Showing posts from January, 2005

There's at least one in every major city

Hubba-hubba's family is mind-bogglingly large. His father is the eldest of 10, five sisters and five brothers. His mother is the youngest of 9, five sisters and four brothers. Hubba-hubba himself is the next-to-last child of 5, four brothers and one sister. All but perhaps 5 have large families of their own, exponentially expanding the people that are related to Hubba-hubba, and by extension, Mr. Personality. Of all these relatives, I know perhaps 30 well enough to recogninize them on the street. I just cannot believe how many people comprise Hubba-hubba's family. His father is technically descended from the French (we went to Disneyland and up popped the coat-of-arms, so it's official) and a melange of other European countries. Due to Hubba-hubba's dad's recent illness, he has been having extensive blood tests, and apparently they found a genetic marker that apparently belongs to people of Jewish heritage, so that came as a bit of a surprise, especially

Yes, but I'm biased

It is for whatever reason quite gratifying when complete strangers who have no vested interest stop you to tell you your son is absolutely adorable. It's not like I can really take credit or anything, I really had nothing to do with how he looks. But all the same, you secretly think, ok- so maybe it isn't just me who thinks that this little boy could give an entire litter of Golden Retriever puppies a run for their money. It's something about the big brown eyes with their long eyelashes. It's the beautiful full head of brown hair that he's had since he was born, that mom styles with such panache. It's also gotta be the dimples, definitely the dimples. But, there is just this joie de vivre that emanates from him that makes you want to watch his every move, admire him, and pick him up and squeeze him tight. At least, that's what I do at least ten times a day, even when he tells me, "NO MOM, no kisses." For that face, that smile, I'll

No Flashcards Here

*Warning. It's my soapbox and I am going to stand on it.* I have playgroup every other Friday with my MOMS Club, and today was the day. I enjoy getting together with the other moms, and I like that Mr. Personality has a steady group he has been playing with since he was about 16 months, although "playing with" is more of a general description because usually they all either ignore each other or try to rip toys away from someone else. So, two of the other moms have older children, and they were discussing preschools. I have been very interested in hearing about the preschools in our area, how much they cost, and the like. So, I got some good dish on some of them, then they began talking about the curriculum at each of the various schools. I recently began reading a book titled "Einstein Never Used Flashcards" , and the title is fairly self-explanatory. The authors, PH.D.'s all, believe that we are pushing children too hard and too fast into academic curr

Random and disjointed

Although I could call this a "randomness" entry, I'm not. It's more a reflection of how disjointed I am today. I don't know how national the news went, but there was a Metrolink crash yesterday. Well, actually you couldn't really call it a crash because it was apparently deliberately done by some crackhead who left his SUV on the tracks. Even worse, he stayed at the scene and watched as 11 were killed and literally hundreds injured. Supposedly he was suicidal, but I didn't realize that if you were suicidal, you would decide to save just yourself at the last minute and not care if anyone else was hurt. Although I am hearing that the suicidal thing might be a made-up story from him as several witnesses who happened to be police/fire witnessed him cutting his wrists after the accident. What a sick, sick man. Is it just me or is there any good news anywhere? It is getting so depressing to read the paper anymore, or watch the news. It just seems



Mommy Mode

For a long, long time after Mr. Personality was born, movie watching in any form was very low on my priority list. I used to watch movies all the time as a free-wheeling childless person. I would rent them, see them at the big screen. I was up on every good movie out there, and some that weren't so good. Lately I have been getting back into the movie viewing thing again, and I find that I can no longer watch movies the same way I used to before the birth of my son. For example: When watching "Meet the Fokkers" I was horrified at the scene with the baby making the breastfeeding signs after seeing the former housemaid's breasts. I thought, my goodness, how they are twisting something so wonderful and making it seem almost lascivious. I also cringed every time the toddler mouthed "A-hole," and found myself fervently hoping the word was dubbed in by another actor's voice. When viewing "Shrek 2" mainly for the purposes of screening it

You know who you are

So today we spent the day at Irvine Regional Park, which is a lovely place nestles along the boundaries of the Clevland National Forest. We rode a very cute little 1/3 scale steam train, but I am not sure it was worth nine bucks for the three of us. Actually, now that I think about it, definitely a rip-off. All we saw were some trees and a very small lake, something we could have seen for free just by walking. So, we are climbing trees, throwing sticks into the waterfall from a bridge (our very own version of Poohsticks), and walking along the banks of Santiago creek. I come to the decision that I probably should go pee, since I know that we are going out to dinner from there. Hubba-hubba enters his restroom first, and apparently encounters no problems, although he is a man and men can pee virtually anywhere. I walk into my section, and as it is dusk and no lights are on, I am very wary of what may or may not be on the floor or on the seats. So, I decide to hold it until we g


Good heavens, I think we are going to start potty training in a month or so. I have seen some promotional stuff for the celebrity wedding special they are going to have on TV. Is it just because I have no money that it seems ridiculous to spend so much money on a wedding? Probably at least half of which will end up in divorce? If I had money, would I think that hey, they earned it, they can spend it as they please? Perhaps one day I will find out the answer to that question. Speaking of ridiculous sums of money, I have to say that I think it was inappropriate for the Republicans to have staged such ostentatious inagural activities when we are at war. And, for the record, I would have thought it just as wrong if the Democrats had done it. Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that only a small segment of people are sacrificing anything for this war. If gas had to be rationed, or metal, or something similarly important, then I think it would hit home a little harder. Ho

It's 1989 for Me

There is a song out there that is being played on the pop music channels titled "1985" by a band named Bowling for Soup. It is about a woman who is basically stuck in 1985, which were apparently her glory years in high school. She is discontent with her lot, and her nostalgia for those days abounds. I have to say that high school was pretty good to me. I went to a Catholic all-girls high school. If anyone has reservations about same sex schools, my advice is, don't. I think for girls especially, the atmosphere at a good same sex school is wonderfully conducive to study and achievement. I know that the boys bothered the heck out of me in grade school, always acting stupid and loud and generally just pains in the butt. Yes, yes, I know they blame it on hormones and whatnot, but I still just wished they would go away. And go away they did. You could actually go to class without someone making farting noises or throwing paper wads at people. It was quite refresh

Pride and Gluttony

No doubt, I am a glutton for punishment. I decided to put a counter on my blog to see if anyone was even reading the darn thing. Of course, thanks to Mel , Denise , Pamela , and Suzanne for letting me know that I wasn't just writing for myself and Hubba-hubba. So, to my amazement the last time I looked, I had 70 hits, and seriously, I would like to say that I am trying to pump up my own numbers, but I'm not. Ok, well, maybe half of that is me... But, that leaves me to wondering who else is wandering around and finding my blog? Who are you? What posts have you liked? I am interested in what everyone has to say. Don't be shy, even if you don't necessarily agree with me (good grief, did I really say that?) Perhaps a lot of the hits were people that read one entry and said they were outta here. Humbling as that is, I have to count that as a very real possibility. I love ya anyway baby, even if you think I write the most boring entries on the planet. If you

The Winds of Change

So yesterday when Hubba-hubba was putting Mr. Personality to bed, I took off to run some errands. We have a weather phenomenon known around here as the "Santa Anas," which is basically really hot, dry winds that leave you a dried out husk gasping for more water. But, I like the wind. I enjoy being out in it, even when it has just no business being 85 degrees in the middle of January. I digress, however. One of my planned stops was to Bath and Body Works to exchange some of the lotions and soaps I got for Christmas. My family, thinking they know me oh so well, got me my perennial favorite of Warm Vanilla Sugar. Well, I didn't want to tell them that I am so sick and tired of that scent that I seriously am not going to use it for the next couple of years. I have used it forever, as vanilla is a nice, neutral scent that went pretty well with almost all of my perfumes. I no longer want a scent that is neutral, I want it to scream, "I AM WEARING SOMETHING YUMMY

Cafe du Mom

I like to cook, I really do. At least, in a sort of abstract, don't-like-to-get-pans-dirty kind of way. For some reason, I think that I am capable of whipping up a great meal, but I never really do. Oh, I have no problem heating things up, making some delicious Noodle-Roni or some such thing. But when it comes to making things from scratch, I just can't seem to make the time. I will place the blame partly on two parties, namely the two I live with. One time, about 7 years ago, I made from scratch one of my German grandmother's specialties, spatzle. Spatzle is made with some very simple ingredients, namely flour and eggs. But, to make it like my grandmother, you have to stand over a large pot of boiling water and slowly knife off slivers of the dough. Then, when they are cooked, they will pop up, and you can fish them out, to repeat the process over and over again. So, I slaved over these things and took them to Hubba-hubba (then boyfriend). I was so proud as he

I See the Guggenheim, Perhaps...

I am not one to encourage the stifling of the creative arts, but I just may have to with Mr. Personality. It seems that a fulfilling art experience includes about 40 seconds of drawing with the utensil of choice, and then is not complete without either breaking said utensil or trying to throw it across the room in frustration when it does not bend to his will. The deluxe package of 16 crayons doesn't seem so hot anymore when you now have over 32 different pieces of crayon strewn about the floor, as well as the requirement that all of the paper be torn off each portion. When he couldn't quite get all the paper off, I stupidly obliged his request for, "Help, Mama" thinking that if I did, perhaps he would get back to the drawing part. For Christmas, Mr. Personality received one of those great 20 dollar easels from Ikea, the one that is a chalkboard on one side and a whiteboard on the other. So far, not much has been done with it, as he is more interested in taki

It Wasn't the Hair

Let it be known that my husband has a very thick head of brown hair. It is rarely more than a half an inch long on any part of his scalp. This is because once it gets longer than that, it literally has a mind of its own. It swirls, it sticks straight up off his head, it is oblivious to attempts at styling. It laughs at products that promise to "keep your hair in place." Porcupines would be a little envious of his hair if it ever got long enough. Basically, he has had the same hair style for the entire time that I have known him, which is coming up on 15 years. What follows is a recent conversation... Hubba-hubba: It's time to cut my hair. How do you want me to cut it? Me: Honey, whatever. Whatever you want to do with it. Hubba-hubba: No, seriously. I'm asking you for your input. How do you think I should do my hair? Me: Honestly, whatever you want is fine. Hubba-hubba: (frustrated) You know, I need some help here, and you're not helping a

Child Prodigy

Isn't it funny how we always see our children as the cutest, the best, the funniest, the most talented? No matter that there are probably millions of children who can do things better than my own, it is something supremely biological that happens when you become a parent. I have looked at children who are cute, admitted to myself that they were cute, but would say silently to myself, "Mine is cuter." I have seen a child walking at 8 months, when mine walked at 10.5 and said to myself, "She's just a fluke of nature, this one. Who ever heard of something so ridiculous as walking at 8 months? Ten and a half is the perfect age." I watched as a child only one week younger than mine sat perfectly in his high chair and ate everything his mother spooned into his mouth. I inwardly congratulated myself that mine was, "More independent and knows what he likes and dislikes rather than just eating any old thing." Perhaps that is how we perpetua

Too Many Things to Count

A couple of days ago, our esteemed Governor, Arnold Schwarzenneger, gave a State of the Union speech. To no one's particular surprise, our state is not doing all that well. He mentioned some things about education and how he plans to fix it, and from what I have extrapolated, the man is nuts. He is going to try to circumvent the "will of the people" on Prop 98, and try to block it from taking effect. Basically, the majority of citizens in California voted on a proposition that guarantees a certain amount of money goes towards education, no matter the state's fiscal problems. He also proposed this absurd notion that teachers should be given "merit pay" that is tied into how well their students perform on the standardized tests that are supposed to show how well that student is being taught. Well, let me tell you something. People need to quit blaming the teachers for the problems in the schools. How about parents stand up and take some respo

Not for the Weak of Heart

During Hubba-hubba's vacation, we attempted to do something I wouldn't recommend to all couples. If you have any strain in your marriage, this task will bring it out completely. It will pit you against each other, and goodness help you if you don't feel like doing it and the other one does. I am talking about - CLEANING OUT THE GARAGE. When we first moved into this little townhouse, I will admit that we didn't do a spectacular job of organizing things in the house, including the garage. I moved in after we were married, and then I was pregnant less than two months later and on bedrest for 7 months of the pregnancy. Hubba-hubba was attending his first semester of law school, so both of us had just thought we would get to the organizing part "later." Well, the house was ok to deal with, but I swear the mess in the garage was starting to move on its own and occasionally I would hear strange sounds emanating from it. Along with all the crap that you no

My New Best Friends

Well, sort of. I went to one of my all-time favorite stores recently, Sephora , to use a gift card that was burning a serious hole in my pocket. I cannot afford most Sephora products on my own, and this Christmas gift was an extremely thoughtful one. I love makeup, I am a makeup junkie, particularly lipsticks. In my purse I currently have 4 lip glosses and 10 different tubes of lipstick. I am fascinated by makeup, the colors, the textures, perhaps it is just the suggestion of a new me with every new purchase. Whatever it is, makeup gets my blood flowing. The surprising part of this is that I don't really wear a lot of makeup, and never really have. I only began wearing mascara at about age 20, and I began wearing full foundation at about 25 or so. If I am attending an occasion that warrants application, I will wear foundation, spot-concealer if needed, lipstick, blush, and mascara. I don't wear primers, highlighters, bronzers, or any extra stuff. I haven't wo

I Had to Remind Myself

About the great things about Mr. Personality with the list from yesterday, because Thursday was probably one of the roughest days I have ever had with him. I was hurt and resentful of his behavior, which was very out of character for him. He has been fighting naptime like a tiger, and it has been wearing on me. That day, he fought and cried and stomped around for a good half an hour before he would even lay down on the bed. He fell asleep hiccuping from the huge sobs that finally tired him out enough to pass out, face down into the pillow for two hours. We then went to the park since it had been rainy, and was forecast to rain even more. We were fine until I offered to get the sidewalk chalk I had in the car. It comes in a little carrying case with probably about 12 different colored chalks. I picked out one color, and started to write his name. Well, that was apparently a huge insult, because he fell to the cement kicking and screaming. I told him that if he didn't s
Some of the things I want to remember forever about my baby boy: The way he says "Sorry Mama" when he makes me upset. Even though usually I want to pull a George Costanza and retort, "You can stuff your sorries in a sack," it still makes my heart melt, even though I usually don't show it. When he really, really likes something, he'll screech, "I wuuuuv that!" When he pours water from the bathtub into the big cup I use to rinse his hair and announces that he has made me a "Diet Coke with ice." Then I have to pretend to drink it. One night I drank five huge cups of "diet coke," loving every minute of it. We have a nightly ritual in which I name off his body parts and how much I love them, and he always whispers, "Again." When I am cooking, he will grab the whisk he pulled apart months ago, so that all the different spokes go every which way, from the drawer and pretend he is cooking too. When we rub

A Rude Awakening

I think of myself as a morning person, but today was a bit much. At about 6:30am, there was a 4.4 magnitude earthquake about 40 or so miles from here. I am not sure if there was an initial jolt, but I awoke to the bed lilting and the mirrored doors to my closet shaking. This was a gentle rolling sensation, nothing major. I figure I am a veteran of at least 15 earthquakes, ranging from tiny jolts to this one . I was actually in the car with my father at the time it hit, he was taking me to school. Since the car has shocks and suspension, we didn't really feel anything. But, we saw people falling to the ground, power poles and power lines shaking, and a transformer blew out not far from us. My sister, who was in her lazy college days and sleeping in, was unfortunate enough to be in our house. Our house was not far from the epicenter, and it took a beating. The bookcases in my sister's room fell over, dumping books onto her bed, which she was occupying at the time.

The State of Real Estate

Here in Southern California, it is absolutely ridiculous! In a mere three years, our townhome has doubled in value. Great, you say, think of all the equity you can cash in on. Well, that is true, but the sad part is that that equity will get us absolutely nowhere. We are looking for homes in two or three specific cities. Just today, a new listing came up for one of those cities. It has just a little over 1000 square feet, 33 to be exact, and they want 519,000. Yes, you read correctly. Over half a million dollars for 1000 sqare feet, which is smaller than what we have now. This house is not by the beach, it does not have a view, and it is quite old. The school district is pretty good, but that is about all it has going for it. Who are the people who are forking over that kind of money for that kind of property? If they would just stop paying such obscene amounts, don't they realize that the prices will go down? If everyone in the market for a house all said, "