Sunday, July 30, 2006


I'm throwing in the diaper, at least for the time being. Potty training is being temporarily suspended at our house. One very stubborn boy + a harried mom with an infant does not equal quick or easy potty training success. We definitely had our good days and he's on his way, but I have had one too many days of cleaning up all the things that come out of a boy's bottom half; one too many sessions sitting on the bathroom floor begging, cajoling, pleading, bribing, negotiating and sometimes yelling for him to do his thing, usually while the baby is off crying somewhere. This is the boy I love to pieces and this was starting to get in the way of that. Let's just say we weren't really enjoying each others' company. The grandmas may be horrified, the other moms may squawk, and the preschool lady will most certainly wag her finger. I'm going to trust in time and peer pressure and give it another go in a few weeks. In the mean time, we've had a lovely weekend with none of the stress and tension that we've been having lately. Sometimes, you just need to know when to let go.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

5 Months Old

And chubby in all the right places!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Feeling Hot Hot HOT!

I'm not usually one to get too concerned about hot weather. You turn on the A/C, eat some ice cream and deal with it. Summer is my favorite season so I'd rather have the heat and flip-flops- and the beach and long days with no school than a cool, rainy day. But it seems even I have reached my limit with our current heat wave. 20 straight days with 100+ temperatures is approaching something out of the bible (and not the happy parts). To be honest, it didn't really start bugging me until day 16 or so. We survived Disneyland (even DH who gets flustered when it gets over 80) and frankly I was getting really bored with the fact that all anyone was talking about was the weather. But now I'm right there along with everyone else. It's hot. And humid (what the hell? where did that come from?). And hot. And sticky and miserable. The kids can't go outside and are getting stir crazy. I don't feel like moving or eating or thinking and just feel snarky (love that word from my friend Beth). It's starting to feel like there just isn't enough cold Starbucks drinks or shave ice to cool us down. Maybe we're just not trying hard enough. If you run into me in the next few days, be careful. I'm just looking for someone to snap at.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Not a Day Over 24

A week or so ago, I turned 35. I had a great time celebrating with my family and then taking the kids to Disneyland for a couple of days . Good times, great memories, all that. The thing is, though, that I just can't process the fact that I'm actually 35. I know I've been married all these years and have given birth to three children who depend on me pretty much for all the things that keep them alive. But I don't think of myself as all that grown up, or really even an adult some days. And although high school and college feel like only the day before yesterday, I definitely see the difference between me and today's teens. It's like we're from different planets. All of a sudden I have things in common with my parents like actually caring about what kind of cabinets go in a kitchen or needing to go to the doctor for all kinds of strange things. Conversations with friends are about recipes, high blood pressure and retirement planning a lot more than they are about cool bands or hot guys. I see all the signs of adulthood for sure: stress about money, worry that the world will be an ok place for my kids to grow up in, even being responsible for the boring stuff like life insurance and dentists' appointments. I guess I just assumed that by 35, definitely a grown up age, I'd have a much better clue about what I was doing and what the world's all about. I've got the mommy stuff down for the time being. But it's the other stuff, the life stuff, that still confounds me. The question is, what is that magic age when you really start feeling like you belong in adulthood, and when do you start acting like it?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Our National Tragedy

Warning: the following post is political and critical of the President. If you are a steadfast supporter of his and are just going to get annoyed, you may want to skip it. If you're going to spam me, don't waste either of our time, and definitely skip it.

It's been a long 6 years.

I'm not one of those vocal Bush-haters. I don't think he's run our country into the ground. I don't think he's inherently evil. I'm actually really happy with his support of Israel and condemnation of Hezbollah. I don't think we'd be better off with President Gore or Kerry. But I stopped liking the guy a long time ago. And today, he actually did something I thought was absolutely impossible: he made me wistful for the Clinton days.

Today, 5 and a half years into his Presidency, George used one of his office's most powerful tools, the veto, for the first time. Not to increase our national security or bolster our economy. Not to keep felons in prison or improve education. He used it against expanding funding into promising stem cell research that could offer hope to so many people, not just in the U.S., but ultimately worldwide. He chose ideology over hope and over life. Who do you know that suffers from Parkinson's? Or a spinal cord injury? Or all the other diseases and disorders that stem cell therapy offers hope to? Today, our President told them that saving cells in a petrie dish is more important than relieving their suffering or giving them the chance to walk, run, or dance. the chance to pick up their children, perhaps, or to hold the hand of a loved one, or to feel the hand of a loved one comforting them.

Just about any Democrat and many Republicans would, if they were in the President's shoes, proudly sign a bill that advanced medical research and seeked to transform and save lives in ways that were previously thought to be impossible. Not our George though. Instead he's having us put our blinders on and embrace a narrow ideology that does nothing for those who are actually here but discount the value of their lives, their suffering, their potential. Rather than lead the world in research, America will hang back and let our citizens pay the price.

You got this one wrong George. Little kids don't belong in wheel chairs. Our parents and grandparents, not to mention our own generation, don't deserve to lose their lives to Alzheimer's, ALS, or Parkinsons. Try explaining politics to the kid who just wants to jump out of his wheel chair and run with his friends. Or to the parents who can do nothing but watch their child suffer or even die. There's nothing moral about this.

The Stickiest Place On Earth

How do you condense 2 days at Disneyland into a blog blurb (a blurg?)? For one thing, it was hot. Not just regular southern California summer hot, but OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO MELT RIGHT NOW GET ME SOMETHING COLD TO DRINK AND FOR GOD'S SAKE TAKE THIS BABY OUT OF MY ARMS hot. When the hell did southern California turn humid? Wherever it came from, let's send it back. You know it's bad when the people visiting from Phoenix are complaining. Add to that the crowds and the long lines. You know the ones, where you're crammed into those twisty windy lines for a really long time with people on every side? Well, let's just say that this post could easily have been titled "The Stinkiest Place On Earth. "

Now that that's out of the way, I can tell you that the trip was magical. There's nothing like being at Disneyland with kids. My daughter is so happy when we're there that she spontaneously starts dancing. It's that good. Ethan is finally at an age where he gets it, and believes all the fairy tale stuff to boot. It's great to be 3 at Disneyland...once you get over your crazy fear of every single ride, which your mean parents drag you on despite your extremely loud protests and you dragging your little feet as hard as you can. I've never seen his eyes open wider. Because this was a special time, treats abounded. At one point he decided he wanted candy and then a cookie. We obliged. We rode the choo-choo train (a highly underrated way to travel around Disneyland, in my opinion). We bought lollipops. We stood in the hellish line for Dumbo. We bought pins (yes, it appears that we are now a pin collecting family). We went on Buzz 3 times (don't miss this one if you're at the park and if you happen to have an infant with you make sure he or she is wearing socks, even though it may be 100 degrees out, because that's the policy. Whatever.). We did it all. In the midst of all this, we also juggled the 4 month old who needed nursing and burping and diaper changes and holding and loving and cooling down. Poor little guy was a trouper and came through OK, but he wasn't happy with us by the end.

This trip we also made it over to Disneyland's ugly stepsister, California Adventure. It wasn't so bad, it turns out. The crowds were so lovely and small. Most of the lines were much shorter. There was definitely some cool stuff there, including A Bug's Land, which is a no-brainer if you're traveling with small kids. The highlight there was one of those fountains where the water shoots out randomly from under your feet. Our kids were ecstatic, and soaked (photos to come later). There's definitely something for everyone there, but it's no Disneyland, even if they did steal the Main Street Electrical Parade.

We stayed at the Hyatt a few blocks away, and I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone traveling there. For about the same price as the Embassy Suites, we got a 2 bedroom suite (just bedrooms, no living room) with a king bed in one room and bunk beds in the other. It was great for the kids to have their own space and they LOVED the bunk bed. The second night we got smart and put them to bed at different times. With breakfast included and free shuttles to the park (no more dealing with those crowded crazy trams), you can't beat it.

After months of looking forward to this trip, I'm sad it's over. But we had an awesome time and it feels good to do this with and for our kids. It's hard to imagine that they enjoyed it even half as much as we enjoyed watching them.

Friday, July 14, 2006


If it takes 30 minutes to get the baby to sleep for 10, then it's not freaking worth it!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Prayer for the Kidnapped Israeli Soldiers...

and for those who are risking their lives for their safe release. May they all return safely home to their loved ones soon.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Evil Genius

Among the "why didn't I think of that" ideas in the world, Build A Bear ranks right there at the top. You pick out a stuffed animal shell, put a heart in it with all your little kid wishes and love, stuff the thing by putting a large tube in its backside (which was traumatic for the little ones to watch), give it a fake bath and then, when you can choose from 3 million or so accessories for your new friend, the fun really starts. Your animal gets a birth certificate, and the company gets your mailing address, so the fun can begin anew every time you dare to set foot into your local mall.

So my little darling chose this place for her recent celebration of turning 6. I won't go into the discussion of our birthday parties back in the day. Cake, ice cream, pin some body part on some animal, open presents and go home. But this is what she wanted (why not? she's already been a guest at 2 parties here) and this is what she got. I have to say it was adorable. 7 or so little girls, most of whom hadn't seen each other since school got out. A couple of 3 year olds and a funny 6 year old boy rounded out the cuteness quotient. These kids got so serious about picking out just the right animal and making sure to accessorize properly, all while staying within their spending limit. There were lots of hugs going around and pretty soon quiet but happy Julia was giggling along with the rest of them.

The brilliant evil minds at B.A.B. figured out that there was no money to be made by serving bad pizza and sticky juice, so no facilities for food. Off we traipsed to our mall's McDonald's, where we served Happy Meals and birthday cake (fat, salt, and sugar: all the food groups were covered). More giggling and highjinks ensued and soon enough, the party was over. Everyone was so happy: the guests got these amazing super-sized party favors, each in its own special little house; the birthday girl got exactly what she wanted (even though we offered to have lunch at Johnny Rocket's, she insisted on McD's (barf) and she got that too); Mom didn't have to have the party at home and do much other than send out invitations and show up with cake. And even though he was a few hundred dollars lighter in the pocket, Dad was beyond happy because this crazy party was even less expensive than last year's crazy bash. Why, oh why, didn't I think of this?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Birthday Wishes

This is my aunt. Isn't she beautiful? Today (well, the 7th) is her 70th birthday. Of her 3 sisters, she is the one my mom is the closest to, and like another mom to me. I know she loves me and my kids just as she does her own. She's been through some of the best life has to offer, and the very very very worst. This last year has been a tough one, among all her tough years. She's survived, but life has taken its toll. She's got a wicked sense of humor, as well as a kind and loyal heart, but don't get on her bad side. She's celebrating her birthday in Costa Rica, on vacation with two of her grandkids, along with my cousin and his son (from a different aunt). It tells you what kind of person she is that she's traveling internationally at 70 (stubborn, to say the least). And it tells you what kind of grandma she is that her teenage grandsons are with her, and probably having the time of their lives. Of course, they're probably frantically writing down all of their adventures with her for material for their next film project, but that will only make their grandma proud. Happy Birthday, and much love.

Friday, July 07, 2006

To All My Readers Who Are Emmy Voters

I know it's a stretch, but just in case:

Do the right thing and vote for House, M.D. for Best Drama. That's it. Fill out your little ballot and drop it in the mail so the little CPA guys with the pocket protectors can count it and give the gaudy trophy to House. Not just cause it's a great, smart show with some unbelievably funny lines. Not only because the acting is really really good (and shame on you for overlooking Hugh Laurie in the acting category), the regular cast as well as a lot of awesome guest spots. And not just because the competition isn't all that much to get excited about (OK, maybe Grey's Anatomy but not the other stuff). But also because my friend Garrett is a co-executive producer and has written a lot of the good stuff this season. And he's a good guy and has had to pay his dues by working on shows like John Doe and Roswell and LAX (his idea to put Heather Locklear in a shower on the tarmac, no wonder it got cancelled), so this makes the nomination that much sweeter.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Here she is, my girl on her 6th birthday. I have such high hopes for this next year for her: 1st grade, new friends, new activities. Hopefully she'll continue to grow and venture out and conquer her fears and continue to surprise us. Her great sense of humor will serve her well. There will be lots and lots of sassy, as well as all the sweet, I'm sure. We'll have our rough spots. But I'm so proud of my Juji and so happy that she's mine. Happy Birthday Sweetie.

P.S. Birthday cake for breakfast; what could be better!?

Monday, July 03, 2006

His First Swim and Other Tidbits

Saturday Mr. Bunch got the opportunity to go swimming for the first time. He didn't completely surprise us with his innate infant swim skills, but he didn't seem to hate it much either. We spent the afternoon with my cousin and her family, who couldn't have been more gracious hosts. Her little guy has turned into an amazing swimmer and it's doing wonders for his confidence. Go Jack!

Other than the usual chaos of our household, this week we've been busy with:

  • Julia's first ever summer camp. She's played soccer, golf and tennis, swam, done arts & crafts (on the weak side but OK) and had PB&J for lunch for a week. She loves it and looks forward to going back in a couple of weeks. We love that she's been exposed to new activities and new people and seems to be doing great. The funniest part is that the one kid in her class who bugged her all year is in camp with her. Apparently, he's right back into his school routine and I think she secretly likes it.
  • Potty training. The boy is stubborn. And can't be bothered to stop whatever he's doing to go the bathroom. But we're making progress. And I love seeing his little butt running around my house in underwear.
  • Soccer. This is probably a whole post in itself. I signed Ethan up for soccer. He's one of the youngest kids there and is too busy picking at the grass, chasing bugs, and escaping to the playground equipment to pay attention to the coach. He gets tired and sits right in the middle of the field, or notices that he's falling behind the crowd and picks up his ball and runs to catch up. It is seriously one of the funniest things I've ever witnessed him doing. Julia saw him "playing" and decided that she wants to play too. Go Julia! So now we'll spend an hour and a half at the park every Tuesday while they do their thing. There are a lot worse ways to spend a summer afternoon.
  • Julia's 7th tooth, the nasty gnarly one in front, finally made its exit. She's lost 7 teeth before she turned 6! What the hell? She's got friends who haven't lost any yet. The tooth fairy came. On to the next one.
  • Eating. Tannaz brought over marinated carne asada & yummy fruits with lime and chile. I provided the homemade guacamole, margaritas and other stuff and we had a great time yesterday. She'll post all about it on her blog, I'm sure. Yum. The best part is all the leftovers.

That sums it up around here. If I can get some time to myself and/or scrap, it will make it the perfect long weekend. It's much cheaper than professional therapy. In the mean time, here's an apres (no accents in blogger?) swim photo to tide you over until next time.