Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bathing Suits, Post Children

Courtesy of Wendi Aarons, I present to you the ...

It's The Summer 2008 Swimsuit Buying Guide!

1. First, what kind of suit are you looking for?
a) One-piece
b) Two-piece
c) As many damn pieces as I can possibly cram on and still be buoyant.

2. Which style of swimsuit do you like best?
a) Bikini
b) Tankini
c) 1920's head-to-toe bathing costume made out of wool-ini

3. What shape best describes your body?
a) A Pear
b) An Apple
c) A value-sized mixed fruit tray from Costco

4. Would you say your bust is:
a) Large
b) Small
c) Something resembling a couple of lazy-ass sock puppets on holiday

5. Your lower body can best be described as:
a) Slim and boyish
b) Curvy and rounded
c) Damn, guuurrllll, you sure got you a Badonka Donka Donk

6. What type of swimwear coverage do you prefer?
a) A Little
b) A Lot
c) A Hyberbolic Chamber

7. Do you need tummy control?
a) Does Laverne need Shirley?

8. When trying on swimsuits, do you prefer a dressing room with:
a) A full-length mirror and bright, fluorescent lighting
b) A small, cracked mirror and flickering, feeble candlelight
c) A bottle of Jack, a box of Kleenex and Jenny Craig on speed-dial.

8. Which activity do you plan on doing most often in your swimwear?
a) Swimming
b) Laying out
c) Slamming six-packs of wine coolers and thinking evil thoughts about the 21 year-old in a tiny bikini who's lying right next to me and just so totally flaunting it, the nasty, little wench

10. Finally, how much would you like to pay for your new swimsuit?
a) $30.00
b) $50.00
c) If it makes me look like a size-4, I'll give you my Volvo, my 401K and my wedding ring, no questions asked.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Pool is Closed

It is so disappointing to have to tell your kids that the outdoor pools are closed due to the possibility of thunder and lighting storms. Even if they don't materialize. The sadness of a two-year-old, already in her bathing suit, clutching her brand-new blow-up hippo ring, is palpable. Not something we dealt with in California.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Oh, for the Love of Kiddie Television!

I was just reading a friend's post about her kids discovering Barney. I feel for her. Brandon went through a period of loving Barney and the Teletubbies. At the same time!!! It was hard for me. In retrospect, I'm not sure what I was worried about. But then I remembered......

It all started with a bad Teletubbies experience.

Waaayyyy back in 1993 - April 19th, as a matter of fact - I got sick. Very sick. Sick enough to actually call in sick to work. I worked at a Silicon Valley start up and got very little sick and/or vacation time, so I had to feel really really bad to not go into work. Anyway, I remember having a in inking for potato soup that day, but had no potatoes. And I was hungry. I got in my car - still very sick - and drove a whopping half-a-mile to Nob Hill foods for potatoes and milk. Somewhere in the middle of the store I realized that I had absolutely no recollection of how I'd gotten to the store, or how I'd ended up in the produce aisle. I paid for my items, drove home, and later woke up on the sofa, still clutching the bag of potatoes. My car was in the driveway, keys and purse on the table, and the milk was in the fridge. I'd blacked out somewhere in between. It was obvious I shouldn't have been out at all! It was then and there that I decided to spend the rest of the day camped out on the sofa watching TV. I wasn't tired at that point, but had no attention span, so I turned on the TV. The FBI siege on the Branch Davidian compound was coming to a fiery end, and it was being broadcast to the world on every television station known to man. Except PBS. What did I end up watching... the Teletubbies.

It was harrowing.

I was so profoundly disturbed by this experience that I vowed never let any children I might have watch the show. My British boyfriend, years later, never understood this fear I had of the Teletubbies. In fact, most people thought it was weird and irrational. But I stood my ground! Barney was a whole other strange show that I didn't think much of. My little brother, now in his 20's, watched it, so I was familiar with the world of Barney. But the big purple guy... he was odd.

Fast forward to 2005. I'm pregnant with Caitlin. And very tired. Pregnancy makes me exhausted! I sleep much better in the mornings (from, say 4:00 am to 10:00 am), but was blessed with an early-rising son. So, I'd sleep in as long as I could in the morning. 'Til, say, 6:30 a.m., when Brandon would wake up. I'd stumble through the whole morning ritual thing, which involved warm milk for the boy, and his sitting on my lap for extended cuddle time (with me nodding off the entire time). But then there was Barney, and the Teletubbies! Brandon would happily watch Barney every morning while having his breakfast, thus allowing me a full 25 minutes to shower and get ready every morning. It was heaven! There were things that I was trying to teach to Brandon, too, like the fact that he needed to hold my had in parking lots and while crossing the street. But he wasn't listening! Yet, one day, he reached up voluntarily to hold my hand when we were about to cross the street. I stared at this child, who obviously wasn't mine, wondering where mine had gone. Quite sweetly, the child-who-wasn't-mine said "Barney says you always need to hold the hand of a grown-up while crossing the street." I melted. Barney love began to flow from my heart. Even my husband, a hardened Barney-hater, developed a temporary soft-spot for the big purple lug.

Brandon's love for Barney lasted only a few months, but my tender feelings did not end so soon. When Caitlin decided she loved Barney last winter, I did not discourage her. It didn't last long, which also didn't bother me. Yes, the voice is irritating, and the songs are awful. But there are lessons to be learned. Showers to be taken. 25 minutes to myself!! The Teletubbies experience didn't last long for Caitlin, either. Again, I'm not bothered. Caitlin really isn't into TV (which is usually a blessing, but sometimes a curse). The only show she asks to watch is "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse". And when the theme song is sung by They Might Be Giants, how can I say no? I can't be the only mom be-bopping around the house to the "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" theme song, or the show-ending "Hot Dog" song. Can I?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

News Flash!

Caitlin just told me she had to go pee-pee, and wanted to go on her little potty. And she did!!!!! Amazing! I might not be changing her diapers for the rest of my life!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sunflower Farms

Took the kids to Sunflower Farms today. Good thing my friend Sharon called me at 9:00, or I never would have remembered. The mere act of writing things on the calendar use to mean I had a 95% chance of remembering it. Since motherhood....? The chances are down closer to 30%. Not only do I have to look at the calendar all the time to seer the images into my mind, but I have to write things is dark ink. If I do pencil, I can't see it!

So - the farm. It was okay. It was all the way up near Longmont, which is a small town about 2o miles away. It isn't so much the mileage to get there, as the amount of time it takes. And there's no easy way, either. You can wind your way through downtown Boulder, which is slow going, or you can wind your way around on multiple country roads until you get to highway 287, which is then a straight shot to Longmont. Longmont itself seems to be a decent little place, but there is nothing intriguing to make me want to go there in the first place. The farm is a working farm, meaning that I'm letting my kids run and play in someone's front yard. It was a little strange to realize I was eating lunch and playing with my kids right in front of someone's house. It was almost $20 for the three of us to go there, and the kids were too young to partake in anything offered at the farm, except for feeding the livestock and the chickens. The one good thing is that Sharon was there. Other MOPS moms were there, but I don't know them (even after 9 months of MOPS), and this was not the time to get to know them, either, as they were all running after their kids!

I'm not sure I'd go again in the near future. Brandon had fun with his friend Benji, and Caitlin spent some time time running in the water (good thing I travel with a towel and extra clothes). The change of scenery was nice, too. And, really, I want my kids to know where food comes from, and that people lead different lives. I know these things, and I'm glad. However, the price and distance aren't putting this one high on my list of things to do again over this summer. Colorado is a hot state in summer, and we all went home covered in dirt. I'm well aware that this is how life is on a farm, but I'm not a farmer's wife - on purpose!

Monday, June 16, 2008

How Did I Miss This One?

Man, I knew I should have gone to Boulder on Saturday!

(actually, I'm kinda glad I didn't have to see this!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hanging with Uncle Mike

Yesterday was our crazy day. Everyone has them. You know - when all your events happen on the same day?That's a crazy day. We had a birthday party for Brandon's friend Ethan down at the Denver Zoo. We are now proud members of the zoo, since it was cheap - at least compared with the San Francisco Zoo. And, there's free parking! The kids had fun! They ate pizza! They had soda (a HUGE treat)! They got water bottles! Caitlin blew through two diapers in a big way due to drinking an absolute ton of water in her water bottle (we went back to her sippy cup after that, since we were running out of clothes)! Caitlin had an enormous breakdown in the park around 3:30 or so, which prompted our departure, and then our drive around Highlands Ranch and Littleton so the kids could nap for an hour.

Brian's uncle Mike is in Denver for the week. He's got a seminar all this coming week, but he was free yesterday, so we headed to downtown Denver after naps to spend some time together. We had dinner at Buca di Beppos (which is a great restaurant choice for squirmy, talkative kids, by the way), and then walked around the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver afterwards.

The number of times that people noted how Brandon was having fun with his Grandpa was pretty funny! People must have thought Brian and I were much younger than we actually are! At one point Brian ducked into Virgin Records, and I wondered if anyone thought Mike and I were a couple with our two young kids!

It was fun to walk around Denver. It reminded me of the days that Brian and I use to go out on Friday nights (date night) and walk all over downtown Palo Alto after dinner. Kids have sort of ruled that out for a while, but last night made me think that we can do fun things like that again. Since Brian's out of town next week, I might head up to a neighboring town to see a Celtic rock band that's doing a music-in-the-park type deal. If I like it, and the kids are good, I might do that on most Tuesday nights for the summer. Even though we made a few friends during the school year, our summer is looking slim yet again. Ethan and his family moved about 50 miles away a few weeks ago. Liam, another friend, and his family are moving back to Pennsylvania in a few weeks. Brandon's friend Eli is still here, but his family is pretty established with friends and stuff to do. We can work in a few play dates before their next baby is born (mid August, most likely, since the first two were 4-5 weeks early). I'm glad when friends and family swing by the area. If you're in town, call me! We have an extra bedroom (with it's own bathroom). We'd love to see you! Even if it's just for a few hours, or overnight!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Adventures in Home Maintenance

We need to make a list of all the things that need done around the house and call someone. There are a few things that the house inspector suggested fixing that we weren't able to get done right away, as winter was quickly approaching when we moved into the house. Now we'll need to add replacing the kitchen faucet to the list. I sat down today to replace the faucet. The current one is not only ugly, but is sprays water all over the counter if you push it the wrong way. I'm sure that a new washer would fix that, but the handle screw is completely stripped, so I can't even remove the handle to even get to the faucet cap! And, water still gushes from the faucet when you use the separate spray nozzle. Niiice...

So, finally after 7 months of living in our current house, I'm finally getting around to replacing the faucet. Brian and I found a faucet we liked a few weeks ago, and I purchased it last weekend (it's been out of stock). Today I opened the new one, laid out all the pieces, got the tools I needed, turned off the water main, and began. I've replaced a faucet before, and pain as it was, it certainly wasn't hard. That, however, was not this faucet. I can't even begin on this one! The first step is the loosen the coupling nut on the supply tube. Forget that! The biggest hurdle... I am not a body builder! I might possibly need to be one in order to do this. They would not budge! I even put W-D 40 on them to help them along with the loosening. Nothing! And the supply tubes are all copper instead of flexible tubing. I'm in serious danger of twisting that stupid copper tubing right off with the force I'd be required to use to get the coupling nut off! I noticed it was already starting to twist, so I stopped. Who put this sink together in the first place? The Incredible Hulk?

Now, after an already emotionally hard morning, I'm completely frustrated with our faucet. The kitchen's a mess, and the all the contents that are normally under the sink are all over the kitchen. And, on top of it all, I have a faucet that I can't get back into the box. I can't replace the one I have, and now can't return the expensive one I bought!

So much for getting the Handyman of the Year award.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hating Flip-Flops

It is really no fun to have to wear flip-flops when it's only 50 degrees and raining. I just *love* having messed up feet! Wearing real shoes still hurts like you wouldn't believe! Even the flip-flops hurt.The sheer force of the footbed of the shoe hitting the bottom of my foot as I walk is really jarring on my left foot. Makes the little toe hurt even more! I thought I was getting better, but after Caitlin's jump out of the car yesterday on to my broken toe, I'm not sure I'm ever going to mend. Good thing I bought some flip-flop slippers at Ross the other day.

Playgroup was at the mall play area, so I went. No one showed up. Who knew that an organized play group was such work? I was involved in one for years in California, and people showed up all the time. It's been raining steadily all day. Kind of like February in Northern California. It's a nice break from the heat, and we need the rain, but it scares the people from leaving their houses. The news last night called for intermittent showers. Around here that usually doesn't amount to much. However, it rained all last night and so far, most of today. Our lawn should be nice and green, seeing that we forgot to turn of the sprinklers. Oops. No one here even likes to go out in the rain. So strange. So, the kids and I played, had some lunch, visited the pet shop at the mall, got Caitlin a t-shirt, and left.

In the rain.

With cold feet.

So much for playing with friends today.

Should have gone to the pool...............

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Maybe We're Done?

Brandon woke up this morning and came to visit me while I was taking a shower. Not such big news, really, but it was around 7:45. He hasn't been waking up until close to 9:00 these last few days. And, he announced, he must not be sick anymore because he really wanted some milk! Although he hasn't thrown up for days, he just lays around and complains about his tummy hurting. And I'm still expecting vomit. But yesterday he ate some strawberries and crackers. Weird, but that's what he asked for. Today he had toast for breakfast, and some chicken for lunch. Could we be done? Should I wash the towels on his bed and put the quilts away (what we line the house with since Caitlin can't handle the towels anymore)?

In other new... we went to Brandon's first swimming lesson this morning (we skipped his Monday lesson, since I was still expecting vomit). Brandon is thrilled by the two teenage guys teaching the class (he loves hanging with the big boys). There were 4 kids in his lesson, so there's a lot of hands on with learning how to float and getting up out of the pool. He looked like he was having a good time. Caitlin wanted to have a lesson, too, and asked me about a hundred thousand times when she got to get in the pool. She kept wandering precariously close to the edge of the pool, whining about going in the water with Brandon. I didn't want to go too far from the pool, just in case Brandon started having a hard time. He's still weak from not eating much. After about the forty-thousandth time, I agreed to go swimming after Brandon's lesson was done. Caitlin was thrilled.

We drove over to our favorite pool for an hour of swim time. It's a lot different alone, without your friends and their kids! Brandon and Caitlin had no one but me to hang out with, and cling to. Caitlin did a nice jump on to my broken toe earlier in the day, and I could still feel it throbbing while I was in the water. Even the jets in the hot tub were too much! Caitlin and Brandon continued to cling to me, even in the midst of my pain, making me wish that I had called someone before heading to the pool! After an hour we were all pretty much done with the pool. Brandon showed me everything he learned in swim class earlier, and Caitlin and I had gone down the slide. There wasn't much else to do. And the whining came back. Sickness may have left, but whining is here to stay. Niiice. At least the kids got some exercise. They wolfed down their chicken nuggets at Chick-fil-a before heading to the play area. Brandon was so hungry he picked out a table for us, and just sat there - waiting for me to come back with the food!

update: 5:30 pm....
It's as if good-natured spirits invaded the bodies of both of my kids this morning, and then left during nap/rest time. Evidently, my kid's personalities are too strong for the good-natured spirits, causing them to leave. While I think we are done throwing-up (and I'm on my third load of laundry for the day) and recovering from illnesses, I've become intensely aware that the mental recovery is going to take longer. So happy Brian will be home tonight.........

Oh, and my kids did freak out in the hot tub for a few minutes. Neither one could figure out what was brushing up against their legs. It was the hot tub jets. Go figure!

Monday, June 02, 2008


you just gotta laugh!


It is very late. I am very tired. I am laughing myself silly at this website (seriously - what little mascara I have on is running down my cheeks!). I hope Brandon is better in the pool!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Enough with Illnesses!

Caitlin was sick most of last week. She only had one bout of throwing up - unfortunately for us it was in the middle of the night, and lasted about 4 hours - but she hasn't done anything horrible since then. Her food intake over the next 4 days was equal to about 1 average meal. I was thrilled she ate some Cheerios, but wished for more. Today she requested Cheerios, cheese and peanuts- 5 times! Weird, but at least it was food.

Now it appears that Brandon has whatever Caitlin had. He had one evening of throwing up. Again, not fun, but he at least runs for the toilet, a towel, or a bucket (which is by his bed again tonight). Today he spent all day laying on the couch. He doesn't mind laying on towels (Caitlin screams "No Towels! No Towels!" if you dare lay one anywhere near her), and is entertained by TV. He has no energy, and cries that his tummy hurts whenever he sits up. So, no food. At least we are now getting liquids to stay down.

On top of it all, Brian leaves tomorrow on yet another business trip. Luckily it's only for a few days, but a few short days with two whiny, sick children can seem like a lifetime alone in your house. I am grateful for satellite TV, TiVo, insulation, and air conditioning. It's been warm. And really, what did people use to do before TV when their kids were sick? My life is easy! Guess I just like complaining! I'm also grateful that I've been able to get out during this weekend and get food and other necessities, since it looks like I might not be able to leave the house until Wednesday. At least I'm hoping we can do Wednesday. Brandon's swimming lessons start tomorrow, but I think we'll miss the first day. His lessons are Mondays and Wednesdays during June. I hope we only have to miss one day. Also, the kids love to be carried when they're not feeling well. Due to the broken toe/sprained foot incidents, this hasn't been easy!

I will be happy when I have kids who aren't sick, will eat, and can walk by themselves. Besides, my kids can't afford to lose weight these days. They're having a hard enough time keeping their clothes up as it is!