I'm in the front yard with our dog Maya, and a girl who lives on the street (I don't know her age but she's in 4th grade) walks by.

Is this your dog?

Yep, she is.

Wow, I never saw it before. Is it new?


Look kiddo, we're not talking about a car or a sweater here. I know, I probably need to cut you some slack.* But, who asks that about a dog? Is it new? I mean, if she was a chihuahua I could understand - those things always look the same. They could be 10 days or 10 years and you'd never be able to guess. But Maya is a big, 5 year old boxer. Her muzzle is going gray! So no, my astute little friend, she is most definitely not new.

*I could possibly be feeling a bit more sensitive than normal since we just found out that we'll be spending a ridiculous amount of our cash at the vet in the very near future. It just figures that as soon as the 5 year warranty on that baby expires...shit starts breaking down.


I'm making small talk with a little boy that's playing at our friend's house. His name is Maddox.

So how old are you Maddox?

I'm three.

[thoughtful pause]

But when I go to Disneyland, I'm two.



We're watching some friends' kids and I thought it would be fun to serve them cheese fondue for dinner. The ages we've got are 4 & 7 (ours) and 5 & 7 (theirs).

their 7: "What should I try first?"

our 7: "The zuchini - to get it over with."

5: "Is this pork?"

Me: "Yep."

5: "I'm having pig for dinner?"

Me: "Uh...yeah."

5 (while dipping): "I'm having pig dipped in cheese for dinner!"


New Camera

I recently bought a new camera (a Nikon D40) that I've been drooling over for a while. I got it on the 4th of July and have been playing with it as much as possible ever since. Here's a set of photos from the last couple days...I'm still learning, but given my complete lack of experience with anything but a point-and-shoot, they're not half-bad. I really like this camera.

New Camera Set on Flickr

We're leaving on Sunday for a week at Lake Havasu so I'll have plenty more opportunity to play around - and maybe even improve. I'll update when we return.


The Perfect Storm

Here's a few things you might not know about me:

1. I hate boiled okra.

2. I don't understand the whole Crocs phenomenon. They're ugly, ill-fitting, clunky, and also ugly. But, what about all those bright colors, you ask? Ugly. Even on cute little-kid feet? Ugly and sad. Like an ugly, sad little clown.

3. Photos of President Bush, especially the photos where he's smiling and waving, illicit a physical response in me. (I'm talking about a response so strong, so full of disgust and distaste, that I have to look away from the offending image or risk my feelings of intense hatred and anger toward him burning through my brain and disintegrating my retinas, rendering me blind and thus wasting the very useful laser eye-surgery I had last year.)

So, knowing these things, you can imagine how distraught I was when I stumbled across this gem of a photo:

I'll bet he just ate a big plate of boiled okra too!

And also, are those "Office of the President" socks? Doesn't that look like the logo that's on the carpet of the oval office?


The little theatre-goer leaving Annie with her souvenir backpack.

Overheard at Job Day

My Mom (an ER nurse who was visiting the 1st graders at Emily's school yesterday, and had just mentioned that in the summer they unfortunately see alot of kids in the ER who drown in swimming pools):

"So, what can you kids do to make sure that you don't drown in a swimming pool?"

Kid 1: "Wear a life jacket!"
Kid 2: "Learn to swim!"
Kid 3: "Wear floaties on your arms!"
Kid 4: "Wear a seat belt!"

I'm wondering if that kid blacked-out during the motorcycle cop's presentation?

The modern-day SoCal 4-year-old

"Mommy, can I wear a different dress?"

"But you've only worn that one for half the day. Let's not get another dress dirty."

"But mom, I spilled sushi (soosy) on this dress."

"Oh. Well, alright then."


If you've got 9 minutes, 28 seconds to spare, this is pretty entertaining:

100 Movies, 100 Quotes, 100 Numbers


Out of the mouths of babes. Really. Bright. Babes...

The scene: I'm the lone adult in a living room of children. They are, my girls (Paige, 3 and Emily, 7) and our good friends' children; Rebekah, age 7 and Jack, age 5. The kids are being silly with each other and I'm sitting on the couch just watching and listening to them interact with each other.

Paige (to Jack): "I want us to get married."

Jack: "No way! You can marry Rebekah instead!"

Emily: "She can't marry a girl, Jack!"

Rebekah: "Yeah, that's against the law." (Looking in my direction expectantly, probably waiting for my nod of confirmation.)

So every now and again I've come across these moments of parenting where the natural progression of a conversation will allow me to plant a seed in the young minds of my children (and in this case my friends' children) without seeming overly preachy because, hey, I didn't bring it up in the first place, right? And so, sensing the opportunity for a lesson, I non-chalantly throw in to the conversation something along the lines of:

Me: "Well actually, if she wanted to marry a girl that would be okay. And if Jack wanted to marry a boy that would be okay too."

Emily: "But Mom, that's against the law!"

Me: "Well yeah, it's not really allowed for women to marry women or men to marry men, but that's something that there shouldn't really be laws about. Laws are supposed to protect people and keep things safe and fair for everyone. Do you think it would hurt anyone or be unfair if two people who loved each other very much got married - even though they're both boys or both girls?"

Emily: "No, that wouldn't hurt anyone." (After a short pause) "Then Mom, I think that's a dumb law."

Me: "Yeah, me too."

Enter the dads with take-out chinese.

Paige: "Mommy, I want to eat right here in the living room. Please? Can I? Please?"

Me: (we're at our friends' house by the way) "Nope. That's against the rules. We're all going to eat at the kitchen table."

Emily: "But Mom, is it really going to hurt anyone if she eats in the living room?"

I explode from the pride. End scene.


Speaking of Emily...she's been pretty interested in the fact that Dave and I have been keeping these blogs. On Friday she asked me if she could have her own blog and I told her (because, frankly, I was having a beer and didn't feel like dealing with it) that we'd talk about it on Saturday. Well, yesterday morning we talked about it and I told her I would help her set up a blog. And so we did. And so she does.

As part of the process of setting up her blog I also had to set her up with her own email address. I researched the ultra-safe email programs designed for kids (this one and this one), but alas, they are not free and I wasn't ready to shell out the bucks just yet. I ended up getting her a gmail address and setting it up so that all of her incoming emails get copied to my gmail adress. That way I figure I can monitor what's going on in her account and that she's not being targeted by any creepy pedophiles, porn peddlers and the like. So, if you're family or a friend and want to send her an email, let me know and I'll send you the email address.

Note: If you're a pedophile, a pornographer, selling Viagra or Cialis, or have any other creepy intentions and you happen to get a hold of her email address, and you happen to solicit her, I will hunt you down and make your life a living hell.

So anyway, I felt a little strange setting up email and a blog for my seven year old. But, for the moment she loves it and it's encouraging her to write and be creative, so it cant be too bad, right? Right?


Why we *heart* February.

It's been three years this month since Paige had her heart surgery! This picture was taken the night before...

She's oh-so stubborn and strong-willed as can be, this girl of ours. But when she's sweet she's very sweet. She makes up ridiculous and adorable songs (usually while sitting on the potty), and has a wild and colorful imagination.

Although I frequently have to remind myself, often while taking deep breaths and counting to 10, I love her just the way she is. And I am really so grateful that she's here and she's healthy.

She's our perpetual Valentine.


Bringin' home the bacon?

I have grown immune to my alarm clock. We've had the same alarm clock for over 10 years and it is no longer is sufficient at waking me up. It annoys me; some days it pisses me off; but it definately doesn't wake me.

Every morning sometime between 5:30 and 6:00 I begin an elaborate production of sleep walking across the room every 7 minutes or so, occasionally tripping over the dog, to push the snooze button. By the way,we cleverly placed the alarm clock across the room so we would not be tempted to continually push the snooze button. Then I sleep walk my way back to the warm comfy bed with my warm comfy husband and my snuggly cat and fall into a slightly deeper state of sleep. Consequently, most mornings I get up way too late and am way too rushed. I'm sure you'll agree that this is clearly not a personality defect or a result of going to bed too late, but the sign of a totally useless and uninspiring alarm clock.

So, I've been looking at alarm clock alternatives. Lately I've been thinking that I wanted a clock that incorporated my iPod so that I could wake up happily to a playlist of my choosing. I mean how great would that be? I can just imagine all the positive implications that waking up to great music would have. Why, I bet I would be more organized; my house would be cleaner; my children happier, the benefits are endless really! Oh yes, these alarm clocks are pretty pricey. But can you put a price on that kind of happiness? Thank you. I didn't think so. Anyway, I was all ready to shell out the bucks for the alarm clock that would put an end to my morning drudgery, and then.... THEN! I found THIS!

Oh dear god, when will they market this? I can tell you that if it's available by Christmas, some of you lucky friends and family will definately be finding one under your tree. Until then, I guess I'll have to settle for iPod alarm clock...


At the dinner table...

Paige: "Mom, [little boy at daycare] pushed me down and now I have a bruise (bwooze) on my head."

Me: "Hmmm, was it an accident or did he do it on purpose?"

P: "He did it on purpose (pope-us)."

M: "Wow. I wonder why would he do something like that?"

P: *shrugs* "Boys don't think (sink), Momma."

There's a real sense of pride and accomplishment when a major life lesson you've been trying to impart to them just clicks.


Overheard in the office...

I'm so tired of this conversation:

Client: "Hi, I'd like to make an appointment."

Me: "OK, his first available appointment is blah, blah, blah."

C: "Oh. OK. Well, I guess I'll take that appointment."
(long pause)
"So, he doesn't have anything sooner than that?"

M: (holding back, remaining professional) "no."

C: "Because, I've been coming to see him for, like, five years now."

What I wish I could say (aka, my inner dialog): Oh! Why didn't you mention that before? For you, of course we have an earlier appointment. Now, since you're such an exclusive client, I'm sure you know the secret handshake, right? Because unless you know the secret handshake, I'm afraid I can't access the chamber of hidden appointments.

What I get to say: "Sorry, that's the first available."


Stupid Cupid

Put on yer best sweats, baby! I'm takin' you out for Valentine's Day.
Le Chateau Blanc -(via Kottke)


Love in the afternoon...

Tomorrow, Dave and I will be participating in the Pacific Shoreline event in Huntington Beach. He in the half marathon and I in the 5K run/walk (more walk than run, for me). On Friday afternoon we went down to the expo to pick up our race bibs, time chips, t-shirts, etc. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to take a picture but lacked a camera so I took out my cell phone and snapped this shot of the pier. It's grainy and the color isn't true, but this will be our view while we run/walk tomorrow:

This view definately doesn't suck.

People, if you can manage it, I highly recommend daytime dates with your love over the evening versions. We took three hours out of our afternoon and headed down to the beach. We had a GREAT lunch at The Longboard on Main St., browsed around the Farmer's Market and Art-a-Faire, walked down to the expo to take care of our race business and took advantage of some amazing deals on nomally ridiculously-expensive racing clothes/gear. We did all of this without having to get a babysitter. And we still had the rest of the day/evening to get some work done, hang with the kids*, etc. We both agreed that it was some of the nicest alone time we've had in a while. I'm going to venture to say that it would've bordered on perfect if we'd indulged in a couple margaritas with lunch. But hey, now we have room for improvement.

*One of which spent her afternoon & evening cultivating a fever and vomitting extravaganza! See, the 'sitter would've been really pissed if we tried to go out that night.

Oh and, Go COLTS! Ok, I really don't care, it just felt like I should end with something Super Bowlish.


All she wants for Christmas...

Emily lost her second front tooth at school today. She burst through the front door and said "Mom. I lost. my tooth. at school. today." That's how seven-year-olds talk by the way. I was pretty excited (Dave & I have wanted to yank that thing out for a while now, but Em would have nothing to do with that) so naturally, my next question was "how did it come out?"

And I am not kidding here. This was her answer:

"This boy that sits at my table, Mason, punched himself in the face and then he told me to do the same thing and when I did my tooth came right out!"

So umm Emily, if Mason told you to jump off the roof...*sigh* never mind.

I decided to save the lectures for another time. After all, thanks to that little dork, we don't have to look at the snaggletooth anymore. Thanks Mason.

So I have a blog.

Big deal. Who doesn't have a blog, right? My brother has a blog, my husband has a blog, my aunt has a blog. And let me go on record here as saying that I LOVE blogs. I read a ton of them. I know, I know, this in no way means I'm qualified to publish a blog but I've been toying with the idea for a good, long time and I've decided to give it a go. I promise I will try not to bore and I will try not to induce eye-rolling.

My blog will have no defined theme. If you're looking for, oh I don't know, let's just say, DIY biotech posts such as How to isolate amniotic stem cells from the placenta, at home!, (wow!) do NOT look here. As the header above quite succinctly puts it, this is merely the unorganized thoughts of a hopelessly absent-minded woman. Nothing more.

Now then, if I have succeeded in sufficiently lowering your expectations....read on.