Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fire Fire!

Why yes, that is my son with his giddy sister, black eye and all, on top of a fire truck. Why do you ask?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Who's Your Pin Up Girl?

I have decided to let my inner pin-up girl out. She's been stuck inside a boring mama for quite a while now and, to put it lightly, she's pretty pissed. Times will be changing as I let loose the sassy, sexy but not too slutty wife/Sunday school teacher/soon to be writing again for LOTS OF CASH Calendar Mama P!

Of course, such a title does not come without its responsibilites. Code #101 of the Mama P Calendar Girl guidebook states that "Every day I will wear something red, something vintage, and something that smells very girly. I will be strong and funny. And I'll keep some curves, thank you very much."

Here's a great site so you can find your own pin-up girl.

I can't wait to see who you choose.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

In Gratitude

When you think your life is boring, or you've had a bad day, go ahead and check out this site.

This mother of 3 was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Also, one of her children has an incurable disease. Throughout these setbacks, she remains hopeful due to her faith.

I'm by no means preaching religion to anyone, but I gotta tell you, it makes me feel grateful to have some faith, because if this woman can get through this, I can get through my battles, too.

A fellow blogger named Boomama has organized a website if you want to make a donation to Heather's cause. They will take as little as one dollar and it goes toward medical fees, travel expenses, child care, food... you name it.

Here are my babies above. And again, for lack of sounding too high handed, I thank God every day for them. With days ahead of me where Pip will be climbing into real cars, or Stink will be moving into another house, I must remind myself to be grateful for their attempts at helping me cook. Nothing else but them matter.

Now off with you - go hug the ones you love!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Maine Event

If I made it sound like I was going to Maine this June, let me put an end to the rumors. I will be here in Southern California, getting high from blowing up the elephant pool. Telling myself I'm giving up Diet Coke. Then crashing head first into the pool when I inevitably fall off the wagon. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I was, however, tickled for the offer. And should I make a fortune between now and June, I'll post pictures of me having a panic attack on the tarmac right before my plane takes off.

Today I managed to write what I thought was a damn good query for WestWays Magazine. Yeah! My writing group, however, thought differently. Boo!

I suppose I should be happy that I have a group of such talented women to edit my crap before I send it out, but sometimes the ego side wants to hear "Wow, that was just brilliant! It's amazing you haven't been published yet!" Of course, with my lack of responses from any editors other than Child thus far, I'm thinking that my queries are looking more like "mazes" than "amazing" and it's time to make them shine - because what's the point of being a good writer if I can't convey that in a single page? It's just so different than tv. It is so.... slow. Waa waaaaaah waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! Okay, done.

My book project is moving along. I have no idea how to sell it, but given I have no idea what I'm doing in most aspects of my life these days, I'm simply going to keep going.

On another note, I finally finished cleaning out my closet upstairs, so I'm almost ready to start the fun process of organizing pictures. It's such a shame that I have all these great shots, but no frames for them. With a fresh space to work with, I'm hoping to be more inspired to have some fun.

I'm realizing that the combination of motherhood and writing queries both lend itself to similar outcomes: incredible joy, but mainly a crapload of work for a few moments of peace. It's all good, but this is why my little closet project means so much to me. The ability to get instant gratification from a photograph without having to ask anyone's permission first. The same can be said for Ebaying (though even Ebay has the element of something not selling.)

Perhaps I should give up all dreams that might not happen and go to work at Hotdog on a Stick. The uniform says "I"m Colorful! I'm wacky! I like to have fun despite how retarded I look!" And I can have a whole litany of fun jokes. "What kind of weiner do you like?" "How long do you like your sausage?" "Does it bother you that this one has a hook in it or do you need it straight?"

What are the things that bring you joy - no questions asked?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Sun After the Rain

After a few days of rain, which I truly don't mind (my kids are big puddle splashers) it's been glorious the past few days in Los Angeles.

Brightening up my house more than any sunshine were a few lovely surprises today, beginning with Mrs. V dropping by none other than a Scooby Doo surprise for Stink and some Coffee, Bean & Tea Leaf muffins for me.

Later I indulged in a neighbor's offer to "use my backyard any time" where I sipped coffee and pushed rug rats on swings. I attempted to read up on WestWays, the AAA magazine which I wanted to query today, but every other sentence read like "Hikes in the... PUSH ME... Easter Sierras... LOOK AT MY BUTT... are trailheaded by a .... GO FOR IT SCOOBY!!!!!.... volunteer named Gilda who.... THAT IS NOT ORANGE IT IS REDDISH PIIIIIIIIIINK!!!... has a keen eye for...DON'T THROW MY BABY BY THE EAR.... detail.

I'm glad Gilda can concentrate on climbing mountains, because I had a hard time focusing on one sentence. Oh, well.

While the kids napped, I got a phone call from none other than the sex charged One Tall Momma. I believe I have a long lost sister who lives in Maine. She even invited me to visit out there in June - no kidding. Either she's a warm hearted soul who senses another soul's need for connection, or she's wacky as a loon opening her heart to a manic mommy who sometimes is as organized as Martha Beck and other days is ready to shave her head and audtion for American Midol, The Mommy Chronicles. Either way, I'll take the invite. If I can drive all the way to Anaheim myself, perhaps I can work my way into flying across the country.

Good Lord, for that, you're going to have to do more than Pass the Zoloft.

PS: Pictured here is my Pipsqueak... almost 3. Ever the fashionista, her latest ensembles tend to include pink rainboots with shorts, pigtails and anything alluding to babies (hence the fake bottle.) If you ask her about it, she'll reply "BABIES DON'T TALK! Ahhh ahhh ahhhhh!!!!!!!!" Unfortunately, we can't say the same for her. She never shuts up. EVER. (I have no idea who she gets it from.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Dancing with the 'Tars

That's how "star" is pronounced in our household - at least by our two little celebrities.

My mom hooked me on the show, and let's just say my next fun adventure is to take a dance class. Unfortunately my husband looks about as good on the dance floor as he does in Pip's latest sunglasses (given to Papa for a few moments only because they weren't pink), but I'm aiming to move my booty like the rest of them. I know a few people who signed up for twice a week classes. Since I can barely shave twice a week, I'll stick to a few classes per year.

Regarding the last post, I am always surprised when I elicit emotional reactions. This just goes to show that women don't get a break enough - especially moms. And while it's great if we have husbands that instinctually know how to nurture us, most of us live in reality with good men who are a bit clueless in the "relaxation" department. This means we must do it for ourselves when we can - no guilt!

Ladies, who's with me to vow at least ONE night in 2007 at a hotel - with or without the hubby? I for one sent out two more queries today, so I'm going to make it happen at some point.

And for everyone else, let's start thinking of ways to treat ourselves. When we do, don't we love the people that we're with so much more? I know I do.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Who's Afraid of Virginia...

Smarter people than I have commented on the massacre at Virginia, and while I can't change mad men, I can fight against my own personal demons.

One of them? I'm not a great traveler. Which is why, when one of my best friends called me up last minute to ask, "Want to come down to the Hilton in Anaheim and spend the night?" I sucked in my breath and said, "Absolutely."

Rex took the kids and I arrived at 8PM last night - giddy with excitement as I passed all the tourists in their Mickey Mouse hats, fireworks from nearby Disneyland about to light the sky.

Any insecurities I had about traveling alone melted away at fresh smell of flowers in the lobby, the beautiful fountain, the hustle and bustle of the families, business people and couples on honeymoons.

I had a key waiting for me at the front desk with the words on the envelope: "To Grand Dame Mama P, From Lady in Waiting, Heather."

I giddly rode the elevator up, Our Lady of Thrifting Bag in hand (note to self: buy some pink luggage!) and entered a room. All beds made. Cleaner than a hospital floor.

Heather was still at her convention, so I had the room to myself. MYSELF. Think Tom Cruise dancing in his underware in Risky Business.

I threw off my clothes, ordered a 30.00 quesadilla (which was delivered on a rolling tray with a rose - replete with metal clanking containers) and hot apple pie with icecream. I felt like I'd just won a perfect 10 on Dancing With the Stars - and like a true friend, I called Mrs. V (sick with strep) to brag about my good fortune. (She probably wanted to kick my ass, but she was very encouraging - God love her. She even let me clang the metal plates for sound effects.)

I climbed in bed and ate like Kirstie Alley at a Weight Watchers all you can eat points buffet. I flipped through stupid tv, making mental notes to swim off my decadence first thing in the morning. Somewhere between a chubby opera singer and an infomercial I woke up - 10 blissful hours later. And my plans to move my butt at the indoor pool? I told them to fuck off and bought an overpriced breakfast in the hotel restaurant.

I swear - when I make big money someday, I'm going to sponsor moms in some way... to give them a break. To give them time to recharge and be women again - not just caretakers. It has lifted my spirits beyond measure, and every woman deserves it.

Thank you, Heather.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Out of the Blue

Out of the blue I sold fifty dollars worth of Spongebob tote bags and Disney Princess clutch purses. This goes to show that excitement can happen when you least expect it. You put the idea out there, forget about it, and boom.

Today I was going to go to a park to meet an old friend, but the universe decided to rain buckets. It's probably for the best, as this is a park that's been on the news lately as the stomping grounds of a man harrassing nannies to "buy their children." NICE.

So instead, we will go to the mall. To the play area. With its blinky blink lights and quarter sucking chipped Elmo rides and bacteria infested rubber slides shaped like orgasmic chickens.

Never a dull moment.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Moving Forward

I have decided to pitch articles that will move other womens' careers foward. As I told both women I'm working with, I'm not a saint. I'm doing it so I can get published and paid. If they become millionaries in the process, so be it. I just want my 500 buck freelance writers check, thank you very much.

One of the women I have been speaking to is an artist who creates incredible graphic collages for large wall spaces. We have conferences via cell phone, while I'm at the carwash, or while at UPS while my kids color boxes on the floor. (Writers and moms can't be shy - we must cease quiet opportunites when we can, be it the post office, the grocery store, or inside the gas station while the kids happily suck on crushed ice. The woman writing on the back of a yeast infection ad while her kids pick pennies out of a dirty strip mall fountain? Yup, that's me.)

This afternoon I collaborated with a photographer friend of mine. She lives an hour away, but was kind enough to travel down here for our meeting. The kids went to bed and we hammered out the details of our 30 page board book. I'm writing the text and she's going to photograph the kids for corresponding imagery. I'd tell you the idea, but what if some publisher is out there and makes it, stealing our millions? It could happen, and since I'm now thinking big, I'm not taking my chances.

I don't know exactly where each project will land (What magazine will use the art article? What publisher will use our book? Or better stated, how the hell do we go about publishing a book?) But I do know that the simple act of doing will create some marvelous opportunites. Or at least some hilarious stories: "The Day Stink Cut Sophie's Hair in the shape of a Chia Pet."

I'm excited to be taking myself seriously again.

And on an equally serious note, it's time to cook dinner. It's "Whatever Wednesday" and some mac n' cheese are screaming my name! (But first, a cup of coffee in the tub. The kids are napping, and like I said, it's all about seizing the opportunites.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Belly of the Beast

Depression is a wacky beast, because when it hits, it's out of nowhere. This monster is big, ugly, and could use some mouthwash. (And frankly, if you were around last week, the same could be said of me.)

I have fought this demon for a long time. Through prayer. Through exercise. Through diet. But sometimes it still catches up to me. Last week was particularly brutal. I'm almost back to myself again, which means I can look no further than my nose and see how truly blessed I am. It's a scary image, also, about how joy robbing depression can be.

I write this not to be saccharine, or feel sorry for myself, but to remind others of you out there that if you do all the right things, but you still feel like your bed is the only place you want to hide in, it's okay to do something about it and not make any excuses.

I suppose there's good news and bad news in my old spunk coming back. The good news is that I'm ready to face the world of querying again. The bad news is that other magazine freelancers are going to have to compete with Mama P in fighting form.

I pity those fools.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Lost and Found

I cleaned out my office drawer just now. According to my file system, nobody but Pip has had any doctor appointments - and her last one was on her birthday in 2004. The files show that she was a girl and had a decent apgar test. Yeah!

I'd like to hang up my list of fun summer activities, but there's no bulletin board to do so. I'd like to file some of my recipes, but there's nary a folder to be found.

My corner scrapbooking station upstairs resembles a dumping ground for odds and ends of "to be organized" material - all necessary, but still without a home. Kind of a tent city for memories. I think there's a sign buried under the curtains to be hung also. It reads: "Will Blog For Cash."

Speaking of, I will be a bit quiet on the blogging front while I take care of some stuff for myself. But I'll be back, with some stories of fun trinkets I uncover, no doubt.

Will it be a Scooby Doo Valentine? A fossil in my backyard dating back to 300 BC? A vision of Mary in my Yuban morning coffee? A love note from Rex? A gig for Parents magazine? A reason why I have a panic attack during a completely lovely dinner with friends mid week on a Wednesday?

Am I insane? Am I tired? Am I simply a mother on the edge?

A little of everything no doubt.

But tonite? With a little pizza in my belly, some thrifting under my belt, and a husband doing the dishes, I'm calmer than I've been in a week. Life is good.

Happy week to everyone. Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Cleaning Up

In direct opposition to Meno, who says she never plans, I'm the queen of planning. It makes me feel safe in this crazy world. I don't care if half of it never happens - like the essay for Child Magazine. The hope - the excitement of it - far outweighed the publication folding.

On that note, here's my list for today:

1. Clean my car.

2. Clean my house.

3. Clean out my old ideas of what life is supposed to be and what it really is, and in doing so, make room for even greater excitement to enter and astound!

I'm going to need a bigger broom for that last part.

Monday, April 09, 2007

What is a Bigger Joke?

1. Getting a five, four, three and two year old to sit on a railway tie and pose for a photo, or...

2. This joke.

They're both good. Happy Monday, people!

How to convert a bear.

A Catholic priest, a Pentecostal preacher and a rabbi all served as chaplains to the students of Northern Michigan University in Marquette

They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop.

One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn't really all that hard. A real challenge would be to preach to a bear. One thing led to another and they decided to do an experiment. They'd all go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it and attempt to convert it.

Seven days later, they were all together again discussing their experiences

Father Flannery, who has his arm in a sling, is on crutches and has various bandages, went first. "Well," he said, "I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him I began to read to him from the catechism.

Now that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around. So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary, Mother of God! he became as gentle a lamb. The bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation."

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, with an arm and both legs in casts. In his best fire-and-brimstone style he told his story. "WELL, brothers, you KNOW that we don't sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began to read to my bear from GOD'S HOLY WORD!

But that bear wanted nothing to do with ME. So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle. We wrestled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a creek. So I quick DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just like you said, Father, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the day praising Jesus."

They both looked down at the rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IVs and monitors running in and out of him. He was in very bad shape.

The rabbi looked up at them and said, "Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start."

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Springing Into Action

This is the week I get a gig people, ya hear? Like my son's Easter dessert, it might get messy, but it will be sweet.
I, for one, am excited to watch my dreams spring into action.
I'm not letting a little goo get me down.
I'm unsticking the stick!
There are no bad eggs, just fresh ideas to be hatched!
And if you don't like my spring analogies, than your ass is Easter grass!

A Tough Egg to Crack

Why, yes, it is 12:53am - Easter morning.

Me? Shop for last minute baskets? I think not. The baskets I had. I simply had to make a mad dash for filler. Disney nail polish, Dora clips and a few pink rabbits for the princess. Snoopy toothpaste, Spiderman socks and some blue accessories for the Stinker.

Speaking of mad dashes, and basket... cases... guess who stopped at the Kaiser pharamacy for a little something for me for Easter? If you listen closely, you can hear the sounds of the season ringing through your computer... "Hoppity hop hop... hoppity hop hop... Zoloft's on its way..."

I ran a race against genetics and genetics won. But it's better to see the fog roll in and do something about it then show up at the Easter Parade with a toilet cover for a hat.

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Drive Through Mastectomies

In a slight veer from the normal scheduled programming, I am passing on this information to you. Thanks for taking a brief look. If you agree with the cause, you can send your signature to congress with the link below.

Mastectomy Hospital Bill in Congress

A mastectomy is when a woman's breast is removed in order to remove cancerous breast cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a mastectomy, you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards. Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient procedure. Let's give women the chance to recover properly in the hospital for 2 days after surgery.

Mastectomy Bill in Congress
It takes 2 seconds to do this and is very important...please take the time and do it really quick!

Breast Cancer Hospitalization Bill - Important legislation for all women.

Please send this to everyone in your address book. If there was ever a time when our voices and choices should be heard, this is one of those times. If you're receiving this, it's because I think you will take the 30 seconds to go to vote on this issue and send it on to others you know who will do the same.

There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the "drive-through mastectomy" where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support. Last year over half the House signed on.

PLEASE!! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below. You need not give more than your name and zip code.

This takes about 2 seconds. PLEASE PASS THIS ON to your friends and family and, on behalf of all women,