laptop = visor

If my laptop ends up a permanent fixture in my forehead, it's because I can now watch television AND watch another streaming tv show on my laptop. I think Bear's going to blow a gasket.

It's only a matter of time before I end up on the side of the road with my laptop on my hip and a sign that says, "Will work for batteries."

pants and a plumb bob

It's totally random around here.

This morning so far ...

me: Rio! Where are your pants?
rio: Beats me! Maybe in the bathroom?
me: Well, go put them on.
rio: That's okay Mommy. My butt is still warm!

Bear wanders downstairs

bear: Rio? Pants?
rio: Tell Mommy.
bear: ...


bear: I think I need a blog.
me: You totally should do one. I'd read it!
bear: Yeah, today I'd write about how I hung a plumb* bob.
me: Um, nevermind.
bear blows nose loudly
rio: Why you did blow your nose?
bear: To get to the other side.
rio: ...


So, we're going to put more stuff in the dumpster Bear had delivered last week and try to find Rio's pants. Can you top that?!

*I'm guessing the plumb I used is the correct tool-type one and he's not planning to hang fruit from the ceiling?! Of course, one never knows....

ola, super readers!

In the pre-holiday crunch, I told my MIL to NOT NOT NOT go bananas. 'She's three,' I said, 'wrap up a few cans of playdoh. She'll be thrilled!'. That's what I told her. That and, 'If you want to do something fun, she loves the Super Readers - especially Whyatt. Maybe make her a cape or mask?' and again, admonished her to NOT NOT NOT go bananas

She went bananas.

ho ho ho #6 and why the writers should STAY ON STRIKE!

I got my new laptop. Bear surprised me with it. He's a rockstar sometimes.


I did take a few pix of things I made, and will get around to posting them when I have time to go upstairs to my office to download the pictures because my new computer is a total snob and won't even look at my camera and it's all, "Psha! Like I have drivers for Miss So-Last-Year!?!" ... but I digress.

I got my new laptop. Which comes with Vista. And a trial copy of Office. So, I bought Office. I know, I know, I could have pirated it but I am stupidly A) uncomfortable with that and B) unable to do so.

Now, I was on Amazon which I grossly under-use to the point where every single time I *do* place an order I have to do a password retrieval ... but anyway. I got Office and I got a book that was recommended by a bunch of people. One guy said it was so great that he originally got it for a reference but ended up reading it from cover to cover. I hope he's not an asshat, because his love is what made me buy the book.

Now, here's what I find interesting and why I suddenly, clearly, and viscerally get what she's talking about. [note: I always just like reading her and her husband cuz they're funny and interesting, but she's a WGA writer on strike and I've learned a bunch about that corner of the world and I guess it's really sinking in...]

Where the hell was I? Oh yeah! So, I buy this book, and pay for it and get entered to win a giftcard for $500. Yay me! After checkout I get a message that, for 5 bucks I can read my book right this second! The whole thing! On my computer! And I can write all over the damn thing virtually! OMG I'm so excited I click YES! Take all my money! I want things noooooooooooooooooooow!

And still, almost unbelievably, I have not YET REACHED THE POINT! I see my book and I can also 'see' other peoples' lists of stuff they've bought! I guess it's the equivalent of being in Barnes and Noble and noticing someone else buy a book that you were looking at and then, when they checkout, you get to rifle through their bag, and their order history, to see what else they like. Cuz maybe you'll like it, too. Or maybe you'll just have all the ammo you need to fully steal their lives to the point where you could fool their MOTHER that yes, it's really me/her!

And still! Not the point! I go down a wormhole and see that Jenny bought the Office book and she buys a ton of other stuff and she bought House and Chuck and I love those shows and I click the Chuck and BAM! The point. I can buy the pilot of Chuck for $1.99. Right there. To watch on my computer. All quiet like. And suddenly, I get it. The 'other outlets' problem. The ways that the talents and sweat and long hours and dedication of relatively modestly paid writers are being sold, and resold, and resold again in brand new ways. And it's unfair. It is. I get it.

Now, how can we help? That, I don't know. But I am now aware. Oh, and hooked on Amazon. Those two things.

Happy happy and merry merry and joyous joyous to you and yours!

Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo

My first encounter this day:

me: Good morning, my love!

rio: Good morning to YOU, my loooooooooooooove!

Does it get better? I don't think so. Cheers!

ho ho ho #5

My mother has called 3 times today. I haven't answered. She has managed to completely erase the memory of her dangerous behavior when last we battled. I mean, had dinner. She owes me 14 million apologies and the latest transgression has served to bust the dam. Oh, and she also didn't send even a card so I am following her long lead of neglect and I'm neglecting to play her mind games anymore.

Wish I felt stronger about all this, instead of just feeling like a shmuck.


I chose all the gifts for under my excellent white tree. I put colored bows: red for Rio, blue for Bear, white for Uncle Marky, and gold pour moi! It was mellow and nice and fun and she's just heading for bed and we had a fantastic day. We had brunch with one of my best friends and her wife and her wife's family and it was great. Really great. Delicious food, wonderful company, loads and loads of love.

Christmas Eve has been fine. Good, even. I'm feeling very hopeful about this holiday season. I sure as shit feel like I've gotten my crazy-head-shrinking-money's worth.


Tomorrow our plans are - nada. Yay us!

ho ho ho #4

Wow. I totally can't sleep. I wonder if it's holiday cheer or the fact that I'm consumed with guilt. Hmm. So, 2am randomness.


Ooo! I am watching Access Hollywood and they just showed a bunch of people falling down on the catwalk. I find it hilarious when people fall.

I'm going to hell, right?


Does Posh Spice have teeth? Seriously, she looks silly with her whole "I refuse to smile" thing. She's up there with the other Spice Chuckle-heads who are grinning like baboons while Posh is all, "I can't believe stepping on a rusty nail and ignoring it actually gives you lock jaw." Furthermore, I don't get it about her husband. I don't find him appealing. Am I weird?!


I"m going to feel like hell in less than 5 hours when my wild ride starts all over again. Good news? While I've been wasting my life watching Law&Order, I got a whole bunch of photoshopping and photobucketing going. Bad news? Not Rio pix. However, if you like excellent lampwork beads, I've listed some auctions for a friend of mine. Buy her stuff, wouldya?!


Although I'm getting right up there, I'm thankful I don't have a naturally wrinkly forehead. Mine's smooth. The rest of me is falling apart, and my forehead watches it all in serene smoothness. I'll post pictures soon. Look forward to it.


I loaded some music into iTunes once, and I haven't touched my iPod since. I begged Will to just take mine and load it, but he went and got married and is too busy for random requests now. Oh, and I don't know him. Those two salient facts have tanked my great 'have a music aficionado do my iPod' plan.


I wander the net often, following blog-wormholes. Lately, I've noticed bloggers that ask leading questions. The kinds that feel a bit forced. A bit like they're trying to tease out responses/comments. Have you noticed that trend? Do you know why they do it? Is there a blog-comment cash-in site I've missed? Do you do it on your blog? Do you answer those sorts of questions? Do you the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon* is a bigger problem than the fact that he seems to be either A) incredibly forgetful re: his stand on important issues to the point of dementia or B) a big fat liarhead?


*To explain the asterisk, which I often forget to do ... does anyone else remember the ad campaign the Mormons used to have? All these super tender moments that totally made you wish for wholesome and happy family relations. The mom baking cookies with the young ones; lovingly measuring and stirring and smiling. And she didn't have a drink or a cigarette? The kids squirting their dad with a hose. The kids had a dad. ... right? They totally almost got me on their ad campaigns alone!


I'm not sleepy and I should be bored to death right now. My retinas are sore from looking at my excellent tree and seeing how long I can go without blinking. Wanna come over? You could show me how iTunes works again .....


ho ho ho #3

I don't know how long the 'ho ho ho' trend will last, it kind of snuck up on me as it was. But now I'm having fun with it.

Today's holiday cheer:

*Tomorrow we'll see both sets of Bear's parents AND his delicious sis and bro-in-law AND their fabulous twins. I can hardly wait to squeeze babies! So, I gave Bear his present so he can photograph tomorrow's festivities. He loves it. I love him.

*I sent our governor a note telling him I think he's doing a good job.

*I have a few more things to wrap but I'm pretty much done. I played with Rio in the snow this morning, I gave her a haircut tonight, I've laid out her fun outfit for tomorrow, and I'm pretty relaxed. Who saw this coming?

If you feel like punching me, I hardly blame you.

ho ho ho #2

For Xmas this year, being full of holiday cheer as I presently find myself, I volunteered to take my nephew holiday shopping. There are a million reasons why this is hilarious, but I think the fact that he has not one single gift idea, is sorta lazy, calls me 'Ant Nita' and has Aspergers might paint the broad picture.

I asked my brother for time with my nephew every day for the last 3 weeks. He finally gets it together to bring him up (N lives in CT) this afternoon. Which turns into tonight. Which turns into - going to be so fricking late we'll have to shop in the morning. I take matters into my own hands and call my nephew and offer to DO his shopping for him for a small service charge above and beyond the actual gift prices. I'm so Neimann Marcus. Anyway, he is wild about the idea [I'm pretty sure I hear a blip in the tone...] and tells me I'm his favorite person ever [or maybe he said, 'Thanks'...]! I do do DO love this kid!

neph: Ant Nita, that is the best idea ever! I hate to shop and we were both going to end up miserable.

me: Oh, Neph, the force is so strong in me that even holiday crowds can't reach me. Plus, this year I have holiday cheer! Have your dad bring you for dinner and I'll give you a gift preview and you can sign tags and we'll call it a day!

neph: Thanks! Can't talk, I'm busy playing a game. [click]


Why do I love this kid so? I made a pair of earrings for his mother. Now, everyone pray that she somehow hasn't happened upon the blog and is stalking me. Frankly, I'm not even sure she knows my name, but not knowing my name hasn't stemmed her dislike of all things me, but people with less interest in me have wandered by twice a day, if you know what I mean....

I love him because he LOVED everything I picked out. In fact, he said, "That is AWESOME!" to each and every gift I had chosen, including a cup-holder-change-sorter. He rocks! AND!!! There's more!!! When I showed him the earrings I made for his mother, he said, "Wow! Those are awesome! They are way too nice for her!" .... hahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I love him like crazy. *lesigh*


We interrupt the holiday giddiness for a Masshole Driving Update:

Dear Asshat:
Just because you're on your cellphone and quite obviously previously engaged to the point where your safe piloting of a ginourmous SUV is waaaay down your priority list - that does NOT mean that you can cruise to the front of the turn lane and then NOT turn but rather run 4 people off the road as you continue straight with a graceful aplomb that can only be described as the driving behavior of a clinical vegetable!!! YOU ARE SOME KIND OF FUCKING MORON! WAKE UP! HOLD ON TO THE WHEEL! HANG UP AND DRIVE YOU FUCKSTICK!

santa's little helper :)

ho ho ho #1

Bear didn't rush to shovel us out after the last 2 storms. Subsequently, our mailman was unable to reach the mailbox on Monday, and Tuesday. So, off to the post office I go. Christmas week. This should be fun, eh?


No one at the PO. Serious ghost town! I mention that to the fine folks working and they proceed to chew me a new one. Nice. So, I get the number of the place where they hold your mail if you're an asshat. That's the impression I got. Anyway, the guy tells me to call tomorrow between 6:30 and 7 in the morning.

me: In the morning? Six in the morning??

Met with dirty looks. So, I call and the nice man tells me it'll be sent down by 10. I go into the post office at noon, and it's not there. So the woman 'who has been working for 3 weeks straight' [repeat 47 times] tells me it's at the mvashlochen I have to pick it up. She's Chinese and a bit tough to understand ...

me: The

minion: The
mvashlochen! The mvashlochen! It's on Comice Boweevahd!

me: Sorry? Where?

minion: You know Comice Boweevahd? Right by you house! [she's starting to yell at me]

me: [starting to giggle cuz she's getting pissed and the more pissed she gets, the less I can understand] I'm sorry, I don't know where it is?

minion: EMC? Up da hill? Right on you way home! You drive wight by!

me: I'm not from here ...

minion: Comice Boweevahd! On you way home! On you way home!

me: Um, I just have to say that I go home many different ways ... [and I look out the window and consider pointing out that all roads lead home and she picks up a paper to draw a map for me]

minion: Can you find da highway? [smartass] Okay, not this road, not this road, this road up around back. On you way home! Comice Boweevahd! You drive right by! You drive right by! [Commerce Boulevard. Still don't know where it is...]


I follow her directions and I am thankful I have great snowtires and a front-wheel drive Subaru. Around the back of the building she pointed to on her horrid drawing is a dirt path that gets more and more narrow until it's impassable - and I had to back out. I drive up and down the road and finally find it.

mailman: Well, we don't encourage people to come up here, you know.

me: With the directions they give at the post office, your bat cave is safe.

mm: [blank stare] Here's your mail. Have a nice holiday.

So, in that 2 day bundle were 2 pieces of mail for my neighbors. I simply redistribute it so no one has to go to the post office. I'm good like that. Ho ho holy crap that lady needs a rum and tonic and a nap.

did you know about this?

So fun! I've submitted but am not holding my breath :)


I'm working through something right now. It deserves a well though-out post so I just drafted it. I will get it up soon. [giggles]

zoom, zoom, zoom

Y'all know how I'm slightly obsessed with child-safety, right? I practically divorced Bear when I came back from a weekend away and Rio said:

Mommy! I missed you sooooo much! Daddy let me ride in the front seat!

No secret is safe in this house. Not one. I'm being careful but Bear, not so much ... anyway ... We didn't get out yesterday. To the store, but no fresh air. So today, after nap, we suited up for a tour of our ice covered yard. I shlep her around in a blow-up raft-type sled while she hollers, "Faster Mommy! Faster!" and much fun is had by all. I take a look at the backyard slope and decide it might be fun to try.

You know where this is going, yes?

So, I crunch through the crust and get the sled poised at the top of a gentle incline that goes down to the swampland/mosquito resort that is our back acreage. Quickly judging slope, potential velocity, surface conditions, etc. I decide it'll be fun. I used to be a hairstylist. My calculations *may* have been flawed ...

I would like to formally apologize to my neighbor for crossing the property lines and wiping out his lilac bushes which blessedly slowed our incredible descent toward his huge oak tree. I tried to put a foot down behind the sled and it was like dragging it on a bowling alley. I was atop the sled holding one back handle and one front handle so, whilst zooming across our yards, I was trying to decide if I could let go of the front one and grab the back one and fling my body off AND hold on when I decided that I probably could not and if I knocked myself out my child would sit right there like she's on some kind of litter which is how she conducts her badass three-year-old self these days, and no one would find either of us until we froze to the ground/sled ... so I rode it out sheltering her body as best I could with mine. We hit the bushes, crashed through like a 747 and only when the bushes thickened and began to lift us off the ground did we slow and glide to a rest against the giant oak.

me: [nervous giggling like a maniac] Wowza! Was that fun?

rio: Uh, no. Let's do it again!

I should totally post more often so I we're in the bushes somewhere along the back 40, someone will come to look for us.

oh, you're welcome!

Know what rocks?

This rocks.

I hover at level 42 and I'm sorely tempted to cheat. But I don't. As far as you know...


Today I learned that interment and internment are both words, close in meaning, and I didn't know exactly what the first one meant. Dammit!

swinging like a bipolar monkey on a speedball

I'm trying here, people. Trying to embrace this season and spew joy as best I can. And be sincere about it.

Today we went to Uncle Mark's house. Rio adores the snot out of him. They were heavily engaged in a game of 'Where is Clifford hiding?' so I buzzed out to the store to gather all the things for the sugar cookies I'm making tonight. Seriously. And a bunch of kids are coming over tomorrow to decorate them. I'm ridiculous but looking forward to it!

So, standing in line. Stop&Shop has new tricky scanners so you can bag your own groceries while you shop, scan everything in and present the scanner to a cashier and they just take your word for it. Fascinating. I know Macy's had to stop playing subliminal messages telling employees not to steal. I can only imagine how Stop&Shop is keeping the masses honest .... better not go there.

Anyway, lovely lady handed scanner to cashier - and it totally didn't work. So she had to unpack her groceries and have everything re-scanned. So much faster, huh? Anyway, she was really nice and offered to let me go ahead of her even though she had a toddler in the cart??!! I declined, needless to say.

That gave me time to look around. At the trashy mags. And open one and page through. AND BURST INTO TEARS WHEN I READ ABOUT STUPID NICOLE RICHIE MEETING WITH HER BIRTH PARENTS!!!

I'm a fucking disaster area.


On a funny note - Rio, the dog and I all smell like smoke and bacon after an afternoon at Uncle Marky's. :)

fa la la la f*ck

Do you loathe the holidays? Me, too. I envy the people who looooooove the holidays. The people who bake cookies, and have parties, and just sparkle with elf-like delight. I swear I could slap somebody.

For many, many years I was able to avoid the entirety of November/December festivities. No turkey. No 8 crazy nights. No fat man. Nothing. In fact, for years I always volunteered to work so others could have time with family. I wanted the happy people to have the chance to be together.

Through some holiday miracle of my own, I'm slipping into the guise of a happy holiday person. Okay, maybe not 'holiday happy'', but at least 'holiday tolerant.' People, it's freaking me out. Last week I bought cookie cutters and, in what can only be described as an incredible lapse of judgment, I also bought about $40 bucks worth of sprinkles, colored sugars, tiny swirly chips and frosting. I plan to have the kids from playgroup over to decorate my homemade effing cookies. I left everything in the bag with the receipt - just in case. Just in case I regain my insanity.

But today ... today ... wow. I'm pretty much speechless. I woke up this morning and this fell out of my head --

me: I want to get a tree.

bear: [blinks once, twice.] That would be really nice, honey.

me: Yeah. I need to make the holidays my own. Make our own traditions. Our family. Our traditions. Learn to love this time of year instead of, well, weeping so much.

bear: Excellent thinking all around!

me: Yeah, so, I want a tree. I want a white tree. A sparkly... shiny... white tree!

bear: ...

me: [weird smile finds its way onto my face.]

bear: Um, hon, no.

me: Bear, maybe you didn't hear me. I said I want a white tree.

bear: A white tree? Are you kidding me? You grew up in Vermont! White trees are fake! Hideous! I think I have to throw a veto here.


Isn't she beautiful?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

do me a huuuuuge favor, okay?

Medical care has become an interesting topic, no? Well, I just got an email and apparently the hospital in the town next to my hometown (my hometown doesn't have a hospital!) is in the running for an MRI. Yup, some company is giving away an MRI for votes. You don't have to register so I don't think you'll be contacted to buy one for yourself so, what do you say? Vote, would you? Being so close to a ski resort, I can't imagine they don't have one already. I wonder if there is a tea-leaf reader or bone thrower on staff for times when the MRI van is running late....

Anyway, if you would be so kind as to go here and vote for Copley Hospital in the pull-down menu. That would be swell :)

proud moments in housewifery

When I was single, I had a cleaning person. She was awesome. She put my laundry away (I love to wash and fold, but not put away. Kinda weird, huh?!) and cleaned my bathroom and vacuumed and put fresh flowers in my place every Friday. I paid her what she was worth because she didn't ask for enough, and we are still in touch because I still am so thankful to her.

Now, I'm in charge of this house. This kinda big house. This wicked messy house ... I'm not good at it. My New Year's resolutions list is short, but being more organized and cleaning better are right at the top. I've been begging for professional help (good morning marion!) and I sense it's coming.

And not a moment too soon.

I know I tend to exaggerate here but I have a nearly true story for you. This morning I opened the fridge to get some milk for Rio's cereal AND SOMETHING BITCH-SLAPPED ME RIGHT ACROSS THE GRILL. Furthermore, after wrestling said evil fridge monster to the ground, I was unable to discern whether is was a ball of rotten tofu or a head of rotten lettuce.


I cleaned every inch of the fridge. All the drawers. Every nook and cranny. My confession is that the bottom, under the crisper drawer (or fetid-rot-maker drawer, whatever) there was a lot of, um, stuff. Some of it was probably crunchy when it fell under there. Some of it might have shriveled up into that shape after a certain amount of time passed - I think it's called dessication? Either way, it wasn't apparently sticky stuff, and there was quite a bit of it. After puzzling over the best solution, I got out the hand vacuum and did the pre-clean that way.

It was in that moment, vacuum in hand, balanced on a stool and vacuuming out my refrigerator, that it occured to me I might start making my resolution list right now.

Dell, this is all your fault

I am not ashamed to admit that right this second I have 2253 unread emails in my gmail inbox. Shoot me. It's taking up less than 20% of my something or other, and I prefer to think of it as proof that I exhibit only certain OCD tendencies. I must confess a small thrill to watching the eye twitch of my more driven friends when I casually toss out the fact that I have THOUSANDS of unread emails, but -as usual- I digress.

I may have mentioned it but you guys all seem to be doing drive-bys and not really reading anything and I rarely have boobie pictures here so it bears repeating: I'm making almost all my holiday gifts and buying myself a laptop. I promise not to use it while driving but I do NOT promise not to sneak it in the bathroom with me which is a joke because I don't even have peace in there ...

Anyway, today I got an incredible email about my future tricky laptop!!! Ice T wants me to have it. He told me himself*. And because I randomly clicked imported email addresses you might hear from him, too. If I missed you, or you don't know me but want to give me money anyway, listen up, fools.

Is it just me or is he just dirty-sexy-delicious?!

*Dear Ice T: Thanks so much for contacting me to help my cause!!! I totally appreciate the heartfelt plea you made just for little ole me. Touching. I promise to take your personal work on my behalf as interest in my future as a potty-mouth writer and not as an invitation to drop on by. Or to look in your windows. Or to hide in the backseat of your car. Probably.
peace out darling

> AMENDED TO ADD: I should put a lot more thought into these posts. I think I'll make it a New Year's resolution. For now, I'm left explaining... I stumbled upon (why, oh why can't I develop ideas like THAT?!) this great promo by Dell. Star Power. You can choose a star (Ice T didn't really do this just for me. Shocked, aren't ya?) and send an email to your friends and family to, uh, beg for money for stuff. I *do* want a laptop, but I didn't really think anyone would send me money. The video is so awesome and that's what inspired me to send it. To a whole bunch of my peeps. So, I took advantage of their 'import addresses' function and sent off that funny-ass video. Two challenges? One - no record of who I sent this to. Which is a problem because of ... Two - In the email Dell has totally dropped the ball. Here, in my blog, the link goes right to that sexy-as-hell former pimp pitching a laptop. On the email that went out to my friends and family and anyone else I thought would get a giggle from it - there's the rub. The actual email has 2 buttons called 'yoursishere' and 'buyitnow' ... neither is intuitive for playing the video. I'm no programmer or major ad director, but I would have put 'press to play' or 'nita wants you to watch Ice T and be swayed' or something like that on one of the buttons. Seriously? What would you click? Nothing, right? Buy it now and hope Dell doesn't swipe your credit card number and say, 'Thanks for sending laptops all over America'??!!!.... wtf?!

So, I have 2 friends who've sent me cash without seeing Ice T's movie. Basically, I have friends that respond to me begging for money. I did not know that. Had they understood the freaking ad, they would have clicked the link, played the movie and said to themselves, "That Nita has found a virtual way to fly her freak flag. I can totally see her with Ice T, sitting on that couch and smoking a Christo. Crazy beatch." The irony was lost. Which kills me.

But, this is totally working out for me cuz people are actually contributing! Thanks you guys. I love being a part of this crazy Universe.


proud parenting

Most of the time she's very much her daddy's daughter. She likes to line things up, build sculptures with negative space, sit quietly with a book, think deep thoughts ... and it's been very good for me to slow down and appreciate her little personage. Especially when it makes no sense to me.

But every once in a while she throws me a bone.

on the way to school this morning

rio: Mommy, I want Damonn... Damonna... Madonna!

me: Sure thing, buddy. I'll see what's in the player.

rio: Techno, please. Not old school.

*sigh* She really is my daughter.

must be the meds ....

... that I found on the floor and promptly ate.


Today has me experiencing a weird shift. Yesterday Rio and I were late to school. Remarkable because I have thrown world-class fits about 5 minute delays. I hate late. But yesterday she had very specific hair-do requests and granting them made us a little late. Mind you, I'd still have a stroke if I was even 10 seconds late to pick her up ... but I wasn't at all concerned we were a bit late TO school. Subtle shift.

And - I still haven't talked to my mother cuz I just plain don't know what to say. I want to say, "Man, you put the suck in suck," but I don't feel like that's going to be productive.

And - my father called yesterday, talked to our fabulous sitter, said he'd call back in an hour - and didn't. And - I didn't remember that til I was thinking about my sucky-mcsuck mom, so, yeah. I'm not worrying over things I might have in the past.

And - I'm not going to Boston with Rio. End of story. Bear and I are odd as fuck so worrying about Rio's, uh, eccentricities is a giant waste of energy. She'll be fine. She has two parents who really love and care for her, who try to answer 'why' a thousand times a day, and who kiss her while she's sleeping every night before they retire. She'll be fine. Better than, probably.

drinking umbrella

Every once in a while I find something on the internet that reinvigorates my faith in the brilliance of mankind. Today, this is it.

A drinking umbrella. Genius. And fun! Instead of 'Raindrops on Roses' I could sing, 'Raindrops on my numb red nose .. es' ... well, you get my gist. The only only only problem I can see with this invention is that it appears one has to tip the umbrella down to open the flask and then whip it upright to get the nectar into your mouth. Won't I get wet? Won't I look stupid swigging from the bottom of an umbrella, now that I'm wet? Will I give a fat rat's ass? I think we all know the answer to that one ....

Added bonus? Now you know what to get me for Christmas. Fill it up, too.

I present: a girl I knew before she had boobs

Stowe is a funny little town. I was north for the holidays and arranged to meet up with a friend of mine. Who lives in Rhode Island. Yeah, we both drove 4 hours to meet in Vermont instead of someplace close to our homes, but, yeah, that's just how it's rolling around here these days.

Anyway, she's doing comedy. Here is a sample of her working on new material. The really funny thing is she's been doing this in the back of classrooms since grade 4. I love her to death

important lessons on operating a 3 year old

* When they say, "I have to tinkle right now!" they pretty much mean it.

*When your daughter sings "Happy Birthday Mommy!" really loud first thing in the morning you should prepare yourself. All that loud and early singing was the preamble to the incessant "Can we make cuck-cakes?" that will not cease until you relent and make said 'cuck-cakes' and make them now. With help. And direction. From your child who has discovered she knows everything. Yay.

*Same 3 year old totally doesn't get the concept of time and cooking so when you do agree to the baking, know that you are in for, "Are they finished yet?" every 10 seconds for the entire time it takes to assemble ingredients, grease and flour tins, make batter, pour into cups, watch the mofo things bake with the light on and then, then, then, instead of waiting for them to cool you must break one open with your bare hands and juggle it until it's burned out of its molten stage and you can deliver it onto a plate from the special tea set so finally, at long last you can silence, "Are they finished yet?" with a fresh cupcake that has given you 2nd degree burns.

*She will then have one bite and say, "How 'bout Clifford Cheerios, instead?" and you know in your heart that she saw you pour the last of them yesterday and she should know better than anyone that you haven't had time to get to the store, right? RIGHT?


Today I ran a host of errands for Bear. I took the water/sewage bill in, laid the bills in the envelope next to the bill on the counter. The woman counted it out and handed me $60 back! In cash! Mine! When I wondered aloud at my windfall she said, "It's probably a tip!" and I thought, Bear is so great! I got a tip! I can go buy, myself, um, a, an, some ....? The pontificating stalled me a bit for I'm not often in possession of cash or extra time so I was standing with the twentys and spacing out wondering if I had time to get my roots done when I was shaken from my trance and asked to move along. I did. Because the chicks at my town municipal building scare me a little. This is their idea of a warm welcome, all perched on the counter:

Rio's new winter coat came today, looking like it had been kicked from the warehouse, but it's darling and we're heading to Stowe for a 3 day holiday. In a hotel. Under assumed names. I'm ridiculously excited. See you soon and enjoy your holiday!

Oh, and f-Christopher Columbus.


and i wonder, still i wonder, who'll stop the pain?

If I move, and don't tell my mother where, does that make me a bad daughter?

don't poke the bear

He's concerned he's been improperly portrayed. He wants everyone (his mom) to know that he doesn't ever make fun of her. It's true, he isn't the mean-spirited sort. He insists their version of 'Who's on First' is a give and take.


Anyway, as a peace offering I'll list his top 5 super sweet moments as they strike me.

1. She can totally make him at least half an hour late for work by running after him to the door and saying, "Daddy, you forgot I wanted to give you two more kisses!" and he comes running back like a fish on a hook. She'll follow that up with, "Daddy, you forgot I wanted to give you two more hugs!" and you can see how the time ticks by, what with the kissing, hugging and running back and forth.

2. When I saw her in striped summer sandals and a striped fall sweater and pants that were still too big so her butt was hanging out ... I thought he'd merely opened drawers and threw things at her. Turns out he'd chosen the sweater and summer sandals based on a shared pallet of stripes and the pants because their stitching fell into that color group.

3. I bought a new carseat and, unasked, he took it out of the box, read the directions, put the zillion straps into their proper slots and set it all up for us.

4. When I hear him reading to her over the monitor he makes it sound really good. He gives every character a funny voice and he always reads at LEAST three books whereas I'll sometimes try to only read one and concede to two.

5. Two days ago she uttered a spontaneous, "Oh daddy. I love you sooooo much!" followed by a big neck wrangling hug and it made him cry.

who's on first?

As with most three year olds, Rio has some, ah, interesting ways of spitting the english language. A lot of the funny ones are disappearing; a melancholy occurrence.

One that is holding tight is, "What you just said?" instead of "What did you say?", ad nauseum, 40 times a day. Because I'm insane I first thought she was deaf, then dumb, and then I realized it's just how she rolls right now.

Bear can NOT help himself but to correct her. I have no less than 25 toddler-raising books opened to the part where it says you don't make fun of your kid's speech, but he can NOT help himself.

bear: I think I'd like a snack.

rio: What you just said?

bear: What did you just say?

rio: I said, 'What you just said?'.

bear: Um (eyebrows shooting up and weird dad face) no, what did you just say?

rio: (clearly annoyed) I said, "What you just said?"!

I may help her amend that to, "What you just said, dumbass?".

boring update

Halloween involved the first coup of her career. She asked to be Clifford the Big Red Dog and so I dutifully ordered the costume. I also made myself an Emily Elizabeth costume. At the very last moment she refused to be Clifford and decided to be Princess Pea (if your kid doesn't watch this show, try it out. These kind strangers are teaching my daughter to spell!).

Here we are pre-taking-candy-from-strangers*:

Why did I forge ahead, you ask? Because I had mofo 2nd degree burns all over my fingers and lint all over my house from making that effing wig, that's why.

Funny thing? We were planning to hit our friends' neighborhoods but only made it to the ones right down the street. The daddy was out with his girls in a wagon. We spotted him and I jumped out. "Hey Kris! We'll park at your place and catch up with you, okay?!" and his odd stares and giggles made sense when his wife confessed she'd forgotten to tell him we were coming. Thanks for that, Christina.


For over 3 years she's allowed me to dress her and do her hair as I see fit. Those days are over. Yesterday we went to AC Moore and she had a lively conversation with a woman and her son about her hair clips, her furry coat and her Uggs. Also that sometimes she's a princess and that if mommy wipes her butt, mommy has to wash her hands but she doesn't. All the while she was in her new crazy hair-do which consists of many small colored band holders AND a handful of my haircutting clips. I'm all about choosing your battles. These days I have so many from which to choose that I generally allow her to roam the town looking for all the world like a midget maniac.


For her flu shot I convinced her that Princess Pea called and was wearing ponies today, hence the mildly normal hairstyle. What you can't see is that she's wearing one brown Ugg boot and one pink Ugg slipper. Pick your battles, right?

What you also can't see is that in the rush to get us all in the car and to the doc's office for the 6:30 shot, I forgot to put on my shoes and I had on my Ugg slippers, too. Both pink. "No one will notice," assured Bear.

Everyone, including other parents, kids and the nurse, looked at my feet.

*We spend a fair amount of time trying to equip our youngsters with a healthy hesitance regarding strangers, touching, candy, etc., yes? And yet Halloween involves a special outfit to go door to door to take candy from strangers. And Christmas time? Puh-lease. I don't think it's a great idea to stand in line to coax our children to sit in the lap of an old man who promises them presents. I'm just sayin'.

we interrupt the stupidity ...

Everyone knows I don't do forwards (I'm going to have eleventy billion years of bad luck), answer questions about what animal I'm most like (gazelle), post quizzes stating I'm Princess Leia - what space cadet are you? (Paris Hilton), but I came across something that I must share.

Please go to DadGoneMad and consider buying yourself a t-shirt. One of his best friends just died and the proceeds will go the freshly fatherless 14 year old son to help with athletic costs.

I got one. Says 'Hot Wife' and I plan to wear it to the gym to see if the trophy wifes are capable of A) reading and B) laughing.

we're on the road to nowhere

I did it. Joined a gym. The World Gym in my town is running a great special and I got online and joined.

Even better? Today I went! And took a spin class! At 6am! And I didn't cry or throw up!! Exclamation points came with my membership...

So, yeah, I'm committed to having a healthy body and healthy mind. Yay me. Oh, and everyone who is forced to deal with me, too. Yay you guys, too.


I have a lot of friends. I love them all terribly. They are literally the pieces of the puzzle that is me. They all hold a piece and the whole thing doesn't make sense without all of them. That said, my best friend that I speak to multiple times daily is traveling the planet right now. You'll see her messages here - no punctuation and packed with inside jokes. Say hi to her and know I'm a giant girlie dork because yesterday I left a message on her cellphone telling her I miss her and I had to hang up quick because I started to cry. Hi Mare!


Not much to share right now. Starting to see body changes. Really feeling fitness changes. Making a concerted effort to decide what I want to be when I grow up. Figuring out December plans. Loving my husband, daughter, dog, most of my family, and all the puzzle pieces.

I think I blew something open in my head during that spin class ....

what's NOT for breakfast

There are times when I think advertising/product development might be fun. Then I get a chance to actually look around and I'm back to wanting to live in a cave. But I would like to be a fly on the wall for certain development meetings....

Picture it:

Bunch of self-perceived hipster development dudes sitting around with a pile of VC, trying to find 'the next big thing.'

h1: reading People magazine ... How about ankle devices with swarovski crystals?

h2: Nah, I think Paris already has that and she's the only one stupid enough to buy one.

h1: Yah, prob.

h2: Hey, says here that organic foods is a billion dollar industry. We gotta get some of that.

h3: I got something here somewhere (shuffles stacks of reports) here it is! The government rearranged the food pyramid. Wait ... yeah, it's still unintelligible. Great! I've got the best idea!

h1,2: Eyes wide. Behind sunglasses. Inside.

h3: Waffle-whiz. Organic waffle-whiz.

h1: Seriously?

h3: (madly sketching) Comes in a can. Americans are lazy. Or in a rush. Yeah, in a rush. Let's not point out lazy. Um, I think breakfast is no longer the celery in your bloody mary. And it's organic. Organic! People will buy it just for that reason! WAFFLE.WHIZ. Right? Riiiiiight?

'Organic' batter from what is so obviously left-over CheezWhiz cans makes me sad for some reason. I think organic manipulation coupled with extraordinary sloth is the new black.

zoom, zoom, zoom, etc.

My darling grandmother was here for a week. She left today. I don't know how she feels, but I'm completely exhausted!

I dropped her at the airport and went to the Fine Furnishings Show and had the best time. Bear and Rio went to my SIL's World Famous Halloween Party in CT and so I went alone. I really needed a break from all noise and I applaud my husband for getting that and not being insulted. I are lucky :)

I are also incredibly exhausted for a number of reasons. My gram and I ran ragged all week. Too many activities. Next time - same amount of trips/dinners/lunches/exhibits/shopping trips but two weeks. That should be only mildly exhausting.

My other problem is more complicated and self-inflicted....

me: Bear, this TIVO is totally jacked and it's driving me crazy to watch, or try to watch shows on it. Please, let's get rid of it all. Cancel cable and cancel TIVO and we'll buy seasons of shows we want to watch and gorge like good tv-ers. So, please, I beg you, get rid of it all.

cut to 4 days later.

me: Bear, there is a TIVO box outside the garage. Just got delivered. Why?

bear: It's for a project that is top secret so please don't look at it and don't talk about it.

cut to next day.

me: Bear, there is a cable guy here to INSTALL DIGITAL CABLE! His work order says you want to be called first, but he's here and can't work the new super-duper hi-tech TIVO.

bear: Yay! I'll be right home.

So, he did not cancel anything. Rather, he upgraded everything. And he's dead certain it was exactly the right move. The self-inflicted part of this is as follows:

Get home from Providence, sparkly with art infusion. Lie on the couch at 3pm to see if House had recorded. Watch House. Realize we have a zillion new stations. Watch Law&Order for 2 straight hours. Realize I can watch 2 channels and have backing up capabilities on both, and proceed to watch
Law&Order AND Law&Order:SVU for another hour or so. Bear comes home, we get Rio to bed and I just barely, at 11pm, dragged myself away from watching hours of LA Ink. I don't even like the show and now I have to watch the season finale to find out why Pixie's boyfriend is such a douchebag.

I am joining a monastery and not for any of the reasons I might have previously done so.

blessed are the deaf

I had the best lunch with 2 sets of my great-aunts and uncles, and my gram, and the lovely Rio. Who didn't get a nap.

Luckily the chocolate revived her.

Unluckily it awakened her inner maniac.

Luckily most of the table is hard of hearing so the fact that, halfway through a giant piece of 'Death By Chocolate' cake, Rio raised chocolaty finger horns and started hollering, "Rock and Rollllllll!" was missed by all. But me. Who laughed and thereby set the stage for future inappropriate behavior. The force is strong in this one. Very strong....

on a lighter note...

Rio is laying on my grandmother's bed. She's face down, long legs swinging in the air and taptapping the bed in lazy alternating arcs. She just said to Gram:

Hey Betty Boop - are you old?

That kid.

i am some kind of idiot

Why am I surprised when things go so horribly wrong with my mother? I must be stupid. Really stupid. Bad-probably-shouldn't-have-bred stupid.

I'll skip the thousand instances of passive aggressive, borderline personality bullshit, testing of my patience .... that my mother engaged in on Sunday. I'll just hit the high points.

*My darling grandmother wanted to go to Vermont to see her. Her, my mother. Her who has never had a nice word to say about my grandmother, or recently deceased grandfather. Her who didn't attend the funeral, but called daily to boss the rest of us around. Evidently, her had been calling and being sweet in anticipation of death benefits. Her is even more evil than I imagined.

*My mother absolutely ignores Gram when she gets out of the car. Goes right for Rio and doesn't speak to or look at my grandmother. Already, my blood pressure is heading north.

*She has chosen a restaurant that is closed. She won't call ahead, it's around the corner from her house, arguably she passes it 100 times a week. And yet, she makes me park and get everyone out of the car before 'remembering' it's closed on Sunday night.

*She is an embarrassment at the restaurant where we land. If you knew her, you'd know I have 17,000 words worth of material. But enough said.

This is where it gets bad. After dinner she said she had a gift for Rio and would we please come in to her place. I say, and I quote, "We will come in but only if you put the dog up." She puts him in his fenced in back area and we all enter the filthy smoking lounge that is her house.

Her dog is throwing himself against the slider again and again, screech barking. She's taught him this behavior and constantly reinforces it. She has every dog psych book ever written and she has advice for everyone on the planet about their dogs, and it is with incredible forethought that she has ruined this very expensive, very well pedigreed champion. It's awful but the dog is totally out of control and is a biter.

Rio has to poop. Fabulous. I take her through the deathtrap house into a filthy bathroom. I clean up as best I can and place my child on a toiletpaper-lined seat. The place is brand new but looks just like a 40 year old bus station bathroom. I'm gagging.

We return to the sitting room where my mother has her hell-hound leashed and up on the chair next to her. Dog behavior 101 says: leashed dogs are more aggressive due to the urge to overcome the restraint and sitting on a chair is an elevated status, further exacerbating the intense aggression problems of this dog.

"We are leaving," I say and herd my grandmother and child to the door. Mother immediately stands and her dog jumps down and starts pulling for all he's worth to reach any of us, all the while snarling and snapping; leaping and twisting; screaming and digging into the floor. Frightening site.

I reach the door to the entryway and tell me grandmother to get in the car quickly. I hold onto the doorknob so they can clear the second door and cross the yard to the safety of the car. My mother is twisting and twisting the doorknob trying to break my hold, and her dog is throwing himself waist height against the door. Once Rio and Gram are safely in the car, I let the door go and run out. She's right behind me saying, 'He's on a leash!' and I get into the car and leave.

She called last night to tell me she's taking a stop smoking medication. I let her have it both barrels because Rio was with Bear and my brother was out to dinner with my gram. My mother relies on the fact that I wouldn't want to make my grandmother uncomfortable and timed her call in the middle of what should have been grown-up dinner time.

I blasted her. I told her that she has no respect for me as a person and she lies. She put my child and grandmother in harm's way by bringing the dog in, and she was damned sneaky about doing it while I was in another room. She doesn't have any respect for the boundaries I so clearly set and she created a dangerous situation simply to get a reaction from me. "My reaction," I stated, "is this - you always ask 'Can I have Rio by myself?' and it occurs to me that you don't want her, you want me to say 'no'. Well, here it is. No. You've gone too far this time. I have another call and I'm hanging up now. Goodbye."

I honestly don't know if I'll ever talk to her again. This is the straw that buried the pyramid that dropped out of the sky that crushed the palace that had a stable where the camel made its home.


Our exercise for writing class this week is the run-on sentence. Here's mine. Whaddaya think?!


The clock clicks to 11:29 as she bursts through the door and I am struck by her beauty and the new smell of ‘young woman’ that floats in just behind her and all at once I’m transported to when she simply smelled of child and when asked, at 2 years old, what she wanted for Christmas, had so clearly and forcefully stated, “A pygmy marmoset monkey,” and shooting her mother a withering look continued, “and we do, too, have room because they are small!” and another vision of her floats into my consciousness – this time covered in fake tattoos, wearing only a jacket, ivory cabled tights and cowboy boots and comfortable in that outfit as only the young can ever be – and I find I am shocked by the woman that is pushing out the girl in a thousand new ways every day, every month, every year, and when she’s questioned about the dance and the boy I find an odd relief when I see the last vestiges of thumb-sucking manifest in a charmingly crooked smile as she simply says, “We had fun – goodnight!” and, whoosh, she’s come and gone, ever changing, still, again.

what a difference a day makes ...

I grew up in a way that makes me a master of crisis. I was a little, tiny fireman; on-call 24/7. That has left me with the propensity to, um, overreact. On occasion. Like around this whole eval thing.

Once I stopped spinning and spraying and exploring which special foams don't impact the environment ... I had the chance to listen. Really listen. From my 'I'm a smart person and nothing is on fire' place. And I realized I had shut down, gone to defc*n 8, and I had on my battle-scarred shield which has always helped me deal with all the noise. All the hysteria, real and manufactured. All the danger. That shield that filters out everything but the HUGE CRISIS
and makes me able to wade into the thick of things without concern for myself.

I went to the Developmental Medicine Department and read all about the possibilities. Then I lifted the shield, took a deeeep breath, and realized that none of those particular things on the drop-down menu apply. Sure, she has this piece and that piece ... she likes to line things up ... she doesn't particularly care for loud noises ... she just started pre-school that she attends alone (where she's doing great) ... she is used to me and I'm big fun and, for now, she is more at ease with adults. Big deal!

Her pieces of those sets of 'indicators' on the DMD site don't make for a full set of anything - except an awesome kid.

:: For all of you who gave your support loud enough to drown out the imagined sirens, I extend sincere thanks. You made a difference.


Um, yah.

Preschool is going well. As long as she's away from me, she stops crying. Growth is happening all around.

Now, the dance class is another story. She won't get out of my lap. Ever. Once in a while for a quick second, but that's it. Her comfort level is non-existent. After almost a full year there.

Today we had the full meltdown. I told her she couldn't sit in my lap during class; she had to pay attention. So she proceeded to drape over my legs and try to crawl up on my shoulders and pulled at my shirt ... crying all the while. The teachers keep trying to talk to her.....she's having none of it.

I wish I had a mom to talk to. I don't. I talked to a few trusted friends and got all different, all very sensible recommendations. So, I called her pediatrician.

After listening he recommended another eval at Children's Hospital. Gave me the number. I'm at my wit's end and just so sad and frustrated. I know it's really bad for some people. I know other kids have it way worse. But I still feel like this is going to break my heart.

don't get all excited

I'm in a writer's group right now. I never edit. I barely spell-check. I'm a super lazy virtual vomiter of words. Some I like. Some I don't. But I'm way too ambivalent about the whole process.

There is a writer inside of me. I slide by here, with the handful of you, by wrapping things up as they pop into my head.

Well....I wrote a piece for the class/group. And I'm going to rewrite it. Maybe a few times. When it's complete, I'm going to post it here.

No giant proclamation, just letting you know. That I plan to polish up that raw writing and take a stab at an actual 'piece.'


another wall scaled

Bear and Rio had a great day yesterday. He came home from work absolutely exhausted - to a wife ready to enroll her child in an English boarding school. Instead of his planned catnap, he took the Monkey Princess on an adventure.

They dug some holes in the yard. No reason, the both just like to dig. And they scouted the perfect location for a pine cone sanctuary. The pine cone sanctuary does explain why I had to practically use a vegetable brush to get her clean .... but I digress. Pictures!

So we got up early and had a nice breakfast. She asked for cheese and cookies and instead she had a breakfast bar and fruit. Then Bear met us at the school so we could all walk in together.

Mere and I held each other walking out. And cried. But I don't think anyone knew. Haha.

Really, though, I think this is coming about at just the right time. In playgroups and at dance class she looks at other kids like they're covered with battery acid and poop. I know that this is the very best thing for her. She's picking up my snarky verbal patterns, she likes to label everyone as having a penis or a 'safana', and she's imminently more comfortable with adults than children. So, yeah, it was time. No matter my level of readiness.

Plus, it's not like she couldn't use some, uh, professionals around. :)

nervous much?

Things that fell out of Bear's head this weekend:

"Listen, you signed up for forever so quit being such a fucking bitch."
-used to end an argument

"I can see it in your face, but nowhere else. Honestly though, I mostly only look at your face and tits."
-when asked if he noticed my weight loss

There were a few more doozers, but I didn't write them down and now they're lost in the cloud of advanced maternal age sans sleep.

Rio starts school tomorrow. I'm mostly okay, but pretty frantic. I am bringing a book, some cucumber slices and Jack. School is from 9:15 - 11:45 and I have it all planned out:

*9:10: drop-off. beat it out to the parking lot quickly. don't let her see me cry.

*9:15 - 11:00: sit in car in parking lot. cry. hard. stroke Jack while crying.

*11:00 - 11:30: try really hard to stop crying. place cucumber slices on my eyes so I don't look like I've been boxing while she's been playing and singing.

11:30 - 11:47: lose myself in my new book. look at clock and have panic attack at being 2 minutes late. jump out of the car, scramble into the school, and look like I've been boxing ...

No worries, then. I have it all under control! Wish me, and the local police, lots of luck.

too cool for school

Last week I mapped out a walking route where I was not so likely to be killed by a car. Our road *looks* like a meandering path through the woods, but it is ridiculously heavily traveled. And has no sidewalk. And I can't see too great pulling out. Ugh.

So, I found a new place to go. The best thing about this McMansion neighborhood is that the sidewalks are empty. No one around. I saw a couple of people doing yardwork; most of them had a company truck parked nearby. Everyone who lives in this neighborhood must be running in my neighborhood because of the excellent route visibility.... whatever. I had a great 4 mile jaunt. Some running, some walking, lots of loud singing.

And a bit of grinning. I grabbed the iPod from where it's been gathering dust. In a burst, maybe last year, I put a bunch of stuff on it (mistakenly erasing everything Bear had on it because I tend to be very acquiescent to pop-ups) and haven't listened, or worked out, much since.

But today. Ah, today I was reminded of my ridiculous taste in music. Do you think any of the people in the big houses ever heard Eminem? Shorty the Pimp? Or the brilliance that is Buck Cherry's 'Crazy Bitch'??!! I made excellent time and sang and danced. Yay me!

preschool jitters

We went to preschool orientation today. All 3 of us. I woke up late to Bear snugging me and telling me he had re-set the alarm for even later. I love waking in a panic.
We were late. I argued with Bear because nothing spells relief like spreading your irrational fears to those you love best.
It was really fine. Well, aside from the fact that I've slid into a bizarre alternative reality with the program director. My Mere scoped the joint last year, did the interviews, vetted the teachers, checked the bathrooms, and I followed blindly. Mostly because I hate crowds of little people, but I digress. Getting into the preschool program has been a comedy of errors. I have had 3 missed appointments with the director; she didn't mail me my packette for months; I sent my check a month ago and still the balance in my account taunts me and begs me to buy new boots, cuz, you know, the money's still in there and what are they going to do - make my kid wait outside if the check bounces?!; and last but not least ... thankfully Mere informed me that orientation time has moved to 9am from 9:45. The director helpfully called our house at 8:35 this morning, 20 minutes from school, to see if I knew of the change. And to accuse me of not filling out the paperwork she never sent. Breeeeeathe.
I told Bear, after fighting with him all the way in and refusing to let him stop for coffee which just punishes both of us, "You do realize if this woman gives me one ounce of lip I'm going to tell her to fuck herself and then I'm going to cancel that check and put Rio in clown school, dontcha?" to which he replied, "Duh."
One kid snatched a hammer out of Rio's hand. I did not snatch said child bald-headed but I did intervene with 'She was playing with that. Would you like this one?" and as the kid walked off I did not chuck anything at the back of her head. Too many parents around....
Met one mom of a cute 'quiet boy.' He and Rio ended up at the playdough table together. Playing quietly. When Rio wandered off to the castle, cute quiet boy followed her with a handful of playdough. I love quiet boy.
Miss Teach is lovely. Came over to talk about concerns. Noticed Rio's snack bag of green beans - which she loves and asks for.... We eat very well here. That said, when we're out and about, just about anything goes. Apparently Rio's going to be pretty tall and super smart and snarky as fuck so I don't want her to also be the kid who only eats weird stuff. I told Miss Teach, "I'm not concerned. Unless you're planning on serving deep fried twinkies with a vodka back, I'm sure the snack will be fine."

She just gave me a funny look.
Rio didn't want to leave. She sang songs in the car - rapping mad freestyle. She was in a super mood. She asked to go back to school ... I'm sure she's going to be fine. Me? I'll be that mom that Security escorts to the edge of the property, and then has to pepper spray and then stun gun.
Come Tuesday I'll be in a pool of my tears and guilt and angst and uncertainty, with cheap parking lot concrete pebbles stuck to my face, trying to hold my breath for all 150 minutes of pre-school. Looking forward to it.

not the best day

There are days when it's all so simple. The ebb and flow feels just right. The tide washes gently over our lives and I'm in sync with all things. Granted, those days are usually accompanied by my having eaten something off the floor of a public restroom while I'm scrubbing away, but I digress...

Today I had a real crisis of confidence. It happened at the Little Gym. Well, before actually. I went to Bootcamp and had another great workout. I'm steadily losing weight and inches and feeling good about my discipline. I got home, did some laundry, cleaned up the kitchen and figured out that bad smelling thing was me! I popped in the shower at 9:22 and just as I soaped my hair I thought, "Fuck! Rio's dance class!", which is at 9:30 and it's about 15 minutes away.

I jumped out, toweled off, dressed her in record time and zoomed to class. We were late, needless to say. I like to be early as a rule, and with a [still struggling for the right word. a label. an easy thing to say that tells the world she's not one to jump in. she takes her time. she can't/won't be rushed...] child it's crucial to give her time to adjust to feel comfortable. I, for one, do not understand this. I could be dropped in the middle of any social situation you can imagine and feel comfortable within seconds. My daughter, not so much.

We spent almost all of dance class sitting on the floor. She wouldn't leave my lap. Stood up a couple of times but quickly returned. The other mothers were talking and laughing and having some grown-up time and I was on the floor in the dance studio. I felt like we were both very conspicuous. I don't mind it at all for me; I mind it a lot for her.

The second half of class is in the gym. She knows I can't go in there with her. I let her take her lovey, Guy aka Thing 1 or 2, and she went in. And out. And in. And out. And in. It was while she was inside that I had that horrible moment. The other kids were all sitting on the giant mat and then jumping on it while it deflated. Rio was off to the side, watching but very separate, on a small stack of mats she sat alone.

It was then, looking at the side of her little face, the profile so perfect to me, that the arrow pierced me. I lay my hand on my chest for fear the mothers would hear my heart pounding; squeezing; screaming. I thought, 'Is this how it's going to be?' and instantly hated myself for thinking it.

I don't want a sheep. I want a strong child that grows into a strong woman. But I want her to be happy. Comfortable. Okay.

Arguably, she is just that. After class she told Mr. Nick, "I went in and out, but I didn't cry!", all proud of herself.

It's times like these when I feel alone on this journey. Everyone who knows and loves her and me will say she's great. She's fine. Bear is not social. He's not anti-social, he just doesn't care about many people. When I tell him she was separate he thinks it good. He says he understands that. I wish I did... So, I put it here - mostly just to put it down.

But it's things like this that make me seriously wonder if I'm cut out for this.

I always knew with certainty that I didn't want children. I was wrong. It's the most terrifying thing I've ever done and that, my friends, is a huge statement. But I love every day with her. I feel blessed for the first time ever. Blessed.

I always knew with certainty I'd be a horrible mother. My mother told me this would be true. She told me every chance she had. I heard thousands of times, "Don't have children. You can't keep a plant/fish/relationship alive!". She was wrong. It turns out I'm a great mom. I'm patient and I feed her. :)

Recently I've had a feeling that everything will be okay. She'll find her way. She'll be happy - no matter her social likes and dislikes. She'll be comfortable and things will come easily for her. She'll learn how to manage situations so she can enjoy them.

I hope I'm not wrong.

hup, 2, 3...

My optimism knows no bounds. Unfortunately, my ass does. Class kicked me over, then kicked me upright again. The instructor is cute, which is no help. I'd tell you all about it but my hands are numb....

One down, 17 to go. Hahahahahhahahaha!

Hup, 2, 3,4

I guess I'm serious about finally getting into really good shape. I'm one of those people who is always in mostly good shape ... look good for 40+ ... 'you weigh HOW much?!' ...

So I've been being really good. Loads and loads of veggies and fruit. Two salads every day. I made Bear go for a long walk on Saturday. To the park with Miss Rio and Jack. Jack's 22 pounds of dog aggression. Whenever we see another dog he starts throwing himself at the end of his leash and he makes all his hair stand up and fluff out and he makes the most insane dog sounds .... *So* fun! But we met a nice man with a bijon that Jack must have had a little doggy crush on because he was super sweet ...

Anyway. I signed up for something called 'Bootcamp.' Specifically, because it's literally half as expensive, I signed up for 18 classes. Monday and Wednesday mornings at 7 am. Until sometime in November. Or when I die. Whichever is first. I'm an idiot. Pray for me. Send me your left-over pain relievers or something. I'm so stupid. I hope I don't cry.


In other news, Rio and I have the same size feet. Different scales, but we're both 8.5. I guess it's only ridiculously cute to me, huh?

But here she is dressed for her first dance class. Fifteen minutes each of tap and ballet, then gym time. So far she sits while the class taps, and taps like a lunatic when everyone else is sitting, and doesn't seem to like ballet, and makes Mr. Nick come into the gym to play with just her. Fun. At some point I'm going to start taking the money we spend on classes and eating it. I could use the fiber.


I tried to make it work with Will from BeTheBoy and his beautiful bride, Nina from Slackmistress, but they are busy. And I have to work. And then I think they're heading back. It's fun to meet blog people. Honestly, I suck at keeping in touch with the people I've known forever but still, they/you know that, right?! If any of you knew how my brain worked, you would love that I think of you so often. No lie. My brain is a superhighway and it's f-ing buzzing all the time.

I think I need medication.


Off to bed soon. The insomnia usually starts revving up right about now, but I hope to beat it by sneaking off to bed before it starts looking for me :)


Where does the time go? I feel like an old woman when I say that, but wow. Where?

I've been working from home. I've had a sitter a couple times, left Rio with a friend once, and mostly slugged it out. It's great to feel like I'm having some sort of impact on the planet, even if it's simply pointing out that although marshmallow should be spelled marshmellow, it isn't.


I do still need to post the pictures, mail 2 packages*, wash and cut up veggies**, clean my house and walk my dog. I swear, he's a little fat human trapped in a dog body. Yesterday I told him I'd take him for a long walk. And then I got an invitation for brisket and nothing tempts a pseudo-Jew like brisket, and we jetted to Boston. Sans Jack the dog ... so sad.

So today he's all throwing attitude. And just now when Ari and Rio and I were having a talk in the playroom, Jack wandered over and put his head in Ari's lap. Fucker. So I'm approaching the list with Jack at the top. I'll try to post later....

*i'm waiting for one stupid thing to come in the mail and then a certain 20-something's care package is complete. It's not you, Pia :) AND! I'm hoping to meet these crazy kids Long Island on sunday but we all know I'm not getting to the PO before then, anyway...
**Bear said, and I quote, but you could tell from the quotation marks, yes? "I will do all the veggie prep for your Eat To Live tough love start." Lying sack of non-veggie chopping, bizarrely natural low body fat, thank the Universe you make a lot of money, it's your kid too, shit!

jersey is for jackasses

I just ever so quickly emptied my camera in preparation for what will, no doubt, be the brilliance of Rio's first dance class. I hope I don't wet my pants laughing! Anyway, the Monkey Princess aka Demandatron aka Bossy McBoss and I were in/on Long Beach Island this past weekend.

The pictures are certain to entertain you and horrify my family. I can't wait to post them! First, I have to wrestle a monkey into tights and tap shoes. Hahahaha!

a wee bit too much fun

For my little sister's last night in town, we headed to the ballpark. *The* ballpark. And we miraculously ended up with tickets for the wall. *The* wall. And we had a blast. The game was awesome and that particular section is all about true fans. I was ready for my Red Sox tattoo after a few hours of hearing their stories.

After the game we continued the fun with dancing and tequila. At the last minute we bolted from the dancefloor of this joint, hailed a cab to get to South Street Station in time for the last train and barely made it home. This morning I am sorely reminded of the 20 years I have over my darling sister :)

The day was so fun. We invited my best new friend's little brother and he is so fun he now has to come to every event with us. I'm sure there are lots of words that mean 'fun', and I have used none of them but 'fun', but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words (all thousand being 'fun'!).

Have you got a fan story you'd like to share?

she's back!

All I can say is Rio is going to give herself a hernia if she dances around much more for 'Tia Pia'! Pia is my sister's middle name although, in true Rio form, the wee one does occasionally refer to her as 'Valencia.'

Yesterday she wanted to put her tap shoes on to show off her mad moves. She didn't fall down but she was close. A thousand times. But! She was giving Gregory Hines a run for his money. I miss that guy. Loved it when he was Grace's love interest on Will & Grace ...

So, yeah. I got nothing. But I can see and I'm so happy she's here. I'm full court pressing her to stay on the east coast :) I can be persuasive and I know where she stuck her return ticket ...

uh oh

... another ocular migraine. This is the third in two months. Anyone else nervous? Unless they're caused by impending psychic powers, me no likey ...

all sorts of news

:: bad ::
I was on hold, on and off, for nearly an hour yesterday with our insurance company.

:: good ::
Our sitter was here so I didn't have to make Sculpy creatures while arguing with 4 people who all gave me conflicting information.

:: bad ::
The insurance plan, which is administered out of Georgia, has found a way to pay for a certain service - EMDR - but only when provided by a certain type of doctor - MD. Coincidentally, that type of doctor doesn't do that type of service.

:: good ::
I found a provider, not an MD, who does EMDR really well.

:: bad ::
We have zero coverage for it AND I really need it AND it really helps.

:: good ::
The certified EMDR specialist takes cash.

:: bad ::
A lot of cash.

:: best ::
I had a pretty grueling session yesterday. I felt like Sculpy personified all afternoon yesterday. Before going to bed last night, I worked on a specific relaxation technique and was pleasantly surprised to NOT have my usual going to bed feeling which is someone holds a gun to my head and says, 'Nighty night! Pleasant dreams!' and then the gun holder turns into 30 monsters over the course of the night.


Last night I slept well. And I woke up in a good mood. Make that great mood. See you later!

wild hair

One of the many, many lovely sayings my mother used, often, when we were growing up was, "What's the matter with [him/her/you/that cop/that crying baby...]? Must have a wild hair across his/her/its ass!"

Yesterday, I guess I sort got one. A wild hair. I called all the salons and only one was open: UberCheapoCuts. For the first time in my life I put my name on a sign-in sheet and waited for whomever to be free to cut my hair. Off. I may be going crazy.

So, today I have a halo of hair that scared the shit out of my in my morning bathroom run. I did a doubletake, shook it out and decided, "Hey, it could have been worse."

I'm going to fix it in a couple places and then confess, with pictures, that apparently I'm sporting The Katie Holmes-Cruise hairdo.

Crap, I look like somebody's mother ...

out and about

Just another Saturday around Casa Crazy. Stern show playing in the background, waiting for the Monkey Princess to finish a much protested nap ... the Stern show discussion surrounds Richard Christy's status as homosexual or straight. Evidently, he said for 500 million dollars he'd suck a dick. Here's how that plays at our place ...

me: How 'bout you, Bear, would you suck a dick for 500 million dollars?

bear: (no hesitation) Hell ya, for 500 million. I'd swallow for that much! I'd do it for 200 million!

me: Really?

bear: Would I have to tell anyone about it? (I shake my head no) Then I'd do it for 100 million.

He doesn't have to tell anyone but I am not so, uh, tightlipped. Hahahahaha.

silly sphincter

The newest large part of my job is cleaning public restrooms.

Now, you don't know me, but those of you who *do* can attest to the point that I rarely, if EVER, in my pre-Rio life used public restrooms. Well, not for tinkling anyway ... but I digress. I loathe the whole concept of zillions of random humans going into the same space to void their interiors. It absolutely creeps me right the fuck out. *shivers*

Once again, my daughter is teaching me to embrace, literally, the unknown. I had the first inkling of impending disaster when we went to Florida in March. She was new at the training thing; interested in M&M's but not overly concerned with perfection. We were in JFK and I could clearly see that anyone who's job it was to pick up anything, anywhere in the airport, had been fired. The place was a disgusting pit. We're shlepping from one terminal to the another one across town* and I stop to get her a book to read in her stroller. She spies the M&M's and immediate starts to wail, "I HAVE TO GO TINKLE ON THE POTTY!" and I try to whisper, quite aware of how much of an asshole I would sound like if overheard, "You can tinkle in your dizzle. I'll give you a tinkle treat anyway," but she persisted with the hollering about tinkle and potty and right now pleeeeeeease so I was forced to capitulate.

I have her stand in the corner of the stall while I scrub the whole toilet and anything else she might come in contact with with wet wipes. And no gloves. I literally was wretching and scrubbing and the smells have not been forgotten and all manner of detritus that needed to be coaxed off with a barely protected fingernail - I'll be right back, I gotta hurl ...

Anyway, we always tinkle before we go out so that's under control. She's still a poop holdout cuz she doesn't like to go. ?? So she waits until the last possible second. Only problem? She's not sure exactly which second is the last second, so we have a lot of 'maybe' mania lately. She'll give me the hysterical, "I gotta poop the potty right now!" and I scrambled like a lunatic to clean a public stall without vomiting because she can't prepare herself for a goddamned trip to the grocery store.

So far today I've scrubbed a toilet in the following locals:

*BJ's: has the added bonus of the motion sensor that I have to disarm and cover before she sees it because they scare her to death. You can totally disarm the sensor by draping a wet wipe over it :)

*Old Navy: I just tell myself that all those skinny girls don't eat so they probably don't poop, either...

*Whole Foods Market: at this point I know it's a game cuz she really just wants to go in there to look at the baby changing table. She hollers until I wipe that down, too, and unfold it to show her and throw myself between her and random baby ass germs because she's convinced touching it will bring passage to Nirvana.

*Cold Stone Creamery: People, if you're fucking lactose intolerant STOP EATING MOTHERFUCKING ICE CREAM, WOULDYA? enough said.

In the toystore she gave me the look and I said, "Forget it. We're going home right now and I think you'll be okay. Let's go!" and we begin the mad dash home. Now I'm looking in the mirror at her pinched face and I start to feel wretched because that's how you always feel when you used to have a job where you bossed people around and had meetings and wore clean clothes and you leave all that behind to raise a child from scratch with no experience and you are actually losing weight burning so many calories with epic amounts of self doubt...


... we make it home. Our bathrooms are all clean. Truth? They sort of smell like a train station where hobos live because she likes to look when she tinkles so there is tinkle everywhere and if I don't clean the bathrooms every day, which believe it or not I don't always have time to, well, they no longer always smell like lavendar Mrs. Myers. Fucking shoot me. You try keeping this joint spotless and have all the ironing done and it takes half a day to go to three stores with all the "Can I ride the boat? Don't put money in it. I don't want it to go fast. Just catch me!" and all the scrubbing....


I get her on the potty. She is clearly in distress and still trying to squeak 4 more minutes of poop ownership out of today ... she tries to scoot of the potty and I say, "No way. You have to poop. We'll wait!" and she says, "No, I don't. I have to play marbles!" and as I'm guiding her ass back to the seat she poops on my leg a little bit.

Needless to say she's feeling better after, um, the successful and rather massive transfer of ownership. Me? Me, you ask? I'm still a little shocky that this is the high point/most exciting part of my day.


now i get it!

For the haters in the group, I will admit to having a pretty perfect kid. No real tantrums, and that handful at age two were weak, at best. We talk about things; there is rarely a need for a timeout; I believe my toddler to be a reasonable little person.

No longer.

I understand how you can want to slap your kid - after tossing the evil dwarf across the room and into her bed.

Last night she decided she'd sleep with us. We did the usual 'comfort Rio and discuss irrational fears and read her a story and everyone goes to sleep' routine. Except. Last night she decided she was having none of it.

"I sleep with you. I don't sleep in my bed." and that little gem was repeated 20 or so times. It was replaced, at midnight, by "I CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN'T SLEEEEEEEEP IN MYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED"!!!!! at the very top of her lungs for just over an hour. Thoughtfully, she repeatedly brought the insane monkey show to the foot of our bed in the unlikely event we couldn't hear her histrionics.

I calmly took her back to bed about 30 times. I calmly picked her up off the floor and managed to get that elastic-arms-straight-over-head wormlike body up and into her bed again and again. I calmly blocked the fade left/shoot right move she used to try to get by me to the more malleable Bear. (She completely telegraphs, by the way, and always goes left fade/right run. Dumbass.) I calmly, and wisely, put one earplug in and put her over that shoulder so I'd be able to hear today. Bear and I snipped at one another because it's not okay to take things out on a child. I laughed at her absurd anger and cried at her frustration. But I held the line.


Parenting is hard. It is one thing to imagine your child pushing against the imaginary bubble of her world; desperately needing that bubble to remain solid so she can focus her energies on exploring the unknown - safe in the knowledge that her world is secure. It is quite another to stand in the face of that category 5 storm and hold that line for her.

I'm proud of myself today. I didn't give. All the shingles blew off but I kept the damaging rains away. I hear her now, just awakening, and she's singing.


If she pulls that shit again today, watch for her on Ebay.