Friday, October 31, 2008

Yeah, we've got some game...

The Turd is Back

I went back to the gym this morning, and it was a little harrowing. I dressed more appropriately, I had a water bottle, headphones, the whole bit, but I went earlier than last time and this was my mistake. There were probably half a dozen moms from my school there, all fit and fabulous. The working out part wasn't so bad, just the regular amount of torture, and everyone seemed to respect everyone else's anonymity, but I was a little self conscious about my channel surfing and kept looking at other people's screens to see what they were watching. I watched Regis and Kelly, and Roseanne, and flipped channels a little bit. Most people were watching CNN, a couple of people were watching the morning shows, no one else was watching Roseanne (which has to be one of the best shows, ever.) The horrifying part came after the workout when I went to the locker room.
I kind of prepared myself for this, but, really, I wasn't at all prepared. I brought clean clothes along and stuff, but I kind of forgot about the whole being-naked-in-front-of-other-people thing. I got in the shower as quickly as I could, I dried off in the shower, but the gym towels were not quite big enough to cover everything I wanted to cover, and I was terrified that I would run in to one of the fit school moms with all my bulges hanging out, and, even worse, that they would be able to see my total lack of confidence and elegance while nude, (because if you're going to be overweight, you should own it) and I'd have to change schools. Now, I am not a prude. I have been naked in public more than your average person; nude beaches, hot tubbing etc. but that was about 50 or 60 pounds ago. I don't want to see myself naked, let alone make anyone on the PTA see me naked. Really, no one deserves that kind of trauma, and the fact that my husband actually wants to see me naked from time to time is a testament to his strong stomach.
There was a woman there, easily in her fifties, walking around naked, and she had the cutest little rig you ever saw. If I looked like her, I be naked so much I'd get a arrested. I glanced at her getting dressed, and she had put on a thong. I can't wear those, I find them uncomfortable and my ass is way to big. But here she was, all svelt and perky in her little thong; rock on sister!
Luckily, I found a dark corner of the locker room and dressed quickly, and no one from school had to see me naked. I went to my car, and felt like a turd. But, on the way home, I talked myself out of the turdishness: All of these hot little mamas at the gym work their cute little asses off to look the way they do, and I can do that, too, if I want. I'm going to force myself to go back there again and again, until I can walk around naked without feeling like a complete loser! I lost another pound this week! I made a Halloween costume! I am not a turd!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Crazy Bones

After I make the tail tonight, the costume will be done! I spent the morning chilling out, watching the Daily Show from the last two nights, a little of The View, a little Charlie and Lola (a kid's show, believe it or not, its just so damned cute) a little Martha. I did a little laundry, I went to the grocery store and stocked up on wine for tomorrow and election night, had a little lunchie, it was all good. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm pretty much up to date with all my stuff. I mean, the bathroom really needs scrubbing, but no one's getting let down by me right now (that I know of) and I can breathe a little easier. I have been really productive this week, much more so than usual, I don't even think I've taken a nap. I am suspicious that's its my new birth control pill; the formula changes slightly from week to week, so let's see what happens next week. It could all go back in the crapper, and I'll go back to feeling like a big turd.
Next weekend is my birthday weekend. I have never been one to insist on the birthday weekend, or the birthday week, or the birthday month, but this year I'm really in the mood to be feted. I want lots of attention and free drinks. I feel like I'm turning eight instead of 38, and that I shouldn't ask or expect for the world to revolve around me, but this year, I will be brazen in my egocentricity. This economic crisis comes at a very bad time; no one can afford to take me to lunch and shower me with things, especially not my husband. Me Me Me, its all about me. But enough about me; what do you think of me?
My dog is going nuts. I've started getting him marrow bones from the butcher when I go to this one market, and I think they're making him a little crazy. He usually cowers when the black cat walks by, but when he had his bone today, he was clearly sending her a message of "My Bone! You can't have it! Back off, bee-atch!" Any time he hears a sound outside, its like, "someone is going to take my bone away, and I have to protect it by running back and forth while barking!" It may be time to put the bone away until he can handle it maturely.
Speaking of puppy time-outs, Leila had the worst day at school today. She had a substitute teacher, and she's somewhat of a hard ass for the first grade, and apparently Leila was chatting a little too much with her table mate and got reprimanded a couple of times. As soon as we were far enough away from the teacher, Leila started to cry and cling to me, saying "She's the worst, meanest substitute teacher EVER!" She even said she didn't want to go to the Halloween party tomorrow because the sub will be back in class again. She was very upset, and of course , nothing was her fault, and the other student "started it" etc. etc. She said, "I had a 100% rotten day!" Poor thing. She's never gotten in trouble at school before, so it kind of knocked her for a loop.
I'm making a healthy stir fry for dinner in preparation for my meal of twix bars and smarties tomorrow night. I'm totally going for it too, no holding back. In 24 hours, I'll be in a full-on candy coma, and loving every minute of it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fat Ass in Fleece Pants

I did something totally crazy today. I was coming home from dropping the dog off for a hair-do, and I had on my sweats and sneakers (typical morning attire) and I decided to go to... THE GYM. Part of my new be-more-healthy plan is to exercise more (or, exercise at all, as the case may be) and I've been planning on going down to the health club where I take Leila swimming and see about getting on one of those new-fangled exercising machines. Usually, the only exercise I get when I go to this health club is turning the pages of my magazine while sitting in a beach chair watching Leila dive for colorful rings, but not today. There happened to be someone available to train me on a couple of these exercise devices, and suddenly there I was, huffin' and sweatin' on something called an elliptical. The machine said I burned 300 calories, but my trainer-guy, Mike, said they run a little on the high side (its nice to know my machine wants me to feel good about myself, though.) The machines have TVs on them, and you can plug your headphones into them and watch a show while you're torturing yourself. I hadn't planned on this, so I watched The View with closed captioning. I do not recommend this. Those View women are always talking over each other, which is usually tolerable, but I don't know how the person typing in the closed caption can keep up with them. There was never a complete sentence on the screen, and, if you've been reading this blog, you already know that I prefer long, rambling run-on sentences, complete with commas and semi-colons, rather than short, incomplete sentences. Next time, I'm bringing my headphones, and not wearing fleece pants. I was boiling and looked like a lunatic. The other women who were working out were all thin and fit (no wonder: it wasn't their first day at the gym) in their cute work-out clothes and their Wall Street Journals, and looked like they were going to go on with their super days with energy and efficiency and super-duper attitudes. I did not fit in. I can't really put my finger on the kind of negative thinking these women bring out in me, and I am aware that my snarliness is really about me and not them, but it does make me feel better when I tell myself, "She may be thin and fit and together on the outside, but I bet she's drinking chardonnay by four in the afternoon."
I may have been prompted to go to the gym because I went out for chinese food last night, coupon in hand, and ate all manner of things that probably do not fit it to my 1500 calorie-a-day thing. Now its lunchtime, and Rob did not take the leftovers with him to work as instructed ("Get the greasy chinese food out of here, and nobody will get hurt!") so I'm sitting here salivating (I'm not kidding, I really am) over the thought of leftover mongolian beef and curry chicken, because the only thing better than fresh chinese food is leftover, room-temperature chinese food, and my will power is well hidden right now.
I plan on going back to the gym on Friday in preparation for the Halloween night candy bonanza (I'm going to set the machine's calorie goal to a million) and this time I'll be prepared with more appropriate work-out pants, a pony-tail, headphones, water bottle, and maybe I'll bring along a Wall Street Journal, just for show. Act as if, right?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Victory is Mine!!

I embarked. I made the first cut, and there now exists in the universe a wolf hood, complete with ears, that did not exist before. I am so impressed with myself tonight, I could buy myself a drink and give myself a big kiss. I have the hood and one paw completed. I worked all afternoon. Every once in a while, I would have to call Leila away from her play date to try something on, and she started to guffaw that I was interrupting her fun, so I told her, "There's a Cinderella dress in that closet of yours, and you can go ahead and wear that on Halloween if you don't want to participate." She wasn't overly impressed until the ears went on. Only then did she start to jump around. The most impressive part is that I sewed the whole thing; no glue gun, no fabri-tac, just thread and needle and my keen instincts. I still have to finish the other paw and make the feet, and I think I'll have enough fabric to attach a big swatch to her sweatshirt. I am just in love with myself right now.
I also made 80 bead things for Walk and Roll tomorrow. Its too boring and annoying to go into, except to say that I feel like I spent all day with thread in my hands. I am done with Walk and Roll, my friends. It is just not a good fit for me. Its not even the getting up early, which does suck, to be sure, but more that I have to deal with other people and their thoughts and opinions and schedules. What does it say about me that I would much rather do the work that does not involve dealing with other people? I went to put the Walk and Roll stuff away in the volunteer office and one of my mom friends was in there doing the absentee line; this is where you go in one morning a week and listen to the messages from all the parents who have called their kid in sick and write them all down. I was dead jealous. I want to sit quietly and listen to messages, rather than listen to my volunteers judge the prizes I picked. I just want to yell, "I'm holding this together with both, hands, people!! Its a supportive satellite only zone!" So next year, Walk and Roll can be someone else's big bag of BS, and I'm going to listen to messages about kids with diarrhea.
Tell me my prizes are bad, will you, I've got your prize right here...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Grey Wolf

I am on fire this morning! I roasted chicken breasts! I made butternut squash soup from scratch! I washed two loads of laundry, including sheets! I went to two grocery stores! I did dishes! I put all my shoes away! I'm on fire, I tell you!! If it wasn't for taking a break to write this, I'd be folding clean laundry right now, but Rome wasn't built in a day. This is, however, Monday, and I can almost assure you that by the end of today I will have blown my wad, and the rest of the week will be a wash out. I'll be scraping by all week on what's in the fridge, and moaning about my lack of enthusiasm. But, Leila will have clean bed linens and that counts for something.
Here's what I was supposed to be doing this morning while I was busy with my incendiary self. Leila wants to be a grey wolf for Halloween. I don't know where this came from, but she's very organized about her Halloween costume choices, not one to change her mind again and again, and some time ago, she settled on a grey wolf, and she's not budging. I got perfect grey wolf fabric, and figured out in my mind how I'm going to transform the fabric, some pipe cleaners and elastic, and an old T-ball sweatshirt into a grey wolf, but I have yet to put my plan into action. I'm afraid to make the first cut, and I'm hung up on making the hood to big. That's where everything comes to a screeching halt for me. I am not by nature a crafty person. I like rules and order and recipes and tasks and steps, and I have to wing this costume. I do own a glue gun, but anyone can have one of those, they're cheap, so even though I have a glue gun, I should not be considered crafty. I've got to pull one out of my hat, though, because Halloween is this Friday and she can't wear my plan, no matter how cool it might be. I don't think I can get away with going trick-or-treating with her on Halloween night, accompanying her to every door while she is wearing jeans and a t-shirt and say, "She's supposed to be a grey wolf, but I couldn't get past the first cut, and can she have candy anyway?"
This afternoon I'm going to do it. I'm going to make her stand there while I pin wolf fabric around her head and figure this thing out. I expect to be flustered. I expect to swear a little bit. I expect to prick myself with needles. I expect to need a drink or two. All that is fine, and I will suffer all the frustration so my baby girl can be a grey wolf, as mystifying as her choice may be to me.
We had a pretty good weekend. Went to a Halloween carnival, had dinner with friends, saw another friend's new puppy, hung out with my parents, had dinner with Rob's brother in the city, it was pretty packed. Packed weekends are better than weekends where there is no plan even though it doesn't seem that way going into it. I always look forward to weekends where we have no plans, and can just hang out, but I'm always disappointed. I always sleep too much, and get grouchy, and we can't ever agree on what to do, so its better when there are plans.
I can't wait until Halloween is over, though, not only because the whole grey wolf thing will be behind me, but because I am totally haunted (get it?) by the mounds of Halloween candy in my house right now. For you moms out there who are popping fun size candy bars like xanax and thinking its no big deal, let me be the bearer of bad tidings when I tell you that there are between 80 and 100 calories in one of those little "fun" size bars of creamy goodness. I am eating them, make no mistake, but I'm still trying to do my 1500 calories-a-day thing (I've lost nine pounds!) so I am dutifully writing them down in my food diary and negotiating my wine ration for more candy bars. God, I love candy. And, like a complete idiot, I bought bags and bags of all the stuff I like. I used to get almond joys because I don't like them, and it did keep me away from the candy bowl, but I'm not sure kids like them either, and I don't want them to egg my house. You have to buy off the little bastards with the good stuff. So, I have butterfinger, twix, payday, skittles and snickers, and they are on my mind day and night. My husband has hidden them in the garage, but if I really wanted to I could sniff them out. Like a bloodhound.
I will now fold laundry, in a feeble attempt to keep my mind of chocolaty deliciousness.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tortured by Dinnertime

I never know what I'm going to write about when I start these things. Today, I'm meeting a friend who's getting a puppy tomorrow and I'm going to lend her all my dog books and share the benefit of my wisdom. Having one puppy has made me an expert, and now I can bestow my knowledge on others. My puppy ate a pizza coupon the other day, which was a real bummer because I really wanted to use it. We got a pizza anyway, of course, but it would have been nice to have a coupon.
Speaking of coupons, I watched this Oprah the other day that was all about saving money, and she had this lady on there, the Coupon Mom, and this woman has a website that shows you how to maximize coupon usage, how to find free stuff, how to strategize grocery shopping and all that. Its pretty amazing. I read her little How-to booklet, and started doing what she suggests, but I hit a couple of snags. First of all, she says to use the grocery story circulars that come in the mail or in the newspaper to plan your menu for the week, only getting stuff that's on special. Problem there is, I really want to support organic agriculture, and the meats and produce that are on special in my circulars aren't organic. Whole Foods does have specials, though, so I'm hauling my butt up there to buy meat. Oddly, there are several things that you can find on my regular shopping list that are cheaper at Whole Foods, like Annie's Bunny Pasta, the mainstay of my daughters diet.
Then, you are suppose to get several issues of the Sunday paper, and keep the coupon circulars that come with it. When you make a shopping list, you go to her website and do a search in her coupon database for the item you want, say, shampoo, and it will spit out a list of coupons and where to find them in those circulars. I did this yesterday, and I saved $4.80, mostly on Halloween candy that I am going to ask my neighbor to store for me since I am already digging into it. I got 100 Grand bars, and I love those things; everything good in the world in in those, crispy rice, smooth chocolate, caramel... Anyway, the other part of her strategy is to take advantage of double and triple coupon days at the grocery stores, but my stores don't do that. Maybe its a midwestern thing. So, $4.80 is what I saved. I still spent a fortune, though, and the annoying thing was, I still didn't have anything to make for dinner, so we split a burrito and Leila at rice.
I am going out tonight, so I'm not making dinner. Actually, I have plenty of time to make and eat dinner before I go out, but I will use any excuse to tell these people in my house, "you're on your own!" My daughter is easy: she eats either cheese pizza or bunny pasta. My poor husband, on the other hand, has to forage around the fridge for leftovers, or yogurt or PB&J. He'll live.
I am going to the mom's cocktail party for Leila's class, so we can all get to know each other. I am now reminded that I was going to make an appetizer so I'll be going to the grocery store AGAIN for the third day in a row. I am so lame. I know there are moms out there who have this whole dinner/grocery shopping thing nailed. They have to because they have more kids and less time, and they have to get crackin', but I just can't seem to get my arms around it. No sooner have I fed the family one evening, and skated by on what's in the fridge, than I have to do it all over again. Remember that line in the Simpsons when they got the fancy dog and Homer says "This is the kind of dog you have to feed almost every day."? That's exactly how I feel about dinner, and mine is the kind of fancy family you have to feed almost every day.
I'm going to go blow dry my hair.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I'm especially humiliated tonight. Leila was doing something in my bedroom, telling me she had a "wonderful surprise" for me. Generally, I don't like surprises, and I really don't like them when they are happening in my bedroom without me. Now, I once "cleaned" my mom's nightstand while she was out for the evening, and she ripped me a new one. I was confused at the time; her nightstand has two cabinet doors, and I thought it would make a perfect Barbie house, so I, very neatly, shoved all her stuff out of the way, refolded all the sweaters that were in there, and made it half Barbie house, and half "clean." If you've ever met my mother, or if you had met her in the late seventies, you would know that there was never anything in her possession that wasn't already clean. She used to rinse her woodchips, and wash the outside of her house. She mopped the kitchen floor once a week, and that was before she had children. She's relaxed a little now, but, boy, she was exhausting. Anyway, she had a little fit and shooed me out of her room, away from my Barbie house, and that was that. I had a garage sale doll house that didn't have doors, and I made complicated Barbie houses using open picture books to create rooms and hallways; I think its only natural that I wanted my Barbies to experience the opening and closing of doors, instead of always being pregnant and going into very breathy labor (I know, don't ask, my Barbies lead very sordid lives, and my Donny doll, of Donny and Marie, had it made. He was a playa.)
So this gets me back to my humiliation. Leila did not play in my room, or make a Barbie house, or anything like that. She folded all the clothes that were piled on the end of the bed. The end of my bed, and I always refer to my side of the bed as "my bed," is where everything I've worn for at least the last week, ends up. I'm not good at hanging up my clothes. I'm not good at putting away clean laundry. It all ends up at the end of my bed, and at night I get under the covers and shove my feet under the pile, and, even though having all this weight on my feet cannot possibly be good for my feet or ankles, I go to sleep. My husband use to make fun of me before we were married because I would go to sleep, not only with clothes at the end of the bed, but with books and magazines and papers all over the bed. I would just slide in underneath everything and sleep like a kitten.
So Leila folded all my clothes. Clearly, the neatnik gene skips a generation because she has it and I don't. I have to hand it to my mom, though: she never says anything when she walks in my house, but she must be thinking "how on earth did I ever raise a pig like this?" Just goes to show that you can try to teach your kids to be tidy, but some of us are just hard wired to be slobs. She must be very disappointed, but I gave her a grandkid, and I let her spend a lot of time with the grandkid, so she'd better keep the rest to herself.
It just occurs to me that I recently pointed my very neat mother-in-law to this blog, and after reading this she's never going to want to come for a visit. If she throws caution to the wind and comes anyway, she'll probably pack a has-mat suit, and I don't blame her at all.
In other news, Leila got her school pictures back today, and they are nostrilicious. I kept looking at them, wondering what about this perfectly nice picture was bugging me, and I finally figured out that she has her head tilted up and her nostrils kind of flared, and they look enormous. She gets her round nostrils from me; my husband has what I call quarter-slot nostrils. Now, all I can see when I look at her first grade picture are those huge nostrils.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Curly-Haired Albino Alligators

Today was a teacher workday, so we went to the brand new Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate park. It was pretty awesome. I thought it would be a perfect day to go because our kids were out of school, but I couldn't imagine anyone else's would be, but, as it turned out, it was a teacher work day for all of Marin and Sonoma counties, and they all went to the Academy. We parked on the street and brought our own lunch, and my friend has a membership so I didn't have to pay the twenty-five bucks to get in (can you believe that??) so it was a pretty inexpensive day. We saw the albino alligator, we saw the rain forest sphere, we saw the aquarium, we saw the dinosaur bones, we saw dog skulls, we saw tiger sharks, etc. etc. Leila and her friend's favorite part, though, was: a) the video game where they catch bugs, and b) running around outside on the grass. I can see how it would be a little overwhelming for kids, but it made enough of an impression that Leila wants to go back "a million times."
Leila had especially good hair today. I watched her run around the grass and thought, " Man, she is having a good hair day." Her curls were perfect, a little grown out now from her last haircut in the summer, it was shiny and bouncy; total brek girl. In spite of the fact that every where we go someone comments on her beautiful hair and her cute haircut, she hates her hair. Who knew it started so early? Not me. I thought she'd have more time before she started fighting with her hair. I try to explain to her that life is so much easier when you just love what you got and forget what you don't, but she doesn't listen. Instead, she listens to her straight-haired blonde friend who, in Leila's estimation, has the answer to all questions and is the knower of all things. If she says there's a monster in her backyard, Leila completely believes it, even though I try to tell her that I have been on this earth 32 years more than her friend, and probably know more about monsters than she does. It doesn't work. So, now Leila wants long straight blonde hair rather than short curly blonde hair, and there is nothing I can do about it. Hopefully, the next time she's disappointed in her body wont be until she's anxiously awaiting her boobs and I have to break it to her that she takes after her two grandmothers in the body department, and she shouldn't hold her breath. Its hard to watch your kid go through all the things that you yourself found painful. Leila has to get two fillings, and I feel so bad for her. Everyone has to do it, and its a part of life, but what a drag. She currently thinks that going to the dentist is fun and games and you get a prize at the end, so she's in for shock. Like the first time she ate ice cream and the look on her face was like, "are you kidding me with this stuff? Where the hell have you been hiding it?!"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Carcass Sunday

Its Sunday morning. We are having a great family morning. The only thing that would make it better is if it were raining. We've been having such warm, sunny weather, and I feel so much pressure to be outside doing outdoorsy things. Rainy days are such a good excuse to stay inside and do insidey things like stay in bathrobes and make warm breakfast and do puzzles and stuff like that. So, that's what we're doing today, despite the fact that its sunny and seventy degrees outside. There's this song by Loudon Wainright III where he says "I don't know about you, I get so sick of blue skies where ever they always appear." That's how I feel. I'm ready for a sweater and closed-toe shoes. I'm ready for umbrellas and windshield wipers. I'm ready for stew and soup, and chicken pot pie. I made meatloaf and mashed potatoes the other night and it was good, but the weather was too warm for it, really. It was salad weather, and I can't tell you how sick I am of salad.
Anyway, Leila and Rob spent part of the morning doing kitchen science. This is where Leila creates a recipe, puts together all the ingredients, and continues to futz with whatever she's created until she gets bored. This morning, the recipe included, "Salt, shugur, bacon soda, bacon powder, flower, viniger, sinnamon, oil, coffe beans, buter, lemon juice and vanilla." I freakin' love her spelling. Don't you wish there were such a thing as bacon powder? I love it already. I'd sprinkle it on cereal. Anyway, she combined all these things with a whisk, all the while describing what she was doing like the star of her own cooking show, then filled a pot with water, poured her mixture in and simmered it on the stove for twenty minutes. Used a kitchen timer and everything. Then she ground some coffee beans and added those with some lemon juice, and then Dad cut up part of an onion and they put that in, too. They transfered the concoction to a container (nixing my idea of straining it, but I don't do the dishes on the weekend) and now its in the fridge. The plan is to freeze it, and then thaw it. Delicious.
I am doing my own kitchen science this morning. I saved a chicken carcass to make stock, but I've never made stock before. I looked up five different recipes, and they all have different directions. They all use whole chickens or at least chicken parts rather than carcass, but I thought the whole point was to make use of the carcass. I sauteed some onion, put in the carcass with some salt, pepper corns and bay leaves, and I'll leave it simmering on the stove until I'm bored. Then I'll freeze it and thaw it. Hey, wait a minute!
Later, I'm going to wash the dog. He stinks. I taught him to give his paw this morning, though, so he's a stinky genius.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shut the hell up

     I have a shameful mothering thing to admit:  Sometimes, the very sound of my daughters voice drives me absolutely insane.  I feel most guilty about this when she is in a fine mood, and she's not whining or crying, or talking back.  She's just happy to be alive, and she's engaged in her surroundings and running off at the mouth.  Sometimes I have the fortitude and patience to listen and answer her questions, and sometimes its just maddening I want her to shut the hell up.  I have been so tempted, so often, just to yell "Shut the hell up!!!!"  
     Yesterday, we were in the car on the way to a playground to meet a friend, and all the way there she was asking things like, "Where's the park?  Is it Belvedere park?  Is that the park right there?  When will we get there? Do you know where it is?  Have you been there before?  Have I been there before? " and on and on and on.  She also back seat drives: "There's a parking space!  Why didn't you park there?  Why are you turning here?  Do you know where your going?  Do you need directions?"  I don't know if she's actually nervous about my ability to navigate around town, but she is always concerned that I don't know where I'm going.  I've lived here my whole life, 31 years longer than she's lived here; I know where I'm going!  What is it about me and my parenting style that reveals the mothering secret that no one ever tells you?  We are totally making things up as we go along!  When I was little, I thought my mom knew everything, was the creator and enforcer of all the laws of the universe, and had all the power there was.  Turns out, of course, that she was making stuff up, just like I do, and she didn't know a thing.  Also turns out, that her expectation for good grades was totally hypocritical since she was not the world's best student, but that's a whole other thing.  
     Most of the time, I feel like Leila thinks all the things about me that I thought about my mom; that I am the supreme ruler, and daddy is in charge of the lawn.  But when we are in the car, she seems to doubt my ability to do simple things like see red lights and find the freakin' playground.  I sure hope I inspire confidence in other ways, or it could mean trouble.  I will hear a lot of "Muh - therrr" as she shakes her little head at my total incompetence and fakery.
     I know that one day, not too long from now, I will long for the sound of her little 6 year-old voice, her lack of self consciousness, her silliness, but can I just have some peace and quiet once in a while?  Is it too much to ask?  If she really wants to doubt me on something, she should wait until she's in high school and finds out I can't really do calculus, or name all the state capitals in alphabetical order, rather than whether or not I now how to identify a one-way street.  Jeez.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fame and Infamy

OK, two funny things. Last night my friend called me to let me know that there is another Bored Housewife blog, which I kind of knew in the back of my mind, but I'd never checked it out. Seems that the other bored housewife is a woman in Maine who uses her blog as a place for her "sexy thoughts" and it has a picture of what I assume are her legs with her hand on her hoo-ha. No picture of her face. Now, I am all for expressing yourself any way you want, and I'm all for erotica, and try to have sexy thoughts as often as possible, so I take no issue with her content, and I think she was BoredHousewife before I was. What I think is funny, is that if I'm telling someone the name of my blog, and they don't get it completely right, they might end up thinking that I'm the boredhousewife from Maine with all the sexy thoughts and the nakedness, when I'm really the bored house in California who keeps the lights off whenever possible. Can you imagine? You're a mom that I see in the school yard (or a dad, even) and I say to you, "Check out my blog!" and you go home and type in bored housewife and see Sexy-thoughts with her hand on her parts and you think its me. For all I know, there are parents all over the elementary school thinking I'm some kind of flasher. Luckily, I think this is funny, and I think a notorious reputation as someone who writes erotic poetry on the internet would be one way to keep things interesting on the PTA. Not to worry, I wont be sharing any sexy thoughts unless its absolutely necessary, and I cannot for the life of me think of circumstances under which it would be necessary.
OK, funny think number two: My neighbor googled Boredhousewifesyndrome and found that my humble blog is on some Tori Spelling fan/stalker site! Can you believe it? As much as I love the Tori and Dean show, and as much as I think I could be friends with Tori, it would never occur to me to check her out on line, and search her fan sites. But apparently, that's what pops up when you google this blog. Don't worry, Tori! I much to lazy to stalk you!
I really want a pizza...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Suze Orman Blues

My mind is racing this afternoon. I had a lovely relaxing day, complete with breakfast out, a long walk, and a nap, but I don't feel relaxed. Its amazing how you can think you're relaxing, and feel no lasting effects. The problem is, I just watched Suze Orman on the Oprah show, and I like her a lot, but she stresses me out.
Her whole thing is to live in honesty and integrity which includes living within your means. I am on the fence about this. I mean, I'm all for living within one's means, but I'm not entirely sure if I'm actually doing it. I wont go into detail about my finances, although I'm tempted to because there are a lot of things I'm proud of. Some of those things were effort and good decision making, and some of them were dumb luck and planets in alignment. I never thought I would be one of those people who try to keep up with their neighbors, but it is hard when all your neighbors seem to have more of everything than you do. More money, more kids, bigger house, newer car, unlimited texting, you name it. So, I'm right on the fence between living within my means, and outside them, and straddling this fence is not comfortable.
Sometimes I think that I really need to get a job. I do odd jobs here and there, but they don't amount to any reliable money. Here's my rationale: I wanted to have three kids, and I got one; the experience of hands-on raising a kid, and giving her the best possible childhood is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and before you know it, she'll be grown up and the hands-on part will be over. There are a few things I never want to look back on with regret, and I feel like working instead of staying home right now would be one of them. I know there are some people for whom this is not a choice, and I know there are some people who are happier working than staying home with children, and I am straddling both those fences, too (ouchie!) Would I be more financially secure if I brought in an additional income? Yes. Would I be happier doing fun work than sitting around watching Suze Orman on Oprah? Maybe, I'm not sure. Sometimes I fantasize about working. I also fantasize about having an Iphone.
I don't have a great track record with being happy in jobs. Someone is always pissing me off, and I'm often stressed out, and the grass is always greener on the sofa. I did work for two years after Leila was born, and I was pretty miserable, but not because I wasn't with my kid, mostly because the work environment was toxic. I didn't miss her that much. Is that a terrible thing for a mother to say, that I didn't miss my kid that much when I worked full time? I have a friend who misses her kids after being separated from them for an hour.
I don't know. Sometimes I think about trying to find a job, but there seem to be so many obstacles. I only want to work part time, during school hours, the money has to be good enough to be worth it, and I don't want to work with people I will hate who make me feel small. This is getting morose. Usually I feel lighter after writing, but right now I'm feeling like a loser. I find comfort in the fact that I am not the only parent of a first grader going through growing pains, trying to figure out the next step.
Maybe I'll be a poet. Maybe I'll be a chef. Maybe I'll be a community organizer. Maybe I'll be a counselor. Maybe I'll sell my organs on the black market. Maybe I'll be a rock star. Maybe I'll be motivational speaker...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mommy's helper

So, I saw this woman on Oprah the other day who has a whole website dedicated to how to effectively use coupons, and I am hooked. if you're interested. She has a link to a restaurant coupon site where you buy, like, a $25 gift certificate for $10. Crazy! I feel so stupid for paying full price for anything, ever! I think I have enough time every week to use her system, in fact, I'm going to go down to the corner in a minute and grab a Sunday paper.
How is your weekend? Mine is ok. My happy helper husband dusted all the blinds in the house. They were really bad. I knew they were really bad because I look at them every day, but for Rob to see dust, they had to be B. A. D. He was on the stick, this weekend, that's for sure; mowed the lawn, changed a lightbulb, dusted blinds, did dishes, sorted laundry, and he's going to help me put up the Halloween decorations. Heck of a job, what a guy.
Should I be embarrassed that he's going to the grocery store this afternoon instead of me, and I'm probably going to let him make dinner? Maybe, but I'm just going to go with it today, and get back to work tomorrow.
Oh! Tomorrow is Columbus day (or indigenous peoples' day) and Rob has the day off! Leila has to go to school, but we get a day together which almost never happens. We're going to go to breakfast, maybe do some coupon shopping, hang out, get on each other's nerves, and then he'll go back to work again. No, we wont get on each other's nerves, he's easy to be around, and very tolerant of me. Poor guy; I would not want to be married to me, but he seems to like it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tori vs. Turkey Vultures

     Today I went on a field trip with Leila's class to Wildcare, a wild animal hospital nearby.  One kid got stung by a yellow-jacket, and I loved the turkey vulture, which I never thought would happen.  They are so ugly, those birds, and just eating dead stuff makes them kind of gross, and if they get dead guts on their legs they pee on themselves to wash off, and they puke as a way to get away from predators, and they're just naturally disgusting.  But this turkey vulture had personality, he showed off for the kids, he spread his wings, he climbed around, he was very charming.  I like being surprised like that.  Like when I realized I liked the Tori and Dean show, only better because this was educational.  I also learned something very interesting about ravens and crows: if its a raven, the tail will be shaped like a letter V, and if its a crow it will have a blunt tail.  The raven was the only bird in the place with toys in its enclosure, and I wondered if all the other birds were jealous, or if they disliked the raven because he's clearly spoiled.  He did not have personality like the turkey vulture, I'll tell you that much.  I am not a fan of ravens or crows.  We have too many of them around here, and they make such a racket and they intimidate the other birds with their winner-take-all attitudes.  I also suspect that they attack the ducklings in the pond, so they make my list of evil birds.  We also have a lot of Canada geese in the park near here, and their poo is insane.  Its huge and everywhere.  Our town has a goose abatement program where a border collie wearing a little red vest runs around  the flock of geese lounging on the grass and scares the hell out of them.  They fly off to the athletic field of the high school in the next town over and become that town's problem.  I'm always nervous when they are flying over head; one of their turds could really pack a wollop.  Didn't know you'd be catching Nature Hour with Monica, did you? What can I say?  I'm a renaissance woman, and I can learn as much from a field trip as a bunch of first graders.  Did you also know that, when threatened, a gopher snake pretends to be a rattle snake by shaking is tail, thus causing a rustling sound in the grass?  Its true.  Who knew that a snake could pretend anything?  Except for cartoon snakes, maybe.  
     Tomorrow is Saturday.  I love Saturday, but sometimes it turns out to be disappointing.  I always have all these things I want to accomplish, and then we end up sitting around.  My husband, bless him, wants to help out on the weekends.  I'll turn the corner to find him sorting laundry or something, and I know I'm supposed to be happy that I have a man who helps around the house, but instead it makes me defensive, like he's commenting on my job performance.  I told my mom this, and she, with her 1950's sensibility, said "Well, he probably is."  He's not my boss, mom!  I have asked him to do the dishes on the weekend.  I don't really need a break from most things, but dishes, yes, he can do them for a day or two.  He always leaves things, though.  There's always a pan on the stove that he "didn't see" or a passive aggressive cup or something next to the sink.  I also have to redo at least one dish when he does the dishes.  Its amazing how he can miss whole morsels of food sticking to a pot.  How does he not see it?  
     Ok, this has gone on long enough.  I have to go feed my loathsome cat who is driving me crazy meowing at the front door.  She has an eating disorder, and she hates us, but I don't think one thing has anything to do with the other.  Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Where's the beef?

     I spent the afternoon sitting on a beach with friends while the Blue Angels practiced overhead.  There was a blue sky, a perfect breeze, and the kids all played nicely together for three hours.  There are far worse ways to spend an afternoon, wouldn't you say?  Now I'm home facing the dinner grind, and I'm just in beach mode.  I don't want to clean up the kitchen and make dinner only to have to clean up the kitchen again; it feels like a night for a clam bake, or a burger and fries in a basket, or something else you eat with your fingers.  Its a vacation day, not a work day, and there should be vacation food.  To me, vacation food is usually food made by someone else while I have a tropical cocktail.  
     School was closed today for Yom Kippur.  I wasn't really looking forward to a day off school because Leila has been home so much lately with her ear infection and all of that, and I was ready to unload her for a little while and try to get a few things done.  But one of my friends had the great idea to go to the Conservatory of Flowers and see the butterfly exhibit and then go to the beach at Chrissy Field.  We were delayed this morning, walking the dog, taking a shower, etc. so we met everyone at the beach, and I got to sit on my butt all afternoon while Leila buried herself in the sand, made piles of sand, made more piles of wet sand, ate a sandwich, and dug a hole.  
     So, other than having to make dinner AGAIN, (always with the dinner and the laundry!) I don't have anything to complain about which actually makes for a pretty boring blog post.  I think that when Sheryl Crow was all in love with Lance Armstrong , and she was healthy and happy, her music suffered.  When she was angst ridden and hanging out with heroin addicts and being heart broken, I loved her stuff.  Then she got happy, and I couldn't stand that "Wildflowers" piece of poo.  Maybe now that she's had breast cancer and broken up with Lance her music will be better, but she just adopted a kid so she's probably happy.  Is it wrong that I want my musicians to be sad and insecure?  Thankfully, Shawn Colvin is bipolar, so I can count on her to be down in the dumps.  I guess my point is that even though I am trying not to be a big whiny gasbag all the time, I just don't think its all that interesting to write (or read) about a great day where nothing is annoying, and there's only so much I can write about not wanting to make dinner and clean things.  Actually, I could write about not wanting to make dinner and clean things all day long, but I don't think it would make for interesting reading.  So, I had a nice day, but the day's not over yet, and if it goes in the crapper between now and bedtime, you'll read about it here.
     Leila just walked in the living room naked to inform me she has a pimple on her butt.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

WWTD? (What Would Tori Do?)

     I have some in-between time right now, so I thought I'd write.  I have tons of errands to do, but not enough time before I pick up the kid from school, so I'm stuck.  What?  Clean something, you say?  Nonsense!  This is much more fun.
     Tomorrow is International Walk and Roll to school day, and this year I am in charge of it.  Not for the entire international community, you understand; no, my friends in Sweden are on their own.  Sounds easy, right?  Get kids to walk or ride their bike to school for one day?  No problem!  Wrong.  There are meetings and boxes and banners and e-mails, and flyers and posters and all kinds of other things that go into getting a kid to walk to school.  Use to be, you put on your backpack and kissed your mom goodbye while she sat at the kitchen table in her bathrobe (counting the seconds until you left, I have now learned)  and walked your sorry third grade ass to school, but not so anymore.  I have had it up to here (points at forehead)  with this project.  I can't wait until its over, and over it will be tomorrow morning at around 8:15.  The person from whom I am taking this over has done it for the last five years.  She's one of those moms who has lots of energy and is really dedicated, and it exhausts me.  Last year, she won the PTA's volunteer of the universe award, and her husband is the damn mayor, and she has solar panels on her house and two hybrid cars in her driveway and she totally walks the talk (no pun intended, although, on second thought...)  and all that is really fabulous, and I, bored housewife who loves the Tori and Dean show, have to follow that act?  What, on God's green earth, was I thinking?  
     Admittedly, I have taken on too much.  I am on the PTA board, I'm the head room parent for my daughter's class, I'm the friend of the Foundation for my daughter's class (a mercifully small job) and team leader for the Walk and Roll thing.  I thought if I was going to be a stay at home parent, I should get involved, be a Mom, bake things, volunteer.  I thought I would become one of those energetic moms who run around the school with their blackberries and their exercise clothes, and I would love it and be so happy.  Either I am really a sloth-like person, or all those moms are on something. Really, I am beginning to understand the suburban meth problem.  The energy and sense of fulfillment I was expecting has yet to hit me, and I think all these other moms are secretly suffering and wishing they could watch Tori and Dean.  During the PTA meeting this morning, several moms, including me, were so excited because another mom had saved her Halloween party sign-up sheet and was going to send it to us for use in our classrooms; you'd have thought she was going to take us all on a shopping spree, we were so happy.  It was all so very sad...

Sunday, October 5, 2008


     I'm trying to not use this space as a repository for all my complaints and whining.  I want to stay positive, but people who know me know this is a challenge.  I am, at heart, a complainer and its something I'm trying to work on.  I could write a long list of things that are annoying me this week, but instead, I'll try to make lemonade.
     I spent this week with a cold and so did Leila.  When she gets a cold, she inevitably gets an ear infection, and they always come at night.  Usually, they come on a Friday or Saturday night, requiring a trip to the after-hours pediatric clinic (which sounds like they're open all night, but they aren't; you call at 9:00 a.m. and maybe get in by three in the afternoon.)  You sit in a waiting room with kids who are really sick and at their most contagious, while my kid is at the end of her cold and just needs someone to look in her ear with a bright light and confirm what I already know, so we can wait a few more hours for the pharmacy to give us the white stuff that makes ear infections go away, if we can find pharmacy that's open Sunday.  This time, though, my darling spared me the clinic and got her ear infection on Wednesday night, which made things easier.  We got the white stuff, and were cleared to go to school on Friday, thank God.  Friday morning, we're getting ready for school, I feel like crap, Leila looks warmed over, and when I give her the white stuff, the poor thing pukes all over the kitchen table.  So I'm cleaning up the puke, and her ear starts hurting and she starts yelling "OW! OW! OW!" while the dog is licking her legs because he's become heady with the smell of regurgitated waffles.  I was so ready to walk away.  I wanted to grab my kid, get in the car, drive to the airport, fly to mexico, and stay there.  Frankly, that trip would have been excruciating with a kid with an ear infection, but in my mind it was the only solution.  
     We hunkered down. We were a team.  She got her medicine down without throwing it back up and we high-fived.  She made it to school two minutes late, and I didn't care.  I went grocery shopping, and as a treat, I bought the puppy some red sparkly devil horns for Halloween.  Now, how is this lemonade?  I'm not entirely sure, but this is best I can do today.  Tomorrow will be better, and the day after will be even better, right?  RIGHT?!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Batter up!

     Its hard to watch TV and write at the same time, but I'm willing to give it a try.  Rob is at softball, and I think its the last softball game of the year.  He said something about it being the championship when he left, and I said something to the effect of "ok, hon' whatever, bye!"  I encourage and support his softball and yoga hobbies, and I tolerate his political news addiction, but deep down inside I hate softball and stupid yoga.  I'm alone in this house all day (except for the kid and the cats and the dog) and I want all his undivided attention when he comes home, unless its divided with chores that make my life easier, and even then I still want all his attention.  He's going to come home, scarf something down (score one for me, though, I don't have to make dinner.  I, myself, had tuna salad on some lettuce) take a shower, say how wiped he is from his game, yawn a little, then go to bed and make me wait until tomorrow to watch a West Wing episode on DVD.  AND! I can't watch West Wing tomorrow because of the Vice Presidential Debate (which is going to be so delicious)!  
     Sitting on the couch with a glass of wine (or two, or three) and watching something good on TV with Rob in the evening is what I look forward to all day.  I can't watch West Wing during the day because Rob wants to watch, too; I actually try not to watch TV during the day, only when I'm sick and its Tori and Dean.   
    God, I'm obnoxious.