Monday, March 30, 2009


So the dishwasher seems to be working. For the moment. Maybe whatever the repairman did was enough. Or perhaps it was my threat of sledgehammer in its nether regions.

Which I would totally do.

Because I have inanimate object rage.

It's a personal failing that does not yet have therapy.

True story: The husband and I once saved a desktop that had royally ticked us off--what with the failure to work and costing over $1000 to purchase nevermind the $500 in repairs that didn't work--in order to dangle it from a tree limb and beat it like a pinata. We never did it, but were serious enough about the plan to hang onto the burned out hard drive for almost a year before we realized we were too lazy to take our revenge. 

We are losers.

To illustrate that point beautifully...

The newspaper interview came out and UGH! They edited it down to like one sentence per question and used the worst picture, completely ignoring the nice one of me and the babeola. I failed to get my eco-blog mentioned so there is no chance of the interview spurring ongoing interest. I totally blew it.

If you were worried I was about to become too famous to know you, worry no more.

I need a PR class. A free one because I have to save all my money for the stupid dishwasher ere it break again.

In other news, I am a single mother this week. The husband who NEVER travels for work, is gone all week. I am just praying I still have all my fingers when he gets home because the babeola bites like a bulimic piranha jonesing for a good binge. Don't piss her off, you won't come out the other side with all your limbs intact.

Oh, and smooches to the beautiful Jenners for making me a featured blog. It's nice to be recognized and her kind words made my week.

And I read book 2 of my writing buddy's trilogy and squeeeee! I am a total fangrrl right now. She is rocking the urban fantasy genre.  The first book is available for pre-order on I believe the super fabulous Tanya Huff gave a blurb for the cover.  Here's the cover...

Friday, March 27, 2009


1. Children will only sleep in on days parents can't.

2. Goods purchased under the influence of sleep deprivation will suck a**.

To Wit the following Evidence:

The babeola is routinely up at 7am, except for today when she slept past 8. Meaning I slept past 8 and almost missed the dishwasher repairman.

I actually had to wake her sorry dupa up. That hasn't happened since...never.

Now, why can't she sleep like that on days when *I* don't have to be up?

And the dishwasher...I hate that thing. Our old one broke just as I returned to work (before I decided to stay home), still nursing and having to pump. Meaning, the dishwasher was as essential as air. Given that when I was home, I was stuck topless in a chair with the roto rooter, the husband selected and bought a new dishwasher.

We hadn't slept in something like 4 months so you could say our judgement was off.

We got a $700 LG model that had problems from day one. Yet did we ever call LG? Of course not! To our befuddled brains, we just needed to tweak the hoses. Or kill a chicken under a full moon. Something, anything but call the manufacturer and oh, I don't know, invoke the warranty? What kind of people do you think we are? Sane, responsible adults?

The mechanical problems were fluid. The thing would work for weeks and then refuse to do anything for a day. So we just kind of dealt with it and muddled through.  (Which also happens to be our parenting philosophy.)

But I hated it and still hate it. It has a tendency to not clean the dishes so well and just whirl food particles around. Where the chicken will end up no one knows! But definitely not down the drain. No. Can't have that! That would be, you know, actual dish cleaning.

Further, there is no way to turn off the dry cycle and conserve energy with the result that we are sucking more than our fair share of the earth's resources.

The repairman confirmed my suspicions by telling me the cheap dishwasher models do a better job of cleaning dishes. That and he advised we should always buy the extended warranty. Always.

Because, guess what? Our warranty has expired and it will cost us about $350 to repair the *$&%*R@(%$(*&*@ thing.

Meaning, I will be in the kitchen washing dishes by hand.

It's kind of ironic to remember that when we moved into our house, it had an original 1950s two ton steel dishwasher...that didn't work and was used as a breadbox.

Anyone need a $700 breadbox?

Thursday, March 26, 2009


#1 At music class the babeola was exposing her 'Buddha Belly' when one of the other toddlers came over and inserted a finger in her belly button with a rich, deep sigh of satisfaction.

Funniest thing I have ever seen in my life.

#2 The babeola, like many littles, is terrified of the vacuum cleaner. If I vacuum when she's awake, I have to hold her while I vacuum. She sobs the whole time and I end up yelling comforting things at the top of my lungs to reassure her (not sure how well that works). Today I spilled some Tylenol capsules and, in a panic to clean them up before the dogs got to them, I ended up using the vacuum.

And then figured, what the hell, I'll vacuum the living room too. So I left it plugged in and set it in the living room while I tended to something else that couldn't wait. The babeola went over to 'explore' and accidentally turned it on.

Next thing I knew, she was barreling down on me like a semi without brakes, our black lab hot on her heels. Both had looks of abject terror on their faces and required lots of hugs and reassurance (What can I say? My dog is a wuss).

I'm still laughing about it. I have never seen her run that fast.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Am I the only one who has problems with solicitors? Today a solicitor banged on my door until they woke the babeola up from her nap. I was furious and less than gracious.

Particularly when I saw it was not someone I had invited or someone I knew. Just someone who thought that because I was home, I was available at their convenience.  Wanting to sell me windows or Jesus or lawn care or politics.


This has been an ongoing problem. I have signs on the front door and need to replace the ones on the side door. I have actually seen solicitors read the front door signs and then go to the side door (currently sign free) in an effort to circumvent the 'no soliciting' sign.

Since it is the babeola's naps that save my soul, I am really irate when someone screws that up. Thanks to solicitors, there was no nap today. 

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Here are the photos we took today. Some are good, some are not. The really awful ones will be cremated and sent into space.

As it turns out, my skin is not the biggest problem.No. The biggest problem is I need a haircut and some humidity for my hair to curl instead of limply frizz. It would also help if I lost 50lbs (again) but eh, c'est la fat. Anyway, I am mostly happy with the head shots. At least we got something decent and in fewer frames than America's Next Top Model contestants. I think I know why the contestants haven't had a photo shoot with toddlers--it is impossible! I have dozens of pictures of screaming and flared nostrils with toddler boogies hanging like ripe fruit. I don't think Tyra could do better!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I am being interviewed by the local paper re: the environmental stuff. Said interview includes a head shot and wouldn't you know, my skin is flaking like a snake shedding its skin and I have two huge cystic pimples on my chin which look a bit like a vampire aimed for the jugular and missed.

Come to find out, part of the skin issue is I screwed up my asthma medication although that doesn't explain the flaking. I've done some facials and what not and it's not helping yet. To make the humiliation complete, I'm attending an eco conference and trying to use make-up that I normally do not wear to keep people from worrying that my entire face is going to slough off. Ugh.

For the photo I'm planning to use the babeola as a shield to try and hide the worst of it. Too bad I can't carry her in front of my face at the conference.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Hi. Remember me? Yeah, I used to blog here.

See, some relatives came by and stayed and stayed and stayed. I had to be polite and pretend I had no idea what that laptop so conveniently set next to the couch was for. With the slinking innocence of a dog who just ate a shoe, I swore I had NO idea how to open it, let alone type anything.

Now they are gone. So I can be me again and Get It ON with the 'puter hot and heavy like I used to.

Except I have nothing new to report. Because I have no life. Or too much life. Or too much laundry.


Can you tell I'm in a bit of an irreverent mood today? Sleep deprivation will do that.The neighbor comes home every night at midnight, as reliable as a sunrise. The snick of the door shutting, the beep-beep of the car alarm, and the motion sensor light set to 'stun' and aimed directly into my room like an interrogation lamp are worse than a breastfeeding newborn during a growth spurt. Ugh. Thank you neighbor, but the insomnia does not need any help. I was not sleeping just fine on my own.

Houseguests stress me out.

Anyway...The babeola is growing up big and strong. Talking is going to be the next big thing around here. I know I will regret saying this as several people have warned me about toddler motor mouths, but I can't wait to hear what's in her head.

The husband and I went on a date and did the game version of environmental activism. We also went to a movie so horrible, we're trying to pretend it never happened.

Mothering is going well at the moment. I have managed to match activities with the babeola's abilities rather well lately. I made a 'tactile box' filled with uncooked rice, rocks, beads, feathers, and some spoons. We (husband and I) sit on the front porch and chat while the babeola practices scooping and runs the rice through her fingers.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go stuff my face with comfort food and try to relax.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Sorry folks, today is a hodge podge. I'm  just so busy and distracted by Real Life these days that I haven't had time to formulate anything about anything.

1. We went to our first Gymboree Art Class. Since they start each class with playdoh and playdoh is the babeola's 'precious' (picture Golem with The Ring) predictably there was a huge tantrum when it was time to say bye-bye to the playdoh. Then we did collage type stuff. Or rather, mommy did collage type stuff, the babeola alternately watched, tantrumed, and shredded paper. My only criticism of the class is there are a lot of transitions. We did something like 5 activities in 45 minutes. That's a lot of change and saying bye-bye to things we've just fallen in love with. The babeola wasn't the only one screaming.

2. I set the neighbor girls (our mother's helpers) up with watercolors and tried to get a painting session going. Unfortunately, the babeola spent most of the time trying to shove either end of her paintbrush up her nose.  At what point does art click for toddlers? The babeola isn't into crayons. Playdoh is for clutching and guarding with her very life. Paintbrushes are just long booger wands. Urgh.

3.Continuing with the art theme, today I had some success with one of those paint with water books. The book is about 30 years old. It's from my (deceased) grandmother's teaching stash which my aunt passed on to me. I think she retired from teaching in the early 80s. So the colors are a bit faded. Grandma would be happy to see us using it though. One, she hated waste and two, she loved doing stuff like that with her grandkids. Despite arthritis, she was always on the floor playing with me.

I miss my Grandma.

4. I'm currently trying to figure out how to blow big, big bubbles. I want to make ginormous bubbles on the front lawn with the babeola on the next decent day we get. I bought some Gymboree bubble solution and it was not as good as everyone says it is. I'm now looking at homemade recipes.

5.I think the babeola was the youngest one in the art class, yet, due to her height, she looks the oldest. I noticed some calculating looks along the lines of 'what is wrong with that kid.'  I had to resist the urge to randomly announce that she's only sixteen months. It's hard to be a giantess in training. Especially at this age when size is equated very strongly with age, behavior and ability.

6. As part of our effort to be Good Parents, we watched the Happiest Toddler on the Block DVD which espouses helping toddlers express their emotions. So that's what we do. "You were having fun with the playdoh and are sad it has to go bye-bye. You are sad. Mommy is sorry you are sad."  It's supposed to work miracles, but not for us.The babeola is not impressed. Clearly, she needs to watch the DVD.

Monday, March 9, 2009


I don't get how child events are scheduled. Every day care I spoke to when I was still working had set nap time for toddlers starting around 11:30 or noon and lasting 2-3 hours.

If this is the 'institutional norm' for nap time WHY are all child events scheduled precisely at that time? It's not like my child is unusual in being unavailabe from 11 to 1 or 2. When exactly do event planners think kids are sleeping? Or is it that they actually want cranky and annoyed tyrants running loose through their facility biting at will and refusing to share?

We are at a stage where the babeola is bored at home. She's going through an intense motor go-go-go phase and, just in case we weren't having enough fun, she is teething which makes her edgy. The only solution? I have to keep us busy outside of the house. Since all the kid events are during her nap time, I'm stuck going from one store to another and letting her run loose. With the result that I end up spending money I don't have on things I don't need because I like bright and shiny objects. Coincidentally, stores are full of the bright and shiny. Have you noticed that? Yeah, that serendipity is crazy.

So I signed us up for Gymboree making my crossover to the mommy consumer dark side. I think all I need now is a soccer sticker on the minivan, some mom jeans, and a Katie Holmes bob.

On the one hand, the play gym is awesome. I want to play on it and am disappointed they didn't think to make the maximum weight limit 'mommy'. One the other hand, the brand brainwashing is over-the-top. To wit, one poster gives this recipe for fun:

One baby
One adorable Gymboree outfit
With a Gymboree play and learn class

The music also uses the word Gymboree liberally, like a whole shaker of salt in your eggs.  They even pepper traditional rhymes and finger plays with Gymboree. Did you know the Old Duke of York loves Gymboree? It does kind of set my teeth on edge after an hour and I have to resist the urge to act like a sarcastic robot and chant 'Gymboree, Gymboree' over and over again.  Note that this urge hit during our first class ever which says something, probably not good, about the Gymboree marketing plan.

But it keeps me out of the stores and the babeola has a wonderland of fantastic slides and climbing walls to explore. However, Gymboree is expensive* and we can't go everyday, so I'm still going to spend some time cruising the malls. I'm actually sitting down now and making a schedule, trying to pair up errands with the need to get the babeola out of the house. This week looks something like this...

Monday: Mall, Neighbor girls come over to play
Tuesday: Target (usually we have music class, but this is Spring Break week)
Wednesday: Gymboree Art, Neighbor girls come over to play
Thursday: Do a price check at a new grocery store, Gymboree open gym (free with membership)
Friday: Grocery shopping, Gymboree open gym (free with membership)
Saturday: Gymboree Play and learn with Daddy (leaving mommy to sleep in and lounge)

I know everyone says be careful what you wish for, but I am really looking forward to the babeola being more verbal and being able to keep her busy with at-home activities. In truth, I am a homebody and would happily nest all day, every day in the house. So this go-go-go stuff is killing me!

*We have hit the grandparents up for a Gymboree donation. Yes, I am shameless. I am panhandling for Gymboree.

OH! And unrelated to the topic, my writing buddy has her official website up. Go check it out if you have a chance.

Friday, March 6, 2009


The babeola is new to kissing and today, as we exchanged a few lip smacks, she lunged at me her pink, drool coated tongue aiming for my tonsils.

I am no longer worried about her dating because ewww! No one is going to want to make out with that!

Plus, she shoves cocoa butter up her nose. Except for when she's eating it. Or tantruming because someone put the lid on the jar.

That's all for now. I am super busy. Tons of stuff going on. Lots of chaos.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Poop. I have like two minutes to discuss a very important topic; climate change.

Wait! Don't click to the next blog! I know I'm a mommy blogger, but climate change is right up there with the stress and responsibility of potty training in my book.

Because my children's future isn't just about dry underwear and neither is it for your kids.

There's a climate change article making waves across the internet. New Scientist attempted to take a comprehensive look at how we're going to survive what's coming. The article is here. The climate change map is here (zoom out so you can see all the 'pins'. Click on the pins to read what will happen in each region.)

Hot weather never felt so chilling.  Look at who will potentially be growing food on the map vs. who won't. Look at who will be providing energy vs. who won't.  In the twilight of my lifetime and the prime of my daughter's the entire geopolitics of the world will change.In a hundred years it is likely that the US will no longer be the world's breadbasket. If we do not move forward with a green revolution and become green technology leaders, not only does the planet lose,but so does our nation.

The conversation, a very important one that I hope you will join, continues over at Crunchy Chicken.