June 13, 2015

after a long hiatus

i am back to say:

work still sucks, mostly.

my oldest is a youtuber.

i refuse growth hormone treatment for my youngest.

cam is still the very best man i know.

the children are still minecraft-obsessed... and cam and i play far too much restaurant story 2.

we just bought a ridiculous fixer upper that in no way resembles the mcm home of our dreams.

and... i think it might be time to start making use of the ten dollars i spend per month to keep this site running.

May 27, 2014

all of my role models are too young

i declared i was going to dye my hair purple and be cupquake for halloween (nola: you can't be a real person for halloween!), but cam decided we would be ghost of a saber tooth tiger instead.

bring on the thigh-highs and cutoffs! i've never been a model (even a singing one) for halloween before.

May 24, 2014


i woke up around 3, not really sure why i was awake. i went to bed early the night before, so maybe i thought i should get up and work?

shrugging, i closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep.

a few minutes later, nola nudged me. "i have to go."

so we got up and went to the bathroom. i turned on the light, put on the potty seat and prepared to go back to bed, but nola told me to wait for her right outside the door. when she was done, i sent her back to bed and used the bathroom myself.

tucked back in bed, i contemplated sleep. cam got up and headed off to the bathroom. a minute or so later, he turned on the kitchen and living room lights, turned off the kitchen light and returned to the bedroom. rather stiffly he sat down on the bed and gathered up the blanket in his arms.

him: i'm just getting the blanket.
me: why?
me: are you going to turn off the light in the living room?
him: you ask too many questions.

he stood up, still carrying the blanket, and went to the living room. i looked at still awake nola, who shrugged. the light went off and cam came back to bed.

mentally scratching my head, i closed my eyes and went back to sleep.

a little after seven, cam stretched and asked, "how long should the video be?" then he proceeded to snore.

he must really have the most peculiar dreams.

May 18, 2014

hair band

last night cam and i had a date night for the second saturday in a row. I KNOW. AMAZING.

a few weeks ago cam excitedly told me that his new favorite band (probably "favorite new band" would be more accurate but who knows) was going to be playing a show in la. i obligingly agreed to go, and he dashed off to buy tickets.

last week we saw morrissey and tom jones at the la sports arena. i am a casual morrissey fan, but cam is slightly more rabid, so when i saw the announcement, i asked him if he wanted to go. of course he wanted to go. and tom jones? weird and novel. so we went, and it was mildly perplexing. i really enjoyed the show at staples last year despite the fact that i only own "viva hate," so i expected this show to be more of the same. not entirely. the pre-show 60s music videos were the same. the slaughterhouse video accompanying "meat is murder" may or may not have been the same video shown the year before--i'm not sure i could tell because i averted my eyes for most of that. but there was a lack of familiarity with this setlist, which rather shamed me as i was surrounded by people who quite possibly had his entire catalog tattooed on their backs. i think--and i say this rather wryly--i probably knew as many morrissey songs as i knew tom jones songs, and i grew up with a pro-engelbert humperdinck household, and never the twain shall meet.

but the biggest issue is that the la sports arena is the most bootleg venue i have ever seen. for the love of random deities, people. the seats were too small and too close together. the seat directly in front of me may have been held together with duct tape. poor beer selection. forced separation of men and women at the entrance because "we can't search women" (don't even get me started on the pisspoor search techniques that were not exactly search techniques.) the free and easy use of e-cigs were annoying enough, but when i suddenly found myself in a cloud of pot smoke, i just... sighed. i did like the painting of nixon next to a concession stand, though. and i had great amusement about the people selling sausages and hot dogs outside the arena. don't buy those things, people, you know how cute they once were.

i did not have high hopes about last night's show. for one thing, the ghost of a saber tooth tiger is cam's band, not mine--14-year-old girl fantasies about a 13-year-old sean lennon notwithstanding--and while their music is enjoyable i don't see it as singable and the older i get the more important that becomes to me. (i suddenly had a flashback to my grandmother telling me she enjoyed country music because country singers sing slowly enough that she could understand. oy.) ethereal psychedelic retro rock is not quite my thing. cam joked in the car, "is this going to be another show that's just too deep for us?" another--and i am starting to understand where i am going with this--the el rey is standing room only. i feared a show far too deep for my shallow and rapidly graying head, as well as one uncomfortable for my short and rapidly decaying bones.

(pre-show dinner was awesome. pre-morrissey, we appropriately had vegan sushi at our favorite vegan sushi spot downtown. pre-goastt, we went to cantor's, an old favorite. i intended to get the marilyn monroe (grilled swiss and tomato with potato chips). cam wanted a danny thomas #2 (giant pile of bologna). we both ended up getting the avocado melt, and it was just as good as we remembered. there was beer (guinness for me, hefeweizen for him). there was an angelyne sighting.)

but the el rey was cool and intimate and not terribly crowded. they had guinness, albeit in cans. (the number of children in the audience was a little weird. people, all ages or not, this thing started at 9. my kids are in bed by 9, if not necessarily asleep.) the crowd--minus the children--was "twenty years older than i expected," said cam. we stood near the front in a little elevated area, right behind a mother and 8-year-old daughter in a light-up fedora and not one but two guys who resembled george r.r. martin (one in a newsboy cap, the other in a beret). the opening act, fever the ghost, seemed to sing in tongues while drowning us in a strangely fascinating swirl of music. not my thing, but strangely, strangely enticing.

i geeked out in the bathroom when i saw a sign that hugh laurie was playing the el rey at the beginning of june. i texted cam as i waited in line:
OMG Hugh Laurie is playing here June 2
fry and laurie!
also. three stalls.

after a rather cringeworthy intro by a man and woman in gold bodysuits with poles and streamers and a woman in black robes saying random things and far too many fucks for this to be an all ages show, the goastt and their backing band showed up on stage.

and i fell in love. BADASS.

i texted a friend post-show:
I understand now that I am conditioned to find bearded hapa men with longish hair unutterably attractive.

as we walked back to the car, cam mused that if he didn't cut his hair by halloween, he'd just get a hat like sean's.
me: oh, okay.
me: if people don't recognize you, just say you're slash.
me: [pause]
me: um, don't cut your hair.
cam: [laughter]
cam: my wife has sean lennon fantasies.
me: not in twenty-five years.
me: okay, that sounds weird.

seriously though, sean lennon and charlotte kemp muhl can rock. one of the best live shows i've ever seen. who knew?

May 14, 2014

so spice

today i looked up poultry seasoning because i come across it so often in recipes. not being a cook of actual poultry, i had no idea really what it was. was it supposed to taste like chicken or something?

much to my surprise, it was just... made of stuff i mostly already had. thyme, sage, rosemary, marjoram, etc. etc. etc. so i figured i might as well make my own.

me: i've decided to make my own spice blends.
cam: [silence]
cam: you are much crunchier than i thought you'd be.

March 23, 2014


yesterday cam and nola had an interesting conversation about gay marriage. apparently you can get married now in minecraft?

cam: i married a girl.
nola: I KNOW THAT.
cam: but girls can marry girls and boys can marry boys.
nola: okay.


nola: [excitedly] i'm going to marry her!
paul: what?
me: she can marry anybody she wants.
paul: yeah, okay, but she's already married.
me: OH.
me: okay, in that case, nola, you can marry anybody you want except somebody who's already married.

we're not quite THAT openminded.

March 22, 2014


the children have begun to communicate by skype while at opposite ends of the house.

i thought it was funny that cam and i text each other from different rooms, but i guess we're old school.

March 2, 2014

added complexity

cam just declared that the reason we've stayed married for so long is because i'm his "straight man."

was unaware that he needed one. well well well.

(i've also been informed that i can't put that on facebook.)

January 9, 2014


cam just bought me my very own copy of dramatical murder. I COULD DIE. or i might dance. either way, yay. what did i do to deserve a man so tolerant of my... quirks?

October 17, 2013

yet another successful parent-teacher conference

we had a lovely, lovely parent-teacher conference with paul's two teachers today. he's brilliant, he's a good writer, he "thinks like a scientist." a joy to have in class. a little quiet, so please, let him know we want him to talk more because we think everyone would benefit from his contributions.

what did we do on the way home?

we passed the torch of personal responsibility and guilt back and forth, ruefully taking the blame for his academic weaknesses.

i roll my eyes at us.

September 14, 2013


nola is watching cam play shenmue. we've explained to her that this is the source of her and her brother's middle names, so she refers to ryo as paul. (much to paul's annoyance.) she doesn't like megumi's dress.

she is very seriously talking about the game.

nola: "why does everyone know paul?"

September 5, 2013

writing our vows...

after the recent wedding in hawaii, we've been mulling over the idea of renewing our vows when we hit 20 years together.

cam: i will continue to make your life difficult
me: i will continue to support you financially
cam: i will sit on the couch and watch random tv at night while you work

September 1, 2013

overheard (not really)

as reported to me by a person amused with his cleverness:

paul: i don't know that like a boss.
cam: well, do you know it like an employee?

paul was also tickled.

August 25, 2013

beach bells

we were in hawaii a month ago.

ostensibly, it was a family vacation, but the underlying reason was this: work-bff was getting married at sunset on a beach on the big island, and i was going to be there.

the first part of the trip was spent at the disney resort on oahu (AWESOMENESS--i recommend highly). it wasn't always smooth, and i worked more than i expected to have to work, but our accommodations were really cool, and we also got to visit cam's family.

then we island-hopped to the first outdoor airport i had ever seen in my life.

the big island... was a little dull. for a vegan, well, the eats weren't that great. we had gotten spoiled by the aulani, and sneaking out for a drink after the kids were in bed (my mom was with us, lest you think we would actually leave the children alone in a strange place) was not easy. but the pool there was fun, the volcanoes were interesting, and the children continued to work on their lovely tans.

we missed the first half of the rehearsal dinner (in transit from the other side of the island), and then cam proceeded to get somewhat shitfaced when we met up with the happy couple and friends at a bar afterwards. (note: if you feel the need to ask--at great volume--if you're embarrassing me, there is an excellent chance that you might be.) efforts to get home post-bar were rather stressful. who knew that big island cab service shut down around 11? fortunately, the bar was at a very nice resort, and their night manager permitted their bellhop to drive us back.

the next night was the wedding, and it was delightful. the setting was magical, the ceremony touching (who knew the work-bff had so much sweetness in him?), the food and drink plentiful... and who doesn't love a gay dance party under the stars? i lost an earring and a pair of sunglasses, and all i could do was laugh. thank you, work-bff, for inviting us, and thank you, mentor extraordinaire (work-bff's boss), taking time from your busy schedule to attend, and thank you, cam, for making this trip possible.

May 27, 2013


playing scribblenauts in the backseat:

nola: how do you spell "diamond armor zombie," paul?
paul: [watching videos] ask daddy.
nola: daddy, how do you spell "diamond zombie"?
cam: diamond zombie?
nola: yes.
cam: D I A M O N D space Z O M B I E.
[cam's spelling aloud interspersed with nola's "wait," "okay," and repeated letters.]
nola: [sounds of scuffle]
nola: [indignantly] I can't kill him!

March 24, 2013


on the phone:

paul: i'll give it to you the next time i come over.
paul: patience is the key.
cam: [laughing from other room]

March 23, 2013

unexpected encounter

at a park by a climbing thing:

nola: [about to start climbing while a little girl is still climbing up]
me: no, nola, wait for her to get to the top.
girl: [stops, turns around]
girl: yeah, i don't speak chinese.
me: [speechless]
girl: [looks at me, looks at nola]
girl: i don't speak chinese or japanese.
me: [recovering tongue] neither do we.
girl: [continues her climb]


cam: who was it?
me: that little white girl with the purple shirt and orange skirt, about 5-6?
cam: oh, dora [referring to purple shirt].
cam: of course.
cam: she speaks spanish.
me: [eyeroll]


(to ease cam's mind, i will state right now that i wrote this poorly and that he didn't mean that the child looked hispanic, he was referring to the shirt. i thought i said that, but clearly i'm stupid and i DON'T speak english.)

March 3, 2013


i remind myself regularly, sometimes hourly, that my life is close to perfect.

i have a wonderful husband, two beautiful and brilliant children, good friends, a lovely home, a good job, strong work relationships. my mother gave up her home to live with me and help me with my children. we have limited debt. i am well-respected and well-liked. i can't remember the last time i took a sick day. i think i laugh a lot.

and yet some days i can feel such misery and frustration sweeping over me that my arms go numb while my heart rages hard enough to rip itself from my chest. then i want to curl up in a ball in my bed/the closet/under my desk at work--or if i can bite back my fear of being seen, i might actually venture past the low-walled cubicles--eyes glued to blackberry so as to avoid eye contact--to lock myself in a stall in the bathroom down the hall. i have anxiety attacks in the car, in crowded restaurants. i rely on surface tension to keep the tears in check. i hope cam won't notice but he always does.

i have no right to be so unhappy. part of me feels like i'm having a meltdown over my SHEER BALLSY LACK of right to have a meltdown. people in my circles (and just outside them) have real problems. when i start to feel the agony under the skin, i remind myself that i'm just self-indulgent. i try to shame myself out of my "moods"--how dare i weep over being overworked when i know people unemployed for far too long? how can i be so exhausted when i sit at a desk all day long? how i can i feel worn out and stressed by my kids when i know people who would do anything to have children? how i can complain about the behavior of my children when my own inability to communicate effectively has created the barrier between us? how can i be upset at my boss when he has so clearly made his priorities known? where do i get off being miserable about a headache when just about everyone i know has a serious health concern? i can't do anything right.

but i have good days, weeks, even, when the quality of life rises above sea level and i feel normal. fun. sassy. even my hair looks livelier than usual. my zingers have more zing. in those moments, i am ashamed for thinking that i have any kind of true emotional upset. self-indulgent prattle, indeed. call it pms, call it hormones. i do, and i hate myself for being so conventional.

and then back into the pit. cam's worried eyes haunt me. i would do better, i would try to be better, for him. the kids know to be quiet when mommy is crying. soft hugs and clumsy pats. i would try to be better for them, too, if i knew what to do. one day they'll look back at my mood swings and be scornful when they grasp the lack of reason behind them, but for now they are kind.

January 15, 2013


i didn't write this on your birthday because my work computer doesn't think i should blog. but i thought it:

how nice it is to grow old[er] with you, cam.

November 10, 2012

yakety sax

not everything is made funny by the addition of the benny hill theme song.

but my morning commute might be.

October 30, 2012

logical assumption

at the hair salon, looking at color samples:

nola: i like that one.
nola: that's my favorite.
me: oh, you like red hair?
nola: yes.
me: daddy would kill me if i brought you home with red hair.
me: hey, you know what?
me: i had red hair once, a long time ago.
nola: [worried] did daddy kill you?

October 4, 2012

wrinkled dress shirts

"i HATE ironing," she declared grumpily.

September 29, 2012

old news

walked in on cam watching "gangnam style." i didn't know if i should laugh or be embarrassed for him.

last night we talked about hey girl ryan gosling and idris elba.

we're like old people nattering about this newfangled internets.

September 18, 2012

eggs and milk, milk and eggs (and peanuts)

yesterday we met paul and nola's new allergist (their former allergist (and my former pediatrician) retired about a year or so ago). we actually met her once in pediatrics, i think. strong grip. the nurses were kind of a mixed bag. some smiled, some didn't. some acted like we inconvenienced them by showing up.

1. when your department calls CAM after i provide you with three separate phone numbers for ME, please be aware that i already find you obnoxious.
2. when your department INFORMS US that paul should come in for an appt, then please be aware i find you incompetent for asking us why we're there.
3. just because cam is doing the lion's share of the talking doesn't mean that i have ceased to exist. a little EYE CONTACT, please.
4. cam, why do you have a mental block about nola's previous bloodwork?
5. yes, thank you, we are like separate families under one roof. he has his kid, i have mine. I DON'T KNOW, IT JUST WORKED OUT THAT WAY.
6. paul, the way you smiled through your tears during the skin test just broke my heart into a thousand little pieces. recurring theme: nerve endings on the outside!
7. kids, why so goddamned punchy?
8. medical professionals, you saw the big welts on paul's arm from the skin test. why so effing surprised we haven't fed him those same allergens that caused that bullshit?
9. well, cam, your fear of feeding the kids nuts has served you in good stead.
10. yes, yes, i do fail as a mom. i know nothing about my son. (see #3 and #5.) thanks.

round two: on saturday nola has to go to the lab for a blood draw so allergy can run some tests. then she gets to come back to allergy in two weeks for her own appointment. also that day she gets to meet her pediatric endocrinologist.

i think this is why i stay away from doctors. appointments beget appointments!

June 15, 2012

the bee and the baby

cleaning paul's room, i found this little story dictated by nola to cam:

Once upon a time there was a bee. The bee flew in a house. And a hive. And next he fly on his hive and make honey. He played on his brother Nola. They messed up! Play games and the end.

i wish they put a date on it.

June 11, 2012

oceans two

"i love george clooney," says cam. "as well as that guy who left jennifer anniston."

(i sit here, mentally gagging, as cam runs through possible titles for this post. but the one above wasn't half bad.)

June 2, 2012

just a nice day

we had a lovely day today.

we decided to take the kids to the aquarium of the pacific. we wanted to get there early, but early means different things to different people, and as a result we didn't get there until almost noon.

the parking garage was packed. turned out there was a run that ended not that long before we got there. we went in the aquarium, which was similarly packed. turned out there was some kind of pacific islander festival going on inside. (me, coincidentally dressed in a hawaiian floral tank top, winced.) the drums, the crowds, the misbehaving of other children. (cam: just when i think our kids are being little shits, we go out and OH MY GOD.) lunch in the onsite cafe was not that great. the kids were a little whiny. we decided to go home, then i declared that i wanted to go for a walk... and life magically improved.

we walked from the aquarium over to shoreline village (which was magic in itself because i always thought shoreline village was SO far away), spent some time in the arcade, then took a WATER TAXI back to the aquarium. cam and nola went to see an exhibit while paul and i frolicked and chatted outside, then we dropped the kids off with cam's parents and sister while we had a dinner out alone. (during which much drama was discussed and i cried because i'm a freaking horrific emotional wreck these days, but it was okay.)

now the kids and cam are asleep, and i will soon get cam up so we can watch the last ten minutes of "heathers" (we almost finished it last night, but the kids woke up cranky so we had to get to bed).

there were no work emergencies today. no full-scale tantrums. just fun, sun, my lovely family, and beer. i wish every saturday could be so nice.


so. it's been a few weeks since cam up and quit his job (with my full understanding and support). it is amusing me greatly that the house is messier than ever and "what should we do for dinner?" is still a topic of conversation when he picks me up from work.

January 21, 2012


we had a lovely late birthday lunch at shojin.

cam baked me a vegan chocolate cake.

the kids gave me puzzles they could do with me. (awww.)

now i'm drinking wine and having a snack with my best friend. (never mind that said best friend bought me a 40th birthday card. um. jerk.)

i'm more fortunate than i have any right to be.

December 18, 2011

but how else is santa going to know?

me: what would santa say about nola?
nola: i want a fairy kitchen.
me: nola wants a fairy kitchen?
nola: yes.
me: what would santa say about paul?
paul: that i want more beyblade stuff.
me: and what would santa say about daddy?
paul: that he needs more coal.
me: i'm going to put that up on facebook RIGHT NOW.
paul: don't.
paul: you.
paul: dare.

May 23, 2011


nola: horse, i need ladder.

May 2, 2011

king of the road

me: don't forget beer.
cam: [walking away] oh, right, very important.
my mom: [mildly disapproving] do you drink beer every day?
me: [gaily] we're on that lonely road to alcoholism!

unwanted success

i have successfully bummed out the one person who usually doesn't give enough of a shit about anything to get bummed out. yay?

May 1, 2011


this morning i was blowing bubbles in the backyard with nola when i had an idea:

when things at work get weird and stressful, i can go outside and blow bubbles!

when i mentioned this to cam, he half-smiled and pointed out that it would probably run counter to the very professional image that i had been trying to cultivate.

yeah, probably. but when the alternative seems to be to take up smoking, i kind of think bubbles wouldn't be that bad.

April 30, 2011

i hate people

ducky momo is a current obsession in our house.

April 23, 2011

the boss of daddy

cam is surprised by nola's manipulative powers.

cam: she does it with a smile!

April 2, 2011

husband thoughts

says cam:

everyone should love my wife because she's wonderful.
but nobody should love my wife because she's mine.
that's the dichotomy of my life.

October 23, 2010


earlier today, cam called home from the grocery store.

me: hi.
cam: hi!
cam: can i talk to mommy?
me: [stunned silence]
me: i AM mommy.


October 17, 2010


we heard paul laughing in other room.

nola: [sleepily] paul!
nola: paul laughing!
me: yes, that's paul.
paul: [more laughing]
nola: more paul!

the neighbor's dog barked outside our bedroom window.

nola: dog!
me: yes, that's the dog.
neighbor's dog: [more barking]
nola: more dog!

cam stirred and snored lightly.

nola: daddy sleeping?
me: yes, daddy's sleeping.
me: daddy's snoring.
nola: daddy snoring.
cam: [more snoring]
nola: more daddy snoring!
nola: [fake snore]
nola: more snoring!

October 15, 2010


nola and cam have a game.

one of them will turn on the music on the sit and spin (remember when those didn't make sound?), and then the two of them run around in circles, yelling, "dizzy! dizzy!"

i think it's meant to wear nola out so that she will go to bed, but i suspect it's more exciting than sleep-inducing.

August 17, 2010


inspecting the wares of the avatar marketplace:

paul: those are all made of lego!
cam: no, that's just how graphics looked when i was kid.

June 20, 2010


happy father's day to my dear cam, his dad, my dad, and all the great men out there who have been good father figures (if not actual fathers) to the kids that needed them.

June 1, 2010

tiny conductor

nola and cam are playing with trains while i try to work.

(paul went to bed early -- he wasn't feeling well.)

nola: choo-choo!
cam: choo-choo!
nola: woo!
cam: woo!

i wish i didn't have to work.

March 4, 2010


paul: i can't multitask!

he gets that from his father.

February 28, 2010

two dresses

bought two dresses on sale from wonder of wonders, i might actually keep both -- that doesn't happen very often. i still have a pile of things to return to lands end.

my mother REALLY likes one of the dresses.

the other one, she doesn't so much. of course, that's the one i like better.

me: i think this dress is actually kind of hot.
nola: hot!
nola: hot?
nola: hot!
me: yes, it's hot.

yesterday she explained that she didn't think it fit very well, which sent me into agonies of self-doubt and misery. should i exchange it for a bigger size?

cam: if that means it'll be longer, then no.

rainy with a chance of tsunami

saturday was a busy (rainy) day.

playing with my cell, nola managed to call paul's dentist. sigh.

we went to a book fair at paul's school. as far as we knew, it started at 9. we planned to get there at 9 because we had afternoon plans, but... we're us, so we got there after 10. sitting in the car in front of the school, i looked out at the marquee and discovered, hey, it started at 10. i was so glad we didn't rush.

even though paul kept saying all morning with great excitement that that the book fair would be open until 2, we were out within half an hour. they didn't have any encyclopedia brown books, so he got a cam jansen one instead, along with a military picture book and two little nature books. nola picked a book with a clock with positionable hands.

after the book fair, we went home, got my mom and headed out to moreno valley for a birthday party. this party would usually be a joint birthday party for my grandmother and my uncle's mother, but my poor little grandmother didn't make it this far. but everyone ended up watching the remembrance and funeral video my cousin made, so i guess it was her party, too.

we were late because we stopped for lunch at cpk in riverside. even though the party was to be a typical filipino party (you know, with lots of food), there is almost never anything for the kids or me to eat. for myself, that's fine, i'm used to it, but i always feel a little weird when family is coaxing me to eat and i really just want to say, "well, then you should have cooked something for me." while we were there, we watched the news on a big screen tv about tsunami warnings in hawaii. (thank god they didn't amount to much!) then after lunch there was a lot of traffic on the freeway, so we were even later than expected. (kind of the story of my life.)

the party turned out to be a pretty good time. nola was charming and funny (clingy, of course), and even paul seemed to enjoy himself. poor cam was so tired after the drive because he had stayed up very late the night before, so he took a nap.

i had a work emergency, but it was cleared up fairly quickly.

towards the end, my favorite aunt insisted on taking pictures with everyone. she explained to me that she always hated picture time because she thinks of herself as ugly, but recently she realized that means she's missed so much because she's not in the pictures she has, so now she's determined to be in as many pictures as possible. for some reason, that made me tear up.

then we drove home. nola talked ALL the way home. the conversation went something like this:

nola: daddy?
cam: yes, nola?
nola: shoes.
cam: i don't have any shoes.
nola: mommy? [pronounced mahMEE!]
me: yes?
nola: shoes.
me: yes, i know you have shoes.
nola: meema? [pronounced meeMAH!]
my mother: yes?
nola: shoes!
my mother: yes, you have shoes.
nola: meema?
my mother: yes?
nola: shoes!
my mother: yes, you are wearing shoes.
nola: meema?
my mother: yes?
nola: SHOES!
my mother: [wearily] yes, shoes.

paul slept in the car, so he got to push off bedtime until later (would have preferred that he stayed asleep when we got home, but fat chance of that). nola and i went to bed by 9, then i got up at 10:30 to work. i just finished what i wanted to finish about 10 minutes ago.

i guess it's time for bed, but it's also just about time for another day. decisions...

February 21, 2010

in-home care

cam, paul, nola and i have been sick for what feels like years.

paul has been in and out of school. cam has spent quite a few days working from home. (my mother guilted me for going to work while nola was ill.)

everyone coughs, snuffles and swallows painfully.

i had pinkeye!

these past few days have been particularly galling because cam and i seem to have gotten worse (although it's been okay today) instead of better. i'm losing my voice for the second time in two weeks, and the illness is completely different from what it was then. nose, please stop dripping.

must we run through the entire gamut of potential colds/flu before this winter is over?

January 3, 2010

coherent rage

nola knocked paul's toy helicopter off his lego box and it fell to pieces (it IS made of probuilder mega bloks, after all).

paul: NOLA!
paul: i am SO mad about this!


i was pleased to see cam wearing his glasses.

paul was not pleased. "you look like harry potter!" he smart-assed.

cam was not pleased.

January 2, 2010


cam would probably say something similar about my love for the kymaro slimming jeans infomercial.

at the shore

cam's love for "jersey shore" baffles and amuses me. what a trainwreck. fist-pumping, smushing, sick poufs and the situation. gah.

and THAT is my first post of 2010.

Happy New Year!

December 29, 2009

call this a day off?


i sobbed.
cam yelled.
paul whined.
and nola ate mud.

but it wasn't all bad.

December 27, 2009

thumbs up

cam liked very much that olive the other reindeer received opposable thumbs for christmas.

December 3, 2009

navy fleece

i bought matching pajamas for the whole family. paul and nola are so very adorable in theirs. as for cam and myself, i cannot express how hilarious it is that we two now have clothes from gymboree.

November 28, 2009

gray saturday

today nola and i went shopping with my mother. then we met up with cam and paul for lunch, and we went with them while my mother kept an appointment with her financial consultant.

got a coat at anthropologie. i was pretty reluctant to actually buy it because 1) i don't really NEED a new coat, and 2) it was a little pricey, even on sale, but cam (fed up with over a decade of dithering*) issued an ultimatum.

cam: if you don't buy it, i will never take you shopping again.

so i bought it. it's very cute. and we bought a doorknob. what a weird store anthropologie is.

*by the way, last night i picked up a reversible puffer vest at target. i futzed until cam pointed out, "you're going to talk yourself out of $7.50? really?"

November 2, 2009


cam wants to watch the new season of "for the love of ray j." i would rather have my tonsils removed. the first season was a guilty pleasure trainwreck. the idea of watching this farcical little man go through this process AGAIN is more than i can stand.

October 25, 2009


cam and i are celebrating 12 years of togetherness. actually, we celebrated on friday night with a dinner out (at an old favorite near my office), but today is the day. the story behind the day is kind of an embarrassing early-20s kind of a story -- and kind of R-rated -- so i'll save it for another day.

love you, cam!

October 2, 2009


cam recently bought the beatles: rock band (and an xbox 360). he plays it with the children: cam on drums, paul on guitar, nola on cam's lap with microphone. they are so painfully cute.

October 1, 2009

back to school

tuesday night cam and i went to back-to-school night at paul's school.

i like paul's teacher. she actually had a lot more to say than the "we hope to have a great year!" speech that school administration seems obligated to deliver. (i understand that i haven't actually witnessed too many of these as a parent, but goddammit, i was a student once, too.) she talked for longer than the allotted time, which obviously was not a big deal for us because we don't have kids in other grades, about the curriculum and new programs. she talked a lot about a new math system the school is trying out, and she provided a handout for the parents. she talked about a reading program and the science studies for the year. she described her homework schedule. she talked about spelling tests. she explained the need for "high-frequency" words and the importance of reading to get the message in what you're reading.

sitting in paul's little chair at paul's little desk, i felt like i was in school again. it was a little intimidating but also a little exhilarating. sure, the homework schedule seems excessive, but it sounds like there could be some real learning at work here.

September 25, 2009


just tied cam's hair into a ponytail. so funny. so john-belushi-samurai-deli.

September 19, 2009

too late or too early?

woke up at 2:30. saw cam was awake, so i got up, too. cam just went to bed. the children, obviously, are asleep. so why am i still up?

friday night is our time to stay up, watch tv, chat, just hang out, but i've had an exceptionally challenging week, so i fell asleep when the baby did. most of the time i can get up again, but this time i just couldn't -- at least not at a reasonable hour. oh well. i'll go back to sleep shortly. at least i intend to...

September 7, 2009

fat chance.

me: i just found a picture of marc jacobs wearing a skirt, docs and carrying a big birkin.
cam: rich people are different.
cam: [pause] you're not going to write that, are you?

September 6, 2009

out and about and out again

yesterday was a tremendously eventful day. busy busy busy. i can't have too many days like that or i'd be even more of a wreck than i am now.

in the morning, we went to the farmer's market with my mom to buy flowers to take to the cemetery. nola and i went with my mother to the flower stall while cam and paul bought fruit. it was hot and crowded and cam and i both got very stressed. i was glad to leave. (amusingly enough, we ran into our next-door neighbors. the husband commented on cam's rather hirsute appearance, saying he looked a bit like keanu reeves. i smirked internally. personally i think cam looks more like bo brady (at least in the 80s-90s... dunno if he still looks like that), but i see where my neighbor was going with the comparison.)

then we went to the cemetery. it's important to note that my mom doesn't like to drive if she can avoid it -- and as a non-driver, i understand -- so she was squished in the backseat between paul's high-backed booster and nola's rearfacing infant seat. (we had to take her pt cruiser because our a3 isn't big enough for three in the backseat AT ALL.) she never wants to sit up front if cam's driving, so she insists on sitting in the back even though it would be less of a squeeze for me back there. nola fell asleep on the way and continued to snooze upon arrival, so cam stayed in the car with her. paul had picked out a bouquet of flowers "to plant," he declared (note that we had already bought the flowers and they were waiting in the car by this time, so it was just one more thing to be stressed out about -- hurry up and let's go!), so he came with us to the gravesite. cam let him run across the street unattended -- it was a cemetery, after all -- and i questioned cam, but ultimately it didn't matter because no one was coming. part way through the flower arranging, paul got bored, so i escorted him back to the car. he then decided he wanted to come back to us, so he "helped" us out by rearranging flowers and cutting some very short. i then refused to play because 1) i was still dealing with flowers and 2) we were in a cemetery for chrissakes, so i brought my sulky little boy back to the car. my mother got very stressed.

on the way to the cemetery, cam and i had joked about test-driving a bigger car (this topic had actually come up about a week prior) afterwards. well, after we left the cemetery, that's exactly what we did. paul was reluctant, so cam convinced him of the fun of it. then cam got cold feet, but paul really wanted to go. har. so cam test-drove his big car of choice at the moment, a ford flex (which he partially likes because it looks like a giant mini cooper). we were initially going to all go on the drive, but then i thought maybe nola, my mom and i would stay behind. but then paul wanted cam to sit with him, so i decided to tag along to give paul a traveling companion (and to let cam focus on the car). oh, how nola wailed when i handed her to my mother...

the drive was nice. cam seemed impressed and paul LOVED it. we sat in the third row and paul was the happiest little test-driver in the world. he wouldn't stop talking -- we were, he said, in a big airplane with cupholders and storage for toys. if we pushed certain spots on the car, things would happen. i asked him, "can we do anything to help the people up front?" he told me to push a spot on the window while he did the same on his side.

me: what was that for?
him: it made cupholders pop out in the front.
me: oh, how nice.

after the test-drive, we drove to a local mall for lunch. i was thinking food court, but cam convinced paul to let us go to cpk because i had been wanting to go there (grilled vegetable salad, yum). turned out cam needed to bribe paul with a ride in a $7 (!) rental double stroller shaped like a fire truck. lunch was beyond stressful. nola nibbled crayons, paul pouted. nola screamed, paul climbed around on the bench seat. nola rubbed food on my shorts. a table of pretty young girls in their 20s looked over at us while i shoveled food in my mouth while trying to keep nola from crawling on the table.

i've had finer moments.

after lunch, we walked about the mall with our expensive rental stroller. the kids were happy (even nola, the hater of strollers), but i was embarrassed to be walking a mall with that monstrosity. i can struggle with a car cart in a grocery store, but a mall? ugh. i then took my mom into nordstrom, abandoning cam with the kids, and we hit the shoes, then the petite section. i ended up buying two dresses, a wrap and a sheath with elbow-length sleeves. now that i'm not pumping anymore, i love my dresses. i wasn't sold on one of them (the sheath), but i wanted to show cam before just saying no to it completely. besides, my mom would have been disgruntled if i didn't get that one because that was the one she liked better. (cam ended up liking that one better, too, but he liked the wrap as well.) my mom didn't like anything she tried on, so she left with the same amount of money she brought in.

after the mall we finally went home. i fed nola and we took a brief nap while cam filled up an inflatable pool in the backyard. when nola awoke, we got in the pool. it was freezing, so we didn't stay in too long. then we took quick showers and went to whole foods for groceries and dinner.

the kids got to bed really late. cam and i intended to stay up and have some wine, but we were completely bushed and fell asleep. sleep of the just, i say.

movie date

for the second time this summer, cam and i left the kids with his parents and went to the movies. such a thing may not seem unusual to most, but this is the second movie i've seen in a theater this summer -- which makes it the second movie i've seen in a theater in the last eight years or so.

we watched "inglourious basterds." i liked it, i think.

August 12, 2009


since i had my mirena removed, my period and all of the accompanying irritations have returned. last night i mentioned to cam that i was considering a diva cup. after, what, 20+ years of pads and tampons, i thought it might be time to try something different. a lot of mothers on my parenting board are using the diva cup or something similar, and they all seem to love it.

cam: but it's a cup.
cam: A. CUP.
cam: come on, it's a CUP!
cam: oh, do whatever granola thing you want to do.

i felt so ridiculed, but it was my fault. sometimes i need a better self-edit on my mouth. oh well.

July 15, 2009

twilight time

the last two evenings we've taken a post-dinner stroll around the neighborhood. yesterday the guys looked for bugs -- today paul hunted for "treasure" (bits of metal on the ground). cam surreptitiously dropped some coins, then all but pointed paul towards them. nola bounced and giggled in her carrier. it's a nice way to spend some time together.


this morning i dropped a block of vegan cheese as the result of a minor scuffle with nola. since it was the last of our cheese supply and i really like it in my sandwich, i suggested to cam we get takeout for dinner because i could bring leftovers to work. he readily agreed. on the way home, i changed my order to a pasta with the intent of getting an extra sandwich to split for the last two days of the week. cam agreed this made sense -- and then promptly forgot to order my sandwich, leaving me with dinner and two days of cheeseless homemade sandwiches. to his credit, he realized it when he was picking up dinner, but putting in a second order would have added too much extra time. he could have been slick and not said anything (just ordering it), but cam is occasionally cursed with radical honesty. oh well.

July 6, 2009

listen to me, dammit

last night cam went to a birthday party for a former coworker. i stayed home with the kids. we watched a bunch of wiggles dvds on netflix (because i am the lazy kind of mom). all was fine (there were some dinner squabbles that were irritating, but not a big deal) until paul started getting a little too aggressive with his little sister.

he had been picking on her a little bit -- running to get ahead of her, standing in her way -- but then he started yelling and tossing stuff around. he'd see that she had something and he would come flying across the room to yank it out of her hands. he pushed her, nearly hit her.

me: stop it, paul, let her play.
me: stop it, paul.
me: PAUL.
me: STOP IT.

finally he looked at me.

paul: no one can stop me.
me: i can.

i stood up, turned off the lights and the tv.

me: go to bed.

the tears! cam arrived a few minutes later and i willingly turned paul over to him. it was past nola's bedtime and she, too, was getting cranky. paul cried and whined for what seemed like an eternity.

paul: i don't have ANY choices.
me: you did have choices, but you lost them.

paul: i don't have any choices!
cam: you do: bed or bath?

that kid. i would have totally relented if there hadn't been a fit of such enormous proportions. but i guess it's better this way because he did need to realize there were consequences for his behavior.

July 4, 2009

a saturday in july

today felt like a sunday because we had friday off (which still strikes me as odd, although i'm not sure why).

my mom's youngest brother has been here since thursday. he just got back from the philippines, and because he's between jobs, my mom and i decided to pay him to paint a fence. so while he worked on that, we worked on the railings in the front -- sanding and scraping in preparation to repaint.

but before we could get started, there was a lot to do. i made pancakes for breakfast (paul requested shaped pancakes, so i made him an airplane and a rocket (cooked in cookie cutters in the pan). it was so much effort, i decided against making others like that and ended up just making big pancakes and cutting them with cookie cutters. after breakfast, paul wanted to go early to cam's parents' house (where we were going for lunch), but had to wait an hour while they got ready... so cam had to amuse him while i started in on the railings (nola hung out with my mom). i worked alone until cam returned from dropping paul off, then we worked together for a bit longer than we should have. cam had to call his parents to tell them to eat without us. by the time we got over there, everyone had already eaten, but paul sat with us and ate a shocking amount of corn.

after lunch, paul and cam's sister made lemonade and set up a stand in the backyard, where they sold said lemonade for a penny a cup. nola played in the sprinkler and got soaking wet. i had to forcibly remove bits of dried grass from her mouth. that child will eat anything. around 3ish, i tried to feed nola so she'd take a nap, but she was uncooperative. cam and i ended up leaving paul there while we took nola home to sleep.

we returned to cam's parents' house around 7ish. we ate dinner and went outside to watch the fireworks. it was much more toned down than in previous years. the whole day was much more toned down -- we used to dislike this holiday because of the block parties and the insane fireworks. but today was quiet and mild. paul still thought the fireworks were too loud, but it wasn't nearly as bad as before. nola was fine with the loud sounds, but she started melting down because she was up past her bedtime.

when we got home, the kids went to bed fairly quickly and easily, so now here we are, sitting in front of laptops and tv with wine and coffee. it's a little noisy outside, but nothing too bad. happy 4th of july.

July 3, 2009

grape headache

we are not as young as we once were. poor cam. maybe we won"t buy that wine ever again.

July 2, 2009

liquid soap

i tried an experiment.

yesterday i noticed the soap dispenser in the bathroom was almost empty, so i put the big costco refill bottle on the counter.

today i found the soap dispenser even emptier and the refill bottle in exactly the same place. i filled up the dispenser and put the bottle away.


June 28, 2009

not a typical saturday night

cam and i had a date night (5:30-8:30?) while his parents and sister watched the kids. we went to an italian restaurant in brentwood -- nothing fancy, just a little neighborhood kind of place. one of our favorites. after dinner, we sat outside and laughed at ridiculous high school experiences with all the good cheer engendered by a bottle of wine and a happy relationship. we sang all the way home.

then we went to pick up the kids. newsflash: nola took THREE steps to me! so exciting. i'm still a little astonished i didn't cry. apparently she stood up a few times while we were gone, but there was no walking until we arrived.

it was pretty late by the time we got home, so we put the kids straight to bed. i wanted to stay up with cam, but nola was fussy so i spent more time with her than with him. around a quarter to one, he woke me but then decided i should go back to sleep. since i was asleep, i don't think i had anything intelligent to contribute.

and here i am now, awake with a crippling stomachache. am not quite certain what could have caused it -- dirty vegetables? maybe the dairy i sneaked in my dessert? (insert shamefaced emoticon here.) whatever it was, man! not exactly the best ending to a really great night.

May 25, 2009

holiday luncheon

today cam, the kids, my mom and i had a bbq lunch with cam's parents, sister and uncle. it was a nice mellow day, except for the fact that cam felt sick after lunch and went to bed. undercooked meat, perhaps?

May 24, 2009

date afternoon

so cam and i had a late lunch and then went to the movies. (his parents watched the kids -- on friday, cam asked his dad if they could watch the kids for a bit on saturday. "maybe," he said. when cam said we might go see "star trek," his demeanor changed. "in that case, yes. har.)

lunch was very nice.

the movie was pretty good. it takes me a while to warm up to things. sure, there are plenty of things i like right away (this usually applies to food, though), but tv and movies usually take me some head time. i can safely say i liked it better today than i did yesterday. it verged into cheese more times than i could count, but i still call it "a good time," and that's more than i can say for most movies.

then we picked up the kids, and shockingly enough, nola and i went to sleep shortly after we got home (around 8-something). i had hoped to stay up with cam, but being sick and low on sleep kind of contrives to make one less than active.

May 18, 2009

variations on a theme, or swine flu?

am home with nola today because she is a sad and sick little girl. cam came home midday (with lunch) because he is sick, too. all i need is a call from the paul's school nurse to make my day complete.

May 11, 2009

day of mom

i had a very nice mother's day. it took a while to get moving, but that's typical for us.

paul made me the awesomest poster. i love it. i need to hang it up at work.

we got takeout from veggie grill and noah's bagels, then went to a park in rpv for a picnic and playtime. sitting happily on the grass, nola made plenty of people smile as they walked by. after we ate, we explored the park for few minutes, then paul and cam went to play baseball. nola and i went for a walk and i took many pictures of her. at one point i let her crawl around on the grass. while looking at the camera, i was alarmed to discover that i had snapped a picture of her eating weeds. she screamed with delight and fun as i tried to fish greenery out of her mouth.

on our way to cam's parents' house afterwards, we drove by the trump golf course. who knew it was so close?

it was a good day. we need more of those.

May 7, 2009


cam: [asleep] hi... can i get a bowl of chili?

April 28, 2009

hokey pokey

this morning i got up at the usual time, took care of the usual chores (lunches, unloading dishwasher, refilling coffeemaker) and then returned to the bedroom to feed nola.

when i got back to the bedroom, i just stopped and burst into hysterical silent laughter. all three of them (cam, nola and paul (our 2 am visitor)) were asleep with one leg sticking out from the covers. (nola has recently become crazed about not sleeping with both legs under covers. she can be totally asleep, but she'll start wiggling and kicking as soon as i pull the blanket up.) i couldn't help it -- i had my phone on me (i don't really know why), so i took pictures of them. i don't really like pictures of sleeping people (i blame that on my mom), but these pictures just crack me up.

April 25, 2009

lunchtime note

i have a bazillion of these to post. sadly, i wrote very few of them. it's all i can do to get paul's lunch (and my own) made. i think i must have murdered that morning person i once was. oh well.

April 20, 2009

life in suburbia

yesterday i finally got around to clearing out the easter baskets and putting stuff away for next year (two different colors of plastic grass!). i mean, really, who buys plastic eggs every year?

me: you know, i never thought i'd be the sort of person who'd have this shit handy.
cam: you're not the woman i married.
me: you're not the man i married, either, little league dad.
cam: [sigh]

April 11, 2009


sung to the tune of "triops has three eyes" (they might be giants):

nola has two eyes
and paul has two eyes
and daddy has two eyes
but mommy has four eyes

um, thanks, cam.

April 6, 2009

danger, cocktail and unique

the other night cam and i watched most of an episode of "for the love of ray j." who comes up with this stuff? fascinating.

April 4, 2009

strike up the band

now that cam has wii music and appears to be loving it, i'm starting to wonder when i'll be able to play animal crossing again. am feeling a little burned on it because i gave paul 175,000 bells to put towards his mortgage -- and he used about a thou for that and claims he'll use the rest for shopping -- but that doesn't mean i don't want to play anymore.

March 27, 2009

speaking of jury duty

i was off work on monday for jury duty. (of course, i dutifully checked work email throughout the day and took care of what i could, then did more when i got home.)

i came away from the experience with three thoughts.

1) jurors are a poorly dressed bunch. many of the people actually going to court are quite a different matter. i gazed with much delight upon a tall woman in a purple sequined fedora and beaded lavender satin pumps. she wore a trenchcoat, so i couldn't tell what was beneath it, but i was certain it was also wildly flashy and just as purple.

2) jurors who come without reading material or anything else to occupy the waiting time are foolish.

3) if you don't get picked for a panel, then it's really just a nice opportunity to sit quietly and read.

i had a great day. i was able to sleep in. cam was working from home, so he dropped me off and picked me up, and best of all, met me for lunch. how lovely it is to be able to see him in the middle of the day.

the courts didn't need anyone else after calling a sole panel around a quarter to ten, so they sent the rest of us home a little after three.

a coworker objected to my calling jury duty "a day out" -- you were on jury duty, not traipsing around disneyland -- but what else can i call a day in which i got to get up an hour and a half later than usual, read a book for most of the day, AND take a leisurely lunch with cam?

February 15, 2009

what's brown and sounds like a bell?

paul: your feet are made of coprolite.
paul: do you know what coprolite is?
cam: what?
paul: fossilized poop.
cam: oh, the insults of the nerdy.

February 1, 2009

when IM is not sufficient

i should clarify -- this conversation was in april of 2007. i don't frown at him, he doesn't laugh at me. well, he does. and i do. but not in response to each other. usually.

cam: and i don't make unhappy faces at you saying that something looks interesting
my unhappy faces are directed at things like that
cam: directed at your comments about how we can't/don't need to do certain things
me: that's not very explanatory
cam: about how you like something but... there's no point
me: yes, i understood that
but it doesn't mean anything

cam: what doesn't mean anything
me: it's just boo, how sad
and believe it or not, sometimes a real response would be appreciated

cam: i have no idea how to react in those situations
me: we give each other happy faces all the time when we say funny things or share funny things
and that's acceptable because in person, sure, we might smile or laugh
me: but if i say something to you in person that you don't agree with or find sad, would you simply frown at me?

cam: har
that would be funny

January 31, 2009

the wrong impression

says cam, "judging from your activity on facebook, it would seem like you like people."

January 27, 2009

bumped and bruised

poor paul lost his balance and fell, smack! right on his head on the corner of the coffee table. he's going to have a bruise or a bump or both right by his left eye.

i was in the other room, changing my clothes, when i heard the thump. cam had both kids with him, and i thought, "oh my god, he dropped the baby on her head." but it was paul who lost his balance and fell. the poor sweetie screamed and screamed out of pain rather than fear, he said, but the opposite was probably true because he settled down very quickly. now he's eating a hot dog while cam dabs at paul's head with a bag of frozen corn. kids always recover quicker than adults. paul was already calmly watching tv while cam was still gasping for air.

January 25, 2009

suitable occasion

last night cam and i had dinner at red robin (i know it's totally basic, but i do love a boca burger and steak fries) and walked around a mall. by ourselves. young love, it's rad. (we had wanted to go see "gran torino," but decided that it was too long.)

after dinner, i tried on several suit jackets at macys. (i've become obsessed with getting a suit. clearly i watch too much "what not to wear.") one jacket fit nicely enough that i decided to try on the pants and the shirt that came with it. cam liked it and i did, too, but in the end i decided i didn't love it. i did fall in love with another suit, but they didn't have my size. cam wanted me to buy it anyway because he thought the jacket looked fine, but i opted against it. i would have felt better about buying it if they had, say, the sizes surrounding mine so that i could have at least gotten a better idea of how it was supposed to fit, but since they only had the larger size, i felt like i wasn't sure what the final picture was supposed to be. (does that make any sense?) i tried to find the suit online when i got home, but no dice.

it was nice evening, even if i didn't get a suit to show for it. it's always such a treat to spend time with cam that isn't just commuting time.

January 24, 2009

friday night potatoes

last night cam and i watched a lot of tv. too much tv. we watched burn notice, csi: miami, lie to me, battlestar galactica AND lost (both hours). good freaking god. it was almost three by the time we got to bed.

partway though lost, cam lamented that all of his shows were running together -- cylons, "no country for old men" similarities -- "and lying!"

u plus sign me equal sign

paul just introduced me to the concept of the "love triangle." apparently that is what is formed when cam, paul and i hold hands. when nola is old enough to hold our hands, we'll be a "love square."

"or a love rectangle," says cam, "because mommy and i are longer. or a love rhombus because we're all different sizes."

i could pretty much see the "whatEVER!" on paul's face.

January 21, 2009

the best gift

cam baked me a chocolate cake for my birthday. in true cam fashion, he used enough dishes, etc. to fill the dishwasher. in true grace fashion, i cried at his thoughtfulness. how i love him.

December 29, 2008

lunchtime note

paul has been off school since 12/19, so i've been hoarding these in my bag for over a week.

from 12/12:

Dear Paul,

I was impressed with your drawing last night. You are quite the artist.


P.S. [drawing: stick figures (labeled Nola, Mom, You, Me), the sun and a large spider labeled "Spider."]

from 12/15:

Dear Paul,

The last week of school before winter break is here. You won't have school until next year! See you tonight.

Love you,

from 12/16:

Dear Paul,

December is passing fast. We are already more than half way through. Have a good day.

I love you, Dad

P.S. Have you heard the joke on the other side before?

Joke: Why is six scared of seven? Because 7-8-9!

from 12/17:

Dear Paul,

I am glad that you are my son. Have a great day. I love you. See you tonight.


from 12/18:

Dear Paul -

I am looking forward to seeing your holiday program and going to the Kindergarten pajama party with you tonight. It's a Paul kind of day!


from 12/19:

Dear Paul,

You did such a great job yesterday! We are so proud of you. I wish Nola could have seen you. Would you like to perform for her? You could put on a private show! :)


December 27, 2008


cam took the children over to his parents' house so that i could have a few moments of rest... not that i've been much help lately because these last few days i've been sicker than i've been all year. not that i'm complaining, though. blessed silence...

December 21, 2008

coming to town

last night paul sang a song:

santa claus is doing some stuff.
he's making a list
and checking it twice
he's going to find out who's naughty or nice
santa claus is doing some stuff.

i was a little disappointed to find out that he got it from cam -- who couldn't remember all the words. still, it was pretty funny.

December 14, 2008

the start of the season

for the first time, yesterday made me feel like the holidays were upon us.

in the morning, we did our annual holiday decorating thing at the cemetery. every year i think, "why?" but every year i dutifully go for my mom's sake. honestly, my brother wasn't exactly kris kringle, nor was my dad, but we go and decorate their graves like they were known for wearing christmas sweaters or something. but, you know, it's not like flowers or whatever are really for the dead folks, anyway, so if this activity actually forces certain family members to remember to honor my grandfather -- if not my dad and brother -- then good. i felt bad because i carried nola almost the whole time and therefore couldn't exactly help out too much. then i walked around with paul and nola, so there was more time spent not being useful to the rest of my family. my cousin showed up with her husband and new baby just in time to take pictures, so i guess she was even less useful. she didn't even seem that interested in her own baby, but that's a story for another time (or not). we tried to take some pics of paul and nola to use on our christmas card, but they didn't want to cooperate. great pics of them separately, but together? not quite.

after we finished up, they all went out to lunch to a filipino restaurant. because we are eschewing eggs and dairy, the four of us declined to go with them (much to the surprise of two cousins and an uncle, who hadn't realized we weren't until they arrived at the restaurant). i was ready to head home, but paul declared we needed to go to a restaurant that didn't require us to drive on the freeway. big sigh. we ended up at a red robin five miles away. i was expected crowds (aren't most of those attached to malls or shopping centers?), but it was positively empty.

late afternoon, two old friends arrived at our house for a visit. it was lovely, although i did feel a little sad about how they found marriage to be such a logistical and practical nightmare. (i do understand their concerns, however, and i do agree that it is easier if you marry younger rather than older because you aren't so set on your own ways, etc.) paul was so keen on playing with my friends that cam eventually had to forcibly take him away. he returned close to the end of their visit, and showed off legos like they were going out of style. cam repeatedly called him back, but "i'm not paying attention to my daddy," he said. we took some pictures and paul cheerfully bossed everyone into position. he also gave them school pictures with his name written twice on the back -- once with solid lines, once with dotted lines so that my friends could write his name, too.

it was a nice festive kind of a day. more social than we're used to, but that's no surprise because we're hermits.

December 12, 2008

lunchtime note

from 12/11:

Dear Paul,

I sent in the pajama party form today. I said we'd come and bring Nola. See you tonight.


does anyone besides me think that it's really sad that cam is writing more of my blog than i am these days?

lunchtime note

from 12/10:

Dear Paul,

Your ladybug was better than you described. Twelve spots! I didn't know that. Its wings were open and it was flying. Awesome!


paul made a craft. it was awesome.

lunchtime note

from 12/8:

Dear Paul,

Make an awesome beetle today in art class. I can't wait to see it.


December 9, 2008

falling on deaf ears

tell me:

how can FOUR people be asleep in one room and yet only ONE of them can wake up to the sound of an alarm? and how is it that the remaining three then don't hear the second alarm going off in the same room, while the one awake person can hear it... from the BASEMENT?

you people scare me.

December 8, 2008

lunchtime note

from 12/5:


I'm looking forward to hanging Christmas lights with you this weekend.


P.S. Deadly spider [drawing of spider]

sadly enough, our house is still unlit. who has time, i ask?!

December 5, 2008

lunchtime note

from 12/2:


I made you a bologna (pronounced baloney) sandwich today. I hope you like it. Have a good shortened day. I'll see you tonight.


December 2, 2008

lunchtime note

from 12/1:


Look! December already. I put lettuce, tomato and pickles in your sandwich today. I hope you like it. There is another half at Grandpa's.


P.S. Bug [tiny drawing of bug]

lunchtime note

from 11/31:

Dear Paul,

I'm holding Nola as I write this note. She will do the P.S. Have a good day at school and Grand'pa's. I love you and am proud of you.


P.S. [scribble] I held the pen to the paper but she moved it.

November 26, 2008

lunchtime note

from 11/25:

front of card: "Thinking of you"


Nola picked this card. She must think of you a lot. I hope you enjoy your fruit salad and cornbread.


P.S. Is it raining?

lunchtime note

from 11/24:

Paul [gigantic scrawly P with an 8-looking thing at the bottom],

The hi from home on the front is from Nola. She wrote part of it including the P in your name.

Dad & Nola

P.S. Did you see her 8?

November 19, 2008

lunchtime note

Dear Paul,

Hope you are having a great day at school today. Today I gave you some banana bread -- cut into little cubes and served with the funniest fork ever. Enjoy!


okay, it wasn't exactly the funniest fork EVER (i think that would have to be a spork), but it was a little two-pronged cocktail pick that was the perfect size for his lunch container.

lunchtime note


Thank you for a fun weekend. I had a good time at the Natural History Museum. I hope you did, too.


P.S. Dung beetle. [accompanied by a drawing of a dung beetle]

November 18, 2008

lunchtime note

from 11/13:


Happy Thursday. I am proud of how well you did in our spelling bee last night.


P.S. aaah. (drawing of face with a tongue sticking out. to make it clearer, there's an arrow pointing to the tongue with "tongue" written next to it.)

paul has been concerned about his spelling because he knows he will be tested on his "high-frequency words" (more on that some other time). i sure hope spelling skills aren't genetic because there are some pretty poor spellers on both sides of the family.

November 15, 2008

wiggly parties

we're watching the wiggles again. cam is singing and waving his arms. nola is watching him with a very stoic expression on her face. cam and paul danced earlier to "the wiggle groove." i feel very nostalgic.

the secret lives of parents

last night -- being the anniversary of the first and last party that cam and i have ever thrown -- we went out to dinner for an impromptu date night. cam's parents watched paul and nola. when we got home, we contemplated staying up, watching tv and having a beer or two, but instead we went to sleep. ah, romance. sadly enough, i don't feel particularly well-rested.

November 8, 2008

joint gift

i've been sort of out of commission lately because i've been obsessing over a new plan.

the other day i went to cam with a new idea. i had read something on a parenting board about how other couples deal with christmas: gifts, yes or no? apparently "no." it seems more common to buy something for the house or take a trip or something along those lines. so i proposed to cam we do something similar. no gifts, just pool our cash and do something bigger. i tossed out the idea of buying some art or redoing the bathroom. cam had been grumbling about the layout lately, so he latched onto the idea of the bathroom right away. (he predictably scoffed at the idea of art.)

of course this means that i've been researching bathroom stuff like a fiend. our original bathroom remodel plans can't be reused because our tub and shower set were discontinued. i've been unable to locate a good substitute, so i've been working alternatives.

it's been fun, but i've neglected my writing, my "networking" (ah, dear facebook), my sleep. as much as i like doing this kind of stuff, part of me can't wait to just make a plan and move forward with it.

October 26, 2008

father-daughter time

it's the middle of the night and cam and nola are watching tron. cam is making shooting sounds and bouncing. he just told her that this is the best movie ever. i know she won't remember this, but i'm sure i will.

October 19, 2008


paul: can you carry a house?
cam: only a small house.

September 21, 2008


because paul thought we should, nola and i accompanied paul and cam to the newest exhibit at the la museum of natural history: the spider pavilion.

blech. i am not a fan of spiders.

but it wasn't too bad, and paul was obviously thrilled to be there. i was amused to note that little boys outnumbered little girls 10 to 1, and paul was far from being the only little boy there wearing a t-shirt with a spider on it. afterwards we split up for about half an hour -- nola and i to a quiet place to nurse, paul and cam to the insect zoo.

it was a nice way to spend a sunday morning.

September 20, 2008

no romance on tonight's menu

cam decided that we were going to have a date night -- and then he forgot! way to make a girl feel desirable. i'm going to sleep as soon as nola does.

September 13, 2008

failure to communicate

yesterday cam and i had a misunderstanding via im. the root of the problem was that cam thought i was in earnest when i was really being sarcastic. cam, cam, cam. have you learned nothing in the last ten years? when in doubt, always take the sarcastic read.

September 6, 2008


at dinner (for two -- nola was with cam's parents, paul was supposed to be with us, but he made plans with my mom and her friend) i mentioned to cam that paul thought that i ought to change my last name to grace'slastname-cam'slastname so that i'd have the same last name as him and his sister. cam replied that if i hyphenated my name, then he would change his, too, so we'd all have the same last name.

i was so touched i got a little flustered. who knows, maybe one day... i kept my last name for very specific reasons, but that doesn't mean i wouldn't want to share one with both my children and my husband.

August 23, 2008


we were in the car on the way to nola's doctor's appointment when i realized that cam and i were dressed very similarly in dark jeans and black t-shirts (his was plain, mine was slightly more ornamented). i know married couples are supposed to start looking alike after a while, but that doesn't mean we need to help it along.

August 19, 2008

sunny san diego

we just took a mini-vacation to san diego -- sunday afternoon to tuesday afternoon. sunday we went to the fleet science center in balboa park. monday we went to sea world. today we just drove home. it was a very spur of the moment thing. i mean, we knew we wanted to take a short trip, and we had kind of a halfassed idea that sea world might be the thing to do, but we didn't make any real plans until friday or saturday.

but, oddly enough, it worked. we stayed at a hyatt near sea world, and although it was a bit pricey, it was a great place to stay -- we got upgraded to a nice suite (very west elm in decor, i thought), they offered soy milk on the room service menu, we could see the sea world fireworks from our room, and the hotel had three pools (one of which had a little sloping "beach" area). we ate breakfast and dinner in our room (we had a big dining/conference table) and spent some time in the pools. both nights dinner for the guys was fish and chips from a place within walking distance. paul declared that fish and chips were the best dinner ever. he loved the room. he loved san diego. he had the best time ever. in fact, he cried as we prepared to leave because he "hate[s] home" and "love[s] vacations." (i don't necessarily agree, but i understand the sentiment.)

we brought the stroller with us to sea world, and thank goodness we did because paul refused to walk -- he spent almost the entire day (which was abbreviated because he got tired, anyway) riding the wheeled board. nola, on the other hand, spent her time in the sling. poor baby got a mild sunburn on one arm because it was hanging out of the sling.

i don't know if it was just me, but sea world seemed really outdated. the aquariums were not very spectacular. some of the tanks just looked too small for their inhabitants. plus i've never been a big fan of trained animal shows, and those are key at sea world. (never mind that watching marine life documentaries has really messed with my ability to enjoy killer whales and other animals. eesh.)

today we initially planned to return to balboa park for the natural history museum, but changed our minds because paul and cam are going to the natural history museum in la tomorrow. i'm glad because i need a rest. it was nice to come home and just veg after spending the last few days out and about.

we should take impulse vacations more often. it will be interesting to see if we can top paul's assertion that this was the best vacation ever.

August 11, 2008

cold, wet and sleepy

spent a lot of time in the pool again today. i had no intention of getting in -- i was just going to sit by the pool so paul could play in it -- but he asked me to, so i sighed and agreed. unfortunately, the water was so cold that i wished i said no for both of us! but we perservered and had a lot of silly fun.

nola wasn't initially in the water with us, but she kept looking over to see what we were doing. eventually my mom put her in a swim diaper and brought her to the pool. sitting in the water she was miserable, but she settled into some sort of glazed contentment while floating around in the inflatable plane, which paul called "the nola tour." she didn't look thrilled, but she didn't scream, either, so we figured she was happy enough. when i accidentally splashed water onto her head, the crying started, so i thought she might be ready to get out -- but when we put her back into the plane, she settled down immediately and passed out. i wanted to bring her into the house, but paul was adamant that we remain in the pool until cam got home. (ugh. after a morning of fights, i was just... not wanting a fight.) because it was getting kind of chilly, he permitted us to put a towel over nola like a blanket. luckily, cam arrived not too long afterwards.

once in the house, nola (now awake, obviously, and less than thrilled) and i took a nice warm shower while cam got paul dried and dressed. cam had told me earlier he had a headache, so i told him to take a nap while i sat with the kids. much to my surprise, paul and nola were soon asleep. i wanted to nap, too, but i needed to get those bathing suits and towels into the washer. then i sorted mail, drank some coffee to thaw out my insides and opened a package. nola woke up while i was thus engaged, and i stopped what i was doing to nurse her on the couch next to paul's sleeping self. cam got up a little while afterwards and was much amused (and mildly horrified) that paul was asleep.

funny how my family all reacted the same way to different experiences -- cam to work, paul to play and nola to riding around in a pool float. me, i think i deserved sleep, too, but every home needs a martyr.

August 10, 2008

water play

cam inflated and filled up our kiddie pool again today. he also set up our old canopy as shade and inflated a little floating airplane that we got at a kbtoys outlet for a few bucks. paul wanted to ride in the airplane before the lunch, so he put on his swim trunks and got in. of course, once he was in there he didn't want to come out for lunch, so he whined for a while until cam got him out. then we left the pool uncovered so the water could warm up for the afternoon.

after a few hours, cam and paul got ready to get into the pool. i dressed nola in a swim diaper and a onesie and put her in the floating airplane. she seemed to enjoy it -- at the very least, she didn't seem to dislike it. once cam and paul were in the pool with her, i left the three of them and changed into my own suit.

we spent a long time in the pool. nola got out earlier than the rest of us and stayed with my mom. it was pretty funny because even though she didn't want to be in the water, she wanted to be near the water (and therefore near us) so every time my mom tried to bring her inside, she would scream bloody murder until they were back with us. the first time my mom brought her inside to change her clothes, but she cried so hard that my mom brought her back out in just a bathrobe. then she brought her back in for a diaper, but she could only manage a disposable instead of a cloth one because a cloth one would have taken her too long to put on. they spent most of their time sitting on my mom's front steps.

cam was trying to get paul to float on his back (nola had submitted to my attempts at floating her), but i don't know how successful he was. i do know that he did get paul to hear underwater. paul's favorite game was one where he would try to crawl/float away while i was holding onto his ankle. then when he got far enough to almost grab a toy fish, i would yank him back. we must have played that game a thousand times. he did get dunked once and started to cry, but after wiping his eyes he decided he was okay.

again, he didn't want to get out of the pool, but i forced the issue because his lips were turning blue. once i got out, he, of course, was in a hurry to get out, too.

it was a good outdoorsy afternoon, and i have the tan lines to prove it. (really should have picked a bathing suit with straps instead of a halter.)

if the whining doesn't stop

me: i will take him somewhere -- and i WILL lose him.
cam: [smile]

July 30, 2008


as usual, paul and nola didn't go down easy.

cam: how did we end up with nocturnal kids?
cam: is it because we are, too?

how can he say that we're all nocturnal? it's only 10:55 and i'm the only one still awake!

July 29, 2008

new to me

i am now the proud owner of a slightly beat-up iphone. since i hate hate hate my old phone (a razr), this is a nice treat. thanks, cam!

July 27, 2008

south coast

because cam is a kind and thoughtful person (most of the time), he arranged for a boy to spend the day with his parents -- and then took his two girls out to costa mesa for lunch and shopping.

(shopping with two kids is not easy, but let's face it, shopping with just paul has has never been easy. nola is much more portable, and she can sleep in the sling when she gets bored. she cries, yes, but she never whines.)

why costa mesa? h&m, of course. i ended up getting a little gray cardigan and an orange tank top. there was a tan coat i liked a lot, but it had too much hardware. i imagined the buttons leaving strange marks all over nola.

we also hit the lv store, where we were greeted by a strange sight: an extremely tall white woman in an ugly pinkish furry jacket posing by the entrance. since lv was (and always is) filled by noisy short asians, she seemed to be at least ten feet tall. i coveted the epi alma in cassis. swoony, but where would i carry an expensive purple handbag? i also admired the bowling montaigne pm (also in cassis), but as cam points out, it looks like it has a face.

other stops: went to crate and barrel because we wanted to buy towels (we have giftcards), but didn't see anything special. bought a star wars pillowcase for my assistant for his birthday from pottery barn kids. cam bought himself a new iphone at the apple store.

i nursed nola in the car post-shopping and we went home. we had talked about stopping by container store and ikea, but it was getting late.

it was a nice day. i needed to get out, and i think it was the most relaxing afternoon i've had in ages. thanks, sweetie.

July 17, 2008

violence in movies and sex on tv

what soothes our little savage beastie? "family guy" in hd, apparently.

yeah, i didn't see that coming, either. she really is daddy's little girl.

July 12, 2008


paul: [humming]
paul: do you know what that was?
cam: i know - silly old gordon fell in a ditch, fell in a ditch, fell in a ditch, silly old gordon fell in a ditch, all on a monday morning.
paul: no, it was similar to "wheels on the bus."
cam: the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round...
paul: [humming]
paul: the wheels on the bus... version 10.

July 11, 2008


i am genuinely bewildered by this. if paul's feet are too hot, they need to be cooled down (with a damp cloth) or he can't sleep. i told cam i thought it was crap, but he revealed that he was the same way as a child. tonight i watched cam cool off paul's feet. within minutes paul was asleep. it was the oddest thing. if it works, it works, but it's still weird.

July 10, 2008

a little flattery

our next-door neighbors gave us some food leftover from their 4th of july party. they had more food than they could eat because quite a few people were unable to attend at the last minute. i instructed cam to tell them that it was very good and to ask them for the recipe for the potato salad because people love that.

cam: i ran into _____ outside.
cam: you were right about asking for the recipe.
me: did it make her happy?
cam: she practically threw her arms up in victory.


i hate cliches, but i use them all the time. i even think in them. cam smirks because he hates them and he knows i hate them, so i am constantly embarrassed.

me: when i finish this [project], it'll be... um, cliches about monkeys and backs and stuff like that.
cam: ah.
me: bugbears.
cam: [smirking] bugbears.

when i hear myself, i think, "stop it! you're better than that!"

July 9, 2008

oh so literary

today at babies'r'us (we had to buy a gift - it's baby season), i pointed out a pretty set of crib bedding to cam. it was light browns and greens with bunnies and a grassy nature-y border.

cam: pretty.
cam: it's like watership down.

um, yeah. sure.

July 7, 2008

putting things to rights

this morning i had a teary meltdown on the phone with cam because of the condition in which he left the kitchen. after a cup of coffee (and a whirlwind kitchen rescue), i reconsidered the situation and decided that i had no right to get upset. i'm the one who is home all day -- how much time does it take out of the day to tidy up a room? sorry, cam. i'll try not to complain anymore.

July 6, 2008

THE field trip location

today paul announced that he wanted to go to the aquarium -- specifically the "close" one (cabrillo) because he didn't want to "see the movie" (the aquarium of the pacific in long beach turns off the lights and projects short films onto the walls several times each day. i don't know why, but this always freaks the boy out in a major way.). being that cabrillo closes at 5 pm on sundays and it was already half past three, i was astonished when cam agreed. nola and i almost didn't go with them, but cam decided at the last minute that we should.

there had been a preschool field trip a few months back, so paul and cam were there recently, but the last time for me was back in elementary school. cam had been paired with my best friend susan, and my partner was cam's best friend paul. (funny, huh?) but paul was a goof and seemed to really like embarrassing me, so i stuck close to cam and susan. (at least that's the way i remember it.)

the place looked unfamiliar from the outside, but the main hall struck me as having a lot of really old science fair-looking exhibits that very well could have been there 20 years ago. whatever it was, there was definitely a sense of deja vu for me.

after touring the aquarium complex, cam and paul decided to walk on the beach. as i was carrying a baby wrapped in a blanket and my splurge-y leather diaper bag, i was less than pleased. couldn't even sit down because i was afraid of getting sand into the bag (or damaging the bag). at least i was wearing shorts and flipflops. i amused myself by people-watching. when nola fell asleep, i tucked her into a sling to give my arms a break. paul had no desire to step into the water, so they spent the majority of their time playing in the sand. we left after about half an hour.

unpleasantly, it took us about another half hour to get out of the parking lot.

as we were driving away, i saw a "tsunami evacuation route" sign. who knew? thank goodness i live on a hill.

it wasn't the greatest afternoon, but it was all right, i suppose. at least paul was happy and nola was quiet.

July 5, 2008


paul has been obsessed with spiders and insects for the past few weeks. i could deal with the constant chatter about tornadoes, but creepy crawly things just gross me out. it's times like this that i am really glad to not be a single mom. cam, bless you for going on all of those damned bug hunts.

July 4, 2008


since we now have -- and are playing with -- "my pokemon ranch" for the wii, cam bought "pokemon diamond" (or whatever the hell you call it) for the ds so we can add more pokemon to the ranch. i started playing it the other day and oh my god, i had forgotten how utterly tedious (yet addictive) the pokemon games can be. we were up way too late last night.

(note: i like to play pokemon while i'm nursing. it's much more fun than solitaire.)

July 3, 2008

far tmi

so... i had a mirena iud "installed" (cam's word) today. well, that's five years of birth control all wrapped up in a little thingamajigger fishhook-looking thing of plastic (complete with fishing line that can be trimmed to... the appropriate length). nice.

cam and i had been talking vasectomy for a while now, but when we finally started in on the topic recently, i started to cry. even though we had 1) agreed that two was it, and 2) are in the midst of wails, diapers, sleepless nights and spit-up soaked days, it suddenly seemed particularly heartwrenching to me that we would no longer have the option to have any more children. the finality of it was just too much. we then agreed that we'd get the iud to give us some breathing room.

i don't really want more children. honestly. two is all i can handle. but the idea of slamming that door shut and locking it forever just breaks my heart right now.

June 28, 2008

she'll pretty much have to

thank you, sweetheart. i love you and i will try to not feel guilty.

June 25, 2008

survival has its rewards

cam: you don't get a push present...
cam: you get a maternity leave medal.
cam: it'll be gold with a red, white and blue ribbon.
me: you can get one of those old reading olympics medals.
cam: perfect.
cam: it'll have you holding nola, paul whining, and your mother hovering.
me: i need to write this down.

June 19, 2008

mommy jewelry

after much internal debate, i bought this necklace for myself. i wanted a little something for myself to commemorate our little family, so it has all four names on it. (the sample is hilarious -- apparently we should have named our kids jack and jayden.) i ordered it at the same time i bought cam's keychain. i like to wear it with my kinda-sorta "push present" -- a necklace from cam. i do NOT wear it with the other necklace he bought at the same time.

(just an aside: paul finds the white trash charm necklaces equally amusing, but he thinks the dude one is more appropriate for a boy. oddly enough, this is from a child who happily sported the trophy wife one around the house and would have worn it in public if i didn't take it from him.)

June 16, 2008

father's day

father's day was a little off this year.

spent yesterday morning at home. i made breakfast (pancakes) and cam got gifts (preschool gifts from paul -- a beaded keychain and footprints on a poem -- and a small disc keychain from me and nola, plus a card "from" nola but made by me with paul's help).

then we went over to cam's parents' for lunch. cam was grumpy for most of it and didn't really know why. paul was also not in the best of moods. there was this weird sticky moment between cam and his sister that startled me a little bit -- i've never heard cam snipe at her before.

i was kind of glad for the day to be over. i wish cam could have had a better father's day.

June 13, 2008

not a sahm

me: i'm totally failing at this stay-at-home mom thing.
cam: huh?
me: in all the time i've been home, i've had dinner ready once.
cam: you're not a stay-at-home mom.
cam: you're on leave with a government paycheck.
cam: you're on disability.
cam: i expect nothing -- except that the kids are cared for.
me: even that's questionable...

June 7, 2008


cam: you hit me in the head.
paul: i apologize.
cam: [wry look]
me: [muffled laughter]

May 21, 2008

exercise play

paul is playing (is that the right word?) wii fit. apparently he needs more exercise, it tells him. duh, this is a preschooler who is more interested in science and tv than active play.

cam: now let me try so it can tell me i'm obese.

since you can password-protect your profile, i am so going to use this thing. i'll set a weight goal with my going-back-to-work date as my target. wonder how well it'll work?

April 30, 2008

40th thursday

tomorrow is my due date, but i don't expect to spend it in the hospital. nope, we'll save that for friday.

tomorrow paul and i are going to spend the day together while cam works from home (his last day before a two-week vacation). i am not sure what we're going to do. we've talked about a walk, i've thought about baking a cake, but chances are just as good that we'll sit on the couch and watch a variety of tivo'd shows about tornadoes. i'm not really sure how the day will go, but i am determined to not take up the day with housework and nesting-type crap when this is the last day that paul will be an only child. it will be a good day, goddammit.

today cam and i talked a little about stuff we'll do once the baby arrives. we'll come along to preschool, i declare bravely, we'll go for picnics, all four of us. we'll fly a kite, cam says, making a mental note to buy a new one because god only knows where the old one went. we smile, but there's a hint of nervous desperation behind it because we know that very soon things will NEVER BE THE SAME. may paul forgive us for what we are about to do to his world.

April 22, 2008

an honest woman

i brought home the decorations from the baby shower. one of them was a centerpiece -- a heart-shaped "baby" sign mounted on a lavender honeycomb tissue thing. (sorry, i don't know how else to describe it.) paul found it very amusing -- and quickly found a bizarre use for it.

paul: [holding it up] when i put this in front of you, i'm going to marry you, mommy.


cam: you can't marry mommy, that's my job.

paul then spent about 15-20 minutes chasing me around the house to put the centerpiece at my feet. he seemed to have shed his oedipal moment, though, and kept telling cam that it was time to marry me.

April 4, 2008

the telecommuting couple

cam and i are working from home today because we have a busy non-work afternoon ahead of us. we are in separate rooms. if it wasn't for the fact that i'd feel like a dweeb, i would IM him. as it is, i might as well just holler.

March 25, 2008


i don't know if it was intentional, but i nearly cried when i saw that my lunchtime sandwich (made for me each morning by cam) was heart-shaped. am guessing that it was the only way he could fit two halves into the little container, but still.

February 17, 2008

solo dining

i know you didn't mean any harm, but i think the proper response to "when you wake up [after a nap], you can think about dinner" might be something along the lines of "okay, sure," or "what would you like for dinner?" -- not "i thought i already had it." what about me? have you not noticed i have served and cleaned up after you and paul all day long? did you not even wonder if i've eaten today? i know i'm somewhat overemotional and cloudy of mind because i'm sick and that i need to make similar allowances for you because you're sick, too, but i still think you could have thought about me for a second.

February 14, 2008

flu season just became open season

cam is still sick at home. but paul is also rather ill, and dammit if i don't feel like hell, too.

um, happy valentine's day.

February 13, 2008

flu season

cam stayed home today, sick as a dog. poor thing.

February 12, 2008

mood lighting

cam put up a light fixture above the sink in the kitchen. the timing is a little funny because we just got a dishwasher and therefore don't really need that kind of task lighting anymore, but who cares? we finally no longer have a bunch of old wires sticking out of a hole in the ceiling!

February 4, 2008

cold light of day

a day after the superbowl, cam declares he will never drink again, at least not the way he did last night. i would like to hold him to that.

trying to be considerate

so that cam could watch the superbowl in peace, i took paul to my mom's house with the intent of keeping him there from 3-ish to 7. it worked, but i think the aggravation we suffered upon returning to the house made it SO NOT WORTH IT.

January 25, 2008


last night cam and i had an appointment to see a mortgage person over at our credit union. we want to refinance and were fortunate enough to lock in a great rate.

while filling out the paperwork, the rep asked us how long we had been married.

almost ten years, cam told her.

she was amused. "you act like newlyweds. me and my husband, we've been married a year and a half and no one would mistake us for newlyweds."

newlyweds? are we that cutesy?

January 19, 2008

heavy-duty nesting

if cam knows what's good for him, "so... i've been thinking..." should be the scariest words in the english language.

January 11, 2008


happy birthday, cam my dear.

December 31, 2007


cam has been directing paul through a series of very complicated obstacle courses -- climb through tunnels, take two complete spins on the sit & spin, shoot a dart at a punching bag, put on shoes, etc. etc. etc. this is very much a father-son activity.

paul: [to cam] are you done?
paul: [exasperated] you have to stop.
paul: this is taking too long.

but, of course, as he finishes each run, he tells his father the next one should be longer.
paul: overcross.
paul: that means longer.
paul: it's an overcross obstacle course.
paul: you have to reset everything.

he's usually in bed by this time, but cam had him take a long nap earlier today in order to stay awake tonight to watch some of the new year's eve festivities. it seems to me that such active play can only wear him down faster, but since they're having so much fun i'll happily keep my mouth shut.

December 12, 2007

supposed to be a big day

i took the day off work because i had my big ultrasound scheduled for today.

took advantage of the free morning by attending preschool with paul and cam. preschool was an interesting experience. paul was up-and-down, but i think it was a pretty good day. he did, however, not listen to cam when it was time to return inside after playground time, and that was a little stressful. when the teacher snapped at me for asking paul if he needed help on a ladder, that was also stressful. meh. what did she think i was going to do, grab him off the ladder and spoonfeed him pureed peas? he was stuck. i just asked if he needed help. the "working" parents that day made me feel in the way, so i tried to stick to the wall and be unobtrusive as possible. the children themselves -- when they noticed me -- were a bit more welcoming.

during a playtime, a girl yelled at paul he was playing hopscotch incorrectly. he raised his arm as if to strike her, then hid behind me with his usual, "i don't want ANYTHING."

me: [yelling girl] is brutal.
cam: paul is a ninny.

as soon as class was over, i headed to the car to drink a quart of water before the appointment.

when paul finally finished his goodbyes, we all went to kaiser for my ultrasound appointment. the lab tech called me in quickly (half an hour prior to my actual appointment!) and told cam and paul that he'd call them in to see pictures after the exam. the exam part took about 15 minutes, mostly spent in silence. then the tech left to bring in cam and paul. after several minutes, he returned alone, saying he was unable to find them. i was really disappointed, but what could i do? he rushed through some shots, then asked me if i wanted to know the sex. i said yes, and he indicated that he was "leaning towards a girl." then it was all over. i asked if i'd get pictures, and he breezily said his printer was broken. there i was, disappointed about cam and paul missing out, disappointed about his lack of certainly re gender and disappointed by the lack of pictures. well. it wasn't that the tech wasn't nice, because he was, but he was awfully cavalier about the whole thing.

as i opened the door to the waiting room, cam and paul walked up. they took one look at me and realized that the appointment was over. cam looked pissed and paul started wailing. they were so clearly upset about missing the ultrasound that i started to cry. i didn't even get to the bathroom, even though i was on the verge of desperation (the bladder of a pregnant woman is no laughing matter). i was too busy apologizing to paul.

but, as usual, out of the wreckage came a few moments of hilarity.

paul: [tearful] but how do they know it's a girl?
cam: they're looking for something.
paul: what?
cam: uh, okay, they're looking for a thing -- like yours.
cam: if they don't find one, then it's a girl.
cam: because little girls don't have one.
paul: but big girls do?
cam: um, no, they don't.
paul: [practically sobbing] but how do they pee?
me: can we please not have this conversation NOW?

we dropped paul off with his grandfather (and i had my much needed bathroom break), then we went home to take a nap. cam explained he wasn't mad at me, but i wasn't really convinced. if i hadn't been lying on a table with gel all over my stomach, i would have told the tech i'd find them myself (they were in the bathroom, by the way).

it was a pretty exhausting day. as nice as it was to take a day off work, enough bummerish things happened to make it less than fully pleasant. i guess i just had idealized visions of how the day was supposed to be.

September 6, 2007

forbidden fruit

my little fanboy of a husband went out and bought an iphone at lunch. i giggle.

August 25, 2007

flight vs. fight

if cam wants to be mad at me because i stopped him from going back and yelling at a salesperson who had been (unintentionally) rude, fine. be mad. i'm not going to argue.

August 20, 2007

no relation to kelly

"top gear" is now on bbc america. dammit. we've only tivo'd two eps so far and watched part of one, but already i am tired of jeremy clarkson.


when we got home, paul's little ikea plastic step-thing was in front of the kitchen sink. i don't know why.

when i went to wash the dishes post-dinner, i decided to use it instead of putting it away. (it reminded me of the little step we had at my parents' house. my aunt used it when she washed dishes. she's maybe 4'9"? i think i stopped using it when i turned 10.) holy crap. if that's what it's like being six inches taller, i'm glad i'm short. the sink looked so very far away. my back started to hurt.

scrub, scrub, scrub. ache, ache, ache.

then i heard footsteps. i jumped down and kicked the step-thing to the side... but i was too late. cam had already spotted me. he laughed. i felt sheepish.

cam: give little mommy a hug.
paul: little mommy!
me: feh.
me: stop calling me that.
cam: hey, i wouldn't have even noticed if you hadn't jumped and kicked the footstool.

little mommy: feh.

August 12, 2007


we had another barbeque this evening -- tonight we had hot dogs, veggie skewers (i chopped up a lot of vegetables yesterday, obviously) and beer.

paul: [looking at his bottle of root beer] rinness.
me: we are SUCH bad role models.

it was kind of funny how we could all say we had hot dogs for dinner, yet no one ate the same thing as the person next to them (or across from them) -- i had a veggie dog in a regular bun, cam had a regular hot dog in a regular bun, paul had a regular hot dog wrapped in a corn tortilla. intolerances and preferences make for a short-order-cook kind of life sometimes.

the flies were all over us. (i had no idea flies liked beer.) but because we got started much earlier in the evening, we were able to be done by dark -- so at least we could see when the flies were on our plates, bottles, us, etc.

even though i really really wanted to go out to eat, i thought this was quite nice. i feel a little dumb that we're starting these "summer" activities so late in the season, but life in so cal means we don't need to stop once september is upon us.

August 11, 2007

backyard dining

tonight we had a little barbeque, just the three of us and my mom. it was really nice, but we need to get more outdoor lighting -- the main source of light was a motion-sensitive one in front of my mom's house. whenever it went off, it was paul's job to run over to it so that it would go on again. eventually he decided cam should do it, but then i ended up taking over at the end. we also had candles on the table, but those were really, you know, just decorative.

paul, my mom and i ate veggie skewers. i also had a veggie burger. cam grilled chicken and a steak he tried to share with paul, but by the time those were done paul just wanted potato chips. there were beers for everyone -- except for my mom, who refused all forms -- newcastle for cam, guinness for me, and root for paul.

paul: [from inside my mom's house] mommy, come here.
me: let me just finish my beer.
me: [to my mom] wow, that sounded inappropriate, didn't it?
my mom: [laughing]

it was a lovely evening. we ought to do that sort of thing more often.

August 7, 2007

fan of status quo

cam: do you like mommy's haircut now?
paul: not yet!
me: thanks.
cam: do you like my haircut?
paul: yep.
cam: [laughs] you like it now?
paul: yes, it looks same.

August 5, 2007


after dinner, cam said he'd do the dishes while i read paul his bedtime stories. i agreed to this, but when paul and cam ran off to play, i decided that i might as well just do the dishes since there weren't all that many of them.

gloves on, water pouring into the sink, i quickly washed most of the dishes. i was almost done when a pan slipped in the dishrack, alerting cam to the broken agreement. suddenly i heard tiny pounding footsteps.

paul: [fierce expression] stop doing the dishes!
paul: stop doing the dishes!
paul: daddy's gonna do the dishes!
me: [laughing]

paul ran away, but he was soon back with the same fierce look -- brows drawn together, eyes angry, mouth pouty.

paul: daddy frowned at you!

oh, the terror.

August 3, 2007


cam: you think this looks like mommy?
paul: yes.

i had to investigate. they were looking at a poster of death of the endless (yes, cam does own such a poster).

me: thanks!

sweet paul. i wish i were that cute.

July 31, 2007


made some surprisingly good corn fritters yesterday. quite filling. but by 9, i was hungry again. so was cam.

me: well, when it comes down to it, we all shared a can of corn.

July 29, 2007

paternal patterns

cam tells me that positive reinforcement never worked on him. only taking things away from him could force a reaction. according to cam's mom, paul is just like cam.

just great. you know, this is intel i could have used a VERY LONG TIME AGO. all that wasted positivity when negativity would have worked even better...

July 27, 2007


the whining felt like it would never stop.

we made plans to go out to dinner, the three of us, but then paul whined so much cam called it off while we were in the driveway. (i was already buckled into the front seat.) paul agreed to eat corn, but then whined at me about the butter i put on it, so i had to wipe it off. (angrily.) i threw the knife into the sink. (noisily.) paul cried. i muttered to cam that i didn't mean to scare him, but cam wryly pointed out that paul was upset only because he thought i threw his corn away.

cam left to pick up dinner (and alcohol to deaden the rattled nerves). he called me to see how we were doing.

cam: is he behaving?
me: you could say that.
me: he's behaving like a little shit.

i tried to soothe myself by cleaning the refrigerator. after removing the bottom shelf and the attached drawers, i crouched down next to it in order to scrub the bottom. paul complained of the cold, but i insisted he stay near me where i could see him. his response was to try to close the door to push me inside the refrigerator.

once cam returned home, the rest of the evening passed fairly uneventfully.

i don't mean to be a grump -- i had actually had a pretty decent day at work. someone once told me that he felt that being a parent made him a better employee because he was now used to having to explain things over and over at home, so having to do so at work didn't faze him the way that it did prior to the birth of his son. my reply to that was being an employee made me a better parent because work had trained me to deal with people with multiple personalities. based on that, paul's total morph into mr. whiny shouldn't have been a problem, but i guess cam's bad mood (do i depend on him too much? i suspect i do) may have tipped the scales far enough in favor of my own morphing into bitch mom from hell. i dunno.

may tomorow be a better day.

July 25, 2007

freezer burn

all i have to say is that cam ought to be really glad i love him because otherwise i would have had no problem ignoring the mess he caused when he left the goddamned freezer door OPEN all day. at least we only have a little top freezer compartment. but... we just went to the market last week. growl. paul's favorite waffles, my frozen edamame, the tiny stash of chicken i keep for paul's soup. the only thing salvageable were otter pops.

still, i know, it could have been far worse. if he had done that when i was pumping and freezing breastmilk, well, not only would that have been grounds for divorce, it would have been a motive for murder.

July 18, 2007


last night paul and his father (or cam and his son) invented a new game that involved dumping almost 200 marbles on the floor -- hardwood floors -- and shouting "marble city!" they would then marvel at the random scattering of the "little people" all over the goddamned room. i could have cheerfully killed them both.

July 16, 2007

night music

i kept waking paul up with my snoring.
"stop that."
i'm sorry, was i snoring?
it happened like three times!

poor paul. poor me, too -- how many times in the past ten years have i nudged cam gently and then admonished him to shut the hell up?

July 15, 2007

wedded bliss

all started out well at the wedding cam and i attended last night.

we went from cocktail hour in a nice little indoor courtyardesque area with a fountain, a bar and bizarre stretchy black slipcovers turning ordinary bar tables into pillars to a brief yet sweet ceremony in a pretty garden with waterfalls and greenery -- to sped-up 80s hell in a dark ballroom decorated with white lilies, black linens, a dummy kneeling before a guillotine, a headless marie antoinette (foam head looking up, bewildered, from the floor) and a large toile screen depicting the storming of the bastille. (the screen was situated behind the dj table; a smaller version of it graced the front of said table.) it was a little bewildering, to say the least.

plus they had a really painfully bad dj with a michael jackson fixation.

that said, we had fun. i finally met some of cam's newer coworkers, had four strangely weak (yet impressive looking) gin & tonics, danced to new order and smiled at a wobbly-legged ten-month-old daughter of clown/juggler/magician/mime.

considering the bride and groom worked for the same company (which is owned by the bride's brother), i was surprised that it was more of a family party than a company one. i admit it, i was expecting a slightly sunnier version of the company christmas party. there were quite a few kids. one of cam's coworkers asked us why paul wasn't with us. i pictured paul screaming "too loud!" and was glad it hadn't occurred to me that we could bring him.

the bride tried to set up one of cam's coworkers with a friend of hers from the peace corps. we deemed her too sorority. i think she probably deemed him too geek.

we smoked too much and mocked lots of people. cam tried to convince people to watch "burn notice." i liked watching the kids dancing. cam's newly married boss looked really happy. when we left, the dj was spinning "don't stop believin'." it was like the end of sopranos, i think. when you think about my first impression of cam's boss' boss, it was an appropriate ending.

in the lobby, a kid hefted a headless dummy (sans guillotine) and grumbled, "jesus, this is heavy."

cam and i smoked and sang at the top of our lungs ("our volume is controlled by the volume of the radio," he pointed out) all the way home. it was sort of like being young again -- not that we're old, but, well, parenting kind of changes your idea of fun. we were planning to hit an arby's on the way home for potato cakes, but the local one was closed by the time we got there. oh well.

paul was awake when we got home. late naps mean late bedtime, unfortunately. i crashed in his room while trying to get him to go to sleep. thanks to a 2 am tylenol run, i woke up surprisingly hangover-free. good times. i let cam sleep in.

best wishes to the newlyweds and family. our thanks for a good party.

July 13, 2007

the opposite of insomnia

the night before, i couldn't sleep. last night, i couldn't stay awake.

thanks for letting me sleep, my dear.

July 10, 2007

wonder what he was dreaming about?

i distinctly heard cam say, "blah blah blah" in his sleep.

July 8, 2007

dishes and floors

cam is lucky that my feelings of parenting inadequacy (meaning he seems to do the bulk of the childcare) keep me from getting on his case more about cleaning up after himself.


cam: nuts do bad things to the people i love.
cam: that's why nuts are not my friends.
paul: but pizza is your friend?

July 1, 2007

i've got rhythm

tonight cam and i went to the geffen playhouse to see "george gershwin alone." we had decided to let our subscription lapse at the end of the season (for various reasons which may or may not become true after all), so it was our final play.

well. it was pretty nice and i was surprised how many gershwin songs i knew, but it all suddenly went nutty when it turned into a theaterwide SINGALONG. good freaking grief. not that i didn't like the songs, but lord. no wonder the average age of this evening's theatergoer was about 70.

it was still a nice night, though. started out crappy (lots of difficulties getting out of the house), but it improved rapidly. we went to the grove -- farmer's market, actually -- for dinner: moishe's and flavored cokes. yum. then we went shopping. wonder of wonders, i found not one but two dresses i liked. pretty, colorful and not too terribly pricey. cam bought them both. (later i teased him that he was so keen to buy them because he's got an iphone on the brain, but that's a story for another time.) the grove was ridiculously crowded, but being a saturday night i could hardly be surprised.

we got home fairly early and now i'm just sitting here while cam watches a csi: miami rerun i've already seen. paul is sleeping soundly. all i need is a drink to make this night complete.

June 17, 2007


we got cam a mug for father's day. original, eh?

but it wasn't any ordinary mug -- it was the father's day 2007 special from cafepress, complete with a recent paul addition to our everyday vernacular (okay, maybe not everyday, but still). so cam's mug read:

the much:
greater than a few, less than the most
("it's when you have a lot of water," says paul)

happy father's day 2007

the idea, unfortunately, was stronger than the execution. it printed badly, but i figured, as long as it was legible, it would do. i decided this partially because i timed the order poorly. oh well. but cam was pleased with it, and ultimately, that's all that matters.

paul signed the card with his charmingly three-year-old writing. he messed up on his "u," laughed and wrote another one right by it. i loved that. no self-consciousness, no dismay, just "oops!" cam liked his card, too.

i was kind of embarrassed because i felt like we were less... gifty than we should have been, but the holiday kind of crept up on me. i swear, it wasn't on my calendar, and then holy shit, it's next week! i hate it when that happens.

June 2, 2007

fish foodie

cam asked paul if he wanted a fish. paul said he already had one, but it was dead so that he could eat it. i looked up.

me: wait, you mean a pet?
cam: yeah, i saved the aquarium [from the junk haulers].
me: yeah, and when i heard about that i was surprised.
cam: oh...

cam then offered paul a fish again.
paul: then you can make it dead and eat it.
cam: no!
cam: i'm not going to get you a goldfish so you can make it dead and eat it!

i guess maybe he isn't ready for a pet fish.

May 20, 2007


today we went outlet shopping in the city of commerce. because of paul's refusal to allow us to drive over a bridge, we ended up driving past downtown and then taking an unexpected detour back into downtown to change a tire.

while cam toiled in a taxi zone, i took paul on a walk.

paul: this is fun!
paul: i love taking a walk!

we walked down the hill on grand, turned right on fifth, down past the library tower and up the library steps to the fountain in front of mccormick & schmicks. cam wasn't done, so we went up to the mellon bank building and paul walked around on what he called his "very own sidewalks" (the ledges surrounding the water feature and various planters). we yelled down at cam from the patio outside my work.

who would have guessed a little walk downtown could be such fun?

May 16, 2007

more information than you have ever wanted

i'm glad i haven't really told very many people that cam and i are trying to have another baby. after our freakishly quick conception with paul, i think people would be all kinds of disappointed that i'm not pregnant yet. (it's been what, a month?) it's been a little weird, though, when i get asked every other day or so if we're planning to have any other children.

"we're still having that conversation!" i say brightly.

"horizontally," i think smirkily.

April 25, 2007

the day the music died

every wednesday night, cam and i eat dinner together in front of the tv before he goes to get paul from his parents' house. sure, we watch tv all week, but wednesday nights belong to horatio caine.

well, the tv finally sizzled and broke after promising to do so for months. after we finished eating, cam checked the sunday sale papers and looked at tv prices online.

me: we finally have the chance to talk.
me: but instead of watching tv, you're looking at tvs.
cam: [distracted chuckle]

it was pretty sad.

April 22, 2007

zoo pals make eating fun

i am not a fan of zoo pals disposable plates. not that i have a problem with disposable plates -- they're useful things -- but i just don't think they're cute. plus i hate the commercial... that damned earworm of a song.... ugh! (i do not like "ribbet.") cam likes it, and seems to make a point of singing along when it's on.

yesterday paul and i were watching tv sans cam. as the familiar music began to play, paul chuckled to himself.
paul: that's my dad's favorite song.

good god. that's not the man i married.

April 19, 2007

blow out

cam got a haircut. paul's initial reaction was less than favorable.

paul: aahh! [pointing]
cam: you don't like my haircut?
paul: i thought you were a different guy.

he has since come around, but he was pretty grumpy about it for a few days (even shooting cam with the "long hair gun"). i've been thinking about cutting my own hair, but i fear that his reaction will be even more violent.

April 4, 2007

over our heads

we were watching one of cam's muppet show dvds the other night. cam wanted to show paul something but wasn't quite sure where to find it. never having been much of a fan, i was glazing over as the colorful furry things traded quips and one-liners.

suddenly there was a ballroom full of dancing muppets. wisecracking pairs swooped in and out of view. a male puppet said to a female puppet, "do you know anything about the hereafter?" she responded in the affirmative. he replied, "then you know what i'm here after."

a few minutes later we found ourselves watching a high-heeled rita moreno beat up a man-sized puppet in a beret, a tight top, and a skirt slit to the waist. she alternately drank, danced and slugged with equal enthusiasm.

that muppet show. so saucy. THIS was family programming?

content plus or minus accent

sometimes i wonder how we sound to other people.

my mom: it was the monkey's birthday.
me: what?!
me: what monkey?
my mom: [patiently] it was the monkey's birthday.
my mom: on dora.
my mom: that's why paul wanted a pinata.
me: oh, you mean boots.
my mom: yeah.

me: my mom said, "it's the monkey's birthday" and i was so confused!
me: i was all, "monkey? what monkey?"
cam: so... you find her as hard to understand sometimes as i do.
me: yeah, but it's what she's saying, not the way she talks!

April 1, 2007

on loss and losing

cam: i knew this day would come...
cam: i just didn't expect it to happen when he was three.
cam: i thought i'd have more time -- a few years -- before he'd beat me at a video game.

paul is phenomenally good at wii sports bowling.

cam: hey, you're better left-handed than i am... [quietly] right-handed.

March 26, 2007

the secret language of cam

i say: i need to do the dishes, but i'm so sleepy.

what he says: don't worry about the dishes.

what i think he's thinking: don't worry about the dishes, i'll do them.

what he's really thinking: i would like to help you with the dishes, but i am going to forget about this conversation as soon as i walk out this door.

what happens: don't worry about the dishes, they'll still be here when you wake up.

March 25, 2007


paul: i want tylenol, too!
cam: are you sick?
paul: i'm still a little sick.
paul: i have THOSE hiccups.
cam: THOSE hiccups? [laughing]
cam: you don't need tylenol for that.
cam: you can just have water for THOSE hiccups.

March 24, 2007


paul: we have a new rule.
paul: you have to take care of mommy.
cam: that's a good rule.
cam: you have a loving son.

March 20, 2007


paul: here comes trouble.
cam: are you trouble?
paul: [seriously] no.

February 26, 2007


me: you just never know when you're going to need some decoupage medium.
cam: [silence]
cam: yeah, you just never know.
me: why are you looking at me like that?
cam: [laughing] because i know you aren't really serious...
cam: ...or i'd have to divorce you.

February 24, 2007

starts and stops

just got back from a night out -- dinner at earth, wind & flour (bad name, but yummy spinach salad) and "speed-the-plow" at the geffen. dinner was very nice. the play, meh. i know it's supposed to be satirical and snappy, but i was unmoved. too much yelling. far too much. theater is supposed to be yelly, sure, but this was ridiculous. still, though, we had a nice evening.

we almost didn't go. my mom was going to watch paul, but when we came home from work yesterday, she looked and sounded like crap. (and this is after she had a super-abbreviated week -- she was too sick to watch him on tuesday -- poor mom.) cam called his mom and sister (his dad wasn't going to be home) and offered them the tickets. his sister wasn't interested, so his mom was going to see if a friend would want to go with her. we ended that night thinking we weren't going to go.

the next day, we learned that his mom's friend couldn't make it. hm. cam's mom agreed to watch paul, and so we were back on. we made better time than we expected, so we were able to eat at a restaurant. yay! (don't laugh, we've had at least one last-minute meal via the in'n'out drive-thru before. how romantic.) we used to eat at earth, wind & flour fairly often, but we haven't been there in years so it was cool to go there again. (we had actually been contemplating another restaurant, but... it partially didn't sound appealing to me because i couldn't remember the name of it!) it looked exactly the same except for the very large tvs mounted on the walls. but interestingly enough, it seemed to me like no one was watching them. they were just sort of there.

after the play -- we practically ran out once the lights went back on; for once we didn't have to wait in line to get out of the parking garage -- we stopped at ralphs for milk (we were out) and then cam dropped me off at home on his way to pick up paul.

i really do enjoy these evenings out with cam. i was pretty damned grumpy when i thought we weren't going. then once we were actually heading to westwood, i was feeling rather grumpy because i thought cam didn't want to go -- but he cleared that up and we bought doughnuts to eat on the way. life is always shinier and happier with doughnuts.

February 19, 2007

just one of the guys

this is kind of a big deal for me. i know it's going to sound pretty dumb, but i'm rather proud of myself. i built a trebuchet (tinkertoys) on a rolling platform (a shallow flat box with matchbox cars taped to the bottom) with a quick release (more tinkertoys plus string). it throws a projectile (clay on a short length of knotted string) all the way across the living room. cam and paul have been building trebuchets for a while now, but this is my first attempt.

it was all trial and error. after the structure tipped over a few times, i came up with the rolling platform, sort of modeled after all of those damned trebuchet games online paul has been making me find. the quick-release gadget was something i had come up with the night before (making a small barrel fall from a hook by yanking on a string), but i was able to adapt it to fit my trebuchet with great success.

as i was working, i alternately grinned and frowned at myself. maybe paul, cam and the constant construction have rubbed off on me. i may not be much of a homemaker, but i'm apparently quite deadly with siege weapons.

February 12, 2007


cam and paul are launching bits of clay across the living room with the tinkertoy trebuchet they just built. cam is rather pleased with himself. paul is just pleased, period. predictably, i do not really share their joy in this new invention. if i find smushed clay on the couch, i will confiscate both the trebuchet and the ammunition.

yes, i AM bad cop.

February 6, 2007

the blue one

cam has decided that anthony field is "the epitome of drumming" and that HE should be crowded house's new drummer.

cam: imagine him in his blue wiggle suit... [laughing]

how many times can i say nonononononoNO?

mike and jerry

me: [holding up an elfa planner from container store] i took this with me into the kitchen because i meant to read it while i ate.
me: but i got distracted by penny arcade again.
me: i didn't even look at this thing.
cam: that's why you're my wife.

carrot cake soup, anyone?

January 29, 2007

revisions to the guitar hero story

apparently i was delirious (at least to some extent).

actually it was the other way around
his desire to play the song prompted me to buy it
he wanted me to bring the ps2, a tv, and the game into his room
i told him i couldn't
then i asked him if i could put it on my ipod
he said no
then i just played some song and he played along
but then i told him "hold on," went and bought the song, and fired up the camera

January 22, 2007

do you even know what gum is?

a story from cam:

so... paul wanted some raspberry gum
he liked it
and i kept reminding him "okay. don't swallow. just chew"
so then i said "are you ready to spit it out?"
"i can't. it's in my stomach"

January 13, 2007


guitar hero 2 won the battle for cam's affections tonight. oh well.

cam: there's going to be an '80s guitar hero!
cam: and i've got to get guitar hero i, too.
me: i didn't expect you to enjoy this game so much.
cam: i love it.
me: there should be a carlos santana guitar hero.
cam: that would be insane.

there is music being played in this house that has never been played before, and i can't necessarily say that i am enjoying it.

January 11, 2007


happy birthday, dearest. glad you liked your presents. now that i have in my possession all kinds of geek points (although i am certain that you have more...), is there anything you want off the rewards list?

January 5, 2007

cam's cup runneth over

and guess what
the p
back on monday!

i suppose this would be a fairly cryptic message if i didn't know who this "the p" might be and why his return might inspire joy. but... 4-7? you mean i have to listen to him on the way home now?

January 4, 2007

always looking on the bright side

my mom called to tell me paul was not reacting well to the change in milk brands. apparently he had thrown the bottle at her and said, "i don't like this milk. i want the REGULAR one."

me: cam, he's being a little shit.
cam: yeah... but at least we're not home.

January 3, 2007

was wondering when someone was going to say that

cam: paul.
cam: no. no.
cam: what part of "no" do you not understand?

January 1, 2007

a gamer and his sister

spent new year's afternoon with my in-laws. it was a nice afternoon. lots of food, lots of talk. but i think i'll remember it as the day that cam abandoned me to play mario kart with his sister for ages. it was totally funny to see them sitting on opposite sides of the couch -- cam with his ds and his sister with her ds lite -- looking silently intense with occasional outbursts of joy and frustration.

electric guitar hero worship

paul: i am not good at guitar hero.
paul: you are good at it because you always win.
paul: and i don't win.
cam: that's okay.
cam: it is a big game for you.
cam: i think it is at least 8 and up.
cam: and you are only 3.

the hills

cam's sister recently showed paul part of "the sound of music" (the lonely goatherd song). then she accidentally deleted her tivo'd copy. we happened to be near best buy yesterday, so we picked up the dvd.

paul really likes it, but i don't think he could watch it from beginning to end at this point. cam has never actually seen the movie before, but he was surprised to see how many songs he knew.

cam: i knew it was rodgers and hammerstein...
me: um, yeah, because that's something all guys know.

it's such a charming movie. i have a soft spot for the goatherder song because of an aphio talent show back in college, so it's kind of sweet to have that memory brought back to me.


paul was eating a salad.

cam: what's your favorite vegetable?
paul: [holds up a mushroom]
cam: what is your favorite fruit?
paul: [holds up a tomato]
cam: yeah, a tomato?
cam: how did you know that a tomato was a fruit?
paul: because it has seeds.


cam has made sushi ("shushis," says paul) twice this weekend: avocado, zucchini, cucumber and rice rolls. yum.


thought i heard paul crying, so i got up and ran to his room. he wasn't crying, he hadn't even moved from the position he was in when i was last in his room. nope, that odd slightly whiny sound was cam snoring. har!

labor violations

cam woke up screamingly angry in the middle of the night. he had had a dream that so infuriated him he needed to get up and have a smoke.

apparently he had dreamt that i had been laid off because a new higher-up had decided to cut costs by getting rid of people. there was a meeting scheduled for myself, my boss and my boss' old boss (she recently retired), and for some reason cam was there. they claimed that it wouldn't take long for the higher-up to realize they needed me, so they were pretty sure they'd be able rehire me. cam let them have it. he was cussing them up and down the street. "you're getting rid of her," he raged, "to save half the cost of a first-year associate!" as he was telling me about this, in my half-awake state all i could think was "they are going to call the police." eventually dream-cam told dream-grace to give notice and quit before i could get laid off. then he grabbed my hand and we got the hell out of dodge.

he was most awesome in his fierceness, but good lord, i'm not sure that's the way to deal with bad work news. serves him right he couldn't fall back asleep after a dream like that.

December 30, 2006


went to lunch at tokyo wako in long beach today for a belated birthday lunch (cam's dad and uncle). usually the birthday lunches (and father's day lunches) are held at benihana in torrance because cam's dad loves the place. i haven't been to one since paul was born because, well, it's a little too dangerous for a toddler and the chance for cross-contamination is just far too great. this time we just decided to brave it because cam was able to confirm that there would be something for paul to eat, even though this, too, was a teppan steak house.

before lunch we stopped by the aquarium of the pacific (me: look, it's the aquarium of the atlantic!) because it was in the same area as the restaurant. paul seemed to enjoy the short visit, even though it was really crowded.

me: i think it was so packed with little kids because they were all too young to want to go somewhere fun like an amusement park.
me: did you notice how there weren't any bigger kids there?

paul didn't care for the little movie/documentary thing they started playing at about a quarter to twelve, but that was good timing because it was time for us to head over to the restaurant.

paul: i want to go someplace quiet.

lunch went pretty well. we had a private room and the table area was quite roomy. paul, unfortunately, decided at the first blast of fire that THIS WAS A VERY BAD PLACE and i spent the first half of my time there walking around with him in my arms.

paul: i want to go someplace where i won't be so warm.

we ended up at the restrooms.
me: this [pointing] is the women's restroom.
me: that [pointing] is the men's restroom.
paul: [pointing at the standard "men" sign] what does this say?
me: spell it.
paul: m-e-n
me: what does that say?
paul: men's restrooms.
me: not quite, but good try.

i swung him over in front of a private room.
me: look!
me: wrong room!

then i brought him back to our room.
me: look!
me: right room!
paul: let's do that again.
paul: let's go to the restrooms, the wrong room and the right room.
me: i knew i shouldn't have started this.

we had to go through the routine three more times.

after lunch, we walked around a little and looked at pirate ships. i think one of them might have been from a pirates of the caribbean movie. we played some running around games with paul on the scary, scary lacking-railings pier (cam: it's funny how we're so obviously afraid to let him even ten feet out of our reach), then, at his behest, took the free bus back to the aquarium parking structure.

cam dropped my mom and myself off at home, grabbed guitar hero 2 (and guitar) and took paul to his grandparents' house. my mom and i went shopping.

it was a nice way to spend a day, i think. lowkey.

pots and plates and spoons and forks

we are always in a quiet war over the dishes. i don't mind doing them, honestly. there really is something kind of pleasing about dishwashing. turning a sinkful of used plates and utensils into a clean, shiny and empty sink and a dishdrainer loaded with sparkling items (presto!) is quite nice. it's not something i necessarily want to do, but the accomplishment aspect is something i can appreciate.

but when cam says he's going to do the dishes, he wants to do the dishes. okay, fine. but when he wants to do the dishes, he wants to do them on his own time. um, no, that's not so fine.

me: when you say you'll do the dishes, you have to remember something.
cam: what?
me: you're not just working on your own timeline.
me: you also have to deal with mine.

when cam and i lived in apartments, we often had mold problems because the dishes would sit. it was gross, but in a way it didn't matter too much because, well, we were renting. in our house, i don't. want. mold.

i've been feeling guilty over my mom doing the dishes, so i now try harder to get them done before bed. part of me thinks this sucks because i also cook (sometimes), but eh, it's got to get done. unfortunately, recently i had to tell cam that i had to take a break from the dishes for a while because my eczema was coming back. he swore he'd take over.

last tuesday he told me he'd do the dishes. he didn't get to them that night, so he told me he'd do them on wednesday because he would be working from home. when he picked me up from work, he admitted he had not yet done them and warned me away. we ate dinner before picking up paul from his parents' house. when he went to go do the dishes, they were already done.

me: mom, did you do the dishes?
my mom: yes.
me: you have to stop that.
my mom: huh?
me: cam was supposed to do them.
me: you are undermining my authority.
my mom: i am? [laughing]
me: when i was younger, you always said that i should never start doing things for a man that i didn't want to have to be doing my whole life.
my mom: i did?
me: so if cam is going to help out around here by doing the dishes, he needs to do the dishes.
me: you can't do them for him.
me: [laughing] you are interfering in my marriage.
my mom: [looking sheepish]

me: cam, apparently you don't just need to deal with my timeline.
me: you need to deal with my mom's.

so this week came around and cam had a pile of dishes again. walking into the kitchen, he saw my mom already there.

cam: you didn't do the dishes, did you?
my mom: no, i got a lecture the last time.
me: exaggerators! i live with exaggerators!

well, maybe i did lecture her... but at least cam took care of the dishes.

December 28, 2006

the sun and moon and the stars

cam, paul and his dad went to the griffith observatory today. i don't have really any idea what they saw, but judging by how little paul has to say about it, i'm not sure he has much idea, either. all i can tell was that they saw a tesla coil, a pendulum, a planetarium show that scared paul (you know, the big bang and all), and my office.

charmingly enough, the most excitement i saw from paul was when he woke up and realized i was in the car next to him. he waved.

December 27, 2006

daddy time

yesterday was cam's first day of vacation -- his company shuts down the week between christmas and new year's -- and paul had him so beat down by the time they picked me up from work it was not even funny. okay, well, it was a little funny.

in the car on the way home, cam frantically tried to keep paul awake (because, as all parents of young children know, a poorly-timed nap means DISASTER! and AGONY!) and his efforts were a little scary to behold. he tried to get paul to look at things outside, he made random sounds, he goggled his eyes, etc. etc. etc. luckily paul didn't fall asleep because i think cam would have crashed the car right then and there out of despair.

as expected, the house was a minor shambles (cam: you should have seen the kitchen before). i cleaned up and made soup for paul while cam went out to grab dinner and some much-needed distance. the rest of the evening was rather uneventful.

we all retreated to the bedroom -- paul decided he was sleeping in our room again -- by 8:30. cam claimed he wasn't going to sleep, but he was out before the rest of us. poor thing. i know i'd have a really hard time as a stay-at-home mom, but i think the chances of cam surviving the sahd life are even slimmer.

December 26, 2006

back in the saddle

cam -- bless his warm little tech heart -- bought me a palm t/x to replace the deceased visor. i can't wait to get it all set up.

December 25, 2006

instrumental, part two

i must revise my earlier comment: cam playing guitar hero 2 with paul at his feet playing his "electronic music mat" while singing the abcs: that might have to be the silliest thing ever seen.


cam is playing guitar hero 2. (the game and the wireless guitar were on his wishlist. how could i refuse?) it is one of the silliest things i've ever seen.

December 13, 2006

bedbugs, i think

paul and cam were talking about a game in the car the other day.

paul: you have to pick up bugs with tweezers.
cam: i remember that game!
cam: did grandpa fix it?
paul: yes.
paul: grandpa fixed it.
paul: it vibrates!
cam: did you play it?
paul: yes, but...
paul: [sadly] i am not very good at it.
cam: i wasn't very good at it, either.

it's kind of stupid because paul has been talking for quite a while now, but i can't help but be a little astonished when i hear him having real conversations.

December 8, 2006

spelling correction

cam insists that paul's version of foosball is spelled "fœsball."

December 3, 2006


cam and i went to the third performance in our geffen subscription, carrie fisher's "wishful drinking." it was interesting in the way that our theater dates almost always are, but i think we were a little too young and too easily embarrassed for the whole experience. sometimes people would drop dead laughing on either side of us while we'd just silently exchange wtf? looks in the dark. just not a fan of the gossipy confessional. we're not co-conspirators in this tabloid life of yours, so please don't try to make us feel like you're sharing something deep with the crowd. i also felt there wasn't a whole lot of flow going on. "hey, i don't have anything more to say about this topic so i'll just sing a song now" doesn't really work for me as a transition.

it wasn't all bad, though. at the very least i can say i have seen leia in the flesh.

November 29, 2006

the sunny side of the street

last night i had a migraine. it dulled down for a bit, so i cooked dinner and then promptly felt worse. i went to bed ridiculously early. sweet cam took care of paul.

this morning i felt kind of better -- until i realized that paul (who had slept next to me) had wet everything within wetting distance: his clothes, the sheet, the pillowcases, the pillows, the comforter, the duvet cover, the mattress pad, my shirt.

paul: [crying] i just peed everywhere.
me: that you did.

the house was a mess. plates from dinner were still out on the counter, toys were all over the floor, stuff was just lying in messy heaps. it was like that commercial for cold medicine (i think it was for cold medicine) where the mom is sick and she has to kick stuff out of the way just to get down the hallway. i sighed.

but -- in the grand scheme of things, it's absolutely no big deal. paul was happy (once he was dry), he and cam had a pretty good time, i got some sleep, and the damage to the house is minimal.

i thank you, hon, for being a good sport. you're the best.

November 26, 2006


after almost a full day of toil, the sod is now in place. it looks great. it's green and lush. i don't know how long it will stay this way, so i better enjoy it while i can.

yesterday we worked our asses off on this damned patch of ground. after months in the making, we finally have a lawn. early morning a truck pulled up around the corner, and a little forklift delivered a pallet and a half of sod (marathon 2) in front of our garage. pretty quickly we got a rhythm going. my uncle brought pieces of sod up the first set of steps and stacked it up in neat piles. cam used the wheelbarrow to transport sod to the backyard. cam's dad and i then laid the sod on the ground. after a while, cam's dad had to stop, so i worked alone. cam's parents eventually took paul away with them to their house because he was less than happy with everyone for being more interested in the grass than in him. cam's dad came back, eventually, but we were mostly done putting down the sod by then. he used the rented roller to flatten the sod while we fit in the last pieces like a puzzle.

when cam went to get the roller, i put down the sod by myself. my mother watched and helped a bit by wetting down the ground before i placed the sod. my uncle was impressed.

him: i would have never thought any of my nieces would do anything like this.
my mom: nope, only grace.
me: [thinking] that's just because the rest of them are still living the early-twentysomething life.

we worked all day. after cam's dad went home, we cleaned ourselves up. by the time i got out of the shower, cam was asleep.

today my hands are stiff and my legs are sore. i fear what the rest of the week will bring in terms of pain. i know it'll be bad, but when i look at the backyard, i get the feeling that it might almost be worth it.

November 24, 2006

flying by the seat of one's pants?

i asked cam if he had read up on sod installation. he looked a little sheepish, but then he looked crafty -- he decided to appeal to what he perceived to be my improvisational flair.

cam: i work on home improvement stuff the way you cook.
me: you mean half-assed?
me: i didn't realize i gave you food that was 85% finished.
cam: feh on you.

November 22, 2006

driver 8

poor cam is stuck in traffic. he has now been driving for about an hour and a half.

the traffic has been bad all week. it's kind of amazing. each day we rationalize the congestion by saying that people are leaving town for the holidays. BUT -- how can so many people leave town and yet still manage to CLOG the roads? i never knew there were this many people in la.

November 19, 2006

too late

we went a-wii hunting this morning -- and brought home diaper genie refills and a new toothbrush instead. poor cam. at least his sister got one.

November 18, 2006


sneak king (not sneaKing as i had thought it was called) has been a great success in our house. so bizarre. so simple. so silly. so inexpensive. cam has managed to crash it once, and that only brought chuckles.

cam: it's been a long time since i was able to do that.

paul is charmed by the game, which is funny because i thought that the king might freak him out a little.

paul: [hand over his head] hungry!
paul: i'm hungry!
cam: [sneaking up behind him]
cam: [tapping his shoulder]
cam: [dancing]
cam: [pretending to hand him a sandwich]

this game is quirky and that's exactly what cam likes. my gamer is no fps guy.

November 16, 2006

paternal resemblance

today i saw a lot of people i haven't seen in years. a lot of those people either have never seen paul or haven't seen him since he was a tiny baby. this means that they might have a clearer eye for him than i do.

everyone cooed over paul: he's so big! he has such wonderful skin! look at those eyes! he is the spitting image of his father!

he is?

i looked at paul and cam -- and against the black clothing of mourning (and at the very least the respectable facade of such) and the swarthiness and the black hair (naturally so and artificially boosted), my two guys were all white skin and brown hair. this child, once similarly swarthy black haired, now had cam's coloring. i know i've marveled about this from time to time, but it's been a while since i last thought about it. i really do look like the illegal immigrant nanny.

cam: he has her eye shape... and her nose...

it's okay, i don't mind that he doesn't look a whole lot like me. all that really matters is that he looks like himself.


cam: of all the people i know, you are the most like a robot.
me: what does that mean?
cam: i don't know.

November 15, 2006

return to gamer island

we went to target after work because i needed to buy a sympathy card. we found one that was actually fairly tasteful and lacking in rhymes, so i bought a few.

cam: you probably shouldn't buy a lot of those.
me: but i should -- if i buy a lot, then no one else will die.
me: i'm always just a little bit behind in my preparedness.

i thought we were in a hurry, but cam had to play with a zune. then he found the wii display and stood there like a man in love. i took a picture on my phone of him ogling it. he was initially less than pleased by target's buy-3-games-get-a-$25-target-card promotion, but quickly realized that he already had three games to buy. in the car, he was like a little boy. "you'll play with me, right?"

seeing his excitement, it's hard to believe this is the same guy who said so nonchalantly just a few days ago that he was much more excited by burger king's sneaKing than by the wii.

cam: [dryly] i have a better chance of getting the game.

November 12, 2006


after a long day of working in the backyard, cam headed off to home depot to pick up some edging to finish off the area he's been prepping for sod.

he returned with an extra purchase in hand -- a cone of string. silly me, thinking he was going to use the string for something yard-related. nope. he wanted to set up a zip line in the living room.

once he had it in place, we took one of paul's action figures (a fireman) and proceeded to try to get him to slide his way across the room. i fashioned a hook out of a twist tie, but that didn't really work until cam told me to get a straw. i cut a short length of straw, slid it onto the string from the end of the line (i had originally planned to just slit the straw, but cam said that wouldn't work -- since he was speaking with the voice of experience here, i obligingly stepped back), then wrapped the twist tie around the straw. the fireman flew.

paul was delighted.

when he gets older, i hope he remembers things like this. not that we bought him whatever toys he wanted or that we let him futz around with our computers, but that we played with him. i don't think i played much with my parents when i was a child and i don't necessarily believe that i'm worse off for it, but i know even back then i rationalized that the reason why they didn't play was that they were older than my friends' parents and therefore just couldn't find the time or energy. i don't want paul to be making excuses for us.

poor reception

cam has been fussing with the tivo a lot lately. there's been some problems with the recordings, and he can't seem to figure out what is going on. i'm all for him fixing those problems, but the time he's devoting to that damned thing is a little irritating.

November 6, 2006

new acquisition

i guess laptops must be like tattoos. once you have one, you want more.

cam's laptop is feeling rather surly these days. why wouldn't it? after a few years of rewarding and interesting labor, it is being put out to pasture in favor of a newer, shinier, fancier, slimmer laptop. it is being pensioned out like an old horse that's still worth too much to be sent to the glue factory. it is being sentenced to a lifetime of bejeweled, etc. WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE. (yep, he's giving the laptop to his mom.)

cam is getting a mac. he is as giddy as a schoolgirl with a new boyfriend. if he could text-message his new computer to declare his love, i think he would. as it is, he's been checking the tracking info every ten minutes.

cam: if they say it'll ship by november 3, does that mean on or before november 3?

he was rather bummed that it seemed to be stuck in anchorage over the weekend, but things are looking up.

me: so where is the almighty laptop now?
cameron: shockingly, its about 10 miles away in canoga park
me: why don't you call them and say, "hey, why don't you leave it there -- i'll come by and pick it up myself"
cameron: feh

you just know he was thinking about it.

November 3, 2006

cam's idea of a story

once upon a time.
the end.

October 31, 2006

new ride

cam's dad bought a new car -- a civic hybrid. cam did everything in his power to make sure his dad did not buy a prius, so he was pleased by his father's decision.

we went over to their house to check out the new car. paul enjoyed climbing back and forth from the backseat to the front and back again with his dirty little feet. that nice clean taupe upholstery? probably won't stay nice too long if paul is a frequent passenger.

paul: daddy?
paul: tell your dad to put in the carseat...
paul: and take me to bakers square!

October 30, 2006

the love of a good man

cam said he heard petros the other day. the usc game was on the tv at a car dealership he went to on saturday with his parents.

cam: i forgot he was calling it.
me: and then you heard his voice.
me: and the music swelled...
cam: shut up.

October 27, 2006

blimp, part 2

although paul was initially quite pleased by the blimp, cam had to concede that it was a little too old for him.

after watching cam show the blimp off to his dad, his mom asked me if it was cam's toy or paul's. i had to laugh.

October 23, 2006

like wow

a few weeks ago, cam brought back the word "awesome" to his vocabulary.

i can almost feel the air quotes, even though cam wouldn't be caught dead gesturing like that. once i noticed he was using it all the time, i pointed it out. maybe because i thought it was funny. or perhaps i did it to deliberately make him feel self-conscious. i don't know. i can be a bitch like that sometimes.

it's funny, though -- awesome is a good word. in fact, sometimes it seems like it is the only appropriate word.

October 22, 2006

concrete pole-holding things

cam rented a jackhammer to try to get break up some concrete lumps he found in the backyard after we tore up the brick patio. each lump surrounds a metal sleeve of some sort. i guess previous owners once had some sort of shade structure back there? i have no idea what these might have been.

he originally was going to get someone to come break the concrete for him, but one guy said the job was too small. another said it was too big. finally he gave up and rented a jackhammer from home depot. i am fascinated. i bet at no point in his life as a homeowner did cam ever think he'd be renting such odd equipment. please. he's a programmer.


cam is currently testing the blimp he bought for paul.

cam: isn't this cute?

he is practically doubled over with joy. (that and two bottles of wine.) i smile, but i would also like to roll my eyes.

it is currently revving above my head. if he gets those tiny propellers tangled in my hair, i will kill him. i don't care if this is a boy's birthday present -- i just don't care to be scalped by a little plastic mechanism attached to a mylar balloon.

October 18, 2006


when my belly starts a-rumblin’
and i’m jonesin’ for a treat
i close my eyes for a big surprise
the tendercrisp bacon cheddar ranch

i love the tendercrisp bacon cheddar ranch
The breasts they grow on trees
and streams of bacon ranch dressing
flow right up to your knees

there’s tumbleweeds of bacon
and cheddar paves the streets
folks don’t diss front you ’cause you got the juice
there’s a train of ladies comin’ with a nice caboose
never get in trouble, never need an excuse
the tendercrisp bacon cheddar ranch

i love the tendercrisp bacon cheddar ranch
no one tells you to behave
your wildest fantasies come true
dallas cheerleaders give you shaves
red onions make you laugh instead
and french fries grow like weeds
you get to veg all day
all the lotto tickets pay
there’s a king who wants you to have it your way
that’s the tendercrisp bacon cheddar ranch

cam, you should be kicked for watching this commercial multiple times last night. (don't blame paul for it -- he's much more interested in the whopper family.)

October 14, 2006

dear petros

please come back to radio -- find a way. go satellite if you have to. my husband is reduced to watching "totally football" and listening to kevin and bean in the hopes that you'll show up for a minute or two. it's really sad.

thanks for your attention to this matter.


October 10, 2006


bless his heart. cam has agreed to carry a man bag. he carries too much shit for his pockets, so he finally caved and let me buy him something to ease the wear and tear on his poor jeans. i picked tom bihn's medium cafe bag in black/wasabi, and i must say, cam looks quite fetching with it.

October 7, 2006


for the past couple of days, paul has really been pushing the "i'm too old" angle for most of the toys in his room. to cheer him up, we bought him a remote (but not radio) controlled dump truck, but it hasn't helped. (when we got home, he just cried that he wanted the other one.)

cam and paul had a conversation about paul being too big for lots of his toys, like, for example, the busy ball popper -- which, of course, resulted in cam going under the house to retrieve said busy ball popper.

paul: the ball popper?
cam: yes, you remember that?
paul: let me see it.
me: oh, now you've done it.
cam: [grimace]

so out came the ball popper. we watched balls... pop. i chased them down to keep them from rolling under the entertainment center. paul seemed pleased with it. i sighed because i hated that stupid thing and i was glad to see it go under the house.

earlier tonight paul finally pushed it away with the declaration that it was "too old." well, i guess it was a good idea to point out specific toys in their age discussion, but couldn't cam have picked something a bit less exciting?

October 1, 2006

saturday night lights

last night cam and i went to see "rabbit hole" at the geffen playhouse, the first play of the new season. paul stayed with my mom, and he was predictably less than pleased to see us leave.

i look forward to these "date nights" -- but it's funny to see how they have become less and less planned as time goes on. the first time we went, we had a nice dinner out with wine at an old favorite restaurant (sure, the wind sort of messed it up by blowing in a screen, which knocked a bottle of wine all over me, but that's beside the point). one night we ate at an interesting mediterranean place in westwood we had never gone to before. one night we just got grilled cheese and fries from the drive-thru at in 'n' out. last night, we sort of planned to go canter's on fairfax, but we ran out of time. instead we wandered through westwood without any real destination in mind -- and were pleased and startled to come across a chain pizza place (a small chain, mind you) that cam loves. we shared a few slices of pizza, then impulsively stopped by haagen-dazs. we zipped over to the theater just a few scant minutes before the play started.

in those minutes, though, i did have the surprise of seeing peter gallagher come out of the bathroom.

cam: i peed next to the dad from the oc.

it was a good play, i think, but i felt like it had an antiseptic quality. it was distant. the main event -- which takes place prior to the play's setting -- was the accidental death of a child -- so the play explores the aftermath. after a week like we've had (our "week of funerals"), perhaps this wasn't the best play for us to go see. i am not claiming that i KNOW loss or that i GET grief, but i just felt like this play lacked the emotional resonance that it could have had. maybe the problem here was that i just didn't GET the play. i don't know.

when we got home, we were planning on wine and thursday's tivo'd csi, but paul woke up, sniffly and teary, with other things in mind. i'm surprised cam got any sleep at all.

September 28, 2006

happy surprise

yesterday i was a little irritated with cam because he was later picking me up than he promised.

on phone:
me: did you leave home late?
cam: no... [shifty] maybe five minutes.
me: uh-huh.

when he finally showed up, i locked up my computer and headed down to the street. i spied the car across the street. as i approached it, i noticed someone standing on the sidewalk with a little kid. cam was standing there with paul in his arms! i instantly gave up my bitchy mood.

paul: mommy!

it was a nice drive home.

September 26, 2006


it isn't that i have something against jeff bridges -- it's just that i'm not entirely sure that "tron" is an appropriate movie for a toddler.

cam: you and mommy built a big recognizer out of legos.
cam: i was impressed.

September 18, 2006

postal workings

last night i decided that cam is no longer in charge of paper mail. he may be in charge of paying bills electronically -- and god bless him, as long as bills get paid, he can live -- but his inability to do things like OPEN envelopes without prompting... well, that's my job now.

a long time ago, a boy managed to make a wreckage of his girlfriend's credit. this girlfriend of his, well, she had worked rather methodically to amass a considerably amount of credit while still quite young, so she was rather distressed to see the ruins of her hard work. she struggled with the bills (which should not be surprising, considering how initially SHE was the only fulltime employee in their household -- and making about a third of what she makes now), and in frustration showed them to the boyfriend, who threw a hissy fit (for reasons understood only by himself) to shame drag queens and promptly took the bill-paying reins in hand . end result... she washed her hands of the entire task!

fast-forward a few years. they are now married. the bills are now manageable. he occasionally sorts through the mail to give her things to pay (with checkbook and first-class stamp). that is about it for her involvement. she is satisfied with this.

fast-forward a few years more. he has become increasingly lax about sorting through the mail. papers pile up on flat surfaces galore. he has developed a really aggravating habit of picking one or two items of mail from the stack, ripping open the envelopes, looking at the contents, then leaving the contents and torn envelopes with the rest of the mail. a trash can left in a strategic place is ignored. she makes several efforts -- ultimately in vain -- to get him organized. he shamefacedly thanks her but goes on his merry (and oblivious) way. payments are occasionally late. sigh.

there are many, many things that come easily to cam. neatness and organization are not among those things -- facts i've known forever, but i left things as they were. inertia. i just didn't want to deal with it. this was cam's deal. why should i be inconvenienced? it was easier to be irritated than it was to take action.

this past sunday, i went through the piles of mail and discovered things that needed paying. discovered that he was auto-paying bills for cell service we stopped using three months ago. discovered that the car registration was late. he winced.

here's the deal: he continues doing what he's doing (well, except maybe paying for the cell service we don't use anymore) and i will monitor the mail. stuff that gets autopaid, i will file away. stuff that needs attention, i will attend. he's embarrassed, but i think he's relieved. i am, too. it's about time i gave up my petty ways and looked at this as a team effort.

September 17, 2006

walking wounded

i managed to tweak my back yesterday while working in the backyard. don't know if it was from the digging of trenches for the sprinkler system or the moving of broken concrete/pebble slabs from disarray to a grace-defined standard of tidiness. my guess it would be the latter. cam's back hurts again, too -- mere days after he cheerfully declared that it was so amazing, this life without pain. we're quite a pair.

September 14, 2006


cam is no longer using our account, so i am going to slash and burn through his links with an unholy glee. he is too much google's bitch to want a whole lot to do with yahoo.

September 8, 2006

it's that time again

football season officially began last night. i cooked dinner (didn't ask for takeout or pizza -- i made spaghetti (my own sauce, even)) and brought cam his own bowl in the living room. i brought him coffee. i tried to keep paul out of cam's way once dinner was ready. i fed paul in the kitchen. after dinner, we went to my mom's house so cam could watch the game in peace. i was the ideal wife.

it won't last, you know.

September 7, 2006

life-changing decisions

yesterday i was shocked to realize that in a short month and some change, paul will be three, which means that cam and i are set to start the ttc game again.

horror! fear!

i mentioned this to cam in the car on the way home.

cam: i understand your feelings of horror and fear.

so... we've decided that we are in no way ready to try to get pregnant again. we'll re-evaluate this stance at the beginning of the year.

huge sigh of relief. frankly, at this point, i am not even certain any longer that i want another child.

September 6, 2006


cam and paul are playing project gotham racing 2.

cam: ...and that's what american cars do best.
cam: doughnuts!
paul: doughnuts?
paul: that's doughnuts?
paul: [whispering] circles.

September 5, 2006


little sad that i didn't get my plate rail up this weekend. that was one project i really wanted to finish. i did get it painted, though, so at least that part is done. there are a gazillion other things going on, so i just shrug and move on to the next task. i need help, but i need to wait for some of cam's time to free up.

i've learned that cam doesn't need to hear everything i'm thinking when it comes to house projects. i've learned that not all projects interest cam equally. this is not a big deal, but it does smart a little that it has taken me so long time to learn this. he is more interested in his own projects than mine -- unless my idea is just so interesting that he has to work on it then and there. duh. shouldn't this be obvious?

i feel almost relieved to have figured this out. too much time wasted on hurt feelings. but of course he should care because i do! such naivete should be exclusive to newlyweds. it's not that he doesn't care, it's just that he doesn't share my visions. totally fair.


i really should say this more: cam is an amazing, astonishing, accomplished person.

even when i'm furious with him (fyi -- i'm not furious with him right now), i still have to acknowledge that he is brilliant. he has solutions for just about everything. he is redoing our sprinkler system in the backyard and is so confident about it, even though he has never done this kind of stuff before. he knows how to use power tools and yet fixed a lampshade with needle and thread. he can be trusted to pick out a stylish purse. he can clip paul's fingernails and brush his teeth (although not simultaneously).

(doesn't it sound like cam would make a very good woman?)

he does the tasks i don't want to deal with. he calls the bug people when he spies wasps nests. he looks after the bills. he watches tv shows with paul that i can't stand. he carries heavy things.

i think we make a decent team, although i do feel like his life would be much improved if my ability to multi-task didn't mean i could work and nag at the same time.

love you, sweetie.

August 19, 2006


cam told me a story on the way home yesterday afternoon: his boss had gone into the office of a woman in his department. she was typing, but he went in anyway and proceeded to strike up a conversation. she participated in the conversation (obviously, otherwise i would have said that he had launched into a monologue), but continued to type. he asked her how she could do that (type and talk). it went over her head. after he left her office, she stepped outside and told the guys sitting outside (cam and two others) about the exchange. it became evident that she totally misunderstood what the boss had asked when she asked the guys if they knew how to touch-type.

cam's response was so very cute and unexpected that i burst out laughing. yeah, he had said, he could touch-type, but he couldn't have a conversation while typing because then he'd end up typing what he was saying. (i'm laughing as i type this.} then he said -- kindly, perhaps -- that i could probably do the same thing that she had done. his coworkers agreed that this sort of activity was not really something men tended to be very successful at.

this takes us back to a conversation that cam and i have had on more than one occasion: his inability to multitask, which sometimes makes him a less than entertaining i.m. partner. i have been challenged to show him one contrary example: a man who can multitask. right now he has three others ("who are not stupid," he points out) to prove that this is not just his problem.

me: but look, you're driving and talking at the same time.
cam: but this is brain-dead driving. [important to note that we were about three minutes from home]
cam: now if we were somewhere...
me: where you'd have to think?
cam: yeah.

then once we were in the driveway:
cam: i can have a conversation...
cam: i can talk...
me: but you can't get out of the car at the same time.
cam: feh on you.

inside the house:
me: i can work, i can i.m., i can talk on the phone...
me: and shop all at the same time.
cam: how i love you.

August 12, 2006


watching fergie's "london bridge" video:

me: do you understand this song?
cam: no.
cam: london bridge isn't a drawbridge.

August 5, 2006


there's something very intriguing about solar power. cam and i have been discussing a newfound desire for eco-friendliness. we've never been avid recyclers or anything like that, but we've become rather curious about renewable sources of energy. i guess that means that green-ness just got geeky.

July 30, 2006

change of plans

i've been feeling ambivalent about paul's new bed. i gave the okay for the custom bunk bed, but i don't really like it. it's too big, it's too tall, it's too expensive for something i don't really feel good about.

while checking out various furniture sites on saturday night, i came across a bed that i just loved -- a low loft with a matching platform on casters. it appealed to my love of modern design, but it looked like it could actually fit in the room. cam was just as intrigued by it. (i won't link it here because i don't really want to show the world what we are willing to pay for children's furniture.) so we made plans to go out to costa mesa to look at it in person.

funny story: when we got there, i asked paul if he needed me to change his diaper. "no, it's dry," he said. i shrugged. his diaper didn't feel too full. once we got into the store and went up a flight of stairs, he stood with his legs spread and announced, "me peeing!" at that point the diaper overflowed and we had to go back outside to change his diaper and his clothes. he enjoyed being naked in the parking lot.

the bed was beautiful, but cam soon learned from a saleslady that it didn't quite work the way we thought it should. my bad, i should have checked the dimensions. we had thought that the platform would fit completely under the loft like a trundle, but they were exactly the same length. bummer.

i don't know what we're going to do. poor paul keeps asking, "you buy my bed? you buy new bed for me?" argh. too many things going wrong. why does the simple act of buying a bed have to be such a pain in the ass?

July 28, 2006


cam, for all his slobbiness, is a bit of a germaphobe. (or is it "germophobe"?) there's something about a bathroom (public or private) that brings out his inner biohazard suit. i don't have a problem with his finicky side re public bathrooms because i share some of these same habits (such as the paper towel to hold door handle on the way out), but our bathroom at home is a sty. i admit it. for instance, i don't change the hand-drying towel as often as i should. i have white ones, but i recently sneakily switched to colored ones because they didn't look as dingy as quickly as the white towels did.

(paul has no such scruples about sanitation. even at the age of almost-three, all he wants to do is lick the grocery cart.)

a while back he mentioned that what he really wanted was a commercial paper towel holder like in public bathrooms. i was enthusiastic. sure, less towels to wash! in our girlyish green and white bathroom the stainless steel would look out of place, but so what? unfortunately, we, as usual, lost steam and forgot about it. every so often (during costco trips -- in the commercial paper towel aisle, of course) the subject would come up again, but it would just as quickly go back down.

looking through one of those cheap home solutions/improvement catalogs, i found a paper towel holder disguised as a shelf. it was pretty cute and it fired up the interest yet again. upon further review, however, we could see that pvc masquerading as wood looks like pvc masquerading as wood. um... no. since i was thinking about it, i did a quick internet search to see if anything else was available. that, my friends, is how i found this. i don't mind this one because it's plastic acting like plastic. it is not plastic acting like wood. it is not plastic acting like stainless steel. it is what it is and i appreciate its honesty.

although it does seem like a bit of a waste (all that extra trash!), i understand that this is cam's thing, so it's no big deal to accommodate him. at least... it's no big deal as long as paul can't reach it.

July 24, 2006


cam: bendy straws used to be a luxury.

July 18, 2006


paul: [glumly] daddy broked my bed.

we worked really hard to make paul's bedroom less "adult cute" (cam's words -- how they stung) and more boy-friendly. we strung up a funny night light fixture from ikea that casts different colored stars, moons and planets all over the walls. we put up a little child-safe reading lamp next to the bed. we found him a little nightstand and put a little alarm clock on it. the room was charming. he liked to run in there just to turn his new lights on and off.

on monday night cam somehow broke the bed. i was washing and folding paul's old clothes for storage when cam and paul rather meekly came to see me. at first i thought it was a joke, but soon i saw the wrecked remains for myself.

cam busied himself calling area ikea stores to see if anyone carried this particular bed in stock and if so, could he get a replacement for the cracked rail. computers everywhere said no -- this bed had been discontinued. someone told cam that the side rail for the bed's replacement would fit, so he packed up the cracked rail and headed to carson ikea to see if it would fit.

he returned emptyhanded over an hour later.

we cleaned up the broken pieces and left the mattress on the floor. we're going to go shopping this weekend, i think. cam had talked about fixing the bed, but i'm not crazy about that idea. even if ikea had still had the rail, i don't think i'd want the same bed, anyway. any bed that can be destroyed that easily was discontinued for a reason. the top bunk is still fine and sturdy, as far as i can tell -- i sleep in it every night, after all -- but i'm a bit leery of ikea bunk beds now.

July 14, 2006

measure of a man

me: [looking out the window] if cam doesn't show up by 4:30, he's a liar.
me: unless he went to pick up my dry cleaning -- in which case he's good.
my assistant: cam is always good!
my assistant: i need to recondition you.
me: look.
me: i've crawled under the bed for his dirty socks for eight years.
me: EIGHT years.
me: i think that gives me authority to say when he's good and when he isn't.

July 12, 2006


paul spent most of last night in his own bed in his own room. yay! (we've been cosleeping for a really long time, but this wasn't as much of a wrench as i thought it would be.)

around 4 am, cam heard paul's cries and brought him back to our bed.

as we were leaving the house this morning, cam wondered if paul had been crying for a long time before cam finally woke up.

cam: paul, how long were you awake before i came to get you?
paul: two months.

poor paul. i didn't even know it was possible to sleep for two whole months.

July 11, 2006

proper use

i don't really like it when people quote movies or songs or tv. i find it a little silly unless it's an inside/running joke -- then it's a lot silly, which is perfectly acceptable by my standards.

paul has been cutely stealing from the wiggles:

paul: wake up, mommy!
paul: before the day's through!

this is okay because he's two. i expect he will continue to quote until he's about seven and entirely too cool for such nonsense. then i will delight in quoting old songs and old tv shows at him until he rolls his eyes in disgust. yay for goals.

my old assistant would sprinkle his conversation with random quotes from time to time, but let's face it, we're different generations and i often had no idea what he was talking about.

cam doesn't quote things too often, thank goodness, but when he does, it's usually all right. when it's not all right, well, he makes a "hey, look at me, i'm a dork" face and so that smooths things over considerably. but generally i think it's safe to say that cam has good comic instincts. case in point: we were all in the inflatable pool a week or two back when i laughed at cam because his swim trunks have a funny lining -- one trunk leg slid up to reveal a few inches of what looked like mesh biker shorts beneath.

cam: i'm the only gay in the village.

i found that wholly satisfactory.

July 8, 2006

south bay

cam is watching the original "gone in 60 seconds." quite a surreal experience, let me tell you. it's set in my stomping grounds! now i know what everything looked like back when i was too young to notice.

July 6, 2006


tuesday at 5-something am, cam woke me with the news that he was going to the hospital. his foot hurt like hell, he said, so he was taking it and everything it was attached to over to the emergency room at our local kaiser. sleepily, i said okay and puzzled for a moment -- at his request -- about where his wallet might be. i got up and watched him hobble backwards down the stairs, the pain too intense for him to walk normally.

turns out he sprained it. spontaneously. he hadn't done anything overly strenuous, he hadn't dropped a bowling ball on his foot. it just suddenly started hurting the night before. the next morning, bam! he could barely walk and that was it.

i have been adamant that he not do anything to hinder the healing of that foot. he argued, but i laid the law down -- two weeks of limited activity. no heavy lifting, no yard work. since his sciatica is acting up, i figure that he needs a rest, anyhow.


the 4th of july was underwhelming.

it was too hot. boilingly so.

the block party surrounding cam's parents' house was too loud, courtesy of a garage band -- literally, they were playing out of a garage -- trapped in the 90s. (cam said they appeared to be playing the entire "singles" soundtrack.)

we were late for lunch because cam needed to rest after his trip to the hospital (poor dear was there from about 5 am to 11).

the neighborhood fireworks display was less crazy than the year before, which was a good thing, but cam, his dad and his uncle still had to hose down the cars in the driveway (and ours on the lawn) and the roof of the house because of the sparks and embers falling from the sky. paul was initially impressed but soon decided that it was all too much for him. we ended up playing inside and watching fireworks on tv instead of going out to watch the real ones twinkling and glittering in the smoky night sky.

after all of that, i think the only real plus to the day was that we didn't have to go to work.

July 5, 2006

young love

cam said that if paul goes to sleep early tonight, we can play two-player katamari. who says romance is dead?

June 27, 2006

strange holiday

in the sunday times magazine i read about a holiday -- "decide to be married day." i'm a little confused about where it came from -- i've read stuff about a married couple and a poem -- but whatever the reason, it's a silly holiday that we need to celebrate. so cam and i went to dinner and it was lovely. i had forgotten about how nice it is to be adults at something other than a chain family restaurant. we had a really nice time. the waiter was kind of jim rome-looking (in a good way -- if there is such a thing), but he was pleasant enough.

cam and i drank and ate more than we should have, but what the hell, it's decide to be married day!

June 23, 2006


in the car on the way home from work:

cam: i had to disconnect the dreamcast to hook up the playstation [2]. that is unacceptable.

June 20, 2006

ahead of the game

a gmail chat with cam:

cameron: so i'm ahead of you
i just bought my first christmas present :D
me: har!
cameron: a book of mars pictures from the rovers. for my dad obviously
me: no, it's for your uncle
cameron: hmm.. maybe i should get two
then my dad can get it for my uncle and my uncle can get it for my dad

i love early christmas shopping and identical twins with identical interests.

dia de los padres

i feel really bad that i put next to no effort into cam's father's day (or his present, for that matter -- he asked for a playstation 2, so that's what he got). i also feel bad that he worked in the backyard with me that whole day, too. at least we got to enjoy the spectacle of a toddler enjoying a misting hose.

June 19, 2006


cam: chips are the british word for french fries.
cam: so if you are eating fish and chips, you're eating pieces of fish and french fries.
paul: just want chips. no fish in it.
cam: they aren't fish chips.
cam: they're different.
paul: different chips.
paul: different and chips.
cam: different and chips?

June 17, 2006


cam and i are broken.

we worked really hard today -- phase one of our tear-up/tear-out/tear-in of our backyard. paul hung out with his grandparents because we knew there would be no way to keep him from either running out of view or hurting himself with the various tools we had strewn about the place.

several hours later, our backyard is in ruins, cam has a headache and i have an amusing sunburn (i swear, i had no idea my tank top had ridden up in back). we're both sore as hell. it will be interesting to see if we can even get out of bed tomorrow.

June 11, 2006

cars, interrupted

paul's first movie theater visit was not very successful. because of all the commercials, previews, etc. etc. etc., they only got through about the first twenty minutes of the movie before cam and paul had to hit the lobby -- which is where they stayed for a good long while.

June 7, 2006


in the car:

cam: babies grow on trees, on trees...
paul: babies grow on trees, trees.
paul: [looking out the window] babies grow on cars, cars.

i guess the magic isn't completely gone yet.


paul is a big fan of water. he likes to drink it, splash around in it, fling it, dance in it.

last weekend we got the idea to inflate and fill a tiny $5 pool we had purchased from the grocery a year or so back. the only reason why we bought it in the first place was because we needed something to contain the balls from the playskool busy ball popper*. let's face it, who wants to be chasing those damn balls all over the room? with the popper squarely in the middle of the semi-inflated pool, we were set.

so we finally used the pool for its intended purpose and it was a big hit. cam sat in it with paul, i sat in it with paul (no way all three of us would fit) -- we had a grand old time. in the pool we splashed and shrieked... but the person on the outside had the fun of both the hose and the camera. ha! i hid behind my hair and massive sunglasses as much as possible. we could have continued quite happily with just the small pool, but the idea of the three of us in the pool was such a tempting idea... so out we went to buy a bigger pool.

we struck out at big lots and lowes, but we live in suburbia. stores abound. we found something satisfactory at target -- and better yet, we also found a canopy thing we could put over the pool so we could avoid sunburn. unfortunately, i should have known the good luck wouldn't last. the pump burned out when cam was trying to fill up the big pool. (plus he broke the canopy.) i filled up the little pool again and just let paul play. he was happy, so i was happy. cam, on the other hand, needed a drink and a smoke.

we'll have to try again soon. cam will find a new pump, i'll find a better canopy, paul will finally submit to sunscreen. and all three of us will be in the pool.

*my god, paul was so freakingly afraid of this toy for a long time. we would start it and you could feel him start to quiver. when the balls would pop, he'd scream. then he decided he loved it and all was good in his tiny world once more.

June 6, 2006

light syrup

paul decided he wanted a can of fruit cocktail.

so... i gave the can to cam, who proceeded to just pour all of the contents into a bowl just barely big enough to contain it. then he gave the bowl and a spoon to paul.

three things clearly not-quite-simpatico here:

1) a regular cereal bowl isn't big enough for an entire can of fruit cocktail.
2) fruit cocktail is a handful of fruit in an ocean of sugary sweet light syrup.
2) paul will rarely use a spoon when given the choice.

syrup everywhere. dripping off his chin, down his arms, covering the placemat, splotches on the floor. wet pants. wet shirt. wet legs. the stickiest boy i ever saw. "look, a big grape!" paul crowed, reaching into the bowl and holding up the grape for us to admire. cam looked sheepish. then paul started to splash the syrupy mess with both hands.

i sent them away while i cleaned up.

June 4, 2006

the decorators

we went to my office today to put up my pictures. cam discovered, much to his amusement/irritation/embarrassment, that he had failed to bring enough nails, so we weren't able to finish the job. it was fine, though, because it took at least an hour longer than expected to get done what actually got done. we had originally planned to get there early in the morning so we could take advantage of the cooler temps and take paul for a walk downtown to see the multitudes of fountains, but, well, bad moods kept us from keeping up with our plans.

paul had a good time at my office, i think, but he did skin his poor wee knee on the industrial carpet. i swear, the baby has inherited not only my nut allergy but my low foot clearance. he refused a bandage, though, telling us instead to "leave it hurting." (stoic.) he ate fries, drank coke (and my coke icee), drew on my big whiteboard, used paint on my computer to draw a pink sailboat, punched holes in paper, threw pens off my chair, waved around a letter opener, told stories about parachutes, etc. etc. etc.

we then just went on home because it was already almost four and we needed some backyard play time. cam got three photos and the two big framed wallpaper pieces up, so i'm happy with what cam accomplished. i'm not sure that he feels the same.


today was not cam's best day. too many incomplete projects (that failed for various reasons -- not failed for good, but failed for today). he was very grumpy. i tried to send him away to calm down, have a smoke or something, but he was in too foul of a mood to take direction well. he eventually cheered up, but it did take some time. poor thing.


all of cam's jeans have one distressed back pocket. it's like he has a sign on his ass -- "here's my wallet!" i really need to take him shopping.

May 31, 2006

like an orange

paul: a bus!
cam: what color is it?
paul: orange... like a carrot.

old game(r)

cam put shenmue music on my cell phone to serve as my new ringtone. cam rocks, even if he is an old fogy.

the san pedro home for the aged

cam: oh, i don't know what the kids are listening to these days!

May 27, 2006

king of comedy

cam loves jason bateman.

May 19, 2006


cam made me a very nicely-writing pen by trimming an expensive ink cartridge to fit into a cheap pen. (he read about this somewhere.) my assistant was baffled.

him: why?
me: because he can.


we had a terrible night last night. paul was, uh, challenging.

cam: i don't want a second kid anymore.

in fact, he was so challenging, that if we had a night like last night with two kids instead of one, "i think i'd just die," said cam. the whining didn't stop. paul had a vicious cranky going on like you wouldn't believe. everything inspired tears and whining. cam and i took turns watching over him and we took turns being frustrated.

this morning the cranky continued. he hasn't been this stressful in a while. if these are the terrible twos, i declare his third birthday to be TOMORROW.

May 17, 2006

things you don't hear everyday

cam: paul, don't bite the couch.

May 14, 2006

ruining the moment

cam laughs and talks through dramatic romantic scenes.

cam: i don't do meepy well.

good night, gracie

cam: paul, say good night to mommy.
paul: good night, mommy.
me: good night, paul.
cam: [whisper]
paul: happy mother's day!
me: thank you, paul.
cam: i actually told him to say "happy mommy's day," but he remembered it was mother's day.
me: [smiling] thank you, paul. good night.

May 9, 2006


thank god for my mom's electric water heater. it saved cam from an untimely death. on thursday when the gas gets turned back on, we'll negotiate cam's release from solitary confinement.

May 3, 2006

his nose doesn't look like mine

someone needs to explain to me why people occasionally ask cam if he's filipino. i just don't see it. my mother doesn't see it, either. you'd think we'd know.

April 24, 2006

ballgames in the living room

paul: play ball game. beegger, beegger, beeggest. [hands beach ball to cam]
cam: [pretends to inflate ball]
paul: all done! [grabs ball] beeg, beegger, beegger, beegger, beeggest!
paul: [sort of dribbles ball] i'm doing it!

paul: baseball game! base ball game.

paul: do this game. i'm doing it. play this ball game.

paul: where's my purple ball?
cam: it's behind the car seat.
paul: there it is!

paul: throw two balls. rescue team!
cam: rescue team?
paul: let's go! let's go, daddy!
cam: let's go! [drops ball on paul's head]
paul: pffftt!

April 20, 2006

heart and soul, or spock's wedding

paul was looking intently at a cd case with some cartoony writing and drawing on it. "pancake, salt and cheese," he declared. "watch it."

i took the case from him. it was an 80s compilation cd -- "retro lunchbox: gooey love songs." "you can't watch this, it's a cd. nothing to watch," i told paul. then i held it up for cam to see. "a sandwich, thermos and a cupcake," i said, pointing at the food drawings. cam turned his head and laughed, then reached for the cd.

cam read the track listings, then proceeded to make paul repeat names and titles after him. most of them paul just mumbled or cutely messed up, but he was able to say "t'pau" with amusing clarity. then he would laugh. t'pau. t'pau. isn't that a star trek reference? figures. after all, he is his father's son (and his grandfather's grandson).

April 15, 2006


cam, i forgive you for this afternoon. i hope you can forgive me, too.

April 13, 2006

wow, loot!

cam is taking out the trash. he has left me in charge of the woot-off vigil. should the bag of crap come up before his return, i have been given instructions as to the proper course of action. his trusty credit card sits by my side, the back facing up so i can easily see his security code (i have been told that i will need it). for once, i swear, this prize will not pass cam by. not on my watch.

refresh, refresh, refresh...

coke and crazy glue

yesterday we finally tried the cyclone experiment. cam originally just taped the two bottles together, but then got the way fancy idea of crazy-gluing the caps together and drilling a hole through them.

while cam worked on the caps (and got glue on his fingers more than once, i might add), paul and i played on the floor with the bottles. it was pretty cool, but the water level was clearly dropping as more and more leaked from the taped joint. paul was intrigued by the whole thing and liked to watch from the top looking down. (remember when just about all two-liter soda bottles had that opaque plastic bottom? that would have diminished our enjoyment greatly.) then paul and my mom went to go watch mythbusters while i cleaned up. cam and i joined them there soon afterwards.

after the glue dried, cam returned to the kitchen and set the bottles up with the new attachment. the hole he had drilled was really small, so the effect was quite different. oooh. ahhh. pretty. (paul, however, was unimpressed and left the room while we were still playing with it.) unfortunately, because the hole was so small, you really had to shake the contraption to get it working -- and all that vigorous shaking eventually broke the glue. oh well. it was fun while it lasted. i expect cam will have time to perfect it before the we watch that particular ep of blue's clues again.

April 10, 2006

first wheels

finally trekked out to manhattan beach to buy a bike helmet for paul, along with toddler sunglasses and a bike bell. (unexpected bonus: turns out cam is still an rei member -- from high school -- so yay for membership perks.) when we left, paul was initially mad because we didn't buy a canoe, but he's an adaptable child.

later that evening we faced our fears and assembled his tot bike. it is truly a tiny bike, but paul is apparently a tiny child because we would have pushed the seat lower if we could have. short legs! he requested a basket (and i like this idea because then maybe he might actually ride the thing with both hands on the handles rather than one hand on a handle and the other gripping a toy), so i figure our next trip to target will involve the purchase of the smallest bike basket we can find. cam found a way to attach the bike bell (electrical tape to build up the handlebar enough for the bell to stay put), so i expect he'll be able to attach a wee basket as well.

paul wobbled and doddled around on his little bike, looking very determined. he twisted the bell with gusto, then stopped to offer me ice cream with every ring. he fought the helmet, but gave in and wore it like a big boy. he smiled and said proudly, "my bicycle," and i wanted to cry.

hair loss

last night cam was reading "corny the cornpicker" for the zillionth time to paul. i could probably recite the book from memory myself, but i found myself giggling when i misheard "new paint" as "toupee." so i told cam and this set paul off on the longest giggling fit i've heard to date... all because cam sillied up the story by adding two extra words wherever he thought they'd fit: "and bald."

"and bald!" shrieked paul. "bald! bald! bald!"

cam: is bald your favorite word?
paul: mmm hmmm. bald!

they started the book over. paul decided that the two best friends were named corny bald and johnny bald. i was practically crying, i was laughing so hard. i think that they could have gone on all night with this if we all hadn't been so tired. but then again, perhaps we were all laughing because we were so tired. still makes me smile, though.

April 8, 2006


we left paul with his grandparents and aunt while we ran some errands. paul "helped" plant some corn in their backyard (yes, they grow corn in their backyard, among other things). when we returned to pick him up, paul showed us a piece of paper decorated with a drawing of an ear of corn. written on it was "paul's corn sign." this sign had been taped to a stick next to "his" corn, but they brought it in because it had been too windy.

cam: corn sign? is that like wormsign?

April 5, 2006

the game is afoot

we are playing a game. i hide the treasure also known as the big foam x and paul wanders the living room in search of it. cam helpfully provides clues of the "colder... colder... warmer" variety, eventually ending up with directions obvious to everyone except the toddler in the room. "it's on top of the chair." "it's on top of the white box." paul shrugs, raises his hands in a charming imitation of the "i don't know" gesture.

now they are taking turns hiding the x for each other. paul's hints are as obvious as cam's. "it's right there!" he exclaims, pointing and smiling.


paul: [pointing at green-striped shirt] look!
cam: whose shirt is that?
paul: mommy!
cam: and what is mommy's name when she wears that shirt?
paul: steve!

April 3, 2006

in retrospect

cam: he didn't really use the potty. he just stood over it and peed on the floor... but i could hardly say no [gift] after that.

April 2, 2006

the power of bribery

it all started yesterday when cam promised paul a gift for the very first time he used the potty.

paul: me use potty. gift. want gift now.

maybe "gift" wasn't the right word. we tried to say "prize" and "reward," but he wanted a gift.

this morning i was in the basement, folding laundry. cam and paul were playing pokemon snap. when i came up from the basement, i heard a loud slam.

i went into the hallway and saw that the bathroom door was closed. i called out, "what was that?" "the door," cam responded, sounding kind of frantic. (duh.) i cautiously opened the door just in time to see paul without pants, standing over the potty and peeing into it.

so now paul has his "gift," a shiny new blue automoblox sedan. congrats, baby!

April 1, 2006

a weekend in july

while discussing the blogs and the media (sounds weighty, no? yay for the internet!), cam and i somehow got to talking about the new penny arcade book and how he felt bad that he had never contributed anything to the penny arcade guys, but he thought that buying the book made up for that oversight. (har. i just realized maybe he wouldn't want me to write that here.)

me: and you're going to get volume two...
cam: and three. they're coming out by the end of the year.
me: volume two comes out in august, right?
cam: it's actually coming out at the [comic] con.
me: the con? and they'll be there, right?
cam: yeah.
me: so why don't we go? we can get it signed!
cam: you want to bring paul to the con?
me: why not? we can take paul to sea world (when it's not raining [since it was all cats and dogs the one time we brought him]), the zoo... we don't have to spend the whole weekend at the con.
cam: that is an interesting idea.

so now we may go to the comic-con. i'm rather pleased because the con is an interesting experience and i found it amusing the two times before i've gone with cam, but i would not blame paul if he grew up to despise all things geek. it might be a little early for the indoctrination.

certainly explains a lot

cam: that's because you're a robot.

March 31, 2006

boys and their toys

a lego catalog showed up at our house the other day. addressed to me. no idea why (unless the lego shop at disneyland somehow has a way to monitor who sits down on the bench outside the store).

i showed it to paul. he and his father promptly sat down on the floor to go through it. i don't know who was more excited, cam or paul. "look!" said paul. "wow!" said cam.

i forsee many, many hard-earned dollars going to this grand old dame of the toy world.

March 6, 2006


cam is newly enamored with volkswagens. the audi has opened the floodgates, i guess. it's a good thing paul likes those gti commercials because we sure are watching them a lot.

March 4, 2006

"i don't look longingly at bmws anymore"

the other day i received a birth announcement from a coworker. i mentioned it to my assistant, who looked puzzled. "birth announcement? are those done?" (no, he didn't mean "done" as in "stick a fork in it," but rather "the usual thing to do.") i think i must have looked as astonished as i felt because he looked a little sheepish, i thought. "of course," i said. we did birth announcements, too. in fact, 2003-04 brought us a veritable bumper crop of birth announcements. "just not your world, huh?" he shrugged. "well, the next step -- provided you are willing to provide details -- is the emailed birth story..."

joel called today to see how we were doing with the new car. it occurred to me at that moment that i must not have written the a3's "birth story." (i can see cam cringing.)

it all started february 7. cam introduced the audi a3 to our car research list.

by february 26, he was driving one home.

cam: really? that's it? no, i had to have mentioned it earlier.
me: nope. you sent me an email at work on february 7th. i just saw it again.
cam: [embarrassed] oh.

when he learned we were shopping for a car, kind and research-happy joel informed me of an interesting car buying research service. cam decided to purchase an info package, but he never got to use it fully because the dealership where we took our test drive a few weeks back had unexpectedly -- and when i say unexpectedly, i mean unexpectedly (i was a little steamed because we had plans and he broke them) -- come through with a price that cam was willing to accept. he didn't even really go over to the dealership that day with any concrete plans to buy, just to play around a little (and check out the moro blue over the lava gray). instead, they played him. my cam, he is a softy. but he got the car he wanted, they got the sale they needed, so it was win-win all around.

today in the mail cam received a funny tin audi postcard from his salesguy (michael smuck over at pacific audi in torrance). we were charmed.

the a3 is a nice car. i'm pleased, but i know it's going to take a while to get used to the smallness of it. paul was initially mad because we didn't get blue (considering i just a few weeks back told cam that my only two requirements for the new car were 1) four doors and 2) blue, i guess i too should be mad), but now he seems happy enough. because the backseat of the a3 is so much smaller than the backseat of the cr-v (duh), paul's carseat is now behind the driver's seat, right next to a window... so i can see how this might go a ways toward his car satisfaction. as for cam, he's still starry-eyed.

March 1, 2006


today i learned that cam now has an affection for textured leather. i showed him a variety of purses and he dismissed most of them because they were "too smooth."

in the car i asked him about this new preference. sheepishly, he said that he suspected it was because of lv's epi leather. interesting. i really should milk this for all it's worth. somewhere out there is a black epi jasmin with my name on it...


last night we danced. we turned on the the xm channels on the tv, held hands and ran in circles, giggling. "mommy, daddy, dance!" called out paul as he twirled before us, a tiny fuzzy flanneled dervish. we ought to do that more often.

February 26, 2006


cam just bought a car. i'm not entirely sure how it happened, but it did. my god. paul will be astonished when he wakes from his nap.


paul: look, look!
cam: what naughty thing are you doing now?
paul: standing!
cam: what are you standing on, your bed?
paul: fence.
cam: the fence? are you undecided?

February 22, 2006

primetime puppets

cam's long-awaited "muppet show" dvd arrived today. he was so looking forward to watching it with paul.

paul had other ideas.

paul: scawy!
paul: watch blue, please.
paul: find different one!
paul: wah!!

cam was rather disappointed. "i think he's a little young for this," i told cam.

February 19, 2006

grown-up time

cam and i had a great time last night. we meant to get pizza and beer at bj's in westwood, but the crowds led us across the street to the gypsy cafe, where we shared a greek salad, ate tasty sandwiches (mine vegetarian, cam's a chicken schwarma) and laughed at a pretentious couple eating outside in the rain just so they could keep an eye on their red ferrari parked out front. (question: what is it with hookah pipes and westwood? on that one street there were two restaurants -- including the gypsy cafe -- that offered them.)

then we went over to the geffen playhouse to watch david mamet's "boston marriage." it's cool going into these things completely blind. we knew nothing about the story (other than the connotation of the title) and who was in it, so imagine our surprise to discover we'd be watching mary steenburgen and alicia silverstone? startling. it was really funny -- thin plotwise, though -- and we enjoyed it. we're not particularly sophisticated theatergoers, though, so i'm sure the more cultured among us would snicker at our (especially mine) naivete.

i really like these evenings out with cam. i was a little wary when he suggested we get the geffen subscription, but i'm glad we decided to go ahead and just do it.

February 18, 2006


cam and paul are gone and i'm in the house alone. we're going to the theater tonight, so cam is going to take paul over to his parents' house while i get ready. i already showered but i was still wearing my steve rugby (i just chopped a few inches off the bottom, so i was wearing to figure out if i still needed to cut more) when they left.

cam: say bye to mom.
me: bye, paul! [waving]
paul: bye, mom-steve. [grin]
cam: har!
me: i don't even know what to say about that.

February 14, 2006

st. valentine

the best way to celebrate the year's cheesiest holiday is with cheese.

a couple of weeks back, cam said that we needed to have a wine and cheese night. so... my very lame gift for cam was a cheese sampler from murray's cheese with a note that we needed to buy wine and bread. he likes it, but i am still rather sheepish about the whole thing because i think it's so dorky. well-meaning, but dorky. at least it wasn't a basket of fruit.

happy valentine's day, sweetie. i love you.

February 11, 2006


cam test drove two audi a3s today -- one with the sport package, the other with the premium. to say his eyes were shining would be an understatement.

"i think we found our car," he said.

February 10, 2006

even with rubber gloves

have i mentioned that cam will have to take over all dishwashing duties for a while? yay, particularly nasty bout of dyshidrotic eczema!


after cam read my wallet entry:

me: was that a reasonably accurate account?
cam: yes, but you don't have to sing my praises.
me: why not? i complain about you often enough.
me: and it's my blog and i'll sing your praises if i damn well want to.

so there. sing, sing, sing.


i can't wait for google chat to be rolled out to my gmail account. yay for decreased work productivity!

early gift

i spoke to cam this afternoon and asked him to delay picking me up from work because i was running a little behind.

sure, no problem, he said. "i'll go to best buy."

i thought nothing of it.

he arrived later than expected, but no big deal. friday traffic is unpredictable.

out of nowhere, he started talking about a valentine's day present. he wanted to give it to me early, but he wanted me to promise that i wouldn't alter our weekend plans. the hell? i was baffled. what were our weekend plans? i didn't want to promise.

me: how can i promise something without knowing why?
him: you'll know as soon as i give it to you.
me: you want me to promise something i don't understand just because you don't want to wait.
him: yes. feh.
me: i won't promise.
him: hey!
me: [nonsensical rambling]
him: [nonsensical rambling]
me: fine. i promise.

he reached in the back for something and dropped a hard little brown box in my lap. it had a thin leather strap wound around it. i turned the box over and oh my freaking god, it was a louis vuitton box! i opened it up and there was a beautiful blue epi porte-monnaie billets viennois (i could have just said french purse, but i felt the need to be pretentious) inside. i know i said i wanted a wallet -- in fact, i listed that on my christmas wish list -- but no way did i ever expect this. instead of going to best buy, he went to the lv boutique in century city.

that was why he wanted me to promise -- he wanted me to still go to an lv store and buy my bag, and he knew that this would make me skip it if he didn't bind me to going. he's such a dear.

amusingly enough, he was suddenly an expert. "get the speedy 25," he told me knowledgeably. the 30 was too big. apparently he had looked at both sizes in monogram canvas and at a red epi speedy 25. unsurprisingly (he is not a fan of the monogram), he was pimping the epi speedy pretty hard. "but didn't we rule out the epi in black because of the gold hardware?" i asked (not to mention the almost $300 price difference between the epi and the monogram). cam, that old navy-clad font of lv knowledge, piped up that no, they now offered both gold and silver hardware on all of the epis. so there you have it.

later that evening he was telling me about his shopping experience. the sales associate had originally not treated him as a serious customer, but was eventually friendly. (um, yeah, you walked in there dressed like a telecommuting programmer and paid $600+ for a wallet without a fuss.) a female shopper was flummoxed to hear that he was buying a valentine's day present and made jealous noises.

didn't i just say that cam was too cool? what a sweetheart.

February 8, 2006

dark horse

i think cam is enjoying his car research. we spend a lot of time talking about cars. we have dealers leaving polite messages on our answering machine at home. one day cam startled me by mentioning (very offhand, very nonchalant) that he had test-driven an acura tl at lunch. at lunch?

just yesterday cam brought up the audi a3. i had never heard of it, so i googled it. much to my surprise, i saw it was very wagony. "it's a five-door," cam said. hm. my weakness. today we stopped by a local dealer and picked up a brochure and peeked inside a showroom model. black leather seats on the one we saw. the very first car i've ever seen with contrast stitching on the upholstery. the salesman lost big points right away by essentially ignoring me and talking only to cam. yeah, cam is the one who knows what he's talking about in this regard, but you know, guy, you could have at least introduced yourself to me.

the a3 is a nice little car. this weekend i expect cam will want to drive one and that should settle this burgeoning crush once and for all. if it's a good drive, it becomes a contender. if it's a bad one, it'll sit on the side with the acura tl, not to be revisited in this car-buying cycle...

February 7, 2006


cam: i'm trying to hate tom brady, but he's making it so difficult.

have you seen his snl skit on sexual harassment? that's some funny shit right there.

February 4, 2006


poor paul is having a rough time of it.

cam had a 3:30 am paranoid freakout on friday morning because he woke up and discovered that paul still had a fever. so he hopped on the phone to kaiser, only to be told they'd call him back. by the time they called -- about an hour later? -- the het-up had cooled and left him sheepish. the advice nurse said to make an appointment, so cam got to work and started calling in at 7 am. around 7:30ish, he got through and made an appointment for 4 pm.

we knew how the appointment would go -- the struggles of getting there, well, that's another story completely -- and it went as expected. the doctor came in (a pretty asian lady with an italian name and the strongest grip i've ever felt), checked paul's ears, nose, mouth, lungs and heart, pronounced him fine, diagnosed him with the flu and told us to come back in a few days if the fever hadn't eased. "heart," said paul to me, showing me his belly. paul was well mannered and charming with his noes and hm-hms (his yeses and laughs of assent have been trimmed down to hm-hms, which, dammit, i've picked up as well). she gave him a monsters inc. sticker which he gamely accepted, but then returned gratefully for a hot wheels one. "um, that's the one movie he didn't like," cam explained.

he fell asleep on the way home, so we tucked him into our bed and left my mom guarding over him. cam and i went out to eat -- a much needed treat, it had been a long week -- and returned home to find him lively and energetic. cam went to sleep and i took over. from about 9:30 to midnight, we were up and down. he would cough, he would whimper, he would cry out to be carried and for me to walk ("dance! floor!") the floor and not merely hold him in my arms while sitting. he asked for milk and actually drank some. sometime after midnight cam woke up and he carried paul while i got some sleep. then it all began again at 3:30 for me when paul fell off our bed and into his own (where i was sleeping). up. down. up. down. then cam stepped in at 7:30 and i went to sleep until 9ish.

all day long we carried paul. his naps were short and infrequent. i froze some pedialyte and he ate it. he wanted nothing more out of life other than:
*to be resting against the shoulder (his arms tucked in) of a walking person ("cawwy!" cawwy!")
*to eat unlimited otter pops
*to not have one's nose wiped
*to eat canned peaches and frozen blueberries
*to watch thomas and blue's clues
*to watch me play sims ("my game. mommy. cooking. dinner.")
*to sit on the lap of someone in front of a computer (provided one was watching google video (trains and/or destruction preferred) or playing thomas games or the belly boing game from the deko boko friends site)
with such a narrow range of desired activities, one could hardly say no, especially when a single refusal would cause the slow motion face crunch of sadness.

it was a long day and my shoulders were constantly damp with tears and baby snot.

right now cam and paul are sleeping. how long paul will sleep is up in the air. i can hear his little coughs over the baby monitor. i should really shut this computer off and get some sleep, too, because i know i'll have to be the first one on the scene when paul wakes up. (i noted to cam that his snores get louder when paul starts crying. he wasn't amused.) it's all the more difficult to be up and down all night because i'm sick, too, with precious little resting time to get better. for instance, cam will take paul and i'll settle down somewhere only to hear "mommy! mommy!" and "when you have a minute, he wants to see you!" ringing down the hallway. but this is hard on cam as well because he too is not completely recovered from his own bout with illness. there are crumpled kleenexes and empty halls wrappers all over the place.

hopefully tomorrow will be a better -- healthier -- day for all of us.

robbing the cradle

cam couldn't stand his hair anymore -- too long -- so he took a quick trip to fantastic sam's up the street. he returned home after about an hour or so with short hair and a bemused look. the lady who cut his hair, he said, asked him if he was going to prom tonight.

prom? "i'm 31-years-old!" he exclaimed in disbelief.

i know cam looks young, but jesus. he doesn't look that young. i know to look younger than one's years is nice, but surely downgrading him from his thirties to his teens is entirely too much of a good thing.


reminder #45,982:

dirty diapers go INTO the diaper genie, not ON TOP of it.

February 3, 2006


me: tell me about [the new girl your coworker is dating]. tall, short? fat, thin?
cam: she's thin. not like ____-thin, but more like you-thin.
me: so she's fat?
cam: you are NOT fat.
me: hmm.

February 2, 2006

round and round

paul still has a slight fever this morning, but the coughs do not make him cry. when he woke up, he was in a great mood.

paul: read book. read book.
cam: what do you want to read?
me: [hiding head under pillow]
paul: happy. baby. [things that] go.
cam: here it is. why don't you read it to me?
paul: no. dad read. light.
cam: [to me] light going on. [turns on light] ow!
me: [cringing]
paul: dim!
cam: no, i can't make it dimmer. this is the dimmest.
paul: off.
cam: you read my mind. we can read with the light off.
paul: read. happy. baby. go.
cam: i have to take a shower.
paul: shower. water. fall down.
cam: that's right.
me: [hiding under blanket]
paul: shower. shirt off. water fall down me.
cam: you want to take a shower?
paul: shower. shirt off. water fall down me.
cam: yes, water will fall down all over you.
paul: naked.
me: [muffled giggles]
cam: i'm going to take my shower now. do you want to take a shower with mom or dad?
paul: dad.
cam: [to me] bring him to me in a few minutes, okay?
me: [giving up on sleep] okay, just holler.
paul: mommy, wake up. read book.
me: what book?
paul: happy baby go.
me: okay. [read, read, read] ready for your shower?
paul: no! puzzle tv.
me: [quoting blue's clues] a puzzle?
paul: [also quoting blue's clues] nooo!
me: you don't want to take a shower?
paul: no. puzzle tv. puzzle tv.
me: [sigh]

cam is better. paul is obviously better. me, i'm sicker than i was the day before. monday i was sick. tuesday, i stayed home to watch over sick cam. wednesday, i stayed home to watch over sick paul. thursday, cam was tempted to leave me at home. when will this cycle end?

February 1, 2006


while watching google video:

paul: like it!
cam: you like watching people burn books?

January 31, 2006

day two

for the second day in a row, cam and i are home. sick. yesterday i was the sicker of the two, so cam stayed home for my benefit. today, cam is worse off, so i am here as helpmeet. paul, of course, is delighted.

January 29, 2006


today cam and i visited a local bmw dealership. i sat in a bmw 325i for the first time in my life. snazzy. i liked that there were little latch logos all over the backseat. the air controls for the back were nice, too, but they'd be at paul's feet (or at the back of the carseat, considering he's still rearfacing and will be until he's either 35 lbs. or tall enough to have the tips of his ears over the top) if we continue to have him in the center position. good thing we didn't test drive one or cam might possibly refuse to ever drive a honda ever again.

January 28, 2006

new name

there really are few things funnier than paul yelling, "cam! cam! milk!" while lying on the changing table.


when i am sick, i am pretty sure i retreat to the bedroom, out of the way of the busy household life going on in my absence. i am pretty sure i do not sit in the living room, watching tv blankly while my spouse brings me dinner without regard for the spouse's own hunger, while my child prances around my chair with a chant of "change diaper!"

if i did this, i don't think i would then leave my spouse to abandon dinner cooking on the stove because i was too absorbed in tv to notice that a crappy diaper needed to be changed and that a child's freshly washed laundry (by my spouse, of course) needed to be put away.

but saying i did that, i don't think i would then be so oblivious as to continue to sit in front of the tv while the now-harried spouse then finishes cooking and brings the remainder of the food to me.

no, i don't think i'd do that.

okay, i feel better now.

update: after i wrote this, i stopped by the living room and picked up the remains of cam's dinner. i couldn't help it -- i had to get in a comment. "now i have to figure out something for my own dinner because you left me practically nothing," i smartassed. he looked so sad i felt a little guilty. but i'm sure i'll be over it by the time i hit save on this entry.

January 25, 2006


cam: do you want to spin? walking sideways isn't going to make you dizzy.


at least i was well-dressed this morning if not so well-spirited. cam's birthday present to me arrived yesterday -- the cutest pair of bedhead pajamas. such a luxury.

passing the buck

after a painful, fitful night of stops and starts (can't ignore a baby fussing and futzing in bed next to you), i finally gave up at 4:40 am and asked cam to wake up and attend to the child.

cam: wha?
paul: change. change.
me: okay, baby, daddy will change you.
paul: mom.
cam: we audi 5000, motherfuckers! [snore]
me: ass.

so cam went back to sleep and i dealt with a boy who went back and forth between wanting to be changed in his room on the changing table and wanting to not be changed at all. yet he was firm on not wanting to go back to bed or even to let me sit down. i finally got to sit down almost half an hour later. this did not bode well for my morning.


paul was cheerfully waving around a flashlight last night. it had a little cord attached to the end.

cam: all the toys in the world and he prefers a flashlight he turned into a fishing pole.
paul: caught one! fish!

January 22, 2006


tonight we talked about the type of car we should buy. cam wants a bmw. i want a mini. paul wants a garbage truck.

January 21, 2006

more of the past

read a little bit more of my old journal. i was the biggest bitch back then. cam, i am so sorry and am so grateful you decided to stick around.

January 20, 2006

cheerfully offensive

at dinner tonight -- cam and i went to claim jumper and sat in the bar -- i pointed out how men at work generally fall into one of two categories: skanky or gay. he laughed. "that's because those are the two dominant types," he said.

he then started to talk about men at his work, determining that he knew an additional type: mormon.

that's our new game. skanky, gay or mormon.

of course, we need to remember that there are nice guys, but the game kind of loses its snappiness to include them. now that i'm thinking about this with a semi-clear head (beer and half topped off with half a cup of coffee), i guess we really do need to add geek to the list. considering where cam works, you'd think he would have thought of that himself.

skin color

there's a guy at work i've been chatting with each morning. he's really interesting. initially i didn't want to talk to him because small talk can be so tedious, but he turned out to be surprisingly personable. we have a lot in common -- actually, it seems like he and his wife would have a lot in common with cam and myself.

cam: they sound like a black version of us!

January 19, 2006

funniest thing i've read all day

february 6, 2001:

cam's vocabulary has increased dramatically. "no longer am i the monosyllabic beer-drinkin', ass-groove sittin' neanderthal football fan," declares he. what brought this change about?

we suspect it was when he read dune.

ah, he's literate. how pleasing a discovery that was.

January 18, 2006


cam made a face as he read my post about wil wheaton. "guess i should be glad i fit in that category," he remarked.

January 17, 2006

personal toy store

enough with the thomas the tank engine. i'm beginning to feel like we're trying to make up for our own wooden train-free childhoods. it's insane how much thomas stuff the child is accumulating. we need more kids.

me: so, paul... how would you like three or four little brothers?

January 14, 2006


"look, it's like 'say anything,'" said trenchcoat-wearing cam, catching a glimpse of his shadow as he climbed the stairs while holding a box over his head.

slip of the tongue

paul: train. gordon.
cam: no, after your nap.
paul: dammit!
cam: what?
paul: thomas!

January 12, 2006


yesterday our "birthday gifts" for paul arrived. (it may be our birthdays, but he gets the treats. no logic. just excuse to buy stuff.) i bought him a melissa & doug mailbox, cam got him a toby (thomas and friends). we also bought a wooden birthday cake because, let's face it, making an allergen-free cake takes a bit of time.

when i saw how big the mailbox was (my fault, i didn't look at the dimensions on the site), i decided to put it away until his birthday. luckily i had just bought the "blue's big musical movie" dvd, so i decided to just give him that. my birthday isn't for a few days, though, so i may change my mind.

as soon as paul saw toby, he got all excited. "toby! toby! open!" the cake was also well received. "'wave." paul insisted, and put a slice of wooden cake in his microwave.

me: blow out the candles!
paul: twee. two. one. [blows]
me: [clapping] good job!

paul's new potty also showed up, but he seemed almost afraid of it and the included "surprisingly anatomically correct" joshua doll.

me: where's your doll? where is joshua?
paul: boc. boc.
cam: don't you love how boc is the singular of box?

i got cam what he asked for -- a new leatherman squirt with scissors and a subscription to "family handyman." i wish i had the time to come up with something imaginative and personal, but i didn't. i should have made the time.

January 11, 2006


happy birthday, my dear cam.

January 10, 2006


paul: milk. bottle. bottle.
cam: [singing] 99 bottles of milk on the wall, 99 bottles of milk
cam: take one down
paul: drink it
paul: it's gone
cam: 98 bottles of milk on the wall
cam: 98 bottles of milk on the wall, 98 bottles of milk
cam: take one down, drink it, it's gone
cam: 97 bottles of bottles of milk on the wall!

for mature audiences only

i was in the kitchen when i heard paul running down the hallway, cam telling him to "show mom our new game." i stepped into the hallway, but all i saw was a pair of footie pajamas on the floor and an excited smile on paul's face. cam turned on the hallway light and explained to paul that they'd have to do it again because it was dark and mommy couldn't see.

the light clicked on. paul was holding a pair of footie pajamas in front of his body like he was trying to decide whether or not he wanted to wear that particular one. (he was dressed in another pair of footies, by the way.) then one of them -- either cam or paul, i can't remember -- grabbed it and threw it down.

paul: naked!

dear god. paul really has a fascination with that word. last night he was in the bedroom with me while i was changing out of my work clothes. he was playing around with his back to me and i was trying to get dressed as quickly as possible (modesty, you know). but he caught a glimpse of me in the mirror, whipped around, grinned and declared, "naked mom!"

he sees dad just out of the shower. "naked dad!"

paul getting dressed. "naked. paul!"

i suspect this boy will have an early interest in porn.

January 9, 2006

sunday night date

last night after paul went to bed, cam and i stayed up, watching l&o:ci and cleaning the keys from his keyboard with isoprophyl alcohol.

ah, romance.

January 7, 2006


paul's favorite game at the moment (and a very long moment it has been) involves hiding (often most half-assedly) and jumping out and yelling boo! i yell boo, cam yells boo, paul yells boo. it's like an endless loop of "yoko! jakamoko! toto!" around here.

January 4, 2006


watching blue's clues.

joe: ... what is the first letter of your name?
paul: [silence]
cam: what is the first letter of your name?
paul: apple!
cam: apple paul, huh? what is the first letter of joe's name?
paul: apple!
cam: apple joe! so... you two have the same first name?

December 31, 2005

amateur video

paul and his dad are obsessed with google video. right now they are watching model rocket videos, which makes paul very happy. "fibe foor twee too one spwusshhhhhhh!!!"

cam prefers the commercial for "chu chu rocket." he's also enjoying the sight of a flying keg.

"geek," says paul to a guy on model rocket-powered skates.

December 29, 2005

daddy brain

cam and paul called me from the car in the driveway while waiting for my mom. why were they waiting for my mom? because they were going out and he needed her to bring down some diapers.

diapers. diapers?!

me: why didn't you bring the diaper bag?
cam: i didn't know where it was.
me: it's hanging on a hook in his room.
cam: oh.
me: did you ask for wipes?
cam: no...
me: [sigh] you are such a dad.
cam: [protesting] i brought milk!
cam: here she comes -- she brought the little [changing kit] bag!
me: oh good. there might only be two diapers in there.
cam: she filled it up. you know why?
me: why?
cam: because she's a mom.
cam: and i'm a dad.

yep, that just about sums it all up.

December 21, 2005


my properly-sized steve shirt arrived today. i look silly wearing it, but i'm still so very pleased.

thanks, cam!

December 20, 2005


cam is currently reenacting shovel's and periwinkle's dances (from the "let's boogie" ep of blue's clues) for paul -- with a banana.

cam: shiver, bend, explode!
paul: more!
cam: slide, slide, pirouette, jump!
paul: more!

it is simultaneously cute and ridiculous.


i woke up in the middle of the night to discover paul asleep in between us. the hell? cam said rather snidely (while half-asleep?) that i moved him, but i have no memory of that. cam has no memory of being snide, so i guess we're even.

December 16, 2005


in honor of my 500th entry, here is a little something that cam likes a little too much for my taste. hope your sound is turned down low.

it's peanut butter jelly time!

December 12, 2005


paul: eat!
cam: what do you want to eat?
paul: rice!
cam: [thinking] who's your favorite football player?
paul: rice!
cam: good job!

bait and switch

like i mentioned before, we are planning on a bunk bed for paul. so... on saturday, we dropped paul off at his grandparents' house, borrowed their creaky old van and took off for ikea to buy the unfinished $99 one i've had my eye on (as well as pick up the cabinet we bought to make paul a kitchen set).

because the creaky old van is a creaky old van, cam opted for surface streets. it took us an eternity to get to carson from san pedro. we parked and headed into the holiday tent because i wanted to look for gift wrap and tags. it was freezing in that tent, and it was with a sense of relief that we took our gift wrap (no tags in sight) to the register. cam reached for his wallet and stopped short. surprise! of course he had left his wallet -- and i left mine, too -- in our car, parked in cam's parents' driveway. so back into the van we went, cam apologizing all the way. he took the freeway back and we could barely hear each other over all the squeaks.

we ended up taking our own car back to ikea. cam felt bad that i didn't want to go back to the tent to get my gift wrap, but it was already late and i just wanted to get what we needed and get home.

i've been waffling on the bunk bed issue. i know i said i really liked it -- and i do -- but i've been wondering about the sagacity of putting a child that small into a bed that big. there's a new "junior" bed available (but not in carson, alas) that i've been admiring, but i've been unsure about that one because i didn't know if it could support my weight in addition to paul's. (voice-of-reason cam said that we could try sitting on the toddler beds at carson. if it felt unstable, we'd pass and then just buy the bunk bed.) i've also been iffy about the smaller bed because, well, do we want to have to buy a new bed again in just a few years? but then cam said that if we bought the smaller bed, we could keep it in our room, so i was pretty much sold at that point. however, i still wanted to see the bunk bed because who knows, maybe i'd fall in love with it again once i saw it.

when we got to the bed section, we just stopped dead. completely dead. the $99 bunk bed was no more. in its place was a shorter, more compact and solid bunkbed for more than twice the price. omfg. the reason for the priciness of it was that the bunk bed could be separated into two twins. plus it was already finished (clear coat). i was in shock. sure, i was 75% certain we weren't going to buy the bunk bed, but to have it just mysteriously disappear was a little shocking. it didn't even occur to me to ask if they still had some of the $99 one in stock because, well, i was in shock, and this was clearly a better bed. we kept walking.

cam sat on a toddler bed. bounced on it. it held. i should have been thrilled, but i was still musing over the new bunk bed. now i'm torn. we'll make a trip out to costa mesa or burbank to see the new toddler bed, but i have to wonder if maybe we're meant to get this new bunk bed. clearly we weren't meant to get the old one. argh. i know that what ikea wants for the new bed is not that much. it really isn't. (cam's parents pointed this out, too. cam's bunk bed cost about $600 almost thirty years ago.) but i have a certain idea about what ikea costs should be and this one sort of surprises me. cam says his sense of sticker shock at ikea was lost when we paid for our kitchen cabinets, but those are kitchen cabinets, you know? i'm kerfuffled. i don't know what to do.

but at least there was a nice note to the evening: i found my gift wrap -- along with others i had liked but were not available in the tent -- right next to the registers. unlike the old bunk bed, these rolls of gift wrap must have been meant for me.

November 28, 2005

an evening with my husband

saturday night cam and i got dressed up and dropped paul off at his grandparents' house.

our first stop -- san gennaro in brentwood. my absolute favorite little italian restaurant. very homey. $10 a bottle wine. we haven't been there since i was pregnant, so i was eager to get back. unfortunately, there was a private party inside, so we had to sit on the somewhat heated, somewhat enclosed patio. it was pretty nice, though. we got a table in the corner. three notable things:

1) peter gallagher ran in to pick up an order. cam was all, "who's that?" not that i watch the o.c. or even that i was hyperventilating (because i wasn't -- i was just flustered), but yay for jonathan from "center stage"!

2) apparently they have discontinued the artichoke salad. no matter, though, we ordered the tri-griglia (eggplant, red peppers, mushrooms) and it was tasty, too. if they had removed my beloved pasta (penne with goat cheese, tomato and garlic and eggplant) from the menu, i think i would have been rather upset.

3) the wind was so strong it blew in one of the plastic "walls," which knocked over something which knocked over the wine which spilled all over me. i'm not even sure what happened. i just was suddenly wet (and as i learned later, a little scraped up where my wrist hit the underside of the table -- i must have thought the whole table would fall) and really cold and everyone was staring at us. the waiter suddenly turned into a whirling dervish, cleaning up and apologizing and bringing us a new bottle of wine. eventually things settled down, but we were always wary of that plastic wall from that point on. i hoped they would comp us a dish or two, but they didn't. cam was very sad and kept looking at me apologetically, but i didn't consider the night ruined. turned out i wasn't as wet as i thought i was -- the tablecloth, though, was soaked and needed to be replaced -- and i didn't smell like a winery, so i was happy.

after dinner we drove into westwood to the geffen playhouse. we had time to kill, so we went to best buy. (yes. we're sad like that.) we walked around, looked at stereos and tvs, remotes and games. mocked some guys who looked like best buy was their final saturday night destination and not merely a way to pass the time before going to do something better.

at the geffen, i instantly felt simultaneously underdressed and overdressed. sure, i was wearing a pricey sweater and carrying a pricey bag, but i was also wearing target gauchos and a t-shirt. better-dressed people were a mix of rich casual folks and sunday-best middle-class, so i guess i was pretty much where i should be.

the play itself was quite good and i was glad i didn't know anything about "cat on a hot tin roof" other than that it was by tennessee williams. (folks around us were discussing the movie, previous plays, etc. etc. etc.) was amused by the fact that the unloved older brother was played by glen from "the wedding singer." was startled by john goodman's size. was minorly aggravated by heavy accents. our seats were great (not that the geffen playhouse is even large enough to have bad seats, but still), much to my relief, since we have the same ones for every other performance. when the play started, i was really surprised by the sheer volume of the actors -- "i forgot how yelly theater is," cam whispered -- but i got over it pretty quickly because the volume helped make the accents more intelligible. (maybe there is something to yelling at foreigners.) as we exited the theater, cam wondered aloud if leaving a play was like leaving "star wars" or something like that -- if people would be picking the show apart. geek talk. theater geek talk? "i found gooper to be totally unsympathetic," snapped some woman behind us. "yep," cam said, "it is the same, just more highbrow." we giggled.

we picked sleeping paul up and made our way home. it was a good night.

November 25, 2005

the boss of him

just a few minutes ago i said i was bossy and cam agreed. dammit, man, after all these years you're telling me you still know nothing of how to interact with women?


cam thinks i'm weird for getting het up about pottery barn kids (i know, their customer service is to die for, but...) and their horrible gender-stereotyping. yes, i understand that toy manufacturers and other stores do the same thing, but i just really despise the categories "toys for boys" (blue) and "toys for girls" (pink). yes, let's make kids aware from the very beginning that girls shouldn't be interested in robots and boys shouldn't be allowed to learn how to do basic household chores. such progress. so i proposed a boycott.

cam: it's dumb to boycott them for that.
me: okay, then how about we boycott them because we can't afford anything from there anyway?
cam: okay.


i like to occasionally pretend to be still asleep to make cam get up to deal with paul. i always end up falling back asleep, so it's not like it's a con that goes on too long.

November 23, 2005

head of the household

yesterday i had another migraine. much worse than the day before. i was asleep by 7:30. cam is an absolute angel -- he took care of all of us. i am so lucky to have him in my life.

November 20, 2005

just because

"why does a project have to be hard for you to be satisfied with it?" asked cam.

November 17, 2005

wishes, part 3

cam has selected two items thus far for his wish list -- a "three amigos" dvd and a ryobi laser level with vacuum suction. i think paul would choose the laser level.

November 16, 2005

wishes, part 2

i sent cam my list. he vetoed two items, so i need replacements. one of them, a family membership to the aquarium of the pacific, he deemed an us gift and therefore unworthy of being on my list. the other, a cd of australian and new zealand female singers covering the songs of neil and tim finn, he bought! what a sweetie (and a stinker at the same time).


"i love r. kelly," says cam.

November 15, 2005


the new shelves in the book nook are gorgeous! i am beyond pleased how well they turned out. that man of mine? is a doll.

November 8, 2005


it's almost 10:30, cam and paul are asleep and i am sitting in front of the computer, scanning in pictures for my mom. i don't mind doing this, but cam said he was going to get out of bed and sit with me. guess i am just feeling a little lonely. i can hear cam snoring from here.

October 29, 2005


this morning cam and i went to costco with paul. paul was fascinated with a tricycle, so we pulled it down and let him ride it around for a little bit. cam complained that our house was too small (or that we needed more room, i can't remember the exact wording). i said it would be okay if we only cleaned up. he disagreed and reiterated that we needed more room. "do you want to move?" i asked. "or do you want to build?"

"we have no money," he said.

"then i don't want anything for christmas," i replied, half-seriously.

silence. cam walked off.

i felt dejected and not entirely sure why. he returned, an ugly smile on his face. i had forgotten he even had an ugly smile. "fine, let's fight about money."

but i wasn't starting a fight. i wanted to cry.

we were more or less silent after that, but less than half an hour later, cam was kind again. "you haven't smiled in an hour," he said, worried. he tried to hold my hand. i wasn't exactly having it. he had to wait for me to unthaw. i did, eventually.

we never talked about that moment. was i being unfair in not relenting when he did?

October 28, 2005


cam and i signed up for a account and i must say, that site truly is a thing of [inner] beauty. what an excellent idea! (cam suggested it to me the other day and i was all "wha?") you can access ours by clicking on "communal bookmarks" on the right.

October 27, 2005

different wavelength

paul and cam had the following conversation on the way home from cam's parents' house. (i was cooking dinner at the time.)

cam: i love you!
paul: [from the backseat]: more!
cam: [flattered] i love you!
paul: more!
cam: i love you!
paul: more!
cam: [parking car, opening door to backseat] i love you!
paul: [holding out empty bottle] more!
cam: [sigh]

me: har!

October 26, 2005


yesterday was our anniversary. eight years ago cam and i decided to take a chance on each other. this is the only anniversary that i really try to track. i mean, i know my wedding date, but we got married under such a cloud (i will not discuss this, so please don't ask) that i tend to see 10/25 as our only "real" anniversary.

cam and i met in 1982, but we did not pursue a romantic relationship until 1997. got married in 1998. although most soppy married folk could probably go on and on about how they wish they could have met up (hooked up!) sooner, we don't feel that way. over the weekend we discussed how things could have been so very different if we had only conquered the shyness of ninth graders -- we could have gone to the same college, we could have gotten married earlier. but would it have worked out? i doubt it. we aren't the same people we were back when we were 14-15 years old. if we had gotten together that young, chances are we would have split up by high school and then we could pretty much guarantee that there would be no way we'd get married and have our wonderful, wonderful boy.

it's so bizarre to think that i have known cam for 23 years. it's even weirder to think that we've been together for eight years. i had just come off a bad break-up and i didn't even want to get into a relationship. i was intrigued by the foreign notion of "dating" -- i don't know if we were just a product of the time or the location or what, but "dating" as in seeing different people without commitment was completely frowned upon. if you were out with different people all the time, you were clearly a slut or a player or worse. when you were interested in someone, you had to instantly see that person exclusively or you could be accused of toying with them. well, dammit, i wanted to do some toying! at the ripe old age of 22, i was ready to play the field.

then came the email that changed everything. (did you see those insanely large promo posters for dawson's creek with dawson, joey and pacey? i guess this would be late 90s. there was one near our first apartment together. "her choice would change everything." such drama.) totally innocuous. a hello-how-are-you email from cam. we hadn't talked in a while, so it was a nice surprise. i responded in an appropriately friendly manner and asked a completely -- i swear -- innocent question about his lovelife. come on, we were old friends and i hadn't seen him as potential love interest since we were 15. he wrote back promptly enough and mentioned recently seeing an old high school friend (a former obsession) and thinking she was looking pretty good. hm, i thought. i can't remember if i wrote back -- i probably did, probably followed up with some mild teasing.

the next night, i went out to dinner, drinks and... stuff with my grad school friend. somewhat drunk and definitely cranky at 3-4 am after a 50+ mile drive from claremont to carson, i checked my email. never mind the drunk driving, what about the drunk emailing? eeesh. i saw cam's email and i don't know why, but it set me off. i wrote a bitter response. figures you'd go for her again, i wrote, i never had a chance with you, anyway. satisfied, i went to bed and slept the sleep of the just and/or the buzzed.

i woke up with a headache and the cold prickly feeling of having done something very, very stupid. checked my sent mail and saw the horrible, horrible drunken message i had sent. in a panic, i called cam and tried really hard to play it cool. um, hey, want to go out for a drink? he said yes. the panic grew. i was a wreck from that moment on. i washed my hair. i changed my contacts. purple? clear? purple? i changed my sweater. changed it again. i reevaluated my jeans. (he apparently took a shower, much to the amusement of his housemates.)

he showed up, i greeted him and immediately launched into a monologue about how i wanted to just "date" and not get involved in anything heavy for a while. he agreed. we sat there nervously.

by the end of the night, i was a giggly mess and i wasn't even drunk. a week later, i threw my "dating" ideas out the window and we officially became a couple. cute story, huh?

October 22, 2005

gifting for the sexes

even though paul's birthday is on monday, we decided to give him our gifts today. tomorrow afternoon we're heading to the disneyland hotel (so tomorrow morning might be quite the hectic one) and won't be back home until tuesday. since cam says that "gifts from parents should come either before or on your birthday, not after," last night i cleared up all the train toys from the book nook and set out paul's two small packages from me and one larger one from cam.

this morning a boy discovered the gifts and was not sure what to do with them. i coaxed him through the opening of the first one from me, a tea set from ikea. yes, i bought my son a tea set. he enjoyed it so much at our local ikea i had to get him a set. i had only planned to buy him the little pots and pans set (gift number two from me), but when i saw him arrange the plates so neatly on the table and then pretend to pour milk into them, i couldn't resist.

he opened the pots and pans package and played with those, too. he stirred the imaginary contents of a pot with his little ladle and offered me a taste. he is an excellent cook.

then along came cam's gift. legos. maybe he was feeling a little raised-eyebrow at these stereotypically feminine toys? i don't know, but to his credit the first thing cam built out of legos (paul is almost two. there's not a whole lot he can build on his own.) was a little table for the tea set. cam is not sexist -- if we seem to fall into specific gender roles, it might simply be because 1) i can cook and i like things to be tidy, and 2) cam can't and doesn't notice. paul seems to be a stereotypical boy with trains and trucks and an interest in bugs, so i guess all i'm trying to do is expand his horizons a little. both of their horizons, actually.

October 12, 2005


cam is intrigued by the word "pantiliner."

from now on, we will cease calling joe pantoliano "joe pants." he is now "joe pantiliner." as cam points out, it is actually closer to his real name.

October 7, 2005

mommy and daddy brain

cam and i recently purchased a subscription to the new season at the geffen playhouse. we were really looking forward to having adult nights out -- dressing up, having a nice dinner... oh, i don't know, maybe not watching kids shows and not batting little hands out of the way while trying to eat?

unfortunately, we are too stupid (or too tired) to live because we missed the first play. the tickets were paid for and everything. jesu cristo. what a criminal waste of money.

September 24, 2005

british gods

tonight cam is sitting next to me (we're in a room with six computers -- not all functional, mind you) checking out the world of comics and graphic novels. yesterday he mused aloud about neil gaiman, today he actually remembered enough to look up what's he's been doing lately.

i used to love neil gaiman's work. sandman -- all gazillion and one pages of it -- was one of the greatest things i had ever read. other english majors (i have a b.a. and an m.a. in english, thank you very much. never claimed to be a writer, though. just a reader.) may scoff at the medium, but i loved it. i read quite a few of this other writings, but i won't list them so i don't sound all fangirly and self-consciously hip. i am a mom, you know. i wear loafers from lands end. anyway, i never stopped enjoying these, i just sort of moved on to other things. lost the momentum.

cam: [reading aloud] children's crusade!
me: you're getting all nostalgic. soon you'll be teary.
cam: [sideways look] feh on you.

if cam's renewed interest brings more gaiman stuff into my home, i'll read it. maybe it'll recapture the magic i felt back then when cam and i were newly dating and he lent me his books and i stayed up late reading those instead of the ones i should have been reading for school. probably not, though... but it's a nice thought.

September 20, 2005

the laptop wars

a while back cam decided to buy a laptop for me. he did some research and determined that dell offered the best deals, so he built one to his specs (inspiron 8600, i think?) and presented it to me within a few days. it needed a carrying case, so i started the hunt and was astonished to discover that decently attractive laptop bags for laptops that size were kind of hard to come by. i wasn't looking for girly, i just didn't one that screamed "freebie" or worse, "best buy special." besides, i couldn't exactly do girly because i imagined that cam would be carrying it from time to time. i managed to locate a nice unisex one (by stm) and it's great, but the whole thing was really kind of a pain in the ass.

anyway, time passed and i realized that the laptop had never actually been mine at any time except in name. as soon as it showed up, cam monopolized it under the guise of "setting it up" (because i'm either too dumb or too lazy or because i live with a former IT guy, you choose). then he started using it for his work. whenever i'd want to use it, i'd feel uncomfortable because it was so clearly his. when i commented on this, he was immediately defensive. "no, it's yours! use it!" he'd insist, secretly writing his name with puffy paint beneath the snap-on green cover.

recently he admitted that he had stolen it from me, but only because i mentioned something about wanting to buy a laptop to my specs. i don't have the computer needs that cam does, so why did i need a laptop that did everything but cook dinner (virtually, of course)? so we pored over the dell catalog and cam said he'd look into deals, etc. for the ideal laptop for me -- infinitely simpler than the one we now have. remembering how hard it had been to find a carrying case, cam thought he had come up with a brilliant (and unintentionally insulting) solution:

cam: why don't we do this backwards?
me: huh?
cam: find a bag you like and then see what size it'll hold.
me: oh... thanks.
cam: what?
me: i'm just that shallow, huh? that's like saying, "hey, find a pair of shoes you like and we'll cut off parts of your foot to make it fit."
cam: no, no, i didn't mean it like that!

so... one of these days i will have a very stripped down laptop. i don't need much, really. and then cam will have his and i will have mine and then paul will clamor for one of his own -- and then we'll just be one big happy and dorky-looking family. i think i need to convince cam to wear his glasses more often.

September 18, 2005

couch potato sunday

the last quarter of the indy-jacksonville game was a little nerve-wracking. cam bounced up and down on the couch so much i felt like i was going to lose some teeth. he was hoping that the jags would tie it up at the end, but i didn't. i just wanted indy to win.

September 15, 2005

gentle hum

i was surprised when cam turned right (onto the street in front of my office building) while people were still crossing the street.

cam: mmm mmm
me: didn't you have to wait for those people?
cam: no, i could squeeze through... and hum about it.
me: ???

September 9, 2005

i never have conversations like this with my mom

cam's dad: I have also gotten another one of those strange emails from [his own username] with no subject.
cam's dad: I havn't opened it.
cam: i would still avoid it
cam's dad: I looked at the details though.
it says
To: [his own username]
From: [his own username]
cam: maybe you're trying to contact yourself from the future
cam: but meeting in person would cause a paradox
cam's dad: ooooohhh creapy [sic]
cam's dad: yes
cam: i guess email is safe

September 2, 2005

male bonding

cam just sent me this amusing exchange between himself and a coworker. is this what fathers of toddlers talk about?

coworker: is paul into the wiggles yet?
cam: he's had time to be into them, be out of them, and now back into them
coworker: the beauty of the wiggles is that you can be over them but you can always go back and there'll be great things you missed the first time
cam: they had new episodes all last week
coworker: NO!!
cam: they're gettin old. not so much singing and dancing
coworker: jeff's in his 50s
cam: they've got some bad but somehow charming animation
cam: these really bad wiggles kids segments
cam: lots of concert footage
coworker: they're multi-millionaires. i wouldn't sing or dance much either
cam: some bad dance with dorothy thing which features only the "wiggly dancers"
cam: bunch of new songs
coworker: if you were sitting on top of millions, would you work up a sweat dancing for children?
cam: i heard they pull in more than 4 mil a year
cam: hell no
cam: i'd hire kids, dancers, and animators
coworker: eventually they'll be doing their sketches completely in easy chairs

entirely too cute.

maybe he really does have spidey-sense?

this morning cam mentioned that he finished spiderman 2 last night (he tivo’d it and has been watching it in chunks). i asked him how it ended. maybe that wasn’t so smart. i usually sleep in the car on the way to work, and cam’s explanation took almost the whole trip. but this made me smile:

cam: blah blah stops train blah blah leans forward, crowd helps him up blah blah then doc oct comes in and carries him away.
me: in the game, wasn’t he just lying down by himself before the crowds came?
cam: yeah, i think so.
me: oh, okay.
cam: then *i* woke up... um, oops, that was the game. then *he* woke up...

August 31, 2005

a room of one's own

i’m getting a little excited. things are progressing at work and i may be moving in the next few months. i could have a new office soon! (it doesn’t have a window, though, except to the inside. but that’s fine. i’ve only had an exterior window once and i’m already in my fourth office.) it’s stupid, but i am already decorating it in my head. i just can’t wait to unpack. i’ve been holed up in a room with a thousand boxes for almost a year now.

but i bet cam would kill to have the same office i’m in now (which totally makes me feel selfish). as a supervisor, i’ve been eligible for – and have had – an office since 2000. cam doesn’t even have a complete cubicle. poor guy. it sucks because he wants his own enclosed space because he feels he works better that way – less interruptions. after he finishes his latest project, he’s going to investigate cubicles to see if perhaps his company would be kind enough to buy additional components for the pseudo-cube he has now. i hope they will accommodate him.

August 24, 2005

my very own tech guy

i hate having to call on cam to help with computer problems at work. my first inclination is to try to fix it myself. if i can’t do that, then i go to him. last resort is my work’s it department – not because they can’t help, but just because i’m impatient. it would be absolutely insane to expect an immediate response. we’re a big firm.

cam doesn’t mind, but i hate feeling like he has to serve as my very own personal geek squad just because we’re married.

August 21, 2005


it is 12:34 am. paul is asleep. cam is working on, well, work. i am writing a letter of rec for my assistant for his law school apps. we are singing along to randy travis songs while we work. i wish we had some wine.

cam: i wish we had some wine, too.

August 17, 2005

let's do the toothbrush tango

this morning in the shower i was thinking about an experience from high school: during one key club banquet (junior year?), the president wanted to show board unity by doing this disgusting party trick. he wanted the board members to stand in a line o’ brushing. the first person brushes her teeth, rinses with a cup of water and spits back into the cup. the second person takes the same brush and cup, brushes his teeth and rinses/spits back into the cup. the third person, etc. etc. etc. until the end of the row. the very last person has to drink the contents of the cup. (oh my god, i’m gagging just writing about it.) we had to draw straws or something to figure out the order. the girls went first, of course. i was the last girl (also, of course). we all brushed our teeth very thoroughly prior to going on stage, but it was still so painfully gross that we all ran from the room as soon as it was over to brush them once again. the poor guy at the end. eeew.

this particular moment interested me this morning because it reminded me about what it means to have a journal that’s up for the public to see. i know i’ve written a zillion things about my son that could have been written by any mother. i’ve written a zillion things about my husband that could have been written by any silly wife. (even though i’m 100% positive that “no one has ever felt this way before.” try googling that. it’s funny.) this particular instance is something that could be written by any former key clubber or in fact anyone who has ever joined a club. i didn’t mention names. it’s dorky. it’s impersonal. it’s a nostalgic any-person kind of a story. not quite garrison keillor, but something along those lines.

to constantly write like that is not always easy. do i want to write as if i were the only one reading? i don’t know – but it doesn’t matter because i’ve found that even if i do try to write that way, i still rein in any tendencies to be too personal. do i use names? sure, first names when necessary. do i write about stuff in the past? yeah, but only careful selections of the past. for all i know, my mother could be reading this. do i want her to know about that one wild and crazy summer? um. hells no. but if a cousin reads this and says to her mom, “hey, guess what i read today?” i could be so sunk. sure, that wild and crazy summer was years ago, but still. hence, the need to self-edit. i’m not worried about stalker-types. i’m not worried that i’m going to get emails asking me for hot nekkid pics. i’m more worried about my mom saying, “what the hell did you do during that summer?” even worse: my mom asking paul, “do you know what happened that summer?”

ultimately it comes down this: what is more important – what i’ve done or what i’ve felt? i tend to go with the latter. i might even say that the most important thing is what’s i’ve felt about what i’ve done. so... if i can write honestly and openly about how i feel/felt/am feeling, i believe that it will accurately paint the picture of me that i am trying to paint. the stuff i’ve done (like brushed my teeth with a brush that had touched at least four other mouths) is just gravy.

August 16, 2005

petros II

yesterday cam had me listen to his beloved petros papadakis, and i’ll be damned if he didn’t say the funniest thing i’ve heard in a while. he recently moved to san pedro (although where in san pedro, i don’t know – all i know is that he now owns a condo “dangerously close” to a branch of local restaurant chain fantastic café.) and spent at least 20 minutes bitching about the process of moving. blah blah blah propertyownercakes. anyway, he referred to san pedro as the place “where the ghetto meets the sea.” har! if you don’t live here, well, you’re not expected to understand. but if you do... then don’t you agree that that is simply the spamdamnbest description you’ve ever heard?

i want to stencil it above the mirror in my living room.

August 8, 2005

baby names

since i have a pregnant friend, i’ve been thinking a lot about possible names for a child. cam, of course, has vetoed many of my choices. it’s all paul’s fault. his name is so sensible that any of my current choices – which are, of course, informed by my past choices – just sound fussy.

cam rejects ellery, which i like a lot. “too snobby.”

cam is so-so on abigail.

i’ve finally met someone with our number one girl name, and i am not so fond of her. so ixnay on our now former number one.

still love peyton (love!) but paul and peyton? no.

liam sounds too fancy now. as does finn.

we both like sophia, though. it’s a little fussy, but the nickname sophy is so cute.


August 5, 2005


much to my unspeakable screaming willies horror, i found a tiny lizard in my house last night. cam kept insisting it was cute, the bastard.

and it starts all over again

the first preseason football game is tomorrow in tokyo. i would complain that it’s too early for football to be starting again, but hey, it’s peyton. love! cam is psyched, but something tells me he is not planning on watching the game live on espn2... although... if anything can get cam up way early on a saturday (2 am?), it might be football.

comments cam, “maybe it won’t be a matter of getting up early but staying up late.”

um. if he stays up until 2, then sleeps all day to make up for it, he will be killed.

July 26, 2005

taking it like a man

i have picked on cam many times for not being sensitive.

me: i don’t want solutions, i want sympathy!
cam: i’m not a woman!

lately i’ve come to realize that i am a total hypocrite because i suck at giving sympathy. i’d rather problem-solve. i like coming up with possible solutions. sitting around and making concerned faces and telling the girls that yeah, he’s scum! is just not my thing.

cam, i’m sorry.

July 14, 2005

the isle of carl

just got off the phone with cam. had to share with him my a-ha moment. yeah, yeah, i know this is stupid, but it’s my moment, so fuck off.

i was typing a name for work: carlisle. carlisle is just one of those words that i’ve looked at for years and have always known how to say. but yesterday i came across “carlyle,” which is probably why i even noticed today’s variation.

so i thought, why are carlisle and carlyle pronounced the same way? why is carlisle carlisle anyway? i looked at it and split it in my head to carl/isle and the voila, comprehension!

cam: the isle of carl.
me: yes!

thank god i married a man who only mocks me occasionally. and usually gently, at that.

July 9, 2005


cam: dad is not a horse. dad is not for spurring. no spurring of dad.

July 5, 2005

baby vs. rhino

cam bought me a penny arcade shirt. i asked for it. i modeled it for him the other night.

cam: looks good. you poor wife of a geek.

me: [pause]

cam: [questioning pause]

me: oh! i thought you said, “geek of a wife” and i was trying to decide if i wanted to be insulted or not.

July 1, 2005


cam is currently obsessed with petros papadakis and his sports radio show. obsessed. i live in fear (and yet welcome the idea because i have a fondness for greek food) that cam will one day demand we go to papadakis taverna just because petros works there on weekends (it’s his dad’s restaurant). sure, he won’t be doing his usual shtick, but he’ll be there… and cam’ll be there… breathing the same air and all that.

June 28, 2005

mr. roboto

cam called paul “sockba” because he roams around and picks up socks from the floor. get it? har. a few weeks back we were discussing robots and robot-esque things. we already have a roomba, i want a scooba. cam has this bizarre fascination with robosapiens. we’re in love with the dancing honda robot, asimo. if possible, we want to fill our house with robots for paul.

“it would be a fascinating life… surrounded by robots,” cam says.

June 21, 2005

from the email archives

on 12/22/04, my assignment from cam was apparently to write a haiku. so i wrote this:

dear mister baby
let me sleep in peace tonight
the first time this year

and he was pleased.



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