July 14th, 2010

I just needed a short bio for something, and I wanted to keep track of it for future looking-back, so here it is:

Sprinter, nurse, cook, fellow princess, police officer, teacher, driver, mermaid, human roller coaster, carpet vacuum operator, hairdresser, heartache healer, half-of-a-parade, tricycle lugger, monkey-kitty-butterfly, protector, photographer, singer/dancer, and also I change a lot of Huggies.

And here’s a bio I wrote for Violet a bit ago:

Violet was born at St. John’s. We call her “Vibble” as a nickname, because her initials are VBL (Violet Bella LaVietes). Since her St. John’s days, Vibble has taken the usual routes to arrive at the Twos. She currently spends most of her time running in circles and removing objects from cabinets, containers, and shelves. She is a much-too-adept climber who is still getting the hang of talking. She enjoys electronics and is not fooled by “decoy” remote controls or phones. She loves edamame and gummy bear vitamins. She dislikes diaper changes and the two-gummy-bear-vitamin limit.

Hm, some of that is outdated now, of course. The running-in-circles has given way to running-miles-and-miles-before-I-can-catch-her, for example. But isn’t it the truth with a kid this age that you could write a bio for them one day, and by the next day, you’d have to write a different one!

Watermelon Farm!

July 11th, 2010

Friday we went to Tanaka Farms—rode in a wagon all over the farm; tasted green beans, carrots, tomatoes, corn, and more right from the fields; and “picked” a watermelon. What fun! Photos here.

I Just Need to Vent a Moment

July 8th, 2010

This has been a trying week and a half. A lot of events that, taken one by one, alone, I could absorb with not a lot of impact, are adding up to make me feel pretty stressed: Getting rear-ended on the freeway and all of the errand-running that has followed for car repairs, added to Vibble’s trip to the ER. We’re trying not to feel constant stress about taking her back in next Tuesday to have the staple removed, but that’s hard. I don’t want her to have to walk back in that scary place, let alone get held down by orderlies again for another, albeit quick, procedure. It’s just not something I look forward to in life, for either of us.

Then there were cat problems; Mia has always been a “pee cat,” but it’s gotten increasingly worse, and this past week she peed on the living room carpet, on some stuffed animals, and in a giant box of Legos. LEGOS! Just stop a moment and imagine the clean-up involved. It’s about a hundred bucks’ worth of Legos, so I don’t want to pitch it, but EW. SO GROSS. So I took her to the vet, and long story short, she had her teeth cleaned, and we had to rearrange our upstairs to basically create her own country up there and give our master bathroom completely to her, and now she is on some kind of antidepressant that apparently causes her to have the squirts all over the house. You’re right, Vets, this is way better than the peeing. I’m just at the end of my rope with that one, and I’m not the only one; the tension here in the house over her this week has been trying. And so every night now it’s medicate Linus, medicate Mia, clean up after Mia, clean up after Mia some more, and try not to hate this kitty. It’s not her fault, but oh man, she’s hard to love right now. Our house smells embarrassing.

OK, so the list continues: Yesterday I took my car into the shop and picked up a rental car. The wait for the rental car was a real drag, and poor Vibble was really doing her toddler-best to be patient. So we headed from there to the mall to meet up with friends so Violet could play, and this kid—this kid who NEVER PUKES—let go a gallon of gushing vomitousness in the back seat of the rental car. A rental car in which I had NONE of my usual supplies with which to clean her up, reclothe her, etc. Flash forward to naked Vibble, escaping from the store where I am buying her an outfit and streaking into the mall. Yes, she felt fine. But the car seat was ruined. It was that much puke—chunks of it down in the mechanisms, and the padding soaked. Having once before tried to clean the exact same model of car seat (in one of only four other times in her little life she has puked), I know this: I can get the stench out of the fabric, but no amount of cleaning, with any amount of products, gets it out of the plastic. And anyway, I can’t sit her in this car seat, no way, it’s soaked, and I can’t snap the clasp shut. Our other car seat is now in the repair garage. This is going on way too long, this venting, so let me just say thank you to Brooke and to David for watching Vibble at the mall while I ran to Target to get the only car seat they had that fit the bill, so I could get her home and beyond.

Add to all of this that we’re in some kind of long home stretch with Stevel’s app he’s been working on, so he’s spread thin enough to be transparent, working too hard all day and coming home to work too hard all evening on the app a lot of nights. Add to it the unexpected expenses of the ER bill, the vet bills, the new car seat—again, all things we could absorb individually without saying “ouch” too loud, but all at once, well, it’s just been an expensive and draining couple of weeks. A few too many of those moments where I’m standing there going, “OK, I need a plan to deal with this mini-crisis.” I know I shouldn’t even be complaining about ANY of these things. They ALL turned out just fine in the end, none were serious, just minor bumps in the sidewalk, but I just feel so … remember that commercial where the lady goes, “Calgon, take me away!” I wonder if you can still get Calgon.

Thank you for listening. I do feel better now. And we just had a 5.9 earthquake. Shake it up, Cali!

Morning Pretties

July 6th, 2010

My morning routine for myself used to be what I always considered, ‘Low Maintenance.’ A little makeup, clothes selection, some hair attention.

Now that old routine seems prima donna in comparison to what I get to do. Here’s what it looks like:


Sometimes I try to do some yoga. HA! Violet thinks this is HILARIOUS! Time to use every muscle in her body to knock Mom over! Wheee!


OK, get myself dressed. Can I even enter the closet? Most days this involves traversing a blockade of laundry baskets. If so, it’s bottoms, a top, and hope they match.


Around this time I have to turn on some Madeline, because the Little Boss does not like for me to spend too much time in the closet, heaven forbid. Demands! If I have time to be in the closet, then apparently I have time on my hands—why am I not holding her!


‘Makeup’ these days has been pared down to one thing: Chap Stick. Chap Stick is the entirety of my beauty regimen. (Naturally, I don’t balk at buying expensive LUXURY Chap Stick, because it’s got to work hard to draw attention away from my blemishes and dark circles.) Of course, today, my Chap Stick was unavailable. As I was sighfully debating whether to dig in the laundry baskets to try and find it, Vibble showed up at the closet door. She brushed her hair back from her face to show off to me her handiwork: Her face was completely buttered in Chap Stick. “Lovely! Mom’s turn to use MOM’s Chap Stick!” (At least she has stopped using it to completely fill in her navel—she’s just maturing every day, and we are so proud.)


So the Chap Stick has been recovered. Without offending any sensibilities out there, let me just say this: Step 5 is where one hopes one does not need any feminine hygiene products. Because in Vibble’s room there is a dolly napping on a mattress of panty liners … and tampons, forget it. Whoever thought it would be a good idea to wrap tampons in colorful plastic wrappers—you know, like CANDY! or HAPPY MEAL TOYS!—I curse you. They are a holy grail of toddlers.


Breakfast: Diet Pepsi and whatever has the most sugar/choco power.


Shoes: Flip flops. No matter how cold it is out, they are fast and, most importantly, in the living room. Once I’ve come downstairs, there is no going back. There’s just no time. We’ve got to be somewhere, and Vibble is purposely dribbling milk on her clean shirt and refusing to wear pants.


Pack the day’s needs. This step is so important, it requires I stop. Breathe. Focus. The last thing I want today is to be on some playground and smell poo on my kid and realize I don’t have a diaper. Hand sanitizer, yes. Crayons, of course. A diaper? Um.


Step 9 is where I turn off Madeline. You have probably heard this step, wherever you live. It is deafening.


Step 10 is where we head out of the garage, and I realize I forgot to put on deodorant, brush my teeth, and so much as look at my hair in a mirror. Good thing it’s not me people are looking at when we’re out in public, but this cute little pantsless kid with the milk on her shirt, right?