its course. I was as much his captive as he was mine. As I drove to the school, the traffic was awful and I had to stop at what seemed like every red light. Meanwhile, my seat is vibrating from the kicking and my ears are ringing from the screaming. I turned up the radio, and it drowned out nothing.

He was yelling that he wanted to go back home, that he wanted to play with trains, that he didn’t want me to get him in the car.

Hot tears were rising in my eyes and a lump in my throat. The screaming was getting to me. I was getting angry with him for making me miserable, at myself for not knowing how better to handle it, at the cars around me for driving too slowly.

Ten minutes into the drive, he started calming down. “Mommy, hold me,” he said. I told him as soon as we got there I’d hold him.

When we finally arrived, he actually had a smile on his face and showed no evidence of the tantrum. I, on the other hand, was red-eyed and tense from clenching my jaw and neck while I drove.

We got out of the car and I held him for a minute. I told him he needed to apologize for having a tantrum and behaving that way in the car. “I’m sorry, Mommy,“ he said, and then told me he wanted to carry his lunchbox. I handed it to him and he happily walked into school…until it was time to put the lunchbox away in his cubby. I told him we needed to put it down so he could go out to the playground. He refused and I could see the relapse coming. I finally had to take it out of his hand and walk him outside. He cried and cried and cried some more. At that point, I was late for work and had no choice but to hand over my screaming child to the teachers and walk away.

I walked out of there with tears in my eyes again, feeling like a horrible mother. I’m bigger than he is, but many times, not more powerful.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I can name that baby in two notes!

Now that we know it’s a girl, we are struggling with names. We had all but agreed on a boy’s name that we loved (Seth) but are having a much harder time settling on a favorite girl name. We seem to be leaning toward girl names that are actually boy names (Dylan, Rowan, Elliott) but pairing them with an uber-feminine middle name (like Grace). I don’t know, I’m sure we’ll waffle many more times before settling on something we both agree on… like Gertrude! Or Mildred! Or Hettie!*

But seriously… it’s really hard to come up with names that are unique, yet not bizarrely weird. Speaking of bizarre, I was flipping through a baby name book last night and was alarmed to find the following names listed for girls:

Beige-Dawn
Dusky-Dream

Really? Beige-Dawn? Dusky-Dream? I promise you that I am not making this up. In the name of all that is holy, I could not imagine ANYONE seeing either of those two names in the book and saying “Aha! This is it! She will heretofore be known as Beige-Dawn.” In my dreams, dusky or otherwise, my daughter does not have a hyphenated first name that meshes together a time of the day with a color.

But anyway: what girl names do you like? Do tell…

*no offense to the many Gertrudes, Mildreds and Hetties who I am sure frequent this blog.

Monday, September 24, 2007

drumroll please...

On Friday, we found out that it's a GIRL!!!

Let the name negotiations begin! :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

lyrical

The problem with having a toddler who is obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine (other than the fact that the Thomas trains and accessories are criminally expensive) is that the songs from the videos are so damn catchy. I find myself constantly humming and singing them at inappropriate moments. At work! In meetings! Driving in the car! Conversing with my husband!

Last week’s offering was:

“Whatever we do, we do it well
Because we all deciiiiiiiiiiiiiiide
To do each job we’re told to do
With care, with love, with priiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide…”


(repeat ad nauseam)

This week, I’m blessed with the following little ditty stuck on an endless loop in my head:

“There’s no one quite like Emily
Friendly emerald Emily…”


That’s it! I know there are more lyrics but that’s all I can remember. It is currently cycling over, and over, and over, and over again in my head. Now, if the only food available to me was black licorice jelly beans and I was surrounded by people doing crossword puzzles in pencil, I would know I was in hell.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

in which I expose my mental deficiency to the internet

So far, during each of my two pregnancies, I have had one defining moment of ridiculously embarrassing “baby brain” – where gestating a fetus makes you not only fat and hungry, it also appears to drain mental resources to an alarmingly low level.

When I was pregnant with Evan, I came into work one morning and needed to edit a document. I completely forgot where to find the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word. I looked high and low and became irrationally irritated that I could not find Track Changes under the Edit menu. Hello, I would like to edit this document. I would also like to track my edits. Why, for the love of all things holy would it not be under the Edit menu?

After ten minutes of searching, I found it.

Under the Tools menu.

Where it had clearly lived all along, and somehow my brain – despite having edited Microsoft Word documents pretty much on a daily basis since, I don’t know, 1995 – could not retain this information.

Well, my friends, today it got worse. I have been very annoyed lately with the company who manages my flexible spending account. I had faxed them a claim form almost a month ago and still hadn’t received payment. Last week, I called to inquire as to why that was. The woman on the phone couldn’t find it in the system, so she asked me to fax it to her again directly and said she’d call me when she received it to confirm that she was putting it in for processing. Today, I realized that I had never heard from her so I called back ready to do battle. I was prepared, filled with righteous indignation and ready to get all up in her business about their poor customer service.

When I got her on the phone, she again told me that she had not received my fax. My irritation level was reaching an all-time high. Then she asked me what area code I had sent it from. I told her and she shuffled some papers around. She said “hmmm, that’s interesting because I did receive a fax from that exact same area code with five blank pages.” She asked me to fax it again. I reluctantly agreed.

Puzzled, I walked outside my office and asked my assistant, “Hey, you know that new fax machine? You’re supposed to put the papers in upside down, right?” She looked at me funny and shook her head no.

Yes, that’s right. I had faxed her five blank pages, TWICE. Because I could not remember how to operate the fax machine.

For now, my baby brain appears confined to forgetting how to operate basic office equipment. Stay tuned for next week, when I may gaze wonderingly at my stapler and wonder what it’s for.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

are you dizzy with anticipation, or is it just me?

What is up with my prolonged absences? Are there still people out there reading this? If so, wow. God bless you underappreciated gluttons for punishment for continuing to check my blog. I love you, truly I do.

Remember how I told you I was traveling for business a couple of weeks ago? Well, it was the trip from hell. FROM HELL. Let me tell you the many reasons why. First, my trip to Ohio, by way of the always-convenient O’Hare airport, was extended because our flight from Chicago to Columbus was cancelled. Since I couldn’t get on another flight that night on any airline from O’Hare, my only option was to take a $65 cab to Midway airport and take a Southwest flight from there. We ended up arriving, oh, about five hours later than planned.

Then, on my second day in Ohio, I woke up terribly dizzy and had the lovely experience of running out of an important business meeting to hurl. After that I felt better. I was still dizzy, but maintaining. I figured the dizziness must be pregnancy-related and figured I’d just ask my doctor about it at my next appointment, which was scheduled for the day after I got back.

The next day I was happy to be on my way home. Still dizzy, but happy that I would soon be back in great California weather instead of in the humid thunderous Midwest. Things had to be looking up. BUT NO.

This time, I was routed through Dallas. Upon arriving at DFW, my connecting flight was, guess what, CANCELLED. Again. I got on another flight scheduled to take off three hours later, which meant that I could now complete my tour of America’s airports, read every magazine published in the month of August and eat another meal at McDonalds.

I finally got home Thursday afternoon. In case you’re counting: still dizzy.

When I woke up Friday morning, I could not even focus my eyes, so fast was the world spinning around me. I was so dizzy I couldn’t keep food down. I threw up six times in an hour and a half. I had my OB appointment that morning and somehow got dressed and drove myself there. Possibly at great risk to myself and every other driver on the road.

My doctor took one look at me and said I needed to go to the ER for IV fluids. I’m not sure if it was the sunken eyes, the broken blood vessels all over my face from the violent vomiting, or what, but she knew I was not well and needed to be rehydrated.

I spent all day at the ER hooked up to the fluids. The only way I felt even remotely ok was if I was lying completely still and not moving my head. Finally after all the tests had been run, they told me I had vertigo probably caused by an inner ear infection (and also a bladder infection, but that was just an extra bonus). They gave me antibiotics, anti-nausea medicine and a prescription for Antivert, a drug that is supposed to make you less dizzy but that I subsequently learned is the most ineffective medication ever manufactured. They said the dizziness would eventually go away but that I would probably be pretty non-functional for a few days.

That turned out to be the understatement of the year. “Non-functional” hardly comes close to describing my condition over the next few days. I lay still on my bed or on the couch, being waited on hand and foot by my husband and the parade of family members who came over to help with Evan and heat up soup for me. I had a hard time reading or watching TV even, because I couldn’t focus my eyes and the room spun around like crazy.

Finally after three days, I could sit up for longer periods of time and walk around the house some. I looked like a drunk person, but I was moving. I still was afraid to drive or take a shower (so you could imagine I was looking GOOD). I had to stay home from work all of last week as I recovered. I did not leave my house for a solid week.

Finally my doctor referred me to an ear, nose and throat specialist and I got in to see him last Friday afternoon. By then I was still dizzy, but much more functional. I believe at that point I actually attempted to apply concealer to my face before leaving the house. Trust me, it was a big step.

The ENT did all sorts of tests and told me that I have labyrinthitis in my right ear. In layman’s terms, this is an inflammation of your inner ear that is often caused by a virus. He asked me if I had recently had a cold. Check! Yep, I had a cold after Evan got croup. Then, I flew, which didn’t help. The frustrating thing about this condition is that it just takes time to resolve itself. Your brain eventually figures out how to compensate so that the vertigo goes away – but it usually takes weeks.

Today is exactly two weeks from the day I woke up dizzy in Ohio. I’m much better now, but still often walk like a drunk person and have to lean against the wall in the shower so I don’t fall down. But let me tell you, I will never again take for granted the gift of balance. The day I wake up with no dizziness will be a cause for celebration! I will get there.

In the meantime, you’ve got to hand it to me, that’s a pretty good excuse for a lack of posting. :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

growing out

What up, peeps? Long time no see! Yeeeeeeah, well, I’ve been a tad bit busy this week with presentations, work meetings that last until 7 pm, then dinner out with girlfriends the next night until 9 pm… and then when I am actually home, falling asleep on the couch reliably every night promptly at 8:45 pm. I am awesome to be around lately.

So how is the pregnancy going? … you may ask. Well, except for the fact that MY PANTS DO NOT FIT at 15 weeks along (depressing depressing depressing), and the falling asleep on the couch every night, I have forgotten on more than one occasion that I am even pregnant at all. I know that sounds weird, but I just don’t have time to think about it this time around. So, I guess that means I’m feeling OK. Really, I can’t complain. Except in the case of my business trip next week, where I will be complaining constantly about being hungry/thirsty/tired. So who wants to travel with me? Remember, I am awesome fun.

Speaking of traveling… who has a book recommendation? I desperately need something good to read on the plane to take my mind off the discomfort I will surely be subjecting myself to in ill-fitting pants and a cramped airplane seat. Help a gal out.

If you’re lucky, I’ll post again sometime in the next few days to fill you in on the ongoing rat situation in our backyard. Just a little treat for y'all.

Monday, August 06, 2007

les miserables

Here are five reasons why I’m starting out the second of two pretty crappy weeks:
  1. Evan had croup last week and stayed home for three days feeling terrible and sounding like a pack-a-day smoker.
  2. Now both Dave and I both have colds that we got from him (shaking fist violently at new preschool).
  3. You-know-who has stepped up the climbing out of bed routine, rendering us unable to sleep off our colds.
  4. In my current state, I can’t take any cold medicine that will do anything (shaking fist violently at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration).
  5. I just found out that I have to travel for work in two weeks. Pregnancy + unhealthy airport food + airplane travel = unhappy Bearca.

On the plus side, I seem to have rediscovered my love of Rice Krispies. Odd, I know. But delicious.

Monday, July 30, 2007

evan’s seventh heaven

I have to say, this climbing out of the crib thing has been much less of an issue than I originally thought. What’s that banging noise? Why, it’s the sound of me wildly knocking on every wooden surface within reach, of course! But other than that first night, it’s been fairly smooth. Evan’s been going down easy and sleeping at least most of the night without getting up. The last three nights, we haven’t had any wake-ups at all. Whew.

Part of our recent success is due to the fact that we told him if he stayed in his bed all night, we would take him to the golf course. Loosely translated, that means we would take him to a putting green and he could walk around holding various golf balls and using his tiny putter to knock them into the holes from one inch away (he likes to stack the odds in his favor). Have I mentioned his obsession with golf? It is strong. He is always holding a golf ball, sleeping with a golf ball in his hand or talking about playing golf. “I hit golf with Daddy!” is one of his favorite phrases.

So, Saturday morning he woke up after having slept in his bed all night without climbing out. We made a big deal out of it and told him we were going to the golf course right away. By 7:00 a.m., we were at the putting green and Evan was in action, “putting” using his own unique toddler style that more closely resembles shuffleboard than golf. He loved it. It was so much fun that we did it again on Sunday afternoon after yet another night of sleeping in his bed all night. Success!

In other news, I WAS RIGHT. Our current pest infestation is rats… not mice. There are two rat carcasses out there in my yard and the pest control company is coming tomorrow to dispose of them and replace the traps. I could not be more horrified. Ew. Ew. Ew. I know that those of you who know me in person will never again want to come over to my house but I assure you that if you are brave enough to chance it, you can have a golf lesson taught by my own in-house golf prodigy. Plus, I only serve the good wine.

Monday, July 23, 2007

if there was ever a day where I needed caffeine, today was it.

My weekend can best be expressed chronologically in three short sentences:
  1. Evan can climb out of a pack & play.
  2. We have rats.
  3. Evan can climb out of his crib.

As I’m sure is obvious, it was a phenomenal weekend. We went down to my parents’ house for a visit on Saturday night and when we put Evan down to bed in his pack & play, he nonchalantly walked out of the room .06 seconds later clutching his blanket. He was quite pleased with himself. Needless to say, we were not. After several gettings-up and puttings-back-down, we decided that the issue was that the pack & play was too close to the bed, which he was using to vault himself easily out. We fixed that, then he fell asleep and we didn’t see him again until Sunday morning. We thought our problems were solved.

Until “nap time” on Sunday. I use quotes because there was no nap to be had. I put him down, he got back up. I put him down, he got back up. I put him down, he got back up. Ad nauseam. Finally, I gave up in extreme frustration… after all, we were at Grandma’s house and sometimes we let things slide. My husband, ever the optimist, thought that he wouldn’t try to do it at home. I was hopeful.

So, after a napless afternoon, followed by a massively shocking tantrum brought on by said naplessness, he fell asleep for an hour. At 4 pm. Not helpful! Once he woke up, we drove home.

Once we arrived home, I spent the first few minutes cleaning up some things we had left out, straightening up and taking out the trash. Now, we have seen some mysterious animal droppings outside by our trash cans recently, but so far have never spied the animal(s) who left it. When I opened the trash can to drop the bag in, I saw some furtive scurrying. I didn’t get a good look, but the shape and size of the scurrier said one thing to me: RAT. Horrified, I quickly threw the trash into the can and ran back into the house. My heart was pounding.

I was trying to calm myself down but the heebie-jeebies were getting the best of me. After a few minutes I told my husband what I had seen. He worked up the courage to go out there and check it out but didn’t see anything. We decided that the only option is to call the pest control company and get them to come out ASAP.

With nothing more we could do on the rodent situation, we turned our attention to getting Evan fed and bathed. Fortunately, he was really tired and didn’t take long to fall asleep. We thought for sure we were in the clear. We turned in around 10 pm and fell asleep. Then, at 12:49 a.m., I woke up to the sound of small footsteps and saw Evan standing there saying “want to get in Daddy’s bed.” After some stops and starts, we decided the best course of action was to not talk to him or engage with him, but to take him right back to his bed every time he got up. We did that about 10-15 more times and then he cried for a couple of minutes and fell asleep. Victory. (Sort of.) But I’m sure the two hours he spent awake in the middle of the night are not helping his attitude and behavior today.

And did I mention that today is his first day at his new preschool? When it rains, it pours.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

i'm blowing up like a balloon over here

I’m having a hard time getting back into the swing of things after coming home from the trip on Monday night. I’m all discombobulated… laundry isn’t done, house is in disarray… but I can’t bring myself to care or really do much about it.

What I do care about is how shocking it is that at only 11 weeks pregnant, I look like I did at 18 weeks last time. My belly is totally out of control and it’s becoming a problem. I was counting on being able to stay in regular pants for a few weeks to come but alarmingly, it looks like that won’t be possible. Today, I’m wearing a pair of “transitional jeans” that I bought a few weeks after Evan was born. I’m worried that they are a short-term stopgap. Where, oh where can I find cute maternity jeans that will not cost me $200? Help meeeeeeeee!

I told a bunch of people at work the big news yesterday. It feels good to have the secret out. And now I can resume my constant snacking on a slightly less furtive basis.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

i know she is resting in peace

I got some bad news last Wednesday when I found out that my grandma died. She was my mom’s mom and the only grandparent I’ve ever known. We left on Saturday to go to Missouri for the funeral, and just got back last night. I’m exhausted today.

It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it’s still sad. I am sorry that she never got the chance to meet Evan, and that we didn’t visit very often because of the distance, and that I hadn’t seen her more recently when she passed away.

I realized how much it means to people when you recognize their loss. Sometimes you think it won’t make a difference, because they must have been getting so many comments and hugs and notes from other people… but they notice. My office sent flowers to the funeral home, which I found unexpectedly touching. Then, one of the pallbearers came up to me after the graveside service and asked me if I was her granddaughter. When I said yes, he shook my hand warmly and said with tears in his eyes, “She was a really great lady.”

I was so comforted knowing that she had been surrounded by people who knew and loved her. To me, she was always a somewhat distant figure because of the geography. I knew she loved us. I knew that based on the times we did see her, how she would struggle to hold back tears when we left. And because of how even when she was in her nursing home and not feeling well, that she would look at pictures of Evan and they always made her smile.

On the plus side (if there can be a plus side), there was plenty of family time and good home cooking. Honestly, when was the last time I ate fried chicken, creamed corn and mashed potato and bacon casserole - all in the same meal? My Ozark relatives sure know what’s up when it comes to comfort food. However, I saw about 300% more men wearing overalls than I have ever seen here.

When we drove from Southern Missouri back to St. Louis to catch our flight yesterday, I looked out and tried to soak up the rolling green Ozark hills, the tractors, the small towns and even the men wearing overalls, knowing that I might never be back there again.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

sweet relief

I can’t tell you how much better I feel knowing that you all know what I know. The secret-keeping, it was killing me. Whoorl was the only one who knew my secret because when she and I met, we had been planning to go out for martinis for weeks. Having just found out the news two days before we met up, there was no way I could show up at the bar and just pretend that I suddenly didn’t feel like drinking a martini. “Oh, no, vodka-soaked olives sound absolutely DREADFUL right now, I’ll just have a club soda.” Uh, yeah. Not very in character. So, I greeted her and immediately spilled the beans.

I’ve been feeling pretty good. I had a couple of queasy weeks, just like I did the last time, but it seems to be dissipating nicely now that I’m almost 10 weeks along. Even two weeks of minor queasiness makes you feel miserable. I can’t imagine how people with severe nausea cope with it. I would die. As it is, I’m just fine as long as I eat all the time. My key to pregnancy happiness involves multiple breakfasts, at least one of which MUST involve bacon. What can I say, I’ve gotta have the bacon.

In other news, I found a preschool for Evan, and he starts there in a couple of weeks. THAT was stressful. Next on my stress list? Potty training, and moving him into a big bed so the crib will be available for the baby. If I had my way, I’d have him sleep in a crib forever. There’s something to be said for the containment. It comforts me.

Monday, July 09, 2007

OK, so I disappeared off the face of the earth for a while. There's a good reason for it. And I really wanted to title this post "pregnant pause," but for some highly annoying reason, Blogger won't let me add a title. Grrr.

But anyway, yes! That's right: I'm pregnant!

I was all stressed out about saying anything too early, and then I couldn't really imagine continuing to blog about a bunch of other things when I had this very exciting news, and so finally I decided that going public was the right thing to do.

So yay. It's happening. Due date is in early February and we couldn't be happier!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

toxic

This week = currently kicking my ass. For one, we found out that our daycare provider is moving. She’s moving juuuuust far away enough to make it entirely impractical for us to continue taking Evan there. Thus, I’ve been thrown into a tailspin of stress and preschool tour chaos. Good times.

Then, this morning, we went in to get Evan after he had been awake for about 15 minutes. Lately, he’s taken to telling us when he needs his diaper changed (yep, that means he’s getting close to potty training!). He’ll say “need to change diapers” and hold his arms up waiting for you to pick him up and do what needs to be done. For some reason, despite the fact that we knew this, we heard him wake up and just let him hang out for a few while we ate breakfast. Big mistake. By the time we got up there to get him, you could smell the carnage OUTSIDE HIS BEDROOM DOOR. I knew this was a bad sign.

And I was not wrong. He had taken off his pants and sitting in his crib saying pitifully “need to change diapers.” Um, yeah, you think? Fortunately he hadn’t removed his diaper, but let’s just say that nothing was unscathed. There was a containment issue. We had to immediately remove everything from the crib – blankets, pajamas, sheet, mattress pad – and dump it all into the wash.

Not a very good start to the day, but fitting for the week I'm having.

Friday, June 15, 2007

i've got nothin'

I am SO glad it’s Friday. This has been the longest week in history. We are starting swimming lessons with Evan tomorrow and I can’t wait! He enjoyed them last summer, so hopefully he’ll remember how fun it was and not freak out at the sight of a gigantic swimming pool. You never really know though. Then, we’re going to a kid’s birthday party tomorrow afternoon, and on Sunday, we are having my family over for a Father’s Day barbecue bash. Good times.

Such is the excitement of my life right now. Oh, and yesterday, our housekeeper came, which is license enough to order takeout for at least a couple of nights. You know, don’t want to mess up that clean kitchen!

Yeah well. Like I said, I’ve got nothin’. Have a great weekend…

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

you win some, you lose some

This morning we were back to some flagrant two year-old behavior. We took Evan to Toys-R-Us over the weekend and bought him some new things to play with. He fell in love with a three-pack of mini monster trucks and immediately adopted one of them as his current favorite toy. It’s a neon green monster truck with giant wheels, a skull and the name “Grave Digger” emblazoned on the side (what, doesn’t everyone want their toddler playing with the Grave Digger?). He’s named this vehicle “Aunt Ryann’s Truck.” For the record, there is an Aunt Ryann, but she drives a blue Jeep. And no, it does not have a skull. So we’re not exactly sure where this specific nomenclature came from. Anyway, he gets really upset if Aunt Ryann’s Truck is not within sight. At all times.

So this morning we were happily driving to daycare until he spied Aunt Ryann’s Truck sitting on the seat just out of reach. Since we were only about two minutes from our destination, AND we aren’t allowed to bring toys from home to daycare, I knew that giving him the truck would be a total disaster. Until I parked the car, I heard nothing but “want Aunt Ryann’s Truuuuuuuck!” Then it went from bad to worse. I went to unbuckle his car seat and he grabbed the sides of his car seat and wouldn’t let go. Tears poured out of his eyes. I finally pried his hands free and muscled him out of the car. Man, if physically yanking your kid out of the car doesn’t make you feel like mother of the year, I don’t know what does.

He cried all the way into the house, pleading for the truck. I couldn’t find anything to distract him from his wailing. Finally, I had to give him a big hug and just leave him there so I could go to work.

Two year-olds. Charming? Most of the time. Rational? Not so much.

Monday, June 11, 2007

example

I often think to myself that it’s lucky that toddlers are as charming as they are because the frequent funny or endearing moments put the challenging times in perspective. Something happened this weekend that illustrated that better than I could ever explain.

Yesterday, Evan was in his high chair eating lunch. Dave was sitting at our kitchen island hunched over his laptop and I walked over and put my arms around him from behind. A few seconds later, Evan piped up.

“Want a hug too,” he said in the clearest, sweetest voice.

Dave and I looked at each other, then at Evan. Tears immediately welled up in my eyes when I saw his little face looking over at us. I went over and hugged as much of him as I could grab hold of and kissed his cheek. I stepped back and then heard the voice again.

“Daddy kiss too,” Evan said.

Dave promptly got up and went over to kiss him also. This went on for a few more minutes as he traded off requests: “Mommy kiss too…” “Daddy kiss too…,” clearly happy that we were doing what he asked.

It just made me realize - again - that this little person watches everything we do and hears everything we say. I am far from a perfect mother, but please, God, let me be an example to be proud of.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

nice hat

Last night we went to our next-door neighbors’ house to watch the last game of the Stanley Cup finals. They have two little boys and a putting green in their backyard, so Evan is in heaven every time we go over there.

Everything was going great until I walked by the door to the backyard and saw Evan knock over the dog’s water bowl all over his shoes. After I had cleaned that up, I went back in for a few minutes, until I glanced outside again and saw him prancing around the backyard with THE DOG’S WATER BOWL ON HIS HEAD. Yes, he thought the water bowl made a fine hat.

This made me re-think my earlier decision NOT to give him a bath when we got home.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

blind date with whoorl

I started this blog a couple of years ago because my sister thought it would be a good way to stay caught up in each other’s lives. Well, she never blogs anymore, and as you know, I’m hit or miss when it comes to posting. I do read other people’s blogs often, and the weird thing is that you feel like you intimately know the people whose words you read on a daily basis.

Last night, Whoorl and I met for drinks at a restaurant in her neighborhood. Although we’d never met in person before, we had exchanged emails and comments so it felt like we already knew each other. We fell into conversation easily and covered the gamut of topics: kids, husbands, childbirth, work, blogging, the ridiculous price of real estate in California and more (and believe it or not, lip gloss DID NOT EVEN COME UP until the very end). I felt as if I had known her a while. Would I have discussed my retained placenta in gory detail with someone I’m meeting for the first time? Probably not. But with her, it seemed normal. And in my defense, I have to say she started it with some graphic detail of her own! I may have even let her in on a secret or two.

I don’t put a lot of effort into maintaining this blog and sometimes feel guilty about that. I also don’t really write on this blog as therapy, maybe because my tone is usually a little more tongue-in-cheek and tends toward sarcasm rather than true emotional openness. But if blogging is a way to not only stay caught up with people you already know, but to meet new friends and find things in common, that is really pretty cool.

So thanks Whoorl, I had a great time and would love to do it again!

p.s. Am quite jealous of your beautiful dark shiny hair.

Monday, June 04, 2007

you know it's a good toddler weekend when...

…you have to leave a store before buying anything because a tantrum has reached epic proportions.

…your child wakes up at 5:15 a.m. two days in a row.

…Sunday afternoon’s nap, which should be two hours, turns out to be only one hour.

…when you take him to the park after much pleading, he becomes extremely upset when the swings are occupied and says loudly and whiningly “MY SWINGS! MY SWINGS!”

...and, to cap it all off, your child pees in the closet.*

Two is awesome.

*I have to confess that I found the peeing in the closet incident to be rather funny. My husband, not so much, because he was on cleanup detail.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

pants rant

This morning as I was getting dressed, I stood in my closet pondering what to wear. I took a pair of black pants from the Gap off the hanger and thought “Hmmm, I haven’t worn these in a while. Score! It’s gonna feel like I’m wearing new pants!” So, I put them on and was feeling good about recycling them…

… for about 10 minutes. After that, I realized why the pants were relegated to the side of the closet. They appear to fit, they’re the right length, they look good with lots of different tops and you would think all is well. But no, after this brief honeymoon period they start gapping at the waist in a ridiculous fashion. In a constantly-hiking-up-your-pants, out-of-control-annoying-why-dear-God-am-I-wearing-these-pants kind of way. I mean, I bought them at the Gap, but I didn’t want them to HAVE a gap.

I stand here before you teetering on the brink of pants rage.

Dear Gap Corporation, I have lovingly spent my hard-earned dollars on your clothing nigh these many years, and this is how you repay me. No more! I hereby boycott all your pants.

Love,
Bearca

Monday, May 21, 2007

danger

It’s a gray, drizzly day and I’m working from home this afternoon. I’ve got a cup of mint tea in my hand, I’m wearing fleecy slippers, and there’s a window cleaning guy upstairs cleaning all the windows in my house as I write this. It’s a good day.

But every time I have a service person, furniture delivery man or some other “house call” guy come here when I’m here by myself, I always stress out a little bit. Like, is this guy legit or does he have a weapon in that nondescript white van parked outside? Is he going to incapacitate me somehow and attack me, or even worse, throw me into the back of said nondescript white van? Is it just me? Do any of you have these thoughts when the Sears guy is fixing your dishwasher? I’m probably paranoid because I've been watching too much Criminal Minds. Dang, I love that show. But it’s rather terrifying.

Anyway, I’m pleased to report that this guy seems very nice and totally normal. But if you don’t hear from me for a few days, put out an APB on that van.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

look out, PGA tour!

I apologize to my four faithful readers for my extended absence. You know who you are! I have been busy getting botched highlights (seriously, my hair looks hideous), working and raising a toddler who may just be on his way to the PGA. Check it out! I'm all, what up Evan, let's get our golf scholarship on. Anyway, I'll be back soon for reals, I promise. Love ya!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

5 questions

Hey! Have you heard about this fun game? My lovely internet friend and fellow lip gloss aficianado, Whoorl, interviewed me by asking the five questions listed below. Want to play? Just leave a comment and I will return the favor. Then, you tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on. OK, I made up that last part. But anyway! Here goes.

1) What is the last thing you do before getting into bed at night?
That would have to be slather on lip balm, then pick up a book. Every night, I have to read before I fall asleep. Have to. I am a huge book hound and am happiest when I have a stack of unread books on my nightstand. (So, any recommendations?)

2) What is the most endearing thing Evan is doing right now?
Are you kidding me right now? Pretty much everything he does right now is endearing... well, except the occasional tantrum. Those are definitely the opposite of endearing. However, if I had to pick a current favorite Evan thing, I'd have to go with the bastardized version of the ABC's that he's fond of singing. We call it the 18-letter alphabet and it goes a little something like this:

"ABCs
EFG
HIP
QRS (pronounced "koo are ess")
TV
WXYZ (pronounced "dubba eks why zee")
No more ABCs
Next time won't you sing me."

OK, so I think a little something is lost in the translation here. I will keep trying to get it on video so I can show you because IT IS HILARIOUS. Trust me. The problem is that every time we turn the video camera on nowadays, he freezes up. But let's just say I am particularly proud that he is only two years old and he can sing (most of) the alphabet. Can you say genius?

3) If you had to move to Europe, what country would you live in and why?
Hmmm. I've only been to Germany and England. Of those, I definitely wouldn't pick Germany (don't love the food) and I *might* pick England because I DO love their accents. However, I may just need to make the executive decision to choose Italy sight unseen. Good wine, good food and doesn't George Clooney have a house there? Done.

4) Doughnuts or pancakes?
Both please! Oh, delicious breakfast bready treats, how do I love thee. Although I do have a passionate lust for doughnuts, I think I'll rule in favor of pancakes because they've become a big-time family tradition at our house. My husband makes amazing pancakes from scratch and we have them almost every weekend. They are delicious. But let it be noted that I can't remember ever refusing a doughnut.

5) Who is your favorite artist and/or musician? Why?
That is truly a stumper. I don't know if I could think up a favorite musician but right now I am currently loving the mellow acoustic stylings of Iron and Wine, the Weepies and the like. I also am a big sucker for music that reminds me of fun times past... so I've never been able to get past my love of Toad the Wet Sprocket that originated in college. Oh, and the Indigo Girls. And Guster. Because those are two awesome picks for road trip music. And who doesn't love road trip music? Oh who are we kidding. Like I said, can't pick a favorite.

Allrighty! That concludes today's interviewpalooza. If you would like to join the fun, follow these directions:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions of my choosing.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

disjointed

So have I spent the last few days improving my blog? Clearly, the answer is no. I may embrace my vanilla flavor for now, at least until a fancy new banner falls out of the sky and lands here at Chez Bearca. Hey, it could happen.

Have I mentioned that my son is turning 2 on Monday? And the fact that we are having a blowout birthday party for him this coming Saturday? And that I’m totally stressed about it because what if I don’t order enough pizza and get enough juice boxes or what if one of the kids falls and gets hurt and I am somehow liable? And did I buy enough paper plates and are the goody bags I am putting together completely lame? These are the thoughts currently running through my head right now. I’m sure once all is said and done, it will be great and fun and whatnot, but right now even obsessive spreadsheet-creating and list-making in true Bearca fashion is not reducing my stress.

Also: I’ve become a Starbucks junkie and my caffeine intake is say, a tad higher than it has been in the past, and it’s just now occurring to me that the caffeine is probably not HELPING my stress level.

And another also: I just made a haircut appointment with a new guy, which I’m very excited about, but it’s not for three and a half weeks and I’m not sure I can stand it. Hello ponytail, nice to see you again. Get comfy, because you’re going to be with me daily for a while.

Monday, April 09, 2007

blogging for dummies

I really want to “re-invent” my blog somehow. Maybe I just need some sort of fancy banner at the top that looks cool. But how do I do that? I have always relied completely on the Blogger templates and they are fine, if a bit vanilla. Not that there is anything wrong with vanilla, but a little dollop of hot fudge always improves things, don’t you think? Also, I think I should add some sort of features like other people have on their blogs. Like an About Me, so people can get to know the real Bearca. Just off the top of my head, here’s how I would characterize myself:

“I am a 33 year old gal living the good life in Southern California. I have a husband, a two-year old son, and a job that sucks up a lot of my time and energy. I love reading, guacamole, Fox TV dramas, cheese and lip gloss, and have recently developed a disturbing fondness for Blue’s Clues and pretzel-flavored Goldfish. I don’t like eating scallops, writing with pencils or dressing up on Halloween.”

Yep, that’s pretty much me in a nutshell. So that’s done. Ha.

But anyway, help me! How do I make my blog less boring?

Friday, April 06, 2007

sick day, the sequel

Home again today! The little guy can't seem to shake this fever, so we're going to have another relaxing day at home together. However, instead of watching the same Baby Einstein video over and over (Baby Noah: oh how I love you and loathe you all at the same time!), I have DVR'd two episodes of Blue's Clues and one episode of Teletubbies. What? Was that me expressing a feeling that watching Teletubbies is an upgrade over Baby Einstein? Desperate times, people. Desperate times.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

sick day

I’m home with Evan today. He has a fever and couldn’t go to daycare. He seems okay, definitely a little warm, but he’s in a pretty good mood and still has his traditional ravenous appetite. So I’m not too worried.

It’s just after 8:00 am. We’re in our pajamas watching Blue’s Clues together on the couch, it’s gray and overcast outside, and I’m sipping a hot cup of coffee. And you know? I can’t complain. We could do without the fever, but it’s a pretty good day.

I can’t help but look at him and think that his days wearing these fleecy footed sleepers are limited. I’m going to hold onto them as long as I can.

Monday, March 26, 2007

it's monday, all right.

It’s 8:20 am. So far, today, I’ve done the following:

Left a razor within easy reach of my toddler, who quickly found it.

Yelled at my husband for telling me that I was taking a long time to get ready.

Completely lost my temper with Evan because he would not stop pulling on my hoop earrings when I was holding him. His little face crumpled up and the sad lip popped out immediately. I felt so, so, so bad.

Forgot to brush my teeth before leaving the house.

Like I said, it’s not even 8:30 yet and I’ve already racked up an impressive list of accomplishments.

Monday, March 12, 2007

parents of the year

The scene:
Monday night. 6:55 pm. Dinner table.

The players:
Dave, Evan and me. Dave suddenly remembers that his usual Monday night guitar lesson has been moved to 7:00 instead of 7:30 and yells out "CRAP!"

Evan, sponge that he is, immediately realizes he's onto something and starts saying "Crap! Crap! Crap!" over and over again.

Um, yeah. Awesome.

Friday, March 09, 2007

part-time blogger

So, I realized I hadn’t updated this blog since I came back from Europe. It was a good trip, but I mostly saw the inside of airports, airplanes and conference rooms. And I was right, conference room in Germany = conference room in America. Except the chairs were slightly more hip. And I had forgotten how much I love Heathrow airport. When you’ve got a three-hour layover, it might as well be in an airport that has SHOE STORES. In that scenario, I can’t avoid shopping. Sorry, honey – do you like my new shoes?

Going away always reminds me how good it is to get home. I love home. I love sleeping in my own bed and being able to hear Evan breathing on the monitor. I love having my family around me. I love being surrounded by all my favorite toiletries, because why FOR THE LOVE OF GOD can I never remember to pack hand cream?? I also love having multiple boxes of delicious breakfast cereal at my disposal on any given day. Beans and black pudding are a frightening breakfast for anyone. And California, sweet California, I adore you – you of the excellent weather and smoke-free laws (I’m looking at you, Germany. Look for my dry-cleaning bill, beeyotch!)

So, yes. Traveling is fun, but home is always better.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

imac and international travel: unrelated but happening at the same time

Hi, it's me, Bearca... coming to you live blogging from my sweet new iMac! Which, like other major purchases in our household, my husband had to start campaigning for months earlier (or even longer). But, also like other major purchases in our household, once we have it home and all set up, I love it more than life itself.

OK, not more than life itself... but you get my drift.

In other news, I am hopping a flight to Europe today for work. This is good and bad. Good, because hello London and Cologne! Bad, because it means a week away from home, and also since I'll be there for work it's unlikely that I'll get to do any major sightseeing. And let's face it, a conference room in Germany looks about like a conference room anywhere else.

So that's happening. Pardon my absence.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

it ain't just a river

Because I am in denial that today is a workday following a lovely three-day weekend, and that I am no longer on vacation in the central coast of California tasting various wines, I will share with you another photo from our trip.

Here we are, after visiting our fourth winery of the day (see how happy we look?). Those are the faces of two responsible adults who have just pawned their toddler off on grandma and grandpa. Oh yeah.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

catching up

Oh dear blog, I’ve missed you so. Between the throwing up, the crazy busy work schedule and the recent toddler tantrums that have entered my life, I’ve sadly neglected you.

Yes, you heard me right: throwing up! Remember when I oh-so-optimistically titled my last post “puke-free and proud”? Well, it’s like Whoorl says. When you say something in your blog, the exact opposite thing happens in real life. That very same night, my husband got the stomach virus that Evan had brought home from daycare. I was taking care of him, purchasing Gatorade at the store and la la la, feeling fine myself, until all of a sudden it hit me too. The puking. The fever. The shivering. The complete inability to move.

So yeah, we were nice and sick. Good times!

And I believe I mentioned the tantrums. Yes! They are here. They are teetering on a fine balance between hilarious and ridiculous. I mean, what would happen if my boss told me to do something I didn’t want to do and I immediately started bawling, threw myself on the floor and kicked my feet for a solid 10 minutes? I’d probably lose my job, that’s what would happen. I guess that’s why we here in the good old U.S. of A. don’t insist that toddlers be gainfully employed.

But, on a positive note, guess what I did last weekend? We left Tantrum Boy with his grandparents and went to Santa Barbara for three whole days with my sister and her husband. Yes, three days of decadent food, wine and shopping. It was unbelievable. This photo pretty much represents it all. That’s me and my brother-in-law carrying the gigantic boxes of wine that we bought out to the car.

Because now that I have an almost-two-year old, I need that wine more than ever.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

puke-free and proud

Well, I think the barf illness has run its course. He and I stayed home together yesterday and watched movies and TV pretty much all day. Sesame Street? Check. Blue's Clues? Check. Teletubbies? Against my better judgment, check. He had sips of water all morning and then graduated to saltines around lunchtime. Yum.

It was a bummer of a day, with the sickness and the fact that the 5, 6, and delete keys just stopped working on my laptop. And let me tell you, you've got to have those. Who knew how many times a day I used the number 5? And delete, duh, that goes without saying. You've gotta have delete.

Well, now I'm just rambling. I guess I don't have a lot of interesting conversational tidbits due to the fact that my life of late has been filled with cleaning up vomit, watching children's television and my inability to use the delete key.

Maybe I should delete this post.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

helpful hint

A solution of 1/3 cup white vinegar and 2/3 cup water is surprisingly effective at removing barf stain and smell from your carpet.

Just FYI.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

this week is awesome

It's 9:38 p.m. In the last hour and a half, Evan has thrown up four times.

Now carpet in three different rooms smells like vomit. Apparently 21 month old toddlers aren't very good at aiming into a receptacle for this purpose. (Not for lack of trying on my part.)

The only upside to this is that I taught him how to say "barf" and it's absolutely hilarious.

Might be a bit of a long night.

Monday, January 29, 2007

confessional

Two things happened this weekend that troubled me.

First, I wore Ugg boots out in public when we went to Target yesterday afternoon.

Second, during this very same trip to Target, I was caught without tissues and used the sleeve of my VERY OWN sweater to wipe copious amounts of snot from Evan’s nose. Multiple times.

What’s next, a minivan?

Friday, January 19, 2007

bubblephobia

As it turns out, Evan is absolutely terrified of bubble baths. Go figure! He’s got this little cold right now, and last night I thought putting a little bit of vapor bath in the water might help clear up his nose. After I had put the vapor bath in, he walked in the bathroom and eyed the tub suspiciously. When it became apparent to him that I actually intended to put him in there, he blew a gasket. Tears poured down his little face as he screamed piteously. I finally got him in the water but he cried the whole time, stopping only long enough to throw his hands up and hopefully say “done!” several times.

It was traumatic for everyone, but the good news? I now have an important piece of information with which I can torture him when he’s older. “Hi, college girlfriend. I’m Evan’s mom. Did you know that he used to be afraid of bubble baths?”

Now that’s just mean.

Friday, January 12, 2007

i'm such an underrated blogger!

Check it out...

Your Blogging Type Is Thoughtful and Considerate

You're a well liked, though underrated, blogger.
You have a heart of gold, and are likely to blog for a cause.
You're a peaceful blogger - no drama for you!
A good listener and friend, you tend to leave thoughtful comments for others.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

fair, to quite fair

This morning I stopped at Starbucks on my way to work. The cashier gave me my change and then said “Have the BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE!!!!” all peppy-like. I smiled, because that seemed like the polite thing to do, but inside I was rather annoyed. I subsequently became further annoyed because while waiting for my grande nonfat latte with one Splenda, I heard him impart the exact same greeting to no fewer than five people.

It’s not like today is the worst day of my life, but it is definitely not the best. Let’s see the pros and cons, and then we can decide.

Pros
1) I did get to start the day off with a grande nonfat latte with one Splenda.
2) I booked hotel rooms for an upcoming getaway to Santa Barbara (yay).

Cons
1) I am having a pretty bad hair day.
2) I have a zit right on my nose that seems in no hurry to disappear.

Um, yeah. Kind of a wash. Sorry, Starbucks barista/cashier, it seems that your overzealous greeting will not be changing my life for the better today.

Monday, January 08, 2007

all over but the shudderin'

FYI, blogging more is not on my list of New Year’s resolutions (could you tell?). In fact, I have made no New Year’s resolutions at all, other than (drum roll please) to not let food rot in my refrigerator. I hate it when that happens. So, that’s my resolution. Actually, my tagline for this year is really something like “2007: Lower Your Standards!”

And in the spirit of this, I need to tell you about something incredibly disgusting that happened yesterday. We were getting ready to go run errands after Evan’s nap, and I was in the kitchen packing up some snacks for the diaper bag. I grabbed a sealed package of small boxes of raisins out of the pantry and started tearing open the outer wrapping. I saw a few small white things drop onto the counter. I don’t know what I thought they were, but I was not overly concerned until I noticed that The. White. Things. Were. Moving. And not only were they moving: THEY WERE MAGGOTS.

I freaked out and threw them into the trash. Dave jumped into action and began spraying down the counter with multiple antibacterial compounds. In about ten seconds we had full containment. After a thorough disinfecting and a lightning-fast trip out to the trash bin, it was all over but the shuddering.

The shuddering, in fact, went on for a good long time.

I will sum up by saying that if you start out the year by vowing to a) not let food rot in your refrigerator, and b) not buy packages of raisins with maggots in them, then you know the year can only go up. I may have lowered my standards, but I think even MY standards hover several degrees above maggot infestation.