Berlyn is five!

I’m not going to sugar coat it Berlyn, you’ve been a real pain in my ass lately. You don’t listen to my words, instead they fall on the floor and get pushed around by tiny feet. You pout and whine when princess hair gets tangled and shoes get lost. Well, I have news for you Missy, this world is filled with tangled princess hair and lost shoes, and even with all your pouting it still doesn’t detangle the world. Maybe, that whining works on your grandparents so why don’t you go over there for a few days while I sweep up this floor that’s littered with scraps of crayon wrappers, dog hair, and my lost words?

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You’ve become a wrecking ball in the morning, clumsily swinging your bad mood ball into me and your daddy and anything else that gets in your way. You used to be chirpy and giddy in the mornings; a present day Snow White, kissing blue birds and waving at the sunshine, but now you stomp into our bedroom and smack the mattress right by my head to wake me up. It’s about as pleasant as having an inflamed eyelid zit.

You say, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY!” until I say, “Yes Berlyn?” and I have to remind myself to take a slow steady breath when I deal with you, because if not I’ll turn into an evil beast with a low booming voice that makes your eyes widen with fear and trembling.

You’re abrasive with your brother; always crushing his baby spirit by saying things like, “NO! You’re doing it wrong, Hudson! The song goes: ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ not ‘Weenkle Weenkle’!”

Oh, and then there’s the times when you cry, and that’s the worst, Because it’s your fake cry, and your fake cry makes me want to real cry, and other times your fake cry makes me laugh. I should apologize, but it’s true. It’s one of those things that you’ll understand when you have children of your own.

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And lastly, let’s not forget this conversation that you like to have with me every week or so, “Mommy, I love you times 100, but I love Daddy times 1000.”

*Gulp*

But because I know you’ll read this someday and think, Um Mom, didn’t you have anything nice to say about me?!

I will have this to say: as I think back on your five years of life, I am reminded of the verse in Proverbs, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

As much as I think I’m teaching you about life, your ABC’s and that a one cannot sustain proper health on jelly beans and Ritz crackers alone, you are teaching me about life.

You have taught me what it means to love wildly and without conditions, being born first you have taught me what it means to be a mother and a woman, you have taught me how to truly be giving and selfless, even when I’m tired and headachy, and I think I’m all out nurturing, I still have some left for you.

I always have some left for you, because you are my dear one. And I’ve loved you from the moment I first nuzzled your newborn head against my flustered and sweaty cheek.  And since then, you have captivated me with your wit, your laughter, your funny faces and your creativity. You are adorable with your words, and always have something silly to share with me. I am amazed at how you can do so much on your own. Just now, you read two books to me all by yourself before I tucked you into bed. Your babiness has all but slipped away, and I now have a beautiful little girl as my daughter.

You have defined my role in this world, and you keep me humble and sane.

So thank you Berlyn for teaching me how to be a mommy.

I love you times 1000.

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Want to see all Berlyn’s birthday posts?

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I don’t do mornings.

I feel like it’s necessary to have a visual representation to articulate this fact.

Because apparently the rumpled hair, my pillow-creased-angry-about-being-alive-face, and my bra-less chest isn’t getting the point across.

I need that Garfield shirt where his eyes are half open, his coffee cup is steaming, and the phrase, If people were meant to pop out of bed, we’d all sleep in toasters written on it.

It’s not that big of a deal while I’m home doing my morning shuffle throughout my halls, but it becomes a problem when I open the door, and blast my retinas with full blown sunshine and morning propaganda. It’s all that cheery chirping from the birds, and dew on the roses that really gets to me. Stupid morning dew on a flower. Flowers are dumb. But since my dog requires a walk in the morning, and because I know how much it sucks to hold in your twosies, I oblige her. I usually take with me a camel pack of coffee and Hudson tags along riding his bike.

I like to let the brisk air and the bright sunshine slowly (slowly being the operative word) wake me up and turn me into an actual human being and not the sleep zombie I wander around as before I brush my teeth and demand things from my husband in an unrecognizable diction:

ughh annnt paakass.

What?

paannkasss!

Huh?

PAAANKAASS!

 

But in my mind the conversation is more like:

Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if we had pancakes this morning?

What?

Pancakes.

Huh?

Pancakes.

So imagine if you will, a troll that has been living under a bridge and hasn’t see the light of day for the last 20 years, and then add some more boils and dread locks and a moth eaten Dr. Huxtable sweater with an old mustard stain, and you have me, circa 7:24 in the morning, walking the neighborhood with a pug, a bag of shit, and a toddler rolling around on a bike. I basically scream, “PLEASE COME TALK TO ME!!”

No?

Then why do all the people insist on talking to me?

It’s always fellow dog walkers, and we’re both holding steamy bags of poo, and we lift them up to each other as if to say, you got poop in there? Me too! High five-poo edition. But then they inch closer (because their dog has an uncontrollable craving to smell my dog’s anus, but all my dog wants to do is scout the ground for bits of goldfish crackers and dead grasshoppers), and usually the owner likes to fill in the butt sniffing silence with some banter.

My dog likes your dog.

(Grunts)

What’s your dog’s name?

Zoey.

What kind of dog is Zoey?

Pug.

Oh, yeah, she looks like the dog from Men in Black. Haha, that dog was the best. Pugs are cool. Wait, wasn’t that dog an alien? I’ve heard that pugs snore a lot, isn’t that loud? If my dog snored all the time, I’d probably make her sleep outside.

***

Annnd that’s usually my cue to shrug my shoulders and walk away. It’s a little rude, I know, but so is talking to a troll that hasn’t seen the light of day in 20 years.

It smells like axe body spray and chimpanzee hair

Pat and I have started the process of buying a car.

We don’t want just any car, we want a specific car. Color, price, seat configuration, and the ability to park itself, because parking is really hard these days, there’s all that turning left and then turning right, and who has the time for that? I have to check Facebook and put on lip gloss.

So we found a car we like, OH and did I mention it’s pre-owned? That’s the fancy hyphenated word they use these days to mean used. That’s right USED. It’s like sloppy seconds. But I’m okay with that, because someone’s sloppy seconds is another person’s treasure. Plus the depreciation of a new car is staggering, and I’d prefer to be unstaggered, thankyouverymuch. So we found the car we wanted online and here’s the conversation I had with Pat over iChat about it:

Pat: Are you okay with knowing that the car lived in Vegas for 8 months?

Me: What?!

Pat: So drugs and strippers

Me: We’ll just have to ask Marcus-the-car-dealer about that. But we might just be waisting his time because his email signature says that he’s the Maybach Relations Manager.

Pat: Well shoot.

Me: We should test drive a Maybach while we’re at it.

Pat: Sure and I can say to Marcus, “So what’s the main difference between this and the used car we were looking at again, I mean, apart from $300k?”

Me: I think it comes with it’s own butler.

Pat: It comes with a hip hop record contract

Pat: So back to the Vegas car, you’re not at all worried about cocaine residue on the dashboard?

Me: Well kind of, and what if there’s stripper juice embedded in the seats? That stains you know?

Pat: I don’t know, but I trust your experience in the area.

Me: I have no experience with stripper juice. I have dabbled in body glitter though. I just hope it doesn’t smell like axe body spray and chimpanzee hair. It’s a good deal, but I bet a lot of babies were conceived in that car.

Pat: It’s possible

Me: Are we prepared to play hardball? You know buying a car is all a game. It’s like dating. We have to play hard to get.

Pat: Oh crap, maybe you should take the lead, I was bad at dating.

Me: The main thing is you have to act uninterested and give them a few backhanded complements, like this, “Your water is refreshing, which is good because it takes away from the uninspiring logo you had glued to the bottle.” Or “I noticed your tie is crooked, but maybe that was the look you were going for because your teeth are crooked too. And matching is very important these days.”

Pat: We should make them get us champagne.

Me: And champagne for our kids too, they wouldn’t drink it, but we want them to feel fancy by holding it.

Pat: “Hey, my daughter really wants a cigarette. Who around here can get her a cigarette?!”

 

Me: Alright. I think we crossed a line. Too far?

Pat: Ya, we went too far.

 

Vacation Goggles

I knew it was over the second we parked the car back in the garage.

“Why did you park all crooked? Now I can’t even open my door without hitting the wall.”

“I didn’t park crooked, I parked correctly. The word you are looking for is cor-rec-tly. If you parked this neat and straight every time it wouldn’t seem so foreign to you now.”

“Whatever.”

“Whatever your mom.”

Yup. It completely vanished.

I’m talking about those vacation goggles you wear when you’re abroad with your mate and everything about them is splendid and romantic.

It’s like a suspended reality where you can say things like, “I really like your sweater,” and there’s no fear of it being misconstrued as an ironic jab sent to destroy your self confidence for the rest of the day by making you question the top half of your wardrobe. Is it just that it’s a little bunchy around my armpits? Or is the color all wrong? That’s it, I’m donating this sweater when I get home.

I blame the kids.

Most of the time they’re awesome, but the rest of the time they make me uptight and snappy. Not snappy in a good way where you move to the beats in your head, but snappy in the way where I want to punch people in the mouth all the time. But I don’t because I’m well-adjusted. Instead I make quips. Mainly to the dog. Calling her a selfish wanker and a fat turd really takes the edge off. That’s what dogs are for, right?

We went to Big Sur for Pat’s birthday.

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Talk about taking the edge off. Especially following Christmas massacre of 2011  the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

I think we should take a vacation a day after Christmas every year. It’s like a Christmas detox.

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And being in the great outdoors is the perfect detox from a slew of towering plastic toys brimming out of our playroom and cascading all over every inch of my home.

Yay! Toys…

Next year I’m getting my kids a box of sticks and an old corn cob. Because you don’t need to take the batteries out of your remote control to power a corn cob.

But a nice trip away was perfection.

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We even braved a flat tire on the side of Highway 1 with no cell reception, a damaged spare tire, and no one to help for miles, and we giggled about it.

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Giggled.

If that happened while we were at home there would be no such laughter, we’d be placing blame and pointing fingers, and there would be tears, a fire, possibly a polar bear wearing a top hat, definitely a rifle, and the whole thing would end in blood.

But we laughed it off (after we realized we weren’t going to die, and after I chewed half of my hair off), and enjoyed our ride down the coast in a tow truck with Greg our surprisingly informative driver who told us everything we ever needed to know about elephant seals, topography and politics.

So, in conclusion, go on a trip after Christmas, and be sure to wear your vacation goggles, but try not to take them off  too soon when you get home, and hopfully some of that vacation cheer will spill over into your real life, and watch out for polar bears in top hats, and be sure to floss, and always use short consice sentences instead of run-on sentences, because run-on sentences can make you appear disorganized and uneducated, and get your kids sticks and corn cobs for Christmas next year, they’ll appreaciate your effort of not making them into entitled little brats, plus maybe there wouldn’t be so many of those stupid matchbox cars EVERYWHERE that make you say unsavory words when you step on them.

The end.

New Year’s Eve!

To say that my New Year’s Eve was fabulous would be a gross misrepresentation of the word fabulous. Being fabulous evokes other fabulous words like suaré and bubbly and hors d’oeuvre and cocktail dress. While there were none of those things in my New Year’s Eve evening, I did I drink Sprite out of the can which could maybe count for the bubbly?

Hudson was sick and as a responsible parent I declined plans to party in L.A. Don’t press me any further on the details of this alleged party in L.A., because I might just fold and tell you that our very posh sounding plans included bringing our two kids to our friends’ house to party with their two kids. We were in for a veritable mish-mash of eating too many goldfish crackers and being over served on apple juice. But after the children went to bed, I was sure there would be friendship, smoked meats, and drunken texts, possibly containing a photograph of me sitting AC-Slater-style on a kitchen chair giving the camera phone my white girl version of a gang sign and sexy eyes. I can’t be too sure, because none of this happened. Remember, Hudson was sick and I was being responsible, and yada, yada, yada…?

So instead we sat at home for a while and Pat taught Berlyn how to play video games, which mainly looked like her sitting contently on the couch while he played. Berlyn, starving for fatherly affection, and Pat looking to beat his top score. It’s basically a sentiment for a greeting card company. “There’s no other kid in the world that I’d rather sit on the couch with while I play this awesome racing game.”

Bonding at it’s best. But somehow it works, because they both equally love it.

And as Hudson slept, I wept over throwing away my 2011 Pug Wall calendar. How on earth am I supposed to know what day it is without pug dressed as a turn-of-the-20th-century-newsy reminding me??

When we tired of loafing around the house and feeling sorry for ourselves, we went to Laguna Beach for some sunset and sushi.

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After the sunset it looked like the Orange County rendition of Gorillas in the Mist. I look just like Sigourney Weaver minus the perm and cargo shorts, and my children are naturally the gorillas in this scenario.

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After we came home and bathed the gorillias kids, it seemed like the perfect time to watch the Smurf Movie  (is there ever not a perfect time to watch the Smurf Movie?) with our children, and because that movie is basically a mental thriller, I was tired and ready for bed. At 9:23. On New Year’s Eve.

That’s it folks.

I went to bed for New Year’s Eve.

While all you cooler people instagr.amed your party pictures, I was sleeping.

While all of you banged pots and pans at the stroke of twelve, I was wearing my anti-TMJ nightguard and drooling on my tempra-pedic pillow.

While you were all clanking your champagne glasses together and lighting sparklers, I was having dreams of David Hasselhoff wrestling a giant spider wearing a speedo.

Clarification: the spider was wearing the speedo.

So happy 2012.

Hope you had a great year.

I did, even though I slept through most of it.

And are we in consensus on how to say 2012?
Do we sound douchy and say twenty-twelve?

Or old fashioned and say two-thousand-twelve?

Decisions, decisions.

Because I suck at making decisions,

Happy MMXII everybody!