Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pre-Mother's Day thoughts

I can hardly stand this cuteness... without sharing it. 

You'd say these boys look happy and healthy, right? Alive, well and thriving, too?
Yes of course they are because not only have I not accidentally or purposefully psychologically twisted, physically killed or emotionally ruined them yet, (((thank god, thank god, thank god))) but I think I've actually mothered them well. Nothing, and I mean nothing could make me any prouder to list on my personal resume. 

As Mother Day approaches this year I am in tremendous awe that I've accomplished this precarious task thus far... with a generous side dish of gratitude for all the stolen smiles and hugs we share regularly. 

the butts that rule my life

Since I am a slave to the functions of these butts right now, I thought I'd post a tribute to their cuteness. (freshly steamed and cleaned from the bath) G's new way of alerting me to a recent dump is to come meandering over waving his right index finger smeared with poop for me to see. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Noah's One

My little cuddle bunny boy turned one yesterday. His snuggly hugs give me the warmest fuzzies and his smiles send twinkle lights asparkle through my heart.

I am knock down, drag out mad crazy in love with him, can't stop staring adoringly at him and am a slave to the snot factory that is his nose right now.

One year ago yesterday I arrived at the hospital 9cm dialated, was rushed to delivery and unmedicatedly pushed him out so fast the doctor nearly missed the delivery. She came running in as nurses shimmied her into gown and gloves and said "Let's have a baby." And I did approximately 4 pushes (and 2 poops) later.  It was the most powerful moment of my life as woman and so warranted my involuntary "Fuck yeah!" triumphant Call of the Wild. I let another one of those bad boys rip just after they pushed out my placenta. Is that not the best feeling in the whole wide world?!

Anyway, today we've officially moved into the post-first-year supposedly "getting easier" part of having two boys this close in age. Hmmmm... so far today's been just as silly exhausting as ever. But there's a helluva lot more smiling and laughing going on between the three of us. We've become quite the little trio - G, N & I - and I like it this way. I wouldn't go back to my life alone, lonely and without them for the world. I feel an enhanced sense of purpose and service each and every day we are together. 

I am honored to be the one who cares for, nurtures and protects them. I am exhilarated by their growth and thrilled by their thriving souls. Now all I need is my cute, curly, pre-baby hair back and everything will be perfect. :)


Sunday, April 12, 2009

got body issues?

got body issues? 
duuuuuude. me too.
get on over to my new other blog devoted to loving our bodies NOW, dammit!:
http://www.imbeautifuldammit.blogspot.com

Friday, April 10, 2009

Blechy Doodah Body Image Blog

I'm so sorry I'm writing this. I really really wish I didn't have to. But I've got to.

Is it me, or is there a grisly hiss of jealousy stewing just under the surface of every mommy gathering hole? A covetous glancing of eyes at other mothers' midsections while simultaneously scouting out her youngest child and calculating how long since she popped that last sucker out and got so fucking skinny? 

Body image is a bitch.
It's still up for me, if only in my most hidden and silenced judgmental thoughts.
I'm 40 now.
I thought this was so my 20's and 30's.
I wrote a book on it.
I travelled nationally speaking to girls about it. 
I broke through archaic layers of my own psychic sludge to supposedly free my poor body from my maniacal mind's reign of terror.

And yet here I am on the playground day after day finding at least one other mother's cute little flat belly to covet. Compare and despair. Such a useless pastime. I'm so embarrassed to admit this petty crap in writing, using the 'publish' button as my confessional/spittoon/outhouseBut this is the only way I know to rid myself of the torment and shame: out myself. 

FACT: I weighed a fit and muscular 150 pounds before pregnancy at age 37. I gained only 26 pounds the first time, lost it all immediately while breast feeding, then a repeat cycle for my last pregnancy a year later going down to 138 due to my skyrocketing metabolism ala one voracious nurser and one heinous case of PPD. 

FACT: Everyone commented on how thin I got with praise and envy. 

FACT: This made me even sicker in the head, obsessing about the inevitability of weight gain once N stopped nursing.

FACT: N stopped nursing and I am indeed gaining back the weight.

Moral of the story?: Hmmmm, is there a moral to this story? How about I'll make some up:
 
FIRST MORAL: Never ever comment praisingly on a woman's weight loss. You may very well be reinforcing an extremely negative behavior/thought pattern. They may be puking their guts out, starving themselves, over exercising, undergoing chemo, or in severe physical or mental pain.

SECOND MORAL: Other women's body sizes are not our business. Period. You can say she looks 'beautiful' or 'healthy' or 'glowing'. But please do not use the words 'thin' or 'skinny' or any of their derivatives. They just feed our society's obsession with thinness and our own volatile and highly conditional relationships with our bodies. 

THIRD MORAL: My own body size is not my business. If I make it my business, I'm fucked. Sure as that. My life will become as small, isolated, pathetic and insular as it was when I made both a professional and mental career out of taming and whipping it into shape. 

Sorry such a downer. But I feel my truth's got to be told in it's rawness or else I'm doomed to more of the same ole' same ole'. 








Thursday, April 9, 2009

getting into it

Okay, the following admission is most likely due to the fact that I'm coming into the final stretch of year one with baby and toddler. (((!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!))) Or perhaps due to 5 solid months of lexapro firmly kicking my seratonin into gear. Or maybe because N is weaned and my boobs are mine again. Or it could very well be because orgasms (mine that is) have appeared back on the marital menu. 

Anyway, for some or all of these reasons, I admit I'm getting into this full-time motherhood thing. I've ceased incessantly denying this is what I've done to myself and have finally gotten full throttle into it. Our primary mission is to find bliss and wonder daily exploring San Diego's incredible plethora of kid-centric adventures. I've become one with playgrounds, play dates, and play groups. And fantastically enough, am finding it suits me well. That is as long as I did my job correctly and tired the crap outta my guys so I get my well-deserved daily reprieve while they snooze away the afternoon.  

A big part of accepting my wonderfully enhanced lot in life is realizing that I am a Challenge Junky (among many other less desirable addictions). Every single day of mommying these guys presents me with a myriad of extenuating circumstances to navigate, negotiate and conquer. G & N have a knack for setting up increasingly difficult obstacle courses each successive day, inherently testing my agility and creativity in problem solving. How do I get the gas tank filled, the overdue library books returned, those few extra ingredients for tonight's dinner and our play date in without overtiring N and/or surrendering G's full at-home nap time to a shitty 15 minute snooze on the way home? How do I keep N from grabbing G's poopy & sandy penis while changing a smash poo at the beach with all hands busily trying to secure diaper, wipes, changing pad and blanket from the roaring ocean wind? How do I stop N from instantaneously throwing any and everything into the open toilet bowl while quickly hoisting G off the potty? These and many other confounding scenarios grace my career regularly. And I have to admit, I get off when I maneuver stealthily enough to avoid seemingly imminent disaster.

Finally on an amusing note, just as women who live together begin menstruating together and isolated heart cells in a petrie dish begin beating together; my boyz have begun pooping together. Isn't that so considerate of them? Just when I'm knee deep in shit from one sloppy joe diaper mess, the other one shoots out a good one. Mommy just keeps her sleeves rolled up and the wipies comin', knockin' 'em both out at one time - doesn't get much better than that. Kinda makes your heart sing, don't it? 

us in pix




some photos of us for my peeps...
1 - m'boyz drinking their o-jay-jay in their p-jay-jays
2 - the three of us
3 - how in love am I with these two gorgeous creatures? 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A word from my struggling ego


You know something's wrong when even a good tube of mac lipstick won't do the trick. Today I thought a little touch of lip color might make me cute, might give my washed out face a lift. mac used to pick my face up on drab days, but today it didn't even make a dent.  'allure' couldn't even pretend to replace any of the juice that's been sucked out of me in the last 11+ months since I sacrificed any last vestiges of The Rachel Show to become a baby buncher: pushing the pedal to the maternal metal with two under two in order to give them to one another. The toll on my physical body has become apparent each time my fading ego stares into the mirror and sees frayed, squiggly grays coming in, brand new sunken-sometimes-swollen circles under my eyes, and a general sense of dullness pervade my once shiny face. This year's altruistic doling out of my life force for the growth of my boys has leaked a tremendous amount of my inner and outer vitality, which is a beautifully hard-to-swallow thing all at once. 

Beautiful because it's what I'm made for: procreation. My body is entirely geared towards propagation of the species and I've now fulfilled the first chapter of that feat. So I do feel a tremendous amount of accomplishment and pride, having successfully performed my evolutionary duties. Beautiful because I get to feel and give such tremendous love to my children. Beautiful because I am Mother -there is no more meaningful, immediate, challenging and rewarding title on the planet.

Hard-to-swallow however because unfortunately my very humanly-faulted ego also houses itself in this humanly-faulting body that is now finally slooooowing down and (((gasp))) aging. I used to happily anticipate waking up in the morning, hopping out of the bed at the crack of stupid to hike or walk for hours. Now I lie with earplugs and pillows barricading my head, blankets pulled up to my nose, praying for just an hour more peace and quiet in the early morning before I must start my daily rigamarole. And I wait at least an hour after waking to glance into the mirror to see what state my face is in, hoping beyond hope my right eyelid isn't drooping any further.

My ego and I have the following conversation something like every other day now:

Ego: "You're not cute anymore."
Me: "I'm not supposed to be 'cute' right now! I'm being a mother of two very young boys!"
Ego: "You're not pretty anymore."
Me: "My prettiness drained out my left boob nursing N. Shut up!"
Ego: "You're not sexy anymore."
Me: "My sexiness spiraled down the sink with the last 5 nights of endless dishes!"

Enough. You get the drift. All I'm saying here is that I either need a new shade of mac or an attitude adjustment. Oh please, you know that's not true. What I really need is a new shade of mac and an attitude adjustment. Thanks for your patience and witnesship as I remedied today's malady. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

If it were not for snot...

... I'd be unemployed for starters.

In these difficult and trying economic times, I should be sighing in relief instead of rolling my eyes every time I swab down a snotty nose. My job is recession proof. I am an irreplaceable cog in the wheel of mucus' freeride through our family's respiratory system this season.

This photo hardly shows the offensiveness with which I deal most days. Here N's snot is clear, contained and gleaming, held back from overflow by his upper lip. I just wasn't patient enough to wait for a camera shot of the real thing: the abominable runaway nose with yellow and white marbled snot pliantly hanging in abandon off his lip and dangling in thin air. Those ones should be memorialized in a wax museum somewhere, they are so unbelievably ridiculous. 

Not only would I be laid off if colds and teething let go their tenacious grip on my poor innocent family, I'd also be terribly out of shape. The amount of sprinting under play structures and through sand with tissue blowing in the wind I must do to catch G each time he  races by taunting me with an ornery grin and appalling runny nose yelling, "snot!" would give even Rocky a run for his money.  And puh-lease, screw wimpy, faddish kettle bells. I hoist these mucoid monsters all day long wiping down snot, drool, tears and sniffing for malodorous diaper situations. 

Oh snot, piss, shit and drool... where would I be without  you? 

A mother without a cause is a terrible thing to waste. 


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Part II (later that same day): It's a lush life

You know it's a lush life when you've completely forgotten about your very favorite body product brand in the whole wide world and amazon.com is right there to remind you of  how many gloriously aromatic butters n' balms n' splashes n' potions you can cram in your virtual shopping cart with your husband's $150 Corporate Rewards gift.

Ladies (and gents if you're actually reading this trash) it took me approximately 21 minutes from the time I pressed "publish" on my last post to the time I pushed "order now" on amazon.com to lasciviously spend every last penny on the most delicious, tasty and tempting products ever. OMG, I had waaaaay too much fun. Shopping really is a girl's best friend. I'd take it over a blow job any day. Speaking of... let's see, some of the more provocative products being shipped my way:  Lush's 'Soft Core' massage bar made of cacao and coco butter (yummmmmm), 'Fever' massage bar replete with juicy red lips emblazoned on it for good measure, and 'Ohh La La' soap, to name a few.  Oh, maybe you're sensing a theme? Perhaps you're on to something? Possibly you've guessed already? Okay fine, if you must know, yes my husband and I have tested out the newly improved and permanently DONE birth control situation and all is good in the hood. 
:)

Part I: Online shopping - a mom's best friend

Every once in a random while my husband receives these generous little electronic $50 Corporate Rewards gift certificates to amazon.com for his institutionalized slavery. After selfishly hoarding them for himself only to have them expire unredeemed in his inbox, I've finally trained him to forward them immediately to his well-deserving Intuit Widow. They make my toes curl in delight. There is no pleasure guiltier for me right now than slumping back in my black pleather chair in front of the computer during afternoon naptime and SHOPPING! Since there is no such thing as enjoying a nice leisurely stroll through Anthropology these days - frantic races through Costco, Target and Trader Joe's don't count! - online dates with amazon make the leftover girl in me grin bigger than amazon's smiling arrow.

Ahhhhhh... what to buy? I'm temporarily savoring the sweet anticipation of all the nonsense I can possibly order. Right now I've got $150 worth of credit racked up with no definite idea of how to spend it. I've got to spend it, of course. No use saving it for a rainy day when there are frivolous and most likely unnecessary purchases to be made. The credit amount on my account is burning a whole through my virtual pocket, waiting impatiently for my next splurge on incidentals. Biggest question being: Do I spend it on myself? Or do I be a good, altruistic, self-sacrificing mama and spend it on my kids and husband, painstakingly picking out board books, pj's, toys and other absurd crap I've thought I should use the credit on? Puh-lease! The last three surprise purchases I made for my husband were scoffed at. I thoughtfully picked out music and books that fit him to a tee. But not according to him. They collect dust now. So fuck that. I already ordered stupid swim diapers and boring outdoor park blankets for us last week after schlepping the kids around looking for them in vain. 

So I'm gonna buzz on over to amazon right now and see what I can find for myself. You'll probably find me in the beauty section, salivating over all of the facial, body and hair products. Pray for me to be foolish and irresponsible. Pray for me to purchase from my heart, not my head. Who knows, maybe I'll cruise through formerly uncharted categories and find something truly odd and fun to purchase. Will keep you posted.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Nice, normal post

Okay, I'm having a normal mommy moment. (Thank god no drama right now - my tubes, gut and throat can't take another moment's turmoil.) It is a run of the mill, garden variety sensation of undying adoration for my lil' N who is now walking. I dorkily giggle with effervescence every time he staggers diagonally across the floor, arms poised in preparatory martial arts stance, face alight in pure delight.

Even more normal and appallingly cringe worthy, I've found myself showing off his new skills. I'm so embarrassed for me. I actually want to impress. OMG. How mortifying. Shame on me, shame. When he won't do it on demand, which is most of the time, I feel compelled to continue prodding him to walk until I've proved my claim. "No, no, really. He really is walking," I say as he teeters a couple of steps, falls on his butt and crawls fastidiously onward, refusing to reprise his stagger all the way across the floor at home.

The only problem here is that my ego doesn't like becoming a normal part of the human race: One of the million bazillion bragging mommies expecting everyone to be terribly interested in every single one of her baby's normal developmental milestones. It's amazing my ego even tries to butt its stupid head into my business anymore. It's been kicked to the curb so hard by motherhood's reworking of my identity, I'd have thought it took up residence somewhere else by now. But it's so fun to be normal and be so proud of my little guys. And I reckon I've got many more normal landmarks to bliss out on as they both grow. Mmmmmm, for today it feels damn good to just be a good ole' normal mom, proud as punch of my kiddies.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Trojan-enz anybody?

Hmmmmm, what to do with the 13 leftover rubbers from our Costco 40 pack that I'll NEVER EVER not EVER NEVER have to use again? (thank you tubal) Auction them off on eBay to some horny underage kid with stodgy, clueless parents? Donate them to the bathroom of our local suburban strip mall Starbucks where the over-privileged, angst-ridden, Sex Pistols look-alike Carmel Valley youth groom their mohawk, sip Double Fudgey Lattes, drag on fags and cruise chicks? Give them away to a frantic mother of 3 screaming children pushing her stuffed cart through the diaper section of our neighborhood Vons? Or perhaps make a postmodernist collage of them randomly thrown  onto our old (ahem) stained bedspread (where they oftentimes were not used in time, hastening my frantic final fixing fer good), glued down for good measure, and hung inside the garage wall (my man's man cave) as a memorial to the good ole' days. (not)

And while we're at it, does anyone want my leftover Vicodin stash? I've got 16 out of the 20 they supposedly generously-but-really-premeditatedly prescribed me after my tubal. Who are they trying to fool? They're so trying to get me hooked. And while I'm spring cleaning, I might as well add in the big fat bottle of 600 mg Motrin they padded the Vicodin with. I've got 58 out of 60 of those fat suckers left.

So if any of you dear readers are jonesin' for some cheap pain relief or a good case of constipation or perhaps wanna remember how much you hate latex in your dry vagina, holla. 


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

fixed n' fried

(how fuckin' funny is this picture??)

Well now that I'm finally fixed fer good,  you'd think I might be jumping my husband, or he might be jumping me, or something sexual might be percolatin' over here. 

Not even. 

I'm am indeed staying in bed these days. But faintly groaning "oh god, do I feel like shit" rather than screaming "oh god, oh god, oh god, yesssssss!" No purring, moaning or giggling over here. Snoring, sniffling and coughing soundtrack our bedroom these days. 

I've been flat on my ass, fried from the cold-from-hell that circulated thrice through our household hitting everyone but me since December. The mommy who unbelievably took care of everyone else's snot n' coughs n' puke n' nighttime wake-ups without getting sick has now been takin' down for the count. Yup, that mommy is me and I don't care 'bout no church or no sex or nothin' right now 'cept gettin' me some good, strong sleep.  So my newly filshie-clipped fallopian tubes are getting a chance to settle in and get comfy before they go for their first ride 'round the block. 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

And when I needed my mother

And when I needed my mother and I called her
She stayed with me for days

These Indigo Girls lyrics from their enigmatic song Prince of Darkness have clung in the corner of my psyche for over 20 years. I first sang them as a senior at the University of Michigan working as a jewelry designer & cashier at The Bead Shoppe. The song became my teary-eyed anthem to the angst & denied yearning surrounding my estranged relationship with my mother. She'd left our family when I was 4 years old  and we'd maintained very minimal contact to that point, and would continue a sparse relationship for 10 more years until I moved to LA at age 30. That was exactly 10 years ago. We've slowly picked up the frayed threads of our kinship and weaved together a loose framework for relating and learning to love one another again. But always very carefully, with kid gloves on.

God works in the weirdest and truly most twisted ways. The first times I needed my mother enough to call her in spite of my intense resistance to her possible rejection was in the midst of severe Postpartum Anxiety after the birth of G. She jumped on planes time after time, hopping from her home town of Sacramento to mine in San Diego, to help me stutter through the severe shell shock I suffered upon becoming a mother. It was crude, painful and awkward as I tried allowing her to help, and she tried knowing how to help.

By the time N was born and I made the I need you now call, we had the schtick down.  Only this time she carelessly hopped on the plane only to be thrown into her own shell shock as the birth of my second son catapulted her into a serious healing crisis over the recent death of her second son, my one full blood brother. Agonizingly brutal, mother and daughter suffered intense anxiety side by side like two magnets trying to come together in need, but tragically pushing each other's like-poles away out of sheer suffering. 

When I called my mother to come help me for my first and second permanent sterilization procedures, she was here. There's something about getting ready for anesthesia and surgery that invokes thoughts of mortality and hastens deep conversations. That small curtained waiting room became a confessional. Hidden and held deep in a dim corner bowel of the hospital, my mother and I wept unselfconsciously as painfully stowed memories seeped their way out of the concrete that formerly separated us, transforming into a binding, healing salve.

I finally felt my mother touch me three days ago. We held hands for the first time on (fixin' to be fixed) Friday as she escorted me, groggy and post-op, into and out of the car and bed. We slept in the same bed for the first time that night. I felt her stroke my hair for the first time yesterday. She may have done it in the past, I don't know, but this was the first time I felt like her little daughter that I always wanted to be. I wished time to stop and keep us in that sacred, comforting moment forever. But N woke and duty called.

Today is her last day here, for this trip anyway. I will miss her advocating for me in the hospital, demanding I demand help from my husband, urging me to rest, calling me on my control-freak shit, and looking at me with love in her eyes. Thank god for needing my mother enough to call. And thank heavens she came and stayed with me for days.

Friday, March 6, 2009

going to the clinic, and I'm gonna get clipped

I'm going to the clinic and I'm gonna get cli-i-i-ipped

I can't help but deliriously hum this retarded lyric to the tune of "going to the chapel..." this morning as I await my date with Dr. Pat, the anesthesiologist. Only two hours and counting 'til I make my great escape to the hospital for my tubal. 

Let's hope it all goes smoothly and no one's bikini line gets marred. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

uncle, uncle, UNCLE!

I'm waiving my white flag of surrender over here at 5:43 am after approximately 5+ hours of non-sleeping limbo since N's two coughing crying wake-ups. He finally woke me for good at 4:54 am out of this bizarre masturbation dream in which I was hopelessly trying to find a hidden place on a playground to get off. A playground for godssake. First I was precariously lying on a crooked suspension ladder of a Dr. Suessian jungle gym trying in vain to rub myself right. Then I was swinging from some hanging contraption trying again when a little girl came over wanting my swing. Damn, foiled again. Finally I wondered out of the park to a strange porch swing hanging beside a busy road where I frantically stuck my hand down my pants only to have pedestrians come ogling by. Duuuuuuude, can you tell mama needs relief and she needs it bad?! My pitiable dreams are heartbreakingly trying to help a mother out here, and even they with their superpower capacity for morphing reality can't get me there.

So, uncle. There, I said it. Uncle. Uncle. Uncle. I give in. No more fighting the motherhood thing anymore. No more keeping score of what's fairly or unfairly dealt to me in a day's work. And for godssake, no more trying to figure out why anything happens the way it does or does not. 

Just go 'head n' hook me up with that anesthesia tomorrow, clip up my tubies, and bring on that long overdue worry-free orgasm sometime this decade please. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Still so in the weeds

I think I've just put my finger on what my major malfunction is these days: I feel like I'm forever in the weeds. In my waitressing days, being "in the weeds" meant something overwhelmingly flustering like the hostess just sat you with 4 tables simultaneously who all want separate checks and different labeled top shelf cocktails that toppled over on  your tray as you realize you forgot to put in their order for appetizers and, oh shit, that table over there asked for a a forgotten side of mayo like 15 minutes ago. I still, after 15 non-waitressing years,  have occasional anxiety dreams in which I realize I'm naked while running out the front door of the restaurant to fetch a side of mayo that the kitchen just ran out of. 

Mommyhood catapults me into these weeds on a daily basis. There's just something so unnerving about trying to scrape sticky poo off my toddler's ass with a flimsy baby wipe before my infant grabs his penis or the poopy diaper or pulls out all the wipes. I tell myself to calm the fuck down. Who the hell cares if G gets his wanker wanked? So what if every last wipe gets pulled out? But the buck stops at the poopy diaper contact. "STOP!" I yell as I desperately try one-handedly sealing the soiled diaper without contacting shit, while trying to other-handedly install the clean one around a wriggly, protesting G, and somehow lean my upper torso on the wipey container to stop the outflow. Whose blood pressure do you suppose is rising just about now??

The magnitude of the tasks is obviously not what throws me for the loop. Anyone can fill endless sippy cups - oh shit... is that mold at the bottom of the cup?? gotta get a new one - while screaming baby drags on leg and mischievous toddler climbs up on teetering table to grab glass vase.  It's this simple: I feel out of control all the time.  You'd think by now I'd know there is no such thing as being in control. I can't stop N's pernicious teeth from coming in right after he's recovered from his last ear infection any more than I can control who's gonna nap for how long or control G from pouring bathtub water all over the floor or dribbling his chocolate milk all over his gorgeous new clothes Grandma just sent from France. 

Control is a futile endeavor with two small children. It's a pointless undertaking for life in general. And it's causing my gray hairs to accelerate their arrival, my brow to furl itself further, my right eyelid to droop and my husband to cower in fear of my next bad mood. Not good. 

So I'm praying to let the mayo slide. Ain't no such thing as perfect mothering, and if there were, its definition certainly would be more about loving kindness and patience as opposed to perfect control. When I was pregnant the first time, all rosy-cheeked and sparkly-eyed, a mother of two said to me, "Enjoy this time. It is the only time you'll ever feel like a perfect parent." I shuddered then, knowing the truth of those words would soon become my reality. And they have. But for now, for the rest of today at least, I'm gonna let go the perfect-and-in-control syndrome, welcome in the weeds, and try to roll with the one-two punches. I'm down with that. Shit, anything's better than serving up greasy fries and burgers to rude non-tippers, especially if your unintentionally naked and out of mayo. 

Fixin' to get fixed

I haven't written in awhile because I've had no sense of humor whatsoever. Not an iota of wit, not a fleeting shred of satire, not even a speck of mischief hiding out on the back burner.  I've been flattened, pummeled, leveled, and shot straight back to hell by another baby illness, mommy period and daddy absence. (((sigh)))

The only thing I can possibly squeeze a drop of amusement out of right now is that I am finally on the runway to getting fixed again this friday. How can someone have to get fixed again? Because the damn non-invasive procedure option (essure) didn't work. This time I get to have the invasive-but-hopefully-only-through-the-belly-button-laproscopic-filshie-clip tubal ligation. 

And this is what I have to say about it: I'm really looking forward to the anesthesia. Damn is it sad to look forward to 30 minutes of anesthesia in a hospital operating room like it's a spa vacation.  If bright lights and sharp scalpels are what it takes to get a good couple of inebriated hours off of mommy duty, sign me up. After the two mandatory pre-op appointments with both boys in tow, mama deserves some good hard drugs. Yesterday's gyn appointment saw G pulling speculums out of the dirty water pan under the sink and N screaming so hard at the top of his teething lungs I took him out in the hallway to let the doc know she'd better get her late ass in there immediately. And she did good: she ran in, hastily put an X on the permanent sterilization consent papers, handed over the pen and sent me on my way. Fuck yeah I consent to permanent sterilization. Do you see what I'm dealing with here??

Who the fuck cares about the resulting condom-free uninhibited sex? Please mofo, I don't give a rat's friggin' ass about that right now. Just put me out and ensure I'll never get pregnant again. 

Until further travails force me to the brink of insanity, so much so that I must blog or die again, that's all I've got for now.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Angry M.O.M.S.

Never before having children did I feel the dire need to martyr myself like I do today as a mother. It comes in gushing spasms at the most chaotic moments, when I feel the only way to relieve my suffering would be to scream at my husband, best friend or next door neighbor because they could not possibly imagine in their wildest nightmares how hard I've got it. 

I've termed this phenomenon M.O.M.S. ~ Motherhood Onset Martyrdom Syndrome. It hits me at those circuit blowing moments when I cannot believe I am not only supposed to survive, but actually handle what my children are doling out to me.

Thank goodness I keep all my sinister thoughts to myself at these boiling points, because they'd acidicly melt through the skin of some non-mother's woe-is-me-I-can't-decide-whether-to-schedule-my-manicure-or-haircut-or-yoga training-or-hiking retreat-or exotic Indonesian vacation-this-week song and dance.

Not that my own self-righteous M.O.M.S.-driven rant would be worthy of anyone's ear. Hey, I chose this. I did it to myself. Fuck, if god had listened to me the first time around begging for twins just to get the whole procreation thing overwith, I'd have been a goner, an absolute goner.

But just when I'm really basking in my martyrdom - lying on my life raft of crucifixion, floating in my sea of suffering, soaking in my sun of agony, sipping my tall umbrella'd drink of self-sacrifice - a Reality Check comes smacking me upside the head. It is of such massive proportions that it takes the wind out of my billowing sails of complaint and steals my whining thunder right out from underneath me. 

Why does there always, always have to be someone who has it so much worse than me, dammit? 

Some starving, war-ravaged, orphaned, widowed mother of 8 dying children in a leaking grass roofed hut somewhere that disallows me to remain wallowing in my cesspool of martyrdom and makes me glad to be me again. So glad in fact that I spontaneously begin reciting how much I love my life and every single thing about it.

And then *poof*, for at least this quadrant of the day I so don't mind my affliction of motherhood that I'll gladly haul G's motorcycle up the hill because he's tired of riding it and breezily take the 19th clump of dirt and mulch out of N's mouth. But when this bubble of gladness wears off again, look out boys, mama's  M.O.M.S. will rage again!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday is the new Sunday

Before reading this post I want to make sure every single one of you out there is part of a good mommy group, because if you aren't, you really, really do not know what you are missing. It is imperative that we not do this alone, that we bond through our shared weakness of being clueless mommies, and that we share a cocktail (even if you don't drink) every once in awhile! If you are not currently in a mommy group and aspire to good mommydom and extended marriage, by the time you finish reading this post I hope you will be convinced that it is your birthright to be in one or start your own up.
*** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Although the weekend is my husband's time to play dead in bed and on the couch, it has become my doubled up chore time. Because his presence is at least here -no matter how inert -  I feel it necessary to take advantage of his semi-able-bodied babysitting skills (read: letting the kids crawl all over him in bed or on the couch) by tackling the overflowing laundry basket and at least taking a stab at some of the unmentionables like toilet bowl scrubbing and kitchen floor mopping. I oftentimes find myself working even harder on the weekends than on the weekdays. 

That is why today, Monday afternoon at approximately 1:02 pm, I drank a margarita on the rocks with salt. I don't even drink really. But damn does a two-sip buzz do a mama good. Especially on Monday afternoon with the girls. 

Let me set the scene: We were 15 all together in a reserved room far away from the main dining room of a local cheap n' cheerful Mexican restaurant. Half mommies, half toddlers who had all just spent the last hour jumping and running in an open gym. Needless to say, our wing was insane. We had the wait staff shell shocked, working off their last lard-laden lunch by hauling the essentials they would have known to bring in the first place had they ever fallen prey to such a demanding ticket: high chairs, napkins, plastic spoons, little plates, another high chair, more napkins, waters, straws,  sides of beans, sides of rice, sides of guacamole, extra tortillas, and more napkins. 

It was total chaos, but do-able chaos. Worthwhile chaos. All the invaluable woman-bonding stuff transpired amidst the cacophony of whining, misbehaving children: 

Constant Commiserating  ~ "I can't get my kid to eat either"
Intuitive Helping ~ "Here, can I take your baby off your hands so you can eat in peace?"
Necessary Networking  ~ "I'm doing a mommy spa nite girls, wanna come?" 
Important Informing  ~ "Yes, Confessions of a Shopaholic was stupid but cute"
Mindless Gossiping  ~ "Did you see Kate Winslet's look at the Oscars last night?"
Shopping Secret Sharing ~ "Check out the bargain room in the back of Anthropologie, cool clothes you can almost afford" 
And the priceless and unspoken most important thing: 
Being together in the company and comfort of our fellow mommies on the journey, traveling the tricky path of motherhood in tandem. 

It really helps to burn off the burnout.

Just as I was sucking that tiny cocktail straw for the last bit of savored abandon, I heard one of us proclaim from down the table, "I wanna do this every Monday!" Me too man! We're so worth it. Laughing mommies are happy mommies, and happy mommies have happy kiddies and even happier husbands. And happy kiddies might, just might,  cooperate with their mommy's well-deserved-Sunday-come-Monday belated breather with the ladies.

Un-pc ugly baby inquiry

I'm being very careful here trying to word this as gently as possible so as not to offend but rather amuse. This could be a touchy subject, or more likely just rude and shallow. But out with it already:

If someone's baby is ugly, do they know it?

Do mommies of undeniably ugly babies think they're cute? Naturally they love them to death because thank goodness we have our selfish heads extracted out of our asses by the gift of altruistic love so fierce you'd give up sleep and decent sex for a year. But did god make it so that no matter what your child physically looks like, you will think he/she is gorgeous? 

My disclaimers: First, I feel extremely blessed that I was not only able to get pregnant so easily twice, have two trouble-free pregnancies, birth vaginally twice, breast feed twice relatively drama-free and come out with two totally healthy, perfectly developed children: but they are both also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I truly enjoy looking at both of them at times simply for their beauty. Secondly, yes of course I know this is a rhetorical, stupid, small-minded inquiry, but is it true? If  your baby is ugly, do you know it's ugly or do you think it's beautiful? 

Undoubtedly, love is blind. And hopefully most people don't see only through societal norms of beauty.  And obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And clearly, my definition of good-looking is totally different than yours or anyone else's, blah, blah, blah. 

But do mamas of ugly babies know they're ugly? 

Just curious.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dare I admit my ignorance

Dare I admit my ignorance...

... to anything and everything outside the realm of immediate motherhood survival. (Okay, I do know Obama's our president) But ask me what the hell the stimulus package is and I'm staring at you blankly. (I guess I do know two things: It's controversial and it's pissing lots of people off)  Night after night my husband comes home and tells me about another 20-30,000 people laid off  in our country and I give him that same stupid stare as I'm desperately swatting G from standing precariously on top of the dining room table while trying in vain to scrape the day old dried up fish off the floor before N eats it. I just can't bring myself to care anymore about even my gossip staples of the past: Madonna, Winona  Ryder and Angelina Jolie. You know Mommy's blitzed when she doesn't give a rat's fat ass about how Shilo is adjusting to Knox & Vivienne. Of course I haven't seen a single Oscar nominated film ~ so this Sunday's Oscars meen squat to me. If it ain't on Netflix, I ain't seen it.

I don't know anything about all the UFO's my husband insists are about to abduct us, the whole Middle East thing was so the 80's for me, and damn if I have the time to understand the bailout, the economic downturn, or the whole financial crisis thing. If it ain't helping me potty train a defiant  toddler or extract snot from my teething baby's pouring nose, I don't know about it. 

I have, however, accumulated some very useful wisdom in my 2 1/2 plus years spent with my head up my ass : Charlie & Lola books by Lauren Child not only entertain my toddler but also actually satisfy mommy's sweet tooth for quirky artistic beauty.  Living amongst all Asians might not be conducive to the most interesting social life, but their perfectly quiet demeanor is perfect for keeping a quiet household when sleeping babies are your priority.  Getting the dreaded dinner dishes done directly after eating, even with baby dragging on leg and toddler pulling Ziplocks out of the box, is far better than having those scuzzy dishes looming over me in the morning when I must nurse, feed, change, clean, wipe, read, referee, shush, shower and blog.

And finally that knowing diddily squat about The Financial Crisis, The Middle East and Angelina's current and supposed babies  helps free up a few more brain cells, ensuring I successfully accomplish my days tasks as G & N's mommy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

mummummummumm

mummmummmummmummm

This is the sound of my 10-month-old crawling furiously towards me to be picked up. It translates to ...... mom. (his first word!) Finally, finally, I get the credit I deserve. Finally I get payback for the sleepless nights and overworked boobs. Finally I am recognized for what I am: The Queen Bee, The One and Only, your dearest Mommy Dearest. 

My firstborn's first word was "daddy," which was totally fine with me. I knew he loved the shit out of me and couldn't live a day without stalking me. More pertinently however, I knew that the "d" sound comes developmentally way sooner than the "m" sound.  I never told my gloating husband that. Sorry daddy.

I do have to say however, that N's first word being "mom"  not only obviously tickles my ego, but fuck yeah it better have been his first word! The amount of hard labor this mummummummumm has clocked in these first ten months of baby bunching demands to be memorialized as his first word, dammit! I didn't earn all these gray hairs from prancing around the Prada store. Being his mummmummmummmummm nearly drop kicked my ass into an asylum. 

I feel entitled to be his first word. Mummmummummm is an homage to me, the woman who's bottomed out and begged for antidepressants again. The mommy whose hiking shoes have grown smooshed and moldy at the bottom of the closet. The mother whose nipples have been pulled permanently pointing outward like windblown trees grown crooked.

All this to say... I'm ecstatic! My baby not only knows his mama, he calls me when he needs me. Love is a many splendored thing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

weather.com and a mom


Weather.com has become my cyber BFF. As a mother needing to fill lots of time, I need to know the atmospheric 411 so that we properly exploit whichever free entertainment fits the bill. Oprah recently did a show following The "Coupon Queen" as she feverishly searched Sunday papers and online sources for hidden discounts.  When our weather becomes questionable, I often find myself fervently hitting weather.com like that crazed bargain bitch, trying to get a one up on the forecast and hence ahead of the curve on my daily and weekly mommying entertainment picks.  

You'd think living in San Diego would make this a mute point, since 9 out of 10 days are seemingly 72º and sunny. But not so in the winter. There's a very fine line between a day that can or cannot be spent at the playground for $0 and zero clean up  (my favorite) when weird things like the Santa Ana winds or even weirder things like rain or clouds visit our idyllic Pleasantville. 

But ironically and pathetically enough, I have to disclose that one of my favorite things about convening with weather.com is seeing how many times it changes its mind about what the sky is going to bring. I'll go there on Sunday night and click on the 10 day forecast to get my Type A planning and scheduling jollies off. It'll say Monday sunny & 70º, Tuesday sunny & 70º, Wednesday sunny & 71º, Thursday sunny & 72º, Friday sunny & 70º, Saturday rainy & 63º, Sunday rainy & 64º, Monday sunny & 69º, Tuesday sunny & 71º, Wednesday sunny & 72º, and I'll think pointlessly to myself, "Cool, I've got a handle on the weather situation." Then I'll compulsively check it again on Monday morning to find everything has shifted so that the rainy days now fall a couple of days later, pushing out of the weekend when I could have counted on my husband to help me with the indoor time and back into my weekday territory. Then I'll obsessively continue checking all throughout the week to see how many times they change their minds about when the hell that weather is actually going to come. You see, here in San Diego, we all say the same thing when a cloud comes strolling by or it actually rains a drop or two: "Oh my god, we're actually getting weather."

The most ridiculous thing about all of this is that even our "worst" weather is a cake walk compared to most other parts of the country. Especially where I hale from: Ohio. I'll be chatting it up with my dad on a Sunday afternoon in January sitting on my porch in a tank top while he's trying to free his door from the hanging stalactites of ice threatening to pull down his gutter. But it is exactly this man, my beloved father, who planted the seeds of weather.com addiction within me. He is consumed with the intricacies of weather features and geological functions and could fill up an entire 10 minute father-daughter check in with talk of pressure fronts, temperature averages, weather trends, water tables and humidity indexes. 

For now thank god my rapport with weather.com is sweet and to the point. Tell me my crystal ball, is it gonna be the playground or the library tomorrow?

Monday, February 16, 2009

A shout out to my sistahs



The kindness of my womenfolk cannot be underestimated. It's funny because I was one of those twits who spent her whole life pining for "the man." For the entirety of my singledom,  my female friendships were only with other single woman and we spent 100% of our time yearning for men. (((sigh))))  Today, even married to the right man, my girlfriends are so much more fun than my relationship with with my husband, and in fact save me from imploding my marriage.

Women need women... bad. It was necessary that we all shared our desperate achings for men back then. And now that I'm a mother, all my friendships are only with other mothers and all we talk about is how to survive mommyhood. (OH, and how hard marriage is with children.)

Women have this cool knack of magnetizing to one another to get exactly what we need. The universe conspires to our advantage if we all just admit to one another that this motherhood thing is kicking our asses: that days can be really, really long, and that we need help! Help me! Help me! Help me! Where do I find size 7 diapers? What should I do with my teething infant? Where'd you get that perfect sippy cup that doesn't leak or mold? How do you get your child to keep his sun hat on? Are there any shoes that actually stay on your baby's feet? The list of urgently needed answers goes on ad nauseum.  

This post was spurred by an ordinary chain of events that culminated in a mundane miracle in the life of a mommy. The miracle was that on a rainy day when we desperately needed something, anything inside and stimulating to do: we found a $5 open gym day just minutes away from home. It was marvelous. It was magical. Tons of super happy kids frolicking in a ginormous padded room. G didn't stop running and jumping for the entire hour. N was blissed out just watching the whole thing go down from his vantage point down on the mats.

The ordinary chain of events went something like this: While sitting at the fountain feeding N applesauce and trying to keep G from jumping in headfirst, I bumped into a fellow mommy of two. Due to the minute period of time either of us would have for conversation while watching our charges, she immediately began reciting a litany of new cheap entertainment finds she'd encountered, one being this open gym. Note to self: remember this one. Three days later I was checking my email and found that a mommy group I peripherally participate in was meeting at that same gym on said rainy day. Voila. Done dealio. Through the non-stop networking of mommies, we had a date.

Aren't women the best? By getting a cute new cut and wearing it out to playgroup, we stealthily spread the word about a great new stylist at Supercuts : 15 minutes and 18 bucks later you too can be out the door with a clean new 'do, after 10 months of overgrowth due to new baby lockdown. By wearing a killer new hat on a bad hair day to the playground, we graciously tip our fellow mommies off to the ultimate multitasking feat: combining a trip to the zoo for the kiddies with shopping (!) at that hidden gem of a gift shop that actually has good fashion. And finally, when I've lost all sense of humor and just become one big furrowed brow, one of my homies (sp?) alerts me to the damn funniest mommy blog ever, and I'm practically in tears of joy knowing other mothers are out there making their baby-misadventure lemons into hilarious posts of pink bubbly lemonade. 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Making love to myself this Valentine's Day


It's not what  you think. Not at all. 

My inbox's spiritual gem this morning directed me to show some love ~ to myself this Valentine's Day. And the way I do that these days is to blog. Writing is by far the most self-fulfilling, self-esteemable, self-a-licious thing I do right now. So if I may, I will proceed to indulge myself in a Little Love Story in 3 Parts: I'll start with a reflection backwards, then get current with today, then end with a wish for Valentine's Days to come. 

PART I
Just 4 years ago today I shared with you already that I was driving through the soaking rain to a cheesy single's mixer in a cheesy hotel lobby in the cheesy city of L.A. I never finished the story: I met a man that night. A really cool man. A distinguished man. A handsome man. He was so taken by my that he invited me away from the mixer to have drinks and dinner with him alone in the hotel restaurant. Our conversation flowed easily, our smiles gleamed readily and his compliments sprinkled me in wishfulness. He got my number and waited the obligatory 3 1/2 -4 days to call, we played phone tag a couple of rounds, had two very promising phone conversations, then nothing. I don't know why. He just disappeared. And that pretty much ties up in a ribbon and bow my 8 year odyssey of dating in L.A. Nonsensical, nonsequeter, nonstop.

PART II
Today my two early bird Valentine boys woke me up at 5:05am and 6:15am, we had morning story time, then dressed warm and went out on a puddle walk to Vons, got Daddy some croissants, played in the fountains and got back just in time for my husband to walk out of the bedroom at 9am to tell me "Happy Valentine's Day" with a kiss and hug. Not just any hug. But a good, long meaningful hug. That's all it took to erase my residual rage at G for noncompliance walking back up the hill home. I felt my husband's love for me and flashed back to all those days upon nights upon years I was waiting impatiently for him to come into my life. And he is here now and I love him so. He is my real life Valentine.

PART III
And so for the future my wish is that we continue deepening in our love, compassion and support for one another. That each successive Valentine's Day demarcate another year of life lived side by side, for the awesome better or the dreaded worse. Lord knows we dialed up a doosy having two babies within 3 years of meeting one another at that bar that fateful night. We've weathered some incredibly raw moments. May next Valentine's Day reflect a year just a bit more top heavy with fun than bottom heavy with toil. 

mmmmmmmm, that felt good.

PS. In case you've been reading along with me, I did finally make it to Victoria's Secret yesterday with a boy in each arm, tethering their wildly reaching hands as the sales assistant helped me pick out my 5 for $25 cotton low riders. I'm of course wearing the ones polka-dotted with little red hearts today. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just what exactly is my job description?




























Could it possibly be all of the following simultaneously in no particular orderMartyr, Masochist, Dishwasher, Waitress, Disciplinarian, Laundress, Nurse, Maid, Babysitter, Entertainer, Potty Trainer, Pacifier - to name a few. All with practically no prior experience and only on-the-job training. 

When I signed up, was there small print somewhere I missed that disclosed: no sick days, no vacation days, no weekends off. I must have totally overlooked the even smaller print underneath that small print that said: in fact, you have NO  days off whatsoever. sorry.  

PS. On the posting layout page this looked really cool, but not so much here.
PSS. I don't have even an ounce more of brainpower to fix it or squeeze out any more tongue-in-cheek anything due to two consecutive nights of fucked up, I mean supercalafragilisticexpyaladocious fucked up sleep due to more teething and more illness in the crib. !@#$#$%^&*!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jewish mother/Italian grandmother syndrome

I never, ever thought in a million, trillion years it could happen to me: that I'd become that woman. That "Mangia! Mangia! Eat, eat!" motherling. Why am I trying to force feed my unwilling toddler when I wanted to kill my grandmother for doing it to me in my faux-anorexia/pre-compulsive eating days??

G is just as fine skipping all normal meals today as I was back then skipping my grandmother's brisket, kugel and potatoes. I escaped her centripetal feeding force when she passed away only to auspiciously land next door to Pina, Chianti's finest grandmother-cum-eating-disorder-interventionist. I'd moved into the farmer's quarters of an Italian villa in the outskirts of Firenze, where I was studying Art History for my junior year of college. I was smack at the height of my body-hysteria days and I became prey to Pina, the wonderfully round, pear-shaped maid of the rich folks in the Villa who regularly cooked up a mean 4-course dinner and insisted I come over to eat with her family. I'd bring my American health-food-obsessed, skin-n-bones-chic self to her warm hearth of a kitchen with fireplace ablaze and aromatic sauces bubbling, and push away plate after plate of meat, pasta and cheese. It drove her crazy.

Ain't karma a bitch? Now here I am doing the same thing with my son. Running down the verbal list of all the foods I've got tucked away in my diaper bag or stuffed in the fridge just in case he'll maybe, just maybe say "yes" to one of them. As I'm reciting the litany of menu options - and he's saying "no, no, no, no and no" -  I can literally see myself depicted along an historic timeline of mothers back through the ages all trying in vein to do the same thing: feed their child food he or she doesn't want. And then I occasionally stoop to that pathetically stupid tactic of  bringing the food-loaded fork up to his clenched lips, praying he'll get a delicious whiff and open up. Obviously everyone reading this blog knows that never, ever works. 

G has better things to do than eat these days. He's informed me point blank, "I'm too busy to eat." His cement mixer, legos and doggie are just as captivating to him today as fitting into a smaller size was back then to me. I feel you, G. I really do. When you decide you've got a minute to eat, jus' holla. I'll be here. But until then, enjoy your busyness without me hovering with a fork of cheese ravioli. I'll keep myself occupied with other more pressing issues, like: Am I feeding N enough??

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Church of Costco




Let's face it. Costco is the new church. At least for us and a bazillion other church-dressed families on Sunday morning. Puh-lease, all  you dressed-up-to-look-like-after-church-shoppers don't fool me. You're all doing this instead of church, just like us. Costco is your church, just like it has become ours. And why shouldn't it be? 

We enter your cavernous cathedral, oh Costco,  flanked with aisles buttressed in boxes exploding with every gadget we never needed. My husband can oft be found staring in awe at your inversion machine, gravity boots up high like an alter to proper spinal alignment. We stand in your nave awaiting our communion wafers so deliciously disguised as beef chili, cheese ravioli & chicken nugget samples. We walk through your priorly Romanesque transepts, so brilliantly updated to warehouse chic... and we spend. Yes we spend and we spend and we spend our money. All in the name of stocking and stuffing our homes and hearts full of you, oh dear Costco. We love you.

Before I had a family of my own, I shunned you from my life. Now that I am a mother of two, I am your newest devotee. To run out of diapers or wipes with two un-potty-trained butts would be a natural disaster for our household. Your generously proportioned stockpiles enhance our home's welfare. To run out of goldfish, Cheerios, applesauce cups or string cheese sticks could be devastating to our playground snacking. Puh-lease, if it weren't for your monstrously ginormous bags of tortilla chips, we'd be freeloaders at all our potlucks. And to come up empty when reaching for a low fat organic chocolate milk box in the morning for G would be ruinous. 

Costco, we have looked far and wide for a church to suit all of our needs as succinctly as you have. But nowhere, not the United Unitarians, nor the Self-Realizers, nor the Jews, nor the Catholics could come close to embracing our mixed-faith marriage as wholly as you do. And to sit down for fellowship with your congregation, all enjoying greasy slices of pizza together after our exhilarating experience inside your walls, just encapsulates our adoration.  

You have saaaaayved us, dear Costco. We are forever indebted to your generous abundance (except rice milk - why don't you carry rice milk, dammit?) and forgiving nature (you don't even reprimand our kids for spilling their third sample of oatmeal or yogurt all over your polished concrete floors.) Where would we be without you Church of Costco? 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Continued crock pot adventures/Valentine's lament

Since adding the second boy to our clan, I've been the lame-o bringing Costco chips and hummus to every single potluck playdate we attend. It's all I can possibly manage, and it almost throws me over the edge to even get that together. My humble offering always pales in comparison to the beautiful and creative homemade treats filling the smorgasbord table. 

But not today. For our Valentine's themed playdate I got to proudly use my new "Little Dipper" mini-crock pot warmer that came with the big kahuna I purchased at Costco last week. Damn have I turned into a cheeseball. But I was so excited to use it. Consulting the handy dandy user's guide and cookbook, I threw together a mean little bean dip that could stand proudly next to the homemade quiches, biscuits and banana cakes. 

After grazing and gabbing, I got to make Valentines for my mother and my husband. One of our fantastic mommies brought all of her sumptuous card-making/scrapbooking supplies for us to use. I quickly crafted a valentine for my mother, then hesitated on one for my husband, flashing back to his underwhelmed response to last year's handmade card. I stalled staring at the gorgeous glittery papers wondering if I should even bother making him a card again this year...

(((sigh))) How sad am I? ... being in a new-baby-challenged marriage with Valentine's Day approaching - trying to pretend I don't care Valentine's Day is coming? Trying to talk myself out of caring whether husbandman does anything for me. And if he does it will probably just be a hasty, duty-driven stop at Vons for a token mylar balloon that's been looming overhead for weeks anyway. And I can't eat sugar so you don't have to bother with a last minute box of chocolates. And I know you don't really want to have to do anything anyway, so really don't bother and let's just pretend this whole damn holiday isn't approaching.

At this point, poor husbandman can't win for losing. 

But of course I really do want Valentine's day to come. And I of course want him to be premeditating some incredible escape for two in which he whisks me off to a beautiful place where we sip Pinot Grigio and nibble smoked gouda while holding hands lazing on big cushioned outdoor couches under the stars next to a fireplace while listening to a live flamenco quartet. (The place is called La Estancia, and it is to die for in my opinion.) Oh to feel his big strong hand want to hold mine would be heaven. And for a long time. Not just the half-minute before the next baby duty demanded two-handed handling. But to intentionally be holding my hand without anything else to do but hold  my hand in his... this simple pleasure would be a Valentine treat beyond balloons, chocolates and flowers.

A friend (you know who you are) relayed to me that none of this matters to a man - all the "romance" is for women only. I believe that. I really do. But this is not me as a single woman fantasizing about how to lead into the perfect fantasy sex with the perfect fantasy man. Rather this is me as a whole woman, a whole wife, a whole mother needing to feel beauty between us. Needing a small magical moment of re-bonding, a re-affirmation of our commitment to one another outside of our all-consuming parental duties. And I don't need this to happen on a regular bi-weekly date night just yet. (I can just hear our marriage counselor reiterating this marriage-saving must.) Just one sweet Valentine date could get a lot of mileage for now. And of course I know that Vday is a totally commercially driven fabrication - but it is my culture and it is real... 

So I made him the card. And I packed up the boys and the almost-empty Little Dipper and drove home through the wind and rain remembering a mere 4 Valentine's Days ago when I was lonely as hell driving through the pouring rain in LA to attend a singles mixer in a cheesy hotel ballroom. Then I snapped back to my husbands' words this morning, "Drive carefully Mommy. It's dangerous out there." And I felt his love for me fill me all the way up again. At least for today. 

But come Saturday...