First Stitches

June 30th, 2010

Well, staples, really. OK, one staple. But it suuuuuucked. Not the staple part so much, that part was actually very quick. But the part where Vibble’s head was bleeding all over the place, and the pediatrician couldn’t get all of the blood washed out of her hair to find the wound, and Vibble was so sad, and then when the ped told me I had to take her to the ER anyway … ug. Poor little one. She was so brave. She’s really a toughie. They had to hold her down to do the stapling. She seemed most upset by having her blood pressure checked, though, and when anyone got between her and the TV. So brave. Periodically as we were waiting to go into the ped’s office, she was asking ME if I was OK. (Um. No.) Steve came over from work, and like I said, Violet was such a champ.

The cause was a typical toddler altercation at a birthday party (hope it’s still a good memory for the birthday boy—we really did have a lot of fun up until the toy-tractor part). It’s true what they say about head wounds. They bleed A LOT.

We go back in two weeks to get the staple taken out. Meanwhile, Steve and I are facing the reality that this is likely the first of many such staple-trips to the ER with VBL, aka, Thrill-Junkie. May need to budget that copay into monthly expenses by the time she’s six.

The Gum Can Suffer

June 28th, 2010

Yesterday I was headed downtown to drool over exhibitions at Dwell on Design at the Convention Center. On the ramp that connects I-10 East with I-110 North, traffic was stop-and-go around the big curve, as usual. The car in front of me hit the brakes. I hit the brakes and stopped. Guess who didn’t? Yep, the woman behind me with the dog in her lap. WHAM. She hits me. I look into my rear-view, see her look up from said lap dog, and WHAM, she hits me again, as the car behind her impacts us.

These are the things I’m grateful for:
- Violet wasn’t in the car
- No one was hurt
- My car seems OK, just minor bumper damage, I think
- The police report was smooth
- The doggie wasn’t hurt; since it was the only passenger without a seatbelt, that really could have sucked

The other two drivers’ cars were pretty smashed up. Windshield glass, fronts accordion-style, fluids dripping from under the hoods. A far worse day for each of the other drivers than for me. Still, it sucked the wind out my sails, and I went right home afterwards, skipping Dwell. Because I just wanted a hug, and I had a headache, and I was worried I might have a lot of phone calls to make about my car. (Turns out this process is a million times easier than it used to be, thankfully.)

It was only 10:30 in the morning, but if you subscribe to the superstition that morbid things happen in threes, I was covered: I stepped in gum while giving the police report statement, and I passed a dead kitten in the third lane on the freeway drive home. Hm. Covered, but possibly jaded? Did I just equate a dead kitten with gum on my shoe? I guess I hope it was quick for the kitten; the gum can suffer.

So drive extra carefully this week, please! Pay attention. Come to a full stop. Slow for that yellow light. Put your phone away. I’m talking to myself as much as to you. Want more convincing? Read this.


June 25th, 2010

We took the TRAIN today! Met up with a couple of playgroup pals at Union Station and rode about an hour and a half down to San Juan Capistrano, where there’s a petting zoo and restaurants and other fun stuff right by the station. I will be understating it to say this, but I’ll say it anyway: IT WAS SO FUN! And Violet was incredibly good all day. Aside from a brief wah-wah on the train ride home, she was just the best little kid.

My favorite part of the day was when we first got to the petting zoo. Along with your entry fee, you can choose a purchase from an assortment of veggies and animal food. I picked the bowl o’ pellets, knowing if I went with the cut veggies, a certain little animal I know might feed herSELF. Anyway, once in the pen of bunnies and guinea pigs (aka The Rodent Infested Pen—[shiver]), Vibble made her rounds. She took her bowl of kibble and set it in front of an enclave of bunnies and then sat back on her haunches. A few seconds later, she took it away from them, moved along to another enclave of bunnies and guinea pigs across the pen, and let them munch from the bowl for a few seconds. This went on and on and on and on. It was just adorable. I got some video; I’ll try to upload it sometime soon.

After the petting zoo, we had lunch and then killed a little time at a playground that had a sand pit with a water-pump in it. It was like every two-year-old’s fantasy sandbox, and we let the girls get soaked and dirty, then cleaned them up for the train ride home. Our hope was that they would nap, but while Emme was down with that plan, Vibble and Brienna were too wired. Because TRAINS! And ANIMALS! ANIMALS YOU CAN TOUCH! And ICE CREAM! What an exciting day they’d had. (Me, too.)

Enjoy some photos of our day!

A Day in the Life

June 16th, 2010

Today has been a rare day without TV. Not that Violet watches a TON of TV, but ideally, for us, she would watch none. It’s just that, sometimes I need to use the stove or something, and I need her distracted and to stay put. And then sometimes, she is just blue, and nothing seems to work, and then I say, “Do you want to watch Madeline?” and she grins and gets all happy. Madeline is a very effective mood-lifter here.

Anyway, no TV today, but let me tell you why sometimes if I need to do something besides watch her every move I have little choice but to put her in front of the TV for a bit. So just now I was trying to get some laundry done. First she played in her room. Then I had to take a break from laundry to clean up the broken light bulb in her room. Then she played downstairs. Then I had to take a break from laundry to vacuum flour off of Violet’s arms and legs and the entire—yes, the ENTIRE—first level floor. It smelled like a bakery in here for the second time this week (earlier in the week, she got into the spices and decided our living room needed a dash of cinnamon—in every square inch).

When I found her with the flour, she knew she had been caught. Immediately, she said, “I sorry!” She said it about four times, shrugging her shoulders, and the tone she used was one you might use if, say, you accidentally stepped on someone’s toe in line at the grocery store. Like, “Oops! Clumsy me! I got into the flour!”

Things I Shouldn’t Have to Say/Explain

June 15th, 2010

“Don’t put candy down your pants.”

You Don’t Have to Be Rich—or a Parent—to Have Fabulous Interior Home Design

June 1st, 2010

It’s time I shared my secrets. As someone who lives in Southern California, I have to keep up with THE latest trends in interior design, and I do, of course. But I have some DIY tips you can take advantage of no matter what your budget, and whether or not you have kids. Read on to see what I mean …


Hand-print Feng Shui is all the rage. For this one, if you don’t have kids of your own, you may need to entice someone else’s kids to help you; adult-sized handprints are a dead giveaway that you’re into knockoffs, and you want your guests to think you spare no expense or effort to be stylish. That said, you can spare every expense and effort if you Google “Make your own finger paint.” But if, like me, you’re much too lazy, you can pick up some at any arts and crafts store. Now, the key here is to make a few handprints on some paper before embellishing the wall; that way, it looks as if a creative child has been painting, painting, painting away until that split-second adult supervision lagged, when BAM, the wall got a high-five.


Play Doh in the carpet is so hot right now, and you don’t have to have kids to make it happen. Authenticity is easy to fake in this case. Just pick up some Play Doh at your local toy store, or better yet, order it online for ease and convenience. Remove it from the containers and mix it up—yes, it’s crucial the colors mingle, preferably to the point of being a single brown wad. Next, break the wad into tiny pieces, sprinkle them on the carpet, and grind, grind, grind them in with your hands and the soles of your shoes. It’s that easy!


Furniture crumbs and a light dusting of playground sand on all surfaces: Here in L.A., no one steps foot into a house without these. Three-week-old raisins, dried pieces of string cheese, and cracker bits make your couch worthy of any celebrity bottom. Similarly, a few apple juice stains on a light carpet will elevate your social status in a moment, and sprinkling a little playground sand around is so 2010.


Fancy up: Furnish with broken fixtures. If you don’t have at least one lamp that looks like a drunken hobo monkey swung from it while waving a jug of moonshine around, you need a total home makeover, because what are you thinking? This is so easy to do! Begin with a nice, department store lamp. Next, whack the lamp-shade with a hammer. Remember: Dents in the lampshade are nice, but a huge tear makes a great focal point in any room. You can scrape a little sandpaper along any exposed surfaces, and do your best to bend anything bendable. Finally, don’t forget to snap off the switch so there’s no way to turn the lamp on or off with pliers. It’s THE thing to do to have a broken lamp with pliers next to it; everyone knows what this means (that you’re HIGH CLASS).


So you’ve got the carpet, the furniture, the lighting … Now as designers and stagers alike will tell you, no decor is complete without considering the five senses. You’ve just GOT to get that diaper-pail scent. But how, you ask? Well, first, it’s amazing how much most people associate the smell of baby powder, baby lotion, and baby wipes with dirty diapers. So pick up travel sizes of all of these items and leave them open in the living room. Now get your hands on a dirty diaper. If you don’t have a personal supply, I can sell you one cheap. You need to wad up the diaper and enclose it in a tight-lidded plastic container in the bathroom for a few days. Then when you open the container, the scent will pervade your home in no time.

I know it takes some effort to be as stylish as we are out here in L.A. I wish you all the best in your ambitions, and I hope you’ll share your own tips. As they say on HGTV, Make the world a better place—start at home.