Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yes, You Can Call Me Sweetheart...

Yesterday on facebook, one of my friends shared a great link to an NPR blog about parenthood not always being sunshine and roses and how we should all just be honest with each other and admit it. See Alan Greenblatt's post  here. Tru dat.

This was my comment on the link:

I feel I do alright with this, but am inspired to do more. My new goal is to share a brutally honest complaint about parenthood once a day. I think I'll start with those chatty cashiers that feel compelled/are trained to ask you about your day. When they ask what my plans are for the rest of the day, my reply will be, "Well Bob, I would like to sit in my hot tub with my husband this evening and down a bottle of wine, but instead I shall be sweating my ass off at soccer practice this afternoon followed by a lovely evening of cleaning children, making dinner, cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry. By the time the kids are asleep, I will be too tired to do anything but pat my husband on the head on my way to bed. Thanks for asking!"

This reminded me that it's really really very fucking annoying that cashiers are always asking me what my plans are for the rest of the day. I don't mind "Hello" or "How are you?" or "Did you find everything alright?" or even having a discussion about the yumminess of a certain product or two, but "What are your plans for the rest of the day?" bugs the shit out of me. When did this get on the cashier training program for Trader Joe's et al? I know you do not fucking care what I'm doing after I leave your store! I feel forced to somehow make picking up the kids from school and schlepping them to an activity sound fun. Lately, after such an encounter I fantasize about what to say instead of the truth. I've been considering making up wild and crazy things like:

  • "I'm leaving for a modeling job in Paris, but first I just had to stop and get a gallon of milk for my family. It should tide them over till I get back."
  • "Tonight after the kids go to sleep my husband and I are going to sneak out and go to a Rave. I need these Mentos for later. They taste really awesome when your on X."
  • "Just trying to get all my errands done before my shift at The Landing Strip this afternoon."
  • "Heading home to do some naked vacuuming."
  • "I'm on my way to the airport to catch a flight to Kenya for a 3 week Safari." (preferably with a cart full of perishable items)
  • "I'm going straight home to feed my 27 cats. Could you scan a little faster? They pee on the toaster if I'm gone for more than an hour."

The closest I've actually come to saying anything pithy is "living the dream!" followed by some awkward smiling. I don't know if I can actually say any of the above. I'm a lot more ballsy in my head and on the interweb than in person, but I'm going to try and psych up for it. Maybe start with something short and sweet like the naked vacuuming.  

I will say that not all cashier chat is bad. There are a couple of 20 something boy cashiers at my local Target that have been calling me and some of my gal pals "sweetheart" at checkout. They say it at the end as in "Have a good day sweetheart." 20 something women might be insulted by this, but for the late 30's-40 something set this is awesome! Um, yes please! I'll take some more of that. If I could only figure out these guys' schedules, I'd schedule my Target trips around their work schedules. I'd stand several carts deep in their line even if I could zip right through some old lady's line. I know a number of others that would do the same. 

Customer service training people take note (especially those at Trader Joe's. I love your store so much, why must you mire my shopping experience in this way?!?):

"What are your plans for the rest of the day?" 

"Have a good day sweetheart!" (for women over 35) 


Peace & Love :-).

Friday, August 26, 2011


Remember when I posted about the miracle bra swimsuit over miracling and put pictures of my boobs (in the swimsuit) on the blog? Missed it? You can find it here. That post has been viewed 25% more than my next popular post. I'm not a statistician, but I did take statistics in college and I'm pretty sure that 25% is statistically significant. I don't have an explanation for this, but it makes me laugh. I wonder if my boobs ended up on google images or something? They aren't big and I had on a swimsuit so it's hard for me to imagine that the image would be enticing to click on, but I guess it could happen. Maybe the boob shot linked on my facebook page was enough to interest more of my fb friends than usual to actually click the link to the blog? Likely, this mystery will never be solved.  

In any case, since it was so popular the first time, I am shamelessly posting another boob picture. It's not a close up, but it is me drinking a beer while standing in the ocean on a gorgeous beach in Antigua. I want to go there. And do that. Right now!

Peace & Love :-)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Smarty Dotty Pants

I was thrilled to find out yesterday that as a hard core Scrabble player, I'm smarter than everyone else (read all about it here). This is really awesome news, because although I've long considered myself to be a pretty smart cookie, lately I feel like I might be sliding over to the dotty side. I either have too much on my plate, am in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's or possibly (but unlikely) I never really had my shit together. 

A few months ago I booked a vacation for the wrong week. Right month, right year, but wrong week. I remember staring at the computer screen checking the dates before I confidently submitted/purchased/ordered the vacation package. And then I didn't realize for about 3 months that I had made a mistake. Thankfully Scott and I wanted to check something so we logged in to look at our plans and saw the wrong date. Scott laughed at me which is preferable to yelling, but not helpful. Really nothing could have helped me feel like less of a lame ass at that moment. We looked into changing it to the dates we originally wanted, but it's too much of a pain in the ass and a $ issue so we are just going the week I booked. Looks as though it might turn out better in some ways. At least we figured it out before we tried to go on the vacation 3 WEEKS after our actual booking. That would have really really really sucked ass. Scott says he's in charge of booking vacations from now on though. 

Last week Scott walked in the house after getting home in the evening and asked how long both the garage doors had been wide open? Umm....huh? Then I realized I had been driving car #2. I usually drive car #1. I think what I did was instead of closing the side that car #2 lives on I pushed the other button and opened the door for car #1 assuming I was closing that side and walked in the house without looking back. The answer to Scott's question was 2ish hours. Not really a big deal, but lame ass just the same. 

A month or so ago I took one of the kids to meet up with my mom an hour and a half away and Scott and the other kid were at home. They were going to go shopping or something, but Scott couldn't find his keys so he called me to see if I had any idea where they were. I was able to locate them- in the ignition of the car I was driving- and also my set - in my purse in the car with me. I was an hour away from home at that point. Shit! Lame ass! I did remember there was a 3rd key to the car at home which resulted in a fun phone game of find the key that went something like:

Me: "It's with the other extra keys in an open tupperware container. Try the kitchen drawer under the microwave."

Scott: "Not there."

Me: "Look in the big basket on the shelf in the office."

Scott: "Not there."

Me: "Try the top drawer of that bookshelf thingy."

Scott: "Nope."

Me: "Try the second drawer."

Scott: "Nope."

Me: "Try the rest of the drawers."

Scott: "I found the thing of keys. Why do we have so many keys? Do they all go to something?"

Me: "Just look for the one that looks the same as your other car key."

Scott: "Found it. I think."

Me: "Awesome. Happy shopping. See you later."

These larger lapses are on top of things like forgetting why I walked into a room and starting a task in one room then going to another room for something having to do with said task only to then get involved in something in the new room, finding the original task partly done hours later having totally forgotten about it, which maybe just indicates that I'm easily distractible, but I didn't used to be. And my favorite, finding my morning coffee in the microwave in the afternoon. If only I could remember to finish my coffee, then I might get my togetherness back. At least I have Scrabble...

peace & love :-)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mother Nature Can Bite Me!

I was inspecting my face this morning to see if anything needed to be popped, picked or plucked and I saw not one, but two little black hairs on my chin. WTF? How did those get there? I don't remember seeing them yesterday, but they were long enough that they had to be a few days old. Have I seriously been walking about sporting these chin hairs? I was horrified! These two weren't even the kind that hide under the chin and a little back. Oh no, they were prominently in front. I have a big thing against chin hair and regularly, some may say obsessively, check for them so it's very disconcerting that those two had gone unnoticed. Especially since I've had this nasty zit brewing just below my lip for days that I've been constantly checking to see if it's time to pop. I've been extra up close with that area of my face lately. Maybe I've been too focused on the zit? Maybe the chin hairs magically grew that entire length overnight? 

If I have interacted with you over the last couple of days and subjected you to this horror, 1. I apologize and B. Why didn't you say something? I mean not in an embarrassing way in front of other people like I did to my Mom one time in an ice cream place after she had so kindly taken me and a friend to see a movie. I was 11ish and I was actually trying to be helpful, but discrete I was not. Sorry Mom! I mean take me aside and gently break it to me or send me a text or something. I guess it's a bit awkward if you don't know someone really really really well to point out their crazy chin hairs. It is a little more personal than lipstick on the teeth, food stuck in the teeth or a tag sticking up. However, I give you permission in the future to instruct me to tweeze. I assure you I'm not trying to go natural and embrace the chin hairs. If they are still attached, it's only because I somehow missed them in my morning mirror scrutiny routine. I've already instructed my daughter that when I get old and can't see them, which is apparently already the case, or am too gorked out to do anything about them, she is to help me out and tweeze baby tweeze.

Perhaps I should start wearing glasses for the morning face inspection or maybe I should invest in one of those scary magnification mirrors like they have in hotel bathrooms. I actually love those things cause I love to pop, pick and pluck. The biggest reason I don't yet have one is that I have a tendency to over pick my milia, tiny white cyst things, and look like I've been in battle. If I had one of those magnifying mirrors I could easily get out of control. Even without the special mirror I sometimes just go for it and end up slightly swollen and bloody and then try to drop in conversation that I've been to the dermatologist so people think a doctor did that to me. I actually have walked out of the dermatologist office looking pretty scary so it could happen. I should have been a dermatologist as I love to pop zits and stick needles in my little milia. I think dermatologists also have to look at random rashes and sometimes tell people they have skin cancer though and those things suck so probably best I don't start applying to med schools. 

The simultaneous zit and chin hair issue is why I'm particularly cross with Mother Nature. While not at peace with all these getting older body changes, I'm doing my best to deal with them. The random hairs, the gray hairs, the toll of pregnancies and gravity are all expected, but what up with the acne? Why do I need wrinkle cream and zit cream at the same time? Is it really necessary to relive teenage angst at the same time as dealing with middlish age angst? 

I call bullshit!

Peace & Love :-) 

Monday, August 15, 2011


I did a lot of relearning this afternoon. My 5th grader had prime number homework. I was able to recall from the recesses of my mind what those are so I proved to be rather helpful. I did not even have to google it. Also, she is studying for a states test as in name all 50 states on an unmarked map. I couldn't quite do this cold, but after only a few online map games I was all over it. Then my Kindergartener says "We did that pledge thing again today, but I don't know it." So me and the 5th grader start reciting it, but got stuck the first few times at the "and to the republic" part. We agreed it's much easier to say in a group.

So when after dinner/wine, the following conversation took place I was tapped out and not at the top of my game.

10 y/o to 5 y/o: "Gravity is why we stay on the ground. Like when you jump up you come back down. There's not as much gravity on the moon."

5 y/o to me: "Is there gravity on the moon?"

Me: "Um, there's less gravity on the moon or maybe no gravity. Hey Scott, is the moon zero gravity?"

Scott: Rounding the corner and laughing, "Did you fail science?"

Me: "Don't the astronauts wear weights in their spacesuits on the moon?"

Scott: "Yes, cause there's less gravity than on the earth. Do you know what would happen to someone trying to walk in zero gravity?" walking away, shaking head and still laughing.

Me: "Yeah, I know."

Awesome comeback, right? So, I'm not entirely sure, but I think the answer is you would just float off into oblivion in zero gravity if not tethered to something. Apparently I should google that.

Peace & Love :-)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Awesome, Yet Stupid: The Boat

Scott and I own a ski boat. Do not bring your fishing pole. There will be no fishing. It's not fancy, but it's nice. It seats 10, has a tower and a shade bimini and the guy we bought it from was meticulous and kept it well maintained. We both wakeboard and the kids tube. Good times! Cool, right? Yes, except for that owning a boat is a pain in the ass. When we bought it we were told that we were experiencing the 2nd happiest day in a boat owners life. The first happiest would be the day we sold it. 
Me wakeboarding last summer. I wish I could show you a picture of me doing a 360 (on the water, not in the air- ha!), but I swallowed half the lake on all my attempts. I'm proud to get up on the damn thing and hang on, also I can go over the wake and back. 
The previous owner's pic from when we bought it. I'm pretty it hasn't been that clean while we've owned it.
As a kid my boating experience was limited to summer vacations at the family lake cabin. Upon arrival we would get the boat out of the boat house and tie it to the dock where it would remain for the duration of the vacation. If the water was good and someone wanted to ski or tube we would just hop in and go. I had no idea how spoiled I was. Too easy! 

We don't live on a body of water so every time we use the boat we pack it with food, drinks, toys and people and make a day of it. While we are out on the water it's fantastic. The prep, pack, launch, retrieval, clean-up and unpack suck! The launching and retrieval can prove particularly stressful. If you are ever in need of some free entertainment, go hang out at a boat ramp. There's yelling, falling in the water, boats crashing into each other and the dock and did I mention the yelling?!?

Scott and I almost never yell at each other. However, if you come boating with us, I can guarantee yelling. We always warn our guests. The boat ramp is a stressful place! There's a lot to remember. Are the straps off? Is the plug in? Is the trim up? Is there room to maneuver around the other boats? He always drives the tow vehicle and I always drive the boat off and on the trailer. I'm a pretty good boat driver particularly if there aren't very many other boats to worry about. I get all jinky if there are numerous boats to maneuver around though. Scott will drop the trailer into the water and expect me to be able to drive around the other boats as if I'm in a car. Driving a boat is not as exact as a car. Trust me on this one. This is where the yelling happens. He will have backed the trailer into the water and be standing there waving me in from out on the water and I'll be waving and yelling about how there's not enough room to get to the trailer. He starts yelling and keeps trying to wave me in and then I wave him off and refuse to drive over there until enough boats clear out. There's more yelling when navigating the boat on or off the trailer: 

Scott: "Slow down! Speed up! Put the trim up!" 

Me: "I am! I did! Next time you drive the fucking boat!"

Good times! The boat ramp yelling is just part of the experience of the day. We get over it in about 5 seconds. 

We also have a slight tow vehicle issue. We have 2 vehicles. Vehicle #1 pulls the boat beautifully around town and on the highway, but is front wheel drive and once acted like it was on a slip and slide at the boat ramp. It didn't actually go in the water, but we had to have the vehicle hooked to the trailer with the boat on it all towed off the ramp, by a guy with a giant 4wd truck. Completely mortifying with a long line of people waiting to launch their boat and wondering who the dumb ass is holding up the traffic. After that, Scott simply said "never again!" to that vehicle on the boat ramp. Vehicle #2 is 4wd and performs brilliantly on the boat ramp. However, it's on it's last legs and complains if it drives the boat down the road very far. Last year vehicle #2's complaining led to a tow truck and repair bill. The few times we took the boat out last year we would take both vehicles to the boat ramp. #1 would tow the boat to the launch parking lot and then #2 would get hooked up and used for launching and retrieval. #1 would drive it home. We bought vehicle #1 just 2 short months before we bought the boat. We choose to get the 2wd instead of AWD because we couldn't remember the last time we used the 4wd on vehicle #2 and the 2wd is more fuel efficient and cost less $. Had we had any idea we might be towing something, we would have gotten the AWD and we wouldn't be in this ridiculous situation. How it is that we went from not even considering towing anything to buying a 21ft boat in two months is a whole other story.

When vehicle #2 dies, Scott is getting the smallest most fuel efficient car he can talk himself into and we will be without a launch vehicle. Then we will have to go to marinas that will launch with a tractor for you or invite friends with 4wd and a hitch. 

Despite all this pain in the assedness and despite the fact that Scott and I agreed weeks ago that we wouldn't take the boat out this year, now I kinda want to. Wakeboarding is fun. Being on the water is a whole other world and feels far away from the city. There are a few good boating weekends left. I wonder if I can convince Scott? I think I'll wait to bring it up until we are half a bottle or more in with the wine tonight. Wish me luck.

Peace & Love :-)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Days Are Long, But The Years Are Short

My youngest starts Kindergarten tomorrow. He is ready. I am not. The issue isn't about not knowing what to do with myself. Kindergarten is 3 1/2 hours long. I have 2 part time jobs, am on the PTA and the yearbook committee at the kids' school and will volunteer in both their classrooms. Plus I'm the maid, the cook and the laundry fairy. There is never enough time in the day. 

The issue is I'm all verklempt. Also, I'm baffled. Where in the hell does the time go? How can he be this old? He was just born!. How is it that the days can be interminably long and the years fly by?!? My parents have been telling me for decades that time only speeds up. Impossible to believe as a kid, but all too easy comprehend rounding the bend to 40. 

I regularly cry during TV shows and movies and possibly even well up during sentimental commercials (like when the Dad is talking to the little girl about driving and then all of a sudden she's a teenager driving away or that credit card commercial from a few years ago with the song 100 Years playing in the background as they showed a couple getting married, having kids, and being old- I would full on cry during that one) so it's no surprise that my baby going to Kindergarten has me stifling the urge to randomly weep throughout the day. We went to the Kinder meet and greet today. The teacher asked me to write down how my son would get home tomorrow after school and I felt a sting in my eyes and had to force back the tears. I think she noticed. It was very kind of her not to roll her eyes. I am going to try very hard to keep it together tomorrow morning. I will bid the children adieu, attend the PTA parent mixer, smile, chat, and wait at least until I get in the car to let the tears flow. I predict the ugly cry.

My first baby is going to be a 5th grader. We wear the same size shoes and she will be taller than me by Xmas. I truly don't know how that happened. Well, I'm short and Scott is tall so it's not really that shocking that she's almost as tall as me at age 10, but, but, but, she was just born! The kids will attend the same school for just 1 year as it's a K-5th. I'm already anticipating the Kindergarten and 5th grade promotion ceremonies within in the same week next Spring. It's gonna be rough.

Peace & Love :-)

Sunday, August 7, 2011


We rolled in late last night from a great vacation at my Dad's lake cabin. Yay us! We had to drive a long ass way to get there and back though. Boo! It's about 15 hours with pee and food stops. We have a big vehicle, a built in DVD player and a number of personal electronics between the 4 of us. The situation could be way, way worse. I max out on the license plate alphabet game and I Spy after about 30 minutes. One time when our son was 18 months old we did an 8 hour drive during the day. We spent all of his waking time on that trip pointing out trains, tractors, loaders and cement trucks. It was exhausting. The fact that both kids can now zone out to screens for hours in the car is awesome. I can take a quick Scrabble turn or do a quick facebook check when there is a signal to be had, but can't actually read or play iPad games or I'll get pukey. Scott prefers to drive so I sit in the passenger seat sleeping, eating, changing the movie, chatting, judiciously iPhoning and after about hour 10 I go car crazy. I start bouncing around and saying, "Are we there yet?" over and over. I might throw in a "What do you want to talk about?" perhaps accompanied by a poke in the arm. This annoys Scott.

We didn't take the most direct route on the way to the cabin as we went to visit Scott's cousin, his wife (the cousin's wife, not Scott's other wife) and their 7 week old baby. Okay, we were really there for the baby, but we acted like we were interested in the adults too. It's only polite. As a bonus the path we traveled took us past exit 86 in Oregon on the I-5. At exit 86 one can find Heaven on Earth, a restaurant and bakery, where one can get the yummiest, gooiest, giantest cinnamon rolls. That day we drove 12 hours. Highlights included:
  • Stopping a few hours in to walk around because the 5 y/o thought he might puke. We've discovered small screens on the lap = puking or near puking, but the ceiling DVD player that he looks up and forward at = all good. I considered it might be a ploy to commandeer the DVD player, but he actually hurled in the car a couple weeks ago coming home from Tahoe and he would love to get his little hands on the iPad so probably it's a legit issue.
  • Me wanting coffee after the cinnamon roll stop, being too lazy to pour coffee from the thermos into the travel cup, attempting to drink straight from the thermos, miscalculating where the coffee comes out and pouring hot coffee all down the front of me, me cursing, and Scott chiming in after I scalded myself with, "That thermos isn't meant for drinking straight out of". 
  • The 10 year old somehow getting chocolate onto her earbuds and then across her face and in her ear.
  • Me wanting Subway instead of fast food, me saying "We aren't going to see any Subway signs on the freeway just crap fast food signs", seeing a Blimpie in a truck stop sign, going to the slowest Blimpie ever, Scott being grouchy at the wait, me yelling at Scott about being grouchy and accusing him of preferring to make me eat crappy, greasy food rather than wait a few minutes for a sandwich, and then proceeding to see approximately 50 Subway signs between the Blimpie stop and our destination.
  • The standard: "Don't lean on my pillow.", "Don't touch my blanket.", "I'm not giving you a sip of my drink because you only gave me ONE of your fries." comments from the 2nd row.
  • Me having knee pain, ass pain, reeking like coffee, and all of us going car crazy at hour 10.
Upon arrival we found our relatives in their sunny backyard with a gorgeous view drinking with the neighbors and they shared. Awesome.

After a couple nights in the beautiful Pacific Northwest it was time to carry on. (BTW, whenever I'm in Portland or Seattle the weather is lovely. I think the dreary weather is a myth made up by locals to keep more people from moving there.) The 6 hour car ride to the cabin was cake after that 12 hour drive we started with.

Fast forward through the wonderful vacation and it was time to saddle up and go home. This time straight through. 15 hours give or take. Sigh. 
  • Scott drove. The kids screened. I slept, ate, changed the movie, chatted, held the phone up to the sky looking for 3G or at least E so I could take a Scrabble turn and tried not to request a pee stop more than every couple hours. 
  • The kids squabbled a bit, but then we separated them by we moving the 10 y/o to the 3rd row and there was peace throughout the car.
  • At hour 10 my ass was really, really, really hurting so I scooted down with my legs up on the dash so my weight was on the high ass/lower back region. In this position the shoulder strap on the seat belt was going right across my throat. Then I started having Ally McBeal type visions, that belonged in an opening of a Six Feet Under episode, of Scott slamming on the brakes and the seat belt decapitating me thus compelling me to sit up again. About this time I noticed how uncomfortable both by bra and sunglasses had become. Being in a 3G zone I naturally posted my bra and sunglasses issue on facebook. I got a very helpful suggestion to "take 'em off" from a guy of course. Not a bad idea for the bra, but undoable for the sunglasses. 
  • We spent way to long driving through Klamath Falls looking for fast food. We finally found a Wendy's where I had my second fast food grilled chicken wrap o' the day. If I had been forced to guess I would have said that the Wendy's chicken wrap had more potential than the McDonald's one, but really pretty much a draw. Both edible, but not exciting. The strawberry-banana smoothie from McDonald's was tasty, but the classic chocolate frosty at Wendy's was more exciting and probably not higher in calories. I generally spend my time driving around looking for anything but fast food, but it was time to be all done and get home. Desperate times.
  • When we drove through Weed I wanted to stop and get an "I heart Weed" t-shirt, but Scott kept driving.
  • We got home around 11. The kids had been asleep in the car and only woke up enough to get to their beds and crash. Scott and I were exhausted, but awake...until 1:30am...WTF?

Whoever said "getting there is half the fun" was on crack or didn't have a very good time once they got there.  

Peace & Love :-)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Shower Thoughts... Off The Grid

This morning in the shower I started congratulating myself on how well I've been surviving off the grid this week. Then I remembered that being off the grid is really about being self sustaining and not just about going without wifi. It seems some folks use the term to mean they are without cell phone signal, 3G and wifi when on vacation. Well my iPhone works at the cabin and I can indeed make calls, text, play Scrabble, facebook and apparently even blog, although typing this on the iPhone keypad is a pain in the ass! (Don't tell anyone though as I've led a few people to believe that I am actually unreachable this week.) So, off the grid is perhaps a slight overstatement.

While I have taken lots of scrabble turns and looked at most of my emails, I have gone hours at a time without even picking up the iPhone and I've done a really good job of ignoring the unfullfillable pleas of the lap top and the iPad which is 3G ready, but not activated. So off the grid or on I'm still proud. I'm embracing vacation. I'm playing board games, having dance parties, playing in the lake and drinking my fair share of the wine on the deck and enjoying the view. I haven't even checked any of my news apps. I figure if something really important happens like a celebrity dies, somebody will post it on facebook.

Peace & Love :-)