Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Birth Control

A friend is expecting and while she submerges herself in the book What to Expect When You are Expecting, she also shared her intent to watch one of the Childbirth DVDs. My face indicates multiple emotions and when she told me, I surely displayed a facial expression reading loudly and clearly: yikes.

Her: You don’t think it will be helpful?

Hmmm, let me contemplate if it might be helpful. If by helpful you mean it will likely cause your tummy to churn and eliminate any interest you have in s-e-x for several days, why yes, it might be helpful.

I am certain all Childbirth DVDs are not created equal. That deserves a hallelujah. Let me share a tidbit of experience I had while watching the birthing DVD I selected. 

First, it arrived via Netflix. When JMac saw it, he exclaimed, “Add this just after America’s Got Talent on the list of programming I shall never watch.”

Point taken. But is childbirth not a beautiful miracle to observe?

I was eight months pregnant, feeling calm and very grateful for my highly positive pregnancy experience. I thought if perhaps I learn some additional points about childbirth, the DVD would be worth the time.

The DVD opens with sound but no picture. It sounds like a great deal of heavy breathing followed by a man with a very high and bizarre voice saying things like, “Oh yes. OHHHHHH yes. That’s it, baby. That’s it.” Repeat over and over for several minutes.
Then heavy breathing. And wait, is that mewing? 

I thought, “HOLD IT.” Did I get the wrong DVD? Because this sounds like a DVD in which they show me the steps taken to MAKE a baby. Not a DVD in which two people prepare for said baby to be born.

Then the couple comes into view. Or rather, her ladybits come into view. ALL of her ladybits. Is that a close up? Did this hospital not have a sheet or two? I am stunned at the visual assault. The camera pans out and I immediately scanned the room for the Partridge Family because clearly this was filmed in the mid-70’s. Is that Panchorello? The man was adorned in a peaceful smile, a psychedelic shirt, and giant hair. She was adorned in a facial expression similar to Poltergeist, her birthday suit, as well as giant hair. Everywhere.  Between the free love, the panting and mewing, and the lack of personal grooming, the only things missing in this scene were a tambourine, a magic bus, and some peyote.

More of this audio: Oh yes. OHHHHHH yes. That’s it, baby. That’s it.

And then a chance to watch a woman in anguish. OH I get it, birthing a baby au natural is no gentle flitter of angel wings as you exclaim "That feels delightful" but must you show the twists of terror? NOT motivational. How do I quiet my uterus from shouting: Why are you even watching this!?!?!?!? Followed by : I HAVE FEELINGS TOO YOU KNOW!

First thought: While childbirth is certainly a beautiful miracle to observe, I am not excited to witness ScaryFace McHairy and her man bring a wee one into the world. Even if that wee one comes out playing guitar like Hendrix.

Second thought: Where is the bleach for rinsing my retina???? 

Third thought: Absolutely no invitations will be extended to join us in the birthing room. 

Fourth thought: Remember when involved in next passionate moment with JMac to refrain from panting. Mewing. AND exclaiming Oh yes. OHHHHHH yes. That’s it, baby. That’s it for fear of laughter that will not end and will surely ruin mood.

Fifth thought: Oops, I just remember this DVD kills the urge for passionate moments. They should rename this video Free birth control.  

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pants (or something you wear on the bottom) on the ground

An awesome situation I hope NEVER happens to you.

As we were preparing to depart our home one morning, keys in hand, MiniMac opens the interior door to the garage. I stop by the laundry and pull his blanket out of the dryer and without further thought, give it a quick albeit haphazard fold and put it in the backseat.

Once we arrive at school, and proceed to his classroom, I hand MiniMac his blanket to put in his cubbie. He decides to wear it like a cape. I don't mind, although, I can say I have never seen him do this. He begins to vigorously shake his blanket. As he whips his "cape" around finally ala Matador style, a piece of fabric flies off the blanket. I realize not everyone in our house includes dryer sheets when they place clothes in the dryer, so I believe I am seeing a little by-product of static cling. As I walk over to pick it up, I do not yet know what it is. It is small so I assume it is a sock. 

Do you remember Bonkers McNewKid? Well, Bonkers is suddenly highly fascinated with by-products of static cling as well. Bonkers leaps to the item of clothing like tiger leaps upon wild boar. Unfortunately, the precise minute I see exactly what the item is, Bonkers grabs it and begins to run around the classroom. 

I am tempted to do the 7th grade song of "GIVE THOSE BACK" but I think if I remain cool, and do not give chase, Bonkers will quickly lose interest and drop the item in hand. However, I can't take a prolonged risk because my non PokerFace clearly reads: UH OH. I quickly plan to corner Bonkers and luckily I do because at that moment Ms. E, his teacher, says, "BONKERS, stop running in the classroom."

I intercede and remove the item from the tiny hand of Bonkers while he yells, "DON'T TAKE THAT FROM ME."

Oh, Bonkers. Those belong to me.

As Bonkers is admonished for being a wildcat, I quickly place the confiscated item in my pocket, kiss my son goodbye, and depart.

Once safely in the car do I place the item in my gym bag. And thank my stars I am the only person in that room who knows Bonkers ran around the classroom like a banshee while clutching a pair of my pink La Perla underwear.

The ground, at least the ground in a classroom full of munchkins: NO place for your pants or anything you wear on the bottom.

Friday, August 27, 2010

'Atta Baby!

Several things I know about 3 year olds: 

They love Cheerios.
They love Mickey Mouse.
They certainly like to wake up early.
They love talking about body parts. Loudly. In public.
They love Springsteen, Petty, Buffett, and U2 (at least ours does & all of them should, right?)
They love the word WHY and use it incessantly.
They can save your life. 

I did not realize the last item until reading about Alesaundra Tafoya, a toddler in Northern Cali. Last Friday, while playing at home, her Father collapsed. Alesaundra walked several blocks to the Manteca Fire Department and asked the Firefighters to come to her home. She told them her Father was "frozen" and would not get up.

Firefighters took her home immediately and upon arriving, took her Father to the ER. Medical personnel said without this prompt attention, Mr. Tafoya would have died. The Fire Captain said in 20 years he had never witnessed an ER call made by a toddler.

Her parents have been teaching her about precaution and safety. Said her mother, "She has been listening...and that is good."

I hope this is a situation we never find ourselves in, but should we, I hope we have not only taught our son what to do but instilled in him the confidence and wherewithal to act independently. 

'Atta baby, Alesaundra.  Bravo for you for this happy ending. You did something so much larger than you could possibly understand now. Precisely the kind of good news I love.

Have a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A MILF by any other name...

Warning:









Recently, I saw a woman wearing a shirt that struck me as just a wee bit peculiar. 
The tshirt?
This:


And over the comical banter with my family one weekend, I shared my sighting. Which prompted my Mom to ask me what MILF was referencing.

Oh boy. As my little brother laughed hysterically, I explain MILF is an acronym for Mom I'd like to F----.  Isn't that so very, very nice? 

From where did this acronym come? Oh, I'd say Stiffler from American Pie but the genesis probably goes back to Benjamin Braddock. Regardless, not a perfect word to share or define for your super nice and classy Mom.

Besides the "WOW, that is QUITE a shirt" factor, the primary reason seeing a woman wear this shirt seemed odd to me is purely from a grammatical standpoint. If you are a Mom, and you wear a shirt imprinted with MILF (besides the fact oh BLESS YOUR HEART honey and good luck at that Real Housewives audition) you do realize the acronym is Mom I'd Like to F, yes?

Should it not have read MYLF for Mom YOU'D Like to F...? Because wearing a MILF shirt means you are declaring you are a Mom you yourself would like to F which is the same as someone saying "Go F yourself" and you replying, "Sure thing. Because that seems like something I would really like to do."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Not your regular pit stop

We went to an outdoor concert a month ago. It was a blast. One drawback? Unfortunately, one aspect of outdoor festivals and concerts is the unavoidable opportunity to use everyone’s least favorite contraption: The port-o-john. I approached this particular chamber of pain. After being initially puzzled, I immediately began to laugh.out.loud. Can you tell what is wrong with this picture?

I will give you a hint. The lock above the door handle is not supposed to be on the OUTSIDE.

Someone at the Pit Stop Shop is a smartarse. Or a prankster. Or an idiot.

OR a genius because this particular Pit Stop might come in rather handy in certain situations.

Situations such as when you are all set to enjoy a concert and yet there is a small sliver of irritation poking into your concert mojo. Slivers of irritation like:

The jackarse in the parking lot who parked over the lines thereby using two spaces so he would not get “door dings.”

The person in front of you in that line that is so sloppy drunk that you feel quite confident you will be stepping in liquid thanks to their misguided focus and the fact they missed the giant bowl inside the port-o-john. (And for the love of all things holy, do NOT sit on the seat in there. Hover my friends, hover. But whooooops, watch your own intake or you will be sitting on that thing like it is Santa's lap.)

Those crazy girls who sing every word very loudly (and badly) so you can't hear the actual lead singer.

Your friend that won’t stop checking text messages during the concert.

Your friend who shouts out repeatedly "THIS IS MY SONG!" Especially after every single song. ( I do this but am wise to the external locking crapper trapper so I won't fall for it.) 

The guy behind you who insists on yelling “FREE BIRD” every 3.5 minutes.

Those are all perfect examples of when you just flip that external lock. Consider it a urinal time out. Or better yet, a Pit STOP IT.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I hope there are not 30 spankings with that...

My little brother turned 30 yesterday. An all weekend bash upon a yacht and a full out rental of a club downtown meant he welcomed Age 30 just like Thurston Howell, with a much better hat.  Hope your liver has recovered, brother. And I hope there are not 30 spankings to go with that soiree.

His beautiful Mom wanted to create a coffee table book for him comprised of a collection of letters from family and friends. It also includes pictures from across the span of his life including this beauty below which appears to be a photo of my cheerleading squad basically holding him against his will. 

I was asked to write the introduction to this amazing book of love and adoration which I agreed to immediately as my little brother is a truly incredible person. And I believe the people you love should not only know you love them, but why you love them.

Today I am celebrating the day he was born with a standing ovation to the man he has become.
____

Dear HP:

The day you were born, I think of all of the lucky people who had not yet met you but would ultimately feel the benefit, and power, and love of having you in their lives. Wherever you go, you create a string of connectivity (and a whirlwind of fun) that makes people want to be a part of your sphere, your light, and your world.  You have one of the most generous spirits, and there is not a friend in your life that questions the lengths you would go to to help someone you care about whether that means a ride to the airport, hosting a baby shower, or packing them up and moving them across the country. And we can all name more than one occasion you listened to each of us talk, vent, share, or worry and one of your first questions has always been: What can I do to help?

And you have a sass and a spirit to you that make you one of the most entertaining people we know, with an awesome sense of humor,  and the one we always want to sit next to at the party. (Especially if that party is on a Disco Bus.) Oh, we love your stories. All of us have a favorite, which is usually the one we witnessed as it went down.

And you are strong. You have a pretty incredible sense of perserverance and tenacity for someone just turning 30. You have really made an amazing life and career for yourself and the most incredible aspect of it is, there is still so much ahead for you.  You have excelled in everything you have set as a goal for yourself and someday we may all need to come for you for a job.

And let us not forget to include your gorgeous sense of style. Banana Republic should hire you not only as their Vice President of PR, but also as a poster boy.

This is such a significant day for you. Marking just a portion of your life and I hope you truly have a sense of pride in every mental snapshot that fills up your portfolio of life experiences. And thank you. Thank you for making room for all of us to enjoy the party, enjoy the show, and enjoy the experience that is being a part of your life. Everyone whose life you touch is lucky.

And not just today but everyday, you have a giant group of people in your corner. Your biggest fan club. Your rooting section. And I hope when you think about your life, whether on a trip to Mexico, doing a presentation and landing another account, or while standing on that dance floor doing that pop-hip-snap in front of the giant fan, you know you are loved.

And bravo to you, because you are your absolute best work so far.

On behalf of your entire family and all of your friends,
We love you,
Your sister

Friday, August 20, 2010

Coming home

After 12 days in Seattle, I appreciate the sentiment that time moves too swiftly. Pre-wife, pre-Mommy, I used to fly home at least five times a year. I could work remote. And all the mileage accrued from work travel meant not only medallion status on Delta but many free frequent flier tickets.

I miss home. And many aspects of the Pacific Northwest. From beautiful landmarks like Lake Washington, Green Lake, and Pike Place Market on the waterfront to other less photo-worthy but still fantastic things like deluxe burgers at Dick's and the giant caramel/chocolate/peanut butter dipped apples I love from a little store on First Avenue.

I also miss the instant access to my family. There are many days when I wish the coordinates of my family allowed me to pick up the phone and ask any one of them, "Meet me for lunch?"

Our Mom still lives in the same house I was brought home to from the hospital. Oh, yes, she has remodeled the interior. And it is beautiful. (But I am still lobbying for some central AC. People in Washington don't need/want/or know about central AC.) 

And there is something to be noted about the moments that become personal snapshots of happiness. The first morning MiniMac and I woke up in the house I grew up in. His toddler bed moved into my old room. A room once plastered with posters of Billy Idol, the Calvin Klein underwear model, and Adam Ant. A room remodeled now but still maintaining empty dresser drawers for my visits home.

We awoke to my Mom poking her head in my room, with her affable and welcoming voice I woke up to for the first eighteen years of my life. (She, like me, very much a morning person.) MiniMac had crawled into bed for a morning cuddle and her voice rose above his giggles to ask, "Who wants pancakes for breakfast?" 

To which I respond, "I do." And she laughs because I drink protein shakes or eat egg white omelets and her question was directed to my son. But yes, when I am home, I want to sit at our kitchen table, looking into the amazing backyard, drinking tea, and eating pancakes my Mom made. 

Coming home produces a series of feelings in everyone. For some it is a haven. For some a sentence (and I am referring to the jail kind.) Some loathe it, some love it and I am definitely in the latter category.  The house where I grew up is like it's own vault of memories and coming home differs very little now from when I was 19 and coming home from college in the sense that being home always reflected so many great things in my life. And on the rare occasions when I felt disconcerted, being home always signified everything is going to be fine. And being home also meant my hopeful plea: PLEASE tell me Mom made chocolate chip cookies or and pumpkin bread.

And my brother and I would stay up late. Camped out in our family room. The SNL reruns we used to view now replaced by SNL "Best Of" DVDs. That particular room has absorbed conversations evolving from kid talk (like how he had a crush on a certain K. Holder in high school. Do not attempt to deny this as I have a stellar memory) to relationships, and later to advice (like for the love of GOD, would you please stop drinking so much MONSTER?) And I wish I could capture all of those conversations permanently.

While home this visit, my Mom suggested taking MiniMac to a new park. Once there, I suppose we were to let my child on the swings first but for some reason my brother said the word "contest" and I said "put your money where your mouth is" and we dominated the swingset for a good thirty minutes. As we swing, we make fun of one another's swinging skills. And we spent a good bit of time reenacting one of our favorite Saturday Night Live skits: You got to SIMMER DOWN NOW.  And I do believe we laughed harder in that time frame then we have in a long time. My Mom and son watching from picnic benches and laughing with (or at) us.

The just desserts served to us both later when at a tiny drive in near my Mom's that is so old I think Moses used to visit, my son, licking his giant soft serve twist cone says, "Uncle D,. you got to simmmma dowwwwn now. 

As I scrolled through the pictures, this one seemed to pinpoint the heart of the afternoon. Not only did I note that my brother's attempt to school me on the swing set old elementary school style required that he truly put his back into it, it also captured something far more significant for me.

More than just the freedom and opportunity to act like a kid, it was also the recognition that yes, I am so lucky. And more essentially, it was the affinity for being with people I love, who love me, and knowing I can always come home.


Have a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

T.G.I (almost) F.

Yesterday I was enjoying the sanctity of my office, when I received a call to pick up something at our front desk. 

When I step out of my office, I return to discover my Boss waiting for me. Not a problem, as I was not expecting him and he was not waiting long. 

When I quickly realize that my iPod is currently playing a remix of Baby Got Back to which my conservative Boss has been subjected to for at least two minutes: YIKES. I hope he thinks it means Sir Mix-A-Lot’s baby just has some really fantastic latissimus dorsi.

It is not my common practice to play rap music in my feng shui'd office but music mutiny is what occurs when you let your three year old on your lap while making playlists!

I nonchalantly change the music to Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky’s melodies are certainly free of my Anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hon. But I felt a shadow of EGADS hover over me the entire time he was in my office.

When later in the day, my co-worker is lamenting about our corporate dress code that banishes open-toed shoes: Not a problem. This policy is silly.

When my co-worker says to our conservative Boss that she does not understand why the policy even exists when ‘someone from Marketing walks in here with F____ Me Pumps on.’

The abyss of silence was fantastic. I have NEVER heard her use a harsher than dang.

I turn to said Boss and inquire, Are you familiar with that expression?
He merely stood and said, “I am learning quite a bit today.”

Forecast says: Shadow of EGADS has completely lifted. The FMP comment clearly trumped my Baby Got Back

Class is when you can even write a sentence like:  The FMP comment trumped my Baby Got Back.

T.G.I. ALMOST Friday.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pocket Dial

A few days ago, a friend purse dialed  me from her cell phone. After saying hello several times the only response I received was hollow reverb and the jangle of what I presumed were car keys against her iPhone. Nothing scintillating. Thankfully.

I have both received and placed several unintended calls via cell phone before usually nothing more than tedious white noise for the recipient. But the mishap a few days ago reminded me of two other misdials that weren’t quite so boring.

First: Almost a decade ago, when cell phones were finally small enough to fit in your jacket pocket, albeit uncomfortably, I tucked mine in and went and saw the movie Traffic. When I exited the movie some two hours later I had over 50 missed calls on my cell phone. Never a good sign, my heart tightened when I saw they were from my Mom and one of my brothers. I listened to the first few messages and it was my Mom’s panic stricken voice asking me to call her immediately. I dialed quickly and when she heard my voice, she shouted in the phone: WHERE ARE YOU?

Short story: I pocket dialed my Mom during the uber intense part of the movie when the daughter has a drug overdose and her idiot friends debate what to do with her before basically dumping her at the hospital ER entrance. This scene my Mom heard in full detail since we arrived to the theater late and were seated in the front row. So for over an hour, my Mom was filled with dread when she could not reach me on my cell phone. WHOOPS! Sorry for the heart attack Mom. And thankfully the next wave of phones had a lock mode. Verdict: AWFUL pocket dial.

Second: Five years ago, after a fun night out, I drove four friends home. I dropped our male friend, R., and his date, T., at his abode, I drove the remaining three of us toward our neighborhood. A few minutes later, my cell phone rang and because it was the friend we just delivered home, I answered it on speaker phone. As I said hello, the three of us in the vehicle were treated to a full on argument between R. and T. Thanks pocket dial.

I had actually never heard R. raise his voice. And while I should have hung up immediately, we were mesmerized. The argument was about one of our friends, Kristy, still in the car with me.  T was ruminating that R. still had feelings for her. What? Still had feelings? We didn’t even know he ever had feelings for her. I felt like I was watching a live version of Ross and Rachel.

I think we were intrigued by the voltage AND content of their debate. I disconnected and told him the next day. He inquired how much we heard. To which I responded, “That depends on how long the debate went on. We either heard a little or a lot.” He laughed. He asked me if our friend, Kristy, was in the car and heard the source of the debate. I replied, “Oh, that cat did a triple lindy right out of that bag.” The conversation was ugly, and obviously not intended for us but the light at the end of that tunnel was he ended up with the girl he wanted to be with, whom today he calls his wife. Verdict: Dodgy at the time but HARMLESS pocket dial.

Third: A friend of mine was sitting at the airport with a colleague. Both were conferenced into a call which included their boss. When the call was over, his colleague who believed the call was disengaged said, “I’m curious how a _______ moron like him ever got to be an EVP” referencing said boss.

To which the boss, still on the phone, responded “Being in the right place at the right time?” Verdict: HILARIOUS WHEN HAPPENING TO SOMEONE ELSE pocket dial.

Let these be lessons to us all.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I did not know a toy could do that.

So we don't paint a picture of all our personal business, let's be brief and vague. 

Suppose two parents awake prior to the morning call of their young son. To awaken and discover the house is completely quiet? Better buy a lottery ticket, today is your lucky day. So suppose these two parents want to maximize this advantage and perhaps enjoy some "adults only" time. That would be wonderful. Until this happens:

During the pre-function to the big game, we hear nothing. As soon as the big game starts, I hear this from two floors below: 

Child: Mommy?
Me (with reluctance as you can imagine): Ummm, yes? 
Child: Have you seen my Buzz Lightyear
Me: He is on your bed, pal.
Child: NOT little Buzz, but BIG Buzz.
Me: Look for him and I will be there soon.

Big game continues. We hear no tiny toes creeping up the stairs to either the main floor or our floor. Big game continues admittedly with less gusto.

Seconds later, KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Apparently, my hearing sucks at this hour. Outside the door is our child.

Child: Mommy?
Me: SCRAM! Just kidding, I would never say that. Instead: Listen buddy, I will be right out.
Then I hear the loud and automated voice of said Buzz Lightyear. Where there is DANGER, there's a SPACE RANGER. And then To infinity, and BEYOND.

Repeat 25 times and that is the soundtrack which played during our ultimately railroaded shenanigan.

Later at breakfast, our son asks, "Did you hear my Buzz Lightyear? He was saying Good Morning to you."

Me: OH, you mean your friend BuzzKILL Lightyear? Oh yes, I heard him.
Child: It is Buzz Lightyear, Mommy. Not Buzzkill Lightyear.

My thought: Being basically c---blocked during our attempt at no-pants party? I did not know a toy could even do that. And since it happened, that toy  is 100% authentically BuzzKILL Lightyear.

Friday, August 13, 2010

My arse has had enough!

One morning in Seattle last week, I load MiniMac and the off-roading stroller for a quick drive. Growing up in this area, I was delighted when a 30+ mile black-top covered trail was built to ride/run/skate on. About one mile from my Mom's house, a perfect path cut through green and beautiful country, every morning as we set out to run, 0ur immediate view included wild blackberries, a river, endless flowers, deer, and horses.

Might I insert a point here? Back in the day, our parents' property had a full range of nature. And our exposure to everything from deer to polliwogs was common. While our playful adventures led us in and out of the woods and weeds, my brothers fell into all kinds of mayhem. I pride myself that I, on no such occasion, let nature get the best of me. This means not a bee sting or a snake bite or anything in between.   

Which is why I relate the following ordeal with just a touch of a frowny face. 

I am putting in serious mileage so 50 minutes into our run, I realize we are about due for the toddler’s potty break. It is not like the path runs through caves and caverns or other private spots; this is a path visible from many houses and cars as well as littered with other runners, walkers, cyclists. Potty break will demand some cleverness since I need to go as well. 

During my stake out for an appropriate hiding spot, I opt to turn down a long driveway. Well hello building crew! I turn back. I am not an outdoor facilities kind of girl as I have previously pointed out but it will take a minimum of 50 minutes to return to the car so I set my preferences aside. I finally see a brief stretch of road that goes far below the path. It is intended for horses but I am game. I scurry MiniMac down this grass-strewn road and get him to close to the bushes. As I have my eagle eye on him, I also scurry, drop, and go myself. 

And since I am wearing my beloved Nikes with built in iPod mileage tracker, I give a wider stance than Larry Craig to ensure not a single droplet hits my shoes. You also know how I feel about pee on my shoes! And while I certainly gave a cursory glance to my immediate surroundings to ensure the area free of snakes or slugs, I did not do a full SWAT team recon. I feel a little poke in the side of my biscuit and assume I overlooked a small stick. I hurry, pick up the munchkin, and return to the path.

Within a few seconds, I get a strange feeling. The reason? At first, I was not certain. Give it a minute and all the mystery was solved. How? Because the entire left side  of my arse is basically ON FIRE. I stop and take a peek.    My tail end is covered in welts. Uh-oh. I know those welts. OMG I sat on STINGING NETTLES.  

OUCH. And son of a *&$%*.   

Stinging nettles are a perennial flowering plant with stinging hairs all over the leaves and stems. And in my fervor to hurry, I crouched near a plant. Are you ________ kidding me? Do you know what stinging nettles feel like? Stick your ass in hot lava. Now you know. I am almost 5 miles to the car. Fine. I will run with a stinging, burned biscuit. Grimacing all the time, it felt like the last 5 miles felt like the equivalent of 50. 

I get to the car and worsen my situation when I am done, load up the SUV, and burn my tush further on the very hot front seat of the car. EGADS.

I get home and ask my Mom is she remembers stinging nettles. She looks at me like I asked if she remembers evergreen trees. Of course she remembers. I also ask her if she remembers I never ONCE had a case of welts from stinging nettles. She immediately becomes concerned for her grandson. I confirm he is welt free, I on the other hand had a bit of a run in and will tell her about it if she assures me she will not laugh. She assures me. She laughs anyway. She retrieves some Aloe Vera spray. Ta da! I spray it liberally. Within 1 minute, the entire left side of my arse is f-r-o-z-e-n. BRRRRRRRRR. I grab the bottle and read closely: Aloe Vera. With LIDOCAINE.

Are you further ____ kidding me? My fault for not reading. And yes, freezing should feel better than burning. But no, in fact, it does not. My Mom, as an olive branch for laughing at my expense, offers a cold drink. We take lemonade and go sit on her back porch. MiniMac is busy watering her giant flowers and mint (and the fence) with her garden hose. He busies himself as well by flipping the dial between the six settings. I go help him adjust the setting to power stream and as I turn, he does something he has never done: points the hose at my retreating back and pulls the trigger. Full stream ahead! Unfortunately, he missed my back but did hit just below my back. My burning/stinging/frozen tush. The target for a kung-fu like stream of water. At that point, my arse was about to develop a voice like Tony Soprano and say SOMEONE BETTER GIVE ME A BREAK. 

At that point, since all of this occured in the SAME DAY, I had enough. And so had my arse. Literally. 
PS: No amount of wine consumption relieves stinging nettles.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Naughty girls and boys

Not long ago, MiniMac returned from his daily sojourn at school to tell us that Daisy, one of his classmates, is his new girlfriend. He also informed us that Allison is also his girlfriend.  (Already two-timing? What?)

Testing his understanding of the word I asked if Meredith was his girlfriend too. He said no, she was just a friend. "What about Bonkers McNewKid?" I asked. "No, I don't like Bonkers McNewKid," he responded.

The following weekend, we all attended a birthday party for one of MiniMac's classmates. Daisy’s parents were there and they, like us, find it cute our kids call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. As soon as we walked in the door, Daisy shouted “There’s my boyfriend MiniMac!”

Later, I saw Allison's Mom. I told her MiniMac had let us know Allison was also his girlfriend.

Did she respond with a knowing laugh and giggle. Of course not. I couldn't be so lucky.

Instead, I received a lecture about how we as parents were being inappropriate. Inappropriate? I think she misheard me over all the ruckus and child-like melee. When I said "MiniMac thinks Allison is his girlfriend" she heard "MiniMac is sending dirty text message to Allison to meet him in the backseat of his playmobile."

She then asked me how come I was allowing this to go on in my home. I told her he actually learned it at school and since we didn't have an issue, she could take it up with his teachers. She told me she already had. I proceeded to bite my tongue which was very very challenging. I applaud any Mom who feels comfortable drawing lines and voicing her concerns. I do however need to take deep breaths when a Mom tells me MiniMac is very "naughty" for saying such things.This is the part where I say think Lighten up, Francis.

She actually said the word naughty. Like our son is an unruly leprechaun. Or up for review by Santa's elves.

I can empathize that we are a sexually advanced society. Fourteen year old kids know more about sex than some adults. But our toddlers weren't playing doctor. They do not in essence even know what the terms boyfriend and girlfriend denote. And I think parents can set whatever boundaries they choose. For their own children. If you are trying to protect your daughter, set all the boundaries you like. We don't even say "damn" in front of MiniMac but that he claims to have a girlfriend phases me very little.
Ironically, the following week when I brought MiniMac to school, I saw Allison having a talk with the teacher because she had lipstick on. Not Bonnie Bell watermelon lip smacker. Lipstick. She wasn't ready for a toddler pageant by any means but the irony was not lost on me. You are fine with your daughter wearing lipstick. To school.

And last week, I saw Allison kiss a boy in class right on the mouth.

Oh Allison, you better quit being naughty! And remind me to NEVER sign up to be room parent with your Mom. I have not acquired the patience yet. Maybe that can be a  often tried with no success exercise in futility New Year's Resolution. Perfect. Which means I do not have to work on it for months.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sometimes you might need to repeat yourself...

My friend Julie went to a birthday party for her friend Lisa last weekend. The big 5-0, so all the more reason to celebrate. Lisa's son ordered a birthday cake for the soiree, and Lisa's husband went to pick it up. He got the cake home and it looked like this:

The problem? Oh, none at all really. It is still delicious cake after all. What did the son order? and I quote "something with a pink CROWN."

At least the bakery got the pink part correct. Sometimes you might need to repeat yourself.

And thankfully he didn't ask for something with a tube on it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Apparently, your vajayjay needs a gym membership.


Flying home late last night, I was delighted my son opted to nap so I could peruse my stockpile of magazines. And while doing so, I came across an article about exercise routines. Not Jillian Michael’s style exercise, or even Richard Simmons.  More like Jenna Jamison. But no, not Cardio Pole Dancing either.

Now, there are a litany of women suffering from negative zhu zhu down in their genitals: incontinence, painful cycles, or worse: painful interference while making the sweet, sweet love. Urogynecologists specialize in diagnosing and curing these ailments for the thousands of women impacted. And in the process, have also developed a new focus on pelvic fitness which is being practiced by numbers of women NOT impacted by any of the above. Wait, pelvic fitness? No one ever told me I might have a lazy hoo ha.   

And I thought it was the one part of your body that basically just needed to show up. But no, pelvic fitness is here. Might my bits and pieces needs their own elliptical?  A gym membership? How does pelvic fitness work? Well, the number one exercise recommended from gynos to women’s magazines are Kegels. But according to research, 30% of women are doing them wrong. (There will be no demos here. Google it if you need to check your technique.)

BUT, I did not realize special weights exist. Just for your flower garden. They are called StepFree. In multiple sizes, these weights can be inserted and held in place while you do other activities. I am no urogynecologist but I am pretty sure that I have heard of something women can insert and it is not called vaginal weights. If your vagina does need a work out, better vaginal weights I suppose than the 30 Day Shred. 

However, while I am not quite ready to get all Hanz and Franz with my ladybits, I applaud fitness of all kinds. Plus, stronger pelvic muscles lead to much better satisfaction and NO ONE would mock that concept.

And even better news: Even if you have the most lackadaisical cha cha in the world, somewhere, it still has a fan club. 

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And for the big finish: Guess who has a fabulous getaway ahead? DaisyGal. A gorgeous weekend stay in any of the Larkspur Hotels locations...a weekend just for you! Email me and congratulations!!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

One very happy dog

After sharing the family beaver story with you, I had a big laugh with my Mom. You would think it a recent memory for the volume of comedic value I derive from it. But in my arsenal of great family tales, the beaver story has a friend. Another story, born during a sweet and innocent scene one summer I was on college break.

My parents were living in Alaska. I went up for the summer and was befriended by a group of nice Norwegians. Two of them, brothers, were helping me learn some rudimentary phrases in their native tongue. I would practice with them on our fairly frequent run ins, and I would share my tiny handful of wisdom with my parents. My mom got a kick out of practicing these phrases along with me.

My mom was running a full time business, and doing an incredible job. She was successful and smart and so it is with total respect I share the following scenario. One day in her lovely and light-filled office, a group of businessman came in. The two brothers were amongst the group and my mom was ready to intro her practiced pleasantries, this time, in Norwegian.

One of the easy phrases they taught me was "Gu Dag, Hvordan ar du det."
Which sounds like "Guh dah, vor dahn are doo day."

As she addressed the group, she said very slowly with perfect diction:
"Good dog, vord ann hard on today?"

The room went silent, briefly. One of the men responded, "Not quite yet, M, but if it changes, I will let you know." And then the large group burst into such a raucous laughter. And I thought I might have an accident of the urinary explosion kind. My mom, simply trying her best, looked at me and asked what was wrong.

I laid my hand gently on her arm and said, "Well, I'm not entirely sure but I think you just stated something equivalent to a good dog having a hard on today. " Some of these men were having a little trouble breathing. Primarily because my mom never talked like at work, and frankly, I thought it was a riot.
Her poor face. More red than classic Chanel No. 5 lipstick, honey.

She went ahead and left the room. At least until the laughter died down.

Oh, the laughs these stories have provided. And they have been told and retold. And surely someday my son will tell similar stories about us. I look forward to it and hope I take it as well as our Mom does.

So watch your words today. And I'd avoid that dog if I were you.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fake ID

When you spend time at home with family and your oldest friends, it can be an awesome way to relive tales of your least suave behavior.  Case in point:

In the weeks prior to my high school graduation, our focus was solely on earning excellent marks on all of our finals exams. Or 1/100th of focus was spent on that and the remainder was spent on two elements of real importance: graduation trip to Hawaii and how to obtain a quality fake ID before departing for that trip.

A friend at school had an inside line on some seedy hole in downtown Seattle where a quality fake ID could be purchased for a mere 20 dollar bill. Like pilgrims going to Canterbury, we plotted our visits. And we each produced what we believed a highly valid facsimile. No need to mention they were horrible, and fooled no one because they looked something like this:

BUT, they worked perfectly during our trip. Why? Because the establishments we used them in were built for fools like us who would pay $8 back then for a watered down and brown Long Island Iced Tea. But oh, how wise and grown up we felt. Yes, the ID indicates we were 21. Never mind we were acting like we were 16 every time we used them.

My freshman year in college, I was more daring. The bars at school were ruthless about carding people often paying doormen and bouncers $50.00 per fake ID they retained. Walls of many bars were covered with the clever (and sometimes shameful) attempts to be of age. 

An older friend supplied with her ID. In brazen antics, I took it to the DMV. My pals Muppet and KitKat were with me. As they chatted up the DMV employee, I shenaniganed my way into having my picture  actually put on the photo. Surely, there could be no better fake ID than this. It was my photo! How genius. So I tested it as a famous bar across the street from our house. I easily passed the doorman. Until a complete and utter tool of a bouncer saw me and came in hot pursuit. He went to my high school so I felt it was an unjust use of hometown knowledge. But I fled before he could confiscate. However, I did not flee before I told him he was a complete and utter tool of a bouncer. The desire to run my mouth even as I was running out the door was great indeed.

This ID served me well for two years and I was the King Pin of buying alcohol for all of our friends. I was also crafty and clever and handled my ID with the same care the Hope Diamond would require. Never to lose it or mistreat it. Never.

The summer after my sophomore year, I spent three months at my parents house in Alaska. One afternoon, I returned home and in my room found my freshly laundered clothes in a tidy stack courtesy of my Mom. Delicately laid on top of said pile was my fake ID. Quick assessment confirmed: this is not good. I had left it in my jeans from an outing the night before. CURSES.

Later, my Mom asks me if I realize it is illegal to tamper with an ID. I explained I in fact did not tamper with it. She asked for an explanation. So I explain that I went to the DMV and through powers of persuasion and friendly distracting chit chat, I was able to get my photograph on someone else’s ID. The more important question I should have asked myself is: Why can I not shut my yap??? My Mom asked if I realized it is a federal offense to do what I did. I am but a mere college student, I replied. The letter of the law is outside my sphere of knowledge at this time. She asks me to gauge my Father's response should I get arrested for using this ID. I replied I would not call him because surely he would be too busy for such a  call. Her response, “Oh, I am going to be too busy to take that call as well.” Damn.

Later in college, when fake ID was no longer an issue, I actually gave my ID to a younger girl in my house. The only caveat was a list of bars she could never enter because we knew people who worked there. Did she listen? NO. She got a small albeit humorous payback but that is a story for another day. 

And that same year, took us one night to see a friend emplyed at the bar infamous for welcoming patrons regardless of age. You simply had to have ID, not ID that passed any scrutiny. This bar didn't care about fines from the Liquor Control Board because they were making wads of cash off the innocent lambs bleating through the doors. We were loitering outside with him and an unexpected snafu required him to leave his post. He asked if I could step in and check IDs for a few minutes. Are you kidding? I would love the opportunity to see the clown show of IDs pouring into this place even for ten minutes.

I saw numerous IDs claiming ages as high as age 32. 32? And still wearing your hat sideways? Right. I also saw an ID that appeared to be a hand drawn photo on a piece of copy paper. And an ID that looked nothing like the pale young man holding it. I asked him, “Is this really you?”

He said, “Oh yeah, I was just really tan there.”
To which I replied, “Tan? And also born in Brazil. Cool mustache by the way.”
I think this boy was an easy five years from getting his first chin hair. 


Did I let them in? Of course. Nobody wants to be the complete and utter tool of a bouncer. Plus, I didn’t actually work there. And I didn’t want to be trapped in a stream of crying 18 year olds either. 

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