Friday, June 30, 2006

I Have Gas

I get it at Arco.

In fact, I think everyone should befriend an Israeli gas station owner at an Arco near you. If you have children, he'll stuff their pockets with free chocolate and hold them near the register while you fill up on sixty four ounce Diet Cokes which he'll then give to you for free. If you're single, he'll curse in Hebrew at any thugs that check out your ass near the Beef Jerky cases. If you're old, he'll help you to the car and tell you stories about his 3 sons and marriage to his wife - she was a 15 year old bride via good old fashioned match making, no less! (And if you're nosy and desperate for interaction, like me, you're privy to all three scenarios.)

Most of all, good old fashioned Israeli Arco managers make you feel like a person when it's 101 in the Valley and you think you're nothing but a mother with no make-up and post-pardum softness that you just can't get rid of (despite walking to Arco). But the Arco manager will smile and remark,"Ooooh, you lost weight?" And when you say "Yes" (thrilled for the compliment) they will add, with 3 clicks of the tongue,"... Too much lost. Not good. Not good at all."

Even if you think this person is delusional, you'll love him for having an opinion other than "Mommmmmmmy... this chocolate is melting!.... Mommmmmy... I want a sip of your soda!" ... "Mooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmy... Pip is touching my spooooooooooooooooon!"

Speaking of loving Arco, I also love Kate. Thank you, sweet Kate, for the retro post card and vintage Arco patch! If I were a true fifties housewife, I'd not only know how to sew it onto a jean shirt, but I'd actually never stop to talk to a 50 year old Jewish dude who chuckles at my kids and wishes me Happy Pesach.

Thank God I'm me, thank God my husband is my husband who laughs at my Arco stories, thank God you're a wacky blond living in San Fran and remembering Valley housewives like me, and to all of you out there reading, thank God you're you! Now, as Albert would say, "Shalom!"

Thursday, June 29, 2006


It's amazing what two hours of sleep can do for a gal. Especially when it's the cranky toddler that sleeps and you just get time to yourself.

I've calmed down.

Stink has calmed down.

On his way down the stairs just now, he informed me with a smile, "Mom, you're a supernatural."

I might be drinking Diet Coke. I might be feeding my kids push-ups, dangling carrots in front of them in the form of a 99 Cent store run for "one toy each"... I may be hitting the Play button on the VCR one too many times and knocking the AC one notch lower. I might be a complete unshaven crank with that last ten pounds of baby jiggle daring anyone who sees me in a bathing suit on my front lawn with the elephant pool to stare at my extra belly roll or zoftig legs. I might be a complete zombie who is in desperate need of an 11 hour time-out in a Ritz Carlton bed with the shades drawn.

But my kid thinks I'm a natural.

At the end of the day? That's pretty super.

Larger Familes Suck

I don't care what people say about having more than 2 kids. Unless you are mentally insane or just plain stupid, you're out of your mind. If you're not out of your mind, you'll be there soon.

My experience with 4 kids has resulted in me about to kill my 3 year old. Call it what you will: jealousy, territory anxiety, or perhaps the psychological term "pissing contest", my normally mellow, easy going three year old has turned into the child from hell. Or more accurate, he's turning his normally mellow mother into the mom from hell. A few examples that happened in the course of 24 hours. (All had consesquences in the form of time-outs, early bed times or the good ol' fashion "Let mommy hold you on her lap against your will for five minutes until you calm your butt down".)

* He put the stick in the back door, causing Pip and my two wards to burn up in the L.A. heat
* When I said "put the towel on the fence" he threw the towel and walked away
* When I said "sit down at the table for macaroni" he'd advise me that he was "going to the couch to eat hot dogs and watch Scooby"
* When I said he could have a glass of juice, he took Pip's bottle and threw it across the lawn
* When I said "here, play with some bubbles!" he quickly dumped them out on the side walk
* When I said "go to sleep" he promptly arose from his bed, kicked the door and woke his sleeping sister
* When I said "go inside" he went in the house and turned the lock

Maddening is beyond my feeling right now. When the time outs don't work, and you're not about to smack your kid, but Lord knows you want to, what is a mom to do? If I feel this way and I have a supportive husband, financially and emotionally, how is a single mom on welfare supposed to take the higher road?

I encourage everyone out there, struggling with discipline issues, to give consistent consequences, but give yourself a break, too, before you do something you'll regret. And yes, I'm speaking to myself this very moment.

My two neighbor kids and Pipsqueak are now watching Cinderella. I am sure they won't mind me screaming at the screen "Good luck you fake blond, you! Enjoy the prince now, because once you start cleaning the castle and watching Scooby Doo thirty times in a row you'll start to have new appreciation for that sinister step-mom, the bitch."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Four Play

As in 4 kids. As in I am watching 4 kids this week (two of my own, two neighbor kids). Yes, I am officially that mom. Hard as I try to nail those magazine articles (just sent out my 4th query yesterday, thank you very much) I still reign as the SUV, overloaded beach bag slingin' cul de sac mama who's available for childcare while other moms go to work. Call me Alexander the Grape Juice Box carrier - conquering all parks in my quest for toddler satisfaction.

And I am not complaining. (Well, I am, but I'm trying not to, because I know I have it good. And this brother/sister duo? They're like the Power Rangers of good behavior. Either this is what I have to look forward to when my kids are 4 and 7, or their mom drugs them with Tylenol before she drops them off.) I know that one day I'll be back at a desk, or freelancing furiously like my bud, Toni, and then I'll be bitching about lack of time with my rugrats and having to turn down friends who need help. Life is just whacked that way.

Meanwhile, however, I'm making the most of summer. Lots of swimming, lots of playing in the sprinklers, using our arms as faux bats for toddler t-ball, hitting the library, walks, random museums... and let's not forget the excitement of ironing, laundry and floor sweeping. It never ceases to amaze me how kids love to help out in chores like this. Ask Stink to put his shoes away? Nothing doing. But "Can you press the dryer button?" and you'd think he won a truckload of Scooby snacks.

As for my daughter, well... she's helpful... but she might be taking after me in the domestic department. (See photos).

Monday, June 26, 2006

How Weird

Thanks to Teri at Velvet-Vox, I now know I am 70% weird. I wish I could be 100% surprised.

Take the test yourselves if you want to.....

You Are 70% Weird

You're so weird, you think you're *totally* normal. Right?But you wig out even the biggest of circus freaks!
How Weird Are You?

Gardening the Green

Today on our way to Walmart for pool rafts, I prepped Stink for the inevitable downfall that there probably wouldn't be any Scooby Doo life rings. I told him he could pick out another kind, but be aware that things cost money. And while we could have one kind of pool toy, the real expensive 100.00 cleans, spins and sings the margarena kind of preserver was out of the question. By the end of the conversation, I added the final nail to the coffin, "Money does not grow on trees."

He looked at me very somberly, so I asked him, "Do you understand?"

At which he replied. "Yes. Money does not grow on trees. It grows on floaties."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Fun in the Sun

...and cool in the pool. Cliche but true.

Summer was officially marked as we went to my sister's apartment complex pool on Friday and a college friend's pool on Saturday. (Pictures above.)

I forget that while things change (I'm no longer the kid splashing around my folk's pool) things stay the same: from the smell of the sunscreen, the determined shouts to "get out of the pool NOW", to chips and dip, sqeamishes over wet bathing suits ("well, you should have hung it outside yesterday like I asked you to") to cold beer ("one sip... ONE sip, Stink... that's a Papa beverage"), belly flops, warm towels on lounge chairs, and motherly warnings ("NO RUNNING NEAR THE WATER!")

While the kids nap and we await our final swim outing of the weekend (a local friend's bbq slash pool extravaganza) Rex is planting vines while I am scrubbing the downstairs bathroom walls to prep the new color. It's official: I am sick of not having a working bathroom. However, (because there's always a "however" when you have kids and home repair issues - translating into time issues) before the toilet can go in I need to finish painting, Rex needs to put in the baseboards and beadboards and, finally, we need new doors.

Not pictured (lucky for you) are the many cockroaches that scurried out the open toilet pipe this afternoon as I started the scrubbing. It went something like this:

Me: "Ahhhhh! Roach!"

Rex scurries in, covered in dirt, throwing his hoe and brandishing a fly swatter. Bam! Bam! "Die roach Die!"

Rex walks away to garden. I tentatively move a box of painting supplies to scrub and another roach brazonly slithers over the roll brush.

Me: "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Rex, running in again, towel swatting the walls like a cowboy rodeo clown. "Just smash it, you wuss!"

Me: "Hey! I resemble that remark! You smash it! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Rex: Bam! "You gave birth to..." Bam! "Two kids. How..." Bam! "Fxxxxin' A - God-daxxxx those suckers are crafty... How hard can it be to kill a bug?"

But I was barely listening. I was in a fetal position in the kitchen, sipping coffee, praying for an Oprah special on Roaches in the Suburbs - How to Face Your Fears.

Painting and childbirth are my forte'. Cock roach assasination is not.

In a final note, a prayer to Jesus: "Dear Jesus. I know I'm a waffling Catholic. I know I don't attend church as much as I should, even though I am a Sunday School Teacher, which makes me not only a waffling Catholic, but a hypocrite. But please, send the locus and floods and blood to Moses. Keep the roaches away from me. I want, like my inner-life, a clean house. Thank you... Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! Bam! Bam! Jesus Christ!"


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Doing 2 Push-ups

Yesterday, as I sat in the hot sun under our "gazebo" (our 199.00 K-mart overhang) I was happily flipping through the Pottery Barn catalog (where, lo and behold, the same "gazebo" cost 499.00). My kids sat in their swim clothes, contently slurping on Scooby Doo push-ups. Stink touched the beach towel page with a sticky finger and inquired, "Mommy, you love us a lot, huh?" At which I set the magazine down and answered, "Stink, I love you so much, my heart could break." At which point he put down his push-up and said "Don't worry, Mommy... I won't let your heart get broken."

Luckily I had my sunglasses on so he couldn't realize that it was far too late for that.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dradle Dradle Dradle

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to lead the life I do. To have this wonderful husband and children. To have my health. To have a house. I get so wrapped up in "This one said that" or "Rex did this" or "I forgot to do that..." and I start to spin more than a little dradle at Hannuka. (I might be a waffling Christian, but I know my Hebrew references, too. Stay tuned for a nod to the Persians.)

My generation of moms are an interesting cross of people. We're educated enough to want the best for ourselves , but naive enough to think we're always gonna get it. Which leads to us crying that Prince Charming didn't ask us about our day watching the changing of the guard (and changing of the diapers) twenty three times. And does he even care that his horse took a dump on the palace driveway... guess who gets to clean it while the Prince looks for his remote control?) And the funny thing is, most of us are most upset not over what the reality is, but the fact that our lives don't live up to the fantasy. Which is dumb, because fantasies don't exist. We know that because, bringing us back to my original point, we're educated.

Hence the spinning.

I'm dizzy. And some horse is trying to hump my SUV. Talk about horse power.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Librarian Mouse

If today were a fruit, it would be a tangelo: some funky cross between two kinds of goodness. What began with a suprise jaunt to Chuck E. Cheese ended with Stink sitting next to Grandma Harriet (an elderly donor) at our local library, listening in rapt attention to two Curious George adventures. Of course, the little Pipsqueak monkey was too busy running around emptying shelves to listen to any story, but it was satisfying none the less. Mechanical mouses, elderly volunteers, a few sippy cups and some air conditioning... that's all you need to survive the Valley in summertime. Or motherhood for that matter.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Papas & Beer

Such is the name of a frequently patronized Tiajuana bar for the under age crowd. I used to go when I was 19... when one beer would knock me on my ass. (Obviously not much has changed.) Papas and beer was also the theme of this afternoon's Father Day extravaganza.

Like a vulture wrenching its rabbit dinner out of its mouth, I reluctantly (one might say heroically) let go of a three day grudge I was harboring against Rex for various infractions (the minor being not putting his plate away after dinner, the major being forgetting to entertain me on a 24 hour basis and sending me a singing telegram from Josh Grodin with the hand written words, You are my favorite kind of nut, you wipe all my childrens' butts, I want you on the Oprah show, next to Nate Berkus all aglow....)

Rex is an amazing father, so along with his dad, mom, sister, sister's husband, Stink and Pip, we clinked sippy cups and margaritas, beer bottles and baby bottles, a few martini glasses (Oh yeah, Stella came, too) and fired up the ol' bbq.

It was summer.

It was breezy.

There were grass stained kids and a blow-up elephant pool.

There was country music blasting through strategically placed speakers on the back porch (My husband's doing, of course. We don't have curtains, but we have aqarium size speakers that could take out a small dog. Or an unsuspecting squirrel.) The music was loud enough that even if Josh Grodin did make a visit to my cul de sac, I wouldn't have been able to hear him over the classic... I got blamed at your wedding reception, for your best man's embarassing speech, and also for those naked pictures of you at the beach...

It was heaven - which, as a waffling Christian, I am more and more considering as a viable residence some day. I mean, if it is about location, location, location, I know where I'd want to be, and it looked like this evening.

In closing, an amazing discovery was made in my backyard. No, you won't hear on the news that an ancient bison skull was found in the San Fernando Valley, but it's close. As it turns out, the elephant pool has the capacity to be hooked onto a hose, causing an Old Faithful type spout to rise like a phoenix out of its plastic trunk - proving once again that cheap, not chic, is not only fun and fabulous, but ever the surprise.... kind of like Rex (who decided yesterday to attempt not to nag so much and instead give me daily compliments, such as (Cue robotic tape recording) "You are a very beautiful woman." It was so sweet to hear him tell me this in the moon light, next to the dirty dishes, him smelling of yard and garden work, but so hard not to laugh.)

Happy Father's Day, Papa.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Toddler Ran Through It

My kids had a blast yesterday, so let me just say that Coldwater Canyon Park rocks. Literally. Lots of cool stones in this man-made river made my kids very happy campers. Of course, since this was Beverly Hills, the water was luke warm and running just ever so gently to give the illusion of rapids.

My ex-writing partner's wife joined me, with her two kids, and we spent the whole time talking business - such a treat. On her end, she created this amazing Mommy/Yoga DVD It's like Baby Einstein meets Kathy Smith where the instructor on the screen shows moms how to exercize with their babies, but there's a little cut out at the bottom of the screen with pretty ocean life scenes for the kids to focus on and not get bored. She's already got a distributor and has it on Amazon. Even a famous movie star emailed her about how much she loved the DVD. (No, not Angela Jolie. Or Julia Roberts. A new mom-to-be.)

I am always inspired when I see other moms creating niches for themselves while taking care of the kids. And the beautiful landscape doesn't hurt either.

After Heidi left, I ended up talking to a Spanish nanny. She was surprised I spoke Espanol, but even more shocked that I wasn't the babysitter. (Lots of kids/caretaker combos at this particular place. No judgement, just saying.)

Bottom line, I was infused with a new spirit on life and purpose. Then later that night, Rex and I had a fight on our way to dinner which resulted in me being dropped off at a restuarant by myself.

I would have been happier with the fight had it taken place in front of a man-made creek. But such is life in the San Fernando Valley.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hugs hugs, kiss kiss

No, I'm not talking about my meeting earliar today. I'm referring to the fact that I just put the rugrats down. Stink is snoring. Pip is pipping. As long as I'm typing, all is good.

But speaking of the meeting, it went well. Of course it took me an hour to get there, and then I went to the wrong building (leaving my mother on the curb with Stink screaming "Mommy, have fun at the haunted factory!") but I made it. The development person (who I will call Chatty - since that is what we did for the twenty minutes I was there) asked me to send him some of my material. So I will.

Chatty might also check into my blog - so if you're reading, thanks for a nice meeting. I really can contribute to your shows as long as I supress the urge to cut up other writer's food for them, comb their hair or ask them if they need to go pee-pee

In conclusion, my readership now includes housewives, grandmas, one single dad in Montana, a therapist, an agent and a Hollywood producer.

Hugs! Hugs! Kiss! Kiss!

Strange Times

Today I will attend my very first Hollywood meeting without my writing partner. It's kind of like going to a bar for the first time as a single woman: you know the culture, you understand the language, but everything feels a bit fuzzy (even before you've had the first drink).

Of course, what makes this particular "meet and greet" a bit different from those of my past is that while I schmooze about life at NBC, my kids will be waiting for me in the SUV - right downstairs. (Yes, thanks Grandma. You're not so over the hill that you can't drive over the hill with me.)

Even more odd, tomorrow I go to Beverly Hills again (a place I rarely travel to, especially with gas prices) to meet my ex-writing partner's wife and her kids for a play date. And who will be joining us? My agent and her child. No fancy gigs to discuss or contracts to sign - just a whole lot of diapers and sippy cups.

Like I said, strange times.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Food for Thought

Because I'm PMSing too badly to think about anything new, I am simply cutting and pasting an email that I sent to Rex. It's where I am at these days, and perhaps some of you are, too. Happy Monday.

Hi babe -

I might be at the post office/cleaners when you come home (My Ebay sales hit the roof at a show stopping 12.75! Whoo hoooo! Let's get the new kitchen now!)

Speaking of, I will be back by 6 the latest. We’re doing Taco Tuesday tonite since I’m having a Manic Monday. Hopefully this switch in schedule won’t send everyone rioting in the streets. And if you are going to riot, please make sure the kids look both ways first before crossing.

Here’s the menu for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: Pea soup
Wednesday: Enchildas
Thursday: Pasta
Friday: Meatloaf
Saturday: Who the fxx knows.
Sunday: Some kind of bbq for Father’s Day or food out.

I have made a decision that we are going to continue eating healthy, so that means preparing a bit in advance. Lest you think I have turned into Holly Homemaker, lets be clear that I will probably burn the soup, overcook the pasta, and if the pan gets black, it’ll sit for three days in the sink while you bitch that one more William Sonoma skillet has hit the dust. And if you have a meal request, write it on the to-do list on the fridge so I can ignore it.

God forbid you get excited about my culinary attempts, right?

Love you.

PS: For you readers out there, if you loved me, you would send me a quick and easy recipe either via the comments or email. Texas Dottie, Texas Lizzie, Mrs. V., Toni, Velvet Vox, Knock knock... you all know who you are. And if I don't know you, let me learn to love you through your posts. (Or not.)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

That Wild and Crazy Chicken

Being a mother, and a writer, is akin to running around like a chicken with your head cut off. You know you walked into one room to finish an outline, but your head is still in the other room thinking about if Stink's cough is an allergy, a random throat clearing, or birds' flu. (Birds' flu is no joking matter for a chicken, so I should restrain from such fowl jokes. Ha! I can't contain myself. Don't clip my wings! Should I go on? Okay, stopping.)

My point: Sundays are my day to slow down while Rooster Rex guards the henhouse. So, in my last half hour, I take a leisurely drive to the local El Pollo Loco. As I dream of my chicken legs and Lemonaide Lite, I reassure myself that even though Nickelodeon promised to come for a second look at the house, then bailed, there was a promising meeting at another production house for my tv writing. I reminded myself that although I miss the hustle and bustle of a movie set, I'm blessed for the time I have building train sets with Stinker. And though I long for coffee that doesn't always give me Yuban breath, I have the joy of delicious Pipsqueak's breath.

But despite how grateful I am, when I'm alone in the SUV, and the radio's blaring, and I get that ol' Mama P artist spirit that only comes from a few hours of silence and thrifting and blessed solitude, I feel a bit meloncholy for the ol' "Roll tape" of yore.

Then I snap out of it. Who needs those long hours! Who wants to write about tv familes when I have a family of my own! And, like Prince Charming on a white horse, El Pollo Loco comes in to save the day!

Then I pull into the stripmall to find the drive-thru blocked. The doors are closed and the parking lot is jammed with huge trucks. As I search around frantically for an open space, a kid in a headset approaches me. "Sorry, mam. We're closed for filming. Here's a buck off your next visit."

What could I do but smile back and reply, "Break a chicken leg."

Like my favorite chicken joint, life is loco.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Nash-itee Ville Horror

I love my husband. I really do. And I don't want to discourage him from thinking of me on business trips. But it sort of disturbs me that the tokens of his affection come from strip malls, airport giftstores, and involve tacky embroidered shirts or books about depression written by t.v. stars.
Perhaps I should change my blog to Passthediamonds. Then on his way home from El Paso he could buy me a bullshead bolo tie with cubic zirconias in place of the eyes.

* Pictured: My fabulous shirt. It says "Music City U.S.A." but is covered by macaroni smudge. Screw the diamonds. As they say in Nashville, Pass the Zoloft, ya'll.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Pound Foolish

Seeing that Rex was gone and I might need some more action, Pip decided to hurl herself off a couch onto a coffee table last night. One renegade trip to the hospital with her on my lap shotgun, followed by 4 hours in ER, left us in stitches - and not the laughing kind.

Pip was so wild with the nurses, they had to put her on a board and bind her limbs to apply the surgical glue and gauze. In fact, she sweated so much the final bandaid kept falling off. "She's a fighter," Nurse Alberta muttered while readjusting the stethoscope Pip had grabbed pre-tie up. "Ah... Duh," was about all I could muster. Pip was howling so loud I could have said, "No shit, fat ass" and no one would have been the wiser.

They couldn't even weigh her without me standing on the scale solo, then putting her on it with me.

Which leads me to the highlite of the evening: I weigh only 181 pounds, not 189. I can't wait until next month when Stink breaks an arm climbing the VCR cabinet to kiss Scooby. Maybe by then I'll hit my goal weight of 175.

They say beauty is painful, I just never thought I'd learn this through my children.

* Pictured: Sophie post stitches

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

In my case, this means sitting down at the computer and working on my queries while the kids watch their morning tv. I am finding that getting a jump start kicks off the guilt that usually settles on me mid-day and motivates me to put in some extra time. Like a first draft of a scene, something on paper is better than nothing and a great starting point for rewrites.

That said, Mrs. V. popped by today with JJ and Baby V. She also brought her Super Nanny with her, allowing us to sit and chat relatively uninterrupted. I do believe this is good karma finding its way to my door after giving my time with Cecelia yesterday. I decided to be equally good to my body and eat a healthy Chinese Chicken salad, no bread, decaf coffee.

Then I ran an errand and bought a Carls Jr. #1 Value Meal, came home and brewed myself a nice cup of regular joe.

This could be why I'm typing 1000 words per minute and my stomach feels more bloated than William Shatner.

It's like a reverse childbirth: The "it was worth it" comes first, the pain comes second. Who cares. I just revised a great query. I'm going to make a fortune writing magazines. I'll get a personal trainer (preferably named Carl, Jr.) and go from 189 to 188.5 pounds. (I'm realistic, anyway.)

And now, it's time to pass out in a food coma. (I mean, in a "Yeah, I did it!" coma.)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Checklist

Laundry? Check.
Cook dinner? Check.
Change the diapers? Check.
Do a food run? Check.
Do the dishes? Check.
Sterilize the bottles? Check.
Feed the munchkin? Check.
Change the bedding? Check.
Put rugrat to sleep? Check.

Do this for my kids? Ah... no.

I spent today doing this for Cecelia. And I write it not to get validated for being a good friend, but to kick all of you out there to do the same. Being a new mom is rough. I know this is true, because not only have I been through it twice, but the normally modest Cecelia was walking around all day in her underware with a right engorged nipple screaming, "Get me an ice pack! Make me a sandwich! Why is this hungry child now passed out on my boobie?" I got to witness this completely together Masters' Degreed professional beseech me with, "Okay... the baby is in her carrier. She's just looking around. Now what do I do?"

Another friend of mine, a PhD psychologist, recently told me, "Everything has always been so easy for me. Then I became a mother. And it kicked. My. Ass."

Of course, to watch Finn, my mom babysat Pipqueak this morning. And then Cecelia paid my babysitter to watch Pip N Stink for an additional five hours in the afternoon. It kind of reminded me of "Hands Across America" (remember that, people, or am I dating myself?) Except instead of holding hands, all these women were in this big, swollen nipple, sleep deprived back scratch circle. While we rubbed each others' shoulders on the outer ring, the kids stayed on the inner ring, learning to share, practicing their ABC's, and lodging Cheerios in each others' nostrils.

I'm now off to get my back scratched by Rex.

Oh, wait, I can't. He's gone. AGAIN. This time to Nashville.

Ironically, the Country Music Awards are happening this weekend. If he ends up going, I will be the most bitter mother in the history of the universe. But if he comes home in a pair of stetsons and cowboy hat (making him officially 6 foot 8) I will laugh my ass off. And promptly forgive him.

Now for THAT you can validate me.

PS: I wish laughing my ass off could actually make my buttocks smaller. As I recently told Mrs. V., I'd do anything to get in better shape. Except diet and exercise.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rabid Poodle Attacks the Elderly

Did that grab your attention? It's one of the many things I am learning in my new query book about how to add racy titles to magazine proposals. Since I've heard nothing re: my holiday article (which you need to send 6 months in advance - that I know), I can only assume that my title Fa-la-la-Laugh is too boring. Here are some titles I can try next year to grab some attention:

* Red Ornaments/Blue Balls
* Mrs. Clause & The Clap
* Santa's Big Feet: Don't Be Misled
* Rudolph Gets Spade: A North Pole Vet Exclusive
* Fifty Ways to Dump that Elf
* All I Want for Xmas is a Magazine Gig

Aren't you feeling the spirit?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Shave & A Haircut...

...Sixty bucks.

That's how much it costs to groom a dog. Of course, this includes a shampoo and a nail trim, so I shouldn't complain. But until I get a new hairdo and a pedicure, I'm gonna be resentful.

On a lighter note, I visited the three-day old Finn today. Since Cecelia is about the most private person on the planet, here is a picture of Pipsqueak at Finn's exact age: dark hair, teeny eyes, olive skin, rosebud mouth. Horses and newborns - they all look the same to me. But let me add: the baby is stunning and healthy and I couldn't be happier for the lucky parents. Every time I hold a newborn my ovaries do twisty flips and I have this urge to eat them. I wonder how many points Weight Watchers would give for a 7 pound infant? Just one little bite? I don't deny I have a problem. But so does my online mama blogger buddy, Toni, who refers to her friend's new baby as "Snack."

Some not so great notes:

I am so behind in queries, that if my writing were my period, I'd be about seven months prego. Perhaps if I went after my samples with the same reckless abandon as the pink and white animal cookies I just ate I'd be a freelancing writer now. (Sidenote: half a bag of Mother's Circus animals is equivalent to 500 calories. But if it saves me from rushing back to the hospital and consuming Cecelia's infant, it's for the best.)

My Ebay has hit an all time slump. I'm trying to make the best of my $1.99 sale last week, but you know what? It sucks.

In conclusion, Cousin H and M are coming by for a few hours tonight to play with Pip & Stink. Yes, Rex and I have become those people: the ones who stay home on Saturday nights while the kids make forts out of our couch pillows and dig for worms in our patio.

Oh, and in an effort to teach my daughter colors, I am putting food dye in her milk bottles. I hope she doesn't have a C-section one day only to have her doctor scream, "Good Lord, woman, your uterus is magenta!" This, of course, would followed by Pip's, "That's nothing. My breast milk is periwinkle."

Here's a shot of our Scooby Doo bluuuuuuuuu milk, courtesy of Stink. I may, or may not, have told him that the little plastic food dye bottle we used was really a vile of vampire blood that Mommy snatched from the haunted castle while he was taking his nap. "Mommy is very brave," I relayed to him. At which he responded, "And she made a biiiiig fart, too, which scared the vampire away."

Good day. As much as I'd like to type, I have queries to write, Ebay photos to take, and yogurt to dye rustic red.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The War and Arak

I found some sad irony in the fact that while much of the world is at war, I enjoyed a beautiful awards dinner with Rex this evening. As we basked in calm of a Valley sundown and waited for the hall doors to be open, we talked to a fellow Sunday school teacher about the commonalities between her Lebonese culture and Rex's Italian one. And yes, you guessed it, alcohol came up. While Rex's family brings in Xmas eve with more after dinner drinks than Bush has excuses, Edwina's family celebrates with a drink called Arak (pronouced A-Raq.) It's a combo of water, ice, and anise flavored alcohol that is sweet and deadly all at once - much like my addiction to Diet Coke.

The conversation soon led to cartoons, public vs. private education, religion and the ever comfortable subject of weather. No one touched politics. I for a reason was relieved. Maybe it's because I'm just now becoming more cognizant of world politics - like a virgin, I need some experience before I can maneuver around comfortably. Maybe I enjoyed the small talk because I really am a vapid woman who won't do anything more with her life than raise kids, sell forty bucks/month on Ebay and watch Desperate Housewives. Perhaps I reveled in it because I didn't have to worry about Rex (not much of a talker) struggling to keep up a friendly banter with people he just met.

But the closest reasoning I can think of for my relief at chit chat was that the world itself is becoming so damn scary that it was a welcome relief to the daily thoughts of "Why are Americans shooting at pregant Iraqi civilians?"... "What if my kids ever walk into a busy street?"... "What will happen once my childhood home is sold?"... "What if I never get a real job again?" "What if something happened to Rex?"

Thinking about this stuff can get anyone nuts. It's so much easier to laugh and tell jokes about farts. Or drink beer. Which often makes you fart. A win win for everyone (especially those with colds who have the benefit of plugged noses.)

Yes, yes, gas passing is very juvenile. Perhaps I enjoy it so much because I am so vapid. But it's probably because the world is so intimidating and I enjoy the laughter induced by something so silly. But we already went through this, didn't we?

On a final and positive note, after grueling labor and an emergency C-section, Cecelia had a beautiful baby girl! I will refer to this child here on out as "Finn" - because she's finn-ally here. And after Cecelia's graphic birthing details, she may indeed be finn-ished.

Everyone, let's pour ourselves a glass of Arak and toast this new life! And let's toast our soldiers in Iraq who are guarding ours. And finally, if you know a great fart joke, I'd love to hear it. Pun intended.

* Pictured: Bottles of Arak. Rex already has plans to buy some next week. I'll keep you posted on the taste.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Heat Is On

It's turning into an L.A. blazing summer. Time to drag out the elephant pool (a blow up wading pool courtesy of Rex's parents). Time to re-organize the dresser drawers: shorts and tanks in front / jeans and long shirts in back. As far as sweaters go... what the heck are those?

I suppose Cecelia's baby decided it was time to play in the sunshine, because as I type this my good friend is laboring at a local hospital. At least I think she is. She spent one night there a few days ago with contractions very small, and rather than opting for a water breakage she took off to try and speed up the process in the comfort of her own home. However, word on the street is that she opted today to be induced, so I'm wishing her lots of luck.

I'm hoping she's relaxing with an epidural. Like my elephant pool, it's something I couldn't do without. In fact, if I ever have a third, I'm going to have a Mama P style water birth consisting of pain numbing meds and my wading pool. Rex could bbq, my mom could bring me coffee and Pip and Stink could spend their time between watching Scooby Doo and taking a quick dip.

It's all about the multi-tasking in birth and summer.