Saturday, November 20, 2010

Goldie and I just returned from a week in Mexico where we went to attend a wedding of some of my adopted Mexican family and learn to barf in new and interesting places.

I spent a good chunk of my early twenties sowing an increasingly empty stash of wild oats in Oaxaca, Mexico. Whenever someone asks me where the hell Oaxaca is, or more com.monly, how one could survive in a place with so few consonants, my canned response is that it is 6 hours south of Mexico City and the ability to live in a place (and at time on entire streets) made it easier to hide from old boyfriends. I encourage anyone to try to find me on the corner of xicotical and San Salvador Tzompantapec. Suckers.

Since I returned stateside, Mexico has clearly had a dramatic improvement in the snack arena. No longer are one's only options restricted to fried pork skin or fried grasshoppers (although I have never seen an actual Mexican eating the grasshoppers, only trying to make frightened Americans believe that they do). They now have introduced the most delicious, and entertaining snack of all time. I give you: Hot Nuts!

No matter how bad you feel, just saying that you would like to eat los Hot Nuts! can make any day better. En serio? Hot Nuts! Made you smile. You're welcome.

Traveling with Goldie was amazing. She clearly got the traveling gene from me. The kid barfed in plants, had diarrhea in some really drab bathrooms and vomited into plastic bags whilst riding in a taxi with nary a complaint. Best Goldism of the trip:

"don't worry about that smell, it's just my poop" Sheer comedy gold that kid.

Also: when the Mexicans tell you that you are going to Dance the Turkey, do not assume that they are making some Spanish mistake for the Chicken Dance. You are going to dance with an actual turkey. And the next day? They are going to kill that turkey and drain the blood out of it right next to where you are eating your huevos a la Mexicana.

God I love that country.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

An open letter

During these rare times when the girls are napping and I don't have any pressing work to finish I sit back and really think about the kind of mother I want to be and make big plans on how I can spend more times with the girls and teach them things and birds will sing and the heavens will smile and perhaps, just perhaps, the screaming will stop. Then? They wake up and the screaming starts. I mean, your sister looked at you and then some kind of air brushed your skin and then I dared to suggest you wipe the snot off your nose and before I can say "I really wish there still were orphanages," The house explodes into screaming and crying and threats and discipline and OMG R U SERIOUS this is not how this was described in the Parenting magazines.

Then, just when I think I can't take anymore, they give me a hug and tell me they love me. And in the next second someone becomes "very angry with you MAMA!" I must admit that things haven't been easy for anyone around here lately. Grandma still battles cancer. The Davey hasn't been able to work since January because of his various disabilities. I love having him home with us, but the girls aren't quite sure what to make of it. With him home more, I am working more. Mostly from home, but they can't quite get why mama has to be working when I should be listening to them yell at each other because this Dad guy surely must be going back to work soon and he is really here a lot and also, Mama, where are you? Why do you have so many meetings? Why can't I go too, mama?

This is hard, really really hard. And wonderful. Really, really really wonderful. So, I'll sit here awhile and soak up a quiet moment and make more plans on how I can become the mother they need.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Disneyland Advice You Didn't Ask For

Despite the rough spots, this vacation continues to rock. I had been doubting if this was a good idea with the girls still being so young, but it is working out perfect. The key to our success was taking advantage of the Disneyland sale and getting the 6 day pass. That seems like Disney Overkill, I know, and if we were just two adults, it absolutely would be. With the littles, however, having the extra days takes off the pressure of dragging them screaming and crying around the parks trying to cram in everything. Don't get me wrong, we are still dragging them screaming and crying, but I feel less desperate to push them too far. We have done 3 days so far and the groove is that we get there early, leave at 1 or so and get physically away from the sensory overload to eat lunch and then bribe and threaten and coerce them to get a nap in the car while we drive around (we are still in Carlsbad for another night) and then go back into Disneyland about 5 or so and stay until closing time. This has allowed me to avoid the panic we heard in one woman's voice whose husband thought all the lines were too long and she was shrieking "Well, we have to get in line for SOMETHING!!"

This is has been my food plan for the trip:

It amazes me to see so many people eating all their food in the park. We are lucky to have had this week in the condo by the sea where I can cook. We eat breakfast here, lunch somewhere in Anaheim and then I pack the cooler with sandwich stuff and yogurts, fruit etc. for the ride home. Of course my purse is packed with crackers and lara bars, water bottles and some treats to ward off the grumpys when we are in long lines. The best part of this? Vacation weight gain: Averted! About a hundred dollars a day we could have spent on crappy disney food? Spent on booze at Costco! Tomorrow we head up to stay a few nights in a hotel in Anaheim and it is presenting a bit of a challenge food wise because we won't have a kitchen. I hard boiled eggs for the cooler, got oatmeal packets, yogurts, milk, bread and sandwich fixings, bagged salad, fruit and snacks. It should be perfect. I just don't like eating out so much, and I guess the girls don't either because instead of eating their dinner at a restaurant yesterday they ate the kale and carrot garnish. Nice.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Have a Disney Day

The WageStein California Extravaganza 2010 has been, to the casual observer, a mixed bag. A giant bag of flaming catastrof&%*. For us, however, we feel triumphant that we have made it throuh a 3 day drive, a kid coming down with pneumonia, LA traffic, and a Disney Monsoon of Rain that was very much lots of downouring buckets of misery that was, did I mention? VERY WET, on our first disneyland day. The aforementioned Monsoon Tragedy has cost us $1000 in ruined rental equipment and an entire day. On the upside, we were pleased to discover we stumbled our sorry butts into Dennys on Free Grand Slam day to drown our sorrows in pancakes. Free pancakes.

Despite everything we are having fun and keeping good attitudes. The girls are awesome and making it a trip to 'memember.

Sent on the go from my Peek

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The last frontier

Today I violated the last sacred vow I made before I had children, when I knew everything about parenting: In preparation for a very much long and also extended time closed in a Very Lame Minivan with my children, I purchased them both Leapsters. You know, the kind that turn their brains to goo and me into a very sad, defeated statistic.

There has been nothing but squeals of delight for an hour. You will note that there is a direct correlation between the amount of screaming in our house and number of blog posts I can churn out. It's been awhile.

Dear Smug People Who Have Not Experienced Week Long Tantrums:

Judge if you must. My kids play video games. Mostly just to give you the pleasure of feeling self righteous. And also to give them something to do when they have insomnia after all that Mountain Dew.

You're Welcome.

Friday, November 27, 2009

So this is what Real Americans do on Black Friday

As our Thanksgiving feast of Obscene Quantity and Also Very Much Lots of Heaping Stuffing was wrapping up last night I overheard my cousins and sister planning out the early morning Black Friday plan of attack. I rubbed my belly and was emphatic in my decision to not leave my bed and join The Crazy this morning. Did I mention that I am a liar?

My sister started texting me from the Target line about 6 a.m. Ruby crawled into bed with us at 6:10 a.m. She has very bad breath. I had to get out of there. I was in the car by 6:12 a.m. and headed to my local Fred Meyer store where, surprisingly, I was one of 6 shoppers. I gulped down the free coffee at the door to chase three mini donuts, and bravely rolled the cart toward the toy aisle with powdered sugar on my chin. Like any Real American, I suppose, I loaded that Goddamn cart till it begged for mercy. I went down my mental list of every person I know and threw shit in the cart. I was in such a frenzy I almost started shouting "YOU get a bike and YOU get a bike! EVERYBODY GETS A MOTHERFUCKING BIKE!" But, alas, I could not speak because my mouth was full of more dry donuts.

I suppose I didn't spend as much as many people, considering it was under $350 for everyone on my list (Note to people on my list: Don't get to excited.). I topped off my trip with some better coffee, picked some up for Davey and made myself a hero.

I deserve a nap.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The one where I have not snapped out of it yet part 347

Greetings! While I am certainly pleased that you are continuing to read Ye Old Blog of Doom and Despair, I am still a bit confused as to why. Very well then, without further ado, I bring you the latest tale of woe:

Last week I went somewhere I never in this life thought I would end up and although the possibility of such a visit was always tucked away in my Worst Things That Could Possibly Happen Ever file, it was still a shock. Last week my sister and I had to accompany our mother to an Oncology appointment. Where we were told she has cancer. Specifically, Lymphoma. Mom has been sick for awhile now. It started last spring when she became so tired that her stamina was entirely gone. Then the stomach pain started. She couldn't keep food down and had terrible pain. This was promptly followed by random fevers. She kept insisting that she was just upset because of her semi-retirement and selling her house. "If I can just......." fill in the blank "I'll be fine." She started losing weight. Quickly. When her move was complete and she continued to have these symptoms I finally made the appointment for her myself. That was three weeks ago. Her doctor sprung into action and it has been a whirlwind of tests, scans and The Waiting. There are only a few more things for her to endure (Two Words: Bone Marrow) and we will know how bad this thing is. We were told to expect chemo soon.

We are hopeful. She is hopeful. My mom has cancer and she is going to make it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Somehow I thought that as the girls got older and we got some more experience with this whole Responsible Parenting gig that things would run smoother. I was, to my chagrin, wrong. The past few months (year?) has been fraught with the best and worst life has to offer.

I had a fantastical weekend of debauchery with two of my besties and that was good. Then there was The Flu (possibly The Oinks, but am trying not to go there). We recovered! And relapsed. I landed my dream job! For some reason I discovered that in exchange for shiny dollars, I actually have to, you know, work. So there is some schedule re-configuring to be done, but I am not really complaining.

Now that Goldie is four as in "Mom, now that I'm FOUR! I really think that I should, you know do grown up stuff, like have a baby." OMFG, deep breath. Ahem. Anyway, Goldie is showing signs of actual lucidity when she is delightful and fabulous and helpful and I just look at her wondering if the past few years had as many not-delightful moments as I seem to remember. Then I watch Ruby pee herself on purpose and that totally jogs my memory.

Church continues to dominate most of my free time. And when I say free time, I mean, the time that I really do not have but create out of fumes and sheer force of my will because it is that important.

In other news, extended family dificulties abound that I can't really talk about right now. Suffice it to say that life has handed me a foot long shit sandwich on rye and even though I am trying to stay positive, I am not quite ready to make Shit SandwichAde yet.

Will add that to the list.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

An open letter to 31 and 5

Dear 31,

This morning I opened my eyes to find you watching me. The experience was decidedly different than last year when 30 snuck up behind me, covered my eyes and scared the bejesus out of me because, really? Who really knows what 30 might have up her sleeve. As much trepidation that came before the time 30 actually showed up, she made a lot of positive changes around here.

The past year has forced me to face the best and worst experiences life has thrown me. While those details don't matter, the results do. 31 finds me a humbler, kinder, more content person. I consume less and create more. I use less energy from the grid in favor of elbow grease. I am learning to release the fear and embrace opportunity. Sometimes it is easier than others.

29 was sort of a blur of anxiety and insecurity, but 30 brought with her many of the pieces to the puzzle I had been missing. 30 brought a sense of completeness. I discovered a confidence that had been missing and with it optimism and hope. I remember being told as a young woman that just because one is legally an adult at 18 or 21, it takes another decade or so to truly be a grown up. I get that now.

Today I am 31 years old. There is nothing I would rather be.


Dear 5,

I'll keep this short because if I think about it too much I will get upset and then I won't be hungry for cake and ruin my party. However, I want to aknowledge the unfairness that I feel whenever I let my mind wander back to 5 years ago today. I'm not sure why you had to die on my birthday, Dad. I'm not sure why your healthy body suddenly gave out without any warning at only 58 years old. I still can't wrap my head around the fact that you never met my children or my husband and can't accept the reality that I can't dial you up and fill you in on the latest.

I don't have the burden of wondering how we could learn to understand each other and not be so chronically disappointed in one another. 5 years, one marriage and two children have taught me a lot. I learned that as much as you infuriated and confused me, the deeper I look inside myself, the more of you I find. You weren't a bad guy, Dad. You were just a man trying to do the best he knew how and I know you gave us all you had to give. 5 years ago I watched the doctors take you off life support and will never forget looking at your tanned, muscular arms thinking about how the day before you were working in the fall sun.

5 years ago I lost my dad. And it sucks.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I wrote a whole post that I really liked. Then I managed to delete it through the Great Cut And Paste Debacle of 2009. So. Frustrating.

So. How about some pictures? The girls have been enjoying walks together in the neighborhood. As much time as they spend bickering and screaming, these are the times that I remember why, pray tell, we did this:

This one is a few months old, but I love it. The child who AM NO TIRED! was, in fact, quite tired. So tired, was this child, that she managed to sleep through an entire meal at Chevy's. Why did we go to Chevy's? Because I had a coupon. The end.