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September 2006
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November 2006

Stupid Time Change

I've had a post half-written in my brain all day and now I'm totally pooped.  Because, of course, I've got the same amount of crap to do in a day that I woke up an hour later in (on? of?) and I've got to compensate for the kiddo's adjusting time frame as well, besides the fact that he decided to skip his nap today, totally screwing with our timechange sleep strategy for him (which, yeah, we threw that strategy together at the last minute having forgotten about setting the clocks back (forward? what time IS it?) altogether but still). 

On the one hand, I appreciate the purposes of daylight savings time, especially right before Halloween as it allows us to take the kids trick or treating "after dark" at a still reasonable hour (i.e. before bedtime).  On the other hand, if anyone has ANY tips on how to prevent my toddler from waking up at 6:30 tomorrow morning (have I mentioned I'm not a morning person?) I would LOVE to hear them!!

Anyway, I'm pooped.  It's 11:30ish which means it's really... um... OK, I don't know.  I never could keep that crap straight.  I'll write tomorrow... probably at 6 in the fricking 30 morning!   *grumble grumble growl*   I need some pirate booty.            - wg

P.S. Doesn't timechange just seem like it should be one word?


Spooky Decisions

Even though this is my absolute favorite holiday, I don’t think I quite have the energy or the time left this year to think up a brand new Halloween costume.  Of course, it could be argued that I’m too old for a costume anyway not having the, ahem, excuse of a party to go to or anything but I don’t care!  I’m taking my son trick or treating and… um… I just like to dress up, OK?

Chance, by the way, is going as a green dragon/dinosaur (we weren’t sure what it was exactly) and yes, it’s both cute AND apropos.

Usually I enjoy thinking up new costumes, trolling through the thrift and vintage stores, maybe even pulling out the dreaded sewing machine (so much pain! – no, really, I suck at sewing… it’s why I shop), but I’ve left everything late this year so I’ll put it to your vote.  Which of the following previous-year costumes do you think I should be?

Bee – I dressed up as a bee the Halloween I was pregnant.  I was going for a “birds and the bees” theme even though I don’t know if I was pregnant enough to really pull it off.  I probably looked more like beer belly bee.  (If I had been REALLY pregnant I would have dressed up as knocked-up angel.  Hee hee.  I still think that’s funny.)  Oh, and before you get the wrong idea I did not dress in the slutty bee costume they have in the stores.  It was more like the little girl in the No Rain video.  (I’m not a big fan of the trampy costumes.  I mean, it’s October and it’s cold out.  Hello?)

Superhero – Keen likes this one because I wear a miniskirt and knee-high platform boots. Go figure.  (Er… what did I just say about trampy?)

Witch – Because I just like witches. I have been a witch many times.  But you’ve got to do a little something special to every witch costume.  And I’m not talking slutty witch or even extra-slutty witch. I’m thinking more like CEO witch or witch doctor (you know, black scrubs and a hat?) or… something.

Dominant Lactating Mommy – This is the only new idea and it would be accomplished by wearing my waterbra, lots of black, and a sneering expression. (Actually, that sounds kind of boring. No… actually, it sounds kind of familiar… I’ve seen this look at the mall!)  Of course, this would give me an excuse to buy a whip. I’ve always wanted a whip.

So there you go campers.  What do you think?  Vote for your favorite expression of my inability to grow up today!           - the weirdgirl


Ah, Domesticity

The scene is the kitchen; Keen is doing dishes, I’m running in and out doing something or other.

Keen: “Hey, could you stir my bacon?”

Me:  “What?! Oh.  Oh, yeah...” (me, stirring the pot of bacon cooking for chili) “Wow, for a minute there that just, somehow, sounded really dirty.”

Keen: “What did?”

Me:  “You know, ‘Hey baby, stir my bacon.’”

Keen:  “I’d like you to stir my bacon.”

Me:  “Yeah, I bet you would.”

Long pause

Me:  “Which part anatomically would be the bacon?”


Dream A Little Dream

So I actually know a lady whose little girl is the same age as Chance (19 ½ months) who is already potty trained!  (I mean, the little girl, not the lady… oh, good grief I just got a mental image of the lady in diapers.  Hee hee!  (Yes, tonight I am 13.))

Potty trained.  I know that most of the experts say not to even try until your kid is two-years-old, but… potty trained.  Like magic, those words.  Can you tell?  It’s starting to sound pretty good.

Figure… I (like all parents everywhere) have changed diapers non-stop for 19 ½ months. I’m not whining.  Really.  The standard average is diapers for 2 – 3 years and I’m fine with that; it’s not that big a deal.  But we’re also planning on trying for a second kiddo sometime here in the next year (I have no details yet and I’d promise to let you all be the first to know… except Keen and various family members would kill me). 

When I think about two kids a’poopin’ in diapers all that comes to mind are hip boots.  (Yes, I know I’m being a big chicken.  I can’t even imagine the moms who have/had one kid a year.)

Plus… and this has figured strongly in my recent yearning for a world without diapers… Chance has just started “the squat”.  You know what I’m talking about.  The drop everything, crouch on the floor, grunt a few times (sounds so pretty, doesn’t it?), and voila… The Squat.

Honestly, I think I’d rather be surprised into a diaper changing than see it coming.  But that’s just me. 

So, however much I find the squat not-so-attractive (though occasionally entertaining) I’m taking this as a sign.  He obviously knows something’s going on.  Right?  Time to start talking about the crapper, time to buy a few potty books, time to plan a candy bribe reward strategy for successful poopy encounters (forgive me for not being up on the latest potty training lingo – it is yet another topic of the parenting books I’ve ignored until necessary).  My pediatrician suggested that we introduce Chance to the toilet; i.e. let him see what goes in there, show him how to flush, let him wave “bye-bye” to all objects on their spirally journey.

And there, already, we run into the first obstacle… 

Our stupid toilet is black. You can’t see shit going down that thing.

So seasoned parents, any tips, advice, stories to share?  Feel free to throw them my way. 

I’ll be busy figuring out how to make poop glow in the dark.          

                - the weirdgirl


Love Me, Love My Shoes, damnit

After 10 months sometimes I still don’t know what to make of my playgroup.  Sometimes I have a fabulous time and sometimes (still!) I just feel like an outsider.  Everyone is completely nice and a lot of the moms I really, really like but… sometimes I get the impression that some of them don’t like me that much.

I don’t know.  It seems like a lot of the moms are really close and have built up close-knit relationships, and I don’t get to as many of the events as the others do.  Again, no one is mean or anything (and honestly I think some of these moms are really cool ladies), I just sometimes feel a little disconnected.  I end up sitting back and hanging out a lot of the time. 

Oh, and I do occasionally feel judged by my shoes. 

There have been quite a few comments about my appearance.  I seem to be averaging a comment about every other event I attend.  And frankly, those are starting to bug me.  None of them are snarky, but they all seem to be along the lines of “you’re always dressed up” and “did you just come from work/the salon?” and that I’m a “glamour girl”.  (I’d be fine with a simple “Hey, cute pants! Where d’ya get them?” but I never get those kind of comments.)  For the record, I usually wear jeans or chino-type pants and variously colored knit T type shirts (I don’t tend to wear a lot of regular t-shirts because I always feel like the collars are choking me and my mangled thyroid).  Usually the fanciest things I’m wearing are my shoes and I only pull out the fun shoes at the mom-only events (i.e. no kids to chase after).  So… what the hell? 

(I can tell you one thing, it certainly doesn’t make me inclined to dress down… which would probably be the same outfit anyway, but with different shoes and a stain on the T.  It would still all be color-coordinated, though.)

I figure all I can do is be myself.  I’ve just never been in a social group where I’ve felt so awkward for so long.  (But then I’ve never joined an organization for someone else’s (Chance’s) benefit before either.)  You’d think there’d be at least one other person who likes fun shoes, right? 

Sigh.  Are all playgroups like this?              - wg

(And in case any of you wondered… no, I am NOT changing my shoes!  Please. That’s just crazy talk.) 

The offending item:

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The Real Reason Moms Can’t Remember Much After Pregnancy

TV: “Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog…”

*vroom vroom*

Keen: “Hey, babe? How much do I put in?”

*bang bang bang*

Me: “What?”

Keen: “How much fluoride goes in his juice?”

*bang bang vvVroom… Caterpillar!*  (resulting noise when two toy caterpillar trucks, with sound, are crashed together repeatedly)

Me: “Um…”

TV: “Hot dog, HOT DOG…”

*bang BANG!*  *CATERPILLAR!*

Me: “Uh…”

Keen: “You know, that thing you do every day…?”

*vroom vroom BANG! vroom*

TV: “Next on Playhouse Disney…”

Me (defeated): “I don’t remember, check the label.”

See? Sound waves block recall function!             - the weirdgirl

Note - All findings tested on mother rats with children addicted to modern media-based entertainment.


Another Deep Thought

I wonder how long arachnophobia has been around?  I mean, I’m sure it’s always been present in some number.  But given the state of people for hundreds of years – the hygiene standards, the infrequency of baths, sleeping among animals and being covered with lice, fleas, scabies and all sorts of other buggy parasites (sorry, I'm reading The Jungle right now) that could make up their permanent residence on a human body if inclination and opportunity arose (which it often did) – it seems like a vast and common fear of spiders, like you hear about today, would be pretty silly, wouldn’t it? 

huh

I wonder if I could look that up on Wikipedia?              - wg


A Shower of Pics

Last week I finally started losing some of the weight I gained when I was on the Pill.  And Saturday I gained it all back.  Me and my good friend, Godmother, threw a baby shower for our other good friend Dee.  It was pretty informal, except for the serious eating of course.  We weren’t very consistent with the shower games (they were just an excuse to give away prizes anyway), we weren’t consistent with any sort of schedule (ran two hours over and enjoyed more kvetching than opening gifts), but we were consistent with the eating.  Especially the scrumptious cake.  (Hey, any woman will tell you that food is always an essential part of girl time.)   

The best showers are all about hanging out and celebrating with your girls.  Oh, and having really cute decorations and/or favors!!  (What?)

As I’m still full and can barely balance my laptop on my aching belly, tonight I’m just posting pictures.

Scarlett Johansson, by the way, bears a striking resemblance to my friend Dee. In fact, when Scarlett first started showing up on the screen scene I could not for the life of me figure out why she looked so familiar.  Until, as I was puzzling it over yet again watching a Netflix movie, I said so to Keen.  He looked at me in utter astonishment and said, “Hello?  She looks like DEE!" Oh yeah, duh.

And just to prove it to you…

Dsc01484_rotated_1  Scarlettjohansson42_1

Because I LOVED our favors...  (Thanks Godmother!)

Dsc01477

Playing games... with the little girls - who won all the shower games, by the way (and yes, that's me in the red). 

Dsc01506_rotated 

And the flowers. (Yes, I AM a girl!)

Dsc01544

(Thanks Chris for all the pictures.     - wg)


And What A Lovely Market It Is

So I have been looking at houses on and off, casually, for the last few months.  I say casually because at first Keen and I together went to a few open houses at the beginning of the season (spring), and I started searching through the MLS listings and frankly, it was just depressing.  Houses out here are ridiculously expensive.  For those who don’t live in California or New York it will probably be hard to fathom but for a bit of perspective, $300K out here would get you a crack house in the ghetto… if you could find a house priced that low.  I’m not kidding.

The houses usually start around $500K in the bad areas and go up from there.  But you know… we live here, we grew up here, we don’t want to leave (and the commute out of the area is hellacious) and you just know what you have to deal with and plan accordingly. Right?

OK.  So started looking early on at houses in our price range and, basically, the houses available were the same exact thing that we have now with one additional tiny room tacked on.  We’re currently in a two bedroom, one bath.  I love my house; it’s a perfect little starter home.  It’s got a great backyard where I put in a little English garden but we still have lawn. It has a partial basement and a garage with extra rooms in the back (perfect for the arcade!) so there’s plenty of storage.  But the rooms are small and we’re busting out at the seams. No way, can we do another kid here for any length of time.

My dream home (and we’re talking dreams here, so cut me some slack) would be a big Victorian on a quarter acre, with a guest house.  It would have a ton of gingerbread and gables, funky windows, hardwood floors, creaky noises, and a tower.  Yes, a big witch house.  (Big surprise.)

What we ultimately need/like: four bedrooms or three bedrooms and an office (since I work from home this is absolutely necessary), two + bathrooms, a garage, a good size yard (or at least as big as what we have now, but bigger would be better – I want to grow my vegetables in the ground instead of pots), a quiet street, and an older home (because we both like older homes and the new homes here have no yards and are utterly charmless).  Of course, we’re open to sacrificing some of these qualities if we find the right house.

Anyway. (Damn, this post is getting long. And right after I resolved to write shorter posts because, you know, they wouldn’t take me so long and I would post more often.)  In spring and early summer, every house we saw that we liked was WAY out of our price range: $1.3M, 1.5M.  Yes, I am absolutely serious!  Four bedrooms, two baths were going for that much.  I got fairly discouraged and decided to just hang back and watch the listings.  We weren’t in a hurry to buy in any case, but wanted to take time to find the right home.  If I saw anything potential I’d check out the open houses. We even talked about staying here for a year longer than we planned to see if the housing market would go down.   

Then, THEN, as I watched the listings and the summer went on, I saw a very good sign.  Houses weren’t flying off the shelves like they had been.  In fact, there are houses now that have been on the market for months! 

Yay!  I thought, sitting at my computer in my office/dining table corner, five feet from where Chance plays and watches TV, with the power cord line we constantly have to step over and the pile of laundry on the other end of the table.  The NEXT step is for those house prices to start coming down.

And sure enough, they have started coming down!

For the first time, I called up an actual agent and looked at a couple of houses this week outside of the open homes.  For the first time, I saw houses with our above requirements – houses that I liked – that are actually in a doable price range.      

Thank god for buyers’ markets.              – the weirdgirl


The Seesaw

I think I’ve sat down to write about three or four times in the last couple of days, all different posts.

Lately I’ve been feeling angry and extra disgusted at a number of things.  (Not that I’m lashing out at those around me or anything – I figure one of the signatures of being a grownup is being able to be upset without taking it out on unrelated people around you.) For a while I tried telling myself it was just hormonal, getting on and off the pill and so forth.  But for the most part, I think it’s just the state of the world.  Politics and news especially… yeah, those piss me off. 

But there are worse things than being angry at world events.  In recent months, weeks, days I’ve had some close friends and family go through some real bad times, with circumstances that were entirely out of their control and not their fault.  Emotionally, it’s like a sock in the stomach every time you hear bad news. Everything is fine with me and my family personally, but when your loved ones suffer… well, I just wish I could do more.

I know that many bloggers have a “tell all” philosophy when it comes to their posts.  However, I don’t.  I’m not comfortable sharing dirty laundry, mine or my family’s (unless it’s really funny, of course), and I certainly wouldn’t blab the details of my friends’ lives.  I think (and I know there will be those who disagree) you can publicly journal and still retain an element of privacy.  But I also often feel my blog is pretty schizophrenic because of that – I post more about my state of mind or as an outlet for my smartass creative side, and frankly there are days my state of mind changes from morning to night. (Doesn’t that happen with everyone?  No?!) I’m sure some things seem like they come out of left field. 

In any case, regardless of how hopping mad the news or stupid politics make me, sometimes it takes events closer to home to really put things in perspective.  Sometimes you just have to hunker down and take care of those you love.  And sometimes, even when things are crappy, you keep getting an odd sense that good happenings are just around the corner… for everyone. 

I don’t know where it’s coming from but I’m starting to get that feeling.  So, for what it’s worth, here is my wish for good tidings for you all.          

                   – the weirdgirl