Tag Archives: parents

Previously on: This Week

So for two weekends now, Drew has been taking this class for work. Simultaneously, one of his clients came down with strep, then an allergic reaction from the antibiotic, and finally pneumonia. So for two weekends in a row, Drew’s weekends have been completely filled with work, while I tried to keep B’s and my weekends filled with educational and engaging activities.

On Monday morning at 4am, I woke up feeling nauseated. I spent the rest of Monday at home, lying down with my eyes closed as much as possible, while dealing with a raging case of food poisoning. On Monday evening, right as I was starting to come out of it, Drew held up B’s hand and said, “What are these spots?” and so (luckily) we called the doctor and (luckily) it was one of their late nights and (even more luckily) they were able to get us in that night. Turns out B had a mild ear infection as well as a mild case of HFM, which thankfully hasn’t seemed to spread anywhere else besides his hand, and doesn’t seem to bother him too much. But I kept him home on Tuesday.

Since then, he’s been acting mostly just fine, but occasionally just…under the weather. Like, he doesn’t really fight naps or bedtime right now. Which is nice. Sometimes he just wants to cuddle. In the mornings, rather than eating, he just wants to be held. All nice things. And I think all just fall under the category of “I’m not feeling great. Please rub my back while we watch Curious George.”

But now Drew and I have sore throats and stuffy noses, which I think (optimistically) is just the beginnings of a cold, and nothing more. My parents are here now and I wish I hadn’t had to lure them into this den of sickness. It would be nice to hang out when we’re all feeling top-notch. But it’s also really nice to have the support right now. (I guess they’ve seen me sicker than this.)

Last night, Drew and I went to see a short play of mine performed in a college theatre festival. It was a lot of fun, even if we were out late (and far from home!). College theatre is so fun, and silly, and supported. It was cool to remember what it was like when it didn’t matter if you were good, because the house would be full of everyone’s friends, and you’d have lots of cheers at curtain call no matter what.

And that’s what you missed last week on: Me!


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Filed under Drew, Family, Theatre, Writing

35 Years in 35 Memories

My parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary this weekend. Congratulations! In honor of their many many years of wedded bliss, I thought I would write 35 one-sentence family memories/inside jokes. (Unfortunately, I have no memory of the first five, well maybe eight or nine, years of their marriage, so this is going to have to pick up around 1988.)

(I have not planned this out, so this is an experiment to see if I can get to 35. Here goes.)

(Oh, also, this is going to skip around in time a lot. I’m not doing this chronologically or anything.)

  1. Playing the Un-Game and my mom doing a cartwheel into a potted plant.
  2. Being completely confused the first time my dad shaved off his beard (“Who is that strange guy in the living room?”)
  3. Giggling at hearing my brother singing loudly in the shower…and then the flash of realization that that meant everyone could hear ME sing in the shower, too.
  4. Going camping at Patrick’s Point and seeing giant elk.
  5. Going camping at Gualala and almost getting really lost when we were all on a walk.
  6. Having dinner at the Times Square Olive Garden and my mom getting tipsy on red wine.
  7. Having the whole family together for a surprise 60th birthday party for my dad.
  8. My parents making the drive out to Davis for my very first Picnic Day…and it poured rain the whole time.
  9. Having a family debate about something, and my mom insisted, “Is that each, or apiece?” and then for a moment all four of us stumbled over that.
  10. During cleaning days, learning very quickly not to say in a whiny voice, “What should I do NOW?”
  11. The need to ask my parents every night to check and make sure the toilet seat was down so the cats didn’t fall in. (Cats are probably smarter than that though.)
  12. Getting caught writing love letters to my fifth-grade crush.
  13. They stocked up on delicious snacks (like bottled frappuccinos! very desirable in high school) for me and my friends who were staying over after prom.
  14. Eating sunflower seeds on road trips.
  15. The Oktoberfest at church – games and handmade goods and fall colors and peanut brittle.
  16. One weekend when Drew and I were staying in Lakeport, we had artichokes, and we ate in the living room. We put the bowl for leaves on the floor in the middle of us and we all just threw leaves at it. After dinner there were leaves everywhere. That’s kinda gross, but it was a fun and relaxing evening.
  17. Picking blackberries in the dry creek.
  18. Getting paid a penny per rock we picked up out of the garden – counting up those rocks and then marking them on a chart on the fridge.
  19. Also the “dishes” chart on the fridge – whose turn is it tonight?
  20. Watching Armageddon with my mom and she asked me, “Wait, are you CRYING?” at the end. I think she was making fun of me.
  21. Going caroling with people from church.
  22. Going to see The Phantom of the Opera in San Francisco for Christmas…just because I loved it so much.
  23. At camp, when they were in charge, they would always put me in the “good” girls cabin. (It really was better.)
  24. Also at camp, pulling off the “Chez Rubber Soul” mornings: servers, menus, and line order breakfast for all the campers and counselors.
  25. Helping my mom teach summer school.
  26. Hanging out in my dad’s classroom after school, and playing Lode Runner and Nintendo.
  27. Easter morning sunrise services: a lesson in dressing in layers.
  28. Building a (short-lived) treehouse in the back yard.
  29. Measuring the height of the water on the back step, and keeping an hourly chart, each year when it flooded. I used to get so disappointed when it started receding.
  30. Speaking of floods, parking down the street and wading home in rainboots was fun.
  31. So was sitting by the wood stove after a bath while my mom brushed my hair. It used to be really long.
  32. We had heating vents in our rooms, but we never used them – but sometimes I liked to turn it on, because the smell was so novel. I think it might have been a vaguely gas-stove smell? I liked it. It made me feel cozy.
  33. Calling my parents at 2:00 am to tell them they had a grandson. (“Okay, that’s it, see you tomorrow!”)
  34. Walking to the farmer’s market down the street from our house.
  35. Every time they come visit, they have more photos they took of things B would like: pigeons, dogs, recycling bins, signs, etc. I like that they do that.

I know an anniversary is kind of just between the two people celebrating, but I wanted to point out all the good things that have come out of their 35 years of marriage. I for one am very grateful they got together and are still together.

You guys are good role models and great parents! I love you very much!

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Filed under Awesome, Family, Love, Memoir, Parents, Sentiment

Disney Project 2014: Pocahontas

Movie: Pocahontas

Release year: 1995

So all year, my dad has been saying how Pocahontas is a lame Disney movie, and how the music is forgettable and weak. So I had this hope that maybe when Pocahontas week rolled around, we could make my parents watch it with us.

It somehow worked out! They were here babysitting last week, so we broke our normal weekend movie-watching schedule, and dragged the high chair into the living room so we could eat dinner during it. I don’t want to speak for them…but I’d say they loved it.

If I had to guess, I would say my dad would tell me, “You were right, this is actually a really great movie. The music is quite memorable and clever. I highly enjoyed my viewing of Disney’s Pocahontas.”

And this picture is totes the best:

photo 1 (4)

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Filed under Children, Movies, Parents

Fatherly Advice

About three years ago, at the inception of this blog, I wrote a post that ended up being about things I was told as a child that I still firmly believe. Since then I’ve kind of made a mental note whenever I think of another one of those things, because it’s interesting to realize how much of your personal beliefs are based in maybe-not-entirely-truth.

The other night this train of thought happened: I hope B doesn’t pull his blanket over his face –> although maybe if he did he would be warmer –> also, maybe if he did he would sleep longer –> because my dad says that’s a thing –> huh, I wonder if that’s not really a thing? –> even if it is a thing, maybe it shouldn’t be a thing for 20-week-old babies.

So the back story to this is, we were all spending the night at my grandma’s (mom’s mom’s) house one night, and the cousins were sleeping in the living room in sleeping bags. I was too excited to go to sleep, I guess, so my dad told me to put my head down inside my sleeping bag and as I breathed the oxygen, it would make me sleepy.

(Dad, any memory of this?)

I have always had this in the back of my head, even as an adult, that if I needed a trick to fall asleep, I could just cover my face and start breathing less-oxygenated air. And soon, sleep!

But when I told Drew about this, he said, “Your dad tried to suffocate you?”

But I like to think that it was all out of love.


Filed under Family, Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction, Parents

Dads: The New Suffragettes

Just to perseverate on my post about the imbalance between recognizing moms and dads for their contributions…

Commercials are a terrible perpetrators of this phenomenon. How many commercials feature a dad and a small child making some kind of mess, and then looking sheepish until the mom comes in, smiling, and cleans everything up? Or the commercial where the dad builds a slanted table and the mom has to save the day with Eggo cinnamon toast waffle sticks? In commercials, dads look like helpless slobs who can’t get their kid through the day to save their life, and the moms sweep in and fix everything in a second.

P&G is currently running a series of ads focused on the Olympics. You’ve probably seen them. There are three or four, and each one features a mother getting a young child out of bed, taking him or her to some early morning practice, cheering on the child, driving the child around, doing dishes, doing laundry, feeding the child, taking care of the house, etc. (There is no sign of a day job for any of these moms.) The child grows up and then we see them at the Olympics, doing their best and sticking that landing, winning that race, etc. And then the mom is in the stands crying, and the kid hugs the mom, or blows her a kiss through the TV, and it’s so happy and sweet, and the tagline at the end of the commercial is “The hardest job in the world is the best job in the world. Thank you, Mom.”

Here’s the long version (it incorporates all the different moms/kids), if you want to feel really good. I’m not going to lie, I just watched it and teared up a little.

I just saw that P&G has an entire Facebook page called “Thank you, Mom by P&G,” where they post things like this video and other little tidbits that make moms cry. I mean, let’s face it, some large percentage of Facebook is probably moms, and moms love stuff like this. Even just moms-to-be. Even people who just like kids. Or seeing people succeed.

Here, try this one if the first commercial didn’t push you over the edge.

Who am I kidding? Everyone loves stuff like this. Drew just eats this ish up, and he’s the kind of guy who will willingly watch videos of people falling down.

And I don’t have anything against these commercials, or this Facebook page, or their entire campaign. It’s smart. And it’s so sweet. They take that overwhelming Olympics feeling, like the world comes together in these feel-good games, and people work so hard for this…and they juxtapose that with the intimacy of watching someone grow up and achieve something on a personal level. So smart.

BUT. I just have to point out…where are the dads in all this?

That’s it. Just sayin’. Why can’t it be, “The hardest job in the world is the best job in the world. THANKS, MOM AND DAD.”

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Filed under "Other people", Being a girl, Children, Drew, Family, Games, Parents, Sentiment

In this case, E stands for “erroneous”

Stuff like this drives me crazy.

I realize this is just one little e-card. It’s not even a physical thing – it just exists as a jpeg. (And however things on the internet exist.)

This was probably a Mother’s Day card at one point. But I just saw it today, because this “your ecards” thing has somehow merged with Facebook and George Takei to create the unholy trinity that I like to call, “Why is my news feed now composed entirely of semi-funny, oft-shared pictures??”

Anyway. “9 times out of 10 children get their awesomeness from their mother.” What’s being said here? Why are we leaving out the fathers?

I’ve been running into a lot of father-bashing (or father-ignoring) on all the pregnancy boards to which I am now addicted. A common occurrence is that a woman will start a thread about being upset with her husband about a specific incident, and then comments will quickly pile up about how “it’s different for the men” and “they don’t understand” and how “they’re not interested in the pregnancy.”

Based on this and similar stories, Drew and I started a running “joke” about how much more important mothers are than fathers, which is basically us just repeating how the baby doesn’t even know who the father is until they’re 3 years old, 7 years old, 10 years old. (We just keep exaggerating because that’s what humor is.)

But this morning, I had to stop and say, “We’re both just kidding…right?” because it’s kind of getting to me. Enough is enough. Dads love their children too, and contribute to their health and well-being and yes, even to their awesomeness.

Maybe I just grew up in a very lucky kind of household, where my parents shared responsibilities and were around us equal amounts of time. I would say I get 50% of my awesomeness from my mom and 50% from my dad. And I would say that with a totally straight face.

It’s possible I’m overreacting to a stupid Facebook share. I mean, such things happen. (Some time last year, a WP blog post about bullying made the FB rounds, and everyone yelled about how their kid is such a special snowflake, and they would kill anyone who said anything mean to their perfect and sensitive child. I’m sure my coworkers enjoyed my attitude that day.)

On the other hand, maybe we’ve seen enough of FB e-cards, and enough of comments under-appreciating fathers. Hmm?


Filed under "Other people", Being a girl, Children, Drew, Family, Fashion, Nonfiction, Not awesome, Parents, Writing

A Much-Deserved Milestone

My parents are graduating today.

They’ve already sat through my graduations, all of ’em – from kindergarten to eighth grade to high school to college. So you’d think that this would be old hat. But apparently it’s weirder when it’s not you graduating, and you get to evaluate someone else’s major life choice.

Of course, they’ve also spent way more time in school than I did. When you’re a student, every step has such a firm expiration date on it (usually four years, if you’re doing it right) and so, while I felt like graduating college was an accomplishment, it wasn’t exactly a surprise, and I hadn’t been there that long anyway, and also I had to get out of this ceremony and over to Sacramento for a matinee.

But my parents have been teaching FOREVER. I know my mom started officially teaching long after I was in school, but she was there as an aide before that. I have memories from all ages of my mom at school, from monitoring the playground in elementary school, all the way up to middle school. As a substitute teacher, she took my sixth-grade class on one of our end-of-year field trips.

In high school it was my dad who was always around, whether he was actually teaching the class I was in, or just letting me and all my friends use the computers in his classroom during lunch. (I know, we were the most awesome kids ever, right?) He was one of my class advisors, which meant he led all the class meetings and was all over the prom planning. And probably the prom. Which was fine with me, since me and my parents have always been pretty cool.

But they’re graduating today. And I’m pretty sure they will still have to finish cleaning out their rooms next week (I mean, I could be wrong, but I’m just guessing here – teachers tend to accumulate a lot of stuff), but this is it. I’ve known this was coming for awhile now, but I guess it’s just sinking in.

Everyone keeps asking me, “What are they going to do??” and I just keep saying, “They will be busy.” Neither of them is a sit-around-and-do-nothing kind of person. I mean, maybe for a day. But not for much longer than that. So I’m pretty sure they’ll have things to do. I hope we will get to see each other more often.

Whatever they decide, I am super proud of them and they are extremely deserving of this chance to do whatever they want. So congratulations, you two, and definitely take at least a couple days to sit around and do nothing! (And then come visit me!) I love you both!

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Filed under Awesome, Beginnings, Family, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment