Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I am excited because I’ve never been there. I have been to Jamaica, and the Bahamas, and Mexico, and Puerto Rico, but never Hawaii. We are going to the big island because my brother-in-law has qualified for the Ironman triathlon, also known in Bearca’s world as the Maybe Just a Little Bit Insane Man. I know, let’s swim 2.4 miles! Then let’s ride 112 miles on a bike! And when we are done with that, let’s run a marathon! I am a good swimmer and I know I could do the swim, and I could probably run a marathon if I trained hard enough, but I am a horrific bike rider. I should clarify that I did run a half-marathon once, and after it was over I instructed my family to stop me from ever attempting it again. Thus ending my potential Ironman bid.
But I digress. We are going to cheer Dave’s brother on and I couldn’t be more excited. Go Uncle Steve!
But the packing… I am already stressed about the packing. I have a spreadsheet, and a list of items that need to be purchased before we leave, and a list of errands that need to be run. Traveling with two small children requires a level of preparedness and boredom-avoiding tactics that I’m not sure I’m yet prepared for.
Plus, there was an incident a couple of weeks ago where Evan’s Leapster was fatally wounded. If you must know, he had an accident and peed on it. I changed the batteries, but the Leapster didn’t survive the liquid assault. Do I buy a new one, or just rely on DVD entertainment? Help!
So, wish me luck. I will be burying my head in lists and spreadsheets ensuring that we have everything we might need for a six-hour flight. Any advice?
Monday, September 22, 2008
But do you know what my little daughter doesn't suck at? Mesmerizing you with her ridiculously blue eyes.
Yes, she's also turned into a thumb-sucker. CUTE.
That is all. Happy Monday.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
First, last week, I got a speeding ticket. I was rushing home to meet a window cleaning company and knew I was already going to be five minutes late. I was allegedly going 61 in a 45 zone. ALLEGEDLY. And of course, after everything was said and done, I was 25 minutes late instead. Hi! Nice to meet you! I am the poster child for why you should not speed in order to get somewhere on time!
And when you get a speeding ticket in the presence of a 3-year old, it turns into 20 questions. Here are just a few:
"Why is the policeman talking to you?"
"Why are we stopping?"
"Why is the policeman driving a motorcycle?"
"Did you do something wrong?"
What I said was more or less "Yes. Mommy is in trouble because I was going too fast. Now I am getting a ticket, which is kind of like a time-out for grownups."
What I wanted to say was "Uh-huh. The cop was hiding in the bushes on his motorcycle, lying in wait in what appeared to be, at best, a dubiously legal speed trap. So Mommy is going to fight The Man on this one."
But I figured that might go over his head a bit.
Then, two days ago, my car started making a groaning noise when I turn. I took it in this morning and just got a call from the service advisor. Here’s a brief transcript of the call.
Service Advisor: Hi. We know what’s wrong with your car.
Service Advisor: The rack and pinion steering has a leak. It will be $882 to fix that and realign the car.
Me: (stunned silence)
Service Advisor: Also, your battery failed the test. So that will be another $135.
Me: (more stunned silence)
Service Advisor: And your tires are starting to go. I highly recommend new tires.
Service Advisor: So, with your oil change and everything we’re up to $1,065. Do you have Triple A?
Me: Yes! (feeling hopeful that this will net me some sort of magical 50% off discount)
Service Advisor: Oh, great, that’ll get you $50 off.
So, yeeeahh, I’m gonna need you to cheer me up right about now. Help a sister out. Tell me something good that I should be excited about! Please. I am desperate.
Monday, September 08, 2008
2) I get irritated when I see people walking around with inappropriate undergarments. I really do. Black bra underneath a white tank top? If you’re Madonna, OK. But if you’re a teenager hanging out in suburban Orange County, NO. Get thee to Macy’s and get a nice nude-colored one. Oh, and while you’re there? Pick up a slip because your skirt is see-through.
3) I actually use the phrase “kids these days.”
4) I really enjoy eating dinner at 5:00 p.m.
I’m sure there are more, and I’ll update you when I think of them. But right now, I need to go take my Geritol so it will digest before my early bird dinner.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
I’m sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car – a 1973 Chevy Malibu. It’s the hottest day of summer and the backs of my legs stick to the black vinyl seats while I try to avoid touching the sharp scratchy place where the upholstery is torn. No one had air conditioning back then, so we hang our heads out the window like dogs to catch the breeze. I smell coconut. It’s the suntan lotion on my skin, the syrup coating my shave ice. We beg to go faster up the hill, the hill with the giant bumps that make you feel like you’re flying. We giggle furiously, the wind blowing our hair.
Summer, present day
It’s the same place, the same hot weather, the same scene – but I’m the one driving the car. This time we drive past the ocean, watching the surfers, seeing the waves on the other side of the rocks. I smell coffee, and I hear giggling, but this time it’s not my sister, but my little boy. He sits in the back, saying “Faster, Mommy, faster!” as I turn up the hill and hit the gas with every bump. I wonder, what of this will he remember?
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
So I was dropping off the kids at their various daycares and preschools this morning. Delaney’s daycare is in a condo complex, which means the parking situation is less than ideal. There is one designated spot where the parents are supposed to park while they are doing the drop-off. If that spot is taken, then I guess you are supposed to park on the street. This morning, of course, that spot was taken. So I had a decision to make: make a big, time-consuming loop and park on the street, or park in one of the other empty spots assuming the people who own those spots are already off to work.
Ill-fatedly, I chose the latter. I knew it was a risk, but I was going to be parked there for all of five minutes and didn’t anticipate a problem.
HOW WRONG I WAS.
When I came out of the daycare, I saw that the car who normally parks in the spot I had taken was parked behind me with the hazards on.
I had Evan with me and we had no option but to get in the car and wait. I didn’t know which condo the car belonged to and even if I did, my sense of guilt and shame would have prevented me from knocking on the door and asking them to move the car when it was clearly my fault for parking there in the first place.
So we waited.
And while we were waiting, an older couple came out of their condo and I saw them shaking their heads and cluck-clucking at me. I could hear every word they said (come on, it’s a car with glass windows, not a soundproof booth). The woman said sadly, “Oh no. Someone parked in her spot,” and continued shaking her head to show her disapproval.
Meanwhile, among all the obvious judgment, I had figured out which condo the car behind me belonged to. It was straight ahead of me and there was a lady in there who kept looking out her kitchen window. She appeared to be doing her dishes or something but she was moving SLOWER THAN MOLASSES and kept peeking outside her window, leading me to believe that she was the one.
Finally she emerged – after 15 minutes. I rolled down my window, smiled at her and said “I’m REALLY sorry! This was totally my fault!” She just looked at me and stared at me with a death glare. Then, Angry Condo Parking Lot Lady walked back to her car and proceeded to take an extended look to make sure that I hadn’t tried to hit her car or anything. At this point I became somewhat enraged. I knew what I had done wrong and I had apologized to ACPLL and received absolutely no response. She had clearly parked behind me to teach me a lesson and was not going to let up until she was good and done. And meanwhile, was going to continue looking at me every 30 seconds or so to give me the death glare. You know, in case I did not know she was good and angry.
Meanwhile, I am trying to talk to Evan. He kept asking “Why are we not moving?” and I said “Mommy parked in this lady’s spot and now I can’t move because her car is blocking mine.” He said “That lady does not look happy.”
Welcome to the understatement of the year.
After her complete inspection of her car, ACPLL got in her car, took an exceedingly long time turning on the engine and getting settled, and drove away.
Have I mentioned that I totally understand this was my fault??? Because I do. But I also know that it’s not like I ran over her dog. If I was her, I probably would have been irritated too, and she had every right to be. But if I had been in her place and someone had given me a sincere apology, I probably would have gone on my way and not harbored such an obvious and unnecessary grudge.
Help me understand here: am I crazy? Who overreacted here, her or me?
Thursday, August 21, 2008
(sidebar: wow. That makes me sound really fun. YOU SHOULD ALL WANT TO PARTY WITH ME.)
So imagine my surprise when Dave called me at 4:45 pm yesterday and said “Guess what! We just got two free tickets to the Dave Matthews concert tonight at Staples Center – and they’re in a private suite!” Now I can appreciate free concert tickets as much as the next gal, but due to my confessed lack of spontaneity I was like “But who will watch the children?” and “But the housekeeper is coming tomorrow, when are we going to pick up all our clutter?” and “But I really wanted to dismantle the baby swing tonight!” (see above re: how much you should want to party with me.)
Now, Dave is a really fun guy, and lacks my resistance to spontaneity. He launched a campaign: “But it’ll be fun! We never get to go out! When will we ever have this opportunity again?” All arguments that I could not disagree with. So, thanks to Dave’s sister who agreed to stay with the kids (yay Aunt Ryann!), off we went like the carefree, spontaneous couple we totally aren't.
And guess what? We had a fabulous time. The concert was OK – we have seen DMB before and loved it, and this time was not quite as good, but who cares? We were sitting in free seats, with free food and free drinks, on a Wednesday night, while SOMEONE ELSE was at home supervising the kids.
And no, I didn’t get to pick up the clutter or dismantle the baby swing. Thank goodness.
(**Shameless plea: if you know me in person, could you please vouch for the fact that I CAN BE fun and not a total stick in the mud? Thanks.)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Part of the reason I ended up doing it is because these funny things kept happening to me that were not really blog post-worthy, but the world needed to know! I mean, a few months ago, when I kept seeing an advertisement on a bus around town with a critical typo? And it was for H&R Block, and instead of “Want to make money doing taxes?” it said “Want to make money DONG taxes?” And I saw this bus over and over again and yet EVERY TIME was unable to snap a cell phone picture? Twitter was the obvious answer to this hilarious situation. DUH.
Now mind you, there have been others. But that one alone planted the seed. So, I bring you, Bearca’s compelling twitter updates: http://twitter.com/bearca
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
For example, Evan has recently mastered the assumptive close. We’ll be getting him ready for preschool in the morning and he’ll say “When you pick me up from school, we will go to Disneyland.” I will reply, “No, when I pick you up from school we’ll come home and have a snack.” And he will inevitably counter with “We’ll come home and have a snack, AND THEN we’ll go to Disneyland.” Evidently he is well on his way to being a master negotiator (shaking fist at attorney husband).
He’s also got some commonly used terms that never fail to crack me up. If he sees a hummingbird outside the kitchen window, he will point at it and excitedly declare “Mommy, look! A hummus bird!” – a mispronunciation that I think is so cute that I refuse to correct. At least for now.
He is also fond of “translating” Delaney’s coos and gurgles. She’ll say “Gaaahhhh!!!” and he says “Mommy, she said Gaaaaahhhh!!!” And in my head I say yes, Evan, my ears work so I was already aware of that.
For him, the words “last night” and “yesterday” are synonymous with “anytime in the past.” For example, on the way to preschool we drive past the mall parking lot where the pumpkin patch was set up almost a year ago. He often says “Remember yesterday when we went to the pumpkin patch?”
Everyone tells you that time passes so quickly when you have kids. On that count, I think Evan might be right. I remember “yesterday” when he was born, and I cannot believe that this walking, talking, thinking and remembering person is my baby.
Monday, August 11, 2008
But when I read this today, I nearly clapped my hands with glee. Finally, a way to officially calculate the cheeseball-ness of the Olympic announcers and their hilarious rotation of stock words and phrases!
Check it out: The Olympics Sap-o-Meter from www.slate.com
Friday, August 08, 2008
However, I ended up putting them back, because I am just not a skinny pants person. Or am I? Honestly, it was as if the pants threw me into an existential crisis. I had never considered buying a pair of non-boot cut pants. But there is no LAW against it. Is there? Then I wondered, is this how people become stuck in a fashion time-warp… by never considering something new or different?
It’s not even like skinny pants are new or trendy or something. They have been around for a couple of years, I guess. I just assumed they do not apply to me. They are for The Kids. You know, Kids These Days! With their “iPods” and their “Facebook” and their “skinny jeans.” Wait a minute:
OMG, are boot-cut pants the new Mom Jeans?
I am obviously overthinking this.
I’m buying the pants.
Monday, August 04, 2008
We went to the Del Mar horse races on Saturday and had a grand old time. I have a scientifically proven betting method. It consists of selecting a horse that is a) pretty, b) has an interesting name, or c) both of the above. This method is more fun than using actual statistics, and since I know jack squat about horse racing it’s probably about as effective.
On Saturday, my method did not let me down. In the first race, I bet $2 on Itschelseagirl to win. Now, normally I would object to the lack of spacing in that name for grammar’s sake. However, she was a pretty horse and Chelsea is the name of a family friend who Evan loves, so I went with it. And guess what?
She won the race! Should have wagered more than $2. Or not. Because I promptly lost my winning ticket. I believe it had something to do with the amount of gear and strollers I was lugging at the time. I was about to write it off as a loss based on the obvious futility of ever finding it again, but my husband and sister-in-law both encouraged me to go look for it. I mean, it was $24! That’s dinner at Baja Fish Taco, a nice bottle of wine, a can of non-chocolatified baby formula or maybe a dress at Old Navy.
So I headed off to look. And within two minutes, I FOUND IT! It was on the ground right where I suspected it might be. I picked it up, dusted it off, and proceeded to bet on losing horses for the rest of the day.
Oh well. At least those losing bets were covered.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I laughed and said “Do you really think so?” and he continued. “Yes. I think they hide chocolate isotopes in there so the kids who drink it as infants end up craving chocolate when they grow up.”
I started giggling uncontrollably. I think it was the phrase “chocolate isotopes.” I took chemistry and all, way back when, but I have no idea what an isotope is. (And for the record, neither does he.)
But anyway, who knew I was married to such a conspiracy theorist?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
Today's Parental Dilemma #1
Question: when confronted with a three-year-old with visibly peanut-buttery hands, and a four-month-old infant who has just had a poop blowout of epic proportions covering both her clothing and the play mat she was lying on, WHICH DO YOU DEAL WITH FIRST?
Answer: This one is easy. Peanut butter hands trump a poop blowout, only because infant's limited mobility means her mess, although more disgusting, will be fairly well contained. However, freshly painted walls mean the peanut butter must be removed STAT.
Today's Parental Dilemma #2
Question: When attempting to breastfeed starving infant during older child's swimming lesson, and older child climbs out of the pool screaming and proceeds to throw a tantrum, do you try to stay calm and continue nursing, or do you remove tantruming child from the scene, which necessitates you stop feeding hungry baby, which will in turn result in additional screaming?
Answer: Tough call. However, public judgment of other swimming lesson parents is too humiliating. Must remove unreasonable three-year-old immediately, despite protest crying from starving infant. Shoving pacifier into her cry-hole while shepherding tantrum boy to a less public location is the clear choice, all the while muttering silent obscenities and yet trying to appear in control.
What do you think?
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
What to report after such a long hiatus? Here are the highlights:
- I am going back to work at the end of this week. Feelings are mixed on this one. I'll be happy to be back among adults on a daily basis, but I will really miss my time with the baby.
- Speaking of the baby, she officially hates the bottle. Feelings are most definitely NOT mixed on this one. The overwhelming one? STRESS PANIC FEAR.
- Evan is almost potty-trained. HAPPINESS JOY ELATION.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
In other news, this week has been crazy so far. CRAZY. I think I'm going to be able to go back to work at a reduced work schedule (YAY!) and something else kooky and exciting is also in the works for next week. More on that tomorrow, I think.
Also, I am stressing out because we are having a birthday party for Evan this weekend and there will be 25 kids plus all the associated adults! Whoa Nelly. I really need to get my act together and start some hot favor-buyin', pizza-orderin' action. Off to make an official to-do list.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Do you know what else contributes to my general level of happiness and joy? Starbucks iced coffee with vanilla.
Again: loving maternity leave. Where else can you eat birthday cupcakes in the morning, have vanilla iced coffee every afternoon, have frequent brunch and shopping dates with your friends and gaze goofily at your happily smiling baby... all while wearing comfy slobby clothes? This is the life, I'm telling you! Why can't I get paid for this?
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Yes. So, that happened.
And now everyone is feeling better, thankyouGodamen.
Speaking of feeling better, yesterday was my second full day alone with the two kids, and it was a smashing success. Perhaps it was the universe's way of making up for the misery of Saturday night, but the baby napped blissfully for much of the day while Evan and I played and did puzzles. Then, he took a great nap himself and all three of us went to the pool. It was a gorgeous day.
We capped it all off with a family dinner at one of our favorite places. Mmmmm, guacamole. Plus, I drank half of my husband's Bohemia. Yum. Do I know how to party or what?
(Uh, don't answer that.)
Thursday, March 13, 2008
- Bribing older child with fruit snacks to get him to cooperate while I attend to younger child's need for food and diaper changes.
- Bribing older child with excessive television to get him to cooperate while I attend to younger child's need for food and diaper changes.
- Playing soccer with older child while carrying young infant in a Baby Bjorn.
- Emptying the dishwasher while carrying young infant in a Baby Bjorn.
- Cooking dinner while carrying young infant in a Baby Bjorn.
Do you see any themes emerging? When #2 comes along, "bribery" and "hands-free" are the operative words for child-wrangling success.
Things I Still Really Suck At Despite Now Having Two Children:
- Cutting newborn's fingernails without bleeding (hers) and emotional trauma (both).
- Dealing with night after night of interrupted sleep.
- Giving young infant enough time after hearing initial explosion to finish pooping BEFORE changing diaper (may possibly be burning out my washer and dryer with overuse).
- Not eating too much junk food during the day. What? I'm tired and I DESERVE IT.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
AT THE SAME TIME.
Followed by another three-ish hours of sleep.
Send champagne and balloons! And maybe also some ice cream, or possibly chocolate, so I can stuff my face in true celebratory style, before I am no longer able to use sleep deprivation to justify my poor eating habits.
Don't get me wrong, in no way do I assume this will happen again tonight or even a week from now. The thing with newborns is that they are hell-bent on confusing and stunning you with their illogical and sporadic sleeping habits. Terrorists, I tell you... they are terrorists.
But anyway. I feel good today, and that's enough for me.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The baby’s room is still not ready. Why is that, you may ask? Well, let me tell you! We chose a paint color that turned out to be the equivalent of being inside a gigantic bottle of Pepto-Bismol! So, we just lengthened the project and asked them to repaint it. God bless my husband… he is the main liaison for these painters and has had to be the conduit for our frequent changes and complaints. I’ve given him full approval to blame me for everything.
But guess what? I’m still pregnant. Having Braxton-Hicks contractions every five seconds, but pregnant nonetheless.
And did I mention I’m still at work? What was I thinking? Oh well. I think I can hang on through tomorrow, which is supposed to be my last day. Am model conscientious employee.
Also: am model of calm, peacefulness and Zen. (Dave: zip it)
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Hi, all! How YOU doin'? I just wanted to share a few tips on how to make yourself totally crazy when you are 38 weeks pregnant. These tactics are tried and true and I promise, you can make them work for you!
- Hire contractors to install built-in cabinets in key areas of your house.
- Battle resulting sawdust and be annoyed by the many contractor shoeprints on your stairs.
- Have entire inside of house painted, rendering it mostly uninhabitable because all furniture and other objects are piled in center of each room, covered in plastic.
- Debate merits of various paint colors with your spouse. Decide on one, then change it, then change it back, then repeat the process.
- Get involved in planning two large events for work, even though due to your advanced state of pregnancy you will OBVIOUSLY not be around to execute either one.
- Continue ignoring the fact that you need to finish the baby’s room, pack a hospital bag and OMG give birth to a crying sleepless newborn ANY MINUTE NOW.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
A Bulleted List of the Things that have Happened Around Here Lately:
- (The week before Christmas) A two-and-a-half hour trip to Labor and Delivery to be monitored. This directly followed an exciting episode of me chasing my runaway child out INTO A PARKING LOT, then tripping and falling in said parking lot, causing some impressive bruising on both knees, one elbow and a painful case of road rash on one hand. Once they hooked me up to the monitors, they found that I was contracting every four to eight minutes. Luckily the contractions stopped on their own and yay, I’m still pregnant.
- Christmas Eve) Another trip to the hospital… but not for me this time. Two hours after we put Evan’s new big-boy dresser together and brought it upstairs, and before we had gotten around to strapping it to the wall, he opened all the drawers at the same time and it FELL OVER ON TOP OF HIM. He was trapped, and screaming, and I can say without a doubt in my mind that it was the single most terrifying moment in my life as a parent thus far. Miraculously, he escaped completely unharmed save for a bruise on his back. We took him to the ER to be safe and luckily he was OK. Please, please, please, for the love of all small children everywhere, PLEASE secure all furniture to the wall so that you do not have to go through this or worse. Because I literally cannot breathe when I think of what could have happened.
- (Christmas time) Mellow and uninteresting, and blissfully free of medical drama. Much peppermint bark was consumed.
- (Two days post-Christmas) Trip to Sea World. Enjoyed by all. Especially small child who was rather enamored of Shamu or “that black and white whale who makes all those bubbles” as he’s known around here now.
- (This past Sunday) Despite us having largely ignored the upcoming need for potty training, I was awoken by a small voice yelling “Mommy! I have to go to the bathroom!” I took him in to the potty and sure enough, there he went! Now, I’m not so naïve to think that he just up and decided to train himself one day, but since then we have had multiple successful potty visits. Score!
The only other thing I can tell you is that I am about a month out from D-Day. Um, yeah. I am so ready, and yet so NOT ready. Two children? At one time? I’m not so sure this was a good idea. But I can’t wait to meet her…