Sunday, December 31, 2006

the perfect end to the year

Our very good friend Steve gave each of us $50 for Christmas. Yes, he's very generous. And Archie's mom gave each of the girls gift certificates to Target. So we went and each of the girlies picked out an outfit and some fun stuff.

Lou got some art stuff. Bebe got a Barbie guitar. Charlotte fell in love because there is an included microphone. She was walking around with this pink thing, singing along with a pre-recorded Beyonce song, using the whammy bar like a pro, when suddenly she said, amplified, "Hey! Help! Rockstar has to go to the bathroom!"

I didn't think this hilarity could be topped. Except that ChaCha wanted to get the companion Barbie keyboard. Another microphone! You can actually play this (as opposed to the guitar), more pop songs, and lots of rhythm options. But the best thing, far and away, is a cowbell button.

When the cacophony gets a little overwhelming, I shout, "More cowbell!" and Cha pushes that button and it cracks me up every time.

May your 2007 have more cowbell. I know mine will.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

remnants of christmas

We watched "Elf" about 20 times this season. The girls fell in love with it -- especially Cha.

I went into the bathroom and ChaCha came bursting in. "Honey, I'm using the bathroom. I'll be done in a minute. Go shut the door." This is my attempt at getting a little privacy now that the girlies are all bigger.

Cha walked over to me, leaned close, and whispered, "You sit on a throne of lies!"

Then she turned around, walked out, and shut the door. I was crying with laughter. Thank you, Will Ferrell.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

...and to all a good night

A Mexican food feast for dinner. 7-layer cookies and milk left on the coffee table; carrots and oats outside for the reindeer. 3 little girls asleep. Stockings stuffed and ready to put on the beds. Watching the MST3K version of "Santa Claus" with a Diet Coke and Stoli while wrapping presents. Soon to bed.

It will be a very Merry Christmas tomorrow.

Friday, December 22, 2006


So we're dealing with some complications right now. My mother, very generously, gifted the twins with a bunk bed for Christmas. We've dismantled and moved their twin beds, we made space in our living room (the small one, with the tree) to house the 6 very large boxes. And there are no instructions. None. The delivery guys said there would be a set of instructions in every box, but they lied to us! Now we're trying to see if the bed can be assembled without directions and planning for the kids to camp out in the family room.

To add to the insanity, we have a guest coming tomorrow. A good friend, who will endure the craziness, but still.

And, it seems my kids are geniuses at choosing the hot holiday gifts. Which means, of course, that there are not any of these items to be had. Yes, they will have a nice Christmas and perfectly acceptable gifts will be produced. But they really aren't super-demanding kids and it makes me a little sad that they won't get the 2 things (one for Cha and a shared present for the twins -- which they asked for as a shared gift) they had their hearts set on.

[As I was typing away, Lou ran in screeching, "There are directions! We finally found them!" So, small favors and all that.]

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

thanks for leading with the first compliment

Today I took a little trouble with my appearance. I wore a fitted t-shirt, Levis that fit great, my fantastic brown suede boots, and my new necklace. I even took the time to do my makeup and put some product in my hair.

At bedtime, Bebe said, "Mama, you look beautiful. You're the prettiest person in the whole world!" She paused. "And you have a great personality!" show.ever

Have you seen "Cash Cab"? It's the best. Unsuspecting people climb into a cab and then the cabbie/host turns on some flashing lights on the ceiling of the cab and asks them if they want to answer some general knowledge questions while they ride to their destination. They will get kicked out if they answer 3 questions incorrectly. They can get help twice with "shout outs" -- one on a mobile phone, one where they ask a passerby on the street. If the taxi stops at a red light, the passengers can double their money with a "Red Light Challenge". And if they arrive at their destination, they can go double or nothing with a video challenge.

This show is fun on so many levels. Everyone is startled by the flashing lights. As the viewer, you can try to guess if contestants are going to get through the entire ride or get booted out of the cab. (On one epsiode, a guy had two strikes and over 20 blocks to go and said, "We're in the worst section of New York! We can't get kicked out here!" Heh.)

I love this show. I wish there was a cash cab in my area. But, until then, I'll just enjoy watching people in New York take what has to be the best cab ride of their lives. Even if they lose!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

lucky 13

4 entwined silver rings on a slender chain in a blue box with a white ribbon.

3 girls.

6 different addresses.

All those and more add up to 13 years today.

Happy anniversary to us.

the end of the world

This whole Miss USA thing is ridiculous. First, isn't it kind of expected that Miss USA should be a little wild? A tad out of control? She's not Miss America, where I think there is a bit of an expectation that the winner appears wholesome and moderately intelligent and tries to exhibit some talent. Miss USA has to look hot and rock a bikini. Isn't her reign mostly about posing for covers of Maxim and other lad mags? Where Miss America tours middle schools and ostensibly does charity work or tries to raise awareness of some issue important to her?

I just think there are different expectations and now Donald Trump is sending a 20 year old who is partying to rehab? Really? Rehab?

The saddest thing is that the press conference was covered live on all the major news outlets. I don't think it makes anyone a horrible person to be interested in the story, but is it really news that needs to be covered live on CNN and NBC and CBS and (probably) ESPN?

[This post brought to you by the question mark.]

Monday, December 18, 2006

i love referrer logs

In the past 2 weeks, there have been about 5 or 6 hits for "slugs in dishwasher". All from England. The slugs are trying to overtake the Empire, one dishwasher at a time.

i don't think i'll be requiring a clown, thanks

I had errands to run today, but instead of doing them after I dropped ChaCha off at preschool, I came home and took a nice long nap. It was only interrupted by the knocking of the furnace as it prepared to kick on, followed by the whoosh as the heated air was forced out to warm the house. And we needed that heat. Apparently, Alaska thought the Bay Area was a little too spoiled with mild, wet winters and decided to export some cold, cold weather. Thanks, Alaska. You shouldn't have.

I picked up Cha and we did a little Christmas shopping -- a few items for Archie. At one point, Charlotte exclaimed, "We're hopelessly lost!" Which was very amusing since I knew exactly what I was getting and we completed the mission in about 30 minutes.

Then we stopped at the dollar store. The big girls talked it up to their little sister, who insisted that she had to get presents for the twins. I also figured we could pick up some tape. When we approached the cash register, a woman was going on and on to the store owner about how the off-brand Sharpie markers she purchased there were not good. They weren't dark enough and didn't last very long and she went on and on about it. (Yes, I was mentally rolling my eyes, thinking, "They're markers from the dollar store. What did you expect?") She then spent several minutes digging around in her purse, produced a balloon, and made the weirdest looking thing I've ever seen made from a balloon which she declared was a reindeer and then she drew on eyes -- one with the crap marker and one with a superior marker. She offered the freaky balloon reindeer to Cha. Then she gave me a card, saying, "I'm a clown. If you ever need one, call me."

Cha started to sing "Rudolph" and this woman snips, "That's not Rudolph -- he doesn't have a red nose!" Now I'm thinking that marker-obsessed clown-woman is a wee bit unstable. I'm imagining a party where she complains about her substandard markers to the kids and then corrects them as she hands them misshapen balloon creatures. What fun!

Finally, we were out of the store and into the car. That was when the not-Rudolph balloon exploded. I would venture to guess that she doesn't get a whole lot of work. Well, she won't be getting any work from me, at any rate.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

the dollar store

I took the twins to a nearby dollar store this afternoon. I am not a big fan -- it's mainly just a huge jumble of cruddy stuff. But they somehow managed to find things they knew would make good presents for each other and for Cha. At a total cost of not-quite 5 bucks.

Here's hoping Archie takes them somewhere a bit nicer to get a present for me.

Friday, December 15, 2006

the talk

[This is a slightly reworked post from the summer. I have to be Santa and shop tomorrow, so I'm cheating a bit. Plus, people who are reading from Holidailies probably can't be bothered to read the archives. Also, it's very funny, I think. So, win-win. Marked as adult for anatomically correct sexual terms.]

You know, The Talk. The birds and the bees. How babies are made -- at least the old-fashioned way. S-E-X.

The other night, Bebe and Lulu were asking me all kinds of questions about how babies are made. The info they had up to that point: girls have a uterus, a vagina, and eggs; boys have a penis and sperm; the sperm and egg combine to make a baby which grows in the uterus and then is either pushed out or the mother is cut open and the baby is pulled out. Oh, and Bebe got a crucial bit of info about sperm coming out of the penis which she thought was a joke.

Anyway, the discussion was at bedtime and the gist was that they wanted to know how the egg and sperm get together. Mostly, I thought this was a ploy to not go to sleep, so I said we'd talk about it the next day, fairly certain it would be forgotten because they had a field trip for camp the next day. Beebs woke up and the first thing she said was, "So, how do the egg and sperm get together?" I said it was a little involved and we'd discuss it when they came home from camp. As we got in the car to drive home, Elizabeth was all, "So? How? You promised!"

We came home and I explained the basics. There were 2 very funny moments. The first was when Elizabee asked if maybe, since the sperm comes out of the penis, the guy puts the sperm in a cup? Oh, my, I had to force myself to not laugh and go off on an infertility tangent. No need to confuse the poor kids too much at the start. The second very amusing thing was after I'd finished, I asked if they had any other questions. Beebs said, "The man puts his penis in the woman's vagina? I think I'll just adopt."

little girls

This has been one of those weeks. You know the kind -- you just feel like you're always forgetting something and you're always playing catch-up. There has been medication to remember to give Cha and there was a slumber party, which threw us all off schedule and we never really recovered and settled into our normal routine. Then there were holiday programs to attend and yesterday was a special party after school -- which was a lot of fun -- but all of the added activities meant squeezing homework into 2 days. Then there was emergency laundry. Then dinner wasn't appetizing to anyone one evening and that ended in whining. Seriously, Christmas is going to seem like a vacation.

All of the disruptions mean that I've felt like Miss Hannigan. From "Annie". I've really identified with her song from the show, "Little Girls":

Little girls
Little girls
Everywhere I turn I can see them
Little girls
Little girls
Night and day
I eat, sleep and breathe them
Little cheeks
Little teeth
Everything around me is little
If I wring
Little necks
Surely I will get an acquittal
How I hate
Little shoes
Little socks
And each little bloomer
I'd have cracked
Years ago
If it weren't for my
Sense of humor
Some day
I'll step on their freckles
Some night
I'll straighten their curls
Send a flood
Send the flu
Anything that you can do
To little girls
Some day I'll land in the nut house
With all the nuts and the squirrels
There I'll stay
Until the prohibition of
Little girls

They just make me want to have a few snorts of some bathtub gin, they do. But, even when I'm feeling Miss Hannigan-ish, I keep coming back to one verse of the song that always cheers me up. I know it's meant sarcastically, but I often find myself singing it to my girls in a positive, happy way -- even when they're driving me crazy. They climb all over me and I trumpet:

Some women are dripping with diamonds
Some women are dripping with pearls
Lucky me! Lucky me!
Look at what I'm dripping with
Little girls

Lucky me, indeed.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

tats for preschoolers

Charlotte had her kindergarten shots last week and then got cellulitis. It manifested as a large, swollen, red splotch on her arm, where she'd gotten her shot. We went back to the doctor and got an antibiotic. The best thing, though, was when the doctor asked me, "Do you mind if I draw on her?"

"For fun or is there a purpose?"

"Not for fun -- I want to outline the area so we can tell if it's receding or spreading more easily."

So, Cha got a "tattoo". She's very proud of it. The cellulitis began to recede by the next morning. Don't worry -- she'll be finishing all of her course of antibiotics. One of my brothers contracted an antibiotic-resistant staph infection which required surgery and months of care.

We're not making any superbugs in this house, if we can help it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

puttin' on the ritz

Peter Boyle died.

And my first thought when I heard was the scene where he danced and "sang" as the monster in "Young Frankenstein".

mr. gri-inch

Of course, you're a fan of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". OK, maybe not Opie's live-action movie, but you love the book and adore the animated special, right? Sure you do!

We recorded it last night and watched it this morning as I was getting the girls ready for school. And there was a half-hour special all about the creation of the Chuck Jones version which was at times annoying, but where I learned one very interesting fact. The music was written by Albert Hague.

Do you know who Albert Hague is? He's Mr. Shorovsky from "Fame"! The beareded music teacher who always gave everyone such a hard time!

You really can learn something new every day -- even while watching a cartoon!

Monday, December 11, 2006

reverse psychology fails again

I've written before about Ms. ChaCha Bug's preschool issues. To briefly recap, she practically grew up there, since she was 6 months old when the twins started class. She felt completely comfortable and when she started, she exhibited some problems with seeing her teachers as authority figures. She was never blatantly defiant and nasty, she'd just ignore instructions, particularly to come inside from the play yard. When we switched schools (same basic program; different location) at the end of last year, she improved dramatically.

About halfway through the first session, the head teacher retired. So, Cha has started pulling the same ignoring routine again. She's doing really well on learning her letters and pre-reading stuff and she's very social and sweet-natured and loves her friends. But her teacher asked me today to talk to her about following instructions. (I am such a smart-ass, that the first thing I thought was, "I'm supposed to tell her to listen to you? Who knew? I've been telling her to ignore adults and any direct commands!" Heh.)

So, in the car on the ride home, I spoke to her for what seemed like the bazillionth time about listening and following directions. Charlotte said, "Do you know what Miss Grace says will happen to kids who don't listen?"

"No, sweetie. What does Miss Grace say?"

"That if you don't listen, you will have to sing a solo at the holiday program. That's where you have to sing all by yourself in front of all the parents."

Oh, Lord, this woman has absolutely no clue what makes this child tick.

"Mama, I've been trying to decide if I should sing 'Zombie Jamboree' or 'Hit Me with Your Best Shot'. Which do you think would be best?"

The teacher is grooming the kid to ignore her.

die, cristina aguilera, die

Last night, we decorated our Christmas tree. I told Archie to find a music channel on DirecTV that featured holiday music. For a few songs, it was lovely. There was a tune sung by Karen Carpenter. Perfect -- such a gorgeous voice. Something by Harry Belafonte -- fine. And then Christmas was ruined forever. Forever!

There was a backbeat and some choir-y noodling. Then a lot of vocal gymnastics which served no purpose other than to prove that the singer had a range. Every phrase had some embellishment -- a trill, a growl, a run. It was a case of gilding the lily that so many female singers are guilty of nowadays. And then it hit me -- this was a version of my favorite Christmas hymn. This is a song I love more than any other for the season. And some crazy singer was messing it up! Hell, she wasn't even remotely following the melody.

I ran into the family room to read the little caption on the TV. You've already guessed it was Cristina Aguilera. The song she was desecrating was "Angels We Have Heard On High". I think there was an electric guitar in the mix. I was ranting loudly to poor Archie -- "What is wrong with people? Why do they insist on making up melodies for standard songs which have perfectly lovely melodies? Nobody wants you to show your artistic chops on a Christmas song -- we just want it to sound pretty so we can sing along! I wish I could poison that woman so she could never sing again. That skank is still singing and Julie Andrews can't sing anymore? Julie Andrews would never do this to my favorite Christmas song! She has taste and class. Cristina is horrible and no amount of makeup spackled on to make her look like Marilyn Monroe is hiding the fact that her skin bites and it only makes her look like a drag queen. Did you hear that? What is she doing to my favorite Christmas song? Why, God? Why? I think this is proof that there is true evil in the world."

Archie tried valiantly to console me by saying there are lots of other beautiful and non-offending versions of this song and Ms. Skanky's doesn't have to be the one I have stuck in my head. Which is true, to a point.

But I woke up screaming, in a cold sweat, from a dream where I was forced to listen to the offending version over and over and over, "Clockwork Orange"-style.

Does anyone have the number for the folks who poisoned that Russian spy?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

conversations and a bonus

[I grabbed one of Archie's sweatshirts and this annoyed him to the point of snapping at me. We come in later in the car, after I have changed shirts.]

Archie: I'm sorry for yelling.
Me: No problem. I'm sorry. And I changed the shirt.
Archie: But I swear to God, if you ever wear one of my sweatshirts again, I'll [beginning to laugh] set you on fire!


[At IHoP, with Charlotte, after we've dropped the twins off at a slumber party. Our server has introduced himself. His name is Rolf. We've ordered and received our food.]

Me: When you see Rolf, can you ask him if I can have my glass of milk?
Archie: Oh, you want your milk, huh? You have water. What are you complaining about?
Me: Whatever. But you'll still be paying for it and I will not get to consume it, so you might want to bring it to Rolf's attention.
Me: Every time I say his name, I want to break into a stirring rendition of "16 Going on 17". Especially since it's raining outside.
Me: I guess my "Sound of Music" reference fell flat.
Archie: Oh. I was actually thinking of "The Muppet Show." I don't think Rolf would have taken good care of her.
Me: Of course not. Because he was a big Nazi!
Archie: But so good looking! And blonde!


We watched this movie called "Microcosmos" last night which was really cool and gross and neat-o -- if you like seeing bugs all in super-close-up, which we apparently do. Charlotte also loved it a lot because she has a lot of affection for the insect kingdom. Unfortunately, there was a bit of the porno to it -- which is always a risk with a nature documentary. There was the ladybug humping scene, which made me wonder if that was a Sapphic scenario, what with them being LADYbugs. Oh, I crack myself up.

Then there was the wocka-chocka snail scene. Cha asked, "What are they doing?" as the snails started to get veryclose to each other. Then she said, "Look! They're hugging! That's so cute." Then as they began to explore each other with their snaily appendages, she exclaimed, "Ooooo, they're kissing! Yuck! Bleeeech!" Archie and I were then amused when the snails toppled over from their passion.

Of course, they did so very slooooowly.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

not a francophile

Elizabee and I were looking at a picture of the Statue of Liberty. I mentioned that it was a gift from the country of France.

"I don't want to go to France."


"Too many French people! Too much french toast!"

Well, that should save me some airfare.

Friday, December 08, 2006

the best sandwich in the world

Start with some dark bread. I use Oroweat Schwartwalder Dark Rye. (I do not work for Oroweat. I just really love this bread.) Put mayo on one slice, mustard on the other. I would advise against a boring yellow mustard -- I'm currently using a champagne mustard we got in Napa in May, but I've also used a dijon or Gulden's, which are tasty, too.

On one slice of the bread, add the cheese. You can use any type you like, but you're going to want to use at least two kinds. I love a mix of Havarti and Swiss. (The Havarti I'm using right now has dill in it, which is very delicious.) Don't use great horking slabs of cheese -- slice it thinly and kind of alternate it on the bread. Then add some crunch. I like sliced onions and sprouts, but one of those would work alone, too, if you hate onions or hate sprouts. But you have to have something to give a little bite to your tooth. If you enjoy tomatoes (I do), add a few thin slices. Put the other slice of bread on top.

Microwave for a minute or until the cheese is starting to melt. Let cool just enough to pick up and devour.

Results? Joy for your tastebuds.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

dear person from massachusetts,

Thank you for visiting my site. I hope you found it interesting or amusing. I'm very sorry that Google directed you here for the search terms "taking care of a baby slug". I have no clue how you take care of any slug, let alone a baby one.

Wait, that's not really true. If I need to take care of a slug (and "taking care of" in this context means "getting rid of the damn slimy thing"), I call on the assistance of one of my 3 daughters who find slimy, gross things fascinating. They are all completely unlike me in that regard.



Wednesday, December 06, 2006

is it time to panic?

Just under 3 weeks until Christmas. We still don't have a tree. I haven't purchased a single present. I really need a jolt of some holiday cheer.

But maybe a few shots of vodka would be better.

Ho, ho, hiccup!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

bless you, mark twain

A very long time ago, my mother decided to paint our living room. In Ohio, in July. If you aren't from the Midwest, let me just inform you that July in Ohio is hot and dripping with humidity. I was 19, home from my frosh year of college, and sitting on a couch fanning myself and watching Mom paint.

Because I was a smart-ass, I was also keeping up a running commentary on how totally insane it was to be painting at that moment. Which, looking back now from the vantage point of parenthood, must have been unbelievably annoying. So my mom tried to be all tricky.

"This is really kind of fun! And you have to admit it looks a million times better. But I really don't know if I should even let you do this -- you'd probably make a mistake."

I sat there in disbelief for a moment. Then I started to laugh.

"Mom, I read 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' in elementary school. No way are you fooling me with the reverse psychology! But you really are cute trying to get me to whitewash your fence for you."

Monday, December 04, 2006

tale of the tooth

Elizabeth is our delicate flower. She can get emotional over just about everything. She cries easily. But her dramas pass just as quickly. And she sometimes displays a streak of toughness.

She's had a loose bottom tooth for what seems like forever. The adult tooth came in behind the baby one, so wiggling it with her tongue was kind of out of the equation. And Beebs isn't the kind of girl who likes to use her fingers to wiggle her teeth around. She's refused to eat anything other than soft foods.

When Archie and I got back from the party on Friday, Bebe woke up just enough to tell me that her tooth felt weird. When she got up in the morning, she refused to open her mouth, wouldn't talk, and wouldn't eat or drink. She tried to use charades to communicate, moved to humming grunts, and finally started to write everything down. Apparently, she wasn't in pain, it just felt strange because the tooth had shifted kind of sideways. She let me brush it very gently for a few minutes, and then shut her mouth. We actually got her to eat 3 chicken nuggets for dinner.

On Sunday morning, we tried to talk her into eating and drinking and talking. No dice. I tried to be sympathetic and attempted to suggest more gentle tooth brushing. Archie took the tack that it was a goddamned baby tooth and every person in the history of humankind loses them and she should just get over herself. There were lots of tears and sobbing hiccups. Oh, the drama! Finally, she told Archie to just take it out -- she wanted to eat!

According to Archie, the tooth was still anchored fairly tightly. He wiggled and wiggled it and poor Bebe made ouchy noises. Arch got a tissue and went back to work. I was holding Bebe on my lap and she was squeezing my hands very tightly. Archie sat back, announced the tooth was out, and the sun shone and a rainbow appeared and fairies danced through our kitchen. OK, what really happened was Elizabee jumped straight off my lap laughing and raced into the bathroom to spit blood into the sink and rejoice in the absence of the evil tooth.

She put that tooth on the Tooth Fairy plate and left a charming note detailing her pain and bravery in the face of removal. The Tooth Fairy left her a dollar bill and a note commending her toughness and reminding her to brush her teeth.

Only 14 more to go.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

technology adultery

We are an Apple household and worship at the shrine of Steve Jobs. All of our computers are Macs and Archie has gone through 2 iPods and currently uses the new, adorable clip-on style shuffle.

The other day, Louisa was going through Archie's bedside table and she pulled out a Rio player.

"Mama, what's this?"

"It's a Rio -- a music player."

"You mean Daddy's cheating on his iPod?"

Saturday, December 02, 2006

back to the future

Last night was Archie's work holiday party. He said they had a band named Tainted Love. I became much too excited because I was sure it would be all 80s covers and I could pretend to be 16, yet drink something better than cheap-ass beer in a plastic kegger cup.

As we walked into the club, the band kicked into "Melt With You". We boogied over to the bar and got some drinks. Then the band launched into "We Got the Beat" and Archie and I took big swigs of our drinks and bounced onto the empty dance floor. Screw the idea of waiting -- I had only a few hours and I was going to have fun. Plus, I don't have to see any of these people on a daily basis. Archie said later he will be hearing about how he started the dancing for weeks to come. Poor baby.

We jumped and twirled and stomped and sweated. Other people joined us. Yay! Then we paused during a Bon Jovi song (blech) to down some water and rest for a tiny bit. And mingle. Sadly, after a Clash song, the music took a turn for the ugly and was much too bad rock. We gave up when "Take Me Home Tonight" started and I screamed, "Eddie Money? Really? Really?"

Between sets, the big boss gave a short speech. He ended it by saying, "How many of you here were born in the 80s?" and was greeted by an obscene number of raised hands and hoots and whistles. I said to the people I was standing with, "How many of you had sex in the 80s?" and we all screamed and shouted. I think having sex trumps being born. Heh.

The really funny thing was eveyone we talked to asked about the kids. Not in a "How are the kids?" way, either, but a "Did you get a sitter?" way. We must look like very incompetent parents. And I guess we don't help that perception when we answer, "We left them alone at home. They'll be fine, right? 4 and 7 year olds are capable of taking care of themselves for a few hours." Maybe we should just answer, "Yeah -- we got a sitter and they're probably asleep by now."

Friday, December 01, 2006

sorry for the mess

Welcome to anyone who hasn't read before. I'm Katie, a 41 year old woman married to Archie and mother to 7 year old twins, Elizabeth and Louisa (often referred to as Bebe or Elizabee and Lulu or Lou), and 4 year old Charlotte (ChaCha the prancing pony girl). I adore reality TV, reading, string quartets, and walking on the beach. OK -- that last one's a lie. I rock at "Jeopardy!", though. And I know that there is a religion in Vietnam in which Victor Hugo is a saint. Isn't that interesting? Don't you want to be my best friend? Where are you going?

This space is where I mostly talk about my girlies and stupid things Archie and I say to each other. There's nothing salacious going on here and nothing earth-changing. The title, slug rodeo, comes from the kids. A number of years ago they were all playing and when I went to see what they were doing I discovered they had made a circle with dirt, like a corral. Inside was a very disgusting slug. When I asked what they were doing, one of the kids said, "It's a slug rodeo, Mama!" It nicely describes my life right now -- slow, silly, with brief flashes of excitement. And gross, because little kids bring the gross.

Feel free to delve into the archives. I think it will give you a bit of an idea of what a goofy family I'm a part of. I also think it's indicative of what a real conversation with me can be like -- I'll tell you a story about my grandma and then talk about an episode of a TV show and then tell a cute story about the kids.

Come back all this month if you like nice and slightly amusing. I'll be updating daily for Holidailies.

Friday, November 24, 2006

the day after the stuffing

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and had over good friends and ate like pigs at the trough. You know, if pigs ate themselves (we had ham) and could fashion pies with their cloven hooves.

The thing I will remember about this year's celebration is that Ms. Cha sneaked into the kitchen while the adults were all in a food coma and ate a chocolate pie with her fingers. The pie was an offering brought by some of our guests and as they were leaving, I said, "Well, Charlotte learned a lesson from the Great Pie Incident," thinking of the fact that we explained patiently all she had to do was ask for another piece -- lord knows if there's one day you will not be denied food it's Thanksgiving. Our friend said, "Yeah -- the lesson is that if you eat a pie with your fingers, the guests will leave the remainder at your house. Awesome job, Mom!"

I laughed, but thought, "Hmmm, I think I might have to stick my fingers into some pies at a later date and blame it on Charlotte."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

she's a wild one

Charlotte was goofing around and kind of annoying Elizabeth. Bebe was telling Cha to leave her alone, and then Beebs appealed to me to intervene.

"Charlotte, settle down."

"But, Mama, I want to rock!"

Saturday, November 18, 2006

hang on, sloopy

Whew. Onward in a little under 2 months to Glendale. It will be interesting to see how the rankings sort themselves out.

Yay, Bucks! I'm tired.


We're up. I have no voice left from screaming and I've scared the girls with my enthusiasm for almost 2 hours.

Another half to go!

i don't give a damn for the whole state of michigan

'Cause I'm from O-hi-o!

An hour 'til the most important game of the season starts. I'm a nervous wreck. I need a stiff drink. Archie will be trying to distract the children -- especially if the unmentionable happens and I need to weep. Pray for OSU.

Pray for me.

Monday, November 06, 2006

those wacky cylons

I don't watch "Battlestar Galactica" very closely. Archie is a big fan, though. I often kind of half-listen to it when he watches.

Tonight he's watching the most recent episode, and some atmospheric. tinkly-winkly piano music featured prominently during some of the Cylon scenes.

"Hey! When did the Cylons become such big Windham Hill fans? Who knew machines love crappy, fake piano jazz?"

Saturday, November 04, 2006

ball state

I love you, Ball State. You almost beat that team up north today. That means I am not completely tied up in knots a mere 2 weeks before The Game. I am just sorry that you didn't prevail and beat the number 2 team in the country. But bless you for seeding that team with a sense of fear. Fear is good.

Go Bucks! Blue sucks!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

a conversation

Archie was using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to clean some crayon marks off of a drawer front in the kitchen.

Me: I can't wait to try that on the caulk.

Archie: Huh? [I point to the stained caulk around the kitchen sink.] Oh. I thought you said something else.

Me: I was not talking about your penis. God, you're such a man.

my kids are too cool for school

Yesterday afternoon, Charlotte and I had to walk in the street for a short stretch to avoid some sprinklers while we went to the twins' school. As we stepped back onto the sidewalk, Cha turned around, pointed at the yard with the sprinklers and shouted, "In your face, sprinklers!"

This morning, Bebe and I were rehashing the Halloween festivites and I told her about the teens who sang Christmas carols. She asked me why they did that and I said I didn't know why -- it was probably because it was silly and fun. Elizabee replied, "Yeah, Mama, I guess that's just how they roll."

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

halloween is over

Thank God, because I was really tired of all the costume changing. But the girlies had a blast. We went to Archie's work for a parade and party and it was fine until their friend (the daughter of one of Archie's coworkers) showed up when it turned into the best party ever ever ever. They played and squealed and Archie and I invited the other family over for Thanksgiving and then it was even better. Seriously, my girls are so easy to please and take such joy in simple things like a friend coming for a party or Thanksgiving.

Tonight was fun. Archie got stuck in traffic, so the girls helped pass out candy. (The eyeballs were a smashing success.) I can't believe we had over 50 trick-or-treaters! (I know how many we had because we had a bag of the eyeballs and there were over 60 eyeballs in that bag and we were less several because the girls had to taste them. Heh.) We had all the cute kids and the lame-o teenagers who don't dress up but still want candy. Jeez, at least wear a mask or something. Archie finally got home and took the kinder out to collect some candy. People give out great stuff these days. The big hit was whoever gave out containers of Playdough. After the girls were in bed, the doorbell rang and Archie answered it. On our porch were about 4 teens, all in costume, who began singing Christmas carols. That was fantastic! We gave them all the rest of the chocolate candy and made them promise to come by at Christmas and sing Halloween songs. Then we blew out the candles in the jack-o-lanterns, turned out the porch light, and relaxed.

Bring on Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 30, 2006

a few notes for the googling public

1. I do not hate my husband. Seriously, I don't know how anyone reads far enough into the searches to find my little site, but, for the record, I love my husband!

2. You will not find tips about actual slugs here. Sorry. And, wow -- you have them in your dishwasher? Gross.

3. An awful lot of people seem to be worried about wobbly teeth. I hope this is because they have children who are losing baby teeth and not because they are adults who have adult teeth falling out of their heads.

4. I know nothing about rodeo princess costumes. Although being a rodeo princess sounds awesome. I'd suggest a hat and boots and maybe a skirt with fringe. And a big-ass belt buckle. A horse would make it perfect. I think I'd like to be a rodeo princess in real life.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

rumble at the costco

Like everyone else in the universe on Saturday, we went to Costco, which is a big warehouse place. When you go on a weekend, you will circle the parking lot 700 times, following a person with a cart full of stuff and then someone will sneak into the space you waited 15 minutes for and then you start the circling again and, if you are Archie and me, you will sing the "Jaws" theme over an over and over. And it never gets old. OK, the circling gets old, but singing the "Jaws" theme? That's always funny. And, when someone has stolen your spot yet again, you will sigh and then have a little mini-party when you score a fantastic spot right up front. And it only took what felt like an hour!

We finally entered and began our slow and meandering quest to acquire large quantities of stuff. A jumbo pack of Capri Sun. Huge bags of Halloween candy (and candy eyeballs -- we're gonna be the coolest house on the block!). Some other stuff I've forgotten already. We are prepared for the slow going with comedy that never gets old. "Hey -- do we need a quart of capers? What about an industrial size bucket of mayo?" And then we had a fight with the rudest people in the entire place.

There are always employees at the end of aisles with free food samples. We don't personally partake of the free samples, but apparently this is a favored practice. To my mind, if you are going to crowd the end of the aisle to wait and sample cookies or cheese or whatever else Costco has purchased a metric ton of and would like you to buy, you should stash your cart away from the aisle so the people who would like to buy something in that aisle can get by. But I am obviously out of my gourd and old people think that's a move for sissies.

Archie said, "Excuse me," to an elderly woman who was blocking the aisle with her cart. She didn't respond, so he hit her with our cart, called her a bitch, and then stole her purse. Ha! No, he didn't, but you would have thought he did by her response. I'm guessing that even though she was 700 years old and he called her ma'am and was polite, she mistook this as him being the rudest human on the planet and felt the need to tell him to shut up. We moved past her and Archie said, "Fuck you, you skanky old bitch!" Oh, wait, no he didn't. He said, "Ma'am, your cart is blocking the aisle. I just want to get past you." This set off another woman who was living in the same imaginary world as the elderly woman and started screaming at us. Archie went up to her and hissed, "Outside right now so I can kick your ass!" Wait, no he didn't. He said, "That's very nice to jump in when it's not really any of your business." Which ticked off the second woman who turned out to be the daughter of the first woman and I guess she thought it was beyond the pale that my husband actually spoke to her mother with a respectful tone and used the term ma'am and was polite and calm in the face of yelling and rudeness. Because the daughter proceeded to swear loudly. Which was when I called over my shoulder (with no attempt to be polite because those women were craaaazy), "That's really nice language to use in public around children!"

When we were done shopping and in the car driving home, Archie said it was like being in an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm". Except without the jaunty and annoying tuba music. He also said those women were probably in their car talking about how rude and awful we were.

"Yeah, but I'm betting the old biddies don't have a blog to bitch about us! Ha! Because I'm going to make fun of them. I'm so adult and mature like that!"

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

halloween overload

So, eveyone's dressed and fed and the girls are watching "Arthur" before we get the big ones to school. And I'm stressing mildly over the fact that Halloween has suddenly become a major holiday.

When I was a kid (and had a pet triceratops, heh), there was a parade at school, a classroom party at the end of the day, and trick-or-treating. The end, enjoy your candy.

This year, we have a party at the kajukenbo dojo on Friday, the family parade and party at Archie's work on Monday (which is a lot of fun and the girls love it), the after-school parade on Tuesday, and then trick-or-treating. Dear Lord, that's a lot of dressing up and candy and excitement. We've also found out that the amusement park that time forgot has a weekend sleepover, which I know the kids would have fits of joy over. But -- you have to be at least 5 and there's no way we could hide atttendance from Cha, so we're planning on everyone going next year.

You know how ridiculous I sound, right? "Man, Halloween has turned into a scheduling nightmare! But I think there's one more thing the kids would really like to do, so we'll add it on next year."

I obviously hit my head very hard and now I'm certifiably insane!

Monday, October 23, 2006

dinosaur, dedication, and divorce

So, this weekend, Archie and I were out on the deck and he got this semi-pained look on his face. "God, I can't believe it." All I could think was that he saw another mouse or some other rodent near the fence. "What is it now?" I asked. "I can't believe we have...dinousaurs!" And he kicked a plastic dino sitting in the driveway that one of the girls had left there.

Tonight, while we were watching "Jeopardy!" an answer got the girls and I talking about pseudonyms. Elizabee said she was going to write a book and she would write it under her own name. "And I will dedicate it to you, Mama." "That's really sweet, Bebe." "It will say, 'To my mother who gave me almost everything I wanted!'" I would like the award for best mother ever right now.

Archie lost his wedding ring on Saturday. He'd gone to kajukenbo (where he takes it off) and then he realized it wasn't in his bag and it wasn't just lying around. Tonight when he came home from work, he was still upset. I told him it was OK; it's just a ring. He replied, "Yeah, I know, but if I don't find it we'll have to get divorced!" I started to laugh, but the girls were very concerned and I had to reassure them that he was just kidding. He came home from the dojo later and he'd found it -- in the trunk of the car. I told him I was very happy we could stay married.

This post has been brought to you by the letter D.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Some people who read here know this story, because I've told it elsewhere. Too bad this is a repeat -- it's a really funny story!

When I was about 5 or 6, my aunt, who was an English teacher, was visiting. I was reading a book and I asked my aunt what W-H-O-R-E spelled. She replied, without any thought, "Whore." I said thanks and carried on.

Now, my aunt thought for a moment and wondered why her little niece was reading a book with the word whore in it. So she asked me to show her the word in the book. I dutifully pointed it out. The word wasn't "whore", it was "who're". I apparently wasn't big on apostrophes at that point.

What was the book, you ask? Why, "Danny and the Dinosaur". Totally whore-free!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

for isa

This is for your amusement, Isabelle, in celebration of your new store! Another funny Lulu moment.

We were talking about options for Halloween costumes. We have this fantastic Sully monster costume that Bebe wore a long time ago. I told Louisa maybe I could talk ChaCha into wearing. "Why, Mama?" "Well, Cha would make an adorable monster."

"Yeah," she answered, "and because you're cheap!"

She was absolutely correct. Sadly, Charlotte did not want to be Sully, she is going to be Cinderella. And Bebe is Sleeping Beauty. Our Lou is Pocahontas (and I'm giggling because I remember when they used to pronounce that as Mochahontas -- like a Disney/Starbucks children's drink).

I'm hoping against hope that the princess thing is soon to be over. Although a Native American princess is a step in the right direction.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

we watch too many tlc programs

Last night, Louisa was goofing around with this pencil. It had broken in two and she took the piece with no eraser on it and sharpened both ends. Then she held it up and said, in a very movie trailer-voiceover way, "One Was Two: The Autobiography of a Conjoined Pencil!"

Then we both laughed hysterically. God, that was funny.

What was even funnier was that I told her to go and tell Archie because I knew he would think it was amazingly funny, too. Lou got all shy and told me no and that I couldn't tell him, either. So I asked if I could write about it here, at slug rodeo.

She thought for a moment and asked, "You really want anyone in the entire world to read about this?"

"Sure! It's funny!"

"OK. But you can't tell Daddy!"

So I'm not telling. But I also neglected to tell her that Archie might possibly read this and then I've foiled her. Ha!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

why garry marshall is a genius

So, we watched "The Princess Diaries" this morning. Garry Marshall (the director) is simply brilliant. Think about it. He made a little movie about a hooker who gets schooled in manners and deportment by Hector Elizondo and then she wins her john and gets a happily ever after, just like a princess. You might have heard about it -- the word was it did a little business. Then, Marshall makes another movie where a girl IS a princess and Hector Elizondo (with a little help from Julie Andrews) teaches her how to behave as one and she gets her happily ever after without being a prostitute. I wish I had thought of it.

And reason 599 that I love my husband? He sat and watched the entire thing with us -- even though I told him he could switch to the football. Reason 600 is that I think he enjoyed it -- which makes he and I both 14 year old girls. Heh.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

best friends

You know what the best thing about the first day of school is? When Bebe sees her friend and goes barreling toward her squealing, "Larisha!" And Larisha yells, "Elizabeth!" as she runs and they look like a 7 year old, all-girl version of Cathy and Heathcliff running across the moors and then they fling themselves into a full-contact hug. And at the same time, Lulu is propelling herself at several of her friends and then they all skip to the playground, holding hands and chattering away.

That's the best.

And tomorrow, Cha goes back to preschool and there has been a lot talk about how she can't wait to see her friend, Suliman. I predict much sweet cuteness will abound. And then I'll have to come home and take a nap, just to recover from all the best friend love.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

i love baseball

Since my Cubs are having a typical year (read: languishing in the basement), I look to other sources for my sheer love of the game. Monday was the championship game in the Little League World Series. There was a stunning amount of cuteness and joy and heartbreak (I'm not ashamed to say I smiled and cheered for the American team who won and in the same moment shed a tear for the Japanese team who lost).

My favorite moment was a shot of the diamond after the game had ended. Green grass littered with the dropped gloves of the winning team. That was perfection.

I hope all those kids had some ice cream afterwards.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

the dumbest joke ever

Seriously. And it is made even dumber by the fact that I cracked myself up so badly that I snorted and actually fell out of bed.

So, Archie and I were in bed, reading. I was reading a book about Herman Melville. And I started to read a passage out of it to Archie. He asked, "So, Melville wrote 'Moby Dick', right?"

"Uh, yeah."

"I've never read it."

"Really? It's a whale of a book." And that's when I fell out of bed, snorting at my own completely stupid pun.

It's a wonder I'm still married and that my children have not been taken away from me.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

why my day was much better than your day

OK -- it didn't seem, at first blush, like it was going to be a fantastic day. The twins were having their molars sealed which meant driving over to the Peninsula and dealing with Cha and her boundless energy and LOUD voice in the small waiting room. (I now know why all parents have some version of the phrase, "I'm right next to you -- lower your voice.") Sure, we were going to the library after, but even that wasn't enough to make it seem like any more than a pain in the ass day.

It seemed that it might be an even worse than a pain in the ass day when we arrived at the dentist's office and the fish tank was gone. That meant 10 minutes of Charlotte moaning about the gone-ness of the fish -- 15 minutes when she normally would have been engrossed in looking at the fish. Oh, this was not good.

Then, the receptionist took us across the parking lot when Lulu went back to an exam room and turned everything into gold. Guess. Go on -- guess what we were shown.

Puppies! 5 adorable, yippy, wiggly puppies! So, Cha and Bebe and I played with the puppies and held the puppies and cooed at the puppies. Then, after about 20 minutes, we went back to the office and switched Bebe out for Lulu and our new configuaration went back to play with the puppies. Puppies and kids are magic. It was too much fun.

(The twins were also excited that they got to watch a movie during their procedures on the headset goggles. Not an entire movie, but Lou said she watched the beginning of "Cheaper by the Dozen" and Elizabee was excited that she saw the beginning of "Madagascar".)

Puppies. Seriously, top going to the dentist and then playing with puppies. Yeah, I didn't think you could.

Monday, August 21, 2006

fight science

The National Geographic network is running this show called "Fight Science" which is very cool and science-y and martial art-y. In one part of the show they measure the amount of force a punch or kick can deliver and it's amazing. One of the guys says, "I feel like Superman. In a very humble way." That cracked me up.

Friday, August 18, 2006

i didn't even get an invitation

This morning, Charlotte was skipping around outside, swinging her arms and singing.

"Walking in the park with Dennis. With Dennis. Walking and singing in the park with Dennis..."
"Hey! Who is Dennis, Cha?"
"My husband. Walking in the park with Dennis..."

They grow up so fast. Heh.

Monday, August 14, 2006

waking up

Lou came into my bedroom and whispered, "Mama, wake up! I am so mad!" Really, that's not something you want to hear upon waking. As we went into the kitchen she explained what was upsetting her. "These books from the library? The diaries? They're not real! They're fiction, Mama! I'm so mad!" Heh. Considering that she knows what fiction is and that there was an author's name on the cover of the books, I, stupidly, figured she'd realize these were fictionalized accounts. I figured wrong. Oops.

Bebe was very Bebe. "I'm hungry. What can I have for breakfast?"

Charlotte bounced out and climbed up on my lap, with a huge smile. "I had the best dream!" I waited a few moments and then asked, "Well? What was your dream about?" "Mama, I'm too happy to say." A minute later she said, grinning, "I had a guitar -- and a little sister!"

When she was telling Archie about her fantastic dream, Archie asked, "Did you play your dream little sister like a guitar?"

"Daddy! No! That would be rude."

Sunday, August 13, 2006

the kara-tay picnic

For the last several months, Archie has been taking classes in Kajukenbo. It's a combination martial art (karate/judo/ken for something I don't remember/boxing). It was developed in Hawaii and is considered the first real American martial art. (Also, I call it the Esperanto of martial arts because I'm goofy.) Yesterday, we went to the picnic at a local park and it was lots of fun. Most of the students are kids (and the twins are going to be starting after school starts again) and so there were lots of young people and the girls had a great time. They had a raffle and Archie won a free hour of groundwork with the second in command, which he's very excited about. And it was the Sifu's birthday and all the kids gave him a punch in the stomach, instead of spanks, which was kind of funny.

I was kind of "eh" about the girls doing this as a sport. But I've come around to thinking it's a really good thing. Archie says the kids at the dojo are all really focussed and respectful and have a lot of fun. He said Sifu is really great with kids -- he routinely plans stuff for just the kids (movies and stuff) that give it more of a community feel rather than just a sport or activity. And Archie says the girls at the dojo are amazing and strong and love to fight and he wants that for our girls, which I've decided is a great thing.

Also, Archie found this show on MTV2 called "Final Fu" which is a reality/competition show about martial arts. The contestants are all young adults. I have no idea how good they are, but it's fun to watch all the different disciplines. And, it's really amazing to watch the attitudes of these kids. On most reality shows, there's a lot of bluster and blaming other people and it gets really tiring after a while. These contestants all admit to their own failings and strengths. It's quite refreshing to see a young guy say the only person to blame for his elimination is himself -- and that now he's going to go and work even harder. I just have come around to what a great way of looking at things in this way is -- and martial arts seem to foster this. So, I guess I'm going to be the kara-TAY! mom.

Archie says Sifu says about one of the teenage girls, "That girl loves to bang!" Meaning that she loves to fight. Apparently, even the boys don't want to mess with her because she brings it. And I met her at the picnic and she's adorable and polite and man, I would be completely happy if my girls loved to bang, too.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

the talk

You know, The Talk. The birds and the bees. How babies are made -- at least the old-fashioned way. S-E-X.

The other night, Bebe and Lulu were asking me all kinds of questions about how babies are made. The info they had up to that point: girls have a uterus, a vagina, and eggs, boys have a penis and sperm, the sperm and egg combine to make a baby which grows in the uterus and then is either pushed out or the mother is cut open and the baby is pulled out. Oh, and Bebe got a crucial bit of info about sperm coming out of the penis which she thought was a joke.

Anyway, the discussion was at bedtime and the gist was that they wanted to know how the egg and sperm got together. Mostly, I thought this was a ploy to not go to sleep, so I said we'd talk about it the next day, fairly certain it would be forgotten because they had a field trip for camp the next day. Beebs woke up and the first thing she said was, "So, how do the egg and sperm get together?" I said it was a little involved and we'd discuss when they came home from camp. As we got in the car to drive home, Elizabeth was all, "So? How? You promised!"

So we came home and I explained the basics. There were 2 very funny moments. The first was when Elizabee asked if maybe, since the sperm comes out of the penis, the guy puts the sperm in a cup? Oh, my, I had to force myself to not laugh and then go on a whole tangent about that really happening. No need to confuse the poor kids too much at the start. The second very amusing thing was after I'd finished, I asked if they had any questions. Beebs said, "The man puts his penis in the woman's vagina? I think I'll just adopt."

I had to excuse myself to go stifle my laughter in my bathroom into a pillow.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

the day i probably made 2 mormon missionaries very happy

Flashback time! Flashback time!

The twins were a few weeks old. I was incredibly sleep deprived. I was nursing them, so all I wore in the first month or so after they were born was a pair of underwear and my Cat in the Hat chenille bathrobe. This was because I never went anywhere, so there was no point in getting dressed. (If someone I wasn't related to came to visit I'd put on my nursing PJs, which were more presentable, but still, not really clothing.) Also, easy, quick access to the breastaurant. Open 24 hours, table for 2. God, I crack myself up.

Anyway, so one afternoon I was alone in the apartment with the girls. I had just completed a feeding and was holding the last diner. There was a knock on the door. I (stupidly) went to answer it. Before me were 2 Mormons in their white shirts and ties and all clean-cut and scrubbed. One started to ask if I'd like to talk about Jesus. (I am not making fun of Mormons. While I don't generally want to talk about Jesus with strangers, I am always polite and courteous and send them on their way to find someone who does want to discuss Our Lord and Savior.) Anyway, I told these boys that I was sorry, but I had just given birth to twins, I was by myself, and I was too exhausted to have a conversation about anything, least of all religion. I kind of registered that their eyes had gotten as big as dinner plates, but they politely said goodbye and I shut the door.

It was only when I went to put the baby I was holding down that I noticed that my bathrobe was completely open. I flashed a pair of Mormon missionaries! I sometimes wonder if that made their day or frightened them.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

oh. my. god.

The girls and I went to the library on Tuesday. As we were leaving, loaded down with books, Elizabee was being silly and teased me, "I'm going to be a teenager in a year, Mommy!" "Nuh-uh. You'll be a teenager in 6 years. 7 plus 6 is 13."

Then I literally stopped walking and said, "Oh, dear. You're more than halfway to being a teenager!" We both kind of stared at each other. "Nuh-uh!" said Bebe. "Uh, uh-huh!" I replied. Then I looked at Louisa and said, "And Lou, too!"

Dear Lord, somebody hold me.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

why i love my husband

He brought me cold water to soak my feet in to try and feel a little cooler. Several times. That's sweet and I think I might spare his life.

I stopped looking at and making myself feel even hotter when the current temperature read 101. When I then checked the thermostat to see how hot it was in the house, that read "OL". Which I think means, "Oh, Lordy, it's hot!" Or maybe, "Over limit". Because it will apparently only go up to 95 and then it figures any living think in the house has died of heat stroke. It's almost 1am and over 80 in the house and not much cooler outside. We're going to the mall and praying there won't be rolling blackouts. Once they kick us out of the mall we'll go over to the Borders and hang in the children's section since the library is closed on Sunday. Maybe we'll go see a movie -- the kids haven't seen "Cars" yet.

The heat is supposed to break a little by Monday. Pleasepleasepleaseplease.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

why i hate my husband

We're watching the final time trial for the Tour de France and I am, of course, bitching about the heat. And then Archie starts to pick on me.

"So I've scheduled a person to come over later for you to try on fur coats. And then I thought we'd buy a kiln and fire some pots. The furnace guy is getting here later and we'll have to close up the house and run the heater for a few hours. And to finish off the day, sex, me on top, under all the covers. How does that sound?"

I don't think a jury would convict me if I killed him.

Friday, July 21, 2006

did you know about the hot?

Jesus God it's fucking hot. Like, right now, at this very moment, 8pm, it is 90 degrees in my house. Not outside, but in the freaking house. I am cranky and crabby and pissed and hot. Very, very hot. As in temperature, not sexiness. Because saying, "It is too hot for you to even think about touching me!" is not sexy. Did I mention the hot?

I am having flashbacks to living in Phoenix. The hot there (My husband: But it's a dry heat! Me: So is an oven, and I wouldn't want to live in an oven!) was the primary reason I gladly accepted a move to California. But at least we had air conditioning in Phoenix.

I hate weather.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

i may be raising a monster

When I was overseeing ChaCha's bath this evening, she was doing some weird game thing. She had a blue plastic goblet, which she had sitting in the corner of the tub. She'd taken an empty bubble bath bottle (because we're all about recycling and I AM CHEAP) which she was filling with water. While doing this, she was talking, talking, talking. "I am very, very thirsty. I would like some wine, I think. Yes, some wine." She picked up the goblet, slammed it back, then violently spit out the water. "That's not wine! It tastes like bathwater!"

I swear this is not anything she's ever seen me do. OK, OK, maybe she's seen me enjoy some wine -- because I am not made of stone. But I really don't slam a glass back, spit it out, or drink bathwater.

Monday, July 10, 2006

sabermetrics is not for young children

This evening, I was watching a program about sabermetrics. In case you are not a baseball fanatic, this is the study of statistics in baseball. I know you are all extremely excited and want to be my best friend because I am sooo cool.

Bebe came in the family room and asked what I was watching. I told her it was a show about baseball statistics. She sat down next to me and we listened to the expert guy talk about total player ratings and how to assess whether players from different eras are similiar. The guy talked for about 5 minutes and used various formulas and Bebe turned to me and said, "I didn't understand one thing that man said."

Then we watched "Pee-wee's Playhouse" and screamed each time they said "door" and all was right with the world.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


And on the Fourth of July they signed it
And 56 names underlined it,
And now to honor those first 13 states,
We turn the sky into a birthday cake.
They got it done (Oh yes they did!)
The Declaration, uh-huh-huh,
The Declaration of Independence (Oh yeah!)
In seventeen hundred seventy six (Right on!)
The Continental Congress said that we were free (We're free!)
Said we had the right of life and liberty,
...And the pursuit of happiness!

We hold these truths to be self-evident,
That all men are created equal
And that they are endowed by their creator
With certain inalienable rights.
That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And if there's one thing that makes me happy,
Then you know that it's (ooh)
There's gonna be fireworks!


Happy Independence Day! We're going to have some grilled meat product (ribs) and listen to the America Rocks songs on "Schoolhouse Rocks" (because Archie and I are kids of the 70s) and then go see some fireworks. May your day be as relaxed and enjoyable.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

criminal mastermind

Bebe had misplaced some little things she was hoarding -- erasers, marbles, stickers. She decided that Cha had stolen them. I knew Charlotte was innocent of this particular accusation, but Beebs was adamant. "You took them! You're a criminal mastermind!"

This caused me to laugh because applying that title to a sweet 4 year old is just plain funny. Unfortunately, ChaCha was not so easily amused, and she started to cry. "I'm not a criminal with a master mind! I didn't take your stuff, Bebe!"

Bebe found her stuff and apologized. "I'm sorry. I guess you're not really a criminal mastermind. Just a plain old criminal." Ah, sisterly love.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

my pet hate of the moment

I don't see a lot of commercials because we have the miracle that is TiVo. I love you, TiVo. Don't ever break, please.

Anyway, I sometimes see a commercial or two when I watch something in real time. Generally, I watch the program and then do something else during the commercials, like surf a bit or play a game or read something. It's so very 20th century.

Recently, my attention was grabbed when I heard this very plaintive, melancholy version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". I looked at the TV expecting to see some sepia-toned vision of old-timey baseball -- like a Ken Burns ad for MLB or something.

What did I see? Soccer. (Or football, if you live somewhere other than the US.) I almost threw something through the TV screen.

It was an ad for Gatorade. And the US soccer team, all as hype for the World Cup. Oh my dear, sweet God, I hate soccer. I think it's boring and did I mention the boring? But, whatever, sell your colored water to the crazy kids who love the football. Except! Except, don't use the song that is about baseball! So wrong. That song is about another sport and for some bizarre reason it pisses me off that soccer is appropriating it.

Get your own damn song.

officially summer

The twins are at day camp. Last year, it was held at their elementary school and we walked back and forth. This year, there is a lot of maintenance work being done on their school (a new roof, all the classrooms being painted), so I have to drive them every day to another school because it's just too far to walk.

Last year, I was a terrible mother and packed them each a sandwich, some fruit or vegetables, and a dessert-y treat with a juice pouch. I was informed this would be completely unacceptable and that they wanted creative, delicious, varied lunches. Well, crap. So, after picking the brains of the Usual Suspects and getting some ideas, we came up with a menu for the first week. I bought them Sanrio bento boxes and the most adorable Hello Kitty tote bags to take every day. Also, wide-brimmed hats and sunscreen. I think Neutrogena is going to send me a personal thank you letter for all the sunscreen I've purchased. Yesterday, they had chicken nuggets, kiwi, a sourdough roll, and fortune cookies, with a juice pouch and some bottled water. Today, they have soba noodles (Lou wanted bits of seaweed and sesame seeds with hers and Bebe just wanted sesame seeds), edamame, and orange slices. With the juice pouch, water, and brownies. So far, no complaints.

Because I have to have our car everyday, we're taking Archie to work. This morning we stopped to get gas and the girls and I were watching a car go through the car wash. When Arch finished pumping the gas, he got back in the car and asked the girls what they thought of the car wash. They all said they thought it was very cool. And, we all got to sit in the car and go through the automatic car wash! Charlotte is still talking about it!

Friday, June 16, 2006


"...I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes. "

Happy Bloomsday.

reason #5 why i love freakmont

The corkage fee at a fairly nice, very yummy restaurant: $10 per.

This meant that we could have two bottles of wine with dinner -- champagne and a bottle of the delicious Gamay Rouge -- for what a decent bottle from the wine list would have cost. Score!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Oh, we have mice. I saw 2 running out from under the deck and across the driveway. I have decided that they are gay because I don't want to think about them having mouse sex and making baby mice. I am against lots and lots of mice. So, welcome to my delusional world where I declare that there are such things as homosexual mice who are just honeymooning under my deck after their very nice civil ceremony in Canada.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

she was really nice

Last night, I just could not get to sleep. And you know what? Even with DirecTV and the magical, mystical, oh-my-God-don't-ever-take-it-away TiVo, late night television is a wasteland. So I ended up watching a little bit of "Nightline" (a piece on the World Cup and the John Cleese-approved song "Don't Mention the War").

Man, I love "The Germans", which is the best episode of "Fawlty Towers". I still laugh out loud just thinking about Basil fussing about the German tourists' table, where he has made all manner of Nazi and Hitler references (including a goose-step with legs so long they seem to kick higher than his head) and asking why one of the women is crying. "Will you stop talking about the war?" one man demands. "Me? You started it!" replies Basil, indignantly. "We did not start it!" counters the German. "Yes you did -- you invaded Poland," answers Basil and then I start to cry with amusement.

Of course, I might think the Bristish were just poking a little fun while watching soccer if not for the fact that the soccer hooligans are so amazingly horrible. If you haven't read "Among the Thugs", you really should. Very disturbing.

Anyway, after "Nightline" I caught the last bit of Conan and then just watched Carson Daly. But only because Sarah Silverman was a guest and she cracks me up. She did not disappoint me. She was telling a story about when she was 7 and she said, "I went to a slumber party at a friend's house. She was really nice. But her mother? Was a whore." Oh, stop, Sarah. I'm still cracking up just thinking about it.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

and another thing

Christian Bale is hot. That is all.


Why was the National Spelling Bee rated PG? (Elizabeth noticed this and I didn't know why.)

My opthamologist is very attractive. He has a very wimpy handshake, though. Which means my cute OB with the firm handshake still holds the title of "Katie's Cutest Doctor".

Archie volunteered to work during the elections yesterday. He called me and said, "Woo! Democracy in action! It's nothing like standing in a parking lot with a flashlight." He was directing the precinct judges on where to line up to turn in election returns. Then he helped load a truck with some equipment. So, democracy is all about directing traffic and heavy lifting.

We went to Napa and now I have a case of wine in my kitchen. Good wine, wine good. My summer drinking program is well underway.

Today, I saw a woman with a guide dog. It was a standard poodle. She even showed us that when she tells her dog, "Door!" the poodle leads her to the door and then points his nose at the doorknob. That was cool.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

bee season

I love the National Spelling Bee. Love it, love it, love it. The first time I watched was about 10 years ago and there was this girl who was the living embodiment of Mary Catherine Gallagher, the "Saturday Night Live" character. She would lean into the microphone and breathe heavily. She would ask every possible question, repeatedly. At one point, I said to Archie, "I swear, she's going to ask if they can spell it for her!" She didn't win that year, but she won the next year. I was in love with the dorky kids who spent all their time learning root words and languages of origin and just being geeky spellers.

From that moment on, I hoped that some year a kid would ask, "Can you spell that?" Last year, someone did. Fantastic! There was the year a kid passed out cold on the stage. Scary! Then he got up and spelled his word correctly. Amazing!

This year the big drama is that a girl was put out of the competition, but then the judges reviewed the spelling of the word and realized they had added an additional letter. She had spelled the word correctly and was put back in to the next round. Oooo!

I need something new to look forward to. I think it would be hilarious if a kid had no idea how to spell a word and just decided to go out blazing by spelling a very offensive word. Wouldn't that be super funny? "The word is [insert impossible to spell word here]." And the kid spells, "C-o-c-k-s-u-c-k-e-r."

I'm thinking that will never happen.

But it would be hilarious.

Monday, May 29, 2006

in remembrance

"Today many of them are here among us. Oh, they may walk with a little less spring in their step, and their ranks are growing thinner, but let us never forget; when they were young, these men saved the world."

-President Clinton, U.S. National Cemetery, Normandy, France, June 6, 1994 (50th anniversay of D-Day)

Friday, May 26, 2006

poor, sad baby

Ms. Bee apparently had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. It started off all wrong because her teacher was out for the day and there was the dreaded substitute. (Not the borderline retarded one who left all the kids on the playground, thank heavens.) Beebs came out of class and leaned against me. I am forbidden from showing any affection to my big girls when in public -- no hugs or head skritches, and a kiss would cause the end of the world. So I let her lean against me and asked what was the trouble. She kind of sighed and the sub came over and said, "Elizabeth fell on the playground and scraped her hand a bit and banged up her knee," and she took Bebe's hand and there was the faintest red mark on her palm, "but I think she's OK." I thanked her and we collected Lou and started the walk home.

Bebe snorfled a tiny bit and I said, "You know, it's very sweet that the sub even knows your name. She seems very nice -- I saw her talk to you this morning when you were dropping off your backpack." "Mommy! How do you know that? That was after we got out of the car!" "I know, but Cha and I watch you two walk to class sometimes, that's all." "Don't do that anymore. I'm not a baby..." and then there was some more snorfling.

After we'd walked a bit, she said, "We were supposed to watch 'Ira Sleeps Over' but instead we watched 'Charlotte's Web' and now we'll never see 'Ira Sleeps Over'!" "Sweetie, you've seen 'Ira Sleeps Over' approximately a thousand times. Just tell your teacher on Tuesday and maybe she can reschedule it, OK?"

"She won't believe me!" I don't know where that came from -- but I just said that her teacher would believe her and left it at that. Then there was a tummyache later in the afternoon. Then she passed out on the couch and I had to carry her to bed.

Poor girlie. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day. And she won't have to move to Australia. (Although I'm sure Isabelle would put her up, right Isa?)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

thank you, steve nash

And the rest of the Suns, too. A game that wasn't a nail-biter was a nice way to end the day yesterday. And then it was a bit of a pounding at the end. But, you know what? Yay! It's nice to be able to breathe. Really, really nice.

On to the conference finals.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

the suns are killing me

Oh, my God. Could they just win a game easily, without all the drama?

Also, I'm watching way too much pre-game and post-game commentary and it's turning me into my dad.

Commentator: What do the Suns need to do to win this game?
Me, screaming at the TV: Score more points than the other team! Morons!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

mother's day

A few days ago, Archie asked me what I wanted for breakfast in bed on Mother's Day. "Lunch!" He didn't quite get it. "You want a sandwich for breakfast?" "No, I don't want to get out of bed until lunch." Heh.

So, this morning, about 9 or so, the girlies came in bearing breakfast and gifts. I got coffee and bagels and scrambled eggs. ChaCha climbed onto the bed and said, "Happy Mother's Day! Can I have some of your eggs?"

I recieved flowers. Bebe made me a magnet at school. Lulu made a candle holder. And I also got a lovely pair of pearl earrings from all the girls, with a little help from Archie. Then I just relaxed and went and had my hair cut and we had pizza for dinner.

A really nice day. A shame it only comes once a year. Hee.

Monday, May 08, 2006

another milestone

I just realized, of course days after the fact, that at the birthday party something really fantastic happened. All my kids are old enough that I didn't have to tend to someone or constantly scan and be aware where one or the other was at all times. I didn't have to take a little person to the bathroom or monitor for the bouncing pee dance. When we left the house, for the first time, I didn't take the Badtz-Maru "diaper" bag stuffed with snacks and toys and assorted ungents and bandages. I had conversations that lasted more than a sentence or two -- uninterrupted talking and listening. I had a really fun time myself, not just because the kids did.

This is huge. I came home a little tired, but it was because I had 2 beers, not because I was on high alert for 4 hours. That is a nice feeling.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

i should've wished for a pony

That wish that the Suns beat the snot out of the Lakers? Hell, yeah. Bye bye L.A. Really, I should make better wishes. But that was a good, good thing.

A friend of the girls had a birthday party yesterday. Oh, the fun! The bouncy house, the gigantic pack of children squealing and jumping and running about. The relaxation of the parents eating delicious homemade tamales and drinking beer. The beating of the pinata! The scramble for the candy! Cake and jello!

The best part is when the tired, sugar-super-saturated, slightly crabby children fall asleep in about 3.2 seconds. I wish I could bottle that. Because that would make me a small fortune and then I could buy myself a damn pony.

Friday, May 05, 2006

they say it's your birthday

Well, it's mine, at least. So, happy birthday to me and happy Cinco de Mayo everyone.

The girls gave me a thoughtful present -- an oatmeal tin they'd decorated filled with little slips of paper detailing things they'd do for me today. Not fighting, not being crabby, cleaning up -- that sort of thing. Very sweet, right? I showed it to Archie, who said, "So, they're going to do all the things they should do anyway and call it a present and you're buying it? Sucker."

In other good news, the Suns beat the Lakers in OT last night in L.A. Take that, Kobe. Now, if they can just beat the snot out of them in Phoenix on Saturday.

Nothing much is going on here, right now. Minor illness, grumpiness, hilarity, and just regular day-to-day stuff. Which is all better than major sickness, no laughter, and on-going crises. I'll take more of the usual, please, and putter along.

(Also, the twins have made a new friend. This isn't really remarkable, except for the new friend's name. Gigi! Hey, here comes Bebe, Lulu, and Gigi! I could just die from the cuteness. I told Archie and he said, "You know, I'm not as big a fan of the repeating syllable nickname as you are." Whatever. Gigi fits right in and I think we need to find a Fifi or Mimi. The twins had a friend named Trixie last year, which was also fantastic, but Trixie moved away. To Hawaii. I think it's a punishable offense to be envious of a 5 year old. Hee.)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

lakers suck

One of Archie's best friends called last night at halftime and was all chatty and up and I sent him into a steep decline. "So, Steve-O, are you calling to distract yourself from the tragedy that was the first half of the Suns game?" His voice got tight and higher-pitched and he said, "It's only halftime! It's only halftime!"

I hate the Lakers. Even if I didn't like the Suns (and I do -- especially Steve Nash who reminds me of the little, kind of greasy guy from "Bad News Bears" and "Breaking Away"), I'd be cheering them on to crush L.A. As Archie has said, it just doesn't seem fair that the Suns, as the number 2 team, have to play the Lakers in the first round.

I'm just hoping they can squeak out of this round. Otherwise, basketball season will be over for me.

(And, as an added bonus, my favorite Suns-related story! When Archie and I had sent out our wedding invitations, one of his friends called and asked if we'd considered changing the date. I asked him why and he said, "Because the Suns are playing that night. I might not be able to make it." I very calmly told him that we expected him to attend our wedding and that I was sure there would be a TV in the bar in the lobby of the hotel if he really needed to catch some of the game. You must keep in mind that we were married in December -- it wasn't like we chose a date in May, or something. Also, I did think it was kind of funny that we couldn't go to Phoenix for his wedding several years later because I was too far along in my first pregnancy to fly. We did send a nice gift, though.)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


OK, so the rain seems to have stopped for the season (pleasepleaseplease) and as of right now the sun is out. I'm still feeling low-level sick and wishing I could sleep for a solid week.

Thankfully, spring break is over and we're back to our regular routine. I generally enjoy having all the girlies at home, but being sick made it seem like the week that would never end. Here's hoping some sun and warmer weather will help get us all back on track.

Friday, April 14, 2006

whither spring?

Man, living in California sucks right now. OK, yesterday was gorgeous and sunny and warm. But it's rained almost every day for almost 2 months and I'm officially depressed and fed up. Also, that lovely day? Now I've got the "weather is changing very quickly" cold and I feel like shit and, of course, spring vacation starts for the girls today and I would like a nap, please. Bah.

I want more than a day of sunshine and warm breezes. I'm exhausted by the gray and clouds and damp. I need a lot of sunny days to break this funk.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

he'll soon know heartbreak

The twins have a friend named Amari. He's a great kid and he comes home with us and plays and goofs off after school. Today we were watching the end of a Cubs game. I TiVoed past a commercial and then shouted, "Hey! It's time for the stretch!" And the girls came running so we could all sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". Amari seemed a little amused. Then we watched the final innings and we won! Yay! So the girls and I all danced around.

I know Amari plays Little League, so I asked him if he had a favorite big league team. He quickly said, "The Cubs!" I asked if he didn't really like the As or the Giants and he replied, "I did like the As, but you all cheer for the Cubs and I think I'll be a Cubs fan, too." Awww. Poor dear has no idea they'll break his heart.

I've turned more poor, unsuspecting children into Cubs fans. I think it builds character but Archie thinks it qualifies as child abuse. Heh.

Friday, April 07, 2006

thank god she's smarter than that dummy in the red cape

Whee. What a busy day. I'm surfing, listening to/watching the Cubs home opener, and also trying to play with Charlotte. (Why won't she just let me peacefully veg out in front of a baseball game? Why? Oh, yeah -- she's 4.) Today's play is to act out Little Red Riding Hood. We keep coming up against the fact that Cha is obviously much smarter than Red.

ChaCha: Lalalala.
Me (as the Big Bad Wolf): Hello, little girl. Where are you going?
ChaCha: I'm not talkin' to you -- you're a strange wolf!

Heh. So, we decide to cut straight to the big bedroom meeting.

ChaCha: Grandma, what big eyes you have!
Me: The better to see you with my dear!
ChaCha: I'm scared and going home!

So we're not so much acting out the fairy tale as giving it the new twist with a modern-day preschooler. I couldn't help but be reminded of the modified version of Red by James Thurber. It's the old story, but when the Big Bad declares he's going to eat Red, she pulls out a gun and shoots him dead. The moral? "It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be."

I guess now I can't even fool my own into acting the story out.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

the sevens

So, Archie tagged me to do this list thing-y. (I'm not linking -- he's unpublished and trying to be all anonymous, so sorry.)

7 Things to Do Before I Die
*go to Australia
*go to Mongolia
*see a solar eclipse
*run a marathon
*see my Cubbies win a World Series
*play drums in Archie's hypothetical crappy cover band
*become a grandmother (I'm gonna require some assistance from one or more of the girlies for this one, heh)

7 Things I Cannot Do
*whistle a tune
*have any more babies
*burp on cue
*touch my nose with my tongue
*see those stereoscopic pictures (I have no depth perception, whee)
*do any math higher than algebra

7 Things I Like About My Other Half
*he loves me
*he's very, very funny
*he often vehemently agrees with me -- I think we probably sound like we're arguing, but we're just agreeing with each other
*he's a good dad to our girls
*he has funny terms of endearment for me
*he makes smooch-y noises and expects me to make smooch-y noises in return
*he often buys me chocolate

7 Favorite Books
*Infinite Jest
*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
*A Prayer for Owen Meaney
*The Brothers K
*Pride and Prejudice
*The Great Gatsby

7 Favorite Movies
*Bull Durham
*Singin' in the Rain
*Raising Arizona
*The Thin Blue Line
*The Wizard of Oz
*The Singing Detective (this is a cheat because I'm not referring to the movie, but the BBC miniseries -- but it's one of the best things I've ever seen and I love it)

7 Things I Say
*"Louisa May!"
*"Charlotte Jane Campbell!"
*"Do I look like the maid?"
*"Take a deep breath."
*"Please, please, stop hitting each other!"

Feel free to do your sevens. Leave a comment (or leave them in the comments) so I can read yours!

Friday, March 31, 2006

tater bugs

As the member of our family nearest to the ground, it falls to Charlotte to alert us to all the fun things the rest of us taller people are missing. In fact, she takes this responsibility very seriously and it's one reason why we have to leave early when walking somewhere. I just know she'll see something (a snail, a worm, a long row of busy ants) and we'll have to stop and admire it.

The other day, we were walking down to the school to pick up the twins. Cha stopped and yelled, "Roly poly bug!" So, we had to stop and make it roll up and then we had to wait and watch it unroll and wiggle all its legs and flip over and then make it roll up again. (When I was growing up, we called these bugs tater bugs and I think some people call them sow bugs.) We came upon another one a little further on and had to stop and repeat the process.

As we were walking back home, now with the twins along, we saw 3 of these creatures. And, since we didn't have to rush at all, we stopped and tormented the poor things. We must be quite a sight to the neighborhood -- 3 little girls and their mother, all crouched down talking loudly and laughing about bugs.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

my california girls

There is a book by Calvin Triilin called "Fatherhood". It's about, well, his experiences of parenting his two girls. There is one piece in the book about how he was from Missouri and he just always assumed that his daughters were Missourians at heart who happened to be growing up in New York City. I think (it's been a long time since I read the book) he said he realized that his kids were real, honest-to-goodness New Yorkers when they would talk about subway directions and alternate routes at a very young age that he didn't even know existed, even though he'd lived in the city for the majority of his adult life.

Today, I realized that I have always kind of thought of my girls as little transplanted Midwesterners. But the following conversation I overheard in the car disabused me of that notion.

Bebe: We're having our class party tomorrow!
Lulu: Wow! You're so lucky!
Bebe: I know! It's gonna be so cool. Hecka cool!

Hecka cool. Dear Lord, I have children who are Californians.

(Also, Bebe said, "Snap!" to some comment of Louisa's, and I laughed for at least 5 minutes. Not only are they Californians, they are already cooler and hipper than I am. Which isn't much of a stretch, I admit. But still. Snap.)

Friday, March 24, 2006

i swear i've never even heard the song

So, I thought I needed to record my answer to the random question Blogger gives you for your profile page, because I'm sadly proud of it. Plus, I like to change the question now and again.

You have a red jar of cedar chips. Why do moths miss the forest?
They don't! My red jar of cedar chips brings all the moths to my yard.

Oh, God, I crack myself up. Off to hunt for a new question. I don't know that I can ever top that one, though.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

the sentence that made me lose my shit

"I have no idea where your child is."

Let me explain. I went to the elementary school to pick up the twins. I was there, between the classrooms, before the bell went off. Lulu came out of her classroom and I noticed that she had a substitute. Then the door to Bebe's class opened and another sub stepped out. I waited. Then Lou said, "Where's Elizabeth, Mama?" I looked into the classroom and there were no kids inside.

"Excuse me. My daughter is in this class. Where is she?"
"I have no idea where your child is."
"Excuse me?"
"We were out on the playground and the bell rang. I came back here."

I felt panic and fear rising from my gut. I walked quickly, Lou right beside me, over to the playground. The entire class was running around, yelling and squealing. I hollered at all of them that the bell had rung and they needed to come back to the classroom -- I herded everyone up and walked back so Bebe could get her coat and backpack.

While I was waiting, the sub said, "I told them to come back when the bell rang. I came back. I don't know why they didn't."

"Well, they're six. And you're in charge. You can't just leave first graders on the playground."

It took every ounce of self-control not to punch her in her stupid, dumbass face. I couldn't go over to the office to complain because we had to go and pick up Charlotte at preschool. But I am going to give the principal an earful tomorrow morning.


So, in a fit of boredom, I checked my stats for a laugh. Someone from Slough visited. Slough! Of "The Office" and Ozzy Osbourne's tragic all-terrain vehicle accident from several years ago. Said visitor was directed here by a web search for "removing a child's wobbly tooth". I am, of course, an expert on wibbly-wobbly teeth. But I do not recommend trying to remove them. Because if your kid is anything like mine, there will be cries of despair and upset. (It is possible I know someone who threatens to remove loose teeth just to incite the uproar. But you didn't hear that from me, oh no.)

In even less exciting news, I have found the Holy Grail of food for the girlies. Stir fry veggies with shrimp. My God, they ate as if they would never see food again. Sadly, shrimp are expensive and I cannot make this culinary delight every night. One young person cried when I told her the shrimp were all gone. Heartbreak!

(Also, I am a big liar. The shrimp were not, in fact, all gone. I just said they were so I could eat them for lunch today. Today, when I have a little time in my house all alone with no children. I will be watching bad TiVoed programs and eating shrimp.)

Sunday, March 19, 2006


It's almost bedtime and Archie's fired up AC/DC on the stereo. While "Back in Black" blares and the girlies are doing their best air guitar heroics, Bebe yells, "This is the most rock and roll song EVER!"

Now they're all calling "Oi!" They're TNT, baby, they're dynamite. Watch them explode.

an odd talk with my mom

So, my mom and I were talking the other night. Mostly about the kids and how my aunt and uncle are doing. (My mom's sister and her husband are both in poor health and my mom is serving as their main caretaker.) Then we talked about "American Idol" and then my mom said, "Ooo, I saw a really cute show and I thought you would love it and was wondering if you watched it?"

Now, I love my mom. She's a wonderful person and fun and we get along fantastically. We have very different tastes in entertainment, however. ("American Idol" and "House" excepted.) She spent years trying to get me to watch "JAG". When she would visit, she'd try to talk me in to watching "Judging Amy". (True story: A few years ago, there was a commercial that ran for "Judging Amy". It was the main actress, in a tank top, and she'd stretch her arms up over her head. Every time we'd see it, Archie would say, "'Judging Amy'. It's all about the law." Heh.) Anyway, because of our different tastes in TV, I was inwardly cringing about what she was about to recommend.

"It's on HBO and called 'Big Love' and it's about a polygamist family. Kate, it's so adorable! I've already got a pass on TiVo so I don't miss any of the episodes!"

Seriously, my mom is watching "Big Love" and thinks it's cute. Cute! The scary thing? I've got the first ep on my TiVo.

Maybe we're not as different as I think.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

our completely boring life

Man, things have been boring. Seriously, this morning, right before we left for school, Lulu picked up a cup off of the counter and turned it upside down over her head, water went everywhere, and I had to do an emergency blow-dry of her hair and change her shirt. And that's as exciting as it's been for forever. A wet kid 10 minutes before we leave to go to school. Woo!

Everyone is healthy. Mostly happy. We're waiting for the rain to stop. Last week, Cha and I had to walk in hail to pick the twins up from school. Hail! I guess that was kind of exciting.

OK, one pretty cute kid thing. I was taking Cha to her opthamologist appointment and I reached back from the driver's seat and squeezed her knee. Archie does this a lot because after you squeeze the knee, she chirps, "Thank you!" Anyway, I squeezed and no comment. I squeezed again -- nothing. I squeezed a third time, and she said, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Heh.

Monday, February 27, 2006

thelma and louise

This is a story from when I was a young, footloose woman. Before I even knew Archie. One of my brothers had a girlfriend named Kelly. She was fun. We went out a lot together, without my brother. We'd go dancing and stay 'til the club closed and then we'd get breakfast and she'd drop me off at home. We'd meet cute boys. Life was great.

One day, we went and saw the movie "Thelma & Louise". Then we went back to my house for dinner and we decided to go out dancing. My brother gave Kelly her gun -- he'd cleaned it for her. It was unloaded. She stupidly put it under the front passenger side seat. I didn't know much about guns and didn't much care -- we we're going out dancing!

We got to the Brewery District and proceeded to drink a little and dance a lot. We danced and danced. We both ended up dancing with two cute boys. There might have been some kissing. The place was closing and we decided to all go and get breakfast and the boys got in Kelly's car with us.

We didn't go too far -- there was an all-night place close by. Kelly parked the car and the guy she was with ws getting out of the front seat and he said, "I just hit something under the seat with my foot." "Oh, that's my iron," Kelly replied. The guy said, "Why would anyone keep their iron in their car?" Kelly and I started to laugh. He thought it was an iron for pressing clothes! Ah, cute boy. "It's my gun!" said Kelly.

We went into the diner. We sat down and ordered drinks. The boys excused themselves to use the bathroom. Our coffee came. No boys. We got refills -- no boys. When out waitress came and asked if we wanted to order, I said, "Well, we came with two guys and they went the bathroom and we're waiting for them." "Kind of tall guys, brown hair, one wearing a leather jacket?" "Yeah..." "They left 20 minutes ago."

We laughed and ordered breakfast. And continued to laugh because, guys don't go to the bathroom together. Obviously, they thought we were some kind of criminals, toting a gun in the car, ready to shoot them after we fed them breakfast or something. Which we most definitely weren't planning on doing, since there was no ammo in the gun. "God -- they thought we were Thelma and Louise!" I said.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

catching up

Why do people still look at this page every day? There has been nothing new in several weeks. I am a bad person. But now many of you are rewarded!

So, mostly I'm just going along and trying to watch way too much TV every night. Because -- Olympics! And "American Idol"! And also getting my weekly hour of "Bleak House" (although next week is the two week finale and those of you not watching can rent or purchase the DVD)! Then there is the sad, sad, state of my TiVo, jam-packed with stuff that there just isn't enough time to watch.

I'm turning into a bad Olympics watcher. I'm only really watching the figure skating. I tried -- I fell in love with Shaun White, aka The Flying Tomato and I paid attention to some of the early speed skating. But then I just couldn't bear to watch any skiing or the crazy luge/bobsled/skeleton stuff. The figure skating makes me happy. There was the crazy French guy skating to James Bond-movie music in his tuxedo with 007 on the back in rhinestones and making a gun finger. Oh, that was very funny and I just gave over to the insanity and laughed through the entire thing. Pluschenko (or however it's spelled) and his crazy arms that flew off into the audience. (OK, not really. But wouldn't it have been fantasic if they had?) Johnny Weir and his crazy individuality and insistence in a spotlight piece that old fogeys should be frightened of him because he will do what he wants, when he wants, damn everyone else. Um, Johnny? You're a figure skater. No one cares what you say -- we just want you to do a quad, lots of triples, and look pretty. If you want anyone to take your ideas seriously, you might want to look into college or something. Otherwise, please try to make your bus and not be so pouty. Because Evan Lysacek had a horrible short and then skated a beautiful long while suffering from stomach flu. You just look like a whiny boy compared to that.

Then there was the carnage (I love Canadian announcers!) of the ice dancing competition. Everyone falling down! An Italian couple refusing to talk to each other because of a fall! Drama! Ugly, ugly costumes. The women's short program was fantastic and I'm looking forward to the free skate. Plus -- the exhibition!

Because of all the crazy TV watching, I am tired. But, this past Monday, we took the girls to this amusement-type place and had lots of fun. This place is mostly a lot of little playgrounds and then there are a handful of rides and it is completely stuck in the 50s or 60s. Lots of worn paint and the rides are incredibly lame. But the girls lovelovelove it. There is a dragon ride -- like a train, but it's a dragon -- that goes through a shady circuit around the park. There are all these little things along the route -- but they are totally cheesy. As I said to Archie, "I think this is where damaged lawn ornaments come to retire!" Little garden gnomes, rusty metal deer, two big plastic pandas among some bamboo. It would be completely sad except that all the girls just love it because they are so easy to please.

I was telling Archie that Universal studios is running a commercial where these 6 and 7 year olds are complaining about going to Disneyland (but without naming Disneyland) because they are too, too jaded and teacup rides and princesses and Winnie the Pooh characters are too babyish for sophisticated children, now. Our little trips to this kind of crappy place ensure that our kids will think Disneyland is the best place ever. Heh.