Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Oh So Quiet

Wait a minute. What's that sound?


OK, except for the freezer making ice cubes and the dog sighing, all I hear is...nothing. Typing. Second hand tick tocking. No TV, no toddler dumping toy trains on the living room floor, no dishwasher running, no kitties meowing their demands (in, out, in, food, out, repeat). It's weird. And wonderful.

Max is back at work full time this week, and today is a playschool with Grandpa then off to the nanny share day for Samson. I have an hour and a half until my date at the gym, and I don't think I've had this much alone time since before Sept 21st. Sure, I've lots to actually do, but no distractions. Nothing higher on the priority list, like changing diapers or playing fire truck or cooking a deliciously lavish and butter laden breakfast with my combo husband-live in chef.

Feels nice. Real nice.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

What Cancer?

So much celebrating lately! Between holidays, the end of radiation, and the general feeling of goodwill that seems to follow me wherever I go, it's getting easier and easier to push the tumor's invisible twin out of my head. Even thought the tumor is gone, the fact that it ever existed has been impossible to forget, or rather, impossible not to think about nearly every second of every day. There's always something to remind me, but here are the main culprits:

1. Still not allowed to drive. Kind of makes me feel like a prisoner, even though I have wonderful Max, awesome family, and terrific friends acting as my collective chauffeur.

2. Hair still falling out, and generally looking like ass. I found a nice looking salon on Yelp that I intend to try now that radiation is over, but every time I look in a mirror, I get a little sad.

3. Pretty much all of my skin hurts, pretty much all of the time. We can thank Tarceva for that, one of the trial drugs I'm taking through UCSF. Totally worth it, and I'm thankful for the trial and the opportunity to double up the chemo on this sonofabitch, but ow. In lots of inconvenient places, like my hands and ears.

4. The overwhelming emotion attached to this situation makes my far away friends seem so, so much farther away. Not emotionally, because every single friend (plus some new ones, some old ones, and many that I didn't even know about) has rallied for me and continues to be part of my physical and mental armor, but physically, I miss the hugs and the random shopping trips to Target.

Of course, I am very good at looking forward to upcoming fun stuff. I have a ridiculously long list of events and trips to plan and get super excited about in the next few months--I'll expand in another post, one that won't take three weeks to write--and that helps me forget as well.

Also, I had my first cocktail in 4 months this weekend. Bloody Marys rule!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I can't believe I ate the whole thing

My appetite came back tonight, just for the evening. I think it was a nice treat to help get me ready for Thanksgiving next week. Not that panko fried prawns, scallops and halibut with coleslaw and fries and extra cocktail sauce is anything like turkey et al, but hot damn it was tasty and very very enjoyable. Hell of a date night. Now while Max has guy date night on the Xbox, I'm watching the Sharks in Anaheim and trying to do some video journaling while Samson screams in agony downstairs, how dare we try to put him to bed! The nerve!

The funny part is that I'm mostly doing these video journals for him, so he'll one day have them should he want to know about how I felt during this time or how I saw things (of course I'll be here to tell him myself, but there ain't nothing wrong with insurance), and when we watches them, in many entries, he'll hear two year old Samson, screaming his precious little ass off in the background: "Mommy! Eeee mommy! Eeeee mommy! House! Mommy!" No, we don't make him sleep outside, "house" refers to any part of the house in which he is not currently. (That sentence felt awkward, but I know I'm not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition. Hmm.)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A lot of life is not total crap

So let's talk about the things in life that don't make want to curl up in a ball and cry and cry and cry until the giant hill I live on top of gets washed away by a mudslide of salty tears.

1. Two of the nicest people I know had a baby in late September. He is very large and has a great deal of hair on his head. He is adorable and sleepy, and I get to hold him all the time.

2. Samson is in a very enjoyable huggy kissy phase. We spend a lot of time cuddling and tickling and kissing and reading books and chasing the cat...it's like heaven.

3. The weather has been amazing, and you know how I feel about the weather.

I'm considering making myself a bunch of t-shirts with pictures of powerful people and survivor types on them. Because that's how I feel these days. People Like Xena: Princess Warrior and that guy who ate that whole 64 oz steak at that one Cattleman's restaurant...truly inspiring people.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Worst. Post. Ever.

So. Where have I been for the last 6 weeks? I've been here. And here. And spending lots of time in one of these. And getting one of these. Because, apparently, I have this.

Lucky Me!

Let's not get all wacko and out of control. Some shit sucks, I mean really sucks, but let's remember a few things:

1. I am young.
2. I am strong.
3. I refuse to become a statistic.

And even when my pillow is drenched from tears and I can't eat because of the chemotherapy or I'm just so damn tired, I will always have the motivation I need from these guys:

And, of course, a host of other wonderful peoples.

Clearly, posting will be light, and chances are I won't have much to say other than HOLY SHIT I HAVE CANCER. But who knows, I may surprise myself. And for the umpteenth time today, I will thank god or whoever is in charge of this mess that back on September 21, when I had the seizure that caused me to crash my car and sent me to the hospital so that the amazing doctors could discover this horribleness, that NOBODY WAS HURT, especially not Samson, who was riding in his super awesome car seat in the back of the now totaled Subaru Outback. The very same Samson who will turn two years old on Sunday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nice one, Mother Nature

Finally, after months of perfectly acceptable but hardly tank top worthy weather, Indian Summer (also known to us Bay Area folk as "real summer") is upon us. Every year, Mother Nature waits until all of the annoying youth are back in school and then unleashes upon us six amazing weeks of 90+ temps, the occasional dramatically humid thunder storm, and cool morning fog that quickly gives way to BBQ friendly afternoons. This will last until Halloween, when the chilly nip of autumn will grace our presence for about a month before plain old winter takes over until late April. Guh.

Sometimes this is may favorite season, this late September/early October perfection, but it's hard to compete with autumn (or any season that involves Thanksgiving dinner). Misty, cool, sweater-wearing late November rocks. But having just had my in-laws over for an outdoor brunch where nobody needed a sweater (heck, the baby didn't even need pants), and knowing that the pool at the gym won't be chock full of camp goers tomorrow like it was allllll freaking summer long...well, that rocks X 1,000.

Sure, sometimes I'm envious of people who live where the trees actually change colors instead of just going naked all of a sudden (Maggie), or where it snows occasionally (Dedi & Miriam), or even where it snows way too much (Richmans), but on a day like today, I just can't complain. And that's saying something.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dear Play School: Will You Marry Me?

Just a quick update: play school ROCKS. There were some tears when I tried to make the kiddo stand still in front of our house for a photo op, but once we actually got to school, it was all "let's see how many toy trucks I can fit in my mouth" and "look how hard I can though gravel at that kid!"

Yes, I'm a very proud parent.

Samson loved it, and of course I had to drag him away from the toy vacuum cleaner when it was time to leave. Neither of us can wait to go back.

Monday, September 14, 2009

School Days

The kiddo starts school tomorrow.

What, what? Is he even two yet?

No. He is 22.5 months old, and has already been accepted to Harvard. Lucky us!

The thing that starts tomorrow, the thing that we have been referring to as "school" is actually two two-hour days per week of throwing sand, riding trikes and eating play dough. It's kind of like junior preschool, or maybe play school. It's also a parent cooperative, so he's someone else's problem now, in addition to my own. It takes a village, right? It's less casual than a playgroup, but not as advanced as preschool. My hope is that it will a great place to learn new and exciting ways to tire him out and that we can all make some friends who won't soon tire of listening to me talk about being the parent of a toddler. Because that's pretty much all I talk about these days

I haven't really considered this to be any bigger of a deal than swim lessons, baby gym, or any other regularly-scheduled, paid enrichment activity we've done so far, but as tomorrow edges closer, I'm definitely feeling like my little baby is somewhat less of a baby these days--which is, of course, bittersweet.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

State Unfair

I could write 50 million blog posts about the fun things we did in Minneapolis, and it would still fall criminally short of describing the actual amount of fun we had. It was awesome. Stupendous. Heart warming. Impossible to describe with mere words or even with 748 photographs. But here are some highlights.

Fried macaroni and cheese on a stick!


Apple picking.

A friendly goat named Putz.

The high score of the day for Whack a mole!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Damn Sqirrels

Remember last Spring when I talked about our cracker jack plans for a garden? Well, we did end up with some fairly edible prizes to show for our labor. We ended up planting tomatoes (3 different kinds!), kakai pumpkin, black simpson lettuce, carrots, and approximates 42,000 strawberry plants. For a few months, everything was great--we harvested a bunch of lettuce, about 12 mamma mia tomatoes, a dozen or so strawberries, and had one heck of a pumpkin just sitting there, growing.

Then the squirrels caught on to or master plan. They found out that we intended to actually eat the foods that we grew, and they got together at their annual squirrel convention and came up with 14 different diabolical plans: each and every one culminated in them eating the veggies before we could enjoy them. For the last two weeks, as soon as a tomato turns even slightly orange, it's gone. The pumpkin was devoured, along with all of the lettuce and every single strawberry as soon as it showed any sign of turning red.

Or maybe it's the raccoons. Either way, I am pissed. And apparently, my cat is in on the deal. I mean, it's not like I ask much of him. Does a cat really need two eyes in order to spot, chase, and possibly eat a freaking squirrel?

At the very least, we have an herb garden on the back porch, growing in huge terra cotta pots: parsley, basil, rosemary, mint, thyme, oregano, thai basil, sage, cilantro, and chives. It would appear that our resident critters aren't fans of vibrantly flavored leaves and aromatic sprigs. There's no accounting for taste.

We had such grand plans for all of our lovely tomatoes. I'm glad we got to try a few of them, but it's very disheartening. This was our first attempt at gardening, and I hate to think that we've been had by some overgrown chipmunks. I just don't have the energy or desire to build fencing or anything other than watering and fertilizing the plants, and even that is starting to seem pointless. If they would just leave me one strawberry, maybe I'd feel more industrious. At least they haven't started digging the carrots out yet. We've been able to harvest about 7 or 8 tiny, yet delicious, little carrots. Sigh.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cowboy Up

I loves me some animal cruelty. As long as it's adorable!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm not that innocent

Whoops! I did it again. And I'm not just saying that because I'm wearing my hair in pigtails with fluffy pink hairbands.

I let a whole week go by without blogging about the wonders of my life, the joys of raising the kiddo, the unending saga of Ozzy's general health and well being. For shame! How will I be able to sleep at night knowing that I have deprived you, my tens of readers, a regular inlet to my existence? Like this: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I've been dealing with the realization that all of my pictures from February to August of 2009 up and left my computer. Poof. Gone. Abracadara, you're screwed. Luckily, I seemed to have more or less fixed the problem, and will hopefully heed the lesson here, you know, the one about regularly backing up your important files? Riiight. That one.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go reassure Samson that yes, Nemo got taken away, and yes, his daddy will find him.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We went, we camped, we came home

It already seems like years ago, but we took Samson camping last Friday. He did really well, as well as can be expected of a 21 month old spending his first night in a tent on the ground. He and Ozzy were so good and listened so well, I was really astonished. They played in the dirt and ate hot dogs and marshmallows and had a blast all around. Of course, asking Samson to sleep in the tent was like asking him to sleep in a bouncy house. He basically ran around in circles, waving my head lamp, for an hour or so. Finally, we all fell asleep, and we stayed that way for most of the night. Kiddo woke up a handful of times, screamed his ever lovin' head off, then fell back asleep. The weather was great, nearly every campsite had young children in it (which meant that Samson was not the only one who showed off his late night screaming skills, thank goodness), and we really enjoyed using my folks' old camp gear. When a camp stove that's older than your older brother still works without a hitch, you know you're in for a good night.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Let's Get Dirty

Max and I are taking the kiddo camping tomorrow, and we're super excited. It will be Samson's first camping trip, Max's and my first camping trip together (wha? how is that possible?) and my first camping trip since the summer of 2000 (oh, that's how). We're going very close by, and only for one night--the perfect starter trip for a lapsed life-long camper. Between borrowing and renting, we won't be using any equipment of our own (which is good because we have none--the victims of many poorly planned moves). But who knows--if it's as much fun as I hope it will be, you may all want to buy REI stock real soon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

New World Order

A few weeks ago, Samson and I went to Portland to visit good ol' Dedi and spend some time with her toe headed progeny. We had great fun; everyone got enough sleep and took good naps, we beat the heat with a wading pool and a trip to the river. Auntie Mir was on hand to spoil the kiddos rotten. We even made s'mores. The best part, though, what the gift we got when we came home.

An obedient toddler.


Well, obedient-ish. To be fair. But compared to pre-Portland Samson, this new kid is some kind of Catholic school honor student. Like, Mary Poppins couldn't improve on this guy. And it's all about being a no-nonsense, parent-channeling, voice-raising disciplinarian. As in SAMSON GET DOWN FROM THAT CHAIR RIGHT NOW but instead of your voice, it's the voice of a demon from hell that resides deep in your gut and hell yes I'll get down from this chair please don't eat me. Awesome!

I can't do it in public yet. Lord, no. Keeping a kid quiet at the grocery store is what videos on the iPhone are for. But when we're safely behind closed doors, I am a parenting force to be reckoned with. And all of a sudden, the cat can come out from his perpetual hiding place under the bed without the fear of a well intended but painful nonetheless toddler hug. I can finally keep the animals' water bowl in the kitchen without it doubling as a wading pool. He's definitely not perfect, but he keeps his grubby shoes out of the fish tank and things are just a little more manageable these days. Thanks, Dedi! Or rather, thanks, Dedi's mom!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

My New Blog

To better reflect the direction my life seems to be going, I'm changing the name of this blog. The top contenders, in no particular order:

What Will Go Wrong With Ozzy This Week?
Crisis Mode
Extra Super Crap

The other day, Ozzy began bleeding from his ear. A couple of trips to the vet and some super sonic ear surgery revealed a teeny tiny tumor on his ear drum, causing his ear canal to fill up with blood and spill forth from his giant doggy ear. Pathology reports are forth coming. Yay.

But there's no need to change our name, is there? My life is still Extra Super Fantastic, right? It's just a little pointy. And bleedy. And expensive. Right?



Friday, July 31, 2009

Just Call Him Lumpy

Of course the lumps are benign. And of course they aren't worth removing. And of course we can expect him to get more and more of them as he ages. It will be not unlike having a cuttlefish covered in fur as a pet. At least, I imagine cuttlefish to be lumpy to the touch. And to have horrible gas.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lumps live on

Nanna's passing brought with it the end of fetching, the end of stick chasing, the end of the snoring dog. There is no more squirrel chasing, no heavy dog head, pressing against your knee and drooling while you sit on the couch, just waiting for you to glance down and catch a glimpse of the quick and low tail wag, and finally turn off the TV so we can go in the back yard and play.

And, so I thought, the end the of lumps. WRONG.

Recently, three suspicious lumps have popped up on Ozzy's not entirely lump-free body. In his 11 years, he's had two lumps. One was surgically removed, and the other was deemed benign and continues to chill on his ribcage. So I guess, historically, he's got a 50/50 chance that the vet will simply poke him with a needle and hand us a bill, and we won't have to discuss surgery or treatment options. We'll see in a few hours.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

BBQ Sunday

Thank goodness for marriage. If it wasn't for marriage, Max and I wouldn't have flow to Brooklyn last April for my brother's wedding to a lovely girl from St. Louis. If we hadn't attended said wedding, we'd never have tasted the amazing BBQ that was served at the reception. Had we not tasted the aforementioned BBQ, we'd never have had the discussion about how much we LOVE barbecue with the bride's parents. And if we'd never had that conversation with the extra super fantastic couple from St. Louis, they wouldn't have found it necessary to send us an amazingly generous box of barbecue which we are currently preparing in our kitchen.

And that, dear friends, would have been a tragedy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm Ready (nearly)

Well, I've got a carry on bag full of tiny toys wrapped and tied with ribbons, about four pounds of jelly beans and m&m's, and two ziplock bags full of goldfish and pretzels. I've downloaded Finding Nemo and Monters, Inc. to my iPhone, and I've got shiny red toenails. I'm ready for a vacation to sunny Portland! That's right, sunny. I used to love those hot Oregon summers, and I can't wait to spend a few days complaining about the heat with two of the best people I know (plus a couple of cute little toddlers). All I have to do now is get through the airport and plane ride without losing my shit. Whee!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Missing the girl

I've really been missing Nanna this week. Thanks to a crazy busy pace of life, I've been able to pretty much ignore the space left by her passing. I can just chalk Ozzy's increasingly troublesome behavior up to the fact that he is an increasingly troublesome dog, and pretend that my best doggie friend didn't die three months ago. But every so often, usually at dusk, when the sky is half dark blue and half pale orange, it just comes back--all at once. Heavily. Then she'll show up in a dream or two, or I'll read an old blog post about her...it's just not fair. And now I'm feeling all mopey.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Time to fly

While Max heads to Wyoming this weekend for a business trip, the kiddo and I are off to Portland to visit our peeps, both toddler sized and full grown. The flight to Portland is less than 2 hours, and it's the only one Samson and I have done solo before. Of course, last time, he was still in a Baby Bjorn. But this time, I'll have videos on my iPhone. Hooray for technology!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I'm the mommy, that's why

Samson's first three-word sentence:

"Bye-bye, duck shoe."

Nice try, kiddo. You'll be wearing duck feet for as long as I can physically overpower you or emotionally blackmail you. That is, you'll be wearing duck feet forever.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Add it up

This is my 700th post on ESF. Like, wow, man. Another fun fact: ESF will be 5 years old next month. If this blog were a kid, it would be starting kindergarten in the fall. Also, it would be named Horace.

700 posts. I feel like this post should have some real substance to it, something worthy of such a milestone-ish event. However, it is more likely that it will reference something cute the kid has done, maybe have a photo of said cute kid, and you will leave disappointed and never return. Such is life.

So I bought the kid a pair of slippers today, and they are duck feet. How awesome is that! So, combined with his super hero pajamas, I give you: Bat Duck.

Now, as a gift to me on this the day of my 700th blog post, please ignore the mess in the picture. I really need to be tidying up the house instead of writing on my blog, ha ha.

Monday, July 06, 2009

They'll fry your cat and put it on a stick if you ask nicely

To celebrate the birthday of this great nation, we booked our flight out to the Midwest to visit the Richmans in Minneapolis--also known as the PLACE WHERE THEY HAVE THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR. Is there anything more patriotic than a giant vegetable contest or a deep fried Twinkie? No, there is not.

We also partook in a more traditional method of celebration, the preparing and eating of much foodstuffs. While it was mainly a grilling-and-beer sort of weekend, the baking arts were also well represented. Friends from San Diego came to visit, bearing the Greatest Pecan Pie ever, and I fell under the annual spell of ripe peaches at the supermarket and whipped up a Paula Deen peach cobbler. Because, you know, butter runs through my veins.

We made it out to pancake breakfast, but couldn't keep the kiddo awake long enough for fireworks--maybe next year. We did manage to fit in a trip to the beach on Sunday morning, as evidenced by the wet and (more than a little) stinky dog who spent the afternoon lounging in the sun in the backyard. I'm going to call it a successful holiday weekend all around.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Oh, crap. I almost let another week go by without posting. because I've been so, eh, busy. yes. Ahem.

Max was out of town last week, we went to Tahoe with the Whittens over the weekend, and now I'm counting the days until the holiday weekend (one). Swim lessons, playgroups, lunch dates with Grandma, and lots and lots and LOTS of yard work.

Whew! I'm exhausted just typing about it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This post is not about Michael Jackson

We're off to Tahoe this weekend. Going to take the kiddo on some little hikes, play at Donner Lake, spend some time with our good pals before they have a munchkin of their own and turn into sleepwalking milk factories for a few months before regaining their (severely demented) sense of self. Fun!

Max has been in NYC this week. Despite his being sorely missed by his doting wife and child, this is one of the better single mom weeks that Samson and I have spent together thus far. It's partially because of the kisses--finally! Now when he comes at me with his mouth, it's not to bite me--and partially because of his unbridled enthusiasm for, well, just about everything. Any question I ask him is answered with a wide-eyed, emphatic "yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaah" along with a nice head nod. And there's nothing more fun than driving around, pointing out every bus ("Bus! Bus! Bye, bus. Bye."), train, truck, and car we pass. It's been a really terrific week with him. Hooray for us!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Back to life

After two weeks--no, wait, let me rephrase that. After TWO FREAKING WEEKS of the runniest nose you ever did see on a 19 month old, Samson has finally been allowed back at the child care center at the gym.

Oh, happy day, oh glory of glories, oh magical moment where I park the stroller, usher him through the door that leads to plastic castles and tiny cars, and close the door without EVER LOOKING BACK, oh how I missed you. Even the stupid exercising part, which I suppose must be doing my body some good, because after my enforced two week hiatus, today my arms felt like wet noodles and my legs like rubber bands. Even typing this post hurts my abs a little.

The actual cold only lasted 3 days. What a three days it was, mind you--cranky, sleepless nights, green snot, all the fun stuff. But for two weeks after that, the kid was spunky, energetic, and just fine. Except for the never ending river of yellow mucus flowing freely from his nostrils. It was, of course, during this time that he decided to begin calling me "mommy," except it sounded more like "bumby" or "nummy." For a while, the word morphed into "mummitz," which has to be the coolest mommy nickname ever, right? I mean, I nearly went to the DMV to secure my vanity plate.

But he's been snot free since Friday, so I felt it was safe to return to the child care center, without the fear that I would be scolded in front of the other mommies whose children did not look like booger monsters. It's not (heh heh) that I would choose to infect other kids just so I could get an hour away from the boy, don't get me wrong. It's just that the pediatrician swears up and down that after 3 days of no fever and no green snot, toddlers are not contagious, and that even so, the runny nose can last for 2-3 weeks. But I've seen the child care center ladies give other parents their runny nose tongue lashings, and, while I don't blame them necessarily, it's hard to forgo that one hour a day where Samson is somebody else's problem.

He also learned how to blow his nose during the "illness," although he hasn't quite mastered the connection between nose blowing and the use of kleenex. Which was extra adorable at swim class last week. Ahem.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Almost, but not quite

Wow, it sure is easy to slip back into that whole never blogging mentality again. But I caught myself just in time. And I will make up for it with a blast from the past. Prepare to have your mind photographically blown, yo.

Remember this guy?

How about him?

And then there's this guy.

And who could forget Mr. Mustachio?

That was fun!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fairyland Friday

Max took the day off today and we braved the marine layer and went to Fairyland in Oakland. Fun! I have distict memories of coming here as a kid--there are boxes in front of the little fairytale sculptures and playhouses what not and you get a special plastic key which activates the boxes so you can here the story that goes with the exhibit. Very cool. So we paid our extra $2 for the plastic key, and when it had a crown for a handle, I commented on how I remember it having an elephant for a handle. That's when the ticket taker lady through my already shaky memory neurons into a tailspin by informing me that the elephant keys were for the zoo, and that Fairyland had always had crown keys.

I was literally speechless for a moment as my brain replayed a handful of my childhood memories and tried to accept the fact that they were incorrect. I mean, once she said it, it made sense. Why would an elephant be the mascot of a fairy tale themed park, anyway? Nonetheless, I felt betrayed. I'm pretty sure that blue plastic elephant key had been my prized possession at some point.

But I'm strong, my inner child is resilient, and we proceeded to have a fine day chasing the kiddo around the brightly painted park, stopping to point out every pigeon ("Duck!") and to climb inside many a tiny house. Behold:

There was also some running in the grassy fields around Lake Merrit:

Even more fun ahead this weekend with all kinds of out-of-town friends and family. Uncle Paul and Aunt Kristy are here from Brooklyn, and Auntie Mir is here from Portland. Hooray for airplanes!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

It's Just That Kind of Day

Yes, that's a toddler shoe in the fish tank. Sigh.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Fire it Up

In my book, summer is officially here. We barbecued not once but twice today, had fresh fruit for breakfast and dessert, and we walked to the farmer's market this morning. That's about as summer a day as you can get. And the best part is this ridiculous bread and sauce that they sell at the market...it's so good that I might short out my laptop from salivating.

It all comes down to the food. Holidays, special events, seasons, milestones. I may not remember much of what the Rabbi said at my son's bris, but I'll never forget the chicken livers my mom made.

Speaking of my son, we went to the park yesterday to feed the ducks.

Apparently, since I was a child, someone has replaced all of the ducks with geese. Ozzy was vigilant and protected us from these giant birds of prey.

Samson had fun, switching between goose poop inspection and the jungle gym.

I know, you're all, what? She blogged twice in one week? And posted pictures?? What gives?

My dedication. To you. That's what gives.

Friday, June 05, 2009

A Blog! I Have One!

The other night, I wished and wished and wished and wished for a blog of my very own. And then I was all, oh crap.

Just watch as I start paying attention to my blog again. I'm ready. Seriously. Why are you laughing?

It's hard to concentrate with all of these wounds. These, toddlerific, bite-sized wounds. On my leg. And my shoulder. And my chest. Ow.

Just waiting for the red velvet cupcakes to cool so I can frost them (don't get all excited, they're Hungry Girl.). And then eat six of them before bedtime.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Toddling around the capitol

So we decided to drive to Sacramento for Max's birthday, mainly so we could stop at the outlet mall for some much needed retail therapy. You haven't seen a place until you've seen it with a toddler: Fairytale Town, Funderland, Sutter's Fort, Rick's Dessert Diner--plus, you run everywhere you go.

We had a great time--until Samson was attacked by an unruly display shelf in the Train Museum in Old Town. Note to museum staff: when directing a couple with a toddler to "the most toddler friendly area in the museum," and you go on and on about the Thomas the Tank Engine play area, you might also want to mention the low hanging shelves that line the walls in the 15 feet between the elevator and the play area. The low hanging shelves which are just about the height of a toddler head. With really sharp and pointy corners. I'm just saying.

So we didn't actually make it to any other part of the train museum that day; when the bump on Samson's forehead grew larger and larger before my eyes until it was the size and color of a small plum, we headed straight to the hospital. He's fine, it's only a goose egg, but we did decided to cut our trip short and head back to the Bay after that.

Luckily, we'd had a really nice time the day before--including an actual dinner out, the first in a looooong time. The biggest gun in my keep-the-toddler-quiet-in-the-restaurant arsenal these days is yogurt.

I said keep him quiet, not keep him clean.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I can only say I'm sorry

Apparently, I haven't gotten any better at managing my time wisely, nor have I found a way to increase my energy to that of a toddler's. By the time he goes to bed, I have exactly enough energy to eat dinner, do the dishes, click a few buttons on the remote control and drag my sorry ass to bed. And it doesn't get any better in there; my dreams are weak interpretations of my slumber time environment or variations of the previous days events. For example, last night I dreamed about rich old ladies who lost their money at a grocery store (basically a re-do of the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode I have watched on the DVR before bed), and about large, fluffy, black goats that had invaded our yard and wouldn't go away...all while Milhouse traipsed around the living room above my head, making infinitely more noise than a 12 pound cat out to be able to make.


I did, however, plant a ton of strawberries (literally. two thousand pounds of strawberry plants.) while Samson napped today, and yesterday I uploaded pictures of our recent comings and goings (like this one) and of the garden and its Springtime glory. So all is not completely lost.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Keep it moving

New York was a success, although I may have given you a different answer had you asked me on the airplane. Samson was a champ, the wedding was beautiful, and my diet was blown to hell.

Palm Springs--now that's some serious vacationing. Three days of girls only, no babies, low-cal cocktails and a nice shimmering pool. A girl could get used to this.

I promise, I swear, pictures soon and fun tales of bright lights, big cities and the Viceroy Hotel to come.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Toddler Travel

We're heading to New York City at the end of the week to celebrate some nuptials. Not just and nuptials, but family nuptials. My big brother has tricked a lovely young lady into spending the rest of her life with him. Ha! Hope she likes hockey, bacon, and tea tree chewing sticks. Ha.

So Max and I are bringing the kid--after all, what's an intimate garden wedding without a whiny toddler? Far to quiet and civilized, if you ask me. Anyway, we've never taken Samson to a BIG CITY before, and aren't quite sure what to do about taxis and subways and what not. I mean, we understand the general concept. You use them to get places. It's the specifics that have me flummoxed and slightly anxious. Like are you supposed to use a car seat when taking a taxi? If so, how do you get a taxi to pick you up if it means waiting while you install your huge car seat? We could have Max flash one of his insanely stellar calves, but that may get old. Any thoughts?

I think we've got the airplane thing down. Portable DVD player? Check. A hundred little packages of cookies, raisins and goldfish? Check. Apologetic grimaces for those sitting near is? Double check. We're still trying to decide whether we should take a taxi from the JFK to our Manhattan hotel or if we should brave the subway for a 45 minute trip with our whirling dervish and our likely-to-be-too-much luggage. Hmmm. Again, thoughts? I'm looking at you, Maggie, you travel maven.

In other news: it's HOT. Like, lower 90's hot. We're going to go look at water tables after nap time.

In other other news: I spent my very first night away from Samson over the weekend. Long story short: it was AWESOME. I only missed him a lot. More on that later.

In other other other news: the hole left by Nanna's passing is still huge and raw. It helps to fill it with cupcakes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Short One Dog

Ugh. We finally had to say goodbye to Nanna this week. I'm too sad to write much about the experience or my family's reaction right now, but I think it will probably be an important part of the grieving process later on. For now, here are some of my favorite Nanna related posts.

If I had a Nanna, I'd hug her in the morning

Are you ready to ROCK???

A great big cheer for 8 big years!

Loopy Loo and the Lurid Lump

The spring, she has sprung, yes?

Damn, I miss that girl dog. Damn.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Black Hole

For the last week, our home has been trapped in a black hole. Well, more of a yellow and green mucus colored hole. One cold became one cold + one flu, which became three colds, which became two colds + one sinus infection. If you value your health, STAY AWAY. And buy stock in Kleenex.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Eat Your Veggies

We just got back from a wonderful class about how to start our very own backyard organic vegetable garden. It was a housewarming gift from two dear friends, and we are all raring and ready to go! I especially like the part about dumping your kitchen garbage in a pile in the backyard. This is called "composting." I always thought it was called "trashy and lazy."

Our plans are grand and most likely unattainable, but we intend to plant:

sweet corn
peas on a terrace
sunflowers (only because the class came with a seed)
pumpkins (ditto)
potatoes? I think it may be too late...
California poppies (true story: I accidentally typed "california poopies")

Our lovely yard came complete with five raised bed-box-thingies, a plastic composting bin, and nice brickwork around the bed area. We've been dreaming all winter about doing something yummy and fun up there, since we really don't get to actively enjoy it much. Boy howdy, that's about to change big time.

Awesome! Everyone's invited to our place for grilled veggie pizza and strawberry cupcakes!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How to Survive Day Nine of My Eleven Day Stint as a Single Parent

Have Rosa and Dave bring Jack's Prime over for dinner. I get to spend all day looking forward to burgers and sweet potato fries, and Samson gets to fall all over himself showing off for company. Dave is no longer a person, he is now a Samson-flipping-over machine.

It helped IMMENSELY that today was a nanny-share day (one of the last--sob!). And this amazing weather has given us lots of time to spend at the park, taking toys from unsuspecting kids and insisting on going down the big boy slide. Adorable as always, Samson has taken to running around the park yelling "Nooooooooo!" at the top of his lungs. For no reason. Hilarious. Also, it turns out he's a close talker.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are (My House)

Day eight of my eleven-day stint as a single mom is finally coming to a close. We knew when we had Samson that Max would have to travel some of the time for work, but this trip is really getting tough to handle. I don't mean to hit below the belt--Max really doesn't travel all that much, and he works so hard for our family, and it's important that I remember this when Samson is chasing the cat, wielding an ice cream scoop, he only napped for 45 minutes, and the cavalry's not coming for three more days.


As with every other stage of his development that come and gone int he last 17 months, I will miss this curly-haired demon, this emptier or kitchen drawers and chaser of house pets. He's discovering how fast and far his feet can take him, and his most urgent business is to find out what is inside of each and every drawer/box/closet/cupboard. It is imperative that he taste every kitchen utensil, and find out how each toy sounds as he drops it down the stairs. Being 17 months old is serious business.

That said, SWEET LORD I need a break. Lucky for me, I have a group of super awesome girlfriends and we've scheduled a trip to Palm Springs in May. A swimming pool, a fridge full of booze and BBQ. trust me, I'm counting the days. Hell, I'm counting the minutes.

Doggie update: Nanna had a down day, but she's still doing OK. But the real news is my new found doggie freedom. Ozzy, AKA the dog who can't be alone, has finally learned to be alone. I've been leaving him the backyard while I run errands and what not for the last week or so, and it's been working out really well. It's strange, but it almost feels as though I have a normal dog. Huh.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm Simultaneously Horrified and Fascinated

Good lord, that child is exhausting.


In other news, Hamlet 2 is the best movie ever. Don't believe me? Go on, have a taste.

Yes, that's Elizabeth Shue in the audience. COMIC GOLD.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Before I start getting emails from hostile grandparents about my previous post, let me add the following words:

-buh bye (he's destined to be a stewardess)
-da da (diaper)

And there are probably a dozen more that I am blanking on. Plus, he woke up this morning asking for an apple. And I know matos (hebrew for airplane) is right around the corner.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

For shame

What a sad sack lack of blogging. I have no excuse.


Nanna is doing so well! For a few days last week, she was getting worse and worse. After lots and lots of soul searching and some talks with a few close friends, we decided to put her down this week. She must have over heard me, because almost over night she began eating more, playing more, and just felling better in general. The lungs are definitely suffering, but she's still loving life so we're just taking it one week at a time. BIG THAKS to everyone for your emails, thoughts, and support. This whole thing still sucks, but it's a little better than it was a week ago.

Samson is some kind of jibber jabber machine. He's not speaking any language that I know, well, not much anyway. It rare for him to not be going on and on about something, and he seems very knowledgeable and full of conviction about whatever it is he's saying. Hmmm.

Current verified word list in real languages spoken by other people besides him:

-feesh (fish)
-shoosh (shoes and/or socks)
-jeesh (cheese)
-yo yah (yogurt)
-wuff (dog)
-at (cat)
-nook (book)
-milk (milk)
-agua (water in spanish)
-ba ba (dad, or aba in hebrew)
-ma ma (snack, and/or possibly mom)
-blehleb (banana--real language factor is questionable, but it's a very consistent blehleb)
-bup (up)
-alp (help)

Also, he has started picking my nose. So proud.

In other news, a friend got me to go to Jazzercise with her last night. I hurt all over, and I've got a aural Rhianna floaters. Imagine my embarrassment when I learned that you don't have to wear a leotard. Ahem.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Weekend Warriors

Another single mom weekend for me; it's boys' weekend in Tahoe. I learned from the last one (the rain, teething, and a crummy mood made for not so much fun), and have made all sorts of plans to keep both Samson and myself busy as freaking BEES.

Today we met a gaggle of lady friends and babies at Golden Gate Park for some tea and pastries and incredibly brazen squirrels. Then we had lunch at Park Chalet. The weather laughed in our faces, but we persevered. And Samson--holy crap, what a well behaved child. No nap, more confinement than he prefers, his first taste of crab salad, and still he had a smile on his face the whole time. Big ups to Ash for playing entertainer, and to all the gals for spending a Saturday with a ticking toddler time bomb.

Tomorrow, we host playgroup here at home. I hope the other mommies like Nilla Wafers and raisins.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I used to have a blog...

A beautiful week of sunshine means more outside time and preventing Samson from eating eucalyptus pods and less time blogging. Hooray!

Monday, March 09, 2009


So even though it's still pretty light out, Samson goes to bed in his normal 6:30-7 ish time frame with no problems thanks to my genius weekend project and skillful installation techniques. He wakes up a few times between 8 and midnight, thanks to a couple of new teeth that are trying to free themselves from their gummy prison. And then, my awesome little boy who is still awesome even when he wakes up at his normal time of 6:30 am, was extra awesome and slept. until. 8:15.

I love room darkening roller blinds, I love daylight savings time, and I love getting to sleep and extra hour and 45 minutes on Monday morning.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Oh, hey, I forgot to ask...

Hey, hormones? It's been 16 months now since I gave birth. Do you you think you could let me get through one hospital drama, sex crime drama, or dog food commercial without crying? That would be awesome. Thanks. A lot.

Walkin' the dogs

Shhh. Don't tell anyone, but it's been dry for a couple of days now. And it's supposed to stay dry for a few more days. Let's not talk about it anymore so we don't jinx it.

When I'm out walking the dogs, I'm used to being stopped by people who want to know about Ozzy; what sort of dog he is, why does he make that funny moo-ing noise, etc. But people must be able to sense that Nanna is sick--I was stopped three times this morning by people asking about her, saying how pretty and sweet she is, so shocked to learn that she's 13 this year. And I think she really liked the attention. Poor, skinny, sleepy girl.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fasten Your Seatbelts

So. That whole "back to more regular posting next week" didn't seem to go too well. Man, you guys are really bad at finger crossing.

Anxiety countdown: 51 days until we fly to New York for my brother's wedding. That's 51 days to accomplish the following tasks:

1. Find a really cute dress to wear to the wedding.

2. Loose weight so I can fit in the really cute dress.

3. Find an adorable outfit for Samson, preferably one that involves and argyle sweater vest.

4. Figure out HOW THE HELL we're going to survive a flight to New York with my demon child. WHAT WERE WE THINKING? If anyone here is planning to fly to New York in April, avoid row 12. Like the freaking plague.

5. Learn how to stop referring to the boy as "Doofus." I may think it's endearing, but the outsiders no likey.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hello Again

Everything is fine here. My lack of posting is due to a combination of busy, lazy, more lazy, and unmotivated. And lazy.

Can't even blame it on the rain. It's been pretty nice this week, plenty of dog walking and ball-throwing in the back yard. We even hit a few parks, aren't we special. And believe it or not, I actually did a couple of social things this week, and one one of them was without the baby. Shocking!

I hope to get my ass in gear and be back to more regular posting next week. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's like WWE but with blueberries and goldfish crackers

A friend hosted a play date today for a couple of us gals and our unruly children. Four boys, from 16 months to 4 years... Note to self: have a girl next time. You should have seen those kids vying for this one toy hammer. It was like throwing a bag of Wonder Bread into a duck pond. But with whining.

Samson was the youngest of the group, so it was one of those opportunities for me to see my future with him in tidy little stages. Observe:

Little Friend #1 is about six months older than Samson. He was doing amazing things like putting the correct shapes in the shape sorter.

Little friend #2 is ten months older than Samson. He's learning about sharing, asks for help, and has interesting ways of greeting other toddlers. Like chest bumps.

Little friend #3 is about three years older than Samson, and I've always been weirded out by him him simply because he does things that Samson will surely never do, like speak in complete sentences and build entire systems of wooden railroad tracks. Hanging out with kids his age reminds me that I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT KIDS and HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO RAISE ONE.

Every time I stop to catch my breath, I look back and see that 3, 6, 15 months have passed and the baby is still intact. Sometimes, he's even smiling. And usually he's doing something new and amazing that I never thought I'd see, like GIVING BEAR HUGS and GOING DOWN THE SLIDE BY HIMSELF.

I am in a perpetual state of shock.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pass the syrup

Apparently, Mardis Gras is called Pancake Day in the UK. Or at least, that's what NPR told me, and NPR don't lie.

Let's learn more about this day of flapjacks, shall we?

Shrove Tuesday, also known as pancake day, is the last day before lent, so everyone eats pancakes.

OK, if I were silly enough to actively practice a religion that made me give stuff up for 47 days, I might gorge myself on red meat and alcohol on Shrove Tuesday, or maybe laziness and porn. But pancakes? I can take 'em or leave 'em.

French toast, however, is a totally different story.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I hate the rain

I'm pretty sure it's never going to stop raining. Samson and I will never leave the house again, and we will both eventually go crazy and do something awful like shave the cat.

It's been a hell of the weekend. I totally jumped the gun and put Samson to bed at 6 tonight, about an hour before his regular bedtime, but I just COULDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. I needed him to be doing something that didn't require my involvement, and sleeping is about the only thing on that list right now. So he's been down there, talking to himself in protest, and I know the talking will escalate to a complaint, then to a yell, then to a scream...any. minute. now.

I can just picture him running his pacifier along the crib bars like in some old prison movie. Rat-a-tat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat.

Oh, all right. It's not all bad. During one of the few five minute breaks in the rain, we went out to the backyard to blow bubbles (bub-oh, so damn cute he is), and Samson totally discovered puddles and how jumping and splashing in them is totally the most fun thing ever. That was awesome.

But the rest of it sucked.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This would be heaven except for the dog farts

Max and his party animal friends are on their way to Amsterdam for a wedding at the Norwegian consulate. Samson is asleep. I've got Chinese food delivery on the way and there's a Sharks game on in HD tonight.

Awesome awesome awesome!

Also, it's not raining. Not even a little bit.

Of course I will miss Max. He will be very far away. Too far away to, say, hog the TV with his Call of Duty ridiculousness. Or to, say, hog the entire bed with arms and legs and what not. I'm just saying.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No Gnus is Good Gnus

Nothing to report. Hooray for You Tube!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sickly Samson

Samson had his first fever over the long weekend. It wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated; basically he was just hot to the touch. And really really cuddly. Actually, Saturday night was pretty rad.

The fever went down by Sunday afternoon, but so did his cuteness levels. He had become cranky, clingy, and whiny, and refused to eat or drink. He wobble when he walked and he had developed a lovely rash on his chest and back.

At the doctor's office on Monday, he was diagnosed with a cold. Nothing special, just a cold with some fluid in his head causing the balance problems. I've never heard of a cold with a fever and a rash, but I didn't attend 4 years of medical school either.

It was so great having Max around to help care for Samson, and it was hard to send him off to work today knowing what kind of day we were in for: more torrential rains (have you heard? it's the end of days over here) and a sick toddler. Now that the day is over and he's gone to bed, I can look back and say that it really wasn't that bad. Two naps, he ate and drank very well, and played outside when it wasn't raining. Not that I'm not counting the minutes until he can return to the nanny share on Thursday...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wow, all this rain is totally spooky

I've had plenty of things to complain about in the last handful of months. Plenty of things. The weather has not been one of them. This has been among the driest, warmest, most enjoyable winters that I can remember. Very little rain, very few crappy days. It's been awesome.

And then it started raining. Intermittently at first--a couple days here, a day or two there. Not enough to get all hung up about it. And every time it sprinkled, somebody would comment about oh, we really need the rain. This is great. And to that I say, it's far too late for that. We're already going to have a drought, so why pretend? Why rain at all? Let's enjoy global warming and all of its sunny warm winterful glory.

It's been raining since about Tuesday night, and damn cold to boot. Tough to stomach when your toddler repeatedly runs up to back door, bangs on it as he turns to look at you, then bursts into tears before you can even say no or explain that it's too cold or too wet to go outside right now. On the plus side, he's learned a new manipulation skill. He knows that we all need coats and shoes in order to go outside, so he's stated bring my my sweatshirt or maybe a tiny converse from time to time, looking at me expectantly. Who can say no to that?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

That Other Thing I've Been Doing

I've been keeping a secret from you. I feel just awful about it. And I think it's time to come clean.

I've been cheating on Extra Super Fantastic with my new blog, Etsy Cool. There, I said it.

Wo ho! What's that, you say? You're sharing your intimate thoughts and feelings, the details of your family life and the absurdities that come along with being you at SOME OTHER BLOG?

Not exactly. Etsy Cool is a shopping blog that finds the coolest items for sale on Etsy.com and brings them all to one place, sort of a best-of-the-best list. You won't find ramblings about Samson's love of bluetooth ear pieces or sad stories about sick dogs. You won't even find a link to one of the most hilarious videos ever. (Don't worry, you'll still totally find all that crap here.)

But you will find Valentine's Day cards, pompom hats, and cat toys.

You're welcome!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Doing Fine

We're all still here, chugging right along. And by chugging, I mean snacking. Yep, more mini muffins. What can I say? Stress makes me bake. Also, if you give a dog a cheeseburger, they'll be your best friend.

And what would death be without new life? Downright shitty, that's what. And although I just can't in good conscience compare a dog to a baby, a very very very good friend just announced her pregnancy and that makes life a lot better for me these days. She's one of those people who simply should have children, and there is one lucky fetus inside her belly right now. Damn lucky.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Living it Up

Obviously, we are all very sad. There is nothing nice about knowing that your dog is at death's door. But the weird part, the great part, is that she's still seemingly healthy and normal, totally herself. So we're taking every opportunity to show her a good time and have some fun. Kind of like 20 Good Years, only it's 20 Good Days.

So this morning we all packed into the Outback and headed to the beach. That dog loves to run and fetch, and has little to no patience for toddlers trying to figure out how to use the chuckit.

We didn't care that it was cold and drizzly. Nanna certainly didn't. Ozzy cares only about whether or not that thing in front of him is edible.

Samson, too, had a great time. Vast expanses of sand upon which to run, vast expanses of sand with which he can fill his mouth. He didn't even really mind that we made him wear a hat. The nerve!

I only hope that she's having a good time. Beyond the absurd amount of treats, the extra special attention and all of the fun outings, I hope she knows that she is very deeply loved.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I hate x-rays

So somebody wasn't crossing the fingers hard enough. Sadly, I will have to say goodbye to my very best friend sooner than I'd like to. Nanna's x-rays came back with lots and lots of tumors in her lungs, and it's looking like she won't be with us much longer.


It's never easy to say goodbye. I'm glad she's still herself, still the Nanna I've known for 12 1/2 years. She's still the Nanna that pouts, goes to bed at 8 pm, and MUST. GET. SQUIRRELS. I'm so so lucky to have some time with her while she's still happy, before she's in any pain. I get to spend some quality time thanking her for everything she's taught me about friendship and life and joy and grace and generosity and fun.

She's a mighty good dog.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Just a dog update

Nanna's tests all came back OK, that is to say her kidneys and liver are all performing as they should. Next step is chest and abdominal x-rays tomorrow to look for tumors and other weird things.

I swear, she'd better not die. Samson just decided that he likes to feed her from his toddler spoon, and that it's funny when she licks his face--as opposed to the absolute end of the world. Finally. I know that at his age, he wouldn't be too terribly effected by her passing, but I would deeply mourn the loss of all of the future memories they are sure to make.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Waiting for good news

Still waiting for the vet to call with test results. In the mean time, I'm attempting to fatten Nanna up with chicken thighs and cheese cubes. I expect to be cleaning up dog puke at some point during the night.

On the flip side, it appears that Ozzy's toxic butt fumes can be cleared up with Bean-o. I'm so happy I could cry...or maybe that's a dog fart stinging my eye. It also turns out that the skunk wound wasn't that bad, but they gave him a rabies booster just in case. So we shouldn't have any crazy, mouth-foamy dogs around here in the near future. Unless Ozzy gets into Max's shaving cream again. Ha ha. Heh. Ugh.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Fingers crossed for no more drama

While Samson does engaging things that aren't watching Handy Manny or Little Einsteins at the nanny share tomorrow, I will be taking a trip to the veterinarian's office with Ozzy and Nanna. As you may have read, Ozzy met with the business end of a skunk Friday night--well, both business ends. And although I cleaned the wound out and have kept a close eye on it, it's starting to look...gross. And wound-like. So I will let the doctor decide if it's more serious than I thought, and if it is, I will pay the doctor to fix it, then I will die from shame and guilt.

On a potentially more sinister note, Nanna is going to see the vet because she's skinny. How's that for catty behavior? My best friend is losing weight so I will pay someone to fatten her up. I've recently noticed that I can see each vertebrae in her back, and her haunches are much more defined than normal. Max says I'm crazy, and I hope he's right. The last thing I want for Nanna is some sort of awful disease that manifests itself in any way other than squirrel chasing and peanut butter licking and snoring quietly on the bed. That would be the disease of the gods.

So here's hoping that tomorrow morning I come home with two totally normal dogs, even if one of them is Ozzy.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Belmont Strikes Back

It is over.

For now, at least, The Great Belmont Critter Uprising of January 2009 has come to an end, and all sides can agree to live in a quiet if not apprehensive peace. Unless I find some sort of critter trap at Target tomorrow.

It began as we were all driving home from dinner at my parents house. As we drove up the last stretch of the steep street that leads up to our block, we came a cross a small deer just sort of hanging out in the intersection. Says Max, "Stupid deer, why don't you move?" Say the deer "...". So I roll down my window and say, politely, "Hello, deer. You should move so you don't get hit. Shoo!" The deer bounded off into one of the neighbor's yards, probably to devour their plants. Max mused about how the deer was stupid and wouldn't move. (Not much of a friend to wildlife, my husband, but I love him regardless.) To which I replied, "Yes, it's as if the deer was some sort of deer, caught in some sort of headlights." I laughed at Max's being foreign, and then we pulled into the driveway and trekked upstairs to put the baby to bed.

After an hour or two of couching, Max went out to meet a friend for drinks. I took this rare opportunity to go to bed early, my Favorite Thing In the World to do. Within minutes, Max called to warn me about the sinister looking teenager he
d seen sitting in a car parked outside our house, and that I and the dogs should be on orange alert. You never can tell about those youths, living int he suburbs and all.

So the dogs and I went downstairs to get ready for bed. Almost immediately, Nanna started acting like something was awry in the front yard. I let the dogs out the investigate...bad move. Within seconds, I heard growl, boom, crash, yelp, opened the front door and two dogs came trotting back in. Except one dog had been sprayed in the face by a skunk and also bitten or clawed at by said skunk or perhaps a skunky accomplice.

I swear, Ozzy hadn't been in the house 2 seconds before I realized what had happened and sent him back outdoors. But it was too late. Much much too late. The bedroom began to fill with an ominous odor, kind of like electrical fire and burned rubber mixed with something like jalapeno. I coughed and gagged and made all sorts of dramatic choking gestures while Nanna shivered in the corner and the baby began to cry.

Freaking great.

After getting Samson back to sleep, I texted Max ("your dog is stinky and your son is whiny"), consulted the interwebs, and ushered Ozzy into the bathroom where I bathed him in baking soda and dish soap. Miraculously, it worked. He didn't smell at all. I cleaned out his wound with hydrogen peroxide, and everything was fine. EXCEPT FOR THE SIMPLE FACT THAT MY HOUSE SMELLED LIKE SKUNK. Like, the whole, entire house. Every part of it.

After about 20 minutes, it didn't matter so much. I guess my nose just got used to it. We're not expecting any company this week, so we may be able to skate by this one. Nice try, Belmont Critters!

After all the commotion, I finally got to go to bed around midnight. And it was around 1:30 when Nanna started barking upstairs to warn us all about the infidels who were tearing about the back of kitchen garbage on the back porch that I had forgotten to take down to the trash can that night. And to top it all off, the cat pooped in the bathtub.

You win this round, mean animals. But don't be surprised if you see a "No Skunks Allowed" sign here pretty soon. I guess you better learn to read, jerk face.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Max is leaving for a Germany in a few days. The last time he had business in Munich, I begged him to bring home baby-sized lederhosen for Samson. He did not bring the lederhosen, and hence I did not take dozens of pictures of Samson wearing adorable baby lederhosen, which I would have dubbed "babyhosen."

Maybe this time I'll get lucky. To be fair, little kids in lederhosen is a pretty awesome occurrence.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Whole Bag of Taffy

For the last few days, I've been doing something that resembles working. It's been one hell of a long time since I done anything that could be considered proper, stare at a computer screen work. Anyone who emails with me knows that my time is subject to the whims of the Master, and lately, the Master wants me to get him a cookie. All of the damn time.

So the thing I've noticed the most about "working" that I forgot about is how time can fly by so quickly, and all of a sudden it's 1:30 and you haven't even considered lunch.

But you've devoured the bowl of candy at the receptionist's desk.

Apparently, my receptionist is our pantry and that bag of taffy that the Richmans got me for my birthday. It's nice to see that some things never change.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mini Muffin Mania

It all started with the need for a healthy snack for Samson. Voila! Carrot Blueberry Flax Seed Whole Wheat Mini Muffins! Also known as cannonballs.

Then Max commented on the general yuckiness of the muffins and suggested (read: demanded) that I make chocolate chip mini muffins next.


Then I wanted savory mini muffins, so the corn, cheddar and green onion mini muffin was born. Too much sugar--plus, all I'd had to eat so far that day were muffins and I wanted something more substantial. So I altered the base muffin recipe, and added vegetarian breakfast sausage, sauteed mushrooms and garlic, hash brown potatoes, and smoked gouda. A little smokey and a little gouda-y for my taste, so I swaped the white sugar for brown sugar and replaced the smoked gouda with crumbled feta.


Here's the recipe:

2 cups whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
12 ounces white mushrooms, sliced, sauteed with 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 Morningstar farms sausage patties, cooked and crumbled
1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes
1 cup feta, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix dry ingredients together, make a well in center. Combine egg, milk and oil, pour slowly into well. Mix with fork until combined, but still lumpy. Fold in the mushrooms, sausage, potatoes and cheese. Spoon (or use a small ice cream scoop) into greased mini muffin pan, bake for 23 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in pan then transfer to wire racks. Eat 5 or 6 while their still warm. Go back for 2 or 3 more because they're just so darn good. Makes 36 mini muffins. (If you're on Weight Watchers, they're 1.5 points each.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's all about the sprinkles

On Thursday I woke up to more than just a shouting baby. This time, there were donuts, bagels, and a carton of fruit punch--not to mention my precious. Birthday breakfast is a beautiful thing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Birthday of Cool

Does this post seem somehow more cool than my previous posts? A bit more snarky, perhaps? Does this post wear skinny jeans and sweater vests, horn-rimmed glasses and Chuck Taylors? I'm sure by now you've noticed that my blog, all of a sudden, looks totally at home sitting in a coffee shop with its laptop, furiously typing away while listening to Arcade Fire on its iPod and sipping a free trade extra hot soy latte with Madagascar vanilla.

Hi, I'm a Mac. That's right, the doting husband got me a shiny white MacBook for my birthday! Expect my posts to be all about politics and indie bands from now on. Oh, and also about hybrid vehicles and my dream of being a composer.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Untitled Post

Ooh, why hasn't she been blogging? What's going on? Has she completely abandoned all of her resolutions?

No, but the pizza delivery guy about to climb our 56 stairs wouldn't know it.

Inauguration is good, the baby is delightful (he now says "hi" and waves to everyone we pass on our walks), the house is amazingly still tidy after Max's cleaning frenzy on Monday. I suppose I'm just...weary. The weather turned from fabulous 70's to dreary 50's literally overnight, and that seems to be a mood crusher. Of course, although I haven't mentioned it here on the blog, I'm still trying to sort through the feelings caused by the passing of my grandma late last week. Obviously, "sad" and "bummed out" are in the pile feelings, but it's not quite that. Thankfully, death is not something I have a great deal of experience with, and it tends to leave me feeling more uncomfortable and ho-hum than anything else.

Like I said, I'm thankful that death isn't something I've become adept at dealing with, not like friends getting pregnant (AHEM) or people moving to random states on he other side of the Mississippi River. But it would be nice if someone told me how I'm supposed to feel.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Definitely in the Top Five

What a cute baby filled weekend. And not just my cute baby, but other cute babies as well. Girl babies, boy babies, dancing babies, scrunchy babies. Of course, my baby was the cutest of them all.

No doubt, having a baby was the best thing I ever did. Except for going to Portugal. Having a baby was the second best thing I ever did. Except for going to that one really good steak restaurant that one time, years and years ago.

Having a baby is the third best thing I ever did...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Recipe in the Making

I just watched an episode of Unwrapped that was all about buns. BUNS, which I love. And buns stuffed with things. If there's one thing that I like, it's food stuffed with other food. Also, tiny foods with dipping sauces. OK, that's two things.

But it got me to thinking about how much better food is when it's either wrapped in dough or in a sandwich format. Case in point, Totino's Pizza Rolls. Excuse me while I drool all over my laptop.

So how does pie fit into this concept? It's not exactly dough-wrapped, and pastry or pie crust doesn't come close to bun or bread dough in my book. If it were up to me, the perfect pie would be described thusly:

-Savory, not sweet.
-Except for that it would be sweet because it would have BBQ sauce in it.
-And some kind of pulled pork or brisket.

Let us recap: a BBQ pork or brisket pie, with lots of sauce, and a doughy, bready crust. With pickle chips on the side.

Where's my spork?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


In the words of Adam, "I want to go to that."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today's blog, in which I expand on the Pony Party

The pony party was totally awesome. The birthday boy was gracious, especially for a two year old. The ponies did not disappoint:

Samson never actually smiled during his pony ride, but he didn't cry either. Success!

Being the exceptional parent that I am, my favorite part was when Samson got bit by a chicken. He stuck his wee little finger through the wire on the chicken coop, and hilarity ensued. Also tears. And screaming.

Super bonus: these beyond creepy dolls in the ghost town section of the train ride. You know I love 'em!

Monday, January 12, 2009

So Lazy


Seriously, I'm feeling really lazy right now. I've got almost enough energy to feel bad about not having enough energy to plug my iPhone into my computer, download, and post the pictures from Saturday's Pony Party. Almost.

After Samson goes to the nanny share tomorrow morning, I'm sure I'll have more energy--funny how that works.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Pony Party!

That's right boys and girls, Max and I are taking Samson to a birthday party tomorrow--WITH PONIES. TO RIDE ON. I am very excited to force terrified little Samson to ride a big smelly pony. I wish I had bought that baby-sized cowboy hat when I saw it in Portland last summer. And then given Samson special drugs to keep his head from growing.

Also, if you're into nudity, even a little bit, please to enjoy Mr. David Byrne.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Happy Birthday EAP

The King knows how to par-TAY.

That's not a joint in his mouth. It's one of those birthday-party-blowing-noise-maker thingies. Duh.

And it would be a really weird looking joint.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Not much of a blog post today. My brother Paul's in town, which is terrific (Samson is thrilled), but other than that I'm feeling a bit urmphy, for lack of a better word. Or a word that exists.

Now I have to go close the refrigerator door because it is beeping at me.

More, less urmphy blogging tomorrow.