Tag Archives: nonfiction

Parenting is a ball

Tonight we went and had dinner with Drew’s parents, his brother, and his brother’s fiancee. We were having a great time, powering through the fact that our little munchkin apparently skipped his nap today. He was a little whiny during dinner, but when the cake came out (our nearly-sister-in-law’s birthday was this weekend), B perked up and ate a whole (small) piece of cake with an adult fork. How cute!

He chased the dogs around and played with toys and looked at the fish in the pond. Everything was going so great.

Then he picked up a piece of pottery (which I suspected he thought was a ball, and would bounce) and he hurled it onto the floor, where it shattered. I attempted a time out (always tricky at someone else’s house) while Drew cleaned up. Then we got him out of there.

Once he knew he was in trouble, he remembered how tired he was, and was mad we were leaving his grandparents behind, so he was off-and-on upset all the way home and then into pajamas and then into bed. (Where he immediately fell asleep. So…)

I went to take a shower, and I wanted to do something nice for Drew, so I tried to use B’s bath crayons to write a nice, loving note on the shower wall. I used orange because it’s what was in there. I’m glad it wasn’t red.

Because no matter how hard I tried to smoosh the crayon into the wall so it would stay there, it slooooowlyyyy ran down the wall in streaks, making the shower look like a murder scene. Like if the cast of Real Housewives got murdered there.

So now there’s a drippy, orange love message on our shower wall, and I just hope he sees it soon enough before it fades into smeary nothingness.

Some days you win, some days not so much.

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Filed under Children, Drew, Family, Memoir, Nonfiction, Not awesome

2 Years Old: A Parenting Retrospective

Well, we made it to two years. As with every milestone so far, and I’m sure every milestone yet to come, Drew and I are baffled at where the last two years have gone. What happened to that bitty newborn? To the baby we used to have to prop up against things? To the toddler who had to trick or treat holding on to Drew’s hands because he couldn’t quite walk all by himself?

Instead of a baby, we now have this little roommate. He may be only three feet tall, but he’s powerful. He’s incessantly curious, constantly demanding, smiley, stubborn, energetic, pushy, inquisitive. In the course of minutes I can go from being out of my mind frustrated to out of my mind in love. Parenting is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and also the weirdest thing. If any of my friends treated me the way he sometimes treats me, I would definitely tell them off or get rid of them. But with him it usually just makes me laugh.

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last couple years. Some things are just the things that probably any parent of a toddler learns: a reserve of patience, strength of will previously uncovered, a tolerance for someone else’s bodily fluids. Other things are interesting and more specific: Like, although I love my own, I don’t think I’m a “kid person” in general. I’ve also realized what a beautiful word “normal” is – who needs extraordinary? And this whole experience has made me love Drew more than ever every single day.

I know I will look back at this some day and shake my head. Silly me, I’ll think, two years was just the tip of the iceberg. Back then I could barely fathom the fact that B could climb into his own car seat, and now he’s driving (or off to college, or getting married, or having his own babies). But come on, future me, cut me a break. The last two years have been the longest and shortest years of my life. I know you understand.

One more thing: when we found out I was pregnant, almost 3 years ago, Drew started reading the Harry Potter books to me (and eventually to B). As B got older, the going got slower…because while I would definitely sit still for a chapter a night, a toddler doesn’t always have the same interests. We’ve been chipping away at the seventh book for over a year now, and three months ago we made the pledge to ourselves that we would finish by his birthday. Drew has been a total trouper about reading at night no matter how tired he is, and this weekend he really ramped it up. Yesterday he started reading over dinner, and then for the rest of the evening we sort of followed B around from bedroom to living room to bath, reading to him. YOU GUYS. WE FINISHED THE ENTIRE HARRY POTTER SERIES LAST NIGHT, Sunday, September 28, 2014. (And that epilogue is still just as bad as I remember it.)

So today we celebrate B’s second birthday, with balloons and a family dinner and a homemade ice cream cake (a la Frozen, of course). Since every day brings a new lesson, a new joke, a new challenge, I can’t wait to see what this one has in store! Happy second birthday, my love! May you have many, many more!

photo (27)


Filed under Awesome, Children, Dreams, Drew, Holidays, Humor, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment

Playground antics

We’ve been to the playground every day this weekend (I’m counting Friday as part of the weekend). B is starting to really into climbing on play structures and going down slides, although I still prefer it if no one else is around. Too many wild and crazy five-year-olds running around make me nervous. And you know what’s weird? There’s often no one else around this particular playground.

Friday was a pretty nice day, though, so it got a little crowded. Among the other kids playing there was a little girl with a large ziplock bag full of little plastic trucks. B ran up to her and she handed him one. Her dad started interfering.

“Can you SHARE that TRUCK?” he asked, and I thought he was asking her, but then he said, “Did you say PLEASE? Say PLEASE.” Um, are you talking to my kid? She forced it on him – he doesn’t even want your cheap truck. Except apparently he does, because I had to chase him around the playground and then trick him to get it back. I wanted to give it back to the little girl, because this unfinished transaction was making me supremely uncomfortable.

The dad asked me how old B was. “He’s 22 months,” I said. The dad told me that “Maddy just turned one in May.” Holy cow, I was thinking, she is a huge and much advanced 15-month-old. I stole a glance at Beau. “Oh, two, I mean two,” he corrected. Whew.

I couldn’t handle being around them anymore, with their pressure to have nice manners and their kids with trendy names (their son’s name was like Aerys or something), so I pretended like we had to go home and start dinner (true) immediately (less true) and we left. Luckily we were there before them so they didn’t know we had only been there for about 25 minutes.

On Saturday, there was only one other little girl there, a 4-year-old who said, “Hi, what’s your name?” and when B said something incomprehensible back to her, she just looked at me with a confused look on her face. Adorable. Later, she asked me if she could play with him. Also adorable. Her mom said, “You have to ask him first if he wants a hug.” Then to us, “She’s a hugger.” Later, B went up to her and hugged her from behind. Everyone seemed chill about it.

Today, we met a mom with a 20-month-old girl. The two kids didn’t actually interact as much as I would have expected. But maybe we’ll run into them again. Today was a pretty wet day, and the slides had little pools at the bottom. We decided to go for it anyway, and put B down a slide. I’m glad I was ready for him at the bottom because he shot down that thing like he was greased up. He seemed to like it.

I remember long lazy weekends of sleeping in, reading, watching Law & Order: SVU, and doing not much else. But this is fun too. (Actually yesterday I spent all of naptime ignoring toys on the floor and dishes in the sink, and I lay in bed and read The Clan of the Cave Bear. That was nice.)

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Filed under Children, Memoir, Nonfiction

An Aux-cellent Decision

I spend a lot of time lamenting choices I’ve made: for example, I got in the wrong lane at Target, with the high-maintenance customer at the front of the line. Or, I bought lunch today even though I told myself ten times this morning not to do that. Usually, I took one freeway home when I should have taken the other. Etc.

But sometimes, I do something, and when the dust settles I just feel like I have to throw myself a parade because I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE.

This is one such thing:
photo (1)This is an aux cable, which I can use to play music (or audiobooks!) from my iPod or iPhone in the car. Drew and I went to Best Buy like a month ago to buy one, and it was a hassle to park and then to get the stroller inside, so when the only aux cable they had on the shelf was $22, I bought it because I didn’t want our trip to have been in vain.

But when I got home and checked Amazon, they had this baby for $1.57 with free (albeit super slow) shipping. I was like, Sorry Best Buy, and promptly ordered this one, and returned the Best Buy one later that week.

So yeah, this cable took awhile (like 3 weeks) to show up. But it’s perfect, and the cord retracts into the center piece until you pull it out, so it’s not flopping all over the place. I love it. So happy. I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE.


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Filed under Awesome, cars, Humor, Nonfiction

Why the 7-Eleven clerk thinks I’m a shoplifter

When I told Drew I was going out and asked him if he wanted anything, and he told me he just wanted a regular Snapple iced tea, I thought it would be easy. But Target didn’t sell Snapple iced tea – Target didn’t sell any single Snapples. They only had 8-packs of Kiwi-Strawberry and Cranberry-Raspberry.

After Target, I went to Dinosaurs to pick up sandwiches for dinner…but all they had in the way of beverages were Mexican Cokes and a fountain soda machine. B and I walked over to the little grocery store nearby, which did have diet Snapple iced tea, so I bought one, just in case, and also a Henry Weinhard root beer because it sounded good. I put these into the same bag with the sandwiches, and B and I headed back home.

I decided at the last minute to stop at the 7-Eleven to see if they had Snapple. They had one left, so I grabbed it from the case. But all I had was a card, no cash, and so to make it seem more worthwhile, I also got a small sugar-free green slurpee.

Inexplicably, there was a long line, and I stood there, balancing a heavy bag of Vietnamese sandwiches and 2 glass-bottled beverages in one hand, a Snapple and a slurpee in the other hand, with a 25-lb baby strapped to my chest. At one point, B got his hands on the straw in the slurpee and flipped green slush onto his face and down the front of my shirt.

Right after that, the guy in front of me left the counter, and as I stepped up to it, the spreading wet spot (from the cold, condensation-covered glass bottles) on the paper bag I was holding gave out, and the diet Snapple slipped out and hit the floor. Normally, I would have just stooped down and grabbed it, or maybe it would never have happened in the first place, but the baby strapped to me makes it hard to quickly squat down, and so I stood there for a minute.

I thought I was mildly exasperated, but the clerk may have read it as guilty.

“What was that?” she asked, as the girl behind me picked up the diet Snapple for me. I thanked her.

“And what’s all this?” the clerk asked, gesturing to the bag.

“That’s stuff I’ve bought elsewhere,” I said. She was already ringing up the diet Snapple. “Oh, that’s not from here…only these things–” (gesturing) “–are from here.”

She looked at me doubtfully. I offered her the receipt from the grocery store. She didn’t take it. I hightailed it out of there.

So maybe she doesn’t still think I’m a shoplifter. But, she didn’t offer me a bag (which would have been helpful, given that my bag clearly had a giant hole in it). So there may still be some hard feelings.

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Filed under "Other people", Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction, Not awesome

Tetris + books = my life

I’ve been trying to figure out how to illustrate what I feel like my life has become: a cross between Tetris and books.

Unfortunately, I’m not an artist, so I can’t just draw it, and I don’t have any great skills with Photoshop, and I just didn’t feel that one of my typical MS Paint mashups was going to do this justice.

I’ve obtained a lot (and I mean A LOT) of new books lately. This is on top of already having a bunch of things that I haven’t read yet (and yet I keep thinking, “I love humorous non-fiction; I bet I will really like that book I bought when Borders went out of business and everything was 70% off”).

But then a couple weekends ago, I bought 7 or 8 used books at the library book sale, and I think I’ve only read about 3 of them.

I even checked out three books that day, although who knows why I felt like that was necessary.

I got books for my birthday this weekend (thank God some of them are for kids, so they’ll go quickly).

Although one of them is the FOURTH Game of Thrones book, and I have yet to start the third one! (Which I’m dying to do.)

I bought Jonathan’s book club book off of him, because he was just going to return it to the store. (But it’s The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta! I didn’t know anything about it when I turned over the cash, because I just have faith in Tom Perrotta, but it’s about the Rapture, and I don’t know if you know this about me but I’m kind of into Rapture stuff.)

And then I have to purchase my own book club’s next book, which I plan on doing from Amazon, but then I’ll want to add something else so I get to $25 so I have the free shipping.

It’s just a torrential downpour of books, and there’s no way I can keep up with them all. It’s like one of the later levels on Tetris, but instead of pretty colored shapes, it’s all books. But they’re piling up so fast!

At least books fit together well. Until you run out of space, that is.

Oh, I get it – it’s just like Tetris only none of the layers disappear when you fill them in. I guess that would happen if I actually read things, and then gave them away.

Why did I used to have so much time to read? I guess in New York I had the commute every day, and then both my roommates worked a show schedule, so I spent a lot of time alone. (Not in a sad way.)

But now, I just don’t have that same amount of time.

Although, I’m doing a cameo in wardrobe at Marin Theatre Company this weekend (started last weekend), and there is PLENTY of time to read then. Partly because the show is super easy (yay!) and partly because the show is short, so the break between shows is hours (yay!). So I’m going to try to get through as much this week as possible.

I would say, “And then I’m going to try to lay off acquiring books for awhile,” but it’s just not that easy.

That being said – anyone reading anything good lately?


Filed under Awesome, Being a girl, Books, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction