I’m Jealous of You

Everyone is writing these weepy posts this week about how their child is going to school and how they’re so sad to see them grow up and how it feels like only yesterday when their baby sharted on their couch, or when they projectile-vomited across the room, but now she’s wheeling a backpack that could easily fit a watermelon, a terrier, a pair of roller skates, a gardening trowel, and 3 Werther’s Originals, and you know that because that’s what you shoved in her backpack when you first bought the thing, you were like, “CHECK THIS OUT!! There’s so much room in this sucker!” And you had this grand idea that you were going to ditch your “mom bag” and start wheeling around a backpack. It just makes good sense. And so there you are, walking your child up to her very first day of kindergarden, both with your matching wheeled backpacks, and you cry because it’s all so frickin’ sad!!

Tear.

But I’m sitting here, jealous of you.

My daughter still has one more year of preschool, and it doesn’t even start until next week, and she’s only going three days.

I’m wistful for kindergarden.

Ahh, kindergarden.

5 whole days of peace.

My dog would actually be able to take a nap and not be in constant fear that she’s about to be interrupted for dress-up time!

IMG_2144

Pretty Zo-Zo

IMG_2151

She looks kind of pissed.

IMG_2153

Oh the shame!

I love Berlyn very much, but she needs some time away from me.

mommy&me

Or rather, I need time away from her.

It’s really for both of our own good.

It’s been a long summer.

IMG_6207

balls

Sure, she’s an amazing kid. And she’s well behaved, and she’s funny.

But most of the time she drives me CRAZY!

And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

Maybe it’s because we’re so similar.

Here’s a conversation we had today:

Berlyn: Mommy look I’m coloring so nicely.

Me: Yes, it looks beautiful.

Berlyn: Tell me something else about it.

Me: You stayed in the lines very nicely.

Berlyn: Something else, Mama.

Me: I like how you used an even ratio of warm to cool colors.

Berlyn: Something else, Mama.

Me: Your interpretation of color is imaginative and your use of mixed-media is brilliant…?

Berlyn: No, Mama, say it looks bea-u-tiful!!

Me: I said that, that was the first thing I said!

Berlyn: No it wasn’t.

Me: Yes, it was.

Berlyn: No it wasn’t.

Me: Yes, it was.

Berlyn: No it wasn’t, I would have remembered.

Me: Yes it was!! And you’re 4, you don’t even remember what you had for breakfast.

Berlyn: Yes I do, I had toast and an orange, and a piece of cheese, and milk.

Me: ((THUD)) ::that’s the sound of my head hitting the table::

 

Like I said, I can’t wait for kindergarden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Time I Saw a Dead Horse

Have I ever told you about my run-in with a dead horse?

It happened around the same time that I thought finishing a book without any pictures in it meant that I was a genius.

And it was about the time where boys bought me drinks because they wanted something else, but I thought it was because they were just super nice and really wanted to hear about how my best friend wore my shoes for the night, and got 8 complements, but she didn’t once attribute thanks to me or my fabulous style.

And it was when I existed on a diet of frozen burritos, Cocoa Pebbles, and the occasional mouth-to-nozzle-chug of boxed wine.

Classy.

I was 21.

Nieve.

And, for a night, I was dressed as a cowgirl.

It was Halloween, and my friends and I were invited to a party in L.A.

In my mind L.A. was a far away land filled with drug lords and homeless people.

So naturally I was really excited to go.

Just kidding.

We pulled up at the party and it was in an old warehouse. We walked through a smelly corridor with white plastered walls and a yellow hanging light. Once we made it through the dirty elevator and the panic attacks, we were in an artist’s loft and apparently there was an art show going on at the same time. Or was it a party for the art show? A party/show?

A sharty?

Phow?

Whatever, I’m not a curator.

I grabbed a plastic cup filled with an orange-y liquid, and started to walk around the room. I love art. I considered myself very cultured for 21. I watched a French film once, with subtitles and everything, and I had been to at least 2 museums, I even went into a Latino market one time. I didn’t buy anything, but went in, and therefore I was cultured. That’s how it works, right?

So I had an open mind as I looked around.

First thing I saw was a jar filled with house flies. It was filled to the brim with flies that had been spray painted lime green.

Then I saw a dead purple rat pinned to a canvas.

My stomach flipped.

Additionally there were photos of brightly painted road kill blown up and on display.

I sat down in a leather chair. I readjusted my denim skirt and looked further into the room.

Party goers moved out of the way just long enough for me to catch a glimpse.

No.

Sick. It can’t be.

Yes. It was.

Pink.

I craned my neck around a guy dressed as a rubber tree (which was a man dressed as a tree with condoms hanging off his branches. Clever? Obnoxious? Perhaps I just gave you an idea for Halloween? You decide)

My mouth hung open.

I almost fell off my chair.

It couldn’t be unseen.

There, in the middle of the room was a dead palomino horse, painted pink. Blood oozed out of her eyes, and her body was bloated with death and embarrassment.

My breath caught in my throat as I tried to make sense of the whole thing.

But nothing made sense. I was in L.A. at a sharty, with a guy dressed as a condom, looking at a dead pink horse.

This was art?

No.

Disrespectful was what it was.

Shameful.

Demented.

And pink was really not her color.

We immediately left.

The ride home was silent.

Uncomfortable.

Much like the way I’m ending this post.

 

The end.

Juice Fast

I was all set to do a juice fast.

photo

Got my veggies

Got my juicer.

Got my Super Big Gulp cup and straw.

It was go time.

7 days was my goal. 7 glorious juicy days.

–I made it 12 hours–

I broke down. I practically ripped the refrigerator handle off, slathered it in ranch dressing and ate it up.

It’s no surprise that I didn’t last very long.

I have a hard time with commitments:

We’ve moved 4 times in 6 years.

My hair color has always changed from dark brown to blond and then somewhere in the middle.

I’ve started 8 books since the beginning of the year, and haven’t finished any of them.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that I don’t fully commit to social gatherings:

Why yes, I’d love to come to your birthday party.

Nope, nevermind, a marathon of “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” is on TLC. And I need to spend the next 3.5 hours hissing and booing at the TV. That’s not gas, you idiot, those are labor pains!!!

My favorite are the dramatizations; black and white shaky camera in a nasty public bathroom somewhere in middle America. And then homegirl realizes that she’s not about to bear down for a blow-out dump, but instead for a baby!

Then the girl says, “Oh gee-whiz, I thought I just had indigestion. Haa haa, turns out it was a baby. That’s weird.”

I donno, I guess I like that show because I kind of like the idea of being swindled into pregnancy.

That’s really the only way it’s going to happen for me from here on out.

You’d have to trick me. Feed me massive amounts of burritos, convince me I’m having gas all the time, and then say, “No, you’re not gaining any weight, you look stunning.” And in nine months later, POOF, a baby.

Pretty rad, huh?

None of that pesky pregnancy stuff to be bothered by. You don’t have to join the others in their endless complaints on Facebook about morning sickness and swollen ankles.

Also, you wouldn’t be overly preoccupied with silly things like not riding roller coasters, eating sushi, or drinking vodka.

Dreamy.

Anyways…

The juicing was fun for the first 20 minutes. I walked around the house all arrogant, I thought I was better than everybody else. I gave the dog dirty looks and told her she was dumb for eating food. But then I got my revenge when I got a pounding headache, then I became crabby, irritable, crabby, and then irritable again, and really really bitchy.

Crabby, irritable, and bitchy are all kind of the same thing, huh?

Turns out I like eating stuff.

After 8:00 pm, I decided I needed food, but instead of breaking my fast gently with a warm bowl of vegetable broth, or a small serving of rice, I made a mad dash straight towards the hidden box of  movie-sized Junior Mints, then I moved on to left over lasagna, no less than 4 pieces of sour dough toast, a glass of almond milk, and  then, just for spite, I had a handful of Reese’s Pieces.

I was a machine.

A machine built for eating food.

I’ll be fine with my one juice a day and regular food from here on out, thankyouverymuch.

I’m think I’m done with juice fasts, or any fasts for that matter.

Have any of you tried juice fasts? How long did you go? Am I a complete wimp and failure for not even going a full day?

Wait, don’t answer that, I already know the answer.

My Weekend in iPhone Photos

Friday night Hudson’s position as “favorite child” was re-evaluated after I saw what he did to my wood floors:

IMG_2518

Behold. OPI’s “You’re a Pisa Work” spanned about 9 feet of my living room floor, plus some on the couch, and his toes.

IMG_2514

Wow Hudson, that looks really…um, pretty.

IMG_2520

First I tried scraping it up with an Anthro card because it lived a very uneventful life living inside my wallet, so I thought I’d take it out and show it a good time. When that didn’t work I tried the magic eraser, rubbing alcohol, hairspray, goo gone, olive oil, and lastly when I was weak, tired, and a little drunk, I finally used non acetone nail polish remover. And wouldn’t you know it, it worked! Order has been restored and everything looks fantastic, as long as you don’t notice the soft pink haze that surrounds the affected areas, oh and when it gets mopped it, it stays looking dry, but I’d say, all in all,  it’s not too bad.

 

Saturday morning, Berlyn and I went to the Dragonfly Shops and Gardens at the Orange Circle to do a fairy garden making class.

As you can see, Berlyn had a hard time holding back her excitement.

IMG_2522

IMG_2527

IMG_2528

But being among the ceramic pugs and tiny garden gnomes, she started to perk up.

 

IMG_2538

and look how cute her fairy garden is:

IMG_2542

Complete with pixie dust and a miniature frog, lady bug, birdhouse, and butterfly.

IMG_2543

After that we sauntered over to this waffle place and stuffed our faces full of waffle-ly goodness.

IMG_2545

PB&J waffle sandwich?

Don’t mind if I do.

IMG_2567

Saturday night Pat and I shimmied out of our sweatpants and into something fancy for a wedding.

IMG_2566

My friend Melinda and I were in charge of decorating the get-a-way car. We were going for tastefully obnoxious. And I abstained from drawing something inappropriate on the side window. I’m very mature, you know.

IMG_2570

Here I am enjoying the Y-M-C-A, or was it the Macarena?

Apparently I turn into a blurry zombie when I dance.

Sunday morning Berlyn and I went to a birthday party at this gym place. Where they had a trapeze and approximately 47 trampolines. And I was not to play with any of it.

Lame.

IMG_2580

IMG_2585

Sunday night we celebrated Nonni’s birthday (Hudson and Berlyn’s grandma) I don’t have any photos from that, sorry. Please accept this photo of Berlyn with a giant pickle instead:

IMG_1937

It was a good weekend.

Oh and if you’re local to Orange County and want to check out the fairy garden making class, you can mention Hippo Brigade to the nice people at the Dragonfly Shop, and they’ll give you a 20% discount!

You’re welcome!!

 

 

 

 

Favorite Kid

I have a favorite kid.

It’s not fair.

It’s not permenant.

But it’s the truth.

Hudson is hands-down my favorite kid.

hudson

I mean look at those eyes. Could he be any cuter? I don’t think so. And please don’t argue with me. You will lose real bad.

This conclusion hinges on one paramount reason:

He doesn’t talk.

Well he does, but his vocabulary doesn’t include the words NO MOMMY!!! Or I WANT A BAG OF DORITOS (aside: don’t go to Costco when you are feeling nutritionally weak. I went a while ago and in a combination of low blood sugar and feeling entitled, I threw, or rather heaved, a giant 50 count box of chips into my cart.

chips

Not proud of myself, and additionally, my pride was taken from me each time I opened and devoured a tiny bag of chips, so finally I started giving them to my kids. Because I think they should have the same penchant for junk food as me, and if that’s my goal, I’d better start ‘em young)!! So where was I??

Oh yes, my favorite slander so far was, MOM, YOU SMELL LIKE EGGS!

I’d like let the record show that I do not in fact smell like eggs. That smell you’re referring to is Fritos.

And yes, I ate all 10 bags in the box by myself. They are a culinary delight. Plus, they only have 3 ingredients. It’s basically health food.

Okay, back to business: Hudson is my favorite.

hudred

He has such a sweet disposition. He’s happy, agreeable, nice to others, and calm and rational.

Which works out really well, because I am anything but calm and rational. I am frenzied and spontaneous. He keeps me balanced and slightly cool when his crazy sister tries to throw me into an unraveling spiral of anger and wrath. He’ll look at me with those sweet, precious eyes, and say, “Seriously mom, it’s not worth it. Let her work it out on her own and don’t feed into her irationality.” And I’m like, “Yes, you’re right Hudson. You’re so wise for 19 months.”

And then I cuddle and squeeze him, because he’s always down for a good squeeze. Sometimes he tries to squirm away, but I know that’s just his way of telling me he wants to be squeezed tighter.

hudmom

He is hilarious, and can easily make our entire family laugh by giving us a single look. I think he really understands comedic timing, for some an advanced concept, but for him it’s no big deal.

hudhead

So in conclusion, Hudson is my favorite.

But I know he will have tantrums in the middle of a parking lot, and tell me I smell like eggs one day.

And that’s the day, my friends, that he will get demoted as my favorite kid.

 

 

 

When your washing machine breaks, every day is laundry day

In my house the words bras and underwear have become synonymous with the words luxurious and unnecessary.

My washing machine broke. It was a beautiful day sunny day. I was softly humming a tune from “The Sound of Music” while I was ironing, and my children were quietly working on their arithmetic at the kitchen table.

Just kidding.

What really happened was Hudson just pooed the biggest poo of his life (And yes, I know. Because I chart these things, complete with close-up photographs and venn diagrams. Nope, that’s not true. That’s gross, and now I just puked a little in my mouth), I rinsed the cloth diaper off, and threw it into the washing machine with the other poo soaked atrocities.

Because the picture I’m painting does not seem very stressful, I’d like to add that the dog was also barking, Berlyn was painting on her walls with my lipstick, Hudson was shaking the box of borax all over the carpet, and I just started my period.

There.

That sounds stressful.

No? You don’t think so?

What about this:

The dog was having a bout of irritable bowel syndrome on my bed, Berlyn was about to bungee jump off the second story landing, Hudson was having the time of his life playing in the dog’s aforementioned irritable bowel situation, and a neighbor was knocking at my door to tell me my car was ON FIRE!!

Okay fine, the car fire is a bit of a stretch.

CLUNK! About 14 minutes into the washing machine cycle, right when the warm water hit all the poop and urine, and it started to really smell like death, was when my washing machine decided to break.

washingmachine

I peeked into the laundry room and noticed the machine stopped, so I did what any red-blooded American would do, I pressed START again.

That should do it.

14 minutes later. CLUNK.

This time, I thought I’d outsmart the washing machine, and unplug that sassy minx. You wanna play hardball, huh? Well, bahhahhhaa, I’ll just unplug you!

I plugged it back in and pressed START.

14 minutes later. CLUNK.

Washing machine: 1

Me: 0

F*CK!!

I called a repair man, and he determined it was broken.

Washing machine time of death 1:23 pm. No known causes.

Moment of silence, please.

Because the time between calling a repair man, and getting the repair man to my house spanned several days, I was without my washing machine for over a week. I was forced into creativity.

First piece of business was to deal with the nasty cloth diapers that were stewing in my broken machine. Which meant, “Come on kids! We’re going to Mimi’s house!!”

My mom was so enamored with my children, she didn’t even notice me sneaking into her laundry room with my pail of stink, and hijacking her washing machine. WINNING.

Now as far as our clothing was concerned, I did nothing. I just let the dirty ones pile up. I know I could have washed my clothes in my bathtub, or taken them to a laundry mat. But doing nothing was way more exciting.

An adventure even.

Everyday I was faced with the daunting task of figuring out what to wear. Humm…should I wear the men’s XL hoodie and cut off sweatpants combo or “kiss the cook” apron?

This slutty-nurse Halloween costume or my bathrobe?

Bathing suit or a bridesmaid dress?

I felt like I suddenly had so many more clothing options! WOW, I never thought of wearing these cut-off maternity overalls with my vintage fur coat, but this look is totally working for me.

Getting my daughter on board with what I like to call, “creative problem solving” proved to be a little more difficult.

MOM!!! Where are all my underwear!!

Berlyn, we don’t have any more clean ones, why don’t you pick up the ones you wore yesterday and flip them inside out??

YUCKY MOM!!

Or just go commando, like me!

Commando?

It’s when you don’t wear any underwear.

YUCKY MOM!!

Alright fine, here’s a bathing suit and some pajama bottoms. I’ll wear a hockey jersey, and these mesh underwear I got from the hospital when you were born, and I’ll belt it with this metallic belt, then we’ll go to the mall to do some shopping.

 

 

C is for Camping

The tone was set by an email entitled “C is for Camping.”

It was a challenge that I accepted.

At first I was nervous, then excited, then scared, and lastly accepting. It was going to happen: I was about to go camping.

People do it all the time.  Skewers. Insect repellent. Body odor.

Embrace it. It’s normal. Americana. I can do this.

But I was worried about the endless amount of junk that I feel tethered to everyday that I would be without: hand soap, soft lighting, air conditioning, my electronic toothbrush, and 4 insulated walls.

I was about to be thrown out into the wilderness with no such luxuries. Only a thin piece of nylon was separating me from a possible encounter with a bear or a rattlesnake.

I have zero survival skills, well, that is if  you don’t count screaming like a 8-year-old girl.

But bags were packed.

Lists were made.

“Pare down,” my friend Melinda kept reminding me. “You don’t need as much as you think, and it’s camping!” She’d say optimistically. “If you forget it, we’ll do without it.”

But two things I didn’t forget were my dog…

and tequila.

As the camping trip went underway, I found myself transforming into Laura Ingalls Wilder, I was a pioneer; comfortable with things like peeing behind a tree and capturing my own dinner. Capturing my own dinner was not required, but I was hitting my stride, and earning some extra credit seemed like the logical thing to do.

And Pat had become a mountain man, complete with hipster beard and axe.

 

We couldn’t be bothered with everyday nuisances such as taking a shower or brushing our hair. We were camping, and we earned that smell, there was no way we were washing it off!

We frolicked in the ocean and enjoyed each other’s company. Eye contact was made, comradery was created, and memories were burned into our minds, and most importantly no one died or got gangrene.

Camping was a sucess.

Dance Until the World Ends?

When do you know you’re too old for things?

Is it that nagging sensation of feeling incredibly stupid?

Like when your mom forced you to ride that mechanical pony outside of the grocery store with your baby cousin, but you were old enough to wear a bra, and you were trying to make sexy eyes to the cute boy who collected the carts, but to him you looked like a teen mother who had lost her way, and rather than looking sexy and adorable, you came off looking pathetic and depressing.

You knew for certain you were too old for riding that kiddie ride. Maybe it was because the cart collector guy rolled his eyes at you, or maybe it was because you exceeded the maximum weight limit by 45 pounds, and the pony just lulled and lurched, but for sure, you knew.

But for some, they don’t know they’re looking like an ass.

Mature women wearing liquid leggings? Ick.

Old men driving fast cars? Sad.

So what about those times where you’re not quite sure if you’re getting away with it.

A gray area, if you will.

I went to a Bachelorette Party recently and while drinking champange out of a penis shaped straw I pondered, “Am pulling this off right now, or does everyone think I’m a sad mom who lost her way?”

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

And lastly, Exhibit C:

I'm practically naked here, so I decided to draw myself a very beautiful shirt.

Here I am.

Dancing my ass off.

I have abandoned all cares. Even the one for contracting Chlamydia in the pool.

But when does the tide change? When does dancing like a maniac look foolish?  When do I need to sit on the sidelines and usher the younger generation onto the dance floor? Is it when everything shrivels up and ceases to work? Or in efforts to preserve my character, is it way before that?

The thing of it is, I can’t help it. The second I hear dance music, I throw myself on the dance floor and gyrate about.

A Kristen Wiig if you will.

Arms flailing.

Legs stomping.

It’s poetic.

That is, If T.S. Eliot listened to Pop Music and drank Bud Light.

I’m not ready to give it up.

A wise woman* once told me, “Keep on Dancing Until the World Ends.”

And I think I just might.

 

 

*Alright fine, it’s a Britney Spears song. Whatever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I was away…

I thought time away from my blog would afford me loads of magical free time. With my new free time, I imagined these grandiose displays of domestic housewifery. “Why of course I will make you pot roast for dinner dear, I’m not writing my blog, so I have ooh so much time to devote to you and your man-sized hunger.” Or “While yesterday’s tousled yoga pants look cozy, I’m going to wear this kicky dress and these pointy heels because I’m not blogging today, which means I’m going to go OUTSIDE!” Or “yes, why I would love nothing more than to sit on the floor with you and help you make a macaroni necklace for me.” Ahh…my grandiose dreams. Alas, the dreams were shattered by day 3 when all these summer duties kept piling up, and I forgot all about my alleged free time.

Here is an assortment of things that I have been up to while I was away:

  • Berlyn started a dance class.

She only allowed me to photograph this side of her body. Which is fine, because it lets all you fine people at home see that she put her dance skirt on backwards. ((teehee))

  • And a swim class

You see, she told me she needed a snappy and energetic assistant to help her in the salon. Naturally, I volunteered my services as I would often use the words “snappy” and “energetic” to describe myself. But I only committed to one day a week, as I am not a hairstylist extraordinaire, but instead a stay-at-home-mother who dreams of being a hairstylist extraordinaire…one day. Tragically our time expired when she desperately needed someone to work for her more than one day a week, and I was unwilling to be that person. It was a nice departure from my chaotic reality once a week, and I’m sad it ended.

  • I read through 3 books in the Bible…Which is a lot considering that my attention span can barely accommodate the literary dispatches of a fashion magazine.
  • Our DIY project in our bedroom got out of hand and ended up costing us 6 times more than we anticipated.

On a whim we decided our bedroom needed a change.

So first we wallpapered the crap out of it. Then we noticed how much the carpet sucked, so we decided to rip it up and put some hardwood down.

Only to realize that doing hardwood ourselves was a mistake. We are not those people on HGTV that make it look so easy, as they snap their hardwood into place while they sip their iced coffee and exchange inside jokes. So we decided we should never watch HGTV again. And re-carpet instead. Then we thought why stop in the master bedroom, why not replace the whole upstairs carpet!? Then we decided to re-tile the bathroom floor too. And that’s when we decided that we should probably stop deciding things before we go broke.

  • Hudson learned approximatly 24 new words, among were the words poop, beer, and arm pit. It goes without saying that we are beyond proud.

  • …AND I got a new site design! My handsome husband designed it. I’m pretty sure the moustache gives him super-powered designing skills.

  • Also the amazing Jen Peters did my new hippo icon. She’s increadibly creative and adorable, and when she’s not designing Hippo Brigade icons, she designs a different owl everyday on her website! Here are just a few of my favorites:

  • Finally, I’ll be over at BlogHer this weekend. If you’re going, come say hi to me!

I'm Going to BlogHer '11

Cheers!