Friday, February 24, 2006

Seeing Red

I took two minutes out this morning to email a picture of my new hair color to Rex (so narcissistic, but a mama's got to get her funk on sometimes). No sooner do I hit "send" when I find my hallway looking like an Issac Mizrahi scrap bin.

Moms and non-moms alike: let this be proof that even if you watch your kids (or anything in your lives) like hawks, crap happens. I suppose it's the way you handle it.

A: Beat yourself (or them) senseless with a rolled up copy of "E-Pregnancy"
B: Take two minutes and quickly clean it up - it's less painful than reading headlines about Angela Jolie picking out baby names (My vote is for Celebritia Irritata)
C: Make the stinker clean it up - even if it takes them an hour (the same amount of time it will take Angela Jolie to lose her baby weight. In fact, it is very probable she's lost it already and she's only 7 months along - she's that robotic).

I choose C (of course, this is on days when I'm not PMSing and less inclined to scream 'Holy Fxxxx Sxxxx you crazy kiiiiiid!' which, I'm not saying I have ever done, but I'm not saying I haven't. And if I have ever done that, which would be very rarely, I guess it goes to show that even moms who try to take the high road hit low points. Weird. Aren't we all supposed to be Madonna goddesses? How did humanity enter the picture?)

Of course, there is also a D and E that I add, but this is optional.

D: Put on Stink's favorite Scooby Doo episode so that putting away clothes is as irritating for him as it is for me to supervise.

E: Fantasize about the beer you'll be drinking later (In my case, this really is a fantasy because I'd end up puking more than Pipsqueak has this week. )

Translation: Delude yourself that both your home done dye job, and your social life, is red hot (so that your attitude toward your kids isn't).

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The 10 Commandments

Was talking to Topanga T this afternoon, and we had some divine inspiration about men needing lists. We happened across it due to a conversation regarding resumes, dieting, speed boats and the divine inspiration of BC's big player - Moses. Here's a guy who had to drag immense stone tablets down a hill admist desert heat and bad hair. Yet, despite the sweat, muscle, and quite a few rumors about a toe stubbing incident (prompting him to scream like a little pharoh girl "son of a b---!") these tablets contained 10 directions that are widely revered to this day.

If followed implicitly, there would be no war, no adultery, no jealousy, and - leading to my final point - no marital strife.

If Moses had a list and all mankind benefited, does it not make sense for our husbands to follow one, too? Lest you need more proof, just look more closely at the word "commandment" - take out the "t" - and what you end up with is "Command Men."

As far as Moses' toe stubbing incident, the jury is still out.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

No Expectations

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Yesterday it was my birthday. The best part about it? All of my friends and family calling, writing, stopping by with little home made cakes and dinners, dinner out with Rex where I stuffed myself silly (it was back to walking and low calories today). I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Well....... one thing.

It would have been super if my husband didn't have to work through my family birthday dinner. It would have been super if his suprise 2 days off to spend with me didn't entail a server blowing up at an office remote location. However, he does the best he can being a young exec on the rise, and I do the best I can to support him. Of course, I give him language any true project manager will understand and it goes like this:

Operation Happy Wifey. Log these five dates into your calendar and you will be promoted to Operation Happy Hubby well into retirement. Stock options? Understanding, smiles, and the occasional reprieve on events you have no control over, like technology going to hell. Fringe benefits? what do you think?

Ladies, it would be fabulous if we all had perfect husbands who would never forget the card on the pillow first thing in the morning, breakfast in bed, and a whole day off while they handle the kids and we get massages. But since those of you who read this blog probably live in the real world, like I do, I suggest you get off Fantasy Island and join me in Reality TV where I made Rex program the following into his Outlook Calendar (along with the reminder: card first thing - gift optional, but full enthusiasm non negotiable)

1. My birthday
2. Valentines Day
3. Mothers Day
4. Christmas
5. Anniversary

A clause exists in our contract where Rex gets extra points for the hollow chocolate rabbit on Easter and an extra helping of stuffing on Thanksgiving, but it's not a deal breaker.

Once again, to quote K, "Life is not an episode of Friends". But with a healthy dose of pragmatism, clear set guidelines, and open communication from all, this society wouldn't have quite so many "Divorce Court" re-runs either.

I thank you, Rex, for working so hard to put a roof over my head. And for doing your best to live with me under it. I really do know how much you love me, but when you are bit remiss in showing it, you always take my subtle hints (ex: "WHAT THE FXXXX?') and make it better year after year. I really do love you.

* Pictured: Due to a very ill Pipsqueak, and a last minute date (on a Tuesday no less) we did the unthinkable and, Microsoft Outlook calander be damned, slid Taco Tuesday to the Wacky Wednesday slot. We had to make some allowances, such as paper plates and no guac, but Rex and I still stomached all contents and, to date, the rugrats show no signs of scurvy. Afterwards, we stuffed ourselves silly with Mrs. V and Toddler J J's cake - which was dropped off as a surprise to me today. Love ya, you wacky mom you!

Final note: With great expectations, I tend to experience a few lows. But today, with no expectations, my husband accompanied me to Beverly Hills and we laughed and laughed over our silly messy dinner table and fabulous family. Go figure.

Or don't.

I say keep those expectations low and have a fabulous evening!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I Will Not Lie Down

I love anybody who has the strength to be themselves. It gives those of us around them the courage to also be ourselves. And on days when we're not so sure about anything any more - "when the dog bites, and the bees sting" - it's particularly helpful to call up those people we admire, because if they're truly honest, they might just tell you that half the time they don't know shit. And that's when you can turn up Don Henley nice and loud. Sing along with me people "I will not lie down... I will not go quietly."

Since I will be busy this month writing yet another sample - this time a Desperate Housewives (a real stretch for me) I will be handing out virtual awards to those in my life that have the rare gift of making my ass crack up. To earn this fabulous honor, all recipients have had to show strength of character, grace under fire, and of course, the ability to laugh at themselves when things go less than planned. Their awards will be called "Martinis" - after the very lovely pregnant ballerina herself, Stella. And the first Martini goes to........

KATE! You can check her out yourself at her website

She is pictured above on her wedding day. Here's a sampling of the feature article that was published right after their big vows.

"On a Saturday afternoon in October, Kate and Sean were married outside the Preservation Society in Fells Point in front of about 75 family members and friends. The patio was decorated with Gerber daisies, tiki torches and plastic pink flamingos.

The bride wore a mini dress paired with black shoes and a leopard- print pillbox hat; and the groom donned a '60s-style suit that the couple found at a local thrift shop. The newlyweds left their wedding on their 1964 Vespa scooter (not the one from the raffle) decorated with a "Just Married" sign. Kate and Sean planned and financed their wedding on their own, and said they have no regrets. Why? "Because we did it our way," said Sean."

Oh, and happy birthday to me. I am now 36, making me not old, but not young. If I were an avocado, I'd be on sale, because no one would know what to do with me. Keep me around? Eat me half ripe? Come to think about it, I do resemble that fruit. My body is delicious to Rex, but truth be told, I'm a bit lumpy for some of the population. You either love me to pieces, or want to spit me out. Green fruit fans or not, beware: "I will not lie down... I will not go quietly."

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Last night we were driving home in the rain. Perhaps it was the dramatic turn in weather that put it in my head to switch from my country station to a top forty one, but I did. And lucky for my kids and I, we were treated to a heart wrenching performance of "I'm in love with a stripper..... she's a rockin' and rollin', slidin' down that pole-in..."

Wow. I can't wait for the elevator muzak version.

I eventually switched back to my regular tunes. Call me a square, but Martina McBride's Valentine is the version of love I want my kids to hear. So we sang. Loud and strong, with the water thump thumping our roof and hitting every red light on DeSoto:

"All of my life, I have been waiting for... all you give to me...
You've opened my mind, and shown me how to love unselfishly...
I've dreamed of this a thousand times before...
In my dreams I couldn't love you more...
I will give you my heart until the end of time...
You're all I need my love, my Valentine."

I explained to Stinker that this is the kind of love I hope he and his sister share with someone one day. Not the bling bling of getting naked in front of strangers, but the true affection of another human being. I told him that he needs to always be nice to Pipsqueak, so that his example helps her accept nothing less than class from a man.

He replied, "Okay Mommy! But first, I want to sell her for three tokens."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I Love Wendy

I am going on the record by stating that Wendy's is the best place on the planet for quick lunches. For $2.99 you can get kid's meal: hamburger, chicken sticks or cheeseburger, a frostie, fries or oranges, and a drink. The kids get the meat and the fruit, I get the Diet Coke and frostie, and everyone wins. Mrs. V. has already been converted. Who's next?

Like our Vice President, I would like to apologize to the American blogging public for taking four days to get in touch with you. After accidentally shooting myself in the foot for setting up a walking date with friends and leaving my double stroller at home, I haven't been in my right mind and needed a few days of alone time while I assessed my personal situation and then went public with my error.

Monday, February 13, 2006

St. Mama P

Have I mentioned how much I love Microsoft Outlook? Please note the latest invitation my husband has received regarding Valentine's Day tomorrow. I also invite all of you gals out there to do the same.

Sent to Rex approximately 3:45, 2/13/06

"You are invited to have a happy evening by remembering me with something small. Or something else will remain small for the rest of the night."

XXxxx's and OOOOsss -



Isn't Valentines Day romantic?

Home Sweet Home Depot, Part Deux

Like I said, be nice to the hourly workers, you get great service. As in...

This morning, 8:30am. Knock knock knock. I open the door and it's a Fed Ex man. I am thinking it's a computer doo hickey for Rex, but he says "Surprise, it's for you for a change." (Yes, Mr. Fed Ex is friendly with me, too. Ironic, since normally I have major altercations in front of post offices. Hmmm.)

My point: I take it into the kitchen and Stink squeals,"Mama! Mama! A present for me! A present for me!" Then I tell him it's for me, so he shrieks,"Mama! Mama! A present for you! A present for yooooooou! Let's open it!"

And so we do. There on the floorboards. With the trash overflowing and Pipsqueak demanding a bottle from the other room and the phone ringing off the hook.

And he hands me two items, proclaiming, "It's a yellow square! And a brooooown square! Ooooh, amarillo and cafe!"

And then I start to cry. Not because Stink remembered a few palabras espanoles, but because I have not been forgotten this Valentines season - Kelly, who has since lost an extra pound, sent me tile samples, special delivery.

Let's not forget that kindness to people we don't know can often pay off in spades. Or hearts. Or in my particular case, squares. Which will be turned on their sides as diamonds.

Ain't life sparkly?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Home Sweet Home Depot

It's interesting the stories that people have to tell. It is also fascinating that, if you take the time to find out about them, how wonderful your service can be. Even in those big warehouse chain stores. For example, in coordinating an estimate for the big Linoleum vs. Tile Debate, I found out the following:

- Cheryl favors in-store visitor requests over phone requests. " I have time for slothful look-y-loos... They can get their ass in the store just like you did sweetie." Just try to piss her off and her pointed acrylic nail will click you off quicker than the Dukes of Hazzard lasted in theatres.
- Venicia (pronounced Ven-E-See-Ya) has been married for over twenty years, but at one point was seperated from her lazy husband and moved to San Diego. During that time, he had a girlfriend and had a baby. Now Venezia and her husband are reunited, but she's raising his baby, who is now 4, along with their biological children, 13 and 17. She is moving back to San Diego this month, her husband is still a lazy ass, but she doesn't want to leave him for fear of losing his/her son.Venezia is Mexican, but doesn't speak Spanish. Apparently the migrant workers out front give her the evil eye but she doesn't care. I informed her that I thought she was a bitch, but didn't care if she could cut me a good deal. She liked that.
- Katie is on a diet, thanks to her mom's nutritionist friend, and lost six pounds this week. She also managed to secure me 2 free 18 x 18 tiles when normally you have to buy the whole case. She's checking on their arrival as I type this.
- There's a lesbian gal named Pat, who is slow to smile. I finally mentioned I liked her hair, and that perked her right up. (I shouldn't say she's gay. I'm just guessing with the husky voice, Doc Martins, and penchant for wearing men's 5.0.1's. While flipping through laminate squares, I also overheard her cell phone conversation "I love you, Jennifer. Can't wait to see you". Could be her mother, but I'm thinking not.)

Who have you met today?

From Diapers to Deadlines

My internet blogger bud, Toni, has a new website - "From Diapers to Deadlines" (All you freelance writers, check it out!)

Meanwhile, I leave you with a quote she posted yesterday. It's by Marianne Williamson, and I whole heartedly agree with it. That, and I'm too groggy this early in the morning to come up with anything profound myself.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sale at Macy's

Just wanted to get my cousin's attention.

Friendly Neighbors

I just finished my second three year old class (I dubbed it TITs - Toddlers in Training) - and can say with full confidence that this is the best thing I've done for myself in a while. Along with eight other women, we've cried, complained, learned new strategies, and downed more carbohydrates than marathon trainers. It's the most simple formula in the world: sit in a circle, listen to the teacher, watch some 1970's video (where daddy's have fro's and sideburns and moms have Dallas mall hair) and share experiences. And yet, with this immense simplicity comes enormous comfort in the truth that none of us are alone.

I come from a big family. We all chatted. We all yelled over each other. And while sometimes someone felt left out, or feelings were bruised, over all, we felt united in togetherness. It seems so natural that motherhood works this way too. We can't do this alone.

As Marrit Ingman's memoir pointed out (better than I am about to) it's not about competition. It's not about who looks better in their Seven Islands of the World jeans after giving birth (or whatever that designer is called). It's not about who co-sleeps, breast feeds, has a nanny, has a maid, lives with their mom, is single or married. All mothers are trying to raise psychologically sound children while keeping themselves sane, too. This cannot be done alone. No matter how cute you decorate the nursery, there's the most comfort in the presence of another human being.

With all this talk about community, there is some irony that the love of my life is the solitary profession of writing. I guess even busy moms need their alone time. But when I emerge from my self-enclosed bubble, let me be the first to smile and say I'm so glad other moms (and non-moms) are part of my life.

Mr. Rogers said it best: "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Heart Breaking Kangaroos

Tonite Pipsqueak cried and cried when Papa took her from my arms for their night night routine. "Maaaaaaaam! Maaaaaama!" It was truly pathetic - sort of a "Sophie's Choice" meets "Problem Child".

As Stink looked on in confusion, I uttered "Oh, Pipsqueak, you're breaking my heart." At which point Stink looked at me and shrieked, "No, Mommy... I don't want her to break your heart." Then he pointed to a medallion hanging off my necklace and added..."See, it's right there. It's not broken!"

An hour earlier, as the rug rats were bathing, I did a few lame lunges in an attempt to exercise again. Stink stopped harrassing his sister with the plastic dolphin to comment "Ooooh, Mommy, are you a kangaroo? A boooouncy kangaroo?"

I had no idea he knew what a kangaroom was, nor what it meant to bounce. At least, at this point in his sweet life, he is still in the dark about what it means to "break hearts".

The first time this kid stops hugging me in front of his too cool for school fifth grade punk friends I really am going to get my heart broken. (Then I'm gonna get him back by jumping up and down like a bouncy kangaroo.)

The Ground Floor

The gr0und floor is the theme of the day for several reasons:

- Home Depot came by to measure our third world linoleum/tile/wood floor demolition. I found myself apologizing profusely to Dhardi Rakazizi for my kids in diapers and balled up rag rugs near the bathroom. Then I looked outside and saw his beat up Toyota Corolla and felt like an idiot.
- We must decide between tile / vinyl or pergo and then work our way up to walls and sinks (depending of course on if we need to mortgage the rugrats to lay our marble masterpiece)
- I have not exercised properly in over a month, and it's starting to show, so it's back to the basics... walk the sidewalks each day. No excuses.
- I miss dancing. As in on a beautiful wood dance floor with a strong partner and lovely ball room music. (Or a tacky bar floor with a drunk old leech and my husband laughing in the background. Whatever.)
- I want to put the pedal to the metal and floor it all the way to Vegas. I'm ready to dance, drink, eat and take in a show (Of course this means get to the hotel by 9, have half a glass of Merlot, puke in the toilet, and crash on top of the hotel quilt, ensuring I get some funky illness, but you get the idea.)
- I am dying to go to a floor show of any kind - the type they have in L.A. where the whole convention center is full to the brim with products for any time of lifestyle... The Boat Expo! I don't own a boat, or like water sports of any kind, but it's still fun to check out the cute little compartments inside the yachts. "Oooooh, with checked curtains and a coffee maker, wouldn't this be the cuuuuuuutest writing spot?"....The Baby Expo! "No, we're not having any more kids, but look at this pee pee tee pee... it goes over your little squirt's squirter for quick changes without golden showers. Oh, Rex, we should have another just for that! We can collect them in all colors and display them on a shelf above the crib. Like beer bottles."
- New furniture - as in floor closeouts. And I'm not talking Wickes (though their stuff is underrated and sometimes not bad)... I'm talking close-outs at Macy's where I can get fabulous new bedroom furniture for under a dollar (and yes, I have clearly hit my head on my floorboards and am living in Delusion Land)

Bottom line, I'm ready to break up my routine and have some fun. Mamam P is ready to party. People, clear the floor!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Lost in Love

It's hard to believe that this particular Ebay listing of mine did not sell. What is wrong with people out there! Do they not know what a deal they were passing up?

"Forget psychic readings, paranormal hotlines, love gurus...Before you O.D. on Fukitol, consider getting some straight talking advice from a no-nonsense mom.

Yes, dear, you're thinking "Why spend the money?" Let me tell you:

* I don't know you, so I'm not afraid to tell it like it is.

* I am a real life mom who has had many years of experience in marriage, dating, kids, divorce, career, house and alcohol (actually, I'm a lousy drunk, but I know lots of drunks. And some addicts who are now sober. I'm pretty unhip, but cool enough to give you advice. Come on, I'm a mom... how "out there" do you think I really am?)

* It's cheaper than therapy, less addicting than Prozac, and think about it... for $5 bucks, what do you have to lose? Other than some stupid decision I could guide you away from and possibly getting some sense pounded into you.

I'm not as mean as Doctor Laura, but I'm not as wussy as Carol Brady. I'm kind of a Carolyn Ingalls meets Simon Cowell. How can you go wrong?

This could also be a great gift for a friend who is going through a rough time. For this kind of person, I would send you a certificate and then they could email me directly.

The way it works: You send me a question via email, I send you back my answer within 3 days, 200 words minimum. If this is for a friend, I will mail you a certificate that you can present to them. You will need to add an additional $1.50 onto your ebay fee for shipping and paper. (I'm a mom, so every dollar counts. What did you expect?)

NOTE: This is a general advice column. Serious issues regarding sexual abuse, violence or where to get a good cup of coffee should be directed to other more experienced parties.

Think of me as your internet mommy.

One question.

Five bucks.

I could save you from that dumb ass you you've been obsessing about or get you hitched quicker than you can say "Katie Holmes is Doomed!"
I'd write more, but since my kids are sleeping, I have toilets to clean, bills to pay, pies to bake and more ebaying to do.

Be Safe and Hope to Hear From You Soon!"

My hard earned knowledge was spit upon, yet my used/stained Star and Moon trash can sold for $17.50. Like men, I just can't figure Ebay out.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Corporate Wife

For the record, Microsoft Outlook is the best calendar / organizer / keep your-mommy-crap-together-without-losing-your-mind device in the history of time. Followed closely by Diet Coke, coffee, Twin Dragon Almond cookies and the all too made fun of "me time."

I don't know why I didn't use it before. As it now stands, I can view my life, my son's life, my daughter's life and my husband's life with the click of a button. I can highlite events in more colors than Mother's Pink and White Animal cookie sprinkles. Purple for Mama time. Red for doc appointments. Green for prep time. There's sections for to do lists. There's sections for recurring events. I can invite, dis-invite, bold, italicize and send reminders. If I keep digging, I might even find a maid.

I have no excuse to ever be late or double book again. I can even send friendly reminders to Rex via the "invite to attend" button. I have already invited my husband to attend a "Home Depot Flooring Estimate" event. It's giga-bite-liciously fun!

With all this technology, one must ponder the possibility that we are losing the good ol' days. In my case, this will be the charming memories of forgetting I had to take Stink in for shots and almost losing his preschool place. Or the fun times of telling 3 different people that I could meet them for coffee and then not scheduling a babysitter. Oh, the joys of losing my address book at the park. Or not being on the same page with Rex regarding dinners out. Misplacing party addresses, forgetting about WGA functions or food shopping, resulting in me I'm sitting on the kitchen floor crying that I have no food and no pilot script done.

Well, that ends our unscheduled reminiscing time. Gotta go now and formerly "invite" myself to empty the trash. If you'd like to join the party, please notify me via email. While I will no longer be accepting handwritten invitations, cash and flowers are still welcome.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Secret Aaaagent Mama

Thanks to a Friday sleepover visit from the kids’ great Grandma Stella, I have been enlightened on various subjects:

1. I cannot cook, but luckily she will teach me .

2. I would enjoy food prep more if I started with a glass of wine.

3. My blog is fabulous, but it needs to be taken down due to a news report she saw on internet stalkers.

Over dinner with some old friends at Kate Mantilini, I thought about everything she said. Truth be told, their dinner rolls alone were better than my best home made meal. The more I sipped my white wine, the more I saw the merit of point #2… My floors were no longer third world… they were beautiful layers of linoleum in progress. My old window shades were no longer ratty pieces of ca ca… they were treatments in shabby chic parental design. But comment #3? I couldn’t shake the idea that some stranger could use info about my kids to bad ends. It’s an obvious concern, but until that moment, my biggest fear was that some third grader would use this online journal as fuel to taunt my child with photos of him in diapers (or a dress.). Or maybe some nosy PTA mom would decide my daughter wasn’t fit to be friends with her kid because I used the f-word in post #47. Selfishly, this site is such an outlet for me, and apparently a source of entertainment for a few people. The idea of taking it down broke my little housewife heart.

After downing a cheeseburger and throwing up in the bathroom (clearly I cannot handle alcohol on a Friday night -- Yes, I am that much of a wuss) I am opting for the conservative fix of changing my family’s names to code names. This is going to require a serious amount of editing, since I have 159 posts… good God!

*NOTE TO STALKERS… I won’t have all the names changed until mid week. If your palm pilot has you scheduled to break into my house before then, wear a sweater (it's cold in here), bring a dust pan, and be a thoughtful identity theft and bring a venti cappucino % with one of those rice crispy bars the size of robert downey jr’s liver.*

The realistic side of me knows that I have a small readership, so I’m probably being neurotic and obsessive. The mom side of me is relieved to know I’m protecting my little clan from any ill will. And the ego side of me is enjoying my new identity as Code Mama P Blogger. It’s all very clandestine. So sexy and sneaky. My dashing RX Seven loving husband is now Rex. My son shall forever be referred to as Stinker. My daughter will be Pipsqueak. My best friend’s name is already in code, so Cecelia can continue to live her quiet Encino life in utter privacy. My other friends live too far away to give a crap.

I have to stop typing now. My SUV-Mobile needs to be loaded for my top secret Sunday school mission tomorrow. I’d tell you more about it, but since I know your real names, I’d have to track you down and kill you. Guess I’m not the only one who had better go undercover.

(Pictured: Evidence of Stella’s visit. I swear that woman has a dust cloth and a level permanently lodged in her fingers, because when she leaves, everything is straightened, even and pressed. Is it the martini or her super power grandma skills? Don’t know. As a new super agent, I’m not asking questions or taking names. I’m just basking in the veil of darkness, man.)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

She's Making a List....

Most of my day can be summed up from an email to Rex...

"Beware of a wife with a list… of everything we need…. From extra brooms to hooks to corner shelves to sheet sets to bathrugs. I’m talking paint, things to hang, things to take down, things to sell, donate and borrow.


This place is going to be my palace, come hell or high water!