Friday, August 29, 2008

A Puppy Haiku

So adorable
But your poop is quite nasty
Please stop eating it

Monday, August 25, 2008


I am alive. Barely. Mother-in-law coming home unexpectedly early (21DAYS!) and I am scrambling to empty house and make things presentable. Starting back at work adding to stress level- but yesterday, did the supremely stupid of all stupid things.

I got a puppy.

Matt and I "had" to attend a fundraiser for diabetes, and as part of the auction- they were auctioning off a live puppy. We kept making jokes about how tacky it was, until they held up the 12 week old black lab and both of us lost complete control of our brains. I kept getting outbid, and the auctioneer finally addressed Matt directly.

"Sir, is that woman standing next to you your wife?"

Matt, who absolutely hates being the center of attention to begin with, without thinking that he is surounded by his boss, and all of his new work- manages to weakly mumble a "yes".

"How much do you love your wife?" the auctioneer bellows to the hooting crowd.

Matt throws up his hands and starts bidding. The crowd goes wild. About as close to a rockstar moment as he is going to get.

This puppy is cute. He is little. (for now). He has to get up every 3 hours to go out in the yard. (Somehow, the irony that this endeavor makes me want to dip my genitals in sterilizing potion does not escape me).

We have named him George. He is curious, but also rather dumb- like a lame duck this country knows all too well and I am happy to forget.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Working Girl

Today was fun. I went back to work. A close family member owns a marketing company, and had a project they needed help with. Over a glass of wine, they casually asked me if I'd be interested in helping them, and I jumped all over it.

This morning, they called and asked if I could meet with the client today at 4. I didn't have a babysitter, wasn't sure I had the correct clothes, and couldn't find one of my shoes, but I did it anyway. And it worked! My family member graciously tracked down a sitter, and the meeting was a huge success.

Sitting at the country club, sipping my diet Coke and listening to this VP of Marketing describe his project, I started to get nervous. Really nervous. I've been out of this game for a while, and I wasn't sure I could slip back into this without looking like a total idiot. I started to doubt myself, and started to feel stupid. So I just kept making eye contact and listening to this guy talk about who he knew... and where he worked.... blah blah blah blah. I kept shaking my head yes and summarizing key points. Old party tricks to make people think you are interested.

And it worked! We got the gig. I'm now, officially part-time, back in the saddle. And surprisingly, it feels really, really good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Today I experimented. While driving around, running errands, my anklebiters decided to stage a revolution in the backseat. Like their own little cast of Les Miserables, they kicked their seats, screamed and laughed at the top of their lungs, and did everything within their power to irritate me.

Usually this causes me to revert into my mother. I clench my teeth, use their full names and threaten various meaningless things while I struggle to pay attention to the road. Today, I tried something else.

I ignored them. The more they clamored for their negative attention, the quieter I got. They started whispering to each other.

"I think she's broken." Annie says.

"Nah," Lucy replies. " I think she just needs batteries."

"Hmmmm... "Annie continues. "Maybe she's sleeping?"

It took everything in my willpower to not laugh, but I drove the rest of the way in silence. Remarkably, they were quiet too. I wonder how much mileage I can get out of this one?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gotta Wii

I must confess. During Matt's weekend birthday extravaganza, we "happened" to be in Costco when they "unloaded" a new shipment of Wii's and we bit the birthday bullet and "brought" one home. (i.e Matt waited in the car with the kids while I was suposed to be buying a handsfree phone thingie and I picked this up too).

This thing kicks some serious ass.

Now, anytime we have a visitor, my kids bully them into bowling with them, so my 2 year old and 4 year old can wipe the kitchen floor with their Miis. It's getting kind of embarrassing. My 2 year old's virtual bowling is becoming so accurate, she barely even looks before tossing strike after strike.

I'm now jonesing for a Wii Fit and of course, my own Rock Band. Because if my family can rock it out like we can bowl? Lucy will be the new lead singer for Van Halen before she hits kindergarten.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Determining Value

So we're closing on our house September 4th. Finally. The escrow got a little kooky a week and a half ago. The appraiser went out to do his job, and then suddenly declared there was no way our house was worth what they were asking, and would only charge us half of his fee, but it wasn't worth finishing.

When our realtor called us with the news, we were flabbergasted. We've looked at 50 houses in person, and 1000 on line, and seriously? We were excited about our house. The seller was so pissed, he offered to pay for another appraisal, which took place the next day. After waiting through the weekend, that one came back in at full price.

Our lender then decides they want the first guy to finish his appraisal, so they can compare the two and get the real story. They call him back, inform him that they've got another appraisal in at full price, and that we are waiting to see what he comes up with. After TWO more days, he comes in a bit under, but not the staggering, drop everything and run number. And he used comps that were TWO years old, and incorrect measurements.

This guy caused a bunch of damage. Matt sulked for two days straight- I truly think he wasn't able to utter one word. The seller had to shell out $600 for another appraisal, and we had numerous agonizing decisions about walking away from the whole mess. The housing market here is pretty crazy, and my take is the appraisers are aggressively trying to undo their ridiculous pumped up values from 3 years ago.

So, the house will be ours. And I will not be inviting any appraisers to our moving in party.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Kind Of Town

I love this place. It's been the perfect get-away summer. We go to the beach, which is great. We take trolley rides (free!) down into the village. We hang out at a local cafe that features live jazz every Sunday. (Annie made them laugh when a late musician scurried in and she yelled "Hey Everyone! Look! The Bass is here!") We go to art festivals and watch the kids throw pottery (for $5!). But last night, we got our act together, packed a picnic dinner and took the kids to their favorite park to play. This park is awesome- lots of cool equipment to climb on, plenty of swings and a nice grassy hill to roll down.

Every Sunday, the park features live music. We've gone to these in different places, and I expected it to be a nice summer evening, kicking on a blanket- enjoying some tunes. When I got to the park- I noticed everyone had bottles of wine. Lots of bottles. Folks had picnics that looked like something Marie Antoinette would have wanted. A group of guys had a mini-table, decked out in a pastel madras tablecloth, and their centerpiece was a huge silver ice bucket filled with champagne. The people sitting next to us poached pears and stuffed them with creme fraiche. The other family made Vietnamese lettuce wraps.

When the music started, we noticed this old man at the front of the band stand. He's probably in his mid-70's, with a grey beard that hangs down his chest. He was wearing nothing but a bathing suit- and he was tan, and looked to be grisly, but in good shape. He was the first one to start dancing. He would do this jog-in-place, while shaking his head from side to side, grinning a big grin. The crowd would laugh, and point, and he would jog faster. By the second set, I was worried the guy was gonna have a heart attack.

As the wine flowed the the evening continued, there were more people dancing than sitting on their blankets. Annie and I mosied up to the dance floor, and we stood next to the beared crazy man and tried out our best jog-in-place dance. It was a great evening, it's been a great summer. I'm going to be sad to have to rejoin the real world.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Say Anything

Since her ear tubes were put in, my Lucy has become verbal. Very, very verbal. Aside from her occasional meowing, Lucy has a very direct way of expressing herself.

When we first arrived here in Cali, I had to hoptail it down to San Diego for a friend's baby shower. While I spent the day getting sloshed in champagne overlooking the Pacific, Matt took the anklebiters to the beach to walk around. Lucy expressed a desire to use the bathroom facilities, and in desperation, Matt took both girls into the public men's room at LaJolla shores.

After wrapping everything in multiple layers of tissue, Matt propped Lucy up to begin her show. He said she looked around, and then said in her charming, high pitched, two year old voice:


"Yes, Lucy." he replies.

"Daddy? This place is D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G."

"I know Lucy." Matt says as he starts to laugh.

"No Dad. This place is disgusting. And smelly. Really, really smelly."

Monday, August 4, 2008

Overheard at Lunch

I'm trying, unsuccessfully, to convince Matt to try for kidlet number three. During lunch at Islands today, I tried to solicit help from the anklebiters.

"Hey Annie! Would you like to have a little brother or another little sister?" I wheedled.

"Little sister." Annie mumbles through her Big Wave with cheese.

"Hey Lucy! How about you? Would you want a little brother or a little sister?"I ask.

"Meow." Lucy answers.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Family Panic

My sister-in-law edits the news for a cable station in Los Angeles. During this week's quake, the station showed a live shot of the newsroom during the quake. You see the camera shaking, and then you see my sister-in-law, racing into the newsroom, with her hands over her face. She waves her hands for a bit, and then runs in between a doorway and into the newsroom. Everyone else around her isn't moving, or doing much of anything. It's pretty hilarious, and my mother-in-law saw this all the way in Canada and cannot stop laughing.