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July 2007

WPT Gone Wild

I messed up. Messed up something fierce. I thought I was being a good mom but nope. The whole day was just one mommy faux pas after another. In retrospect, it was like watching one of those bad action flicks where the hero just keeps screwing up.  Really, by now I should know better. 

Here’s how it went down:

11:30 Trip to a new park. I figured that was a good outing before lunch and it would give me a chance to scope out the local moms/nannies for the best toddler hang-outs in the new hood. Chance was slow to warm to the other kids but there was construction near by with a mini steam roller. (That’s the equivalent of truck heaven in his book.) Things were cool.

12:15 “OK, kiddo, we’re going to leave in a few minutes for lunch.” Chance utterly ignores me as he is now “playing” with other kids. (“Playing” meaning he finds the only older children in the toddler playground and has to be in their vicinity! Such a groupie for five-year-olds, that one.)

12:30 “All right, Chance it’s time to leave.” Utter.  Meltdown. Complete with lunging, shrieking, and back arching as I tried to get him into the car seat. Speeches of “I’m sorry you’re mad, but we’ll come back another time,” fall on deaf ears. Usually the acknowledgement of his fury will slow down the tantrum. This time, no dice. The other moms/nannies look at me with pity.

12:35 Almost… got… the seat…. latched! “Hey! Let’s pick up something new for lunch! Want to go for a ride?” More screams and laser eyes of death. 

12:40 Still tears and protests! This is beyond unusual. At this point it’s starting to sink into my brain that he must be really ready for lunch. Duh. Offerings of juice are only met with sobs between slurps. He finally quiets down as I arrive at the lunch place, get him out of the car, and walk into the shopfront. (Yes, the place required that we walk in. Yes, I know I’m stupid.)  I briefly consider sitting down for lunch at the place for faster food. Abandon idea.

12:45 Order and wait for food. Try to entertain Chance by looking at the pretty (but breakable) items in the shopfront. All admonishments of “look, don’t touch!” are met with willful and determined disobedience. Seriously, he was being a little hellion. Give silent thanks I decided not to eat at the restaurant. Take Chance outside shop for remainder of time.

12:55 - 1:00 Back in car and driving home. I feel pleased (stupid mommy) because I’ve timed it perfectly to have lunch and get Chance down for a nap sometime between 1:30 and 2:00, his usual time. I look back to see Chance’s head nodding in the car seat. Crap! Not so good timing. “Oh, no… Chance! Don’t fall asleep, honey. You haven’t had lunch!”

The idea of my child going to bed hungry fills me with guilt. Accelerate driving. “Wake up wake up wake up…”

1:05 I park, rush into the house and toss him onto the couch, all the while talking like a cheerleader on speed about the great lunch waiting for him. Take off his shoes. Chance stares at me blurrily then promptly starts to curl up on the couch for his nap. (He never does this.)  “No No No No!” I grab him again, run into the kitchen and prop my sleeping child up in his booster seat at the kitchen table. I arrange his “new” (brilliant fucking me) food as quickly as possible onto a plate and slap it in front of him. 

At the sight of grub he finally perks up enough to eat.

1:20 Lunch time is done. I transfer Chance immediately to his bedroom where, after the usual token protest cry, I figure he will collapse in sleep.

1:30 – 2:30 Chance plays in his crib.  And plays. And plays. He never falls asleep!  (At least he wasn’t screaming.)  Normally he takes a 2-3 hour nap at this time so we all get a break. I get him up but he was obviously tired and a bit of a brat the rest of the day. I, and my crappy timing, effectively screwed up his (and my) whole schedule. 

Bad mommy. Baaaaaad!

Lesson learned: LET THEM SLEEP! 

(Really, I should have had my parenting license revoked for violating this one. And it wasn’t even early morning - my usual WPT (worst parenting time).)

 - the weirdgirl

Hey kids! Can you find the other Mommy Mistakes wg made on this fateful day?  Just jot down your answers on a 4x6 card along with your name, age, and address and mail it to: What A Dork,  Anywhere, US, and YOU could be entered to win fabulous prizes!  Including a grand prize trip to Parenting Camp 101!  Enter now!

The One about Books

I thought this was kind of fun, Katie picked up on a meme where you post pictures of your bookcase(s) at home.  Sort of a snapshot into your reading/organizational lifestyle.  It's always interesting to see what people are reading.  (I know there's also that cool online widget that randomly puts up the titles and pics of your library, but that's much too much data entry for my taste so this bookcase pic thing fits me just fine.)  Plus, this meme is great for those days where you can't get your brain together.  Which, for me, appears to involve the last couple of weeks.   (Where did my funny go?!)

Interestingly, my bookcases seem to reflect my schizophrenic personality.  The fact that I'm not even done unpacking and everything is in a slight state of disarray is more metaphorically insightful than I care to discuss right now, thanks. 

Without further ado... the library!  Da da DUN!

"Work" (the dream of dreams)   

And "play" (also an acceptable dream).  Since I had a car on my other shelves (the car I was going to buy before I got knocked up,  ahem... KEEN!), I thought I'd throw in a shoe and a teacup here, just so you'd know it was me.

Some more.  (Bored yet?)

Several of my books did not do well in storage (cardboard boxes in a basement, go figure).  Thus, giving that mold a little fresh air. 

"Mouldering with Cat" - Art show coming soon!

As for tags... well this one didn't come with tags (score!) but if you'd like to share your bookcases (bring me your literary, your pulp, your porn) let me know... I'll come read with you.
           - the weirdgirl

Boring Posts and Other Everyday Matters

It’s been a long, satisfyingly lazy day. Keen, Chance and I have done nothing today. NOTHING! And it feels sooooo good. We watched a lot of TV, played a lot of games, and ate unhealthy food. I even had a chance to stick my bare legs in the sun and hope they would crisp up to the same brown as my arms. Work in progress, that one. (Damn. Twist my arm, why don’t you?)

It doesn’t feel like summer until you can get a nice, slack day.  Remember riding your bike through a field in the hot sun while trying not to drop your popsicle? Yeah, it’s like that.

In other news, our house has sold! It should close this week. I would have mentioned it sooner but you know, that whole jinxed thing. We met the buyer and he’s a totally nice guy who (I think) loves the house as much as we did. It’s easier to not be nostalgic when you know someone isn’t going to come in and level the place to build some monster cookie-cutter house on the lot, leaving a postage sized yard and no charm. That trend has been taking out a lot of older homes around here. 

I’ve also enrolled Chance in a preschool program. He starts mid-July for two days a week. I’m pretty excited but I know I’m going to freak out a bit as we get closer to his start date. This probably deserves a whole post (or two or three) by itself.  He is only two.  And he’s never been left with people he doesn’t know before. But he IS really excited every time we go to visit. (OK, I’m going to stop now before my popsicle buzz wears off.)

Keen and I are also (there have been a lot of “also’s” lately) talking time-lines for baby number two. I’m not going to go into details just yet (and I hope Keen doesn’t mind that I’m sharing with you all) but be fore-warned.   

All in all I can’t complain. We’re moved in. We’ve got to see more of our friends lately than has happened in quite some time (love you guys!).  My brain is a little lazy right now too, but… summer has started.

Time to stock up on popsicles.   - wg


Birthdays are Better with Babies

It’s my birthday today. I turn the big 36 (my age, not my bra size... oh, wait a minute... whoa! how often does that happen?!).  I was going to ask Keen to guest post (because I do feel a little silly saying happy birthday to myself), and he would have said “yes”… but then he would never have gotten around to writing anything.  (It's OK, honey, I still love you, and I know writing isn't your forte. And you can shop with the best of them.)  So instead, I’m just going to post a pic of my other favorite guy.


Ice cream face. You make every day a celebration, kiddo.            - wg


No, I’m not making this up

I was listening to the Bluegrass Tribute to the Killers on Amazon… you know those little clip samples they got? and I admit, I stumbled across this album and was intrigued… and guess what? Chance LOVES bluegrass! He sat with eyes glued to the computer the entire time I played through the clips.  I ended up buying the album for him and he just rocks out to some banjo picking like nobody’s business. Big ass grin on his face, cruising all over the living room, bopping and weaving like only a toddler can. My mom would be so proud*. 

And it’s cool because I have no issues with bluegrass and I can sing the words to the Killers as Chance teaches himself to clog.  A win all around. 

It also made me wonder what other musical genres he might enjoy. Ones that I’ve neglected to expose him to (bad mommy!). I already know that he isn’t exactly partial to metal guitar riffs, even going so far as to putting his fingers in his ears if I’m listening to something that’s too “heavy” (the opinions on that kid!), but at the same time I’m not really willing yet to give up all my rock - punk, alternative or otherwise.  (I have to listen to it, too, you know.)  So I did a little digging to see if there were other interesting “tribute” albums out there. 

Turns out there is a whole record label devoted to this stuff. Including (among many more tribute albums than I expected):

Back in Baroque: The String Tribute to AC/DC

Fragile: The Piano Tribute to REM

The Electronic Tribute to Led Zeppelin

LBC Lounge: A Tribute to Sublime

Swingin’ to Michael Jackson (this is the only one I can’t hear in my head)

I love this crazy world. Education is fun! - wg

*She, amongst all her other hippie activities, also played in bluegrass bands all through college. 

Happy Father’s Day

The words that a father speaks to his children in the privacy of home are not heard by the world, but, as in whispering galleries, they are clearly heard at the end, and by posterity.

            - Richter

Dads, in this modern era, get a bum rap. They have inherited (and have to fight) all the previous generations’ assumptions about the disinterest of fathers. The dads I know and the dads I read are so far from “disinterested” it makes the old assumptions implausible. And although I share the common opinion that fathers of old weren’t as involved as fathers today, I do think there were still good dads in there down through the ages. How else would we have gotten such great dads today? (There is no “versus”, I believe in nature AND nurture.)

So to all the amazing, involved, loving dads out there, my hat is off to you.  I’d like to proclaim you all…


Hope your father's day is a good one!            - wg

Swimwear Must Die! 2

So here’s the second half of the train wreck (you know how it is, you can’t see all the horror at once). I thought of the last batch as the “day to evening wear” collection. This group is definitely the “party girl” collection. 

“My day job is showgirl.” (I bet those tassels itch and get into places when they’re wet.)


Scary. And where, o where, are the tan lines that go with this suit?


The Multi-tasker. You know the description for this one actually said, “can be used for swimming”. WHAT USEFUL swimwear! Because you never know when you may need to go from the pool to the club, back into the pool again (most likely in drunken debauchery).


Um, no bathing suits that you need a manual to get into, thanks. (And what’s with the skirts?! With one that short you’re just asking for a goosing from passing toddlers.)


And for the very last, here’s one that reminded me of our exalted celebrities… I call this one “Color Me Paris”. (Hilton, that is.)


Buy any two and get a camcorder… FREE!  - wg

Swimwear Must Die!

It’s that time of year again… time to shop for swimsuits! (grumble grumble growl) And ALSO time for a roundup of the best of the worst in designer swimwear! You may have remembered last year’s commentary. This year I found such a variety of “interesting” swimsuits I think I may need to break this into a two-parter.

Meet the twins. (I think they have to keep their arms up like that to keep the suit on.)


Dude! I mean, lady! …um, are those balls in your pants…or…?


For that extra fancy event. (I’m not sure hooking her fingers through the waistband really projects the casual image she’s going for. Maybe she should try a wardrobe malfunction.)



And finally…



This year’s version of the vagina suit, Rorschach edition. (Oh yeah, that’s the one I’m gonna buy. Right after I meet with my counselor.)

I swear, the antithesis of shopping therapy is shopping for swimsuits. At least there is much fodder for laughter (even if it’s a little pained). Is it just me or are most of these suits big arrows pointing to your crotch?

Sadly, (so sadly) more to come.  - wg

My Life with Buckets

“Sooo… can I use the utility sink to wash dishes?”
“No, just wait… I don’t want to chance another overflow.”
“OK… well how about I do a camp wash outside? Didn’t you just buy some new buckets? I can’t stand looking at these anymore.”
“Oh yeah, that’s a good idea. Hey, I’m going to make meatloaf for dinner.”
“Are you serious?!”
“Check it out… I’ll mix everything together and cook on tinfoil!”
“Ah ha! Smart!”

We’ve been having some plumbing issues at the (new) old homestead. We have a clog in the main, the kitchen sink is useless, and we can’t run more than one water-themed appliance without another one gurgling demoniacally and/or overflowing. Have you ever seen bubbles come foaming up out of your toilet? Yeah, it’s like that. I haven’t run the dish washer in about a week and the washing machine since Thursday. This morning as I was taking a quick shower Keen ran up the stairs to shout, “Better make it fast, the downstairs toilet is speaking in tongues!”

More of the adventure so far...

Roto Rooter Guy #1 – “I’ve fixed the problem! Someone flushed a piece of cloth down the sink.” (Not us!)

Roto Rooter Guy #2 – “Um, I’ve snaked it as far as I can go; the main is clogged and you’ve got a leak that’s dripping below the house. Did you know you’re not supposed to flush pieces of cloth (2 more) down the sink?” (Seriously, we just moved in. We’re NOT putting cloth down the sink!) “Oh, and by the way, your 90-day Router Rooter warranty is void with this problem. I’d call a plumber.”

(We remember that we bought a Home Warranty plan with the house. Woo hoo! Problem will be solved! (yeah, right))

Home Warranty-contracted Plumber #1 (in sexy Russian accent) – “I see your issue. Unfortunately, I only fix problems above floor boards. You need plumber to fix below floor boards. So sorry I couldn’t help. By the way, this home warranty company? Cheap, cheap, cheap.” (yipes!)

Home Warranty-contracted Plumber #2 (in blowhard accent) – “What? I can’t fix this! This plumbing is a mess!” (No, it’s not. We did have an inspector here.) “You got to snake the main. Who knows how far deep it is, that main might be 15 feet down! I think you need an engineering contractor! I’ll call the home warranty company but I don’t think they’ll authorize it.” (After home warranty company authorized it, plumber #2 spent half an hour on the phone with them insisting he couldn’t do the job. Blowhard finally convinces them and leaves. (Translation: he knew the problem, knew how to fix it, but it was a big job, on Saturday, and he just didn’t wanna. Ass.))

Now we’re waiting for the third of the home-warranty contracted plumbers to come out. In the meantime, things have kind of piled up. You know how it is, the first day the sink plugs up you just leave the dishes out; they can hold a couple of days. A couple of more days later you’ve got the same sitch with dirty, sopping wet towels used to mop up overflow. Finally, at the end of a week, you’re reaching critical overload of germ factories (at least, that’s what they look like to me... and they smell). Fortunately, me and Keen have enough camping background to revert to those methods when push comes to shove.

Ironically, hunching over a bucket of water for an hour to wash dishes helped with the kink in my back… which I got carrying buckets of dirt around the yard (different project). This is my life, people.

As long as I don’t end up peeing in a bucket, I’m good. 

  – the “work high tech/live low tech” weirdgirl

Update: ('Cause I know you're all gripped with suspense.) We got our plumbing problems fixed today!  Woo hoo!  And yeah, Plumber #2 was full of shit. Plumber #3 found the clean-out trap no problem and snaked it out to the street. THEN he called the city and had them finish up the job. Smart man.  I'll tell ya, nothing smells like success than coming home to the smell of sewage.  (Really, it was a good thing.)  Let the washing begin!

Priorities and Perspectives

(As we are watching a rerun of Dark Angel.)Jessica_alba

KEEN: I’m surprised they haven’t tried to resurrect this show into a motion picture.
ME:  Yeah, Jessica Alba plays a good character. She’s got that charisma…
KEEN: And she’s hot.
ME: She does the tortured hero thing well, strong but vulnerable. Not everyone can pull that off…
KEEN: But mainly it’s because she’s hot.
ME: raised-eyebrow pause
KEEN: What?

I guess we know where the bulk of the viewership would come from.

 - wg

Just like puppies

Things have been a veritable whirlwind around here lately! First there was a family graduation party, then a bar-b-que, then a grocery trip, then another grad party, then running out to Target and a birthday, then on to the farmer’s market, then BACK to Target! And countless phone calls, emails, and scheduling of appointments in between! Running this way, that way… it’s been nothing but a breath-catching, nonstop thrill ride! I tell you my blood pressure has been spiking higher than 80-year-old on viagra!

OK, “busy schedule” takes on a different meaning once you’ve got kiddos in tow. I’d like to attach the word “social” to that “busy schedule” but you know… some weeks yes, some weeks no (barring family, I don’t think they count anyway). We DID get to go to dinner, with another couple (and our kids). On a Saturday night! At the very last minute! A brief phone call a couple hours before and we went! It almost made me feel like a post-college, care-free young buck again. (Or maybe I would be a “buckette”?) Anyway, that was fun.

We’ve also had lots of “activity on the house”. That’s realtor speak for, “I can smell commission coming!” Our old house, I mean, that’s still on the market. Apparently there have been some “interested parties”. Wish us luck. I’ll miss our old house… but not a double mortgage. 

(I still hope our old house goes to a good home, though.) - wg 


It seems that Coffee Betsy was sweet enough to bestow this post with a Perfect Post award. Thank you Betsy, I feel honored. You rock, hon! I also feel a bit silly, considering that I essentially was awarded a Perfect Post for a post in which I ranted (among other things) about not ever receiving a Perfect Post or any other kind of award.  (How many shoes can you get in that mouth, wg?) I don’t regret writing the post because I was being honest and I think I spoke to a lot of other mom bloggers who have felt the same frustration, but… I do acknowledge the mocking irony of the entire affair. Not that Betsy meant it that way! I know she was being heartfelt and I totally appreciate it.

I just can’t let myself escape scrutiny if I bestow it on other people, you know? Sometimes you gotta be prepared to call yourself a schmuck when the need arises.


On a completely different note the lovely Amber at mind-adrift tagged me with the following “local restaurant” meme a few days ago and I’ve been wracking my brains to finish. (I had to have Keen help me. Sometimes the Mommy Memory just doesn’t work as well as on other days. And we don’t get to eat out as often as we did pre-kid.) Here are the rules:

1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the city/state and country you’re in.

Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, United States)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)
Andi (Dallas [ish], Texas, United States)
Lulu (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Chris (Boyne City, Michigan, United States)
AB (Cave Creek, Arizona, United States)
Johnny Yen (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Bubs (Mt Prospect, Illinois, United States)
Mob (Midland, Texas United States)
Yas (Ahwatukee, Arizona USA)
Alicia(Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA)
Tug (Hell, Colorado, USA)
Bond (Memphis, TN, USA)
TopChamp (Glasgow, UK)
Kailani (Honolulu, HI, USA)
Amber (Henderson, TN, USA)
the weirdgirl (San Francisco Bay Area, CA,  USA (I'm still pretending to be an anonymous blogger))

2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Chelokababi’s, Sunnyvale, CA – Persian food. LOVE the Persian tea here and the saffron basmati rice!  I actually hunted down where to get the Persian tea so I could have it whenever.  I really like almost all food from the Mediterranean area - Italian, Persian, Ethiopian… OK, it’s a big area, but my point is they’re great flavors and these folks do it really well. The kicker is Chance, who does great in restaurants most of the time, seems to act up every single time we come here! You’re killing me, son, I want me some Persian.

Fiorello’s, Santa Clara, CA – Italian, ditto on the whole Mediterranean food love affair. It has a nice upscale atmosphere even while the prices are totally reasonable (i.e. not too expensive but still makes you feel like a grownup). They have a fabulous herb crusted shrimp! Oh, yum! (Damnit, I’m getting hungry.)

El Burro, Campbell, CA – Mexican. I’m Californian, OK? And half-Hispanic. I just can’t imagine life without Mexican food at least twice a week. Ironically, my dad (the Hispanic half), who did most of the cooking while I was growing up, is very heavily influenced by Asian cooking. And his Hispanic cooking tastes similar to Cuban (he grew up in Panama).  But besides all that, El Burro still reminds me of my dad; it’s like home-style Mexican. Very, very tasty!

Lisa’s Tea Treasures, San Jose/Campbell, CA – my guilty pleasure, blowing more than I should on tea-sandwich lunches when I’m stressed out or hanging with the girls. (Ironically, in real life Keen says I’m what is called a “guy’s girl”… I like cars and fixing mechanical things, sci-fi, comic books, and boxing. But here in this blog it seems all you get to hear about are shoes, and teacups, and flowers.  I haven’t even started sharing my jewelry projects with you (mainly ‘cause I can’t get the pictures to come out). This must be another secret escape… putting the girly in wg.)

Le Papillon, San Jose, CA – this is our fancy eating place for special occasions. It’s French cuisine and the closest place without making a trip into San Francisco (where there is a plethora of fine dining). I really, really, really love French food. High cuisine, bistro, it doesn’t matter, I just love it.  The flavors are so different from what I grew up with, which was almost every other type of cuisine except French (my dad doesn’t like French). French-influenced cuisine is pretty damn good. OK, I just like food.

And one additional…

Chili’s, anywhere – We’re parents, all right? We have to take the kid with us for at least some of our meals out and this is one of the best places with actual food that I enjoy where the environment, food, and service work with the kid, too. (There’s also Denny’s but we go there exclusively for the great kid’s menu, not because either Keen or I like the food.) And sometimes I just want Chili’s chili queso and a big ass milkshake for dinner. What?

I’m going to tag Peter, GGC (because I don’t think she’s gotten tagged in a while), Betsy (she just moved but I’m betting she already has some favorite places), JChevais, and fuzzbox. Where do you eat?             - wg