Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dinner Can Eat Me

I was just at the grocery store and saw and old dude buying three bags of Werther's Originals. I always wondered who buys those and, as indicated in their advertising, its old dudes.

I was at the grocery store because a.) I am out of milk, b.) I really wanted a Twix, and c.) I had to get something for dinner. This dinner thing is such a pain in the ass. If I won the lottery, and money was no object, I'm not sure I would ever make dinner. Or I would make it, like, 5 times a year. I like to cook, and I'm a pretty good cook, but I do not like to cook at 5:30 p.m. and the worst part is not knowing what to cook, and stumbling around the house, knowing that you have to come up with something, and being totally uninspired. Its not like I have to create some gourmet feast every night or anything, but sometimes I just can't get over the hump.

I wonder, if I did win the lottery and didn't have to cook, how soon eating out or eating take out would get boring. And how much fatter I would get. I'd have a burrito one night, sushi the next, pizza the next, etc. Just dinner, though. Unless I'm having lunch with a friend, I can make a sandwich at home and I'm good.

I settled on Turkey burgers with corn for tonight. I'm hungry right now, though. I'm going to check my lottery numbers and see if I won. If I did, those turkey burgers can suck it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Even More Summer Parenting Woes

So, on Sunday, Rob and I agreed that we really needed to something together as a family. Leila has been seeing a lot of the neighbor kid, which is normally a huge relief, but we felt like we hadn't seen our kid in a while, and the two of them were starting to snipe at each other like old married people. Leila proclaimed that she wanted to do something "big" like go to the zoo, the Academy of Sciences, or the Exploratorium, all in San Francisco. A lot to ask from a kid with no job. We said no way josé, because who on earth wants to go to any of these places on a beautiful weekend? and later we realized that not only was it pride weekend, but also there was a huge concert in the park. I think I would have rather spent the day cleaning my bathroom than braving city streets on this particular weekend, and we all know that I would rather spend a day in prison than clean my bathroom.

So we decided to go to the beach. Not a bad deal, right? The beach! Who doesn't love the beach? Apparently, little miss pain-in-my-ass doesn't like the beach because she started laying down all the conditions under which she would submit herself to a trip to the beach, like that she had to bring a friend, like that she didn't want to walk on the beach, like there had to be ice cream involved. And this was after her disappointed whining that she didn't want to go to the beach at all. Probably because it doesn't involve spending my money.

So, I lost my shit, as moms sometimes do, and I gave her the old, "There are children your age working in factories!! Working 12 hours a day! Earning money for their families! Taking care of their younger siblings! Living in huts! I ASK YOU FOR NOTHING! And when we say you're going to the beach, you WILL GO! And you wont RUIN IT for the rest of us!!" I left out the "you spoiled little bitch!" part, even thought that's what I was thinking.

Then, while Leila was sufficiently scared of the crazy lady in the kitchen and went to get ready for the beach, I got the business from Rob about maybe not yelling and going nuts. I wanted to yell at him and go nuts again! So I gave him the old, "You're not here all week, driving her to and fro, entertaining her friends, getting grief every time you need to go on an errand and her highness doesn't feel like it, and you don't have to drop everything you're doing and make a grilled cheese sandwich only to hear that one side is over done so its inedible, and you don't have to hear her whine every time she doesn't get her way!" And then I was all, "I know you want only happy family harmony when you're home, but I GET TO YELL WHEN I FEEL LIKE YELLING!"

I also added that yelling works. I don't yell often. In fact, I think I should yell more, but when I yell and lose it and call her ungrateful, she does whatever I say for about 48 hours. Totally worth the rise in blood pressure. Weren't you just a little bit afraid of your parents? Mine scared the living shit out of me.

We went on to a have a completely lovely day at the beach. Even Leila said it was fun, and if I had only told her we were going to walk the dog on the beach, she wouldn't have thrown a fit. Lying sack...

Friday, June 24, 2011

More Summer Parenting Woes

So I was hungover this morning. Had a little too much fun with my girls last night, and slept in until 9:30 while Leila watched decorating shows and ate dry cereal. (tangent: She loves Divine Design on HGTV, and yesterday we were watching together and she's all, "I bet she's going to choose and L shaped sectional." and as if scripted, at that moment the host says, "I chose a beautiful L shaped sectional!")

I stumbled out of bed, had a nice, salty breakfast with a coke, and we began to formulate a plan for the day which involved getting dressed, having lunch, practicing piano (not me, just her) and then later a trip to her grandma's while I went to a work meeting.

The way she reacted to my insistence on getting dressed and practicing piano, you would have thought that I had asked her to scrub the toilet with her toothbrush while listening to modern classical composers. So I lost it. I gave her the old, "after all the fun camp stuff I signed you up for, and the sleeping in and watching TV in your pajamas, and the epic playdates and all that stuff, I'm asking you to practice piano for 15 minutes, and you can't do this one thing???!!!" and then she says, "But I've forgotten everything! How can I practice piano if I don't remember anything?!" and I'm all, "You just had your last piano lesson a week ago, I don't believe that you've forgotten anything at all!" and this goes back and forth (note to self: do not engage in ridiculous arguments; just repeatedly tell child what to do and add ever-worsening consequences for non-compliance. Repeat: do not get sucked in to child's big bag of bullshit.) and finally ends with her stomping off with a "Fine!!! I'll just do it now!!!" What a freakin' drama queen. Remember on Will and Grace where Jack would say, "This is a huff, and I'm leaving in it!" That should be Leila's line. She's so tortured! Poor baby!

At that moment the doorbell rings, and its her bestie from across the street and she wants to know if Leila can come to the city with them for the afternoon, but they have to leave right now. Leila runs and gets dressed and I shitcan my whole disciplinarian parent thing and let her go, without practicing piano, or even brushing her hair or teeth.

I feel like I just stole all my own thunder. But its totally worth it for a day of peace and quiet. But God as my witness, that child will practice piano when she gets home if I have to shackle her to the damn thing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bored Housewife has Bored Children

The children are bored. They have been moping around all day. Nothing to do. Rooms full of plastic crap, and nothing to do.

Leila's bestie lives across the street. This morning, they were over there watching YouTube videos and when her friend's mom made them stop, they decided to come over here, thinking we moms are morons. So I squashed their dreams and told them no screens today. Ha! Take that! Then they went back across the street, where they were further oppressed by mean parents. They find it absurd and brutish that we don't feel like dropping everything we're doing to get in our cars and take them somewhere where we can spend money on them and stand around while they maybe have fun, but maybe whine that it isn't as fun as they thought it would be. How weird that we would rather do what is on our own agendas, like work, or laundry, or blogging.

So they dangled on my sofa, with sad, sorry faces, practically in tears, coming up with the most unrealistic ideas in the world. They actually wanted me to to take them somewhere to buy lumber so they could build a playhouse in my backyard. I had to wonder if they had been drinking. I explained that I did not consider it my responsibility to entertain them, and then the whole thing about that I was not going drop what I was dong to take them somewhere, and the friend says to me, "What are you doing exactly?" and I said I was cleaning my house, but what I really should have said was "its none of your damn business." Then I made lunch for these sad sacks, and then they start talking about how maybe they should do a science project, which means taking stuff out of my fridge and cupboards and making a mess in the kitchen I just cleaned. I took a deep breath and kept my mouth shut. Then Leila says, "if only we could drive to the Exploratorium and go to gift shop and buy a chemistry set..." Has she learned nothing? My response was, "Yeah, how likely do you think that is?" Then she said, "Can we go to Cold Stone?" HAVE YOU LISTENED TO A WORD I'VE SAID? I was thinking about taking them to get frozen yogurt later, but now they're just pissing me off.

Now they have settled on making sugar cookies. I am staying out of it, letting them read the recipe, use the mixer, crack eggs, and it is a struggle. At least they're done moping. For now.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Its hot. Its butt hot. Its hella hot. I hate hot. Last night I was so miserable in the heat that I made rob take me to Cheesecake Factory for dinner because I needed a mojito in the worst way, and I didn't know where else to go for one. They also make a killer beet salad. It normally has too many beets, so I order it "easy on the beets." I could eat three of those salads. Not only because I'm a pig, but because that salad is on the small plates menu, so three of them would just about make a full salad.

Today L is at her first day of summer camp. She'll be there all day, and I hope she has a good time. She's been so looking forward to it, and so have I. I am going to the movies today to suck up some air conditioning and some buttered popcorn. I just made a batch of gazpacho soup for myself for later. No one in this house likes it but me. I could drink that stuff by the gallon. I wonder if its just the Clamato juice that I love, but I've never tried it on its own. I really should have doubled the recipe. It would still be gone by then end of the day. Can't get enough of it. Yesterday I just lolled around the house all day. L had a friend over, and they played with the hose, and I watched a bunch of good TV that had been recorded over the weekend. I think I'll go watch some more good TV until its time to leave for the movie. It is just too hot to do anything else...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day One

First day of summer vacay! Woo Hoo! I asked L what she wanted to do on her first day of freedom, and she said, "stay in my pajamas and watch TV." No problem! Its noon, and she's in her PJs watching Kung Fu Panda with her bestie, and I am doing laundry and straightening up. I made her a bacon and peanut butter sandwich for breakfast, per her highness' request, and she is happy as a clam. A clam in pajamas, watching TV.

For my part, I slept in, chatted on the phone in bed, got up at 9:30, threw laundry in, and started cleaning up this disaster I call a house. I am now facing the annual challenge of what to do with all the crap she brought home from school. Her artwork, clay projects, writing journals, math workbooks, etc. I am not one of those moms that sentimentalizes every piece of paper my child has ever written on. I keep less that 1% of what she makes, and the rest goes quietly in the recycling bin. But when these kids are home on summer vacation, they're around all the time, and I can't just got through her stuff and weed out the one or two things that I want to keep, and toss the rest while she's sitting right in front of me.

Here's the other thing. Every school year, parents are asked to contribute to a fund for school supplies. We don't have to go to office supply places and stock up on things (we did one year, and it was super annoying) so we just hand the school $40 and let them take care of it. But when I went through all Leila's notebooks and workbooks and stuff, most of them were at least 2/3 empty. Lots of blank paper and math exercises. And, she came home with all he crayons and pencils and glue sticks and stuff, which is fine, but she also came home with the plastic container to hold all the stuff, and I'm thinking, Really? She needs three notebooks and a number of file folder thingies, and two math workbooks and a plastic container for her accouterments, and she can't reuse any of this stuff next year? She can't take her empty notebooks to fourth grade? The teacher can't put some other kids name on that container and not send it home to clutter up my house?

I don't get it. I am all for abundant resources for children, but this is a little silly. I will give them my $40 and be done with it anyway, but Jeez!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Today was a good day. I was really nervous about how much it was going to cost to fix my car. I feel like I'm just bleeding money these days. I went to pick it up, and IT COST NOTHING! The problem was two cracked spark plugs which they replaced free of charge. Not even $20 for the labor or anything! And the car runs great! I love when stuff like this happens. You grow to expect a certain amount of buffoonery from people, a certain amount of unscrupulous business practice, but not at Larkspur Gas and Service, I tell you!

Tomorrow is the last day of third grade. I have had a number of not-so-subtle reminders that the kid is growing up so fast, like the earrings in her formerly un-adorned ears, the baby shoes I found in the garage last weekend and cried over, and the fact that, in my head, third grade started about a week ago, and I am just getting up to speed. Tomorrow she will go to an assembly in the gym where the third graders are handed the proverbial baton from the outgoing fourth graders, and I just can't believe it. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN????

So, a word to all you parents out there with kids younger than 9. THIS WILL HAPPEN TO YOU! You will also look back on your young childrens' lives and wonder what the hell happened to 9 years, and it will scare the living shit out of you just like it is scaring the living shit out of me. Everyone tells you to savor every minute while your kids are little, and it is unbelievably hard to do. I'm too busy savoring peace and quiet! And naps! And reruns of Sex and the City! So I will not tell you to savor every minute. Instead, I will tell you to do your best.

How the hell did this happen? How did I get all weepy? This always happens at the end of the school year. I always get sentimental. Would you feel better if I told you my 'rhoids were acting up today? Or that I let a fart rip in the library, and it was a stinky one?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nothing Special

Hey, guys. Its the last week of school. Just one last push till the end, and then we can stay in our pajamas and watch decorating shows. Our house is still not under construction, and I don't know when it will be, so in the meantime? Decorating shows.

I wont go too far into it, but we met with our contractor and talked some scary numbers. Rob is taking his typical approach, which is to dance blithely forward and not worry that we will go absolutely broke, while I worry enough for the both of us. Rob actually thinks that, since the numbers we have are only an estimate, we could come in lower and have money left over. His optimism is adorable and stupid. Everyone knows that all construction projects go long and over budget, and lately I've learned that many people wind up having to get a new car in the middle of their project, too. I'm screwed, but I can't go back. I mean, I can go back, but now that I've glimpsed the possibilities, I really don't want to. I will have that dining room, and I will have that new kitchen, and so what if we can't have a floor or door knobs because we run out of money?

We also have to get our fence fixed and take our car in for service. Why don't I just crack open all the bank accounts and make it a free-for-all? Here! Take all my money!!

Also, we haven't seen the sun in weeks. Normally, I love rainy weather. I still don't mind it that much, but its June so I'm wearing flip flops, because that's what you do when its June, and my feet keep getting wet, and I keep squishing around in my shoes.

I got nothin'. Sorry to have wasted your time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I just had Food

I'm in a mood. I'm getting my period, and I'm full, and there's nothing for dessert in my house, and I'm in a mood.

You know what song I've had in my head for the last three days? This one:

I can't stop singing it, which is kind of a problem since my daughter is nine and I have to hmm hmm over the words. I even downloaded it on iTunes so I can sing to it in my car.

Enjoy! I promise it will get you out of any funk you happen to be in, if only for a moment.