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March 29, 2014

city by the bay

i am occasionally impulsive. (not in any drastic ways, although one might say that giving notice was... impulsive.)

last week i made work-related dinner plans. in san francisco.

then i made personal plans to go with. (i briefly contemplated making family-related plans, but let's be honest: when i knew i was actually going up north, only one person came to mind.)

so i bought a plane ticket, booked a hotel room, looked at bart maps, kissed the children and cam goodbye--and went to san francisco for about 25 hours.

just lovely. all of it. i should have done that sooner. thank you, my dear friends.

January 12, 2014

sushi

yesterday cam turned 39. so old! (sorry, cam.)

we had a little celebratory lunch at rice in manhattan beach. rice is a little sushi place run by a former shojin employee, shojin being a delightful little vegan sushi restaurant in little tokyo. where shojin is dark and mysterious (kind of funny considering it's located in a mall), rice is light and airy. since it's only a block or so from the ocean, it's the kind of place that might grab your attention during a leisurely sunny stroll. with shojin, you have no other reason to be in the area.

lunch was lovely. (the struggle to find parking, not so much.) shojin has great food and interesting drinks, but it is not really a family friendly kind of place. even without allergy concerns, you kind of need menu stability with small kids. it's hard to explain to the kids that the thing they loved last time isn't available this time. even reasonably adventurous paul has his comfort food favorites. rice had edamame, mild miso soup, vegetable tempura and pumpkin croquettes. score.

the biggest problem with shojin, however, is that tempers are shorter there. that's just how it is. cam and I used to enjoy the food at a restaurant called campanile--but we could hardly ever go there because we'd fight the whole time. rice didn't have that vibe, and the kids were engaged and excited. i was intrigued because their sushi selection had an equal number of fish and vegan options. god bless cam for being so open minded, but sometimes i feel bad for making him eat what i eat.

before we left, the waitress loaded us down with extra chopstick clips and trinkets for the kids. and we took a few gluten-free lollipops on the way out.

while there are things about shojin i definitely prefer, rice was a much more relaxing family experience overall. nola already wants to know if we can go back.

December 25, 2012

holiday greetings

hope you and yours had a lovely christmas. if you don't usually celebrate this holiday, then i hope your tuesday was pleasant!

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.

March 11, 2012

mouseketeers

am now the proud owner of a disneyland annual pass.

it never occurred to me that such a thing might be a good idea until our trip there on the day before christmas. paul rode star tours what seemed like half a dozen times, and nola began an unhealthy obsession with disney junior live on stage.

faced with their obvious interest in the disney empire, i agreed with the idea of an annual pass, but at the same time i pooh-poohed it.

no, i'm sorry, annual passes to disneyland are for the obsessed. the people who know which characters are at what place at what time, the people who know the words to every movie and every song, the people who feel the need to just "drop by" disneyland in the way i "drop by" target.

but the idea kind of grew on me, and today we bit the bullet and bought the passes.

as a result, we had the most lowkey disney afternoon EVER. we got there after three. i took paul on star tours while cam and nola went to see the last showing of disney junior live on stage. we bought two bags of cotton candy and a loaf of boudin sourdough. (cam also bought a beer and directly confronted paul's obvious disapproval. har.) then we went home.

"we won't regret this," said cam on the tram back to the parking structure, a mere 3+ hours after arrival.

no, i don't imagine we will.

i've spent the last 30-something years looking at amusement parks as full-day excursions, events to plan to the ground. such days started at dawn and ended at midnight. you wore such-and-such lightweight jacket, wore your most comfortable walking shoes. you either needed a locker or tried to boil your accessories down to the essentials so you could skip the rental. if you didn't ride X number of rides or see Y number of sights, it was an unsuccessful day. when you've got small children, who needs that? and disney's so expensive, honestly, a few trips and the pass is already covered.

here's to a new era in the happiest place on earth. i hope this little investment proves to be a sound one.

January 21, 2012

lucky

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.

May 8, 2011

happy mother's day

hope all mothers--biological, adoptive, honorary, potential, et al.--had a good day today.

May 7, 2011

something new

today we had vegan sushi from a place in little tokyo. yum! since they do takeout, i look forward to picking up the occasional order on the way home from work.

April 7, 2011

partial redemption

the boss did good. not great, but good.

thursday morning i overslept. in a panic, i dressed hastily and kind of half-assed straightened my hair. checked my blackberry in the car. nothing from the boss, as expected. shrugged and moved on.

got to the office 40 minutes later. checked email, discovered a 20-minute-old email from the boss asking his three local managers to cab it to a swanky hotel at the marina where he was staying.

commence freakout. i was wearing a new dress, which was good, but with a wide, wide leather belt, which was a little... much for a meeting at a hotel with the boss. "he would do this to me," i complained, "when i'm dressed like the st. pauli girl!" but at least my hair looked more or less decent.

but we went, and it was good. not great, but good. (a glass of sauvignon blanc at 11 am?) i really needed to talk to him alone, and as nice as the others are, i was constrained by their presence.

but the boss claims he'll be back in a few weeks, so maybe i'll get my chance then.

March 13, 2011

balancing act

there are many aspects of my life that appear to be so smooth and shiny on the outside. i can even talk them up that way, and convince others of the rightness... but if i'm really honest with myself, it's just not happening.

so NOT happening.

deep down, i suspect that i'm hoping that if i can fake it until i can bake it, then i'll be okay. for some things, the impression is worth almost as much as the reality. one day i'll have time for this blog (unfairly supplanted by facebook -- vanity, thy name is grace -- how i enjoy the instant feedback of "like" when i'm feeling like i'm being clever), one day i'll stop feeling guilty when my subordinates have too much to do, one day nola will be potty-trained, one day paul will stop whining, and one day i'll learn how to completely utilize all 24 hours in a day.

January 1, 2011

inauspicious

this year has not gotten off to the best start (meltdowns over photoshop, anyone?), but it can only get better from here.

right?

June 20, 2010

dadly

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 5, 2010

with sugar on top

we've been trying to get nola to say please when she wants something.

usually the request results in a pile of angry baby on the floor, but i've been hearing "pwease" with increasing frequency in the past few days. maybe (fingers crossed) this part of the terrible twos will soon be a distant memory...

May 9, 2010

what does it mean to be a mother?

i hope you all had a very good mother's day.

November 26, 2009

happy thanksgiving

hoping you and yours are having a lovely thanksgiving holiday.

October 16, 2009

roses?

work has actually been going well. things are sort of coming together. it's not perfect, but if at least we can get some big issues out of the way, then we can be free to work on other projects. yesterday i was really angry over something (and someone), but it all sort of smoothed out and went away by the end of the day... today i barely thought about it. it's rather nice when that happens.

September 12, 2009

pizza party

last night for dinner (and today for lunch) we had pizza.

not homemade, not cheeseless, but a real honest-to-god vegan pizza from a local pizza chain. (oh my goodness, my first pizza in what, 14-15 months?)

my sister-in-law mentioned a few days ago that zpizza carried a vegan pizza. we remembered it on friday and decided it might be a good dinner. but i checked their site and there were notices about their soy cheese containing casein. no go.

impulsively i did some googling and learned that they had started using a vegan cheese in limited release over the summer, but that all restaurants should have converted from soy to vegan by september. so i had cam call, and lo and behold, our local one used vegan cheese.

we ordered two -- one with capers/mushrooms/basil/artichoke hearts and one with sausage/mushroom (they must have thought cam was crazy to order vegan cheese with sausage). the crust was thin and crisp, the sauce tasty and the cheese pretty good. paul found the sausage too spicy and refused to eat anything but the crust. nola nibbled everyting, but that's par for the course.

today cam had paul eat a piece of the sausage/mushroom pizza with the sausage removed. he enjoyed it, so i think next time we'll get a mushroom pizza for paul. zpizza lists on their facebook page which pizzas could be "veganized," so i suspect we have a lot of pizza eating ahead of us.

August 22, 2009

blueberry

found a new vegan muffin recipe. much better. i look forward to trying many variations (and to including them in paul's lunchbox).

May 10, 2009

mom-day

happy mother's day to anyone and everyone deserving of the love of a child.

March 16, 2009

normalcy

i am back to work after an eventful four-day weekend. i can't say that i am enjoying it, but i am pleased by the idea of life returning to normal. cam's parents are back, nola's back with my mom, all's right with my world. (except for the nasty cold that keeps knocking me out.)

March 5, 2009

tgit

i am beginning to love this whole "staying home on fridays" thing. i don't always spend the day the way i'd like to, but hey, i'm HOME. how awesome is that?

February 22, 2009

unisex pjs

garnet hill kids pajamas are the awesome. sure, they are crazy-expensive. but they get softer with each wash, there aren't any loose flaps inside that would require ironing, everything feels nice and sturdy. these might be hand-me-down pajamas. wonder if nola would willingly wear camo gecko pjs?

January 29, 2009

unexpected role model

i have been spending a lot of time thinking about appearances lately. one of my coworkers is all about clothes, so we've been talking -- nay, practically whiling the mornings away with chatter. as i've been struggling with my own style and longing to look "finished," i realized something that amazed me:

to my coworker, i am stylish. the child apparently sees me as practically a fashionista.

either that or she is just very, VERY nice.

January 15, 2009

sucker

the other day, nola successfully used a straw to enjoy a tasty soy smoothie. based on this experience, i am encouraged to think we will be able to move from bottle to straw cup come may 2nd. i am all for skipping the tyranny of sippies!

January 1, 2009

2009

happy new year (from the sickbed, unfortunately). best wishes for a happy and healthy (really!) 2009.

December 25, 2008

holly berries and mistletoe

merry christmas!

so far it's actually been a pretty decent day. all of the gifts at home have been opened (except the ones not for us, of course), nola is having a late breakfast, my poor sick mom went home to lie down, and cam and paul are playing with legos (ones he already had, of course). nola was not that interested in her gifts, but oh how she loved the idea of eating wrapping paper. paul was dismissive of clothes, but he did say, "i've always wanted this" to a number of presents -- it's always nice to hear that.

as always, i'm astonished by the generosity and the sheer amount of stuff that the kids have received. my co-workers -- one assistant in particular -- lavished gifts on paul and nola. it's true, this part of the holiday is really for children, and it's fun to shop for them. it makes me feel a little sheepish that i did giftcards, but since i have the youngest baby, i think people might cut me some slack.

we'll be heading over to cam's parents for lunch and more gifts. our food contribution this year -- and honestly, we usually don't bring a thing -- is a vegan chocolate fondue and assorted things (banana bread cubes, pretzels, raspberries, strawberries and bananas) for dipping. earlier this morning my father's sister and her family dropped by for a brief visit. it's not even noon and i've already had to be more social than i can stand -- especially when i'm sick and losing my voice (yeah, not sure when that happened). but oh well, peace, goodwill towards man and all that good stuff.

hope you and your families and friends are having a good day.

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.

November 30, 2008

give thanks

i'm a little bit late, but i just wanted to say that i am thankful for:

family
friends
health
a non-leaky roof over our heads
steady employment
a prelit christmas tree

happy end-of-november.

November 27, 2008

tofurky, marching bands and giant dora balloons

happy thanksgiving!

(yes, that is a turkey in the oven. no, the smell is not appealing to me.)

November 4, 2008

writing history, part 2

i couldn't help it -- i teared up a little when the presidential results were announced. this is indeed a historic day.

writing history

i hope you voted. and if you're in california, i hope you voted no on 8.

October 15, 2008

longlost

steve -- what an unexpected treat! thanks for taking the time to see me.

August 16, 2008

rosy outlook

bought some rosy red minnows for the pond from a local pet shop (not a big chain, they only had goldfish in their feeder section). they are teenytiny and hard to see in our deep green pond, but they seem to be doing their job because i don't see too many wiggly mosquito larvae. hope they manage to survive against those evil, evil raccoons. (we bought a motion-sensitive sprinkler that seems to be successfully fighting the good fight in keeping them away from the pond, so they took it out on the pool instead. sigh.)

August 15, 2008

three shopaholics

girls' day out: my mom, nola and i went clothes shopping today. no place special, just del amo mall. it was shockingly successful -- i ended up with four sleeveless tops and a little cropped jacket, and my mom bought a pretty blouse and her first pair of jeans in years.

we had a great time, and i learned a few things:

1) trying on clothes doesn't have to be an awful experience. just say [quietly/silently] to yourself, "it's the clothes that are wrong, not my body." repeat ad nauseum.

2) i actually have nice arms and shoulders. (yay!)

3) it's fun to encourage my mother to try new things (especially when she is in the mood for a change).

4) it's possible to buy non-petite stuff that fits.

5) color is a good thing.

6) the cropped swing jacket/longer shirt trend is shockingly flattering.

7) "what not to wear" actually does make shopping more fun.

8) buying nice stuff for the postpartum body can be a huge morale boost.

i tried to go into this shopping trip with an open mind and it worked, both for clothing for myself AND for my views on shopping with my mother.

August 14, 2008

kind eye

today my ob/gyn took a look at me and said, "hey, skinny-minnie." i knew there was a reason why i liked him.

August 5, 2008

impulsive water feature

on monday night i got the wacky idea to start up our old pond again (we drained it after many, many trials and tribulations -- pump/filter issues, string algae, goldfish overpopulation and voracious raccoons, oh my!). but this time i wanted more plants and only enough fish to handle the mosquitoes. i talked to my mom about it -- using bricks to raise some potted plants (we already have some thriving horsetail) and then buying a few lilies, etc. -- and she was more than game. cam and i have talked about reviving the pond many, many times (and as many different things, i.e. bog garden, massive firepit), but it struck me that if we didn't just do something, it would sit empty for all eternity because we were planning ourselves into something too elaborate and time-consuming to do without devoting half our lives to it. after some thought, i made the clearly logical decision to just half-ass it and see what happens!

today i put in some bricks and started filling the pond with water. my mom went on a plant reconnaissance mission to a local nursery. paul wants the pond to look like an artificial coral reef. cam just smiles at all of our nonsense.

(by the way, the pond is a 10' aboveground round concrete monstrosity that came with the house. i wouldn't mind demolishing it, but the backyard is clearly built around it, and the cost of removal of the pond and the stone walkway around it and fixing the deck just doesn't appeal.)

July 4, 2008

happy 4th

happy 4th of july. hope your celebrations were enjoyable and safe.

we had lunch with cam's family today. after lunch, his cousin, her fiance and new baby (exactly one month older than nola) came over, which was cool because we've been meaning to visit them for a while now. in the evening, cam and paul watched fireworks over there while nola, my mom and i spent the evening at home. i was a little concerned nola would be freaked out by the noise, so i nursed her to sleep with the blanket covering her ears. she wriggled a bit when the booms were a little much, but that was about it. i would have to say this was probably the most lowkey 4th of july ever since we had kids.

(my sister-in-law reminded me of last year's greatest moment: paul was standing on a stepstool with his fingers in his ears. his chin started to itch, but he couldn't do anything about it because said fingers were in said ears. he wailed, "uuuuhhh, scratch my chin!")

June 10, 2008

so proud

got a call from the elementary school principal. paul had been accepted into the advanced studies program -- did we want to accept the spot? damn straight.

back to school sales and uniforms, here we come!

January 1, 2008

2008

happy new year! may it be a happy and healthy one (with a minimum of whining)...

December 24, 2007

twas the night before

paul is finally asleep. (what a trial that was -- he was so wired!) a hand-drawn "santa map" is sitting on the counter, santa's trail marked courtesy of the norad santa tracker. presents are all wrapped and beribboned under the tree. homemade cookies on a little plate are waiting on the coffee table, soon to be replaced by crumbs and a friendly thank-you note (i think i disguised my handwriting pretty well). the camera and video camera are charging. cam's alarm clock is set for 6.

sleep well. hope your morning is a good one.

November 30, 2007

wheat-free no longer

cam just called to tell me that he had talked to paul's allergist, and there's a very good possibility that paul is NO LONGER ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS AND WHEAT. a blood test showed that he had no significant reaction to either. milk and eggs are still a problem, but peanuts and wheat may not be. we're supposed to start him on a little wheat this weekend. (being allergic to peanuts myself, i am not exactly certain how to go about starting him on that.)

oh my god. i am so excited i am in tears. who would have guessed he'd outgrow any of his allergies so soon?

October 29, 2007

complementary condiments

just about everything is better with veganaise or mustard.

October 23, 2007

blessed

it's not a word i use very often, but i think it applies. lately i've been feeling like nothing is going right, but honestly, i know there are a lot of people would would kill to be us right now.

we're blessed that we have not been really affected by the fires currently ravaging southern california. the worst that has happened to us is that we have a fine blanket of ashes on the floor of our house because we left some windows open.

we're blessed that we will soon be celebrating ten years of being together.

we're blessed that we have a usually happy, generally healthy and amusingly literate almost 4-year-old.

we're blessed that we will be adding to our family come next spring.

we're blessed to have our parents so close.

we're blessed that we work for flexible and generous employers.

i know this is more of a thanksgiving day-type post, but with all the misery and ashes flying around, i just felt like looking on the bright side for a change.

September 21, 2007

shmoopiness

i've been at work late during this whole week. it's been rough because i'm usually completely totally sick and/or starving and/or cranky as hell by the time i leave. but i know i have much to be thankful for -- i don't need to drive (ever), i have a loving chauffeur who is also willing provide neckrubs on the way home if i have a headache, i have a son who is willing to dole out hugs when we arrive, and we have a wee tiny tiny baby-thing that i can't wait to welcome into our family.

September 18, 2007

momentous, or a moment like this

today is a big day. i've taken the day off so that we can attend (1) a meeting with paul's preschool teacher, and (2) my prenatal registration class. how astonishing it is to have a day officially recognizing the growth and development of two children instead of just one.

September 5, 2007

timing

got to work a little bit late, but nobody was here when i came in -- so now i look like i got here on time. sweet.

August 16, 2007

butterflies

yesterday i made fried chicken for my two guys (which they very much liked, although i'm not sure i'll make it again until we hook up the vent in the kitchen). today my mom treated me to faux chicken (which i infinitely preferred).

she also brought veggie beef and veggie shrimp -- takeout from a restaurant we recently read about in the paper: papillon.

oh my god. i had been in a bit of a snit on the way home, but the food was so surprisingly good that my spirits were in infinitely better shape post-dinner. papillon is a filipino/chinese vegetarian restaurant in el segundo, about 20 miles from our house. there had been a write-up on it in a local paper, which my in-laws saved for me. i gave the review to my mother and tasked her with checking it out. i had actualy meant that she should go eat there with a friend, but she had her own ideas.

she called me at work and informed me that she had picked up a few dishes for us to try. i was initially mad because we had other plans (paul spent the day with cam's folks, so we were going to grab dinner and go shopping), but i didn't exactly wish to reward her generosity with cold bitchiness. so we came home and ate. she bought two veggie dishes ("papillon express" and "el florido") and one chicken one (yes, this place also has some nonvegetarian options). cam cooked rice. my mom brought over some wild rice, but the three of us ended up eating just the white rice.

we all ate far too much, but it was good stuff. i'm a little apprehensive about paul eating there, though. we'll need to find out if they use soy sauce with wheat (cam noted with surprise that the little tiny packets of soy sauce included with our food was actually wheat-free), and we'll also need to ask about their meat substitutes. my mom already asked about eggs and dairy, and we're cool there.

it's been a long time since "ethnic" dining meant anything other than mexican or italian. and it's been almost as long since we've found a fairly local vegetarian restaurant. ever since house of vege in lomita changed owners, we haven't been back. (we've planned to, but the decrepit signage out front always makes me cringe.) i was so sad when vegan terra in san pedro closed -- even though their ethics weren't quite the same as mine, the food still made me happy. this place isn't quite so close, but think about it -- it's, well, closer than the philippines (and significantly less meaty). have i mentioned that i haven't really had a whole lot of filipino food in the last ten years? this could change that.

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 4, 2007

in the kitchen

my mom was leaning against a kitchen counter, watching as i scooped cookie dough onto a baking sheet. paul was playing in an adjoining room.

me: well, this is a moment of unparalleled domesticity.
my mom: with mommy baking cookies...
my mom: [smiling] yeah.

August 3, 2007

refrigerator repairman

yay! the replacement shelf-thing for the fridge showed up. i no longer have to feel like a clumsy git every time i open the fridge. glass. it's a beautiful thing.

June 11, 2007

not a moment too soon

my friend is back to work after a three-week vacation. oh my god, i can't express how relieved i am he's back. as much as i liked working with his boss, i didn't like doing his work on top of my own. i am so looking forward to actually putting down the blackberry every once in a while now.

May 27, 2007

snips and snails

very best wishes to joel and family on their newest arrival. what a lovely little family.

May 13, 2007

momhood

a happy mother's day to all.

paul: is it still mother's day?
me: yes.
paul: but i didn't get a present.
me: oh, i'm sorry!
me: are you a mother?
paul: [solemnly] yes.
paul: [stretches arms wide] i'm going to grow this big.
me: hmm, let's go get a cupcake.
paul: okay.

April 16, 2007

patty cake

a few months back cam bought me a kitchenaid mixer. there was a good deal on amazon, so we took advantage of it.

i've always wanted a stand mixer, but i never felt like i cooked/baked enough to justify the purchase of one. well. after trying many different kinds of allergen-free breads, i'd have to say that the best is the kind we can bake from a flour mix. (i admit it. i'm too chickenshit to try a bread competely from scratch.) if only i had realized this sooner -- paul and i have suffered through lots of somewhat unappealing breads. for about a year, i think we ate nothing but heavy rye. we then discovered tapioca breads, which were slightly better.

don't even get me started on all the wooden spoon handles that snapped during heavy mixing sessions. i practically needed tweezers to pull out all the splinters.

i finally had an opportunity to use the mixer, and let me say, that thing is fantastic. no broken utensils. no lumpy mixes. no more dishes than usual. nice and even results. i look forward to many happy baking days.

April 11, 2007

dusting

i have been trying to write this post in my head for a really long time now, but i don't feel like the words are coming together. there are some very serious life changes in process right now. lots of thinking, lots of decisions, lots of talking, lots of doors opening and closing. nothing i could write (or type slowly across a blue screen) feels it adequately captures what is going on right now. not that these new thoughts are particularly monumental in the grand scheme of things -- i'm not running for mayor or anything like that -- but they are slowly changing the way we are trying to live.

yes, cam and i are joining the ranks of the ttc. (isn't "baby dust" the grossing-sounding thing ever? why the hell would i want a free packet of good luck baby dust with a pack of pregnancy tests? what am i supposed to do with it, plant it?)

paul is not going to be thrilled. if the last time is any indication, well, we've got about ten months to convince paul of the rightness of this decision.

March 17, 2007

a reasonably nice day

this morning cam slept through the alarm. i was in paul's room, so i didn't wake up, either. about an hour and a half after the freaking thing started beeping, i got up and went to wake up cam. jesu cristo.

got to work about an hour late, but it was not a big deal because the partners were all away at a retreat... it was a bit quieter than usual. i was able to get some stuff done that i've been trying to deal with all week. because cam had to stay at work later than usual, i ended up going to the twice-a-month work cocktail party with my assistant and a few others from my department. it actually turned out to be a lot of fun. i was a little perturbed because the bartender (who i have seen at work from time to time) wanted to chat about how i haven't been to the party in years. um, yeah, let's talk about my younger drunken days.

speaking of young...

me: oh, and i have gray hair now.
x: yeah, me too.
me: well, yeah, i'm 32 now, i should have gray hair.
x: you're ONLY 32?
me: oooh, that is something you should NEVER say to a woman.
laughter at table
x: oh, yes...
me: if you would like this drink poured into your lap, i would be more than happy to pour it there.
more laughter

i was much saucier than i usually am. i think my assistant was bemused. cam laughed when i told him. the confident and social work-me always makes cam smile, although he was positively startled the first time he witnessed it.

although it started badly, i think friday was actually a pretty good day. i can't remember the last time i said that about a workday and truly believed it.

February 14, 2007

hearts and flowers

happy valentine's day to all and sundry.

February 4, 2007

singing in the rain

just so you don't think that i'm unmoved...

YAY! yay for the happy smile. yay for the handing of the trophy down below. yay for the man-hugs with dungy. (yay for some of those studly game pics i'm seeing online.) and... yay for your wet t-shirt. congrats to you and your entire organization.

rings and things

i wore my cap all throughout the game (at cam's urging), even though i didn't get to watch any of it. like a good wife, i kept paul out of cam's way so that he could watch the game.

now the dolphins have to win next year's superbowl just so that we can have parity in our household.

January 21, 2007

a thank you card

dear peyton manning:

thanks for the best birthday present a girl could ask for.

love,
grace

January 1, 2007

2007

cam just woke me -- i had fallen asleep in paul's room, where i had just gone about 20 minutes prior to make sure he didn't wake in a panic because of local fireworks. cam had been sleeping, but he said, chuckling, that someone had been banging frying pans together or something because a series of loud clangs! had awakened him. paul didn't even stir.

happy new year! a healthy and joyous year to all.

December 25, 2006

merry christmas!

December 18, 2006

holiday greetings

am really quite pleased with my christmas card this year. (i'll post it christmas day.) it came together really fast -- much faster than last year's card, which i loved but nobody else seemed to like. cam liked it, though, so i better mention that before he complains.

i've been doing the homemade -- photoshopmade? -- card since paul was one. i don't even remember his first christmas, but i know we sent out homemade birth announcements in early november, so we probably just skipped the whole christmas card thing.

the next year i made a red card with snowflakes and three pictures of paul at the park. it was astonishingly well received. i was flattered by all the praise, but in retrospect i realize that 90% of said praise had nothing to do with my spectacular photoshop skills, but rather to do with the sheer adorableness of my wee boy.

the following year i worked really hard on a card with ornaments and silhouettes of cam, paul and myself. to satisfy the photo people, i enclosed a close-up picture of paul that i had just happened to take while playing around with the camera. any comments received only had to do with that picture. no one cared about the card i had slaved over.

this year i returned to the photo card. i actually mocked it up sometime before thanksgiving, and it's pretty funny how i managed to stay faithful to that mock-up. i finished the card on friday and started prepping them to send over the weekend. it's nice, simple and it features two of my favorite free fonts (fontdinerdotcom, regular and sparkly, courtesy of the font diner). i hope people like it. if my work gets shunned two years running, i think i'll just order cards from costco next year.

December 15, 2006

productively peaceful

paul isn't here, so i'm actually feeling like things are working out. stress levels are way down.

December 14, 2006

quiet time came early this week

it's about 9:30 pm on thursday night. cam is at his work party, paul is in bed (since about 8:30), and i am sitting on the sofa with a glass of wine and a "crossing jordan"* rerun. i've taken care of some laundry, i've washed the dishes... now i am just sitting. it's nice.

*i really must get it straight how i refer to television shows. quotes or no quotes. sigh. i hate inconsistency.

November 18, 2006

promised treat

cam just said that if we hurry up and clean up the basement, we can fit a small air hockey table down there. yay!

November 9, 2006

awesomeness

this post is being typed on my new work blackberry. it's so cool. i love new toys, to be sure, but new useful toys? even better.

November 7, 2006

been waiting for this for a long time

finally. that's the best news i've heard all day.

October 31, 2006

genius

recently placed an order with genius babies and i must say that i was impressed. they had a nice selection of baby gifts, my order was shipped out right away, they sent out multiple status emails, the order was packaged in a "recycled" box (which amused me), and best of all, my invoice was tucked into a little plastic gift bag along with some candy, a business card magnet, a logo'd rubber ducky and a little thank-you note (which charmed me).

i admit it, i'm easy. my affections can be bought without much effort. but after years and years of catalog and online shopping, a little extra attention in packaging goes a long way with me.

October 4, 2006

tote

i've been thinking about a dedicated bag for dry cleaning for a while. the goal is to actually take stuff to the cleaners before i forget i own the stuff waiting to be cleaned. we've always just used nicer paper shopping bags, but it's kind of hard to keep those around the house because we have a silverfish problem. one day i spent a few minutes browsing the container store site for options. i considered an umbra crunch can, but was pretty meh about it. an orange bag with "dry cleaning" in big white letters across the side was cute, but not really practical for outside the house. (how stupid i'd feel carrying that bag in public.) i thought about using an ikea bag (we have a few of those blue ones you can buy that are just like the yellow ones you can use in-store), but man, those things are huge.

yesterday i got a package -- a brown tote bag with brown/turquoise striped handles. it was a freebie with my new subscription to domino. it was cute, but a little too big for me. but then a lightbulb went on over my head. now i have a new dry cleaning bag. i initially thought it was too small for that, but if we go often enough, it should be perfect. it wipes clean, it folds flat, it's pretty. it's nice when things fall into place like that.

October 1, 2006

flybaby

with the start of a new month, i think it might be time to give flylady a try again. god knows i've deleted enough flylady emails over the past year without even reading them.

September 29, 2006

hamster

it would be remiss of me if i did not wish richard hammond well. (cam has been providing me with daily updates on his condition.) best wishes on a speedy recovery.

September 18, 2006

wild declaration

me: one day i am going to be an organizational marvel!
me: and you will all be able to say, "i knew her when she was messy."

i could tell no one was really listening to me, but they'll feel it when i put them on a schedule. mwahahahaha!

August 30, 2006

patterns

i get a real kick out of seeing familiar wallpapers (cole and son, graham and brown) in ads and magazines. reminds me of the wallpaper hunt for my office. makes me feel trendyish.

August 29, 2006

a peach

cam is working from home today. my mother drove me to the office this morning. i didn't really want her to do so, but i figured if it were early enough, she would be fine -- and she was. i thank her wholeheartedly.

August 26, 2006

many happy returns

happy birthday, dear susan. hope your day is a lovely one.

July 21, 2006

no artificial colors or sweeteners

i am not going to dye my hair.

now, i'm not saying i'll never get highlights or lowlights or whatever (but i probably won't because the process of maintaining them is just too much for me), but i'm saying that there will be no nice 'n' easy in my future. no grecian formula. if and when i go gray, i will go GRAY. i refuse to be a slave to my roots. (there's something a bit odd about those two words being used in this context, but so be it.)

maybe i'll have sassy streaks. maybe i'd end up with an entirely salty bob. maybe i'll never get much grayer than i am now (which is what, one part per million?). who knows? but after all those years of watching the women in my life fight the signs of aging with smelly bottles and stained gloves, i think i would like to be brave enough to reconcile old me with young me and just move on.

July 19, 2006

coincidence

today i learned that a paralegal in tokyo has a son just a few days older than paul. so neat. maybe one day they could be pen pals.

July 13, 2006

pink

a friend brought her daughter to work today. i got to hold the baby while she looked for some paperwork. my god, that little one (five months) is so very tiny and light and wobby. sweet nostalgia.

June 25, 2006

free to a good owner

anyone need 1200+ bricks? if you can haul 'em away (and carry them down the stairs from our house), they're yours... i'll probably be putting them up on craigslist in a few days.

new opportunity

my boss talked to me on friday about a new job for me. would entail a move to a different department. i am excited and fearful. i know i wanted it, but can i deal with change?

June 21, 2006

compliment of the day

from a coworker in london:

I rave to everyone about you. If it's a query that you'll be dealing with I tell the them it'll be done quick smart.

May 27, 2006

tot

i sent a birthday present to one of the prettiest little girls i know. hope it showed up in time.

good customer service

a couple of weeks ago i reported that i had contacted a toy company about a broken wheel on a car. much to my delight, about a week or so after i gave them my address and the toy car's vin, they sent me FOUR wheels and a tire for FREE. sweet!

May 25, 2006

jottings

today marks the one-year anniversary of my first post. even though i don't really have the temperament to do well with long-term projects -- which makes it all the more frightening that i decided to become a parent -- i've managed to write regularly for an entire year. i deserve a cookie.

May 16, 2006

hired help

we've made our decision -- pending a background check and acceptance of our offer, i will have a new assistant within a week or so. i am cautiously optimistic.

May 15, 2006

flowers and tears

feeling a little teary.

a friend of mine -- we're former coworkers, now long-distance mommy-friends -- is going through a separation (and will almost certainly be going through a divorce). knowing that mother's day celebrations for mothers of babies and toddlers are often (i said often. i didn't say always.) orchestrated by fathers, it struck me that she might not get the sort of treatment she deserved. sure, the soon-to-be-ex had called her to wish her a happy birthday, but would he call to wish a happy mother's day to the mother of his child? who knows? i sent her flowers. it wasn't much, but at least it was something. i couldn't be sure that he would remember, but i could be sure that i would.

she emailed me today:
I cried so hard when I got your flowers. My husband didn't even call me! So I was so depressed that day - and so right before we left for Grandma/Grandpa's -- my flowers arrived! I just sat and cried - and my son said "Mommy cry?" And I said, "Yes, tears of happiness for great friends!" Then my son said, "Happy Mommy's Day, Mommy" and then he kissed me and hugged me. My day was complete.

even the smallest gestures of kindness can have an astonishingly uplifting effect. i'm glad i thought of the flowers. happy mother's day, my dear.

May 14, 2006

mother's sunday

i've had a very productive day. it has been a good day, although it was marred by two things:

1) the end-of-a-day-spent-wholly-at-home-letdown, when i realized that i was still in the clothes i had slept in the night before, and 2) paul broke my glasses.

i received sweet gifts (a pretty necklace from cam, framed pictures (cam) and flowers (my mom) "from" paul) and the mother's day portion of my day was quite nice. i had actually requested a microwave for mother's day, but my family is an entirely too sentimental lot to agree to such a practical gift.

cam and i finally got around to attaching the drawing paper-roll to paul's little table (also good for eating upon -- instant placemat!). we had a metal rail that would have been perfect, but the rod was too long. cam and i had discussed the possibility of using a wooden dowel with the rail supports, but just didn't have the time to get to it. when cam and paul went to see cam's sister for a few hours, i happened to find a wooden dowel that would be the perfect size (by accident -- i certainly wasn't looking for one), so i attached the supports to the table (yay for my tiny drill -- pilot holes are brilliance itself) and hacked the dowel to length with a rusty old saw i found outside. i was having trouble attaching the rod to the supports, so cam fixed it when they came home.

five loads of laundry. clean-up here and there. toys put in their places. papers tossed. dishes put away.

this evening i cooked chicken noodle soup for paul. i don't mind cooking meat, but obviously i can't feed it to paul because i can't taste it to see if it's too hot. since eating with paul can be such a messy thing, i'm always happy to hand off feeding rights to cam. cam ordered us a pizza, so we had my mom watch for paul for half an hour so we could eat.

now we're watching mythbusters with paul. it's been a good day, indeed.

May 4, 2006

congrats

yay for walking! you go, [baby] girl!

May 2, 2006

my monday

back at work. feh. i have a ton of stuff to wade through this morning. however, i am pretty happy because i got some good news about a friend and his wife about half an hour ago, so things could be worse.

April 26, 2006

hiatus

as of this minute i am on vacation. a brief vacation, sure -- i go back to work on tuesday -- but a short vacation is still a vacation. i am ready to play, to sleep, to shop. yay!

March 31, 2006

epiphany

it finally dawned on me: a way to solve the wallpaper issue. i was looking at cam's new penny arcade book when he mentioned the shenmue strip. we located it and i realized that this, this magnificent thing, was going to be the inspiration for my accent wall(s). now i am looking for wallpaper in a complementary color to the background color in the strip. bless you, gabe and tycho. you solved my style dilemma.

February 22, 2006

foundation

spanx tames the jiggly beast. thank god for that stuff.

February 15, 2006

dark and stormy night

i am looking forward to rain. not only do i have my lovely stripey purple wellies, i now have a bright white lighted umbrella, courtesy of my assistant. it was a belated birthday gift. (it would have been on time, but there were a series of comic and not-so-comic mishaps that resulted in a delay.)

i mentioned the lighted umbrella to him a long time ago, so i'm so pleased that he remembered.

February 14, 2006

praise

was dealing this morning with people from our london office. lovely people. very nice. one wrote to me:

Hope this is all ok now - and thanks for your help Grace. [the firm's general counsel, who is currently visiting the london office] has been singing your praises today.

what a nice thing to hear. 1) thanks are always appreciated, and 2) wow, to think that the gc is saying flattering things about me in foreign offices is a little overwhelming.

February 13, 2006

welcoming

joel and i met for about an hour (which was about half an hour longer than i planned, but oh well) in the lobby of my building. it was lovely seeing him again. it's been a really long time.

i think, if we both make more of an effort to keep in touch, we have the makings of a beautiful friendship. again.

February 11, 2006

visiting

joel called me at work yesterday to tell me he'd be in the area on monday. burbank, to be exact. since burbank is only about twenty minutes or so from downtown, maybe we could meet up for coffee or something. i'd like that. hope it works out.

February 8, 2006

useful

my friend with a new baby has called me twice in the last 24 hours with pumping/bfing questions. god, i feel so handy. it's nice to be able to share my experiences with someone else just starting out. i sort of wish i had someone back then to help me with paul, but no one i knew had the same goals.

February 6, 2006

congratulations!

a friend and co-worker delivered a baby girl by c-section this weekend. the baby was initially in the nicu, but has since been released from there and is now in her mommy's room.

best wishes to the newly-increased-by-one family!

January 31, 2006

mailtime!

i don't have comments enabled, but i do have a brand new handy-dandy form you can use to drop me a line. click on "contact me" over in my sidebar to be directed to this nifty new thing (courtesy of thesitewizard). thanks!

January 27, 2006

holiday

yesterday morning i responded to an email from my firm's hong kong office. this morning i received a reply, thanking me for the information and closing with this line:

Before the Chinese New Year Holiday in HK, I wish you a happy and pleasant year of Dog.

maybe it's the english major in me, maybe it's the [ugly] american, but i found this to be so cute i wanted to hug someone.

January 21, 2006

thoughtful

courtesy of cam's parents and sister, i now have the complete set of le creuset petite garden casseroles. so very sweet of them. thanks so much!

January 13, 2006

preppy

there's a funny line in "drive me crazy," a movie i watched in a hotel room in dc (long ago business trip) because i had nothing better to do.

chase: i didn't expect you to fall in love.
dulcie: i didn't expect you to fall into the gap.

all right, it isn't that funny, but it got an unexpected laugh out of me. when i told cam, he all but rolled his eyes, but he just doesn't have the same love of teen romantic comedies that i do. (i love them in their innocence. not so big on the teen sex comedy -- never saw any of the "american pie" movies and their ilk -- but "zapped!" is a classic. hate adult romantic comedies. blech.)

anyway, i thought of this line because of the gap, a store i usually avoid. i'm going to have to revise that policy. just learned today gap online is now offering a limited petite selection. (i mean, i knew they were going to do it, but didn't realize they had already started selling anything.) i was delighted to see that one of the few sweaters they are offering in petite sizes is a green-striped rugby sweater. green. striped. rugby. swoon! it is so mine. is it any coincidence that i am listening to steve as i type this? bless gap's little corporate heart.

January 12, 2006

skiptop

just for kicks i put the laptop into the skiphop. it fit both vertically and horizontally. amazing. now we're looking for a sleeve.

January 1, 2006

2006

with the new year comes a new title. paul now calls me mommy instead of mom.

happy new year!

December 30, 2005

update

amazingly, i already got a response to my "hey, you messed up our names" email. the corrections have been made and new paperwork is on the way. i am once again sheepish.

December 25, 2005

holiday wishes

merry christmas! onward to the piles of crumpled wrapping paper!

December 14, 2005

success!

christmas shopping is done! (just have to wait for a few packages to arrive so i can wrap them.) cards are mailed! i am doing a happy dance.

November 28, 2005

victory

yay, colts! now the anxiousness can go away for another week or so.

November 24, 2005

accomplishment!

our christmas card is almost finished! it is very different from last year's, but i still think it's kind of nice.

thanksgiving

we just got back from cam's parents' house. we had originally been unsure we'd be able to go over there because paul was so sick last night, but because he seemed okay by midmorning, we decided to go over there anyway.

paul didn't really want to go see his grandparents. he wanted to go to the local airport instead. cam promised him a trip there after we visited his grandpa. paul agreed halfheartedly.

i gave paul a bath right before we left, so he was a little grumpy. his cheeks were a little red, but i figured he had rubbed them in a fit of grumpiness. not too long after we arrived at the house, i noticed that his chin was red, too, and he looked kind of swollen. however, within an hour or so, the swelling and redness went down and he seemed back to normal. he wasn't interested in food, though, and preferred to play while we ate. the redness and slight feverishness returned right before we went home, but he was still in a good mood so i didn't worry too much about it. (paul, thank goodness, had forgotten about the promised airport trip, so we were able to go straight home.)

this evening it's been a bit about play (and as paul is constantly saying, "hide. hide!") and a lot about fussing at my mom, who had been away for the past night. but he was still out by 8:30, the tired little boy. unsurprising though -- he woke up at 6:30 am and only slept for about an hour starting at a quarter to noon.

speaking of waking up, this morning was pretty funny. at first, i think he was haunted by memories of last night because he was tremendously clingy and afraid to stand. after an hour or so, not only did he want to run, he wanted to eat. (i cooked him mommy's famous half-assed "chicken" soup: chicken-flavored bullion, hot water and brown rice noodles. it's so plain, but he likes it that way. the first time i cooked it, i tried adding real chicken and vegetables, but he wouldn't eat them. after that, i thought, why bother? i hate touching raw meat, anyway.) then he wanted to watch the macy's thankgiving day parade, at least until he grumbled "bored" at me after watching yet another broadway musical number. who could blame him? he is two, after all.

November 17, 2005

farewell

yesterday my aunt left town. she bought a house in georgia near another aunt and just moved. it was very brave of her to do this when the rest of the family is concentrated here, but i think it will be a good thing for her. i wish her the best.

November 16, 2005

yay me

i am a happy person. my site can now be found via google!

November 10, 2005

maybe i was unkind

a check showed up yesterday from guy who hit us. the envelope was postmarked 10/31 (and the return address was just a few blocks away), so i think it's fair to assume he had every intention of meeting his obligations. i'm a little embarrassed for being so bitchy about the whole thing.

October 21, 2005

timely

we got a very odd flyer in yesterday's mail. remember our car woes? (sure, we're thrilled to have the cr-v back, but we really did want a new car.) well, a local car dealership -- where we often have service done -- sent us a letter claiming that trade-in value is at an all-time high, so they would like to arrange for us to trade in our 2003 cr-v for a 2006 hybrid cr-v at the same monthly payment with no money down. wtf? there is no such thing as a hybrid cr-v (unless honda has been keeping this on the serious dl). cam is going to call in anyway to see what they mean. can't hurt, right?

update: cam got a 9:45 am appointment tomorrow for us to go in and talk to a sales rep. um, sweetie? 9:45 am on a saturday? most saturdays you're not even awake by that time.

October 20, 2005

t-t-t-teacher, teacher

gave my presentations today and i think they went okay. not great. i stuttered like a fiend and forgot my spot a few times, but i like to think that the secretaries forgave me.

October 16, 2005

ding dong

the prius is gone! yay! i still want a new car, but man, it's so nice to have the cr-v back. we were getting pretty freaking tired of the prius.

September 28, 2005

mom-like

this morning my secretary friend brought me a bunch of grapes. "here is our fruit for the day." then she left.

a few minutes later she returned with a small bag. "then we go from healthy to bad," she announced, putting potato chips on my desk. she grinned and walked out of my office to the sound of my laughter.

bless that woman. she's just so... impish.

September 15, 2005

yay!

happy birthday, mom!

September 14, 2005

qwerty!

i just like how it sounds.

qwerty!

August 19, 2005

trace amounts

i just cheated death! yay me! (all i did was eat a granola bar that “may contain traces of peanuts,” but still...)

August 8, 2005

pandas!

coworkers are obsessed with the new baby panda in the national zoo in dc. yay for the panda-cam!

July 27, 2005

vacation time

i am taking a vacation! okay, maybe not a vacation-vacation, but i am taking a few days off. two to be exact, a friday and a monday for a four-day weekend. bliss! of course this doesn’t mean that i’ll be relaxing in front of the tv or even playing outside with my perfect little boy. nope. i am going to drown myself in projects. so typical.

by monday night, i plan to have

painted the bedroom
finished at least one cushion
finished the table
cleaned the bathroom

if i don’t get any of this done, well, blame my ever-so-tempting bed.

July 22, 2005

being positive

it’s such a busy day and i feel ragged.

but on the bright side, i did get an invoice from the company that will be re-fencing the top of my garage. yay for that, at least.

July 14, 2005

happy birthday! (better early than late)

like a good friend, i bought somewhat lavish birthday presents for two close friends of mine. it’s the big 3-0 for both of them (i celebrated mine earlier this year). i hope they like them.

June 13, 2005

three cheers for the washing machine!

if anyone ever asks me what i consider to be the most essential piece of baby equipment (because i am the baby master, yo), i would have to say the washing machine.

a few years ago, when cam and i were younger and even more foolish than we are now, we lived in a great apartment in torrance. two bedrooms and a bath upstairs; a half bath, living room and kitchen downstairs. a nice little patio. a parking spot in a garage, a dumpster outside the back door. it wasn’t even that expensive, all things considered. as far as freeway access was concerned, it sucked, but that’s a small price to pay for the best apartment we had ever rented. anyway, it didn’t have washer/dryer hook-ups and the laundry room was small with weird operating hours, but that didn’t matter because once a week we used to split our laundry up and go visit our parents. wednesday nights, usually. i felt bad i didn’t see my mom that often once i moved out, so this went kind of a long way towards assuaging that guilt. we’d have dinner, talk, sometimes watch tv. it was nice. around nine or ten cam would show up and we would go home. the beauty of doing our laundry separately was that i could finally use fabric softener, goddammit. cam claimed an allergy to it, so i suffered without it for years. (of course, i have come to see the error of my ways and now avoid the stuff, but that’s not important right now.)

at some point during our time there i started wavering from my lifelong stated position that i would not have a child unless i had a house. this apartment was house-like, i thought. it had glass doors that opened onto the patio. it had a back door. a back door! i mean, jesus, what kind of apartment has more than one point of entrance? (okay, i admit, we always lived in high-rises so that makes me automatically not an expert on apartments. but still. a back door!) cam was sort of on my side, so we almost gave into the baby fever that consumed the logical part of my brain. luckily, we found a house a few months later and that was the end of that. in october 2002, we moved into our new home. in october 2003, we brought paul home from the hospital (stealing him was a breeze!). i keep my word.

now he is 19 months old and a champion bed-wetter. there are no diapers in existence that could contain the veritable fountain that is paul. the other day, when i was yet again washing our sheets and waterproof mattress pad in the middle of the week, it dawned on me that the washing machine was the greatest thing ever. i imagined myself washing queen-sized sheets in a river and shuddered.

the boppy is a grand and glorious thing, but i think i’d have to award the washing machine the prize here. when my mom’s old washer gave out on us, you’d have thought that someone died. we suffered miserably until we got our little danby from home depot (that was a challenge in itself, but anyway…). the capacity is a little less, but the danby, after all, is a front-loader with an internal water heater. no agitator like in the ancient top-loading kenmore. bliss! and that window in the front is almost as good as an aquarium. watching laundry go ‘round and ‘round is at least temporarily mesmerizing for both mom and baby.

since we got the danby, i have become a laundry freak. i use minimal detergent (fragrance and dye free). i use vinegar as softener. in the dryer, i have a funny little reusable bit of cloth that is supposed to cut down on static cling. i believe it does some good, but the real change for the dryer is that i don’t just crank it up to the hottest hot anymore. i actually use timed dry, which i never did in the past because i simply didn’t find it hot enough. overheating causes the worst static, so this really makes a huge difference. clearly i have spent too much time thinking about this. on weekends i do anywhere from four to nine loads of laundry. i could spread it out during the week, but then i’d lose that lovely moment when everything in the house is clean. you cannot know how much i live for that moment.

if i had to do it all over again, i would do things almost exactly the same way. wait for a house, then have a baby. there are many things i wouldn’t have bothered with (like the baby bathtub, what a waste), but the washing machine – sing ho for the washing machine! – well, there is no denying that it has become one of my very best friends. so sad.

update (28 june 2005): eons ago i posted to a message board extolling the virtues of my danby. someone asked about front-loaders, i didn’t just start a random thread just to express my washing machine love. a couple of days ago i checked my gmail and discovered someone had written me a thank-you message. apparently she had followed a link i had provided re washing machine research and had done some of her own – then she bought a danby! yay!

May 25, 2005

starting over

it feels kind of weird to be starting this up yet again. a long, long time ago (“as all you folks should know, uncle noah built himself an ark…” ahem.) i had a personal site, and although it was horribly chickenshit of me because it was as anonymous as i could make it, it was still really liberating. shouting naughty things into the void! i didn’t care if anyone read it – in fact, i’m sure no one did, other than the two people i clued in to its existence: my husband and my ex. i know what you’re thinking… lurid yet madcap sex fantasies involving both guys! um. no. i told them because those were the two people closest to me in my life at the time and i had things i wanted to talk about with them (not simultaneously – but wouldn’t that be a treat) that i couldn’t necessarily say or, more likely than not, remember to say when i was talking to either of them. so conversations with my husband often went like this:

me: did you read my site?
cam: yep.
me: okay. pour the wine!

life was good, but there were some really horrible nasty issues i was working through at the time that i really needed to get off my chest. it was a cathartic experience and a truly interesting creative one as well. as i’d go through my day, i’d think, “hm, can i write about this? how could i write about this?” it forced me to put thoughts and impressions into words. the site design was humble (i used dreamweaver to put it together, and trust me, i am no artist), but it was mine and i was proud of it. after a little over a year, i stopped working on it and my free hosting site shut it down about six months later. i guess i ran out of time and things to say.

okay. and now i’m doing this again because…?

i’m not a good writer. i don’t even come close to good writing, so i usually just don’t write. but sometimes writing makes me happy and occasionally i’ll come up with a phrase that will please me enough that i’ll smile while writing it. i think that’s got to be enough of a reason to start writing again.

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